Talk:Israeli–Palestinian conflict/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3
I don't mean to pick on Graham, but a big part of the problem is people bringing their agendas to the pages. When you find yourself writing things like "mouthpiece for the Israeli Ministry of Defense," that is a major tip-off that you are not able to write objectively on this topic, and should just steer clear of it. Marknau
I don't think it's impossible at all. So far we haven't been able to do it, but just because it's difficult doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Take Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The talk page for that article had one of the most heated arguments I've ever seen on wikipedia, but the article is now (IMHO) one of the best we have. This may or may not happen with Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we can't just give up! Anyway, why bother arguing about whether the article is NPOV or not when nobody's even written an article yet? I say do away with the timeline and the list of links and let's try to write an actual article! djk

Hi. I have an idea: What about just removing all articles that have anything to do with the Middle East conflict? They are all clearly NPOV one way or the other, and the opinions and emotions of both sides are so strong and entrenched that I don't see how it can ever be sorted out. I feel the entire issue is pulling Wikipedia down. There are people I've begun arguing with who I really think I'd like and enjoy working with otherwise. :/ -- GayCom

I think that the Middle East articles are generally of good quality and reflect well on Wikipedia. We don't have anywhere near this level of detail on many other subjects. Sure, they are not all neutral and contain plenty of biases one way or the other. But articles in other encyclopedias (not to mention newspapers and TV) all have their own sets of biases too. The Wikipedia articles on the Middle East are not perfection, but are surprisingly good given how Wikipedia works, and stack up well against the competition. We can be proud of them. Enchanter

--- I removed the following. It is a violation of NPOV, as it represents the Palestinian's view; further, this view already is stated in detail in a number of entries already in Wikipedia. There is no reason to state it yet again, in an NPOV fashion. RK

Many people judge that the term the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like talking about the British-Indian conflict or the Dutch-Indonesian conflict or the French-Algerian conflict before India, Indonesia and Algeria gained independence from their respective occupying colonial powers. This is why many would consider a more neutral term to the violence to be the Occupation of the (Palestinian) Occupied Territories by Israel.
It is an undeniable fact that Israel has occupied the land previously known as Palestine. You may think this is justifiable and moral, but that doesn't alter the fact that it has happened. I think the paragraph should be reinstated. 193.132.79.6
I agree that it should be reinstated. It is formulated in an NPOV fashion, it represents an important view as a view and it is relevant here because it pertains to the title of the article. That it is repeated elsewhere is simply irrelevant. -- Jan Hidders 08:42 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)


In particular if the vague "many people" could be replaced with a more specific term. What many people? Palestinian sympathisizers? Getting specific helps the quality of articles. --The Cunctator

I think it would be perfectly accurate to start the paragraph "It is clear to everybody except Zionists that ... ", but I guess that doesn't help much. :-( GrahamN


Let's break the passage down into two sentences:

  1. Many people judge that the term the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like talking about the British-Indian conflict or the Dutch-Indonesian conflict or the French-Algerian conflict before India, Indonesia and Algeria gained independence from their respective occupying colonial powers.
  2. This is why many would consider a more neutral term to the violence to be the Occupation of the (Palestinian) Occupied Territories by Israel.

Sentence #1 is perfectedly neutral by itself.

Sentence #2 needs attribution of the "many", as in "Palestinian Arabs and their supporters regard the terms occupation of the Palestinian territories and the occupied Palestinian territories to be neutral, objective statements of fact.

--Ed Poor

How about "Every major government and international body - including the UN, the EU and the governments of the UK and USA - regards the terms occupation of the Palestinian territories and the occupied Palestinian territories to be accurate descriptions of the situation." Jacob

Jacob, what I like about your suggestion is that it's so specific about who advocates the term occupied, thus making it clear that not the Wikipedia but rather the various governments, et al., regard Israel as "occupying" the territories. Nonetheless, I would prefer not to see over-use of the term occupied Palestinian territories in place of neutral terms such as West Bank and Gaza Strip. We should not assist anyone's sloganeering, but merely describe their point of view. --Ed Poor
Do all those governments use, or accept, those terms? Occupied West Bank doesn't mean "Palestinian territories," it can mean "occupied portion of the Kingdom of Jordan." Not a trivial difference. Vicki Rosenzweig
AFAIK, the term the occupied Palestinian territories means "the lands which Israel controls with its military although they really belong to the Palestinians", which in turn depends on the meaning of the term Palestinians (see Palestinian). --Ed Poor
How about "the Occupied territories", which is short, snappy, accurate, clear, to the point and is usually used by (eg) the UN, the US, the UK, the EU, the BBC and unbiased commentators. It's probably the most commonly used formulation outside the Israeli government, and is certainly used by - eg - the US government in press releases. Jacob

Go ahead, if you think it's neutral. But bear in mind that the idea that Israel is "occupying" the territories in question is a key premise in advocacy for the establishment of a (or another) Palestinian state. It is actually a loaded term, you see, while the term Gaza Strip carries no connotation whatsoever about who owns it, who controls it or anything like that: it's merely the name for a specific area. Everyone agrees on where the Gaza Strip is.

