Talk:Israel/Archive 18

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Archive 15 Archive 16 Archive 17 Archive 18 Archive 19 Archive 20 Archive 25

Terminology Palestinian vs. Arab

I would like to propose that we make a differentiation between the labelling of the Arab and Palestinian populations for purposes of clarity and accuracy. As it is, the text doesn't make sense to the reader looking for information on Israel and the Palestinians in the period before the 1970s. It's as though Golda Meir wrote this article in her "Palestinians don't exist" phase which is a pretty serious NPOV oversight, no? I would be happy to go through the article and make changes as necessary, if there are others who would support the move. Tiamut 21:08, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Lead

I feel a lot of the stuff in the lead paragraph should really come elsewhere in the article..

Filing that, the lead paragraph shd at least be broken into several paras. (See Germany)

For my money, the bits in Template:Curlies cd be deleted Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info); Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل‎, Dawlat Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia Template:Why not 'Middle East' on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and Egypt in the south-west[2] and has a population of over seven million people.[3] Founded in 1948, Israel is the world's only Jewish state {{explain what this means - Law of Return etc, ehcih is the distinctive Israeli feature not true of other countries

Template:Although its population includes citizens from many ethnic and religious backgrounds (See also: Israelis). Of course - this applies to most countries!

{{What does 'church' mean in Israel? This bit can be deleted. According to Freedom House, Israel is the oldest and only liberal democracy in the Middle East, consisting of legislative, executive and judicial branches. While not having a complete separation of church and state, the government (and most of the country) is almost purely secular. Israel enjoys a vibrant cultural life and has a technologically advanced economy. Its citizens enjoy political rights and civil liberties that are comparable to that of the United States and the West.[4][5][6] In 2005 Reporters Without Borders ranked it 47th out of 167 countries in freedom of the press (just behind the United States at 44th), the highest of any country in the Middle East. [7] Israel was ranked 23rd out of 177 countries in the 2005 United Nations Human Development Index, the highest ranking in the Middle East and 3rd highest in all of Asia.}}

Maybe a much shorter bit summarising Israel's tech position - but is this not in the summary box anyhow?



Johnbibby 10:27, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Alternative Version

Okay, how about this version (from Dianelos' suggestion, incorporating my comments):

Israel (Hebrew: About this sound מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל ; Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل‎‎, Dawlat Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and Egypt in the south-west.[1] Israel is also in control of the West Bank (here a footnote explaining that the Palestinian authority controls a part of the west bank, and the entire Gaza Strip), the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem (footnote explaining they were annexed, and are under Israeli law), not interntionally recognized as part of its territory. It covers an area of approximately 21,000 square kilometers and has a population of approximately seven million people.[2].
Israel is the world's only Jewish state although Israel's population includes citizens from many ethnic and religious backgrounds. The State of Israel was founded in 1948 as the result of the Zionist movement in the area that was the birthplace of the Jewish people (see Land of Israel). The Jews finally lost their independence in the area in 135AD (here a footnote explaining, in short, the fall of the kingdoms, and the last rebellion against the romans), but maintained a continuous physical presence in the region as well as a strong cultural and religious bond with it. Since its creation Israel has faced the struggle of the Arab Israeli conflict which has had tremendous effects on its society.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy consisting of legislative, executive and judicial branches. Israel has a vibrant cultural life, free press, and a highly technologically advanced economy. It is ranked 23rd out of 177 countries in the 2005 United Nations Human Development Index.

I know this version may seem a bit long/tedious, but I think it pretty much covers it. I do think the occupation should be mentioned, as it's extremely important to the current situation of Israel, and is almost unique in the world. okedem 14:05, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the current short lead is the best. Lead like you proposed will be constantly changed. Think about the hundreds of anons as well as users who will change it compeltely. There shouldn't be so many edit-wars on a country's article lead, it isn't advisable and therefore there should be a lead with no controversial sentences. People entering will immediately see "west bank" and start defining it like they want with differnet refs to support it. Israel is more than that, it's just a country,the disputes can be outlined in the article itself history etc. Btw, Jews losing their indepedence in 135AD is also open to discussion, seeing as there were brief autonomies later on during the Persian invasion to the Byzantinne empire for example. Amoruso 20:31, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
That may be, but I don't know what others think of it. I'm fine with the current one.
BTW, we really need to archive most of this page. If there are no objections, I'm going to archive the text up to this section (excluding this one). okedem 21:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I would even possibly minimize it to this looking at many country leads :

Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info); Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل‎, Dawlat Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and Egypt in the south-west[2] and has a population of over seven million people. Amoruso 21:27, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi everyone. Noticed that someone has changed the lead to include the Freedom House claim of the oldest and only democracy in the Middle East, yet again. I don't want to edit war and I know that all here are working towards a simple lead. Would appreciate if one of you would change the lead to a minimal version that has consensus. While Amoruso's lead is short and to the point, I'm afraid that it is a bit misleading, since the West Bank lies between Israel and Jordan, the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria, and Gaza between Egypt and Israel. Now I know that you (Amoruso) not want to mention the occupied territories in the lead, and I will not insist on that. As a compromise, how about just paring it down to: "Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info); Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل‎, Dawlat Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, with a population of just over seven million people." Thanks for your time and cosideration. Tiamut 11:22, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Why not just write "Israel is a country"? Look at any countrie's intro, do they look like what you've proposed? -- tasc wordsdeeds 11:39, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Tiamut,
I think the whole Freedom House ratings, "only democracy" and all the stuff - should be removed.
About the borders - every country lead mentions the borders, and so Israel's should too. As you can see in my suggestion, I say we can mention the occupied territories. However, the territories do not change the facts of the borders - Israel does directly border Jordan on the east, and Egypt on the south-west, with or without the territories. Since the Gaza Strip, and at least some of the west bank are under the control of a political entity, with set borders, we can say that israel borders them. How about - "Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to the east, and Egypt and the PA (Gaza Strip) to the west"? I'm not sure of the current legal status of the PA, though, so I don't know if they can be mentioned there.
BTW, with the Golan Heights it doesn't make any difference - whether Israel returns them to Syria or not - it still borders Syria to the east (de facto - now, and de jure - according to the internationally recognized border). okedem 12:09, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Why do you want it removed? Because it says something you don't like? --Shamir1 21:37, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
If you would have read a bit of my battles on this page (and looked at my userpage), instead of attacking, you'd see that I'm an Israeli, and something of a patriot. I've been trying to guard this article against attacks and keep it accurate for a while now, so don't accuse me of any anti-Israel bias.
I want it removed because I don't think it has a place in the lead. I don't think Israel's democracy should be judged according to its backwards neighbors. I don't think that being "the most liberal in the middle east" (or whatever) is something to be especially proud of - not a lot of competition here. I think Israel's democracy fares well when compared to other democracies, like western Europe, or the US, not just when compared to Egypt.
And I want it removed on the grounds of "choose your battles wisely". Such a statement would elicit neverending arguments and edit-wars, and really doesn't add much to the lead. I do think we should write about Israel being a liberal democracy, having a free press and all, but not "only".
Next time, please think carefully before attacking someone who's probably "on your side". okedem 21:56, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I read your page before, "carefully." A liberal democracy, does not mean "liberal" the way you think. If you look under democracy, you'll see that in today's terminology a democracy usually refers to "liberal democracy." A liberal democracy is based on the status of political rights and civil liberties, which you can see if you read the article, or the Freedom House 2006 Survey too if you wish. Its not being compared to Egypt, its saying it is the only one that is a liberal democracy according to these findings. According to Freedom House (which Wikipedia uses), Israel is indeed the ONLY one. The intro should state the what makes the country unique. --Shamir1 22:06, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, then I guess you should have actually bothered to see who I am, instead of accusing me of some sort of anti-Israel bias. And I'll say this one again - it's not that Freedom House "is what wikipedia uses". It has not been designated "official wiki democracy rater" or whatever. Some people choose to use its data, because it's convenient. It doesn't have more merit than other organizations, and has no special status in wikipedia. okedem 08:47, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you've written Okedem. The point about Syria being especially valid. And I also am unsure about how to mention the PA. Accordingly, I drop my objection to Amoruso's short lead, though a mention of the occupied territories would be nice. We can expand on the details inside the article. Tiamut 16:21, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Why should the Freedom house ratings be removed?

  • Why should the Freedom house ratings be removed? They're a recognized NGO, just like Amnesty or any other one and it's a valid claim that Israel is the only Democracy in the middle east. To be the only democracy in any given region these days is certainly a notable claim that should be included. -- Chabuk 16:08, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Please see the most recent archive for a review of the debate surrounding that issue. Turkey and Lebanon are both considered by many to be parliamentary democracies and both are also considered by many to be in the Middle East. One Freedom House opinion does not make it universally so. Inclusion of such a controversial statement in the lead would have to be accompanied by the contrary view, thus complicating the lead unnecessarily. Feel free to include the quote somewhere in the article. I will add the contrary view to meet NPOV requirements there after you have done so. Tiamut 16:21, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
You're not getting it. Wikipedia uses Freedom House, and this is Wikipedia. How is it controversial when it says according to Freedom House? Very stubborn. Lebanon and Turkey as democracies is VERY controversial, and freedom house does not consider them to be a liberal democracy.--Shamir1 21:37, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Could someone please change the lead to the shorter version for now and shift the contentious material down to another section? I had to take out this quote just now: "Its citizens are the only ones in the Middle East whose political rights and civil liberties (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press) are comparable to the that of the United States and the West.[3][4]" The references cited do not even prove the claim made. Who keeps authoring this stuff? And to administrators, I would like to second Okedem's motion that the page be semi-protected. Reaching consensus is difficult enough among registered editors without having anonymous others inserting their own POV whenever they feel like it and that goes for supporters and detractors of Israel alike.
User:Shamir1 has reinserted the material I deleted above, under the heading that "someone does not know how to do basic research." I would like to invite him to discuss such changes here. Findings of the Israel Democracy Institute [1], directly contradict the study done by Freedom House. For example, they note that: "Israel is mainly a formal democracy that has not yet acquired the characteristics of a substantive democracy," and that "Protection of human rights in Israel is poor; there is serious political and economic discrimination against the Arab minority; there is much less freedom of religion than in other democracies; and the socioeconomic inequality indicator is among the highest in the sample." Also, regarding stability and social cohesion, "Israel ranks at the bottom of the list in all indicators. The turnover in governments is more frequent than in other democracies, and only India ranks lower in social tensions and rifts between the various segments of society." Considering this is an Israeli non-profit dedicated to studying Israeli democracy, I would argue that it is a more authoritative source. As I said earlier, any insistence on including the Freedom House findings would have to be balanced by this contrarian view. Should this be included in the lead? Or should it be moved down to a section where it can discussed in full? Thanks. Tiamut 08:53, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
How can you compare a private organization to highly-reliable survey of every nation in the worl?--a survey that Wikipedia uses. There is controversy behind every sentence in the world. Getting some little quote doesnt change the findings of Freedom House. --Shamir1 21:37, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Who says it's so reliable? Freedom House is a respectable research institute (but a private organization like many others), but it's not "the Truth", and there are others who disagree. Wikipedia didn't choose Freedom House as "the official rater of democracy". Just a lot of people on wikipedia found it useful to mention its ratings. That doesn't mean it's beyond doubt.
We can say (along with the other ratings) - "Israel has received a rating of "Free" by Freedom House". We can even say "the only one in the middle east to receive a "Free" rating by Freedom House".
I see you've added those sources again - I'll repeat what I said earlier - you can't link to Wikipedia as a source! See the policy here. Even if it's something by freedom house, don't use a wikipedia link for it. You can use a link like this: [2], directly to the Freedom House website. okedem 22:10, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly, this entire discussion has happened before, and that very source has been cherry-picked before. The reason it is used it because it is, without a doubt, the only reputable source that indicates that Israel is not a democracy; and even then, it does not say that. Rather, the 2003 study, which is getting rather old, says that "Israeli democracy, as reflected by comparative quantitative indicators, is primarily a formal democracy that features a democratic institutional system, entrusted with the functioning of the regime and performing state democratic functions. From this perspective, Israel's status is relatively good compared with other democracies, especially its high level of representativeness and the high score it receives regarding the restrictions placed on the executive branch of government." In other words, a mix, like many democracies. Jayjg (talk) 17:08, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Surprisingly, while you allege that this debate has happened before, it has not. I read the archive you posted and the debate there was whether or not Israel could be described as a parliamentary democracy at all; whereas here, we do not disagree over whether it is a parliamentary democracy or not, but rather as to whether it is the ONLY democracy in the region, and whether it provides more rights for its citizens than neighbouring countries. Second, a 2003 study is not "rather old". There is no glossing over the significance of the reports findings and the fact that comparative studies were carried out over a ten-year period. The conclusion that "Protection of human rights in Israel is poor; there is serious political and economic discrimination against the Arab minority; there is much less freedom of religion than in other democracies" totally belies the claim of universal political and civil rights for all of Israel's citizens. And "The turnover in governments is more frequent than in other democracies, and only India ranks lower in social tensions and rifts between the various segments of society," [3] is relevant considering that people were arguing that Lebanon's democracy is "unstable" so as to not have to mention it as another example of a functioning parliamentary democracy in the region. I have to say that I don't much appreciate you dismissing an ongoing discussion you opted to ignore, unilaterally editing the lead, which was being built by consensus here on the talk. And when you do jump in, you show a disregard for the validity of the issues under discussion, dismissing the discussion and the sources cited as old hat, and basically continue to make the changes that suit your POV. Tiamut 00:00, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I removed the claim, since the sources weren't sufficient - one didn't really support the claim, and the other two were from wikipedia itself, which can't serve as a source. This page: [4], however, can serve as a source for a claim of "free press". How about we add that claim with this source - "Israel enjoys a vibrant cultural life, free press (the source comes here) and has a technologically advanced economy"?
Shamir1 - Everything about Israel is complex, we can't discuss all the intricacies in the lead. Let's keep it simple, with easy to prove claims, nothing too complicated. okedem 09:24, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi Okedem. Thanks for removing that claim. I appreciate your attempt to play mediator here. Regarding your suggestion to include a line on the free press with the source you cited in the lead, I can't really agree (unfortuantely). The source itself makes clear that press freedom is nonexistent in the territories. Other sources like IPI [5] note complaints by Foreign Press Association members regarding lack of access to Gaza, the fatal shooting of documentary filmmaker James Miller in 2003 and Majdi Arabeid in 2005, and concludes with this sentence: "Although the Israeli media operates in a more open press freedom environment than its regional neighbours, investigative reporting or publication of criticism related to the military and security forces is disapproved of by the authorities, and all articles concerning these topics may be subject to military censorship." In their overview page, they place Lebanon and Israel in the same genral category however, noting that: "In countries like Israel and Lebanon, most publications and broadcasters are privately owned and journalists are usually free to carry out their work without state interference." [6] And you and I were both here during the war with Lebanon. Didn't you notice the strict controls on media reporting then? I remember at one point, when missiles hit Haifa and a woman from the staff behind the camera gasped, the correspondent himself on camera said, "Shhh! Shhh!" It was as though they had orders to minimize the impact of the attacks. Never once did we know exactly where the missiles were landing, for reasons of "national security." I don't know about you, but it pissed me off. I would end up calling all my relatives located in a general region to see if they were okay. Phone lines would get tied up because everyone else was doing the same. But enough of that. The point is I thought we agreed that a simple lead would be best and that we would put the other points where there are sourced variances of opinion in the body. Thanks again. Tiamut 10:23, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

