Talk:Mahmoud Sarsak

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Mahmoud Sarsak[edit]

Note: The following discussion has been copied from the WikiProject Football talk page to retain it here. Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 05:12, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

He is in the news as he has been on hunger strike for 83 days having been held in an Israeli prison without charge since 2009. A lot of news sources are reporting him as being a player for the Palestine national team. Has he ever been capped by the Palestine national team?TheBigJagielka (talk) 14:06, 6 June 2012 (UTC) also nothing. I can´t find any single match report that can confirm any Palestine NT appereance for him. FkpCascais (talk) 05:16, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
This article states that he played for the "Palestine national team in Norway". From the context, this would appear to be in 2008 or 2009. There has been no full international between Palestine and Norway (see [1]), so this was presumably some sort of unofficial tour. I guess therefore, despite some press sources claiming that he is a Palestine international, this is not correct and the article about him should be amended to reflect this. -- Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 06:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I Googled his name in Arabic and read a few articles. All seem to say the same thing, that he played for his country internationally in Norway but nothing more. However, most articles do say that he is the youngest player ever to play in Palestine's league (not sure if it's the West Bank or Gaza one), making his debut at age 14. TonyStarks (talk) 03:17, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Palestinian national team, or perhaps not[edit]

Have I misunderstood the meaning of this Guardian article, which describes Sarsak as "a former member of the Palestinian national football team"? (I know next to nothing about football – for example, I don't relly understand the difference between being a squad member and playing for a team – so this is a distinct possibility.) If I haven't, is it the Guardian that's mistaken? If so, in the absence of another reliable source explicitly saying he wasn't a member of the Palestine team, I'd like to point out that a fundamental standard for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 20:09, 7 June 2012 (UTC

This article states that he played for the "Palestine national team in Norway". From the context, this would appear to be in 2008 or 2009. There has been no full international between Palestine and Norway (see [2]), so this was presumably some sort of unofficial tour. I guess therefore, despite some press sources claiming that he is a Palestine international, this is not correct and the article about him should be amended to reflect this. -- Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 06:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC) )
Sorry, I don't really think this is even debatable. We have The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post and Daily News & Analysis in agreement versus one self-published source which doesn't mention specific players and so can't refute the claim in question. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 21:32, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
User:TheBigJagielka has added more information which adequately explains the background to his international career. If he had not been arrested, he would probably have become a "full" international player, but as things stand, he was never more than a youth player who was called up to a full training squad. As such he was not an "international" player as normally understood, despite lazy journalism by the Guardian et al. -- Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 04:59, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Do you think, the website of a North American activist network supporting Palestinian prisoners, is a reliable source? – Arms & Hearts (talk) 16:42, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I wonder how much of this does just come down to different understanding of terms. If he's played for Palestine at under-age level, as his brother seems to say in the piece, then he is a Palestine national team member, just not the senior team. Similarly, if he was arrested on his way to join up with the national team, then it's not unreasonable to describe him as a national team member: why would he be joining up with it if he wasn't a member? The implications of the words "squad" and "team" and "national team" differ depending on what variety of English you use and whether you're into football or not. If the term is used in football-related articles on this encyclopedia, "member of the xxx national football team" would imply he'd played for xxx at senior international level. This may well not be common usage everywhere, and particularly by non-football specialists. Perhaps we can read too much into one form of words.

As to removing content sourced to the piece reproduced at, I think we should look past the name of the website. The piece is a reprint of an article on the Electronic Intifada, a source which certainly has a political POV but which has been accepted here as RS depending on context. In context of Mr Sarsak, the article adds a minimal amount of football-related detail supplied by the subject's brother to that contained in the Reuters piece reproduced on the Daily News & Analysis site, which also quotes his brother. I don't see why that detail couldn't safely be included with attribution without violating any guideline. cheers, Struway2 (talk) 08:52, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I've restored the text and replaced the reproduction with the Electronic Intifada original, keeping the {{better source}} tag. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 15:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)[edit]

To repeat myself: do you really think, the website of a North American activist network supporting Palestinian prisoners, is a reliable source? – Arms & Hearts (talk) 15:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

While I don't think that it's the best source we could wish for, it appears to be the only source that actually gives any background to his international career. I have tagged the reference with {{better source}} and I suggest that it should stay until something better is found. If you consider that this detail and its source should be deleted then so should all unsourced information such as his date of birth and his football career. -- Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 05:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I think WP:BLPSOURCES rules out that sort of reasoning. I'm going to comment out all unsourced or poorly sourced content, in the belief that the information's true and the hope that sources can be found. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 13:10, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding how we should cover his release[edit]

(This is a response to a fairly detailed comment made at my talk page by User:Activism1234.) I certainly didn't mean to suggest your edits were undesirable because they were insufficiently referenced, clearly the opposite is true. My concerns were:

  • that they constituted undue weight, by giving too much attention to his links to Islamic Jihad. I think this reinforces a particular point of view about Sarsak's character and the justness of his detention.
  • that they include a greater than desirably level of detail. The main reason he's significant is his detention; as such this should take up the body of the article. Much like his arrest, I think his release is a peripheral topic that can be dealt with in a few sentences. (This is linked to a concern over recentism – our understandable tendency as editors to focus on recent events at the expense of a bigger picture or better historical perspective.)