When quoting advocates, such as Yasser Arafat or a UN commissioner, if THEY use the term occupied terriories or occupied Palestinian territories then it is perfectly accurate to use their quote.

I'm not saying Israel is right or wrong to have its military forces in the West Bank. Some say it's justified for self-defense; others say it's totally unjustified (imperialistic, genocidal, or just plain mean and nasty).

Why should the Wikipedia take sides? Just say that Hyman Sputz thinks Israel ought to hang on to the West Bank for dear life, while Al Akbar thinks Israel better let go or his group will do blah, blah, blah... Or whatever the various advocates say. --Ed Poor


What the hell happened to the formatting of this article? It is horrid. You never subdivide an article with lines unless you are dividing the page for separate meanings of the same word. Please see Wikipedia:Manual of style. --mav

Yikes! I don't know what to do with all the badly formatted and named subarticles to this entry. Much of this should be all refactored into standard Wikipedia format timelines and articles. Israeli-Palestinian conflict timeline already exists. --mav

With the new addition of the history section I think this article is in much better shape now. This is one of the most often visited articles in Wikipedia. It is important for us to have a good telling of the history here. If and when this gets too long, then somebody can summarize the history, leave that summary here and move the longer version to a History of sub-article. --mav


Timelines? I have yet to see a well done timeline yet anywhere on the web, let alone here. They miss the point, and is(like i told cuncator) giving the highest British attention to the wrong detail..


The point of the reformat was to 1 create a uniform header that could link to a limited number of main summary articles. Thanks alot, you completely, without even dicussing it with absolutely anyone, changing something that was beginning to make sense in accord with a style sheet. horizontal lines serve more than one purpose, and i used them to graphically eliminate the vertical pit that the page was to begin with. 2. to summarise in three parts major events in the region for the last eighty years. at least you didnt change all this, but now, instead of a summary, its an entire article, mislinked the the other parts, and typically awful to read. So spirit of the law, vs letter of the law, where do you stand? Im restoring my changes until theres been adequate thought given to the changes. your comment about too many rules is somewhat valid.
-Sv ,

Please don't undo my work. What you were proposing with your formatting changes is completely different than anything else we have here - it simply would not fit in (esp. the unnecessary HTML and page breaks via the lines). This is also a very popular page and on all popular pages it is very important to show proper Wikipedia style. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style for more pointers. Also, simply look around a bit to get a good idea on how we generally organize and present information here. This article is a part of a larger whole and needs to fit into that larger whole. The changes you made were drastic and they were made to a very important and often viewed article - thus the swiftness of the response. It is also common practice to create /Temp pages when you are completely changing over an article to a very different format. But I now think the article is in a workable shape again. I would like to hear exactly what you do have in mind though -- I could be able to help you get you intended effect while not violating Wikipedia style too badly. :) --mav

Dont take the condecending tone with me young man.

The following rules don't claim to be the last word. One way is often as good as another, but if everyone does it the same way, the Wikipedia will be easier to read and easier to use, not to mention easier to write and easier to edit:

The style is not the last word. nor is my edit. I proposed something that struck you as proposterous (if i may theorise) simply because it Graphically defied convention. Instead of simply editing the graphical, you decided to take it upon yourself, and change MY work without a thought or two as to its nature or its substance. Now I know a lot of web designers are out of work these days, particularly here in california, but you wrong me my work, on the basis of baselessness. And to top things off you say "dont change MY work." --Sv

Lets not make this personal - it shouldn't be. What is important to keep in focus here is what is best for the article itself and how that fits into the encyclopedia in general. I did not intend to change the content of your words, just their presentation -- which was non-standard to say the least and a mess in edit mode. Maybe I did over-react to the way in which it was presented and the result was a monstrous hack. I'm sorry if that was the case and I would like to work together so that we can have something we both like. In fact I think it is great that you have spent so much time and energy writing this material for such an important article for Wikipedia. I will read through the material here to see how it flows - I just may divide things up the same way you had them if that is best for the article (either way, a longer introduction section is needed that summarizes the main points). --mav

Understood and accepted. Im not objecting to your edits, rather, yes, they seemed like a fierce hack, done in a relatively short amount of time i took offline to compose the material, particularly the summaries.

I just read and copyedited the History section. It reads well to me as-is and does follow a logical temporal order like any good history section. It still is a bit light on the details and much more needs to be written, but I think for now the best thing would probably be to keep the history in this article until it gets too long to follow. Then somebody could move the detailed history to History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and summarize the history for this article (with a link at the end pointing users to a more complete history). This is the procedure that we have been using for some time now. A good example is at United States where each section heading is summarized in the parent article and explained in much more detail in the "X of" articles. Then, if the history of article gets too long then more subdivision can happen. Such is the WikiWay. --mav

yes, i agree, and i expected a certain amount of fighting in taking it upon myself to massively re-write the article anyway thus no harm done. im not surprised and am glad most wikipedians i run into from time to time show a fair amount of consideration. I ask you to consider this : regardless of any specific editing, how would you rewrite the article to contain the basic essential information (forget timelines, try chronological summaries) while leading to other, specific articles for each issue. most of what i took for the second part (1920 -1948) came from the British mandate article. unfortunately, as a new reader, it was troublesome to see these bits and pieces, well written as they may be, put into relevant context for the article. this was my purpose. similar to the atrocity article, which i started because I saw a problem of arraging events in accordance with the heirarchy of relevance. in a couple years, ill bet all those entries for each specific date will be abandoned as useless, and it will be far better form to write on large, expansive topics in a logical way that puts events into context. I appreciate your apology and If you should ever want to take up go, I'd be happy to introduce you. -Sv

