Talk:Machsom Watch/Archive 1

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I have slightly modified the page to explain how the group has been discredited because anti-semetic groups have quoted them out of context- [[User:]] 08:03, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

You removed solid factual information and replaced it by junk. Desist. --Zero 15:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Junk? I only seek to describe that like many Israeli and Jewish Groups they are often quoted to give the appearence of dissension in Israel that doesn't neccasarily exist to the same extent in reality. I was perhaps overzealous in the original text so I will modify the previous comment but to not list anything would make the article incomplete. If you decide to edit the new passages which are extremly mild I will be forced to flag this page.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk
Please indicate your level of approval with the edited passage. If you decide to include a condescending comment similar to last time it will indicate that I am not dealing with an adult- Santa Claus
Your paragraph is barely English. Nobody will have a clue what it means. And spare me the nonsense about childishness, Santa! --Zero 10:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Give me a break, the only criticism you provided makes it seem like only right wing fascists disagree with the group, Machsom Watch is a fringe group. If your problem was just my choice of language you would have written something yourself since you wouldn't know as much about the group if you didn't also know it had very little support inside Israel or the Jewish community. Are you just disingenuious, stubborn, or are you trying to promote a particular viewpoint?

Look I really don't want to get into an edit war so if you have a certain attachment to your article or take issue with my writing, you can write something, but I am not going to let nothing be written about real opposition to the group. I would understand if it was a controversial group that still generally had a lot of support, but writing about Machsom Watch and leading the reader to believe what you have written is wrong.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk

Your paragraph does not even mention Machsom Watch and its relevance is unclear. Furthermore, it is an opinion and opinions have to be sourced. You can't just type your personal impressions into the article. Quote someone important saying something relevant. And, no, it is not a fringe group. It is a medium-sized (thousands of members) human rights group in the mainstream of the Israeli human right movement. --Zero 12:16, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Lyndon Larouge has about the same percentage of support in the US that Machsom Watch has in Israel, yet no one would deny he is on the fringe on American Politics. Look I am sure you wouldn't deny that there is much more criticism of Machsom watch than what you have provided. Although I will admit that NGO monitor is not the most neutral source in the world, the article could at least include their criticism. It appears that the quote from Women in Green in purposely chosen to make it appear Machsom Watch's critics are fascists.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk
The website from the quote is under references at the bottom. I will do a proper reference when I return from work.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk


I've re-added that paragraph with sources. This is very clear as far as I can see. Moreover, the MW accused Israeli soldiers of laughing, while they didn't laugh in the video (I remember seing it on TV, they didn't laugh). Besides, it's a littles senseless to have a section and MW criticisms without listing a single thing they did wrong, don't you think? -- Ynhockey || Talk 04:06, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

As much as I would hate to I think I am going to agree with Zero on this one, the passage is unnecessarily political, and too POV. If you can find some criticism that is more appropiate I think it would be helpful to the article.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk

Zero and I weren't even talking about that paragraph. The one you removed is a quote from a website. -- Ynhockey || Talk 05:56, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Well I was actually referring to that paragraph as well. The one I removed was also inappropriate I thought, I know you didn't change it or anything and it was properly cited, but honestly the quote seemed improper.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk

I agree it was a bit harsh, but I'm trying to represent a major viewpoint of those who are opposed to Machsom Watch - it is a prevailing opinion within Israel that the organization isn't helping anyone, and it's unfair that an article about it will only have good things. By comparison, the article on Ariel Sharon, who has much more support within the country he represents, lists a load of criticisms (scattered all over the article). I think the way it is right now (without that IDFIsrael quote) is fine, but if you disagree, we should reach a consensus regarding acceptable criticism of MW. -- Ynhockey || Talk 06:30, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Believe me I know that there should be more criticism of Machsom Watch in the article (just scroll up on this talk page) my impression is that by including your quote it actually kinda underminded our cause.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk

Violin incident

"Known blunders of Machsom Watch have included falsely accusing the IDF of forcing a Palestinian violinist to play his violin at a checkpoint, a story which was printed worldwide. It was later discovered that the violinist was playing at his own will."

I'll explain what is wrong with this. On Nov 9, 2004, three MW women observed a Palestinian playing his violin while trying to get through Beit Iba checkpoint and one of them filmed it. Akiva Elder of Haaretz picked up this story, together with the presumption of the filmer that the IDF had required the Palestinian to play, and published it on Nov 25 along with a statement from the IDF regretting the incident ("the officer in charge...acted in an insensitive manner, but not maliciously", etc). A few days later, the IDF issued another statement contradicting the first one; now they claimed that the Palestinian had started to play of his own accord. The Palestinian violinist has consistently claimed that he was told to play by the soldiers. Meanwhile, the MW women acknowledged that they did not know why he started to play because the conversation was in Arabic which they don't speak (actually two of the three women said that right from the beginning). The film does not help because the Palestinian is already playing when the film begins. That's about the whole story. So firstly the claim "falsely accused" is inaccurate; actually one women voiced a presumption that she could not in fact prove. Secondly, it is not true that the violinist was later discovered to have played of his own accord, rather that is the official claim of the IDF and contradicts the testimony of the Palestinian. It cannot be proved one way or the other. I'm not opposed to this incident getting a mention, but the present suggested text will not do. Btw, copies of the relevant Haaretz articles can be read in the Google cache: Nov 25, Nov 30, Dec 7. --Zero 12:14, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
While the details of the incident seem murky and the Palestinian would have reason to lie about the incident (as would Haaretz, a leftist news agency), I'm prepared to take Haaretz's word for it. So, how about this text:
Recently, Machsom Watch has been accused of falsely claiming that the IDF forced a Palestinian violinist to play his violin at a checkpoint, a story which was printed worldwide. While originally the IDF apologized for the incident, the IDF's commission on the issue denied responsibility, citing the testimonies of several soldiers. However, the Palestinian in question insisted that the original story was true.
EDIT: Keep in mind also that the human rights organization I cited is also a leftist organization, just like MW, and they oppose MW on this.
Not sure who you are referring to. It can't be NGO Monitor, which is published by advisor to Sharon, Dore Gold, and edited by a well-known rightwinger. Also, no left-wing organization would publish material from CAMERA without independent checks. --Zero 22:04, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
-- Ynhockey || Talk 13:07, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
If it matters I support Zero's last edit, it is pretty matter-of-fact and avoids controversial statements.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg (talk) 02:34, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes I also support the last edit, it's a good compromise. -- Ynhockey || Talk 04:29, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Arutz Sheva as source

While I didn't add that last paragraph, or its source, I maintain that if palestineremembered can be used as a source for dozens of articles, so can Arutz Sheva. If you remove Arutz Sheva, please remove all information taken from palestineremembered. Otherwise, please restore the paragraph. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 09:22, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

No deal. --Zero 10:15, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Why then do you support vehemently anti-Israel sources but oppose vehemently anti-Arab sources? -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 11:18, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you might remind me where I used palestineremembered as a source for something. I have no recollection of such a thing. To the best of my knowledge, my standard for sources is consistently high. (Nevertheless, your example is not equivalent. An equivalent to Arutz Sheva would be palestineremembered is not in that class.) --Zero 12:17, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually the equivalent of Arutz7 would be Wafa the palestinian news agency. Zeq 12:39, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
This isn't about where you specifically used palestineremembered (because, as you probably know, I have never used Arutz 7 as a source myself either), but whether you support such extremely biased sources being on Wikipedia in general. Clearly you support palestineremembered since I've seen you editing articles using palestineremembered as a source, but not Arutz 7. I don't think we need to draw direct equivalents, because it's not about what type of source a certain source is (news, memorial, advertizement, etc.) but about how the particular source interprets the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If pro-Palestinian sources are allowed to stay, then so should pro-Israeli sources. In Black September, the site (a pro-Israeli site) was not allowed as a source, and in Altalena Affair, is not used. Why is there a bias against pro-Israeli sources? -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 12:47, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually Wikipedia has hundreds of "pro-Israeli" sources. --Zero 12:51, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Plenty of sources were given, including the corresponding HebWiki article. You will probably also find it in the external links given (though I didn't check yet) but here is another link to this accusition: YNET. Just google it and stop reverting. MathKnight 13:01, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Zero, give us a break, Palestine Remembered is neutral huh? here is an excerpt from their website: "Are you aware that Israeli Zionists, during the 1948 war, pushed over 150,000 Palestinian refugees into the sea?, For a long time, Zionists have been propagating fear based propaganda to their followers". Even by itself it is unacceptable to even consider the website as a source but it is even worse to claim it is somehow more neutral than Arutz 7. Its time to stop editing under a veil of neutrality Zero.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 21:34, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Arutz 7 is not a reputable source. Language forks of Wikipedia are not used as original sources. I never once claimed Palestine Remembered is neutral so stop misrepresenting my position. The YNET article contains criticism only from some soldier's mother! None of the claimed sources say anything about criticism from "Jewish Human Rights" groups. Start playing by the rules. --Zero 23:45, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
It is all over the Hebrew press, not just Arutz 7. Zeq 05:21, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

The "Criticism" section is nearly as long as the description section, which is long enough. Let's start a praise section. --Zero 10:51, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. I was actually about to suggest that myself. Palmiro | Talk 16:21, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not my fault that everyone in Israel hates Machsom Watch, except the uber-extreme left, but no one said you shouldn't start a praise section. Just don't forget those impartial sources you like to talk about... but please, no The Guardian or Al Jazeera. If you use those, Arutz 7 is fair game. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 16:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
In fact, Machsom Watch has a very good reputation in Israel. Some people think of them as nutty, but only right-wingers regard them as evil. I guess we don't move in the same circles. Btw, I'm nominating your Guardian=Arutz7 claim as Joke of the Week. --Zero 01:43, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Guess not; I'm in the military police and most of my friends from basic training are guarding checkpoints now. I guess they would be biased against Machsom Watch. But don't forget that they are the ones who know best what exactly Machsom Watch does, unlike left-wing circles (even intellectuals) who have rarely, if ever, visited a checkpoint. About The Guardian, I can't recollect every single biased article which appeared in it (there have been tons), but occasionally points out good ones, like this one. After reading that, I have much trouble believing that The Guardian is somehow less biased than Arutz 7. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 02:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
By the way, funny I should remember this article, because just this Monday I was around Abu Dis, walked near the wall for a few minutes and saw a shepherd, which is likely the very same one which is shown on that picture. The wall doesn't look that scary from up close though. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 02:48, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I disagree, as it stands, the description section is already pretty much a praise section, an additional praise section would be ludicrous.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 23:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Regarding Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio, while it is not Wikipedia policy that it cannot be used as a source, it is Zero0000's longstanding policy that it cannot be used as a source. There is no question that it is a biased news source. Is it more biased than, say, Al Jazeera? I doubt it. More biased than The Daily Mirror. Not sure. Than CNN? Certainly. As for, that's a propaganda website, not a news source, but I don't see where it is used in this article, or where Zero0000 has used it as a source. Jayjg (talk) 07:51, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

There is another issue which is somewhat independent of bias. Arutz7 is a tiny organization with hardly any independent capacity to gather news. Almost everything they "broadcast" (now only on the internet) is just their spin on news gathered by someone else. That makes them much less valuable as a source than serious news agencies and newspapers. --Zero 08:16, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Jay, regarding, I was commenting on how Zero removed an entire section from this article only because the source was Arutz7, however, he did not remove the 'Arab villages' list from List of villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war (or any of these specific village articles), even though it's based in its entirety on's information. You may say that it's factual information and should be separated from their POV, but that's not true because I've found some places on their site where they deliberately inflate the victims by listing the same village twice under a different name, etc. (see my edits in that article). -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 08:46, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Comparing what I did to what I didn't do is hardly a logical approach. If I had time to check List of villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war in detail I would use more academic sources. Meanwhile it remains as an article which is mostly true but needs careful checking. Btw, I don't recall anything about palestineremembered "listing the same village twice under a different name" and cannot see it in your edits on that page. Can you remind us? --Zero 10:05, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, my earlier long reply didn't go through (Wikipedia technical difficulties), but I'll summarize: Ajanjul and Bayt Nuba are listed under different entries although Ajanjul was merged into Bayt Nuba before 1948. There are probably other examples I don't remember. Also, you volunteered to check the entire list on Talk:List of Arab localities in Palestine 1948, a page which I'm now going to wipe and redirect to the other list, since you don't seem to object (maybe you just forgot that article?) -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 19:19, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't check the list of localities because I could not find the source (1946 Village Statistics) that I wanted. I still can't find it. The best I have is a list of villages in the 1931 census report. It will miss many Jewish localities established later. I'm not complaining about redirecting List of Arab localities in Palestine 1948 because I don't have time to bring it up to standard. It would take at least a week of hard work and I have a real job to do. --Zero 10:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
On Ajanjul and Bayt Nuba, I don't agree with your analysis. These locations were about 5km apart. In the 1931 census they were counted separately but by 1945 the British statisticians had begun to treat them as parts of the same village. Whether they were one village or two is clearly an opinion (and not terribly interesting, imo). It is not right to say that palestineremembered tried to inflate the statistics by presenting them separately, because the population figure they give for Ajanjul clearly states "includes Bayt Nuba". From the point of view of that site there is a perfectly good reason to treat them separately: Ajanjul was destroyed in 1948 but Bayt Nuba remained relatively intact until it was destroyed, and the population evicted by force, in 1967. --Zero 10:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

If Zero is correct in his assertion then I would agree with his conclusion, also although Al jazerra is definitely bias, it seems to be at least less blatant then the Arutz 7 website.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 09:51, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I partially disagree. While Arutz 7 can be trasted on facts (but not on interpretations or editirials) Al-Jazeera sometimes choose to quote only one side falsehoods as facts. Zeq 11:37, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Israeli or from Israel

I was always under the impression that when you are born and grow up somewhere else you are usually not considered ---i or ----an. My grandma is Hungarian not American, is this not the case?- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 04:59, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that when you say "Israeli women" most people will take it that you mean "women who are citizens of Israel" unless there is some context that suggests it might mean something else. It could possibly apply to a woman who grew up in Israel then moved somewhere else and gave up Israeli citizenship, but our article's context is that we are clearly taking about women resident in Israel. Actually there is a more serious problem with "Israeli women": I think that it should be "Jewish Israeli women" (or "Israeli Jewish women", which would be better?) since I believe no Israeli Arabs or other non-Jewish Israelis are members. (I'll check the facts on this.) --Zero 05:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
The reply from my highly-placed source (yes, this is Original Research) is that almost all the women are Jewish but there is no policy about that and a few Israeli Arab women are members too. --Zero 00:18, 5 March 2006 (UTC)


Palmiro, why did you revert my edit? How is it 'very bad' to increase the coherence of an article? I mean, how does this read to you?