I'm going to try to write a compromise version (with more detail than I'd ideally want and less than you'd like) at some point in the next 24 hours, but I might wait and see if more refs (other than slightly modified reproductions of the AP piece) become available. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 00:44, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I think I provided 2 refs that weren't copies of the AP article there (Al Jazeera and forgot the other one but almost certain there were 2). The Al Jazeera was different, but basically same structure - talked about his arrival, greeting by Islamic Jihad, his statement, Islamic JIhad statement, and info on his detention (along those lines). If you feel it's too long, then we can take out some of the quotes and either paraphrase them or only quote more specific parts... I don't really know what to say, there really isn't that much to talk about in his release section other than his arrival, statement, and Islamic Jihad. The event wasn't really covered that much in Palestinian media outlets, except Islamic Jihad websites (which had mutliple featured articles on him, but I didn't use them as refs or anything), and the sites that covered it (my refs, which as you said is enough) reported on pretty much what I said... I'm happy to work together and see what you come up with though, but keep in mind that the statements and rifle firing by Islamic Jihad should definitely be mentioned, as this was a huge point of contention over whether or not he should be released/campaign for his release. I can understand your concerns somewhat though... But yeah if you can come up with something, I'm flexible, I don't look for arguments or anything, so we'll see how that goes, and we can always take it from there. --Activism1234 01:36, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, perhaps we can put in his more or less full statement, perhaps that will help balance the weight... Putting something in full would obviously mean more room for Subject X and decrease for Subject Y (Islamic Jihad), helping balance it, and also shows we didn't intend for Islamic JIhad to be main focus, there's just more stuff about them... I don't know just a suggestion. --Activism1234 01:39, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
He received more attention from the press for the release than he ever did playing so there is not a weight issue. The media has detailed the reaction from Islamic Jihad in a way that alludes to the possibility of him being involved with the organization. Wikipedia has been a little more restrained and does not need to limit material based on the fear of UNDUE since the line has not been crossed, yet. 77 of 161 (47%) words in the final section are related to Islamic Jihad. That is not undue weight since his imprisonment was based on the allegation that he was associated with the group.
Why isn't the bomb allegation mentioned in the article? (talk) 04:01, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that useful information. What bomb allegation are you referring to though? --Activism1234 04:18, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
You ( don't seem to have grasped my argument. I suggested that his detention was the primary reason for his notability, not his football career. I'm sure you'll agree that his detention received more press attention than his release. (Also, if you think the bomb allegation, which is mentioned in the AP article as a cause of his detention, is worth mentioning, then mention it.) – Arms & Hearts (talk) 04:30, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Whatever the cause for his rise to fame, he still has a Wikipedia page, and as such, all relevant information from reliable sources has every right (be bold!) to be entered there. The article isn't entitled "Sarsak in jail," in which case that information would be irrelevant. It's titled "Mahmoud Sarsak," as in "his life." If someone knew what high school he went to, they should add it as well, because it's about him. This includes being released from prison (how could we just leave an article that makes it seem he was never released?), winning a soccer medal, criticsm, support, etc... The article itself can't be written with a bias either to praise or criticize him, but if there's information in the major news networks (JPost, Maan, Washington Post, CNN, even ESPN did it), there's no reason not to include it, so long as its included in a proper fashion.. --Activism1234 04:35, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
"How could we just leave an article that makes it seem he was never released?" is a straw man. No one has argued that there be no information on his release, yet this is the second time you've made such a claim. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 14:47, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I think you're just misunderstanding me. I'm not claiming that. I'm referring to the first revert you did that removed anything at all about his release. That can't happen. I stated it because we were discussing his "rise to fame" and what caused it, and pointing out that that can't be the only thing or even main section of the article if there's more information in other fields.--Activism1234 15:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
The article, as of that edit, read: On June 18, Sarsak's lawyer said he had agreed a deal to end his hunger strike in return for being released on July 10. On his return to the Rafah refugee camp, Sarsak received a "rousing homecoming" in which members of Islamic Jihad fired shots in the air and streets were decorated with his image. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 15:48, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Gotcha. Thanks for that bringing that up. I still think the added information was very important and relevant, and as shown above didn't outweigh other parts but was pretty much based on the media reports. Also, that edit was made under "detention & hunger strike," rather than a new section such as "Relesae" as common in many Wikipedia articles. The reason it's such a big deal is many people will just browse an article rather than read all of it, and won't even notice he was released (as I didn't either). I think both of us are really just where we begun - if you want to work on the wording, add info, etc, I'm willing to cooperate. But as I said, I think it was fine the way I had it. Now there are just major issues with it, and you said before my "edits were not undesirable," so it wouldn't really make sense to go ahead and revert them, and also stated you would try to work on something else and discuss that here but now it's just reverted... --Activism1234 15:54, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
UPDATE: Ignore what I said about the page being bad now and the revert... Was looking at the link you sent me, not the current one (epic fail on my part). So just read everything up to that, the rest I retract. Sorry for the inconveniance. --Activism1234 15:56, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Not a problem. I also owe you an apology for not embarking on a rewrite as I said I would – I decided a more piecemeal approach would be more productive. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 16:09, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Haha there's no need for an apology sir. I understand if a person says one thing and then decides on an alternate path, that's fine by me (although just for the future, mention that in the talk so everyone else knows). --Activism1234 17:51, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I understand that. The article reflects what appears to be available in the secondary sources. The secondary sources find that his detention, hunger strike, and release are more noteworthy than his football. I failed to mention in my edit sumary that I did add info about the alleged bomb. (talk) 04:48, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Release above response[edit]


