Talk:Khan Yunis massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

POV in the article[edit]

The article has a section titled "Press coverage" in which it says that Joe Sacco made an extensive account of the killings but someone who was actually there, and is an historian (Sacco is not) disputes this account. At the same time the entire article is based on Sacco's account. So which is it—is Sacco's account disputed or not? If it's disputed, which appears to be the case, the article should definitely qualify everything taken from it, and should give it much less weight. —Ynhockey (Talk) 09:39, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Dozens of individuals, both in and out of Sacco's interviews, report that what occurred was not justified. Marek Gefen, who was a military witness to the incident, like Meir Pail, claims it to be a massacre, while Pail does not. The article represents the views of the IDF and others who dispute the incident as civilian killings and claim it to be aggression against armed resistance. I will be removing the neutrality tag. Seeing that 2 Israeli military witnesses both offer differing accounts, and that the article does not solely rely on Sacco's material (as you claim), I believe this to be an appropriate move. I will also be asking a completely uninvolved person to re-rate the article for WikiProject Israel. I can't help but feel that you, as an Israeli, (and one with nationalist tendencies at that) are attempting to weigh the article in Israel's favor. (PS-I would be in favor of renaming the article to "Khan Yunis incident." That may be more appropriate given the disputed nature of the deaths of the residents of Khan Yunis.)1Matt20 23:06, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


This article is blatantly not NPOV, and is due for a significant overhaul. The origins of the Suez crisis are complex, but saying that Israel invaded " an effort to acquire neighboring Egyptian territories" (opening paragraph of the article) is an outright lie. (Israel's stated war aims were to open the Straits of Tiran, illegally blockaded by Egypt, to Israeli navigation, and to put an end to fedayeen terrorist attacks on the Israeli population. Israel also cooperated politically with Britain and France in their effort to occupy the Canal Zone.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

I quite agree, and have added the POV template, which should not be removed until the article has been redone by someone both able and willing to write from a NPOV about the history of Arab-Israeli conflict. Davidhof (talk) 13:04, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Once again Wikipedia is used as a propaganda machine[edit]

This is just a modern version of Mein Kampf. If you want the truth you need to learn Hebrew -

Deleted lying Israeli propaganda, sorry.

(talk) 18:43, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

The primary culprits guilty of using Wikipedia for propaganda have been, and consistently are, Israelis and pro-Israeli Jews and non-Jews.

The accusation of this being a "modern version of Mein Kampf" is both hilarious, incredibly pathetic, and absolutely predicable, and goes a long way in showing what value we should put on the words of those who would try to play the victim card/bring up the holocaust every time events like the Khan Yunis killings are brought up.

Pathetic, and absolutely disgusting.

Addressing POV Issue[edit]

There are multiple contrasting eyewitness reports of what occurred in the village of Khan Yunis during the Suez Crisis. The latter mentioned accounts are clearly laid out and written within this article. However, seeing that there is an ncredibly strong amount of local rhetoric that indicates negative Israeli involvement, those are admittedly given a greater amount of attention. With this being said, Marek Gefen and Meir Pail were both IDF troops who passed through Khan Yunis during their service during or in the immediate aftermath of the alleged incident. These two Israelis both present hugely contrasting views which are both presented in this article. In short, its made clear that Wikipedia is not taking sides as to whether or not a mass murder of civilians occurred in the Gaza Strip during its Israeli invasion. To move to another issue, I recognize that the use of "massacre" within the title is very inappropriate; this is biased and I apologize for its insertion in the first place. I'll move the page to Khan Yunis incident. Thank you for reading. 1Matt20 03:34, 13 January 2014 (UTC) (Note: I'll be taking the liberty of changing the wording in the article, which at times can imply that the word of the Palestinian refugees is completely true against that against that of Israeli military sources.)

Will you be looking other articles referred to as massacres using Wikipedia's narrative voice ? See Category:Massacres in Israel during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:40, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
The event is described as a massacre by academic specialist sources like Benny Morris to the title would appear appropriate. You are free to make the case for a name change, but until that has been made I am going to move the page back to the original name. Dlv999 (talk) 07:00, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

<- I have moved the page back to Khan Yunis massacre again while this discussion is ongoing. The title of the article must be based on WP:TITLE and nothing else. Arguments that ignore WP:POVNAME aren't going to be useful here or elsewhere. It would be good if all articles in the WP:ARBPIA topic area with contentious titles, titles that can start fires in the topic area, were reviewed to ensure that they comply with WP:TITLE. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:19, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza.[edit]

Not RS for historical facts but Sacco is a trained journalist and highly regarded as an investigative journalist. If you look at reviews for the work, e.g. NYT[1], it is seen as a serious piece of journalism ("investigative reporting of the highest is difficult to imagine how any other form of journalism could make these events so interesting"). So in my opinion it can be used carefully if properly attributed.