Their stated aims are to:

  • "Our presence there is a political act. ...first and foremost, we protest against the very existence of the checkpoints.” [2]

Doesn't seem very coherent to me. The quotes are not necessary either, as direct speech is unencyclopedic and should, when possible, be replaced with reported speech.

Apologies. I didn't mean to revert your edit, which had not yet been made when I opened the editing window. It took me several tries to send the edit, and I suppose several edits took place while I was trying - I hadn't realised the level of activity was that intense. I agree with you that the bit you cite above is not so good, but I didn;t have the time to fix it. What I objected to most of all in the version by Zeq was the "politically motivated human rights group", which seems to be just a way of casting aspersions on them. Is there any human rights group that isn't politically motivated? Palmiro | Talk 21:29, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

-- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 20:53, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

"Our presence there is a political act. ..."

They clearly spell this out and there is nothing wrong with being political. Zeq 19:54, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

To Zero

If you have objections to sourced contnet use talk.

You are here for your own political purposes and obviously don't give a damn if it's a good article. Yes, please start another ArbCom hearing. This time I will not be so wimpish in presenting the proof that you should be banned. --Zero 10:17, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Please explain your reverts. Please avoid revering (or doing any edit) without proper explnation and also be civil to your fellow editors. You should also always asssume good faith. Zeq 11:21, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

To Zero (2nd request or maybe 3rd)

You removed a sourced material. Pleas avoid removing such material. You have also removed material which presented the POV of the those who think there is a need to take care of everyone's human rights. The right of the jews not to be killed is also a human right. This is an NPOV encyclopedia and all POV must be represented. Clearly the POV of the Mchsom Watch is represnted but the other view was not. Not the whole Haaretz article must be brought into Wikipedia how ever the main POV about the subject of the article should be. Zeq 11:03, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Zeq that the quote is absolutely relevant, as it is a critique of the organization by the institution directly affected by the organization's activities. However, I agree with Zero that the critical comment probably belongs in the Criticism section. I also encourage Zero to use the talk page to discuss reverts, and remind everyone to be mindful of WP:3RR. Babajobu 14:04, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
There are hundreds of "relevant quotes" on the web but we already have a criticsm section that is nearly half of the article. That is already too long. Note that I am not playing the same quotations game as I could easily add a large number of quotations in praise of the group. We don't even quote the group members about what motivates them yet it is supposed to be ok to add endless near-identical criticisms. This is not acceptable. --Zero 11:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, criticism by the Israeli army is especially relevant since they are the creator and proprietor of the checkpoints that Machsom Watch monitors. I agree with you that the perspective of the organization is missing from this article. But this does not necessitate cutting down the criticism section, which is not especially long by Wikipedia standards. Rather, I suggest you get the perspective of the organization in there somewhere. I wouldn't just add random quotes from members of the organization discussing their motivation, but rather some comments or quotes that have the official imprimatur of Machsom Watch itself, e.g. something from a statement of purpose of theirs, or whatever, and maybe a complimentary quote from a notable person. Babajobu 12:18, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Babajobu. Also, The language in Zeq's proposal was better, Zero's phrase "concern about the effect on civilians of the siege" implicitly labels Israeli actions as a siege, which is propagandistic. -- Heptor talk 12:26, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Since the 1st paragrph discuss the Organization own description NPOV means that other views will get the same level in the 1st paragrph. A clear NPOV rule is to describe the controversy - clearly there is a controversy here and it is the existence and need for checkpoints. Checkpoint watch is so ignorant of the need that every time a terrorist is caught in one of the checkpoints they (who are there to see it) claim that he was sent by IDF so clearly since they go to such length to argue against the checkpoints there is a controvesy. BTW, I my self am against the checkpoints as well. I think israel should defened it self on the border not inside Palestinian territory. Zeq 15:16, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I highly second Babajobu's opinion. The article should not present Machsom Watch's perspective as facts. For example, in the sentence "Machsom Watch also expresses concern about the effect on civilians of the siege of West Bank communities by Israeli military authorities reacting to the Al Aqsa Intifada.", the word "siege" is taken directly from MW's website. Obviously, that's MW's concern about what MW sees as siege, but the article presents these opinions as facts. To conform with WP:NPOV, we must always clearly attrbute MW's opinions to MW. Pecher Talk 15:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The way to handle that problem is well-established: use their words in quotation marks. The pov that they have is an important piece of information. I agree it shouldn't be presented as plain narrative. --Zero 23:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
We already have their words. Right at the start of the article. This is taken directly from their web site :
  • Monitor the behaviour of soldiers and police at checkpoints
  • Ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected
  • Record and report the results of our observations to the widest possible audience, from the decision-making level to that of the general public
  • Protest against the very existence of the checkpoints

Zeq 04:46, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree to quote Dan Halutz in the introduction of this article just as soon as Machsom Watch is quoted in the introduction of Dan Halutz. Also, stop adding the link to Haaretz - a week or two from now it will be dead. --Zero 23:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

You are wrong but you are free to Edit Dan Halutz and we will see you there. This is the Machsom watch article. The group has a view (POV) on the issues of Checkpoints and Human rights, their view is in the 1st paragrpah. The IDF has invited them to a meeting and expressed the other POV. Mchsom watch gave details on the meeting o the Press and now it all desrve (as per NPOV policy) o be in 1st paragraph. In fact, a wider discussion of the controversy is needed. Zeq 04:44, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I think an IDF point of view should be in the lead, but don't think it should be as long and detailed. Perhaps something like: In response to the above stated aims, the IDF, which maintains the checkpoints, responded that human rights lie not only in the protection of Palestinian civilians at checkpoints, but also in the protection of Israeli civilians from terrorist acts.
I realize there may be a few problems with that, because not only is it slightly different than what Halutz really said, but also the IDF spokesman is the official voice of the IDF, not Halutz. However, I suggest a wording which responds to MW but mentions only the IDF as a body (or the spokesman at most), but not Halutz. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 05:45, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi Yan, Chief of Staff is an authoritative voice for the IDF, in fact he is above the spokesman so there should not be any problem. WE have used 60 words from Machsom watch web site and the quote from IDF is about half than that (32 words) so I don't think we need to make any shorter. In fact I think we need to expend it. Mchsom watch view is only one POV, IDF has another view that desrve to be heared. Zeq 06:28, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Outrageous! Please go to IDF and quote the opinion of Hamas in the introduction, then we will have something to discuss. This is 'not an article on checkpoints, nor is it an article on human rights. First we describe the topic of the article, then we give external opinions and comments on it. That's how good articles are structured. --Zero 09:04, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

You are free to edit IDF . If you find the introduction to be POV make it NPOV. Otherwise I request again that you honor Wikipedia NPOV policy and self revert your last edit which was clearly POVing the introduction. Zeq 09:08, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to go with Ynhockey on this one, the IDF POV is definitely relevant here but I would say it is faulty reasoning to suggest that their view should be just as thouroughly represented as Machsom Watch's, after all this is the MW article.

Also I think it is unreasonable to suggest that Yan's voice is more authoratative that the IDF spokesman just because he is of higher rank, the Generals in most countries including Israel have been known to make unofficial public remarks that are contrary to their nation's established policy.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 09:11, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

The IDF opinion is in the Criticism section. I think my wording of it is better than Zeq's poor English, but feel free to edit it iut you disagree. Also, the problem of whether it is an IDF opinion or a Halutz opinion is solved by just noting who said it and what his position is. No need to classify if beyond that. --Zero 09:22, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree your version is less ackward(??) akward? but I think we could still use at least another sentence or so, the criticism section now still seems relatively poorly written as a whole, it might as well just be a bullet list since each point has so little "flare".- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 09:47, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Zero, look at the AIPAC talk section
It is excessive. A careful selection of half the material would tell the same story and be less ugly. --Zero 10:26, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
The issue here is (as always) NPOV and not my poor english. Is my poor english the reason you removed 30 words from top of the article to a seprate section ? Zeq 10:01, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I didn't move it to a separate section, I moved it to the existing section where it belongs. --Zero 10:26, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
The first section of this article desrve to have more than just the organization own claims. The answer of the IDF to their claim desreve to be in the first paragrph. there is more than one POV on this issue. Zeq 10:30, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the intro must include criticism. It's unfair to include only one POV in the intro, especially when the other POV is already presented in the article. Pecher Talk 11:45, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I think we could just make the current intro more innocuous and add something like " a controversial group".- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 12:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Zero, look at the AIPAC talk section - he got you there, Zero. Just because an organization acts for the insterest of Israel doesn't mean it should be criticized while organizations which are against Israel's interests should only be praised. If you support praise+criticism in AIPAC, then you should support it here as well. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 17:44, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

In what sense did he "get me"? The AIPAC article supports me completely. There is no criticism at all until the organisation has been described at length (largely in its own terms) and its history given. The "controversies" section is the 6th and critical comment from outsiders does not come until the 8th section. That is a reasonable overall structure for articles on organisations to have. There is no precedent and no justification for criticism of the organization to be quoted in the introduction. --Zero 23:06, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

by saying that the group is "controversial" we did not say much. NPOV policy is to describe the controvesy.

The group web site is quoted on the 1st paragrph. This is one POV. The other POV (not even about the group itself, i.e. not a direct critism of it) but just a different view of the main issue : i.e. Human rights is something that BOTH palestinians and Israelis have a right too. So this view (about the actions taken by IDF, the actions that the group protest against) must balance the group own claims. This is the essence of the NPOV policy.

I would love to have an ArbCom case about it and let them decide. It is a win-win.

The article now is conforming to NPOV policy or maybe by quoting the group it is quoting propeganda.

MY Suggestion to Zero:

Follow Dispute resolution process: File for mediation, conduct a poll. If it does not get your way, I would like to see this get to ArbCom. (same about sarafend btw). In anycase I suggest that you stop the edit war about it. Zeq 22:15, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I should mention that my comment asking zero to look at the AIPAC article did not have to do with this article, but was a seperate matter. Sorry- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 23:56, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing unusual in referring to cricism of an organization in the intro: see, for example, International Solidarity Movement. I am also tempted to cite Ku Klux Klan as an example; it is a featured article, by the way. Pecher Talk 17:28, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I bet you can't find an example for a pro-Israeli organization. Why is that? --Zero 12:02, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Note that the Ku Klux Klan article - like the NGO Monitor article also cited below as an example of articles including criticism in the lead - does not in fact do so. It does describe what the KKK did in fairly blunt language, which makes a refreshing change for Wikipedia and is presumably possible because there are not very many people demanding NPOV changes on its behalf or those that do get squashed. More to the point, the NGO Monitor article, which is of a similar length to this one and like this one contains more criticism than anything else, does not include criticism in the lead/first paragraphs. I think that would be a good model to follow here. As a final point, caution should be used in applying recommendations about summary-style intros to articles this short. Palmiro | Talk 12:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Is Machsom watch web site a propeganda ?

I would like for now to pose this as a question. Zeq 21:57, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, the answer is obviously yes. But, why do you ask? -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 04:49, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Disputing a legitimate edit

Zero has at first tried to remove the quote from haaretz. After he understood he can not delete it he now tries to push it to the last line and the last paragrpah of this article.

NPOV policy is that we describe the controversy. We present both POV (in this case on the question of "what is Human rights ?"

Zero, if you dispute this I suggest that you start a dispute resolution process. Conduct a poll, file for mediation - what ever. That is the proper way to handle disputes. I am aksing you again to stop the edit war about a legitimate edit. Zeq 05:05, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Mediation on the dispute


What should go on 1st paragrph ?