What a mediator. --Shamir1 21:37, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
As much as I support free press, reporting on the missiles hit locations during the very attack is incredibly stupid and should be banned - The Hizbollah use those reports to better their aim - instead of needing a network of spies or something, they can just turn on the TV. I mean, really, the press wouldn't be any less free if they would report the hits with an hour's delay, and that would at least prevent them from inadvertently helping the enemy. Does "free press" include reporting on military plans? Troop movements? Patrol schedules?
About press freedom in the territories - this again complicates matters, as with all other claims - of human rights, democracy, etc. - There's a difference between Israel proper (which has a good human rights record, free press, etc.), and the territories, which are under military rule, and accordingly, enjoy few freedoms. If one claims "Israel" is only within the 1967 lines, than Israel has a very free press - one can't have it both ways. okedem 10:59, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning. Regardless, if the free press claim should go in the lead, it needs a qualifier specifying that the case is different as regards Israeli actions in the occupied territories, and that there are restrictions imposed on the reporting of issues of national security. Alternatively, it could be kept out of the lead (so as to keep it simple) and be discussed in its full context in the article. Tiamut 12:34, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
We can add a footnote explaining that, if you'd like, but I don't think the qualifier should be in the lead itself. I know there are problems with reporting from within the territories, though I very often see articles about them, and from within them (I read Ha'aretz). I doubt very much that the security restrictions are in any way unique to Israel. Would you say that the US doesn't have a free press because of Iraq's current situation?
By the way, I looked at the France article, and thought - how about we add something like this: "Its main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel."? Might cause more arguments, though. okedem 14:11, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I've added the freedom of press information in a neutral and properly sourced way; I'm not anticipating any issues with it. Jayjg (talk) 16:53, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the changes you have made are neutral at all, since they omit the contrary view completely, including many points raised by Dianelos, Okedem and myself (see also the last archive). As an administrator, you should be leading by example. Your actions here encourage us to ignore consensus building, spur on edit wars, and be bold in pushing for our personal POVs to be included, contrary opinions be damned. Tiamut 00:00, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I added the following sentence: In 2005 Reporters Without Borders ranked it 47th out of 167 countries in freedom of the press, just behind the United States at 44th, and the highest of any country in the Middle East.[5] [7] That's it. In what way could that possibly be non-neutral? Jayjg (talk) 02:39, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
My mistake. I confused your edits with Shamir1's. Guess I was a little miffed at your lack of response to my October 11 invitation on your talk page to join the discussion before editing the lead. So when you came back and did make edits without proposing them first, I jumped to conclusions. Still, my concerns posted above about your dismissiveness of the tedious, yet important consensus-building process that is going on here, stand. Tiamut 13:36, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
The biased claims are not valid when considering Wikipedia. This is about Israel, an intro stating what makes it different and unique, its not about Zionism and the PA, those can be written else in the article but not the intro. --Shamir1 21:37, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


Another proposal for an alternative version

Okay, how about this:

Israel (Hebrew: About this sound מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל ; Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل‎‎, Dawlat Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, and Egypt in the south-west[1] and has a population of over seven million people.[6]
Founded in 1948, Israel is the world's only Jewish state although its population includes citizens from many ethnic and religious backgrounds (See also: Israelis). Israel is a parliamentary democracy, consisting of legislative, executive and judicial branches, and rated as "Free" by Freedom House.[7] In 2005 Reporters Without Borders ranked it 47th out of 167 countries in freedom of the press (just behind the United States at 44th), the highest of any country in the Middle East, and the only one in the region considered to be a "good situation" in terms of news and press.[8]
Israel enjoys a vibrant cultural life and has a technologically advanced economy. Israel was ranked 23rd out of 177 countries in the 2005 United Nations Human Development Index, the highest ranking in the Middle East and 3rd highest in all of Asia.

okedem 11:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Good work. I would just remove the "and the only one in the region considered to be in a 'good' situation." It seems a little redundant and awkwardly phrased. I also don't like giving Freedom House such an authoritative position, but I won't object to its inclusion as you have formulated it. Tiamut 13:26, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Shamir1 - I have reverted your additions because:

  1. I could not find a claim, by Freedom House, that Israel is the oldest democracy in the middle east. It may be true, but it is not supported by the source, and so was removed. Note, also, that Turkey has been a democracy since 1923, and some claim it is in the middle east.
  2. Your "reporters without borders" source does not say Israel's civil/political liberties are comparable to the west. The page simply does not say that, or anything else. There's only a map, saying (I think, the colors aren't very good), that Israel is in "satisfactory situation".
  3. You linked to a wikipedia article as a source ([one]). That is forbidden, and I have already said that. Wikipedia cannot serve as a source. You can link only to documents by Freedom House themselves, preferably - directly to their website.

okedem 09:41, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Easy, no other country in the Middle East has been a democracy. The comparable to the US and the West is simple. Just look, and you'll see its comparable. It says so. --Shamir1 22:06, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I've written my objections very clearly, yet you refuse to reply to them.
Again, you can't say that "according to freedom house Israel is the oldest..." - because freedom house doesn't say that. Freedom house also doesn't say "liberal democracy". Israel's numbers are good, and are very close to most of the western world - most of them are 1/1, Israel is 1/2, like Greece and Japan. However, I think the "rated as Free" bit makes that clear.
Your RWB source doesn't support your claim, and you link to Wikipedia as a source, which is forbidden.
Can you please answer these points, instead of seeing who can revert more? okedem 23:10, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Okedem, thanks again for reverting Shamir1's edit and succintly summarizing why it is inappropriate. I think that if he insists on reinserting the material again that I might call for formal mediation, or pursue some other dispute resolution process, possibly investigating his behaviour. It's been going on now for long enough. Deriding the need to build consensus regarding the insertion of contentious material is both disruptive and counterproductive. Tiamut 14:25, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

"Freedom House's term "electoral democracy" differs from liberal democracy in that the latter also implies the presence of a substantial array of civil liberties. In the survey, all Free countries qualify as both electoral and liberal democracies. By contrast, some Partly Free countries qualify as electoral, but not liberal, democracies." That is what it says. See where I'm going? --Shamir1 05:03, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

This is really becoming irritating. There's a purpose to talk pages, and that is to discuss changes before we make them, so we can achieve a consensus. You keep making unilateral changes, and don't bother discussing them. Yes, we can go on about how free Israel is, how not-free its neighbors are, etc, but this is just the lead. It's not meant to say everything about the country. With all these great things written about Israel, one can claim we should also mention the fact that it's currently occupying a great deal of land, controlling the lives of several millions non-citizens. So "don't push it".
Also, I've written this several times already - you can't link to wikipedia as a source! I've reverted your changes. Discuss them here, don't do them again before we can agree on something. okedem 08:43, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Not nearly as irritating as you. The work is well-written and makes sense, it says NOTHING about how un-free its neighbors are, it says what makes Israel different from the rest of the continent, the rest of the world, THAT is an intro. I am not so much using it as a source as I am simply redirecting the reader to the appropriate data that is in fact on Wikipedia. I am not pushing any thing, and I have never heard anyone call the territories a "great deal" of land. That is a joke. Besides, that is controversial, this isn't. Saying what Freedom House says (which Wikipedia uses) is not controversial, its simply a fact that it is what Freedom House has found. Freedom House makes it VERY clear: If a country is measured to have a certain degree of democracy and freedom, which is based on the presence of political rights and civil liberties, than it is, in fact, a liberal democracy. THAT IS HOW THEY DEFINE IT. It is not brain surgery. --Shamir1 20:03, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Of course it says its neighbors are unfree - it says it's the only democracy in the region, that of course means the others aren't.
The territories are some 25% of the area under Israeli control, and Israel controls the lives of several million Palestinians. That's quite special, you know. How is saying that Israel is a military occupier of some territory controversial? It's 100% true, even according to Israel's government.
You don't seem to read what I say - stop with the "which wikipedia uses" thing. Freedom House has no special status in Wikipedia. It's just another research institute. And besides, your wording is logically absurd - you say that Israel is "the oldest and only liberal democracy" - if it's the only one, how can it be the oldest? Who are you comparing it too? Is it older than itself? It can just as easily be the youngest - it's the only one.
And on a general note - you don't seem to understand the concept of team-work here. You can't just go around making whatever edits you want, when other people object, especially on controversial topics like Israel. This is why we have talk pages, and you can see the process some of us did here to get to an agreed upon version. Don't just come in and ignore that - participate in the discussion. okedem 22:12, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
What strikes me as strange is that I think Israel is the only article about a country on Wikipedia that has to justify itself with a Freedomhouse.org ranking right in the intro. This is supposed to be a respectable encyclopedia, and not a childish 'screw you' to anti-Israeli readers out there. It's just too odd. The intro is "being too defensive" about what should be a standard encyclopedic entry. Israel's ranking, its democratic status, and dispute over that, can easily be addressed in appropriate sections (if it isn't already). But a Freedomhouse ranking straight in the intro is just not encyclopedic. No other country has it. I'm not sure it's POV, but it's just... weird and uncalled for. Ramallite (talk) 20:28, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Weird, certainly. Uncalled for - I don't think so. Israel has so many detractors and haters, and such a distorted public image, there is a need for these things to actually provide a better understanding of things. okedem 22:12, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I really don't see what is stange. If you think so, all you need to do is read. I read it, and I have been trying to explain it. I wouldn't put anything that is false. Yes there are detractors and haters, but that is not for Wikipedia. Wikipedia apparently uses Freedom House (which is independent). The detractors and haters have only blogs, essays, articles and such to prove their point, which is not valid especially for the lead of this article. So instead we take what Freedom House says, and we say that they say it. There is no debate to what Freedom House says, and NOTHING is being defended. It is simply saying what makes the country unique and how it rank. That's it. --Shamir1 04:15, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't the source for this be provided?