On a side note Meir Pail was battalion commander for the Israeli army in Khan Yunis during the massacre, so although a historian he is certainly not a third party source for facts on this topic. Dlv999 (talk) 10:53, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Pa'il is an academic historian with at least 6 history books to his credit, as well as being a Knesset member, so I would say that his account is just as worthy of being mentioned (and probably a lot more so) than that of some toddler or elementary school child who was interviewed as "an eyewitness" several decades later.--Geewhiz (talk) 12:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Sacco collected hundreds of eye witness testimonies. The one (Abed El-Aziz El-Rantisi) testimony highlighted in the NYT review (“It left a wound in my heart that can never heal,” he says. “I’m telling you a story and I am almost crying. . . . They planted hatred in our hearts”) is cited there because it links the events of 1956 to modern times (9 year old El-Rantisi went on to become a Hamas leader), not because it is the most reliable testimony on the massacre. Dlv999 (talk) 12:16, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

"According to one account from a fleeing fedayee" was changed to "According to Sacco's comic book a fleeing fedayee" and "Local residents allege that 100 Palestinian men" was changed to "Sacco's comic book further claims that 100 Palestinian men" by Gilabrand, who said "source of claims added". You not only added "comic book", which is not needed as it is already mentioned and trying to diminish the source is not right, but you deleted where it came from in the first place. Now it looks like that it was only something according to Sacco's book. --IRISZOOM (talk) 01:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I reinserted it now. --IRISZOOM (talk) 11:17, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Gilabrand showed no interest in this discussion but still comes and reverts me. As I have said, where the information comes should not be removed and only changed to something only coming from Sacco's book. --IRISZOOM (talk) 12:32, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