Hi Slim,

I think we had some edit conflict on checkpoint watch.


The issue (IMHO) is to be NPOV about the checkpoints themself. Checkpointwatch has one view, most israelis has another view and they belive that the checkpoints protect israelis from terror.

Personally I think both are right. In any case, it is important to bring in the intro the watch goals (as they see them) and IDF head response about the broader Human rights issue. This is under mediation and you are welcome to join. I want to understand why you think critisim should go on top and not NPOV discussion about the chiken and egg about terror and checkpoints (which IMHO, is the controversy to describe) Zeq 22:24, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I didn't fully understand your question, Zeq. Some criticism should go in the intro, because the intro needs to be balanced. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Naybe I was not clear but it is not a big deal. The way you have it here: [1] is just fine. I added more source and Wikify Emil Gruntzweig - which i was very surprized to see had no article on him as he preceeded Rabin by 13 years as Israel's first political victim. I was with him that night. I will need to translate this: Zeq 06:54, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


פעילותן של מתנדבות מחסום-ווטש, לצד נסיונות הצבא להציג "כיבוש נאור" בעיני העולם, אכן הביאו לשיפור קל במחסומים, והפכו את ההישרדות היומיומית לנסבלת יותר. אולם מחסום-ווטש מתנגד לעצם הקמת המחסומים. במחסומים הללו ניתן לראות, על בסיס יומיומי, את ההשפלה והדיכוי המתמשכים - צבא כובש.


The activity of watch volunteers, along with the army attempts to present an "enlightened occupation" to the rest of the world, indeed brought slight imporvment in checkpoints and had turned the daily susrvival (of Palestinians) to somewhat bearable (spelling?). But Machsom-watch object the actual existense of the checkpoints - in thise chackpoints it is posible to see on a daily basis the humiliation caused by an occupation army,

Zeq 22:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Haaretz Article - full text


Last update - 23:55 05/03/2006

[ Text deleted for obvious copyright reasons. --Zero 02:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC) ]

Take a copy if you want, folks, but this blatant copyright violation can't be allowed. --Zero 10:22, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

sources for ths article

I looked at all the "citation needed" tags. It seems much of this article is direct quotes from how the group describe itself. The source is it's own web site. Zeq 04:39, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The sources need go into the article. It's no use us being the only ones to know the sources. If you quote someone, for example, you need to link to, or otherwise cite, your source after the quote. Also, please add new posts to the bottom of this page so that people can see them. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:55, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Zero's argument

Zero justifies his edit war with: "Criticism in the introduction is a violation of normal article structure.) "

We may need ArbCom to rule on that. While NPOV policy is clear it may need more calrifications. Zeq 11:48, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I suggest that everyone look at this version: [2]

Dupliactions have been rmoved (as Zero corretly pointed out), each section is as NPOV as possible (I hope but I can be proven wrong) and all the info - including their postive contribution to what goes on in the checkpoints is mentioned. Zeq 13:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

We are going to have criticism in the lead section when hell freezes over. --Zero 13:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
This is not a very strong argument so I reverted it back to this version: [3] and i suggest that if you have real arguments you raise them at the mediation yiou were offered to participate. Zeq 14:13, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Zero, what's the problem with having criticism in the lead? The intro should provide an overview of the whole topic, good and bad. SlimVirgin (talk) 15:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I don't see any criticism or even factual reporting of the many well-known and well-documented human rights abuses carried out by the organization in question in the intro to the Israel Defence Forces article. And there we are talking about facts that have been reported by the likes of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Here we appear to be talking about criticism by the IDF (what a surprise) and by NGO Monitor, a website maintained by an Israeli lobbying group (the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) for the purpose of criticising Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups. This sort of criticism is so obvious, and the parties involved so interested, that it would be arguably be a bit silly to include it in the lead even if such was the norm in other articles about controversial organizations. Palmiro | Talk 00:43, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Needs a source

I removed this from the intro: "While the women presence in checkpoints have caused security forces to act with more restrain than in the past ..." because it needs to be sourced e.g. by adding "according to ..." SlimVirgin (talk) 15:26, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, this can be sourced (at least as an intention of the group) to Kimmerling, Baruch (2003). Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians. Verso. ISBN 1859845177, p. 182 onwards in a detailed section on Machsom Watch. The full text is viewable at Amazon. --Ian Pitchford 15:59, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Hi Ian, I looked at Amazon but they don't have much of the text online. The index has one entry for Machsom Watch on p 182. If you have it there, can you say what it says exactly in relation to the section I removed: "While the women presence in checkpoints have caused security forces to act with more restrain than in the past ..." SlimVirgin (talk) 16:26, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Their search options are not very user friendly but if you actually do a search on "182" you can access the page. --Ian Pitchford 16:31, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I tried that, but nothing comes up. It keeps giving me page 119. What do you actually enter into the search field to see the text? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Does this link work Slim? --Ian Pitchford 16:49, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Ian, it did work. What do I need to put in the search field myself to get this in future?
Regarding the disputed section, Kimmerling doesn't seem to shed any light on it. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:53, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I just searched "182" in the book search field itself. Kimmerling just says that they aim "to prevent the harassment of Palestinians by soldiers themselves", but this European Parliament Report says they have actually reduced the amount of physical violence at checkpoints. --Ian Pitchford 17:10, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't actually say that, Ian. It says that physical violence has reduced and that verbal violence has increased. It doesn't describe the violence, say where it's coming from, say when it began to reduce/increase, or say that Machsom is responsible for the reduction/increase. The only hint that the source might be trying to connect the reduction/increase to Machsom Watch is with the word "thus." We need a reputable source who explicitly says what the disputed section said. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, but I think the meaning of the section is clear. After all it's headed "Machsom Watch" and paragraph three reads "The goals of the group are to monitor the behaviour of soldiers, to ensure that the human rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected, and to report back. It can thus be said that today there is much less physical violence than before..." (emphasis added) i.e., the reduction in phyical violence is a consequence of the group's monitoring of the behaviour of soldiers. I don't think this can be read any other way. --Ian Pitchford 18:37, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I think it's very weak because there's no detail, and if the author took it from a source, s/he doesn't say which. It's a pretty badly written report overall. If it's true that Machsom Watch has reduced physical violence, but has caused verbal violence to increase, there must be a better source for it somewhere. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi Slim,

The source is this - Is this a good source?

Just a side note (not a source):

I can tell you from my won expiriance (I travel in the west bank for my work with the UN) that this is 100% correct - These women on one hand made a big difference in changing the IDF attitude. IDF has changed many procedure based on watch critisim and presence but sometimes they really disturbe the soldiers and help Palestinians cross to israel without security checks.

The one big problem, in the eyes of many watch women, was that their intentions (the real ones) were never to "improve" the checkpoints but they wanted to cancel them altogether. So now, some of them say that should not help the army improve the checkpoints conditions any more. Tough choice. Zeq 16:04, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Zeq. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:26, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Kimmerling doesn't believe these checkpoints really have anything to do with security and he writes that the women are frequently "mistreated by soldiers manning the checkpoints". --Ian Pitchford 16:10, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Kimmerling is a lunatic and should not be used a source. Many of these checkpoints are the last gateway into Israel they have everything to do with security. Some of the checkpoints (especially around Nablus and inside Hebron) are internal checkpoints (i.e inside the west bank proper, deep in the west bank) - these checkpoints control Palestinians from one area to another and are therefor mainly designed to protect settler security. The soldeirs are under strict orders to avoid intercaton with the watch women but some of them mistreat the soldiers. I am talking about what i saw and heared. On some occuastion the women's are arrested by police and police maybe mistreating them. never saw a soldier do anything to a watch women. Zeq 16:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Zeq, you have to forget everything you've seen and heard when you're editing Wikipedia. We publish only what reputable sources have published, regardless of whether we personally believe it to be true or false. Kimmerling may very well be a lunatic (I have no idea one way or the other), but he's a scholarly source writing in a relevant field, so he may be used as a source by us. You're welcome, of course, to find a competing source. But first, we have to establish exactly what Kimmerling himself says on this issue. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:51, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I understand and agree. Just provided my own observation so we will know what info we should be looking for:
Sources that explain the security justification (for at least some) of the checkpoints.
On top of that we should look for those who critise kimmelrilg ability to be a trustworthy source. Maybe he has specific field in which he is an expert but surly he is not a military specialist . (nither am I:-) Zeq 18:45, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

NGO monitor

Zeq, could you tell me please why you deleted the quote from the NGO Monitor about the "demonization of Israel"? [4] SlimVirgin (talk) 20:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

My intention was to move it, not to delete it. so if deleted this is a mistake.
My thinking was:
  • to keep the first paragrph NPOV by presenting both major POV: That of Machsom watch and that of IDF (the quote from IDF cheif)
  • to concentrate all other (3rd party, individual soldeirs, their mothers) critisim and counter arguments ina seprate section (the bias/ critism/violin section)
It is fine the way it is now. thanks for re-inserting it.
Zeq 21:14, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with what appears to be Zeq's view that the IDF's criticism is far more germaine than that of NGO Monitor. The IDF is the organization that Machsom Watch targets; NGO Monitor is a website maintained by an Israeli lobbying group and perhaps not much worth quoting at all in our articles. It only exists to criticise pro-peace/pro-human rights organizations in Israel and the territories. Do we have any idea of how widely read it is? Palmiro | Talk 00:48, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Zero is arguing on my talk page that there should be no criticism at all in the intro, so perhaps we should deal with that first, and then decide which criticism. Is everyone else agreed that there should be some criticism in the lead? SlimVirgin (talk) 01:10, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think including criticism in the lead makes sense in this article. The purely factual lead is better in my view. It is probably obvious to anyone reading that that the organization's activities are not going to be appreciated by the IDF or by supporters of Israeli practices in the West Bank. I think the example of the IDF article is an instructive one: no criticism in the lead. Factual intros are better than recitations of opposing polemics. Palmiro | Talk 01:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Not only is NGO Monitor being heavily relied on as a source, which is poor, but the citations given are inadequate. They ask the reader to "see linked articles", which is not at all clear. What linked articles? The ones linked at the end of the entry on Machsom Watch? Only one of these is at all relevant and it does not support most of the claims it is cited in favour of (the only one it does support is the one on "false accusations", and even then this is not very accurate picture of NGOM's claims). And if this article, why is it not cited directly, and if not this article, what articles (article or articles, by the way) are in question? Palmiro | Talk 15:26, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


(copied from Zero's and SV's talk pages)