What do people think about changing "has a population of over seven million people." to "according to the Israeli government, has a population of over seven million people." I think this is important just to make people aware of the source because I have no idea what areas and people do or don't get included in that seven million. -Saurav 18:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I object. It would make it look like some kind of dubious number, and it isn't. If you wish, we can change it to "about seven million", which is just as good. The entire population of Israeli settlers (people living in the west bank) does not exceed some 200,000 people, so "about seven" would be true any way you look at it. okedem 17:46, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Most state census numbers are somewhat dubious :) In any case, it's not the number itself I'm concerned with as much as that it's presented as a fact that we've all agreed to even though the number comes from a political entity with an agenda in. Anyway, this is not as weighty as a lot of other issues on this page, but I think it would improve the article. Saurav 06:28, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
You sayif "it's the only one, how can it be the oldest? Who are you comparing it too? Is it older than itself?" and I can't believe your serious. If it was the first one, and remains as such, and no other country has, it is the oldest. And yes, while it may indirectly infer its neighbours are not as free, that is not the point. It is saying what Israel is, and Freedom House groups it up that way as does every organization including the UN. If an independent, reliable source says it, we should say so. It would just say "only democracy" but we need something to back it up. So we do. Now you throw this other stuff at me about the conflict, that is a different topic and as you know it does not belong in the lead. Israel never formally annexed the territories, so either way it would not be considered. (btw, occupation and administration are different). All I am getting at me is just opinion and irrelevance, while I am bringing perfectly credible facts. --Shamir1 23:27, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The "oldest and only" wording is ridicules. It's like saying "Earth is the oldest and only inhabited planet in the solar system", or "the moon is earth oldest and only natural moon". The word "oldest" is a comparative word - it compares one object to others. When using the word "oldest", one would have to ask themselves - "who is it older than?". I can say that the Jeanne Calment was the oldest person ever - she was older than everyone else. If there's only one item, you can't compare it to anyone. Thus, one can just as validly say "Israel is the youngest and only...". You can't compare one item!
Annexation is not relevant. Israel has controlled the territories for 39 years, and they've had a huge impact on its history, the culture, the life of Israelis, etc. It's probably one of the most relevant things you can write in the lead (and I know the difference between administration and occupation, and Israel is a military occupier of the west bank. Israel has, by the way, annexed some of the territories - the Golan and East Jerusalem). okedem 09:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Seems there's a huge amount of special pleading in here. The lead for Israel should read something like what it does for other countries. It should not be written in a way that irritates others in the region. (Unless that's the wish of Israelis, which I suppose some people would claim!). PalestineRemembered 06:31, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It should not be irritating anyone, but appparently it irritates you to know the truth. As far as "others in the region", who do you think started the wars in 1947, 1948, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006? --Shamir1 23:04, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
If anyone wants to move things around, then we can talk, that is valid. But totally removing factual information is vandalism. Should we take stuff out on other articles that compare the rest of the region or world? or that make it sound different or unique? or include simple facts?
"Egypt (Misr) is the fifteenth most populous country in the world. The vast majority of its 78.8 million population (2006) live near the banks of the Nile River (about 40,000 km² or 15,450 sq miles), where the only arable agricultural land is found. Large areas of land are part of the Sahara Desert and are sparsely inhabited. About half of the Egyptian people today are urban, living in the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, and Alexandria."
"Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most ancient and important monuments, including the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza; the southern city of Luxor contains a particularly large number of ancient artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Today, Egypt is widely regarded as the main political and cultural centre of the Arab and Middle Eastern regions."
For Germany: "It is the European Union's most populous and most economically powerful member state."
"Germany is a democratic parliamentary federal republic." (If it were the only one, IT WOULD SAY SO, and it would need proof, like what we have, and like what it says for Japan.)
"A member of the G8, the United Kingdom is a highly developed country with the fifth largest economy in the world, estimated at US$1.8 trillion. It is the third most populous state in the European Union with a population of 60.2 million[3] and is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), where it holds a permanent seat on the Security Council. The UK is also one of the world's major nuclear powers."
For Uruguay: "The nation is the second smallest independent country in South America, larger only than Suriname (it is also larger than French Guiana, which is not independent), and is one of the most politically and economically stable."
For Argentina: "It ranks second in land area in South America, and eighth in the world."
"The Sudan (officially the Republic of the Sudan or Republic of Sudan), situated in Northern Africa, is the largest country by area in Africa as well as the largest Arab country."
"China has one of the world's longest periods of mostly uninterrupted civilization and one of the world's longest continuously used written language systems. The successive states and cultures of China date back more than six millennia. For centuries, China was the world's most advanced civilization, and the cultural center of East Asia, with an impact lasting to the present day"
For Japan: "It has the world's 10th largest population, with nearly 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, with over 30 million residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the world."
"Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet, which is one of the oldest legislative bodies in Asia. Japan is an economic world power with the world's second largest economy, and is the sixth largest exporter and importer and is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, and APEC."
Although the countrybox says constitutional monarchy, "Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system"
For South Africa: "Firstly, immigration from Europe reached levels not experienced in other African communities."
"It has the largest population of people of Coloured (i.e., mixed racial background), White, and Indian communities in Africa."
"The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état"
"South Africa will be the host nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It will be the first time the tournament is held in Africa."
That should be good. Please read it all, it is all there for the reasons above. --Shamir1 23:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Dear Shamir1. The problem with your formulation: "According to the worldwide data reported by Freedom House, the degree of political rights and civil liberties in Israel makes it the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, consisting of a multi-party system and separation of powers," is that it is misleading. First of all, Freedom House does not consider Turkey part of the Middle East, a fact that must be noted if the sentence is to remain included in the article. Second of all, Lebanon is considered a liberal democracy by many other sources, something we have gone over time and time again, and we would have to include a source mentioning that fact. What ends up happening then is that the lead becomes unnecessarily complicated and lengthy merely to include the "only democracy" formulation in your sentence. What is so bad about just saying that Israel is a parliamentary democracy and the Freedom House rates it as free? (as it notes in Okedem's edit to which we ontinually revert when you insert this contentious formulation) If you insist on keeping the sentence as is, for the sake of NPOV, I am going to have to insist upon the inclusion of sourced mentions of how this is a contested viewpoint and specifically how Turkey and Lebanon are considered to be democracies and be in the Middle East. For the sake of consensus, a streamlined, uncomplicated lead, and respect for NPOV, I suggest you fully consider whether you want to continue to insist on the inclusion of this "fact" - which is totally partial and contentious without the qualifications outlined above - in the lead. Thanks for listening. I await your response. Tiamut 00:47, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Lebanon is not considered to be a liberal democracy by anyone. Please check it. Secondly, Freedom House is the only reliable, independent resource that has measured the political rights and civil liberties of countries worldwide. If you type in "democracy" or "liberal democracy" you can see it is the source we use. It is irrelevant whether or not they consider Turkey to be in the Middle East. Turkey is an electoral democracy, not a liberal one. This is discussed in the Freedom in the World 2006 survey. You can read about the differences, view the maps, click on the websites, it's all there. You say we should just write Freedom House says it is free. In terms of what? Freedom House measures the extent of freedom and democracy to establish who is an electoral democracy, liberal democracy, or neither. That is the ultimate purpose. We can't just skip it. You insist on insisting that Lebanon and Turkey are democracies. While democratic elements exist, it appears that both lack the appropriate extent of political rights and/or civil liberties. Turkey is in fact an electoral democracy, Lebanon's status as such is a bit more dubious. You may have sources calling them democracies, well I may have sources calling an apple a vegetable. This is the only source found so far, that has gone inch by inch in every nation examining the levels of political rights and civil liberties. Then they define each country after the report. No other source found does that for this situation. This is what the U.N. does for human development in the world, and what Reporters Without Borders does for freedom of press in the world. Simply saying democracy lacks credibility. The reliability of Freedom House outweighs other sources, who do not go nearly in depth. --Shamir1 01:30, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
While I originally supported a minimized version to avoid this kind of endless debate with pov pushing from anti Israelis, Shamir makes a lot of sense and his excellent research on other countries shows his lead is acceptable. Amoruso 11:40, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

How about this?