Generally on Wikipedia chronological or structural order is followed. The Response section is dealing with responses to his imprisonment, which certainly played a large role in releasing him, so it makes sense, both chronoligally and structurally, to include release after response.

You said "response" could include responses to his release. Generally I believe this would either be a new section, but in this case, I think it'd be fine including in the "Release section." The reason is because I highly doubt there will be any further talk or discussion about his release, and have not seen any in the past day, but if something does pop up it could be quickly inserted into the "Release" section if appropriate.

(I didn't revert your edit, I wanted to bring it up on the talk page first and take it from there)

--Activism1234 18:35, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not especially convinced by or committed to either version. The version with "response" above "release" seemed chronologically dodgy to me – as if a story was being told in the first and third sections, which was interrupted in the middle section. As it stands now, we reach July 10 in one section and pick right up there again in the next. It might be the case, though, that we're both wrong, and that an altogether new set of section headers is in order (after all, having a "response" subsection rather than mingling responses into the main text was quite an ad hoc decision on my part). I'd be interested in hearing what others think. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 19:17, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Update: I had a go at a relatively minor reorganisation. Not sure how I feel about it yet. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 20:56, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
The new edit you made is certainly much better, and I'm fine with it. The other one ended with June 14, then went to July 10, then went back to June 5. --Activism1234 21:46, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with the new structure. "Release" an only be a subsection of the legal issue. Personal life, Football, and "Whatever we call detainment and related issues" are the likely sections. "Release" makes no sense as an independent section. It can only read naturally as a subsection since it is related to a particular facet of the biography.
"Ceremony" is also an issue. I was not a ceremony. It was a bunch of people celebrating. And since we do not know if or how it was orchestrated, we cannot use the term "ceremony".
Since I have not seen the term used in RS I am removing it. I am not going to remove the additional response from Amnesty since it is exactly what Hearts and Arms was looking for (balance to the heavily sourced response from Islamic Jihad) (talk) 07:31, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I also believe the new paragraph under "Release" gives more of the impression that he was related to Islamic Jihad than it did before. I do not think it is out of line but wanted to point out that the attempt to balance might have actually been worse in the way it reads. (talk) 07:40, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
The AP article says, in the fourth paragraph: "However, senior Islamic Jihad officials were present during a welcoming ceremony for him in Gaza City on Tuesday". – Arms & Hearts (talk) 16:15, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Good catch. I didn't see that. However, it being used twice so closely together is what failed GAs are made of. (talk) 07:04, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
An equally good catch on your part – I hadn't noticed that. Now fixed (but in future, why not be bold?) – Arms & Hearts (talk) 15:05, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Excellent catch. And yes, be bold, don't be italics! --Activism1234 17:38, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


It has been discussed in the section above and other before it. The subject meets GNG in one way or another. Most of the secondary sources discuss the subject in relation to the detainment. If the subject is notable under WP:FOOTYN is questionable. We have an article focusing on the detainment of the person while it only touches on the other aspects of the BLP's life. You might need to change the title since the person might be less notable than the situation. (talk) 07:54, 12 July 2012 (UTC)