The introductory section of articles is supposed to introduce and define the topic of the article. Machsom Watch is not defined by the attacks that have been made on it. Please look at other articles on organizations and you will see that their leading sections do not include quoted criticism from others. I'm very surprised that you are taking this position contrary to normal practice and contrary to the obvious requirements of good article structure. Perhaps you will go to IDF and quote Machsom Watch in the first paragraph? I feel very strongly about this and am prepared to go to the wall on it. --Zero 00:16, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Just about every intro I write contains criticism of the person or group, assuming there has been substantive criticism from reputable sources. Machsom Watch is not defined for you by the criticism that's made of it, but it is so defined by others. The point is to make sure that the criticism is not trivial, and that it comes from a good source. I added the criticism from the NGO Monitor. Zeq added the statement from the IDF chief, which personally I would leave out of the intro, so I don't know whether you're objecting to one or both. You'll have to show me where it says it's "normal practice" to leave criticism out of an intro. Intros should provide an overview of what's to come. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:29, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
So you will support me to add criticism from, say, Amnesty International and the EU to the introductory section of IDF? When we are done with that, we can go to Israel and put in a nice quotation from Hamas right at the top. This is going to be fun, don't you think? --Zero 00:36, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
The criticism has to be from reputable organizations. Inserting criticism from Hamas into the intro of Israel would be like inserting an opinion from Stormfront into Jew. Here's what Wikipedia says about intros:
  • Wikipedia:The perfect article: " ... begins with a definition and clear description of the subject; the lead section introduces and explains the subject and its significance clearly and accurately, without going into excess detail."
  • Wikipedia:Lead section: "The lead should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own as a concise version of the article." SlimVirgin (talk) 00:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Amnesty and the EU are very reputable sources. Hamas, whether you like them or not, is the elected representative of the Palestinian residents of the OT. But that is not the point. There would be fierce opposition to quoting any criticism right at the top of those articles and I would also oppose it. If you would oppose it, you are being inconsistent. --Zero 00:51, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
You can't compare Israel and the IDF with Hamas. Regardless of your personal feelings about the first two, they're reognized throughout the world as being a legitimate state and its armed forces. Hamas on the other hand is widely viewed as a highly controversial terrorist organization, and because of that, there is criticism in the intro. It would be utterly bizarre if there weren't. Saying in their defense that they're the elected representatives of the Palestinian people would be like defending the Nazis just because they were elected by the German people. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:00, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
You didn't address the issue. I am not opposed to quoting the IDF position on Machsom Watch. They should be quoted. I'm opposed to quoting them in the introduction. This is being done by Zeq et al purely because they want this article to be not about Machsom Watch, but to be a critique of Machsom Watch. This is POV-pushing and has to be opposed. --Zero 01:09, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I am addressing the issue. I'm talking about the lead. The article (and intro) isn't about Machsom Watch's view of Machsom Watch, or the IDF's view of Machsom Watch, but both, and other credible sources' views too. We don't allow organizations to self-describe where the descriptions differs from that of reputable published sources. See WP:V and WP:RS. And the lead is meant to sum up the important points of the whole article, criticism and all. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:15, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
An actual quotation from the IDF is not "summary", nor "concise" and is in fact "excessive detail" for the introduction, so both the sections of guidelines you quoted imply that it does not belong in the introduction. It is also not a disagreement on the nature of Machsom Watch, but a disagreement with Machsom Watch on the nature of the checkpoints. The other "quotation" being put in the introduction is from the activist organization NGO-Monitor, who are not significant enough to be quoted in the introduction (I would say not significant enough to be quoted at all). Btw, an organization in some ways opposite to Machsom Watch is Women in Green. Comparing that article to this one is quite instructive in several ways. --Zero 01:36
I am a bit mystified by the precise meaning in relation to this article of your comment that "we don't allow organizations to self-describe where the descriptions differs from that of reputable published sources". What are the other reputable published sources in this case, and how does their description of Machsom Watch's basic activities differ from its own? Palmiro | Talk 01:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I was stating that as our policy. In relation to this article, it means that if Machsom Watch says of itself: "We are a wonderful group of really nice women," and another reputable published source says: "They are in fact a bunch of troublemakers," we don't publish the first without publishing the second too. A published source could be the IDF being quoted by a reputable newspaper. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:39, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
As I said, the IDF quotation being put in the introduction is not at all expressing a disagreement on the nature of Machsom Watch. It expresses a disagreement over the nature of the checkpoints, which is the topic of several other articles. So as well as being too much detail for the introduction it is marginal for the article. It isn't even much of a disagreement. In fact most MW women would agree with the statement that stopping suicide bombers is a humanitarian act; what they disagree with is the way this is accomplished and the effect those procedures have on innocent people. --Zero 01:53, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
The quote from IDF express disagreement on the core issue of human rights. We can not describe watch (using words from their own web site or from any other source) in a way that create a POV impression about human rights. We must NPOV that impression, there is no bettr way to do than with the rsponse they got. The issue is not "To quote IDF or not quote IDF". I would be very happy if the answer to watch will be given by the UN but they did not respond. So we only have IDF as a source.
I am glad we got so far in this debate. It is a clear example of the bias some editors are trying to push throughout wikipedia. The refusal to participate in the mediation is yet unclear to me because he mediation was offered on this very issue: NPOV.
NPOV has to be kept on all issues . The narrow view prsented by zero - that in this artucle we will keep NPOV to the article subject only but can be POV about other issues such as human rights - is not according to policy .
NPOV must mean that the introduction is NPOV.
The introduction must be NPOV about any and all subjects (not limited to views and counter views of mchasom watch modus operndy). The broader aspets which come out of their acttions, goals etc..must be dealt with in an NPOV manner - in every sentense, in every paragraph.
Zeq 05:24, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
However, this is not an article on human rights so your argument does not apply. --Zero 05:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Your answer capture the essence of our discussion:
My argument is that NPOV in wikipedia must apply everywhere, on every subject .
You can not use an article about a "humaright right" organization who monitor the IDF actions just to decribe the organization itself in an NPOV manner while using it (in a subtale way) to accept the organization POV about the IDF and as a result present the Israel's actions in an unblanced in wikipedia. Zeq 05:54, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

This is utterly bizarre. The intro must be NPOV. Zero has decided that, by definition, criticism constitutes "too much detail," which is nonsense. I agree that we should discuss whose criticism to use, whether the IDF's or the NGO Monitor's, or someone else's. But the idea that there should be no criticism at all in the intro, when there is criticism readily available from reputable sources, is contrary to the NPOV policy and to all the guidelines about how to write a good lead section. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:58, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the intro as it is now is very good. It does not directly quote the IDF Chief of Staff, but summarizes the IDF's accusations and provides sources. You also cannot say that it's too detailed or takes too much space, because it's only 2 lines even compared to MW's stated aims, which is a 3-clause list, making it also grab more attention than the criticism. Good job SlimVirgin. I hope Zero doesn't revert this. On a site note, I too am baffled about why Zero doesn't agree to the RFM. If he is indeed enforcing Wikipedia policy, he should win the RFM, otherwise he should admit he is wrong. Avoiding the RFM is strange. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 09:21, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Ynhockey. Credit due to El C who was the first to summarize the criticism. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Reverets by Zero

The revrts by zero are getting disruptive. there was nothing in talk to justify the last revert[5]. Zero is engaging in edit war. I will not participate in the edit war. For the last time, I ask Zero to participate in Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation#Machsom_Watch. (The issue is now clear: NPOV or not NPOV ?) Zeq 06:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Zero, you seem to have reverted fives times in the last 24 hours. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:53, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternative version

I've put up my version for consideration. It balances the criticism with some praise and adopts the new format for references. Please feel free to amend it as appropriate. --Ian Pitchford 10:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Ian, there seems to be agreement above for the intro you reverted, which is a compromise between no criticism and the more extensive criticism in the previous version. Would you mind restoring it, please? SlimVirgin (talk) 10:22, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it took us a while to agree on a lead that had NPOV, the new version is not as good because it doesn't mention any criticism in the lead. Also, Reactions from the IDF and others section is just an unorganized combination of parts of the old Criticism section and the overview. However, I do like the transformation to the new references format (I've done that in some articles, it's better than sticking external links everywhere). -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 10:31, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
What is now missing is the NPOV of the issue of Human Rights. The organization present itself as Human rights and against the exisrence of checkpoint.
While the behaviour of soldiers in the checkpoints indeed need to be fixed, the actual existence of the checkpoints ids to protect human Rights of Israelis (to prevent suicide bombers from reaching israel) - this secind part is not in the 1st paragrph reverted by Zero, Ian and Palmiro) and need to be added again. Zeq 11:23, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see this agreement for the current version. Both I and Zero0000 have disagreed strongly. Palmiro | Talk 18:15, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

We now have two counter-arguments sections

It does not make sense to have them both. This is getting ridiculus. Article sections should be NPOV and written well without duplication.

It is kind of a POV fork in the article itself: Zero gets the 1st paragrph to be as he wants it and in return we get two sections of counter-reactions. I do not accept this kind of solution .

The 1st paragrph need to be as short as possible and NPOV. The best way to do it is with the qoute from the IDF about why the checkpoints are need from a human rights perspective. Zeq 11:39, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

It is getting more ridiculus: Zeq 13:53, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I just reverted that edit, honestly I don't know what Ian Pitchford was trying to do. But Israel Defense Forces checkpoint might be an appropriate place for that sort of criticism. P.S. The Guardian should probably not be used as a reliable news source, even if you intend to edit that other article. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 14:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
There is no reason that the Guardian should not be used as a reliable news source, and Linda Grant (the author inter alia of When I Lived in Modern Times) is hardly hostile to Israel, to put it mildly. Palmiro | Talk 14:43, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem is lack of NPOV (there is no problem using Guardian as souce as long as we keep the intro NPOV) Zeq 15:21, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
All - Please check carefully that sources added to this article do support the claims made. --Ian Pitchford 17:11, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Palmiro, why did you bring back the change without discussing, especially than two users were opposed to it? Also, just for the record, I wasn't opposed to it because of The Guardian (that was just a side note), but because someone's opinions on checkpoints in general are completely irrelevant to this article (unless this someone is MW, which it isn't in your edit). -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 17:22, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Which edit of mine are you referring to? Palmiro | Talk 17:36, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Moving to left The one that Zeq linked to at the top of this section. Also, I mistakenly said that the quote is irrelevant to the article, which it isn't (Zeq pointed this out), what I meant was that it was irrelevant to the lead section. (You can see in the edit summary of my revert.) -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 18:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

That edit was made by Ian, not by me. Palmiro | Talk 18:54, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, sorry. I need to stay off editing Wikipedia today :( have been sick for a few days now, hopefully I haven't made any mistakes which I didn't notice, other than on this talk page (made quite a few). -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 20:47, 11 March 2006 (UTC)


as of this version [6] we still have two sections of counter-argument against the group (not sure why the IDF is "singld out" for a seprate section.

We also now have "prais" in the lead.

I suggest we shortenm the lead insteda of making it long.

IMHO the only description that should be in the lead is:

  • what is the group
  • what do they want (checkpoints removed and until then that palestinian humn rights honored
  • positive contribution so far and...
  • IDF respponse why the checkpoints existense protect human rights of Israelis - i.e. Mchsom watch does not have monopoly on human rights

all the critism , praise etc should be off the lead. We should make the lead to stand on it's own.

Zeq 18:33, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure exactly how this would work. Could you try and draw up a lead along these lines and post it here on the talk page so we can discuss it? Palmiro | Talk 18:37, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

sure, I'll do that. why don't everybody stp editing for a while ? Zeq 18:40, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Your proposed lead is basically what we had before Palmiro's edit (the one you linked to in the previous section). Maybe it's better to analyze that lead and either agree on it or suggest improvements? The lead was:

Machsom Watch is a human rights organization composed exclusively of Israeli women. The word machsom is Hebrew for "checkpoint", in reference to Israel Defense Forces checkpoints in the West Bank and between the West Bank and Israel. The group also calls itself "Women for Human Rights".

The group's stated aims, according to its website, are to:

  • monitor the behavior of soldiers and police at checkpoints;
  • ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected;
  • record and report the results of their observations to the widest possible audience, from the decision-making level to that of the general public. [7]

Some members of the group see their role as protesting against the existence of the checkpoints. [8] [9]

Machsom Watch has been criticized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and by several non-governmental organizations and individuals for allegedly disrupting the operation of checkpoints, showing hostility toward the soldiers, and making false accusations against them. [10] [11]

Other than not using the new reference format, I think this lead is by far the best we've had so far. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 18:45, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I still don't see why this article should include criticism in the lead when other articles, such as the one on the IDF itself, don't. And I think in this instance that the criticism in question, coming from an organisation whose abuses the group in question exists to document and prevent, is so predictable as to be of doubtful merit for inclusion in the lead even if such criticism was normaly included in our lead paragraphs. Thirdly, adding only negative reaction to the group is unbalanced. Finally, I personally think Zeq's version below is in a way more interesting, as it addresses a very fundamental point about the group's purpose. Palmiro | Talk 19:10, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the article on NGO Monitor, an organization of a similar stature to MW, includes criticism in the lead. Gush Shalom also mentions criticism in passing (the article is small too, it basically only includes GS's stated aims). However, it is of little use comparing MW to the IDF because they are completely different organizations. Not only is the IDF much larger and more influential, it also deals with a myriad of issues, while MW deals with just one, meaning criticisms of this one thing they do is the same as criticism about all of MW's actions. IMO, the criteria for inclusion of criticisms in the lead should be as follows (sketchy outline):
  • The source (of the criticism) should be at least as influential and have the same (or higher) worldwide importance than the article's subject.
  • The source should directly deal with the article's subject, and must be one of the few, if not the only, source that the article's subject deals with.
  • There should be many organizations supporting this source's criticism, preferrably important organizations.
  • The source should not only have a certain degree of importance, but also have a reputation for moderate criticism (when it criticizes an organization). This means that, for instance, Iranian president Ahmadeenjad, should not be quoted saying 'Israel is a cancer that should be wiped off the map'. This basically applies to the reputable and balanced sources policy by which sources like Arutz 7 are not allowed.
Maybe I forgot a few, but these are basically the guidelines by which, I think, the IDF has the right to criticize MW in the lead section, while the opposite cannot be said.
-- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 20:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
The artcle on NGO Monitor doesn;t mention any criticism in the lead as far as I can see. Neither does the one on the Klu Klux Klan, listed above by Pecher as an example of such criticism being included. In other words, including criticism seems exceedingly rare, if most of the examples we are being presenetd with turn out to be examples of the opposite. I don't think criticism should be included in lead paragraphs in general, but where it is necessary your suggested principles seem like good ones. But, on the basis of these very suggested principles, 1. criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International should indeed be appearing in the lead, though not from Machsom Watch, 2. criticism shouldn't be included in the lead for this article, as there don't seem to be "many organizations" and certainly not important ones, supporting the IDF criticism. Palmiro | Talk 20:15, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Just checked NGO Monitor again and it seems JayJG removed the criticism yesterday (maybe they agreed on it, I haven't read the discussion). This could be a good precedent, although personally I think it would be more appropriate to have a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Guide to writing better articles/Lead section and attract more editors to agree on whether criticism should be included in lead sections at all, and if so, what criteria should be followed.
On another note, MW has certainly been criticized by many organizations (practically every right-wing organization in Israel), including NGO Monitor which is pretty important (again, compared to MW itself), Women in Green (the 'archrival' of MW, so you could say), and from what I remember the Yesha Council, which are all fairly important in the scope we're talking about. As I said, the organizations which criticize should all be measured against the article's subject, otherwise we could have tiny organizations with no criticism only because larger bodies don't have time to waste on them, or huge organizations with a library of criticism because every upstart trying to get noticed slams it.
-- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 20:37, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Nothing I disagree with there. I take your point about the organizations that have criticised Machsom watch. Palmiro | Talk 11:52, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Since Machsom Watch is fairly well known, it is likely that every single right-wing organization in Israel and many of those in the USA and Europe have said bad things about them. That doesn't mean we have to quote them all, especially if their comments are more or less the same as the others. We should only quote a few representative examples. Same with praise. (Maybe that means I agree with Ynhockey; actually I'm not sure.) --Zero 12:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

European parliament quote

The following paragraoh has been inserted into the article:

In December, 2005 the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Israel found that 'The goals of the group are to monitor the behaviour of soldiers, to ensure that the human rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected, and to report back. It can thus be said that, today, there is much less physical violence than before, but verbal and behavioural violence has increased'

This quote conveys no new information to the reader, as the statement essentially repeats the stated goals of MW, which are given in the intro to the article. It does not follow directly from the quote that physical violence declined thanks to MW's efforts. If one reads the entire section of the report titled "8. Machsom Watch - women for human rights", one can see that the section contains lots of extraneous information unrelated directly Machsom Watch, but concerning checkpoints in general: for example, the sentence "The worst situation is in Hebron, where the presence of a 500 especially violent settlers has resulted in the city being divided in areas H1 and H2, something which makes impossible the daily life of 65,000 Arabs." or a statement that "[i]n 2004, 53 babies were actually born at checkpoints". None of this has anything to do with MW, so I have removed the paragraph. Pecher Talk 18:34, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Looking carefully through the report, it appears that it generally consists of summaries of the views of the EU delegation's interlocutors, and that this quote is more likely to represent the views expressed by Machsom Watch members to the delegation than any conclusion the delegation itself came to, so I think you were right to take it out. Palmiro | Talk 18:51, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Suggested lead section

Machsom Watch is a human rights organization composed exclusively of Israeli women.