I've moved Shamir1's edits to appropriate locations. I moved the liberal democracy bit to the government section, and the literacy rate part to the demographics section. I don't consider this a final solution, but I think this should be acceptable enough for all of you to stop edit warring. Feel free to continue discussing where exactly it should go. If I may have my say here, I think it would be best to put this in some article discussing Israel's conflicts with its neighbors or something. A random fact like that isn't going to be very useful to someone who just wants a quick intro to Israel. -NorsemanII 02:00, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I somewhat agree, but if the freedom press bit is in the lead, so should the liberal democracy part.
Shamir1 has simply reverting your changes. I have added a sentence to ensure NPOV. Amoruso has removed it claiming it is WP:POINT. It is not. As I have explained above, I prefer a simplified lead. But if the democracy claim is to be included, then it should be balanced by the other view. After finding the citation from Minorities at Risk, I realized that not only should Israel not be characterized as the only democracy, the claim that it is a liberal democracy is totally contentious as well. Note that MAR is a neutral research group, at least, if not more credible than Freedom House, and it characterizes Israel as an "ethnic democracy". This viewpoint needs to be mentioned alongside the claim of liberal democracy or only democracy in the Middle East to satisfy NPOV. I prefer it be further down in the article, but if its in the lead, it;s in the lead. Tiamut 21:38, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see the intro less contentious. It would be hard to find a country without similar problems, but I don't see anything similar in articles on other countries. Even intros for countries with much worse HR record (such as Saudi Arabia or China) are much less contentious. There is entire section on human rights. OTOH, democracy and the freedom of the press are surely notable in the region. When Israel's neighbors will have comparable conditions, that info won't be as notable and we'll remove it from the intro. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:26, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Surely the fact that Israel is considered to be an "ethnic democracy" by a neutral, academic research body is notable enough to include in the lead. And Lebanon and Turkey have comparable democratic systems, as stated repeatedly here and in the most recent archive by Okedem, Dianelos and myself, a point that is particularly true since Turkey also has problems with its indigenous minority (the Kurds) and Lebanon is a confessional democracy. Tiamut 01:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Hold on Tiamut. You've got that one wrong. I definitely don't think that Lebanon or Turkey have comparable democracies, and I do think that Israel is the only real democracy in the region. I just don't think there's a need to write it in the lead.
The term "ethnic democracy" isn't well defined, and I find that claim contentious. One can make that same claim about most nation-states, and it would still be false. okedem 09:56, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for misrepresenting your views Okedem. I forgot that your objection was to the inclusion of that fact in the lead only. But just as you find the claim of Israel being an "ethnic democracy" contentious, so do I find the claim that it is the "only democracy" in the Middle East contentious. Both designations are upheld by research institutes. Indeed, this leads me to believe that the inclusion of one of these designations in the lead is misleading and the inclusion of both needlessly complicates the lead. Tiamut 12:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Amoruso, per your last editing note: If the proper procedure is to discuss changes to the lead on the talk page and achieve consensus, why are you ignoring that Shamir1 consistently goes against consensus inserting his own lead by reverting to his version? I have discussed repeatedly that any claim regarding Israel being the only democracy should be balanced by the other view, per NPOV. I prefer that this discussion not take place in the lead for purposes of simplicity. I have also told Shamir1 that I will insert the other POV for balance if he insists on retaining this sentence in the lead, as I would insist on its innclusion should it be further down in the article. He changed his wording to liberal democracy and when I found the MAR assessment about Israel being an "ethnic democracy, I thought it was a good neutral source to balance out the claim and inserted it. Why is Freedom House's opinion okay to include in the lead but not Minorities At Risk's? How is this sentence, Conversely, according to Minorities at Risk (MAR), Israel is an "ethnic democracy" and "the nationalism inherent in Israel’s foundation as a "Jewish state" is at odds with its political basis of democratic governance vis-à-vis the Arab minority."[9]" which you removed any less valid that Shamir1's? It is not. And if one is to be included so is the other for the sake of NPOV. Now where do you want to put them? In the lead? Or further down in the main body of the article? Respect. Tiamut 22:38, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Humus Sapiens, can you please expand further about your last editing note? Specifically, can you explain why you had to revert the edit rather than moving the information down to the Human Rights section as you suggested yourself in your editing note? Can you also directly address the issues I have raised above here on the talk page? Thanks. Tiamut 01:41, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Sure: because I find that version closer to NPOV. I don't see what makes MAR notable. If Israel is not the only democracy in the ME, let's reword that phrase, but adding another report just to prove a WP:POINT was not a good idea. Why not add the entire content of the Human rights section into the intro? ←Humus sapiens ну? 02:41, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't see what makes Freedom House notable (or even neutral for that matter being a right-wing think-tank) but I don't object to the inclusion of its information in the article. I propose that all the information under discussion be moved into the main body of the article and that the different views of whether or to what degree Israel is a democracy and what kind of democracy it is be discussed in full there.Tiamut 12:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Tiamut, if there was such thing as an "ethnic democracy" maybe we would consider it. I am very disappointed that after all of my research and finding information to show you, you are still stick on "Lebanon and Turkey are also kjdkfashf...." I explained you the difference. I redirected you to the appropriate articles and sites. I explained the credibility of Freedom House. All I can say is I understand it may be hard for you to realize anything good about Israel. I dont know what else to do. --Shamir1 05:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
It may be hard for you to hear views different from youir own, but that doesn't make them any less valid. The term "ethnic democracy" is well established (garners about 37,000 hits on google). Estonia is also considered to be an "ethnic democracy" [8], [9]. Israel is characterised as an "ethnic democracy" not only by Minorities at Risk, but also by many other academics. [10]. In this same paper, it is also referred to as a "Herrenvolk demcoracy" by Benvenisti, a "control demcoracy" by Lustick, an "ethnocracy" by Yiftachel (who also includes Malaysia, Estonia, Sri Lanka, Latvia Serbia in this category). But the author himself makes the case for Israel being "ethnic democracy". He further writes that one cannot call such a a system a "liberal democracy with stains", because and "ethnic democracy" further "is not a liberal democracy with a correctable deviation but rather a different type of democratic regime. Ethnic democracy is not a civic democracy because it puts members of the ethnic nation at the center and grants them priority over the citizenry." So, as you can see, your reservations about the term are unfounded. It is a perfectly legitimate term widely used to describe Israel democratic system. "Liberal demcoracy" is in fact deeply contested when applied to Israel precisely because it defines itself as a Jewish state. The lead states clearly that Israel is Jewish state. If it is a Jewish state it cannot also be a liberal democracy. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Tiamut 12:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Again, you don't get it. As much as you'd like to think so, there is still no such thing as an ethnic democracy. All you are giving me is opinion to prove it. That is not another "side." Opinion does not work for this. I explained you the process of Freedom House, of the Reporters Without Borders, the U.N.... Opinion is not legitimate to stand up to it. As for hearing other opinions other than my own, I hear them, better than you know it. I have seen them, and I know them. Priority for citizenry is an act of a right of return (even Ramallite compared the Jews of Israel to the American Indians of the United States), however many non-Jewish Arabs wish to obtain Israeli citizenship, as numerous studies have shown that Arabs in Israel indeed live overall better lives than Arabs in Arab countries. And even in this Jewish state, 15 different religions are recognized and have their own court systems and make decisions for their own, for example in regards to marriage. The holiest site in Judaism has been given to a Muslim Council in hopes it would ease tensions. This Waqf has barred all Jews and Christians from entering, and permits unauthorized Palestinian excavations that rid the site of its historic Jewish roots. Gay couples receive many legal benefits as a hetero married couple does. Pork can be imported. So that's a Jewish state for you. --Shamir1 17:51, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Italics in Hebrew

A guideline on whether or not to italicize Hebrew (and all scripts other than Latin) is being debated at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (text formatting)#Italics in Cyrillic and Greek characters. - - Evv 16:45, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Italics

why is this section:

the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel — to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel the full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions, but many refused.

under 2.5 War of Independence and migration in italics? for such a big claim there should be a citation as well. i am NOT removing it but i am currently changing it from italics to reg. type. italics are a vision based way to denote importance ore truth OVER something else. it reads like a "gotcha" moment over arabs. if its a quote one should use quotes.

It was in italics since it was a quote, which was rather easy to discover, since you can just look it up in the original text of the declaration. It's now in qoutes, and in italics, just so it's easier to differentiate from the bulk of the text. okedem 21:17, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Request for semi-protection

If any Admin can hear me...

Please reinstate the semi-protection on the Israel article. The amount of vandalism acts here is ridicules.

okedem 11:20, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Education

I don't see any section in the article talking about education in israel. Someone should add a sction explaining moreabout education, educated people, graduate student and so on.

Mizrachi discrimination?

Daniel575, regardless of your own negative view of Zionism, you actually have to support claims made on Wikipedia articles, and "well known fact" isn't a source. Show me credible evidence for this discrimination, or write nothing at all. I've heard of many claims to that end, but have seen no real evidence of discrimination, certainly not institutional or widespread. okedem 22:39, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I am very busy right now, and I am sick and I need to wake up in 6 hours. So, tomorrow. --Daniel575 | (talk) 22:44, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I added something on the claim of discrimination with source to the Human Rights section. It needs some expansion and more sources I think, to do the issue justice. I think it's important to include mention of the treatment of Yemeni Jews some of whom were forcibly relocated to Israel and placed in camps and had their children taken from them and given to Ashkenazi parents, and the radiological experiments conducted against tens of thousands of Sephardic children in the 1950s, since Peres, today a minister in Olmert's cabinet, was involved. Tiamut 10:39, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Those are nothing but lies and blood libels. There's not one shred of evidence for what you wrote above. Who was forced to relocate? What camps? What are you talking about?
  1. No one was forcibly taken to Israel - they wanted to come. Maybe they later changed their mind, but no one was abducted.
  2. All immigrants to Israel were initially given housing in maabarahs - neighborhood of huts and shacks, which were all the new state could afford. These were not "camps", no one had to live there, and there was no restriction of movement. These maabarahs housed Jews from all over - Romania, Bulgaria, Morocco, Iraq, France. Everywhere.
  3. The whole "Yemeni Children" thing is a myth, and has been thoroughly investigated and debunked. I refer you to this article: [11] (hebrew only, I'm afraid), and the official board of investigation: [12].
  4. Radiological experiments? You must mean the radiological treatment (X-Rays) against ringworm, which the state has recognized as harmful, and compensates those affected. It's nothing more than a bad choice of medical treatment, before the dangers of radiation were fully understood. This treatment was also given to Ashkenzi children, the ringworm disease was just more prevalent with Mizrachis.
Most claims of "discrimination" brought on by some Mizrachi Jews have no basis. They stem from the fact that when most of them came to Israel, in the 1950's, they were given very poor housing, and little help, and the Ashkenzi Jews, who mostly came in in the 1920-30s, already had relatively okay houses and jobs. They, of course, ignore the fact that when the Ashkenazi Jews came, they were given nothing, not even a shack, as the country didn't even exist yet. The Ashkenazis had worked hard for their property. okedem 11:10, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I have read about the Satmar Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum zy'a who with his own eyes witnessed how the Zionists grabbed a Yemenite boy and cut off his peyos (sidelocks). Similar stories about Iranian children. There are plenty of sources for this. And an investigation by the Zionist state into atrocities it itself committed is not reliable. --Daniel575 | (talk) 11:28, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Dear Okedem. Please don't accuse me of spreading lies and blood libel. The facts supporting the cases I cited are well established. Phyllis Bennis is my source for the Yemeni children allegation: "The Yemeni Jews in particular faced extraordinary discrimination. They were transported more or less involuntarily from Yemen to Israel. On arrival they were held in primitive camps, and many Yemeni babies were stolen from their mothers and given for adoption to Ashkenazi families. In the early 1990s a high-profile campaign began to try to reunite some of those shattered families." [13] See also, Joseph Massad's article on Zionism's Internal Others: Israel and the Oriental Jews [14] and this collection of articles on Oriental Jewry (aka Mizrahim or Sephardim) and Israel [15] or [16] which covers the case of Yemeni children and the failings of the government commission on the issue.
As for the radiological experiments, see this article [17] by Barry Chamish on a documentary produced by David Belhassen and Asher Hemias called "The Ringworm Chidlren". It won best documentary at the Haifa Film Festival and aired oin Israel's Channel 2 on 14 August 2004. The victims were children given 35,000 times the allowable dose of x-rays. Chamish writes: "To fool the parents of the victims, the children were taken away on "school trips" and their parents were later told the x-rays were a treatment for the scourge of scalpal ringworm. 6,000 of the children died shortly after their doses were given, while many of the rest developed cancers that killed thousands over time and are still killing them now." I am not spreading lies. Please open your eyes. Tiamut 13:10, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I will say this again -
  1. Do you have proof of involuntary transport of Yemeni Jews? I bet you don't, because it's not true. Regardless of what this individual says, the Jews that came, actually wanted to come. The first Jews from Yemen came to Israel long before the state was established, though land routes (they walked). In the early 1950s, many more wanted to come, but the arab states wouldn't let them, so Israel initiated the "Magic Carpet" operation, and brought them by planes. Some of them didn't want to come, and so they remained there. Some of those finally came to Israel just a few years ago. I actually know enough Yemenis to know this claim is ridicules.
  2. The "primitive camps", as I previously explained, were nothing but shanty towns the government built so the new immigrants would have a place to live. All new immigrants were initially taken there, because they had nowhere else to stay. No one was held there against their will, they left as soon as they could afford a better home elsewhere. These shanty-towns housed immigrants from all countries, european or otherwise, regardless (and, again, I know this from many people I know who lived in such shanty towns). So that claim is meaningless.
  3. The "Yemeni Children" claim, again, has no basis or proof. It has been investigated, and found false. The supporters of that theory bring forth no evidence for their claims.
  4. As I said before, the radiological treatments were BAD treatments. Regardless, they were given to plenty of Ashkenazi children as well. It was just bad medicine, before they really understood the dangers of radiation. Just like the scientists working on the Manhattan Project didn't use adequate protection, and many of them got cancer.
There are many claims floating around, but they require evidence, and that seems to be quite lacking (mostly nonexistent). Many Mizrachis claim discrimination, even in the face of such obvious facts as so many Mizrahcim leading the country (The president, minister of defense, Chief of staff, minister of justice, minister of transport, and many others). Somehow, my Mizrachi half doesn't feel discriminated against by my Ashkenzi half, and my Mizrachi side of the family didn't wail over some nonexistent discrimination, but just worked hard and succeeded. okedem 13:50, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Regarding point 1, I quoted Phyllis Bennis on that. It's not a personal view. But the airlifting of entire villages of Jews from Yemen meant even those reluctant to leave, would have to leave, or be left behind alone. Ella Shohat “details the destruction of the Jewish-Arab community caused, in her view, by Zionism. She discusses at length Zionist attempts to lure Arab Jews to Zion, including "Operation Magic Carpet" to bring the Jews of Yemen to Israel and "Ali Baba" to ingather the Jews of Iraq. The Jews of Iraq showed little or no inclination to go to Israel, so, to quote Shohat, "Since the carrot was insufficient, a stick was necessary." She provides details of the bombing campaign directed against Iraqi Jews by Zionist agents to terrorize the Iraqi Jewish community into fleeing to Israel. As Shohat writes, "What its proponents themselves called 'cruel Zionism'-namely, the idea that Zionists had to use violent means to dislodge Jews from exile-had achieved its ends."” [18]
Regarding points 2 and 3: your cut and dry rejection of the allegation that Yemenite children being adopted by Ashkenazis against their parents will, does not jive with the facts, nor does your claim that they could leave the camps anytime they wanted to. This article [19] explains that while the commission did not find a organized conspiracy to send Yemeni children to Ashkenazi adoptive families, it does admit that Yemenite parents were prevented from seeing their children, who were placed in “baby houses,” and that when parents did not show up to see their children, the children were given away to others. “The commission blames the Jewish Agency for a lack of proper contact between the authorities and the families. The Agency was responsible for the absorption of the new immigrants in Israel, and did not fulfill its responsibility in this area, says the commission, even after it became clear that the lack of proper contacts led to parents losing children.” Note too, that Ha’aretz uses the word “camps” to refer to what you call “shantytowns.”
Finally, regarding point 4: this article [20] explains that those who were given the treatments were not examined to see if they had ringworm or not before. One woman was treated twice, once by the Jewish Agency in Morocco(!!!). I have never found any evidence that Ashkenazi children were subjected to the same treatments. In fact, this article [21] explicitly indicates that the victims were Jews from Arab countries and that even when such treatments were given in Europe, they were at transit camps for Jews from North Africa and the Middle East. The prejudice and arrogance of the Ashkenazi establishment are cited as major factors in this selectivity. User:Tiamut 15:27, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
You don't seem to be replying to what I'm saying.
  1. First off, don't change the subject. You talked about Yemeni Jews being taken against their will. Now you change that claim, to something way more vague - is it Israel's fault that most of a village's people want to leave? The people who came made their own choice, and they could have stayed. If they wanted to remain with the people from their community, who chose to come to Israel, they would have to go with them. You cannot possibly claim this is "against their will". You can read about it here.
  2. I'm not familiar with the claim about a so-called "bombing campaign", but is there evidence to back that claim? Or is it just a theory? Who was behind it? A few Jewish Agency people, or the state of Israel?
  3. You continue with the claims that they were somehow help prisoner in these camps, but fail to bring proof. The hebrew word for these is "Maabarah", from the word "Maavar", meaning "transport". It can be called "camp", since I can find no better translation. However, it was nothing more than a shanty town, to house them, and, I repeat: No one was held there against their will, and it was for all immigrants, not just Mizrahcis. If you contend these point, I ask you to bring evidence of your accusations. I, for one, can just ask my step-dad, who lived in one for a while (he came from Romania, a complete Ashkenazi). Don't grasp on to poor translations to make some false argument.
  4. Yemeni Children - Again, you're cherry-picking. The article clearly states: "With regard to these cases, the commission deemed it possible that the children were handed over for adoption following decisions made by "individual" local social workers - but not as part of an official Israeli establishment policy.", "the commission underscores the fact that almost one-third of the cases they examined (231) were from other communities, although most were from Arab countries and North Africa.".
  5. Oh, just to make it clear - "baby-houses" were not a part of some evil plot. This was the way things were done in the Kibbutz - all babies and children were raised by the community, not their individual parents. You may criticize this method (I do), but it was very common there, and the Jewish Agency decided it would be useful in the Maabarahs.
  6. Radiological Treatment - Please see this article - [22] (again, just hebrew). The radiological treatment was used for years, and was developed by Raymond Jacques Adrien Sabouraud [23]. okedem 16:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Listen Okedem. I don't want to fight about this, particularly since I do not even know how to begin to include this information in the section on Human Rights and now we are just having a debate for the sake of debating these ideas unrelated to Wiki stuff. I agree that the situation is not quite as clear-cut as I made it out to be in my original posting on the subject, but I think that you are being a little dismissive of the seriousness and extent of discrimination against Sephardis and Mizrahim in Israel. I don't want to score any debating points here. So let's let it rest for now, until we decide which if any of information discussed here could be included in the section on human rights. If you want to continue the discussion via email, drop me a line. I would be more than interested, since I am learning more about the nuances and details as this exchange unfolds. Cool?. Tiamut 16:35, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I am completely dismissive of claims of discrimination against Mizrachis in Israel today, as there is none (except for some ultra-orthodox Yeshivas, and I know little about those, and certainly don't care). These claims are just used to advance political agendas, and have no basis in reality (especially considering the high percentage of "mixed-origin" Israelis, such as myself).
I am more receptive to claims of discrimination concerning the 1950s, though these claims also usually lack any credible evidence. I wasn't around back then, and can't claim to know everything. I just want to see some proof, and not baseless conspiracy theories.
You see, the thing is, the original discrimination claim was added by some other editor, and backed by Daniel575, so this isn't a theoretical discussion - some editors want to write these things right now, and so this is a very important argument, and relegating it to email wouldn't solve the current problem we face. okedem 16:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I can understand how you would think that there is no discrimination against Mizrahis today, especially since you are the product of a loving union between an Ashkenazi and and Sephardi. However, I think that the situation for a recent Mizrahi or Sephardi immigrant would be different, especially one who speaks Arabic and looks Arab. I understand too that it might be important to discuss this since some editors will want to write on the subject. But I propose that we wait to see what edits are actually made and decide how to deal with them on a case by case basis. We cannot negatively prove all potential claims of discrimination by continuing our discussion and may just waste our breath, when we will need it later. Respect. Tiamut 17:03, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
An Ashkenazi and a Mizrachi, not Sephardi. My grandparents had nothing to do with Spain.
Let's just agree that claims like the one recently added - "Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews... have also been targets of ethnic and cultural discrimination." - require major proof. Peace out :-) okedem 17:14, 18 October 2006 (UTC)