Boy, I think I'm out of my league now. :) When I write summaries I do one of two things depending on how much I know about a subject: If I know a good deal about the subject area then all I have to do is skim the detailed text for the highlights and then summarize those for the introduction/definition paragraph in order to capture the essence of a subject in a minimum of words (I can't really explain it). This is what I did for United States and what I am doing for the WikiProject Elements articles. However, if I don't know as much about something or am in a hurry I will copy the detailed text and then just start deleting stuff that doesn't seem that important and then condense what is left-over. There also isn't anything at all wrong about duplicating info - if something is important enough for the intro/def then it should also be explained in detail latter on in the same article. But that only covers the technical part. Unfortunately I really don't know enough about this conflict to really help with ordering and grouping priorities. But the headings that you have here do seem to logically divide up the article so maybe those sections can serve as summaries for specific issues and then at the end of those sections you could have "For a more complete history of the above events see: Foo". User:RK, User:GrahamN and user:Uriyan know a lot about this stuff and they will be much better able to help you set priorities on what to include and where (those three do fight a lot though...). Thanks for the offer of a go at go. :) --mav

certainly. I guess this is why we have open editing, so that content writers and copyeditors can work things out to produce a good product. (what an amazing amount of work the WP draws from people who arent being paid! i think because this is preferable actually, to being paid to write content for work that is out of your editorial control entirely, and

essentially that is what i did with the summaries, which still have [/ aji, and should be revived. I chose three because of the depth of the nature of the current conflict. Despite fanatical references to ancient history, (which should be linked to) the conflict is really in the context of the last eighty years. In that time, the beginning and end of British rule,( the creation of the state of Israel) was the first landmark section. For each section, set in chronological context, its possible to expound upon that section with immense detail. Instead of taking a huge topic and trying to contain summaries of all the events since 1920 i just broke it down logically. Its like partitioning an 80 gig hard drive. Its just plain necessary :). --Sv


Why isn't the war of 1967 included, when Israel was attacked and it augmented its boundaries through retaliation? --AB

That one's easy: Because such a war never took place.
Huh? What do you mean by this? Wikipedia itself has an entry on the Six-Day war in 1967. Many books have been written on this sibject.
I'm making a comeback to a loaded question; no war in 1967 took place "when Israel was attacked and it augmented its boundaries through retaliation".

I just removed the italicized portion of the following paragraph: "During the years 1936-1939 there was an upsurge in militant Arab nationalism that later came to be known as the "Great Uprising". Many believe that much of this militant activity was supported both financially and logistically by Zionist movement organizations in order to add fuel to the fire and to delegitimize Arab opposition and make it appear to be violent compared to Zionism."

This is a rather odd conspiracy claim. Israel deliberately created its own enemy? Beside, Arabs themselves make no such claim. Arab publications make it clear that this was an indigenous Arab reaction to the events. Frankly, outside of crank Usenet posts (in which every conspiracy theory one can concieve of is presented as factual) I have never seen such a claim. Unless someone can show documentation that a significant group of people take this this seriously, this suspect claim should stay deleted. RK

I'm getting confused by the archiving that's going on. When you archive a talk page, shouldn't you move it wholesale, thereby preserving the edit history for the archived page? Mintguy

As for the archiving, i got confused by the length, theres barely enought to justify an archive yet. though in the history the first two edits were lost on the page, and i restored them to the archive.-Sv

I suggest everyone take a quick read of http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Noam_Chomsky_speech_(1999)&oldid=592234 I included it, despite its document nature for its perspective. Each issue, each problem, takes place within a context. The IPF for example takes place under the umbrella of British Imperialism. Attempts to separate the two are usually done in the context of confusing the issue. Its easy to say that Palestinians are "two-legged beasts" (Ben Gurion?) and that their actions prove such 'beastliness'. the truth is that people act like beasts when provoked. this is human nature. the Is-Pal conflict takes place under the context American global energy dominance, and Israels desire to survive, by serving American interests, and gaining Americas "unwavering support" Its also all to easy to accuse Israel of acting "evilly" when the issues of survival under American rule are complex.

I also included a quote recently on the Zionism page by Ariel Sharon, where he speaks of Jews 'controlling America' "and they (we Americans) know it." Its hard to take a stand when you find that the people you take a stand for are hypocrites, acting out of pure self-interest. Its also all- too easy to say self-interest is "normal" and therefore, un-notable. Its worth noting. --Sv

Correction: The Sharon quote is on the Diaspora article.-pstebert