The word machsom is Hebrew for "checkpoint", in reference to Israel Defense Forces checkpoints inside the West Bank and along entry points from the West Bank into Israel. The group also calls itself "Women for Human Rights".

According to its website[[12] ], the group's aims are to:

  • monitor the behavior of soldiers at checkpoints;
  • ensure the human rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel via checkpoints;
  • report their observations to wide audience: from the decision-making level to the general public.

Most members of the group see their role as protesting against the existence of the checkpoints. [13] [14]

The women presence in checkpoints had a positive effect of reducing phisical violence in the checkpoints and caused security forces to act with more restrain[15].

Machsom Watch has been criticized by the Israel Defense Forces in disrputing the operation of checkpoints, hostility toward the troops and legedly makng false accusations. During a two-hour meeting with members of the group in March 2006, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the women that: "Humanitarianism is not exclusively owned by Machsom Watch and it is tested not only at the checkpoints, but also in preventing suicide bombers from reaching the markets of Tel Aviv and Netanya." [16]
It's actually pretty good, but I still think there should be no direct quotes in the lead section, instead there should be reported speech. By the way, double new lines don't work within blockquote, you might want to add line breaks. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 20:04, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm fairly neutral about this. It's more balanced than the other "with-criticism" version but it doesn't read very well, and really confirms me in my opinion that this sort of disputation does not belong in the lead. Palmiro | Talk 20:20, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry but I don't understand last comment. please be specific what's wrong.Zeq 20:31, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I just don't think it flows very well; it introduces very specific material into what should be a general overview. It's more a stylistic question. Palmiro | Talk 20:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Style prefernces are individual but i am sure my style can be improved. What i tried to do is to summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own (as a concise version of the article itself) Zeq 20:57, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

The Irish Times quote

The article now contains the following sentence sourced to The Irish Times: "The Israeli army claims that it has listened to Machsom Watch and is 'implementing training programmes to enable soldiers to carry out their work in the 'most moral and respectful way possible'." It is by no means self-evident that the statement from the IDF actually says that the programs were implemented in response to MW's criticism, so I am asking the editor who inserted the quote to provide a fuller quote from The Irish Times's article. It would also be great to have the exact quote of the IDF's statement so that we could ascertain that it was not quoted out of context. To me, the reference to training programs sounds like a routine response to criticism, not a change adopted under pressure. Pecher Talk 19:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Just FYI (based on my OR - this is not for the article): The IDF has indeed did this as result of watch critism. Zeq 20:07, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

NGO Monitor

Organizations, groups, etc. are not commonly called by the name of the person we imagine to head them, for any number of reasons. To begin with, the groups have proper names; if we thought it should always be called "Dore Gold's organization NGO Monitor" then we should change the name of the article to Dore Gold's organization NGO Monitor. Second, while Dore Gold, as the current head of the JCPA, is also the publisher of NGO Monitor, the actual editor of NGO Monitor is Gerald Steinberg. Third, Dore Gold could move on to another job next week, and we can't be going around updating all the articles to now call it "Moshe Stern's organization NGO Monitor". Fourth, you wouldn't describe other organizations this way; for example, you wouldn't describe Machshom Watch as "Ronnee Jaeger's organization Machshom Watch", or Amnesty International as "Irene Khan's organization Amnesty International". Jayjg (talk) 03:25, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. --Zero 04:25, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Truncated edit summary

Often my edits are uploaded suddenly when I'm still typing the edit summary. Does that happen to anyone else? The "arbeit macht frei" graffiti written on one of the "Hope of us all" signs was claimed by the group "Jews against Genocide" that has nothing to do with Machsom Watch. Quoting MW's denial without noting that the denial was proved correct is very naughty. If this incident is in the article at all (I vote "no") it should be reported honestly: as a malicious slander against MW that was refuted. --Zero 04:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

It isn't "very naughty" unless the person who entered that info is privy to that, right? Right. El_C 04:38, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
So instead of adding that, you removed the whole thing? What were you thinking? El_C 04:40, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
In other words, please explain why you "vote no" and why you failed to assume good faith. El_C 04:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
  • fact: The idea that the sign "hope for us all" that wa splaced by the IDF on the new checkpoint terminal building (it is like a gigentic border crossing more than a checkpoint) is better be replaced by "arbit macht fry" was raised by Machsom watch.
  • fact2: The women who took responsibility for the act, were visiting the checkpoint with Machsom watch women. Zeq 04:48, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It's a terminal. But, so what? That dosen't mean anything. El_C 04:50, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Zero, if you have material to add, do so, but PLEASE stop deleting other people's work if it's written properly. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:53, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


PLEASE stop reverting. The intro must have some criticism in it, no matter how brief. People who are reverting are not taking care to ensure that the material is not repeated elsewhere in the text, or that it flows correctly. Others are slapping in quotes from British newspapers without correct the spelling or the punctuation so it's consistent with the rest of the text. There were also sentences ending with a comma, and the material from the Guardian is arguably original research because this article isn't about whether the checkpoints should exist. Also, could I request that the references are not placed in the middle of sentences; it's hard enough to read for flow with them at the end. Please can we try to pay some attention to the writing? SlimVirgin (talk) 04:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately this always happens with highly disputed articles. I made a bunch of edits to Israeli Arab to make the article much more coherent, which sparked a huge debate (not unlike the one we're engaged in now), and in turn returned the article to its previous poor writing style and coherence. I have not yet thought of a way to combat this, although we could protect the page and agree on a final version to use, then unprotect and implement this version. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 04:57, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Here you go, look [17] El C, you moved a chunk out of the intro and slapped it in history, when some of it is critcism and needs to go in that section, and some of it elsewhere. You can't just move chunks around without re-reading the page. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Please do not bloat the lead. It's poor form. Please find a way to condense the lead in relation to other setions. That's all I ask. El_C 05:02, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
When it was condensed to one sentence, Zero deleted that too. Why don't you condense instead of deleting? Why does Zero delete the grafitti section instead of explaining? Why delete, delete, delete? SlimVirgin (talk) 05:05, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:Lead section: "The lead should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own as a concise version of the article." SlimVirgin (talk) 05:07, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I tried reading it, but found it too boring. I really dislike articles where the lead is that lengthy in relation to other sections. The manual of style cannot revert me, nor can it ask me to stop reverting. It is totally powerless! El_C 05:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It's now really short, 5 sentences. Jayjg (talk) 05:29, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Jay has managed to clean up the mess (thank you); the intro is properly written with just one sentence of criticism, and the flow is restored. I'm asking everyone please to leave it be now and make suggestions for change on the talk page instead of reverting. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:32, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
"Credit due to El C who was the first to summarize the criticism." That was fleeting, and I only read it now. :( El_C 05:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we had it sorted out last night, thanks to your summary. Then when I got back on this evening, it had gone again, probably thanks to Zero. So I reverted to the nearest version of the intro-with-criticism that I found; not because I wanted that version, but because I felt uncomfortable about reverting very far back. I actually prefer the shorter criticism. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
But it only offers criticisms of the group, whereas before it had a sentence commending it. This sentence was 1/4 the size of the sentence critcizing the group. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. El_C 05:48, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with you adding a sourced sentence commending MW as well. Jayjg (talk) 06:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't really believe in sourcing things. I'll just assume someone praised it, somewhere. :) El_C 06:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

To slimVirgin

You wrote "The intro MUST have some criticism".

No, the lead should be 100% NPOV (not 50% NPOV, not 95%). It should have the correct amount of balance to balance any POV that is expressed (even by hint) in it. Why ?

Because it is policy that the lead "should stand on it's own".

The lead should be treated as a "mini article".

Any article, (including the lead) should be NPOV (100% NPOV).

This is why it is important to explain that exitense of the checkpoints is also a human rights issue (protecting lifes of Israelis from terror). I don't care if we do it in our words but the quote from halutz is accurate and concise about this very issue:

"Humanitarianism is not exclusively owned by Machsom Watch and it is tested not only at the checkpoints, but also in preventing suicide bombers from reaching the markets of Tel Aviv and Netanya."


The women positive contribution in changing the situation in checkpoints is worth being in the lead.

Zeq 04:55, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

The lead needs to be much more concise in relation to other sections. If editors are unable to condense it accordingly, it will have no criticisms. It's that simple. El_C 04:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Then condense, but please don't remove it all. The condensed version kept getting deleted too. Why are some editors determined to defend this organization rather than just report what the published sources are saying? SlimVirgin (talk) 05:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Zeq is correct. The lead is meant to be a mini-article. It is supposed to be able to stand on its own as a summary of what's to follow. I've posted links above to the Wikipedia pages about how to write intros. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Zeq may or may not be correct, but thankfuly he cannot revert, or I'll ban him from this article under some pretext or another! And I do have some experience in writing intros, the overwhelming majority of my intros to tens of country articles remains the consensus ones, and these are rather more singificant than this article, but I want someone else to do work with this one. El_C 05:14, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
You're defending the way this article is written? It's badly written, and you're not helping. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:21, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't recall defending anything, actually. Yes, I am helping! Everyone agrees, even you (except above). El_C 06:34, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
To "El C": Go ahead and ban me. if you have good reason. So far, any article I touched in wikipedia ended up slightly more NPOV than it was before i started. I know it makes the POV pushers mad so go ahead and ban me. Zeq 05:19, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Zeq, most articles you edit also descend into edit wars, and little (if any) of your contributions remain in the final product regardless of whether or not you think they improve. Maybe you should think about that. Jayjg (talk) 05:23, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I certainly will try make it appear to be a good reason! Your claim about npov is rather debtable, though, I think. El_C 05:25, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Jay, I agree. This is because Wikipedia is not balanced as far as Israeli-palestine articles. Maybe instead of accsuing me you should find a way to balance these articles. Frankly, If I was doing what Zero did in this article I would be banned. The problem in wikipedia is the lack of equality that allow people like Zero to openly engage in edit war knowing the other side would be blamed.
Please don't ignore the simple fact that it takes two sides to have an edit war.
In this article I did what ArbCom asked me and Zero to do: Dispute resolution. I filled for RFM. Where did this RFM get us so far ? NIL Zeq 05:28, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe you failed to propperly format it. El_C 05:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Not true. it is now properly formated. Zeq 10:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
The only remaining problem is that zero refuse to participate. He still can . Zeq 11:00, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

How to write a lead

Wikipedia: Lead section: "The lead should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own as a concise version of the article." SlimVirgin (talk) 05:08, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

This is a farce. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:14, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Now, now. I'm sure it's not that boring; cut the MoS some slack. El_C 05:15, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I've added one small sentence to the lead of criticism; it's very short, and should be good enough. Zeq, please avoid editing the lead, or, really, any other parts of the article either. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 05:17, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