Introduction far too flowery!!!

The introduction needs to be revised. It sounds like something the Israeli Tourism Ministry published. I think everyone can agree on that. Also, I think there should be a new rule added to wikipedia: DON'T WRITE ABOUT YOUR OWN COUNTRY! That leaves far too much room for bias.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.84.56.191 (talkcontribs) October 18, 2006 (UTC)

People's nationality does not make a difference here, and it is either ridiculously idiotic, or outrageously offensive to suggest that it should.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 04:49, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I noticed it too, and just got into an edit conflict in posting this : Is there a reason for singing praises to Israeli democracy in the opening paragraph? I dont see anything comparable for other democratic nations and besides the mere unnatural emphasis on it makes it feel as if its debable..--83.131.152.38 23:03, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about "debable", but surely it deserves a prominent mention because it flourishes in the region full of autocraticies or theocraticies. ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:12, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
The fact that Israel is a democracy is a claim frequently made in a propaganda-like fashion (eg to defend Israel from criticism). As such, the word and claim should be avoided - it is bound to create the impression that this article is POV. The details obviously belong somewhere in the article, but not in the introduction. PalestineRemembered 18:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Possibly, however this is extreme - compare for instance with Turkey, that could cite the very same reasons for some prelude praises. Indeed i wonder if there is one country that has such substantial paragraphs in praise of the state described. Like I said the very extremenes of this in comparison to any page about a state on the world it seems, makes it feel tendencious, even though in substance its not. Also, the fact that mentiones the judgement of Freedom House, and so unnecessarely linkes the reputation of a goverment to a particular NGO, is similarly strange and unusual.. Also its just poorly written - according to Freedom House its the oldest liberal democracy etc.. what? it either is the oldest or it isnt, freedom house cant really have an opinion on a factual issue as this. And which liberal democracy doesnt consist of the usual branches of the goverment? --83.131.152.38 08:19, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't write about your own country? Yeah, sure. So Saudis and Egyptians will write about Jordan, and the Palestinians and Syrians will write about Israel. Yeah, sounds like a very good idea. Please quit this nonsense. You're not going to have a Hamas-style article. I know that most of you would prefer to change the title of the article to Zionist Entity. Not going to happen. --Daniel575 | (talk) 08:28, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

What the hell?? please note the WP:AGF policy of wikipedia. I have nothing against Izrael, of course, and have no idea about the motivations of the poster who suggested that people dont write about their countries, but Im sure he was only trying to be helpfull as well. Still if you wished to answer to his remarks and not mine, it would be clearer if you positioned your reply below his text. Note that my remarks were of purely formal nature, as it should be since this is an encyclopedia and not a political battleground, and that none of the arguments there presented were adressed by this rude and quite untrue and unnecessary namecalling. --83.131.152.38 10:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I always post comments at the bottom of a section. Discussions should be written like that, otherwise it becomes a huge chaos. Then you should make another subsection. Or both of you could register a username, so that I can start the comment with the username, clarifying towards whom it is intended. And by the way, it is Israel, not (Arabic) Izrael ('Izrail'). --Daniel575 | (talk) 10:14, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Im a croat and I wrote phonetically, as it sounds on my language, apologies for miswriting it in english. I posted on the same subsections - like I said after an edit collisions, because its generally about the same topic - the opening paragraph.--83.131.152.38 10:20, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for misunderstanding your language. Happens to anyone; my English is not perfect either. Anyway, I recommend: register!! --Daniel575 | (talk) 10:26, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Done; hi! Btw, if youre concearned about the location of someone whos not registered, you can trace his IP address and find out the country - try www.traceroute.org or http://www.nabber.org or some of the similar services,and type the address; you get the name of his/her closest router (note which IP youre actually looking at, nabber does give a good adress, but it emphasizes the backbone one, that can be quite distant), and many other information; and such traces are perfectly legal.. For the poster you responded to, his IP leads to i think Cherry Hill, NJ, US - at least the accessed computer does - so he/she is probably in the (hundreds of kilometers radius of) vincinity from this. Its not precise, Im only within a hundred and fifty km of the place this method puts me in (but it gives a good position of the ISP's computer), but in the right country. also usually the names of the routers contain the name of the country theyre located in, so looking at the last named router gives a rough approximation of the position too. So the non-regstered users are in fact far less anonymous than the registered ones. So its easy to avoid confusion even if you consider ethnicities important for discussion.. --Hosty 13:53, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

It places me in Los Angeles, California, United States of America, North America.
I am located in Jerusalem, Israel, Southwest Asia. --Daniel575 | (talk) 14:34, 19 October 2006 (UTC)


Heh, damn, it should never be off that much, theres no way the closest router to your location is on another contintent (and they follow administrative borders like states etc imo without exeptions) - most probably youre looking at the backbone node, because for some odd reason, thats the one it emphasizes first, not the closest one - but it shows the other one too. Try any other traceroute, like http://www.dnsstuff.com/ - try the two adresses above for which I gave results as well for comparison.--Hosty 05:51, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Ive been looking about the wikipedia policy on citing sources. Freedom House is a primary source, it is not peer reviewed outside that NGO, and it goes far above just summarising, but forms quite novel grades and opinions, it also uses little or no citation and only briefest accounts etc. Also the way Freedom House is introduced in this article is evidence of some consciousness on the part of the author about it being a primary source, because 'according to FH' is emphasized (as is required for primary sources by wikipedia policy, see below), while info from a secondary source could be stated in a simple matter-of-fact way. I have also not seen it used (or any mention of its use) as a historical source by other institutions.. this is what wikipedia policy says: "Wikipedia articles may use primary sources only if they have been published by a reliable publisher e.g. trial transcripts published by a court stenographer, and may use them only to make purely descriptive claims" and "In general, Wikipedia articles should rely on reliable secondary sources" Descriptive being, i suppose, that and that document says this and this, like napoleon said that and that in describing napoleon and his opinions, not for using his opinion of whatever he commented as reliable. I would argue that the opening paragraph is far from purely descriptive of the opinions of Freedom House - and this is in addition to my reservations on using that NGO anyways, but instead is meant to speak facts about Israel. For were it only about an opinion of one single NGO, it would surely be somwhere deep within the article. An opinion of an NGO, even if it would be mentioned, has no business whatsoever in an opening paragraph about a state. Another worrying fact is that some general information, like the age of democracy of Israel is taken from such a primary source and not from some historical peer reviewed source, like wikipedia citing sources policy requests, and being stated as a matter of fact, and not as a matter of opinion. Look, i have no intention of loosing one second longer on this article anymore, especially while my chromosomes are being counted, I offered an opinion and a suggestion on inproving the technical quality of the article - do with (and about) it whatever you collectively will, I was tempted to simply wipe out the entire part of the paragraph that relies on Freedom House, but then again, why would I care enough? Oh and btw, this dammed mediawiki software logs me out every few minutes, highly impractical... This is from Wikipedias manual on style: "The lead section should provide a clear and concise introduction to an article's topic, establish context, and characterize the terms. It should contain several paragraphs, depending on the length of the article, and should provide an overview of the main points the article will make, summarizing the primary reasons the subject matter is interesting or notable, and including a mention of its notable controversies, if there are any. The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, should be written in a clear and accessible style, should be carefully sourced like the rest of the text, and should encourage the reader to read more....a lead "begins with a clear description of the subject at hand. This is made as absolutely clear to the nonspecialist as the subject matter itself will allow. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to codify human knowledge in a way that is most accessible to the most people, and this demands clear descriptions of what the subject matter is about. So we aren't just dropped into the middle of the subject from the first word—we are eased into it. " So it should be the most general and introductory summarization, covering what will later be expanded upon and generating interest - surely this isnt the place for something as detailed as an opinion of a particular NGO....--Hosty 06:35, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