I just looked at a few of the sources and the general structure of this page. Can anyone give a good reason why this article shouldn't be merged with Rafah massacre? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 17:39, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, they were two distinct episodes separated by a week. Merging them would be like merging two articles on suicide bombings, say 3rd Erez Crossing attack and the Gaza Street bus bombing becauuse they occurred in the same month.Nishidani (talk) 17:47, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a Titanic (read: 'horrible' with this voice) comparison. On point: does the Benny Morris source separate them or lists them together as a result of the occupation of the Gaza strip? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 17:55, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Nishidani -- I just checked. He lists the issue of retribution in a single paragraph and lumps both attacks together as the main places where retribution occurred. "The Israeli conquest and its aftermath" ... "In all, Israeli troops killed about five hundred Palestinian civilians during and after the conquest of the Strip. About two hundred of these were killed in the course of massacres in Khan Yunis (on November 3) and in Rafa (on November 12). Several dozen suspected fedayeen who had fallen into Israeli hands were summarily executed."
I hope you're not going to say Benny Morris is a bad source. His early work is much loved by certain politically motivated cartoons. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 07:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
This is the last I'll say. English grammar is, here, very simple. When the word massacres is used, the plural indicates several distinct actions. Morris then distinguishes them by date, as we distinguish them by separate articles. Your point is pointless.And don't seed you remarks with cracks about cartoons. Most comments I read on talk pages are 'cartoons' of reality.Nishidani (talk) 09:26, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there anything else in your bag of arguments other than (a) separate days, (b) massacres (p.)? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 12:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
They were different massacres, on different dates and locations. No reason to merge them. --IRISZOOM (talk) 14:02, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Hi and thank you for joining. Have you looked at sources? Do they separate/merge these events? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 15:53, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Hi. You are proposing a merge and need to back it up. I think the text by Morris is clear on this. The memorial mentioned in this article and filmed by Press TV also gives the same view. I haven't read Joe Sacco's book on this but in the foreword I saw on Amazon, he speaks about another incident that had taken place in addition to the one in Khan Yunis and that's when he discovered the killings in Rafah too. --IRISZOOM (talk) 16:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd like Wikipedia to work based on sources. Certainly. Apologies for not looking into the memorial, but do they break it down into two separate events? As for the cartoonist -- I'm not really sure he qualifies as a source for history on Wikipedia (pointless to even look at his book). We wouldn't use Ari Pullman's movie for taking historical notes on the massacres in Sabra and Shatila. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 16:36, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
They talk about the massacre in Khan Yunis and nothing else. Joe Sacco is a credible source. His work is mainly based on info given by eyewitnesses. Only describing him as a "cartoonist" and saying it's a pointless book is unfair. If you wan't to merge them, you need to back it up. We can't merge them on our own and improvise a title for it. --IRISZOOM (talk) 16:52, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry but anyone can make a cartoon. If you don't believe me, I'd be happy to open this for general discussion with the wide community. It simply makes no sense that an encyclopedic value about history would be written based on a cartoon by someone without any scholarship to his name. I hope at least the general principal rings reasonable to you... there's a lot of cartoonists -- most of them are there just to tell a story, not write encyclopedic values. If his cartoon is notable, it can be mentioned in the body of the article -- but as long as he is not a journalist or, preferably, a scholar -- his cartoon cannot be used as fact. Back to the point. I've reviewed the video. It is a report on yearly commemorations in Khan Yunis. This can be added in aftermath regardless if sources merge the incidents or not. For now, I've seen a single main source by a reputable historian (aka "back it up"). In this source -- killings in these two localities are lumped under one Israel conquest. If there are other reputable sources which make a real case for breaking the events. Please let me know. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 20:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact is that Joe Sacco is a good source, his book got good reviews and is based mostly on eyewitnesses accounts. And as Nishidani and I said before, Morris speaks of "massacres" on different days. Just because both took place during a certain war, it doesn't mean that they were part of one single event. --IRISZOOM (talk) 21:05, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
As noted above: two massacres, on two different days, in two different locations. That they were both happened during the same war is no reason to merge them. Huldra (talk) 23:06, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
@Nishidani and Huldra:, do you agree that Joe Sacco is a good source? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 07:35, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
User:MarciulionisHOF Firstly: your "ping" didn´t work (I have this page watch-listed at the moment: that is why I´m here.) Secondly, I actually haven´t read the Sacco-book (I´m an old lady; I was into comics waaaaaay back in the previous millennium). Having said that: the book did win the Eisner Award for non-fiction, and from the reviews he gets "standing ovation" as a journalist ("Sacco is now making a serious case to be considered one of the world’s top journalists, period"). All in all: can be used, as other journalistic sources. (Though the format, with drawings, is unusual for my generation, to say the least). However, I would, personally, always prefer a respected historian to a journalist any day. Huldra (talk) 21:50, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Personal accounts (without proper background checks) taken 50 years (ffs!) after the events -- this is what passes as 'non fiction' at comic-con. Ari Pullman's movie about the Sabra and Shatila killings also passes the same criteria -- and it got fantastic reviews as well! In fact, it was the first documentary winner of the Golden Globe Award!!! To say that either of these qualify as a source for history is ridiculous. They're both notable enough to be mentioned in 'aftermath' or 'popular culture'. Not much more than that. Anyway -- even if we take this source seriously. It doesn't show these events are separately notable. When's the last time you reviewed the guide for deciding whether or not an event is notable on its own? For this event, there are separate days -- but they are not reported on separately. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 22:49, 21 September 2014 (UTC) +GG award MarciulionisHOF (talk) 22:55, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

I have advertised the matter on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Military_history#Request_for_comment. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 10:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