Please read the note to slim above. Your edits are not "enough" in NPOVing this article lead. Zeq 05:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Zeq, it appears to be difficult enough to get even one critical sentence in the lead; please stop attempting to introduce many more such sentences. And, as I said above, please stop trying to make any other edits as well. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 05:27, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
What is a farce is that my reduction of the lead yesterday was gone and we were back to a lengthy lead with two seemingly inseprable passages. Zero's unexplained deletionism and assumption of bad faith (totally unacceptable, and I expect a response to that), SlimVirgin's pleas of not to revert while she reverts. Can someone please explain to me what is going on here? El_C 05:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what has gone on here, but the lead is now 5 sentences; is that "lengthy"? Jayjg (talk) 05:27, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's only involves criticisms of the group, not criticism in favour of it. El_C 05:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't care how much criticism is in the intro, or whose it is. It can be Zeq's IDF quote, or the NGO monitor, or what's there now, but there must be some. When I edit, I'm trying to improve the writing and the flow throughout the article, which is still pretty bad after my edits because the information has been inserted piecemeal, but better at least than before I edited, which is why I'd be grateful if the edits weren't reverted. Please improve what I write. Don't just delete it. Zeq, I also ask you please to stop changing the intro. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:25, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Whereas I care, I care about the length. Maybe we need a carebear to help turn the lack of caring into caring, somehow? I'm fine with only touching on it being controversial and directing the reader elsehwere in the article if the lead is going to be that sizable. I've already condensed it once, why do I have to do it again today? That some needed to be more brief, just reinserting it in its entirety was unhelpful. I havne't deleted a single thing in this article, I only added material (which was nonetheless deleted). El_C 05:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
OK. I don't care who edit the intro or who's qouote we use, or even no quote at all. However, the fact that the existence of checkpoints is for human rights must be clear from intro. This is an NPOV issue. Zeq 05:35, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
At most, for the benefit of the reader, you could have a brief section saying: There are X number of checkpoints stretching along Y miles of terrain in the areas known as A, B, and C. Their existence is controversial. Followed by a pro-checkpoint position and an anti-one, both sourced. But bear in mind that the article is not about the checkpoints. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:49, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
My response to El_C: In my opinion Zeq should be banned for causing multiple edit wars including this one. Since I openly expressed that opinion to the Arbitration Committee it would be odd to deny it here. I do not assume bad faith on the part of anyone else here. As for "unexplained deletionism", I don't believe I have deleted anything at all without explaining it. As to what to do about this article, Jayjg is showing his usual good sense and we should start with his idea for the introduction and discuss further changes before making them in the article. --Zero 05:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
That dosen't respond to the "very naughty" bit at all. El_C 05:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh, now I see why you were angry at me. You were right to be. I thought Zeq had added that since I forgot you read Hebrew, and I didn't see your comments above until this moment. I should have checked. Given as you are one of the W/P editors I have the most respect for, I would never suspect you of playing the game that I thought someone else was playing. I apologize unreservedly. --Zero 06:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
As I said on my talk page. Apology accepted. I now understand. Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. El_C 06:19, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I support discussions. This article has an RFM about it and it make sense to resolve it there. Zeq 05:40, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Seemingly all articles you are involved with have an RfM with you, Zeq. Medcom's tasks seem to largely consist of disputes involving yourself. El_C 05:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

El C, now you don't even say what the group is. Just that they exist and have been criticized. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:02, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm fine with El C adding praise as well, but I think the description of what they do should be restored. Jayjg (talk) 06:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Sure, but not at such length with the quoting and so on. Hepedia says:

מטרתן המוצהרת היא לשמור על זכויות האדם של הפלסטינים העוברים במחסומים

Their expressed mission is to ensure the human rights of Palestinians who pass through the checkpoints [barriers].

Brief and to the point, I tried to cover that just now. El_C 06:09, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what the Hebrew Wikipedia says. You've deleted the group's own words about itself, which it's quite normal to have in an intro, and you've made the intro shorter than is standard, after Jay had cleaned it up, and after Zero (who would prefer no criticism) had agreed, which meant we had consensus. That isn't helpful. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:18, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Snuh? I did not delete it. Again, I havne't deleted a single thing in this article, I only added material. El_C 06:21, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, my intro is better, everyone agrees, including yourself. No, no need to thank me. :) El_C 06:23, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


When I stopped editing last night, the intro had settled to more or less what it was before El C's latest revert: a good description of the group in its own words, balanced by one sentence of general, sourced criticism. Then others added more praise, which caused it to become unbalanced again, but at least the criticism was still there. When I got back on tonight, I saw the criticism had gone again, and I assumed Zero had removed it. Now that I check, I see it was in fact Zeq who removed it. [18] But Zeq wants criticism in the intro, so can you say, Zeq, what your intention was in removing it? This is the second time you've done it. The first time you said it was a mistake.

My apologies to Zero for assuming it was him. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:15, 12 March 2006 (UTC) No problems, Slim, we are all getting too stressed around here. --Zero 10:23, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


My intention was to avoid edit wars so I broke down to two steps:

  • 1st step: To have in the intro the undisputed parts (no edit wars). Shorten tham as much as possible.
  • 2nd step: To add the Balancing POV. To that end I made this suggestion: Talk:Machsom_Watch#suggestion

I appologize if this was not clear. In anycase, there is an RFM about this very issue and I hope it will go through with everyone participation. Zeq 06:31, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

If we're going to have criticism in the intro (which I don't find hugely pressing), it cannot be one-sided. Let's refocus on that dimension before making statements on what is or is not clean and otherwise propper. El_C 06:28, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with El-C. I am not sure it is important to have critism, especialy one sided in the intro. The group got both critism and praise. Zeq 06:31, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It wasn't one-sided. We had (a) a description of the group in its own words, followed by (b) a sentence describing and linking to criticism of it. Perfectly balanced. You then removed the group's self-description and now you're saying it's unbalanced. Go figure. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:32, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It was too lengthy. El_C 06:35, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
What? El_C 07:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I did not remove the group self description (I think it was El- C).
In this edit [19] the praise (which the group rightly desreve) was added to the lead, along with what is needed to NPOV about the actual contribution of the checkpoints thenmself to human rights of Israelis. Some (but not all) of these checkpoints are the last gateway between the west bank and Israel. A terrorist that pass them will explode in an Israeli mall. We can not ignore that. Zeq 06:37, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I still don't get it. What's with having the group describe themsleves in their own words? Why is that so essential to be in the lead? I agree with the Hebrew Wikipedia's approach of only providing a summary of its aim and composition. That self-description was too lengty for the lead. That IDF passage (which Jay shortened) was also too lengthy. And let's try to refrain from undue exclamations, figurable and otherwise. El_C 06:42, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew Wikipedia approch is indeed better. Many articles there are by far more NPOV than the english one. Most Hebrew wikipedia editors have left nglish Wikipedia cause they could not stand the constant edit war. The straw that broke one highly praised ontributor was when Zero added a propeganda site to the jaffa article claiming it to be the "official city web site" . I always wondered what such edits have to do with an article about a municipal place: [20]. In Hebrew Wikipedia this would never occur. Zeq 06:52, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
What, we're supposed to guess who it was? The RfMing is that-a-way, in any case. El_C 06:57, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
This is not the Hebrew Wikipedia. The guidelines here say that a lead section should stand as a brief summary of the article as a whole, and should be capable of standing alone, which is how most journalists write stories too, and for good reason. It is accepted that groups are allowed to self-describe in intros so long as that self-description is balanced by criticism, if any exists, from a reputable source. I'm asking that we stick to these guidelines. SlimVirgin (talk) 07:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Look, if you dislike my lead that's there right now, restore the old one. I hereby withdraw from the article. At the very least, I'm confident it will prove to be an effective method for guaging on how others view it. El_C 07:07, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Boo, your lead sucks! El_C 08:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, you neglected to retain my wikilink of Hebrew language. If you have a Hebrew dictionary, look up "מחסום". Oh, and you may wish to add that "Women for human rights" is the official name. El_C 08:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
What on earth is going on here? Several people have expressed the view that the lead either should not contain criticism, or that positive and negative reaction to the organization should be balanced. Yet all we get in response is a repeated and unjustified diktat that "the lead must include criticism". This is meant to be a collaborative process, not who-shouts-loudest-wins. Various editors have pointed out that other articles do not contain criticism in the lead. Also, I and Zero have both objected strenuously to the criticism relying on what is no more than a website set up by a pro-Israeli lobbying group for the sole purpose of criticising Palestinian and pro-peace/pro-human rights Israeli NGOs. I also note that neither of the sources seems to adequately support the contention made in the article, and one in fact focusses on the positive impact of the organization's work, something which is not reflected in the article. Palmiro | Talk 12:08, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I reiterate these comments. If the lead section is to include outside appraisals of the group, it cannot include only the negative ones unless there is reason to believe that these are the predominant reactions to it. This clearly does not seem to be the case. Similarly, if we are to include negative comments derived from the IDF, it would be dishonest to do so and to exclude the positive reaction from the IDF (even if this reaction is self-serving and promotes an image of a caring, humanistic IDF which is somewhat removed from the experience of most Palestinians). If anyone is going to insist on the intro including only negative commentary, I would like to see them adequately answer these points first. Palmiro | Talk 16:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Describing what the group does

Just calling them "an organization...known for its opposition to the Israel Defense Forces checkpoints" doesn't describe them well enough, imo. They are not just a political pressure group, they actually go to the checkpoints every day and play a role there. I think this is the most important thing about them and we should make sure the introduction says that. Actually this was not terribly clear with the previous description either and I've been meaning to bring it up when (whiff of optimism there) things settled down. --Zero 07:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

My description of what they actually do (mostly personal knowledge, not for the article in this form): The women go to the checkpoints in groups of 2 or 3. Women in the group who are active usually spend one day or one afternoon per week doing this. All the checkpoints in the Jerusalem area are covered and also some a bit further away (but not those with Area A on both sides as the women can't legally go there). How they behave at the checkpoints varies between the women and according to the circumstances. Some women just stand around and watch, others try to get involved in whatever is going on. For example, if Palestinians are being detained they will ask the soldiers why they are detained and might (or might not, depending on the answer) argue with the soldiers about it. A very common thing (happens several times per day usually) is that the women will call an IDF superior officer on the phone and complain that the soldiers are not behaving properly. This works surprisingly often and the soldiers soon get an order from above to open another checking line, process someone who has been waiting a long time, or similar. Sometimes the women will call a different human-rights group if the problem is something (eg. legal or medical) that they can't handle. Another thing they do is to give advice to Palestinians on things like where to go to get various permits, how to write something in Hebrew, etc. Some of the soldiers are friendly to the women but most are not, and some are very hostile (calling them "whores" etc). Sometimes Palestinians are hostile to them as well (they are Israelis after all), but that is now unusual since word got around that they are 'ok'. The fact that the soldiers are about the same age as the womens' children makes for an interesting social dynamic that would make a good topic for a social studies PhD. --Zero

  • To everyuone great surprize (me included) Zero's description above is accurate. My personal expiriance in checkpoints (I work with the UN in the west bank) is large and this is indeed what takes place there. Zeq 08:26, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
  • BTW, The goal of "Machsom Watch": They are clearly (ask them) against the existense of the checkpoints.
I have asked them and it's more complicated than that. In the case of internal checkpoints (within the West Bank with Palestinian areas on both sides), you are right. In the case of checkpoints on the green line, they recognise the need for border security but detest the way it is implemented. If Palestinians were checked for weapons and explosives in an efficient and respectful manner (like entering a cinema in Israel), there would be no Machsom Watch. In practice, getting through a checkpoint can take hours and ultimately be unsuccessful for reasons that seem arbitrary. Adults can't get to work on time and students can't get to school on time. I saw a Palestinian ambulance with a road-accident victim on board turned back because the ambulance was not on some list, even through the driver and passenger had the right papers. If it was just a matter of security they could have checked the ambulance in a few minutes, but they didn't even open the back. The vehicle is not on our list, get lost. Meanwhile a Jewish ambulance came through without even stopping. Anyone who says that Machsom Watch is against security because they oppose checkpoints is distorting their opinion. Actually they oppose checkpoints in their current form because they don't believe security is their major function, indeed that the humiliation and anger caused by the checkpoints can only reduce security. They don't oppose border security in principle. Nevertheless, one should remember that Machsom Watch is an organization of women with several opinions each. They don't have the same views on everything and some are more extreme than others. --Zero 10:14, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It is even more complex. Kalandia is a checkpoint that control entry into Jerusalem. They are all united in their objection to it and BTW, so do I. As far as ambulances, after you will see wanted terrorists and explosives smuggled in ambulnaces (as I did in 2002) you will understand better. Zeq 10:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Kalandia is well outside Jerusalem and in addition it controls entry to East Jerusalem, just like Gilo, thereby preventing Palestinians from entering the major cultural, social economic and religious centre of the West Bank. I don't know whether or why the group objects to it, but if they do I surmise that might have something to do with it. Palmiro | Talk 12:12, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Kalandia is a checkpoint that control entry into Jerusalem. Hard to argue with facts.
I agree with you that "Kalania CP prevents Palestinians from entering the major cultural, social economic and religious centre of the West Bank" and this is why i too, like Machsom watch object that checkpoint. It also prevent suicide bombers from entring Jeruslam. I object them as well.Zeq 13:19, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually - wrong (and Zeq I told you this before in October). Qalandiya is between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Qalandiya checkpoint controls who enters and exits Ramallah, it does NOT screen those going to Jerusalem. There are another set of checkpoints for Jerusalem just down the road, including Al-Ram checkpoint and Hizma (which I hear is no longer allowed to admit Palestinians even if they do carry permits). Generally you have a checkpoint controlling entry/exit for city A, another checkpoint for the road between city A and city B, and then a third checkpoint controlling entry/exit for city B. Ramallite (talk) 21:45, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Need to add to intro - short

something along the lines of "Checkpoints, which Israel says are vital to stop suicide bombers flooding into its cities to terrorise civilian population." (this is a quote from BBC) Zeq 10:56, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Then we would need to add the opposite opinon and we'd have a mess. --Zero 11:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
No one said NPOV is easy.
Another option is to restore the IDF quote about "Checkpoints watch does not have monopoly on human rights, preveting suicide bomers is also humn rights" Zeq 11:05, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the POV against the cehckpoints and about their role in human rights of Palestinians is already there. The only thing missing is their role in protecting human rights and life of Israelis. This is the core issue at the RFM and you are again welcome to attent it. Zeq 11:07, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Additional Context