'Hamas-style' articles? I think you should observe wikipedia rules on civilty Mr.Daniel.
That was a gratitous and inappropriate comment on your part. I will report you for this. ZinedinePress 03:27, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Also, you are so blatantly biased it is not even funny.
You accused that fabulous Croat who seems to be the only voice of reason here of being an Arab.
What's wrong with being an Arab?
I am an Arab and I love it. I am well educated and my mother-tongue is English, unlike you.ZinedinePress 03:27, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I do not see comments similar to the section starters' in the articles about Arab countries. You can like it or not, but Arabs on Wikipedia are obsessed with vandalizing this article with either plain vandalism or extreme POV views. If you want my view of Arabs on this article to change, start by giving a better example instead of complaining like this. And I do not see what my mother tongue has to do with any of this. --Daniel575 |

(talk) 07:36, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Now I'm offended, Daniel. That's totally unfair. I have been working very diligently on this article, even being the sole defender of your position regarding Mizrahi and Sephardi discrimination, with extensive research hours I might add. I am an Arab and a Palestinian and I don't consider my work here to constitute vandalism or extreme POV. In fact, I have conceded many points (against my better judgement too) for the sake of achieving consensus. It is racism for you to make these kinds of broad, generalized accusations and I would ask that you please acknowledge that, apologize, and refrain from repeating such stereotypical nonsense in the future. Tiamut 14:14, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Tiamut has been one of the few voices of reason working on this article (from either side). okedem 14:33, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Okedem. Ditto. Tiamut 10:20, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Your broad and sweeping generalizations are quite unfounded and racist. I am reporting you for abuse, Mr.Daniel. I could say the same thing about Israelis editing on wikipedia. They insert blatant misleading POVS everywhere. And why should I care how you feel about Arabs? You're not my co-worker or boss, you're not even a citizen of my country! I am not an insecure self-hating idiot like you. I do not need other people's sympathy or approval to move forward in life. I could write an entire diatribe of Israelis right now, but I wish to practice restraint, unlike you. 68.84.56.191 16:35, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikinews has some issues with Israel's nation status

See Category:Israel

Good grief, this is ridicules. One can argue over the legitimacy of Israel's actions, but to claim it doesn't exist? Well, that would make other arguments easier. If someone says "look at what Israel is doing to the Palestinians", I can just reply "What Israel?". okedem 13:17, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Nice idea, okedem. I registered at Wikinews and am going to join the fight there. That PVJ guy is just completely nuts. And no, I do not feel that I am insulting him or that I am risking a block by saying this. The guy is nuts and in my opinion he belongs in a psychiatric ward, not on any Wikimedia project. If I understand things correctly, the guy is an ADMINISTRATOR at Wikinews!!!! --Daniel575 | (talk) 14:15, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

I can understand where PVJ's coming from: he want Wikinews to achieve absolute objectivity. That means even noting that there are 24 UN countries that don't recognize Israel. Wikinews is only two years old, and since Wikipedia has been around longer, I assume you have some rules about Israel vs. Palestine. —this is messedrocker (talk) 21:25, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
You would be correct in saying PVJ's an admin. I would like to say though that we are still discussing the issue, as all issues of neutrality is discussed, no matter what their validity. we are not saying Isreal Does not (or for that matter does) exsist/have a right to exsist/whatever, Some people feel we should point out that some people people Don't like Isreal, Many people (me included) think that such a statement would be a political statement, and we shouldn't talk about Isreal foreign relations it unless it has relevence to a specific article. Bawolff 21:20, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Daniel575, the fact that PVJ may have very unorthodox opinions is different from going to Wikinews and calling him inflamatory names. I disagree with the guy, but I think personal insults cross the line. At any rate, that contributor has been blocked and claims to have left the project. -- IlyaHaykinson 22:57, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

"Very unorthodox opinions" in this case includes calling for the annihalation of Israel. Let that suffice, for those interested in knowing just what we are talking about. --Daniel575 | (talk) 20:46, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
"Very unorthodox opinions"? It's not like Reform, Conservative or Reconstructionist Jews are calling for the annihilation of Israel either. Kari Hazzard (T | C) 22:47, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Date of Independance

The British mandate officially ended on May 15th 00:00, or May 14th 23:59 - midnight between those dates. The declaration of the establishment of the state was made on 16:00, May 14th, 8 hours before the mandate ended. May 14th was the 5th of Iyar (month from the hebrew calendar), and that's when Israel celebrates its independence day every year (it falls on a different gregorian date every year, but it's always the 5th of Iyar). See also: Yom Ha'atzmaut. okedem 10:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the elaboration...just to be clear, would you concur with leaving it as May 14, or do you think some change or addition is warranted? Schrodingers Mongoose 23:10, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
May 14th would be the appropriate date. okedem 17:12, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

POV claims related to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine

The article as it stands repeats the myth of Arab broadcasts advocating Palestinian flight, unsourced and unsupported. This propaganda lie has been completely discredited and is not even taught in Israel's schools any more; see http://www.mediamonitors.net/calderon2.html.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were directly and forcibly expelled from their homes, and hundreds of villages were completely destroyed by Jewish forces. The IDF's own internal documents cite the main reasons why those who fled, fled, as: "1) "Direct, hostile Jewish operations against Arab settlements"; 2) "The effect of our hostile operations on nearby settlements … especially the fall of large neighboring centers"; 3) "Operations of the dissidents [i.e., attacks by Jewish terror groups like the Irgun and the Stern Gang]" (Ibid.). These facts are omitted, and instead a false equivelence with the overwhelmingly voluntary and gradual migration of Jews out of Arab lands over the next decade is substituted. The overall narrative reeks of POV, is not supported by sources, and contains striking lies of omission.

If you would only use the word 'Zionist' instead of 'Jewish', your comment might be worth reading. As it stands, it is not. Jews are not Zionists. You are talking about Zionist gangs here, not Jews. There is a very big difference. --Daniel575 | (talk) 07:03, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
There is indeed a big difference - but you need to tell this to the Zionists, who are constantly linking "the Jews" to crimes (real or imaginary) alleged against Israel. You need to remind them that statements such as "the Jews are overwhelmingly Zionist" seem calculated to incite hatred of the Jews - for which I'm sure there is a name. It's a bit rough to accuse JollyRogerz for falling into the anti-semitic trap set for him by the Zionists. PalestineRemembered 17:08, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I am well aware of the distinction, however, there is a rhetorical Catch-22 here, inasmuch as to refer to the parties as "Jewish" could suggest collective responsibility of the members of the Jewish people, while "Zionist gangs," the language you suggest, is associated, rightly or wrongly, with a certain POV. These organizations were composed of people self-identified as Jews who claimed to be acting on behalf of Jews everywhere, so I think it's simplist to refer to them as Jewish organizations.

All right, I've introduced two small edits to improve the discussion of the refugees. I have added a disclaimer to the claim that Palestinians were told by Arab generals to leave to the effect that no evidence of that has ever been found, as discussed above. I also interjected a sentence about the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and the destruction of Palestinian villages. This is sourced. Every responsible historian agrees that direct expulsion happened in many cases, which means that a discussion of the Palestinian "migration" should include it. I think more radical edits are needed in this section, but I want to wait for the community's thoughts on the subject.

We should also consider whether this discussion belongs here at all. Why not just reference Wiki's existing articles on the subject?

"between three hundred and four hundred Palestinian villages were destroyed completely to discourage the return of refugees, who were shot on sight by the IDF", can anyone verify the source? the "shot on sight" seems very dubious. --JollyRogerz 10:34, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I wish it were dubious. Horrible it is, and sad, but not dubious. http://www.searchforjustice.org/faqs/refugees.html, Benny Morris in "Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem" and "Israel's Border Wars," and the source above. Those who had once left their villages, even if only for a matter of few hours during the heat of the fighting, who then attempted to return, were considered "infiltrators," and were shot.
The site you are reffering to describes its perspective as follows: "SEARCH believes that justice for Palestinians and security for Israeli Jews are not mutually exclusive, but interdependent. The attainment of Palestinian rights is therefore a desirable goal in itself, as well as a means of securing Israel’s future. That future cannot be assured while Palestinian rights are denied. SEARCH seeks a US policy committed to the rights of both peoples. Unfortunately, US policy, which includes aid to Israel of over three billion dollars a year, enables Israel to disregard international law, human rights, and democratic values. (Human Rights Petition 1999) No peace is possible without a change in US policy. A prerequisite for such change is a US public both better informed and insistent on a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict." This is obviously biased and not acceptable as source (not that it was neccessary for me to read that in order to know what's going on, the sole picture on the front page of the site tells the story all too well). As for the book you mention, I have no access to it. That is why I asked if anyone neutral can verify its validity and credentials. Regardless of the sources however, the claim is not even superficially logical, as I presume shooting refugees on sight would provide quite enough discouragment, thus rendering the distruction of villages unnecessary. --JollyRogerz 15:15, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of references to the ethnic cleansing. Have a look at this one from an eye-witness [24]. Remember - this was at least 8 weeks before any Arab army had moved, it was far outside the area partitioned to the new Israel, and it was committed on a village that was friendly and peaceful. Just as when the Serbian terror gangs swept through Kosovo, it doesn't take many atrocities to persuade 100s of 1000s to flee.
Then remember what we prosecuted Milosevic for, and why we bombed Serbia.
There are plenty of other references to the refugees being shot on sight, and it appears that David Ben-Gurion, so-called "dove" amongst the Zionists was the one who ordered the bulldozing of the 408 villages. (Can't find that clip for the moment!). Here is Israeli historian Benny Morris in Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem "During May [1948] ideas about how to consolidate and give permanence to the Palestinian exile began to crystallize, and the destruction of villages was immediately perceived as a primary means of achieving this aim...[Even earlier,] On 10 April, Haganah units took Abu Shusha... The village was destroyed that night... Khulda was leveled by Jewish bulldozers on 20 April... Abu Zureiq was completely demolished... Al Mansi and An Naghnaghiya, to the southeast, were also leveled. . .By mid-1949, the majority of [the 350 depopulated Arab villages] were either completely or partly in ruins and uninhabitable." PalestineRemembered 17:08, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't, at this moment, dispute the number of villages destructed (pending more extensive research on my part) and have only removed the part regarding people having been shot on sight, so your entire rant about the destruction of villages is totally unrelated, as is the link to the eyewitness account of the Dier Yassin massacre, which I also do not dispute (and which was, by the way, paid in full with the Kfar Etzion massacre). Your comparison to Serbian terror gangs is however nothing short of outrageous, as the scale of the thing is totally different, and also because it happened on both sides (see 1929 Palestine riots ). Again, I don't want to get into a who-massacred-who-more debate. I removed the comment regarding returning refugees allegedly having been shot on sight by the IDF (that didn't even exist at that point) and I stand by what I did, as it implies that orders to shoot on sight were given enmass. If there are so many references to these alleged shootings, perhaps you'd like to tell me exactly how many people were killed while trying to return to their homes? --JollyRogerz 05:26, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Highly misleading claims as to occupation and government of the land of Israel.