This is a complex question, complicated by the eagerness of many editors to question the reliability of any source that reports the Palestinian side in personal terms, and by source bias, given that 90% of our reportage, or sources, on a conflict that has two sides, comes from Israeli media, and even there, few journalists have close contact with Palestinians. Any death of Israelis gets massive reportage: you need a miracle to get a 10th of that focus on any one Palestinian death.
Sacco has a degree in journalism. That he has invented the medium of accompanying his work with cartoons is not a sign of caricature, but of ingenuity (esp. for this generation, which is reluctant, apparently, to read anything at length). has been acknowledged widely by journalistic peers and organized newspapers as having provided a new angle. The book in question is thoroughly grounded in months of field research. The incident described, like most Palestinian 'incidents' is ill-served by Western history or sources. Apart from the UN note, no one seems to have gone there with follow-up investigations. It's like saying natives weren't killed because the whites made no record of their massacres.
I've thought about this for a while, and think, though I myself much prefer academic sources, that Sacco does indeed qualify because our mainstream sources are void and he did interviews. They may not get everything right - history rarely does. But they preserve Palestinian memories of that massacre, and as such enter the record. Lastly, most of the 'stuff' I read in mainstream newspapers reads to me like a very clever caricature, almost 'cartoonish' in its reductive simplifications. Today, newspapers are competing to report that a Syrian warplane was shot down in Israeli airspace. It wasn't. It was shot down over Syrian territory, which technically the Golan Heights is. The examples are infinite, and questioning Sacco's utility as a source when there is such a systematic skewing of reportage in this area is, itself, dubious. One should use him of course with attribution.Nishidani (talk) 11:17, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I've started the source discussion on the place where sources were weakest. Please contribute there -- try to be concise so others may evaluate your commentary. p.s. I suggest you consider how much you'd like the Sabra and Shatila article written based on Waltz with Bashir (memories 20 years from the fact), when you (hopefully) re-eveluate your support of comic books with memories 50 years after the fact. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 11:57, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you are wrong, for very personal reasons. The thing is, if people have been killed, or have been in mortal danger, then there is a very good chance that it has been etched into your memory. I speak from personal experience: the closest I, AFAIK, have been to dying was at a rock-climbing trip when I was 19. It went horribly, horribly wrong (we had seriously misjudged the weather). This is decades ago, (not quite 50, but far more than 20), but can I still remember exactly in what order we were lifted out, even exactly which songs we sang to keep from panicking while waiting to be lifted out, etc. (We had to be lifted out one by one.). It I live until I´m 69, I will still remember tiny details from that trip.. (We all survived, which is the closest thing to a miracle I have experienced in my life.)
A second case: a friend of mine lost her father in an accident when she was young, in the 1970s (nearly 40 years ago.) It was very traumatic, she was very close to him. She has told me she still remembers exactly the last time she saw her father, what he said, where they were, what he was wearing, just as she remember exactly where she was and who told her he was dead. And what she did before and after. She even recall the colours on the walls, and what she was wearing, how crazy is that?
Being in lethal danger, or having your loved ones killed leaves a very special impression on you. How many Israeli soldiers were killed in the Sabra and Shatila massacre, again? Huldra (talk) 23:28, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
You asked here too first. --IRISZOOM (talk) 14:25, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It is strange how no one in the community outside the scope of a couple editors with (no offense intended) predisposition for Palestinian and/or Israeli nationalism (I'm sure Nishidani won't object) would comment. I'm wondering what it would take to get some uninvolved participation of experienced Wikipedia contributors. Thoughts? Perhaps source evaluation? Perhaps letting others review if there's enough notability (read: mainstream publication) for a singular event article? Currently, I am unconvinced that cartoons are great sources -- and perhaps, if no other sources exist to tell the tail -- further thinking should be made on how to make sure we have encyclopedic content and not a narrative driven comic book's summary replacing true historical content. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 03:19, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
For wider opinions, you can use WP:RSN to talk about Sacco's book, or open an WP:RfC by reading the instructions there. Kingsindian  15:16, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

MarciulionisHOF has not bothered to notify here that he has started a discussion at WP:RSN. Since he is new, I have done this myself. Kingsindian  18:24, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

There is no obligation to notify as far as I know.--Shrike (talk) 07:12, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Half of the discussion elsewhere[edit]

For some strange reason, half of the discussion is going on here. My attempts to merge were reverted. Anyway, both halves have the same quality. Kingsindian (talk) 12:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Don't confuse discussion with source evaluation. MarciulionisHOF (talk) 12:15, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Considering that the discussion starts with "Looking at both Khan Yunis massacre and Rafah massacre" and concludes with "should be merged into a larger article.", I do not see the point in putting it on separate pages. Anyway, I have said enough, and do not intend to respond to any further comments here or on the other page, unless things radically change. Kingsindian (talk) 16:03, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I do not see the point in putting Khan Yunis and Rafah on separate pages either. But they are -- and the source evaluation starts with the worst of the two. Does that help explain? MarciulionisHOF (talk) 18:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)