As the criticism in the article draws heavily on material from NGO Monitor it's worth noting that its parent organization, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is funded by the American junk bond fraudster Michael Milken who was convicted on 98 counts of insider trading that resulted in the misappropriation of billions of dollars of public sector funds. Milken also funded Justus Reid Weiner's notorious attack on Palestinian rights activist Edward Said. According to Gabbard and Saltman the Center is an extension of Milken's campaign to privatize public schooling in the US and "lobbies for privatization of Israel's economy and education system". (All of the above from p.6: Gabbard, David A. and Saltman, Kenneth J. (2003). Education As Enforcement: The Militarization and Corporatization of Schools. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415944899). --Ian Pitchford 11:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

That Ian, is what is called poisoning the well. Like saying George Bush recieved money from Enron and Keneth Lay so he is not allowed to be president. It is guilt by association to the extreme.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 03:07, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it is poisoning the well but this is the Talk page where the rules are laxer. I find the information interesting. It is instructive to realise how many of these "independent organizations" are actually branches of the same tree. --Zero 23:51, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Just because Milken gave money to the organization doesn't mean he controls it. Maybe it would if he was the only person that gave them money, but he isn't. And I misunderstood the intention, I thought he was advocating putting it in the article.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 00:26, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

No, it's not for the article, just a caution about the credibility of self-appointed guardians of ethical standards. Editors in Israel might also like to watch their pockets when these guys are around :-) --Ian Pitchford 11:03, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Guardian quote

The following sentence, including a quote from The Guardian has been inserted into the article:

According to Linda Grant of The Guardian, who toured Israeli checkpoints with members of Machsom Watch in 2003, the criticism of Machsom Watch is tempered by "a growing climate of opinion in Israel, including from a former Likud mayor of Tel Aviv, that the checkpoints only exist to harass the Palestinian population and are ineffective at stopping suicide bombers."

The original article does not say that the "climate of opinion in Israel" somehow "tempers" the criticism of Machsom Watch. The quote in question comes from a paragrpah that simply provides a background on what the author sees as changes in the Israeli public opinion, and the quote is entirely unrelated to the criticism of MW. Thus, I have removed the sentence in question. Pecher Talk 21:09, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Yossi Olmert

Apparently this Yossi Olmert we quote here is the brother of Acting Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. Just thought I'd share this discovery with you. --Zero 22:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there is any reason to suggest his view isn't applicable because his brother is acting prime minister. Once again that is poisoning the well (I know it is just the talk page, but still).- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 00:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually my intention was just to mention this out of interest. I wasn't planning to delete him. Anyway, he criticised MW so he's already poison ;-). --Zero 11:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Section heading

The "violin incident" is only a few lines of a long section, do we need it in the section heading? I propose "Criticism and praise" instead. --Zero 00:26, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that is necessary, it is almost 1/5 of the section, and people probalby believe that that incident best exemplify's their view that the organization is bias.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 00:38, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Double "doubt" word

" critisied by IDF for allegedly disrupting the operation of checkpoints"

They have been critised for "alegedly" the critism is about disruption.

Once we state the source (IDF) we should stick to what that source said and avoid the word alegedly. (is this what's called weasle word ?)

Removing this word would not mean we endorse the view of the IDF just that we quote their allegations as they see it. This is part of their POV and it is 100% NPOV to prsent both POV side by side. Zeq 05:18, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't like the word "allegedly" either, but your version might mislead some viewers. I suggest that both occurrences of "criticised for allegedly" be replaced by "accused of". --Zero 11:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


I just want to remind everyone that there is an RFM about this page. At the root of the issue s to add info which explain the environment in which these checkpoints exits and reasons for that. This is a POV that is missing. Zeq 07:41, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Guardian quote

Ian, this isn't an article about the checkpoints and what people in Israel think about them. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed it's not, but it is in part about how Machsom Watch's activities affect the functioning of checkpoints, which makes it important to represent the debate within Israel about their purpose and value, see below. --Ian Pitchford 22:30, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
The quote is not about Machsom Watch's activities. It's one journalist's opinion of how the checkpoints are viewed, citing no sources. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:35, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is that the article should focus on topics closely concerning Machsom Watch and avoid sliding off into related topics. For example, I would delete the links to both Weiss' and Levy's articles. They would fit in the article on checkpoints, which is barely developed yet. I didn't look at the bits of text under debate here. --Zero 00:29, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

The Irish Times and The Guardian

I have added to this article reference to a piece from the Irish Times in which the journalist explains, as part of her interview with Colonel Erez Weiner, the IDF`s operations director in the West Bank, that the army listens to Machsom Watch. This is an interesting and important observation published in a reliable publication. It belongs in the article.

Given that we have Yossi Olmert's viewpoint in the article that the group's "activists disrupt the work of soldiers at checkpoints who are trying, not always successfully, to prevent the entry of terrorists" it is reasonable to represent the scepticism in Israel about the value of checkpoints for security as expressed in Linda Grant's article on Machsom Watch. In Wikipedia we don't represent one side of an important debate.

I see no justification for Pecher's repeated deletion of this material, particularly as both publications are more reliable and have better quality control than many of the sources quoted and cited in the article, e.g., NGO Monitor, Arutz Sheva etc. --Ian Pitchford 22:30, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

This article isn't about how the checkpoints are viewed, so you're engaging in original research in trying to add that POV. As for the first quote, there's no need for it in the intro; you can place it elsewhere. The intro contains the group's view of itself, then one sentence of criticism, which isn't enough but which was agreed to as a compromise to stop the incessant reverting. If you add more material in favor of the group, more criticism will be needed, and we'll be off again. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:38, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Ian, because The Irish Times is subscription-only, I asked you to provide a full quote from the article saying that the IDF implemented trainings in reponse to Machsom Watch criticism. I gave you several days to do that and removed the quote in question after you failed to respond to my comment. Pecher Talk 08:50, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Ian's text includes a link to a copy of the article available for free. Did you not see that, or do you dispute it? The text there says "The army said it listens to Machsom Watch and is developing and implementing training programmes for to enable soldiers to carry out their work in the 'most moral and respectful way possible'." --Zero 11:03, 17 March 2006 (UTC) I also found it in a newspaper achive (Factiva; not free, sorry) and found that the copy has two minor typos. The original is: "The army says it listens to Machsom Watch and is developing and implementing training programmes to enable soldiers to carry out their work in the "most moral and respectful way possible". --Zero 11:18, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
As reproduced above, the quote consists of two unrelated parts: a) that the army listens to Machsom Watch, and b) that the army implements trainings for soldiers. Only the first part has any relation to MW because it is a response to MW's charge that the IDF gives little or no response to MW's criticism. The second part is a general statement that the army is doing its best to ensure that soldiers behave well at checkpoints; nothing indicates that the trainings were implemented in response to MW's criticsm. Leaving the full quote in the article would misleadingly imply that trainings are a consequence of MW's activities. Pecher Talk 13:11, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't say that the training programs were created because of Machsom Watch's criticsm, but it does imply that the training programs take into account Machsom Watch's criticism. --Zero 13:39, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I've reinserted this, in the intro where it usefully balances the purely negative views given before. The version I have inserted respects the article and therefore addresses Pecher's point. Palmiro | Talk 21:40, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You simply reinserted the same sentence without "addressing" anything. Pecher Talk 06:59, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
If I understand your contention, it is that "The army says it listens to Machsom Watch and is developing and implementing training programmes to enable soldiers to carry out their work in the "most moral and respectful way possible" consists of two unrelated assertions and one cannot draw a causal relationship between them. The summarised account of this quote I included in the article follows the same structure as the original, and so this objection cannot be raised to it. Palmiro | Talk 16:27, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Carrying over ambiguous statements into Wikipedia undermines its quality as an encyclopedia and may qualify as disruption. Pecher Talk 12:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
The statement is a useful exposition of the IDF's position, and including it in Wikipedia is necessary especially as negative remarks by the IDF about the group are also being relied on in citing criticism of it. It would be intellectually dishonest to include only the negative things the IDF says about the group. If you can find a less ambiguous statement to this effect, feel free to include it instead. I note that this objection does not imply any lack of neutrality of accuracy in the article, and am still awaiting details as to why you think there should be a totally-disputed tag on the page. Palmiro | Talk 13:09, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be even more dishonest to mislead readers into thinking that the IDF said something it did not say. This is the reason behind the totally disputed tag: the article implies some praise of MW by the IDF, while in fact there is none. Pecher Talk 13:35, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
How exactly does the article imply that? It provides a concise and accurate summary of the statements attributed to the IDF. Palmiro | Talk 14:34, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
The article does that by linking together unrelated statements by the IDF. Pecher Talk 15:22, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
What evidence have you for this contention? Palmiro | Talk 15:33, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I have already explained my points above. Pecher Talk 15:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
What evidence do you have for your contention that the article implies praise of MW by the IDF by linking two unrelated statements together? Palmiro | Talk 16:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Endless asking "what evidence do you have" is essentially argumentum ad infinitum, a.k.a. ad nauseam, logical fallacy. You do not offer any new arguments in response to the points I made above. Pecher Talk 16:23, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
It is not a logical fallacy to ask the other party in a debate to substantiate an argument they have consistently failed to substantiate. It is, I suppose, the triumph of hope over experience. Palmiro | Talk 17:19, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
It is a logical fallacy to consistently ask for evidence after being supplied with one. Pecher Talk 17:53, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Where, where, where, for the sake of all that is alcoholic? Palmiro | Talk 18:02, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
In the eponymous section and at the top of this section. Hopefully, you will learn someday that consumption of ale is not particularly conducive to editing. Pecher Talk 18:42, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Palmiro, I have problems (due to my English) to understand you argument. can you explain it to me with links to the article or to other places supporting what you want to add or remove ? Thanks. Zeq 18:21, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Off-topic links

I can easily find links that describe abuse of Palestinians at checkpoints and the serious effects that checkpoints have on Palestinian life. Finding more than 100 would be no problem at all, and many of them defer directly to Machsom Watch. I offer not to add any of them. All you have to do is to stop adding links that claim to show benefits of checkpoints. This is not an article about the checkpoints (we have another for that), but only about Machsom watch. --Zerotalk 11:09, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Zero, on March 16th, I put back the Weiss article link about the violence at the checkpoint that you had removed. You then added the heartrending story about the pregnant woman. While I felt that—like virtually all of your substantive edits—this was intended to (and succeeded in) painting the Israelis in a negative light, the fact of the matter is that it is probably true: there probably are many ugly incidents like that, at times perpetrated by angry, racist Israelis. That is the whole raison d'être of Machsom Watch. So while I felt it biased the article, it was entirely legitimate and germane, just like the Weiss article that provided some of the context in which the Israeli soldiers operate the checkpoints. Note that, until you did so, no one on the other side of the edit warring you engage in removed that incredibly powerful piece.
Yesterday, I added the video about the Palestinian woman who was being treated in an Israeli hospital and then tried to become a suicide bomber and was discovered at a checkpoint where she then tried to blow herself up. (For some reason, my computer stopped logging me in automatically, so I wasn't signed in when I added that external link.) I think the two external links about Palestinian women seeking medical care in Israel, taken together, provide a more complete (or more balanced) picture of the context in which the checkpoints—with both IDF soldiers and Machsom Watchers—operate. I do not understand why you would refer to any of these articles as " … nonsense … [and] links that do not deal with Machsom Watch."
Yes, it is true that we can clutter up this article with zillions of stories on either side. And that would be inappropriate. But a few evocative articles that describe the context of horror that motivates Machsom Watch and the horror that can motivate apparently cruel indifference are not irrelevant. It is precisely what this is all about (checkpoints and checkpoint watchers). Inter-group conflict is extremely ugly and neither group should be painted in a more negative/positive light that denies/obscures the truth of how horrible HUMANS act.
Furthermore, this whole pattern is a violation of your duty as an administrator. An administrator should never intentionally violate the Wikipedia principles to make a point, as you clearly did. You even made it clear you were doing so when you placed the evocative pregnant woman piece in the article (commenting "ok, have it your way") only to later delete it, saying it was irrelevant to the article. If you think it's irrelevant, don't put the material in in the first place. Please act like an administrator or resign your administratorship.
Before I replace those links, I will wait to see what others have to say. Kriegman 14:02, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
So I should just allow the article to fill up with barely-relevant links that are all selected to one viewpoint? The fact is that you and Zeq are likely to keep adding links like that without limit. There is an endless supply of them available for you to choose from. I can match you link for link, but then I'd be contributing to the damage. How would you suggest that this linking business can be limited and kept balanced? My preference is to set the limit at 0. --Zerotalk 00:12, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
And there's also the question of link descriptions. Zeq (but he didn't start it) added a long preaching description "Palestinian female using her mediacl condition to pass through a checkpoint on her way to a suicide bombing mission in the Israeli hospital that treated her", yet I didn't describe the Levy article as "Palestinian women loses her baby after being forced by Israeli soldiers to give birth on the ground at a checkpoint". Why didn't I? It would be perfectly "fair" given Zeq's work. --Zerotalk 00:12, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I restored the links Zero deleted, reason are in the edit summarry. They are relevant to this article.
But I have a greater concern: Zero watch this article and see everything in it which is fine. When links about checkpoints were added, for example the Gideon Levi article, zero did not object. Why ? because Gideon levi write from a POV that Zero favors. Now, when more links on the exact topic have been added (to the opposite POV) Zero objects. Well, I restored ALL the relevant links from BOTH POV. This is the essence of NPOV. Zeq 16:33, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
As noted above, I agree with Zeq's restoration of the links. I also agree with Zero's critique of the way they were described in the article. SlimVirgin edited the links to make the description quite neutral. The edits describing the links that were subsequently added contribute to edit warring and I would suggest that we need to go back to making the links more neutral OR to specify that Link 1 highlights the concerns of Machsom Watch and that Link 2 highlights the concerns of Israeli soldiers, without using emotionally charged language.
As to Zero's other concern, cluttering the article with links, I find that comment to be unintelligible. It's as if Zero did not read what he was responding to. I wrote:
"Yes, it is true that we can clutter up this article with zillions of stories on either side. And that would be inappropriate. But a few evocative articles that describe the context of horror that motivates Machsom Watch and the horror that can motivate apparently cruel indifference are not irrelevant."
How is that different from Zero's concern? A "few" was my recommendation. We could pin that down as one or two from each perspective with one or two from a more neutral overview if such can be found. Or there could be other solutions. What is hard to comprehend is the characterization of me as advocating indiscriminate cluttering of the article with contentious links. This is yet another example of Zero mischaracterizing what he has read. And again I ask, "How often does this happen when Zero makes substantive edits to the Wikipedia using sources that most of us do not have access to?" Kriegman 18:36, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Disrupting Wikipeda to make a WP:Point