This article claims "The area was ruled by various Muslim states (interrupted by the rule of the Crusaders) before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517", which is so misleading as to be effectively a falsehood. The Ottoman Empire was Muslim. By governorship the Muslims had Israel from 638 until 1920, 1282 years. (Over 90% of that period, Crusader rule relatively fleeting, Jerusalem held for 88 years). The population of Israel was largely Muslim from 638 until 1948, a period of 1310 years (the significant minority being Christian). This article should reflect the truth of the situation, not myths. Even the Italians have a much longer (and more recent) historical case than the current regime and inhabitants. The encyclopedia need to reflect the known facts. PalestineRemembered 17:55, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I guess I'm confused. What is the misleading claim? The area was ruled by various Muslim states, and then the Ottomans took over; perhaps you're thinking that the implication is that the Ottoman state was not also a Muslim state? Also, what do the Italians have to do with anything? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:06, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
That sentence is just concise, since there were plenty of muslim states controlling the region, before the Ottomans took over and held it for 400 years (exactly 400, I believe). Why don't you suggest better wording? okedem 18:19, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I did suggest better wording - I took the misleading statement out and put "The area was predominantly Muslim for the following 1310 years (until 1948), and Muslim governed (other than briefly, Crusaders) for 1282 years (to 1920, Treaty of Sèvres). The Hebrew niqqud was invented in Tiberias during this time, the early middle ages."
My change was summararily reversed with no attempt at discussion or improvement.
If this article is intended to be a reliable history of Israel, then it needs to mention that the Romans were in charge from 44BC to 626AD (ie 670 years). So even Italian control lasted much, much longer than the only historically reliable part of the Zionist claim (a Judean Kingdom occupying a smallish portion of Israel, lasting 100 years between 145BC and 44BC). PalestineRemembered 19:50, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I see. You were conflating Italians (a relatively modern people) with Romans. Might want to avoid that; it certainly will confuse readers. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 20:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Why would anyone be confused? The Italians are basically the same people as they were 2000 years ago. They controlled Israel for either twice as long or 6 times as long as did ancient Israelis, and they did so more recently - 44BC until 638AD. This is the kind of fact one expects to find in an encyclopedia. I'm not interested in an edit war, but let's try and make this entry a bit more factual than it is now. PalestineRemembered 17:08, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Your version makes it look like a fight over who controlled it the longest. It's trying to give information, not say how long Muslims controlled it. The Jewish Kingdoms (Israel and Judea) are archaeological facts, and not in dispute, but that is beside the point, and I have no wish for argue over that with you. This isn't the place. okedem 21:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I was under the impression that there was no archaeological evidence for their being a "kingdom of Israel" between 1030-1020 BCE and 930 BCE-920 BCE (c.100 years). (Followed by 200 years of two independent kingdoms, Israel and Judah, destroyed by the Assyrians c. 720 BCE). If you accept the religious claim, and add the known existence of an Israel (a smallish portion of the area between 145BC and 44BC) then one can stretch the total to 300 years. That's still only half the length of time the Italians were in control.
And I'm not sure whether there's a fight over who controlled it longest - but anyone reading the current version of this entry would be laughably misled. My attempt at bringing some balance was summararily reversed without explanation. PalestineRemembered 17:08, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm not aware of evidence for the Unified Kingdom, and that's why I didn't talk about it. The two kingdoms, however, are well documented. The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722BC, but the Kingdom of Judea remained, until conquered by the Babylonians in 586BC. I say again, it's not about who controlled it the longest! The article is just trying to give information, and your version makes it look like that's the issue. It seems your only actual objection to the current version is that it doesn't make it clear that the Ottomans were Muslim. If you want to solve that, why not something like this: "controlled by various Muslim states and rulers, the last one being the Ottoman Empire in 1517"?
Anyway (beyond the scope of wiki), the Zionist point is that Israel was the original homeland of the Jews, and thus rightfully belongs to them. It was forcefully taken by other empires, but the Jews are still here, and are the original owners (I don't want to argue about this, please. I'm just saying that's the main Zionist point). okedem 17:22, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I think this article (to the extent it discusses recent or ancient history) should state the obvious, Israel was overwhelmingly Muslim by population and government for 1300 years. Before that it was under the control of the Romans for 600 years. I don't know about "original owners" - I'd have supposed that the concept had been utterly rejected by every white American (along with every black and yellow American). On early Biblical history, I'm going by eg [25]. David was an obscure chieftain and Solomon may never have existed. The only historical native kingdom is the one of the last c. 100 years before the Romans. You've made one attempt to rephrase the absurd statement in this entry - how about another attempt, this time using the known facts? Otherwise, my version "The area was predominantly Muslim for the following 1310 years (until 1948), and Muslim governed (other than briefly, the Crusaders) for 1282 years (to 1920, Treaty of Sèvres)" is clearly a good start and a huge improvement! PalestineRemembered 18:51, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. This isn't a fight over who controlled it the longest. The article gives a good chronology of control over the area, and there's no point in summing up years.
  2. I said I have no wish to fight over the "original owners" thing, and I certainly don't care what "every white American" thinks.
  3. As I said before, the two kingdoms are well documented, see History of ancient Israel and Judah.
  4. "how about another attempt, this time using the known facts" - Are you claiming my version is false? Your version is highly POV, used to push an agenda, instead of just telling the facts (who controlled it, and when). You make it seem like a battle between the Jews and the Muslims, when it was a fight for control between many empires, with Muslims fighting each other as well. okedem 19:35, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm claiming that the sentence I picked out is so misleading as to be an effective falsehood. I don't understand why someone came along and put it back, over-writing my considerable improvement. Summing up the total years of occupation or gubbermint may or may not be useful - but it's 10 times better than what is there at the moment. PalestineRemembered 15:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
But you do not explain WHY you think it's misleading. Your only claim is that it doesn't make it clear that the Ottomans were also Muslim. My suggestion clarified that - so why do you object to it?
Your version seems to be making a case for the Muslims, and that's very POV. It also makes it look like a battle between religions, when even Muslims fought amongst themselves for control of the area. How is listing the rulers in chronological order "POV", or misleading? Make your objections clear, please. okedem 16:46, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
My version was an attempt to bring factual information to the encyclopedia, and expunge statements that seem intended to decieve. I have a strong objection to any kind of "religious badge" being applied - but if earlier editors insist on calling Israel the "Jewish nation" (as they do in the 4th line of the lead) and refer to it's "historic name" (as they do in the 10th line of the article), then it's essential that this article point out it was a "Muslim nation" for 1300 years. (And pagan/Christian for 600 years before that). Anything else is a really serious dis-service to NPOV. PalestineRemembered 17:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Just a quick note: Pure Moslem rule was for 450 years (640-1090). Amoruso 21:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Again, you evade my questions, which verifies my assumption - you have no valid claim concerning the current version, you're only trying to push your POV. For the last time: What is wrong with the current version? How is a chronological listing of rulers POV?
And it was definitely not a "Muslim Nation" for 1300 years. It was controlled by various Muslim states, who fought each other. And it was not a "pagan/Christian" nation for 600 years, it was only controlled by a pagan/Christian empire, and that's not the same. The only "nation", with a national sentiment, that existed in the land of Israel was the Jewish nation. Israel's very definition is a "Jewish State". That's why it was created, and that's the reason for its existence, so that's why that's written. okedem 18:02, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

(The next response seems to have become disconnected, bearing no relationship to Okedem's posting. PalestineRemembered 19:50, 23 October 2006 (UTC) )

Your first paragraphs are reasonable. The last one is as outrageous as it is ridiculous. --Daniel575 | (talk) 19:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • "David was an obscure chieftain and Solomon may never have existed." PalestineRemembered, get real here, no serious academic on the history of the Ancient Near East would make the claim that "David was an obscure chieftain", honestly, that claim is right up there with, "most modern Jews are in fact descendants of Khazars". Seriously, most of us here acknowledge that the article isn't perfect, but attempting to inject your massive, and at times, very clear, POV into it doesn't help anyone. I don't see anyone here denying that the area was under Seleucid/Muslim/Crusader control for much of the Common Era, but to make such ludicrous (and to be honest, offensive) as you've been making in this discussion does nothing except prevent compromise. Let's try to work together to improve the article, without allowing our bias to creep in.... despite the fact that your username is inherently PoV. -- Chabuk 18:59, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
The claim "David was an obscure chieftain" comes from reviews of "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman. [26] I see that William Dever "professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona" has lectured to a Christian audience objecting to the thesis, but I think you'll find that most people accept the bones of what Finkelstein and Silberman said. As one biblical archaeologist (J. Maxwell Miller) put it some years earlier: "If one is willing to make adjustments in the historical claims of the Bible, they can be correlated with the archaeological evidence if one is willing to take some liberties with the archaeological evidence." PalestineRemembered 15:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually Chabuk, the thing is that the situation is not quite as cut and dry as you make it out to be. True, there is a difference between your understanding and PalestineRemembered's understanding of the facts, but I do not think that her edits are POV; they simply give greater emphasis to completely valid facts that she would prefer to see included, while others might seek to downplay their significance or omit them completely. NPOV does not mean excluding all opinions contrary to your own, even those that you may find offensive. It means giving space to the different POVs and attributed to sources, of course, on an existing issue. Working towards compromise means respecting other people's view of the facts, not dismissing them as "offensive" or "ludicrous". There are many different views of the history of Palestine/Israel. That you find her user name POV is also strange to me. What exactly is wrong with remembering Palestine? How is that proof of bias, or biased edits? With respect. Tiamut 21:16, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
One could put this in various different ways. If the criteria is which ethnic group - with its own distinct language and shared history - has had self-determination in the area, we come up with one comparison. If we want to measure the length of foreign-ruled dominance, you get another. If you want to take into account mass expulsions, attempted genocide, and brutal oppression, yet another. But PalestineRemembered is conflating various factors to make a rather strange case. I think we'd be better of simply comparing the claims, counterclaims and arguments presented rather than trying to play around with different stats that serve different purposes. --Leifern 21:25, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
You are quite right, statistics can be used in various misleading ways. However, what we've got in this article is a highly distorted picture of the history of Israel over the whole of the last 2000 years. In that time it's been Muslim around 1220 years, Italian/Pagan/Christian 640 years, Crusader Christian 90 years and Zionist 50 years. I've attempted to make an improvement (sticking only to the known facts) and been slapped down for it. Perhaps I should be grateful that nobody else in here is being POV. PalestineRemembered 15:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
First of all, this is an article about the State of Israel (Medinat Israel), not the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel), the People of Israel (Am Israel), etc. And the State of Israel has only existed since 1948, so it is meaningless to talk about Israel being one thing or the other before that. Now, if you're talking about the geographic area the State of Israel encompasses (which properly is the topic of another article), it is also not meaningful to say that it was "Muslim," "Christian," etc., without further qualification. I think you mean to say that the rulers of the area belonged to one religion or another, but I'm not sure what point that's trying to make. Zionist is not a religion; Italian is not the same as Roman, Muslims can not immediately be equated with the Ottoman Empire. And none of this addresses the issue or Arab nationalism, which is at the core of Palestinian claims to the area. And I am sure your 2000 year time frame is quite self-serving. --Leifern 16:50, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll support you - subject only to any evidence for what you claim, that this article is about modern, Zionist Israel. In that case, it should not contain references to the Ottoman Empire, which finally lost it's grip 28 years before Israel came into existence.
And I object to your claim that Arab nationalism is at the core of Palestinian claims - their demand (un-deniable in legality or morality) is for the occupiers to put down their guns, and for themselves to be allowed back to their homes. Will tomorrow be soon enough for them? PalestineRemembered 17:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Palestineremembered, I think it's clear you have an agenda-POV on this article and your changes do not contribute to the development of the article. They're also without consencus. I think you should respectfully take a break from this article and not be involved in it. Cheers. Amoruso 21:03, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Nuclear capability

"It is widely suspected that the four larger 25.5 inch torpedo tubes could be capable of launching nuclear-armed Popeye Turbo cruise missiles with a range of up to 1500 km [3], as well as launching underwater swimmer delivery vehicles"