I just noticed that just fw days ago it was Zero himself who added this links. With the edit summary: "OK, have it your way" [21].

Now, Zero has removed these links for no good reason, even those he him self added just days ago: [22] .

  • This behaviour is disruptive and I must ask you to stop it. Thank You. Zeq 16:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I added that article in response to someone else insisting on inserting an inappropriate link. I have always expressed the opinion that all such links are inappropriate. As for disruption, everyone here knows your record. --Zerotalk 00:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

You have just admited that you did this to make a point. Next time, if you object something please use talk instead of making a point and adding a link you think is not appropriate as well. Zeq 03:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Zeq, every day you sound more like a teenage boy in bad need of a girlfriend. Is writing rubbish here the most exciting thing in your life? --Zerotalk 10:57, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I may be a female. But in any case: I fine on this aspect of my life. Thanks for your thoughtfulness. Zeq 11:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Zero, although I disagree with Zeq many times (if not most), I must admit your behavior in this page, especially as an admin, strikes me as odd. First you refused mediation (and didn't comment on that), and now you've violated WP:NPA. (I won't get into the other alleged policy violations, that's between you and whoever accused you.) Is there any reason for this kind of attitude? -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 11:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)]
Yes, I know I shouldn't make personal attacks but I'm sick to death of this bad-faith editing and blatant POV pushing. They don't even try to be neutral and these endless stupid allegations of Zeq are a personal attack on me. He doesn't believe half of what he writes, nobody can be that idiotic. --Zerotalk 11:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
You have just added a violation of WP:AGF to a number of your prior violations of WP:NPA and WP:CIV. Pecher Talk 14:43, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Zero: I would appriciate an answer to the questions below that have been posted even before your last revert. Zeq 13:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Questions to Zero about an edit


  1. In this edit [23] you added a link you previoulsy removed - why ?
  2. You also reduced the rather good description of another link (which previoulsy you tried to remove) but there are other links which has a long description. Why do you se a problem with few more words ?
  3. While you admited (above) that you yourself engaed in WP:Point you have thratn a fellow editor with being blocked - on what grounds ?
  4. where you intending on using your admin power to block someone in a content dispute you are involved in ?
  5. last but not least, you have offereed mediation about this article. We can add your latest dispute/behavior to the issues - not too late to accept - maybe you will join mediation ?

Thanks in advance for your reply, Zeq 11:06, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Link to "fromoccupiedpalestine"

I agree with Pecher to remove it, this is just too biased to be linked to without good reason. Also, I am getting really tired of commenting Zero's personal attacks. Zero, could you please stop doing that? -- Heptor talk 18:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Pecher just removed it saying it has nothing to do with Machsom Watch. Why are there other links in there (e.g. that video about the deranged woman), that also have nothing to do with MW but from an opposing POV staying then? I'm very concerned about consistency here, what's going on? Am I missing something? Ramallite (talk) 19:54, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that link should be removed as well (and moved to the checkpoints article, which needs a serious expansion). However, I don't involve myself with the links because users here seem to add/remove them daily and it's very hard to follow what's relevant and what's not. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 20:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, Ramallite, if you think that a link is irrelevant why don't you remove it, instead adding another irrelevant link? Pecher Talk 20:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Because, Pecher, I was glancing at the discussion above (although I admit not carefully) and noted that some editors thought that the details about checkpoints are important for the reader to understand why Machsom Watch is there, and that is why some links about checkpoints themselves are warranted. I did not agree with this, but I assumed (erroneously, it seems) that this was some sort of consensus. As it apparently is not, I will comply with your request. Ramallite (talk) 20:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Any link (like all 3 in this edit [24] ) that show / talk about what is going on in checkpoints are relevant to this article. Zeq 20:21, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
See??? Ramallite (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
By the way, one bomb, a handful of suspected bombers, and one clearly deranged woman, compared to tens of thousands of Palestinians (many of whom have medical problems) going through checkpoints daily is hardly an accurate representation. Show me one Palestinian carrying a pocket knife and I'll show you a thousand carrying condoms... or so my aunt Matilda used to say. Ramallite (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that neither link is directly related to Machsom Watch and we should avoid starting link wars. —Aiden 21:38, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Aiden, I think we should take all these checkpoint links out (unless obviously they directly relate to MW). Also a sidenote- I tried viewing the vid with the women but it says I need to download a pugin but when I tried it wouldn't do it automatically, would someone please tell me which plugin I need to download since I can't view a lot of internet videos?- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 00:21, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Moshe, go to this link and try to view the video there. If that doesn't work, tell me what operating system and browser you are using.
Folks, I still think the links—describing the horrible conflict that occurs at the checkpoints and gives rise to apparent (and real) checkpoint cruelty/indifference and checkpoint watchers—are more than a little relevant. Yes, it is a problem to not clutter the article with POV links and counterlinks. But avoiding that problem diminishes what WP can offer people. I would suggest two articles that are neutral (if such can be found) and a limit of two that highlight the concerns of Israel/Israeli soldiers, on the one hand, and two that highlight the concerns of Palestinians/MWers, on the other. Kriegman 15:08, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Ramallite writes that he was uncarefull when he glanced over the previous discussion. This is more than I can be accused of, I didn't look at the matter in context of any previous discussion. I just think that is too agitatoristic to be linked to from Wikipedia, at least if same information can be found in other places. This is based both on the choice of domain name, selection of articles and the ticker counting US aid to Israel from 1949. The fact that Zero reverted another editor while throwing a personal attack at him[25], didn't help either. -- Heptor talk 17:01, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

If this is an article by Gideon Levy, from Haaretz, then linking to it - provided concerns about relevance are met - is fine. cf the argument on Palestinian People where a link to Mid-East Forum was considered acceptable on the basis of the writer of the article linked to rather than the website it appeared on. Haaretz is a reputable newspaper and Levy a respected journalist, but Haaretz articles do not stay on its website long and lots of people can't access that website in any case, so linking to a co9py of the article on another site is not a bad idea. Of course, if we could link to the article on a less obviously partisan site, that would be better in terms of how it would appear to the reader. Palmiro | Talk 19:08, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I found a link to the copy of the article: [26]. --Zerotalk 08:46, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


see the example in:

Zeq 18:51, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

That doesn't establish anything, as far as I can see. I have two questions: 1. Is the prevention of "terrorists" reaching Israel the justification cited by the Israelis for the establishment of checkpoints within the West Bank, and 2. if the checkpoints are only to stop "terrorists" reaching Israel, why do they refuse passage to Palestinians without permits to visit Jerusalem when these are not suspected of being terrorists? Does Israel not acknowledge any other reason for the existscne of checkpoints
I have one further question: does all this complexity in dealing with the motivation for the checkpoints not suggest that the best way of dealing with this is to simply say what the checkpoints do - control the movement of Palestinian citizens - and leave the whys, wherefores, rights and wrongs to the article on the checkpoints themselves? Palmiro | Talk 18:59, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi Palmiro,

We are not going to debate the merits of checkpoints here I hope. This is sourced and this seems all we need for wikipedia. I am sure there are discussion groups to discuss these issues in greater lenghth. BTW, I am not sure all that you asked me to justify is evenn 100% true and surly I am not the one to ex[plain the complex situation between israel and the west bank. Clearly terrorist are able to penetrate and Israel trying to prevent it. Just today a suicide bomber was caught in a checkpoint east of Nablus: [27] Zeq 19:07, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Edit war

Not that it's my business, but I'm currently witnessing an edit war between Huldra and SlimVirgin, and have to say I support SlimVirgin's version. There are many facts out there which are contested and therefore must be put down as allegations. For example, in Media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, everything is written as an allegation, even though many of those things are widely known to be true. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 12:04, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the problem. Huldra's is certainly better. It gives the groups account of their reasons for foundation. I don't think anyone disputes that there were indeed press reports of this, so I don't see why the accurate and objective "press reports" should be replaced with the doubt-casting and POV-ish "allegations". I would suggest that you go back to that other article and get rid of as many fatuous instances of the word "allegations' as possible, in fact... Palmiro | Talk 12:21, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
You're effectively suggesting to commit a WP:POINT violation. Claims by one group are nothing more than allegations. However, feel free to change the word to "accusations", if you prefer it. Pecher Talk 12:26, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the source talked about "press reports", not "claims by one group". You should be able to understand the difference. And no, I am not suggesting a violation of WP:POINT; I am suggesting that where one article is poorly (and by YNHockey's account, inaccurately or misleadingly) written, that poor writing should be fixed rather than used as a model for overcoming disagreements in another article. I am still waiting for your justification of NPOV+accuracy tag, or your reply to my comments in the debate above on the Irish Times quote in which you - in an edit summary - ludicrously accused me of not participating despite the fact that the last comment there was mine and you did not reply to it. Palmiro | Talk 12:33, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
No, these are just claims by Machsom Watch founders that "press reports" talk about human rights violations; the reports in question may be perceived differently by other people. I see nothing in Ynhockey's remark suggesting that the article on media coverage is "inaccurate" and "misleading", and I propose that you refrain from implying opinions to other people. Pecher Talk 12:44, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
We are descending to the furthest depths of pedantry and sophistry here. You must surely be aware that there have been many press reports regarding human rights abuses at Israeli checkpoints. As regards the other article, Ynhockey suggests that it reports as mere "allegations" things which are known to be facts. I would consider that misleading, though perhaps others might not. Sadly, it does seem to be in line with Wikipedia's inability to write honestly about any matter of controversy. Palmiro | Talk 12:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, assuming we don't want to involve other articles in this, you could even set a standard from this article alone to support SlimVirgin's version. For instance, in the lead it says: referring to Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints who's stated purpose is to prevent Palestinian terrorists from the West Bank from entering Israel. So if an IDF view which also has a zillion press reports to support it, is considered a 'stated aim', not simple 'an aim', why should MW's view not be considered 'alleged human rights violations?' Either both parts should state the view as it is, or they should not. We shouldn't have double standards in the same article, at least. -- Y Ynhockey (Talk) Y 12:38, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
But Huldra's version did not talk about human rights violations as a matter of fact (although they are); it talked about press reports of them. That is quite a difference. Palmiro | Talk 12:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Can we please try to adhere to NPOV? There are allegations of human rights violations, by whomever, whether the press, or Machsom Watch, or Huldra and Palmiro. That's what policy demands we report. Jayjg (talk) 18:42, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Points of dispute regarding accuracy and neutrality of article

Can we end this ?

While I know that what Palmiro wrote is more or less correct (this is my OR which can not be used in wikipedia) I agree with Pecher that the source does not support what is written. Palmiro: Can you find a btter more accurate and more descriptive source ? Zeq 16:32, 30 March 2006 (UTC)