This is from the dolphin class wikipage (note the suspected as well as the could be). Thus stating (as the article currently does) that "Israel maintains a fleet of Dolphin class submarines capable of carrying nuclear munitions" is missleading and should be changed by someone who can, or when the lock is removed (sometime next century i presume). --JollyRogerz 09:16, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I've attempted to delete non-accessibles sources in the section "1990 Gulf War"

When I checked a whole bunch of sources in just one paragraph of this article, they were either dead or not verifiable by virtue of being in another language. It seemed reasonable to take them out and invite others to provide fresh ones. However, someone has simply reverted my edits anyway. Maybe they'll persuade me that they wish the encyclopedia to be informative and factual. PalestineRemembered 18:59, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Do you understand that we have no way of knowing the reasoning behind your actions, when you don't bother explaining them in the edit summary, or in the talk page? okedem 19:05, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I replaced the links with "citation needed", because the existing ones were non-verifiable. This kind of problem is endemic in a work of this nature, and I didn't think any explanation was needed. If an article I cared for was modified in this fashion, I'd put some work into it and bring it up to date, not summararily revert it. PalestineRemembered 22:17, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
An edit summary is always needed, otherwise your actions make no sense.
Non-hyperlink sources are problematic, but are allowed in Wikipedia, so they shouldn't be summarily deleted. As for the Hebrew language links, this is an article about Israel, and a lot of the information comes from Hebrew sources, such as newspapers, and court rulings. There are plenty of Hebrew speaking editors here, and any one of them can verify the content of those sources. I speak of Amoruso, Daniel575, myself, perhaps Tiamut (?),and others. By the way, the paragraph you edited said nothing of Israeli Citizens (arab or jewish), only of Palestinians, who aren't "2nd class citizens" - they're not Israeli citizens at all. okedem 23:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I do not see any dead hyper links. As to the Hebrew links, I think they're necessary, it's allowed in wikipedia to use foreign language sources when it's necessary. more sources can be added but the current ones shouldn't be removed until such sources are found. Amoruso 20:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I found two links that led only to the references, not to any hyper-link anywhere.
Foreign language links are sometimes relevant and necessary, but I don't think that applies to a war overwhelmingly carried out by the English-speaking. (The paragraph in question was in the "1990 Gulf War" section).
Please look at the unbelievable amount of Farsi references on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I am in the process of turning them innto wiki-form, and I tag them with {{check}}. I think only three have been verified so far. If you are that concerned about Hebrew-language citations, you should request verification. I'm sure there are plenty of Hebrew-fluent editors who would be glad to verify them for you. There seems to be a dearth of Arabic or Farsi speaking editors on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Perhaps you can help, PalestineRemembered? Thanks. -- Avi 21:06, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure you're right and there are a great number of foreign language links in the encyclopedia. However, I imagine they are material that has probably never appeared in the English language and there is no easy solution to making them more accessible. However, that is not the case for events about the 1990 Gulf War in Israel. Particularily not in cases where we're invited to accept that 2nd class Israeli citizens were protected the same as 1st class citizens. (In this recent Hezbollah rocketing war, the 2nd class citizens were widely reported as getting no protection whatsoever, not even sirens unless they could hear distant ones). PalestineRemembered 22:17, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
In Nazareth, we didn't get a siren until after two children were killed when a Katyusha hit the al-Safafira quarter of Nazareth(al-Safafira is basically the refugee camp for internally displaced Palestinian residents of Saffuriya or Tzippori who are now Israeli citizens). Even then, the siren would always go off after the one in Nazareth Illit (the Jewish town on the hill overlooking Nazareth). We could hear their siren faintly when we were outside. But even if we did hear sirens, there was nowhere to go. There are no bomb shelters in Nazareth for the over 65,000 people in 14 square kilometers of land. At first, we would freeze and begin to look around for somewhere to go. After a while, we didn't even flinch. We would sit on our patio, sip Arabic coffee, and look up at the sky to see if I could catch a glimpse of a rocket shooting by (or coming our way). Heard lots of booms all around us but never did manage to spot one in flight. Tiamut 23:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
why didn't your municipal authorities install a siren before the war? They had, what, 58 years to do it? why didn't they build any public shelters for you? Why did they violate the Israeli building code, in place for over 40 years, that says that every single-family house must have a "protected space" made of concrete walls and with steel windows, and that every multi-tenant building must have either a "protected space" per apartment or a multi-resitent shelter? Isarig 00:46, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually reports after the conflict confirmed that Arab municipilaties were offered the sirens but they refused to install them because they didn't want to hear the sirens on "The Remembrance day of The Holocaust" Yom Hashoa and Yom Hazikaron. That wouldl make sense. Also, the father of these two children say they were shahids happily sent to heaven by the glorious Nassrallah so if he didn't complain... Amoruso 01:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Tiamut, why don't you bring that up with your town officials, who, if what you are saying is true, seemed to have violated building codes for around 40 years or so. -- Avi 23:27, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Typo

I noticed a technical error that I'd like to point out. The most recent statistic for population reads 7,047,0001, but that's not possible as far as numbers go. Probably an extra 0 was added accidentally, but since editing of the article is blocked—and I couldn't cite the correct statistic myself—I'll just suggest that the creator tidy it up when he or she gets around to it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kconway091887 (talkcontribs) .

Thanks. Sounds right to me, what you say. I changed it. Please do sign your comments on talk pages with 4 tildes ( ~ )! --Daniel575 | (talk) 09:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Reversion of additions on causes of Palestinian exodus

Hi... would someone be interested in explaining the rationale for this reversion? The edit was reverted as "POV" and OR, but the cited sources are Benny Morris's The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem and Walid Mustafa's 1987 PhD thesis. I'm fairly certain the Wikipedian who made this edit is not Benny Morris, and is probably not Walid Mustafa either, but even if he were, quoting from one's own published work is at worst bad form, but at any rate certainly does not violate NOR; it's permitted. Where is the violation of NOR?

More importantly, the lack of coverage of the point of view present in the reverted edit represents a substantial lacuna in the article. I understand this is a highly contentious topic, and this point of view needs to be balanced by a competing one, but that competing perspective is already present in the article; in fact, it's the only perspective present in the article. And that's the problem: it seems to me that precisely because of the need for balance it is highly dubious to continue excluding the perspective that a great many Arabs were driven out rather than left either "under orders" from Arab leadership or because they expected the ALA would quickly prevail.

However, the section entitled 1948 War of Independence and migration only represents these latter points of view, and inclusion of information about the expulsion thesis has been reverted more than once as "POV" (which, as is often the case, is erroneously presented as the opposite of NPOV). In fact, it's the repeated exclusion of this point of view which is the source of bias in this section, not the attempt to include it.

To be perfectly candid, the version of the Palestinian exodus presented in this article has moved little beyond the Leon Uris Exodus version of the history of 1948 and is sufficiently outdated as to be somewhat embarrassing, having been long since superseded by a richer and more complex view that arose in the wake of Morris's book. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, it is worth noting, was published in 1988. Whatever its flaws, the work spawned a wholesale scholarly reappraisal of 1948, the fruits of which simply cannot in good conscience be excluded from this article -- or, for that matter, from the article 1948 Arab-Israeli War, where it is also hard to locate.

At any rate, the Wikipedia guidelines on "describing points of view" state that an article on a controversial topic should "represent the POV of the main scholars and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue." Moreover, "an article which clearly, accurately, and fairly describes all the major points of view will, by definition, be in accordance with Wikipedia's official 'Neutral Point of View' policy." The corollary is that an article that excludes a major point of view is at odds with NPOV. By any standard, the expulsion perspective is a "major point of view" which editors will have to find a way to include. To continue reverting it as "POV" would be intellectually dishonest, and, quite frankly, becomes at a certain point difficult to distinguish from blanking vandalism. --Rrburke 15:58, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I opt for a version in between. The 'Zionist' version is way too flowery about Israel's attitude towards the pre-1948 Palestinians, while the 'Palestinian' version is way too negative towards Israel. --Daniel575 | (talk) 16:15, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi; thanks for answering. There seem to me to be two issues here: the first is how to include the competing point of view in order to achieve balance. I don't think Benny Morris's work constitutes a Palestinian version, and at any rate, Wikipedia policy stipulates that all major points of view ought to be included. In order to comply with NPOV, the article must "represent... fairly and without bias all significant views that have been published by a reliable source." This would seem to me to mean that at least a gesture in the direction of each major perspective ought to be included. To me this would mean including a reference to both "orthodoxies" (for lack of a better word) -- namely the views, on the one side, that Arabs largely left voluntarily, and on the other that they were driven out according to a pre-existing plan amidst atrocities etc. The other significant point of view is the complex and nuanced one of more recent scholarship, and the added benefit of including this point of view is that it offers a way to point out the contested parts of both orthodoxies so that the reader has at least a thumbnail sketch of: a) what opposing sides believe; and b) the grounds on which each orthodoxy might be susceptible to criticism.
But there's a second issue I was trying to raise, and that's the importance of not using Wikipedia policy as a thin pretext for excluding points of view -- reverting an edit on grounds of violating NPOV or OR when in fact you're reverting it because you disagree with the content and Wikipedia policy just offers a plausible alibi. Just to be clear: I'm not saying that's what has happened here, but I await an explanation of just how this reversion was addressing a violation NPOV or NOR. I should add that stylistic cavils have at least the potential to be misused in a similar way: denouncing a passage as purple or flowery when what your real goal is to excise something you disagree with. Again, I'm not saying that's happened, only that it's important that it not happen.
A postscript: the variety of perspectives that ought (in a heavily-condensed form so as to occupy only a duly-proportionate place in this article) to be considered for inclusion are ably summarized here
--Rrburke 19:14, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Rrburke, please WP:AGF. PR's pov is more than well represented on Wikipedia. I don't support the particular revert you are talking about for WP:OR reasons since the source was fine in my opinion, but the tone and length could use some work. This is the major Israel article and the length is limited. There are many subarticles that discuss this topic fully and the in depth discussion belongs there, not here. Elizmr 20:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Elizmr: I thought I'd done a decent job of AGF by stressing that I am genuinely asking for a rationale for the grounds cited for the reversion, and by stressing equally that in pointing out potential misuses of Wikipedia policy, I am not accusing anyone of having done so, but rather emphasizing the need to avoid such misuses. I appreciate your suggestion, though, and will try to sound more circumspect.
To respond to your points, I agree that this article is no place for a detailed airing of this issue -- there simply isn't space. This is why I suggested that the article include "a gesture in the direction of each major perspective" rather than a full exploration. I agree, also, that PR's edit unbalanced the section in terms of both the proportion of space devoted to the POV he sought to include and to the prominence given this issue in the larger context of the article as a whole. In fact, I think undue weight would have offered stronger justification for reversion than either NPOV or OR. The problem is, the justification offered was NPOV and OR and it remains unclear to me how this edit violated either.
But I also submit that it is not sufficient that the POV PR sought to include is represented elsewhere on Wikipedia. WP:NPOV applies to each article, not merely to Wikipedia as a whole. In other words, it isn't adequate that various of points of view on a given topic are distributed across multiple articles in Wikipedia: each article must satisfy WP:NPOV, which means that each article must "clearly, accurately, and fairly describe all the major points of view" on a given topic. The topic in this section is what caused the Arabs of Palestine to leave, so each "major point of view" must be included. There are four common explanations in the literature, summarized here. In the article Israel, only one of these explanations is included, and it is the most common one offered by Israeli authorities and mainstream Israeli historians since 1948. It is accorded three sentences and seventy words. The three other explanations are not mentioned. They are accorded zero sentences and zero words. I cannot see any argument under which this can be said to comply with WP:NPOV.
I sympathize with the need for concision: this is not an article about the Palestinian exodus, but about Israel. However, the departure of the Arabs of Palestine under whatever exigencies is a major event in the history of the founding of Israel, arguably a precondition of its founding as a Jewish state, and cannot be give short shrift on grounds of space constraints. Certainly most Zionist leadership of the Yishuv and abroad knew how central the question of the disposition of Palestine's Arab population was: you need only read the chapter on the evolution of the idea of "transfer" in Zionist thinking from Morris's Birth to confirm that.
Besides, space constraints don't trump WP:NPOV: one major view is already included, and if that's the case the others need to be, too.
--Rrburke 00:21, 7 November 2006 (UTC)