Talk:Muhammad al-Durrah incident/Archive 12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13


I'm wondering if we should move this to another title, as the boy is only part of the story. The usual thing would be to call it "Death of Muhammad al-Durrah," but that would be unlikely to stick, so I was wondering about "Muhammad al-Durrah affair." That's the title the French Wikipedia uses. [1] The Spanish uses "death of." [2] Sweden and Norway use the name, like us. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:00, 20 October 2009 (UTC) :I'd be supportive of that. Millmoss (talk) 18:18, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm on the fence. The term "affair" sounds off to me. It looks like several articles use "death of" (Death of Jesus, Death of Adolf Hitler, Death of Michael Jackson, Death of Neda Agha-Soltan). I'm trying to think of similar articles to use as a guideline... we could consider splitting the article into two, like the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories articles. ← George talk 20:09, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

::I'm opposed to such a splitting, as it pre-supposes that one view (the boy was killed) is correct, while the other (the event was staged) is not. Why does "affair" sound off? WOudl you prefer "Muhammad al-Durrah media controversy"? Millmoss (talk) 20:14, 20 October 2009 (UTC) ::With the above suggestion, I'm using articles such as 2006 Lebanon War photographs controversies or Killian documents controversy as a model. Millmoss (talk) 20:18, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I'd be opposed to splitting too, because it would create two POV forks. And we can't call it "death of," given that that's disputed. I know the disputants are in the minority, but not to the point where they can be ignored entirely. In what way does "affair" feel off to you, George? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:20, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The Death of Adolf Hitler article mentions "rumours that Hitler may have survived the end of World War II", yet it still has that title. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the view that the boy is still alive and hiding somewhere (on that island with Elvis perhaps?) would be the extreme minority view (versus the more common minority view that he was shot, intentionally or accidentally, by Palestinians instead of Israelis).
Splitting may not be the best idea, though I'm trying to think of one title that would satisfy everyone. Do you have examples of other articles using the word "affair" in their title? The Watergate affair, for instance, redirects to Watergate scandal, and if affair is used synonymously with "scandal" that would imply a very specific POV in this case. ← George talk 20:36, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I honestly don't see the point of moving it to another title. The existing title is short and to the point. It's not as if we're trying to disambiguate this article from another one of a similar name (as in the case of Jesus, Michael Jackson, Hitler, Kennedy etc). The current name causes no confusion and doesn't overlap with anything else; if it isn't broken why fix it? -- ChrisO (talk) 20:27, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
This is a fair point. What's the impetus for move? ← George talk 20:36, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
We're increasingly not supposed to name non-bios after the names of individuals. When such a article is about a death, it's moved to Death of. We can't do that in this case because the death is disputed, so it leaves us in a bind. I'm thinking this article has the potential to get to FAC, so I'm trying to anticipate objections. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:38, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Though I suppose the title "Death of" would still convey that the article was about the reported death, which would accommodate the minority view. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:40, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that's a valid reason to consider a rename. I was thinking about "Muhammad al-Durrah shooting", but, just like the death, some dispute that he was even shot. It's probably just not possible to please everyone. ← George talk 20:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, I'll take your word for it about the naming of non-bios. "Death of" would be the best title. George, some people dispute that Elvis is dead but we still have a Death of Elvis Presley article! There's only so much we can do to accomodate all shades of opinion. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:46, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

:::::::In the case of Elvis, we have an autopsy confirming he's dead. That makes claims that he is alive a fringe conspiracy. In this case, we have no autopsy, no body, and no bullets. What we have is a claim by Enderlin that he removed a death scene - a claim know known to be false. We also have testimony of a the cameraman, who was found by a court of law to be an unreliable witness, and who is on record telling an investigative reporter that he has "secrets". The two cases are not on par, and I would oppose renaming this article "Death of.." when the death is disputed enough that the article does not even state he was killed - only that he was "reported to have been killed ". Millmoss (talk) 20:57, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

We have a certification from the hospital that he is dead, photographs of his dead body, eyewitness testimony that he is dead and that he was buried and statements from both sides that he is dead (neither the IDF nor the Israeli Government has ever endorsed the conspiracy theory that he is not dead). The rest of your comments are just smears of living people. You're also misreading the line you're quoting. It doesn't say he was "reported to have been killed." It says he was "reported to have been killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) gunfire". The object of the sentence is the IDF gunfire, which was reported to have been the agent of his death. The fact of his death is only disputed by a tiny minority of conspiracy theorists. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

:::::::::No, we have certification from the hospital that a boy was dead, a boy admitted to the hospital hours before the shooting is alleged to have happened - but we don't know which boy it is. We have photographs of a dead boy's body, which video experts have concluded is a different boy than the one shown in the Rahma video. We have the eyewitness testimony of the cameraman that he is dead, and we have a court finding that that testimony is not credible. What the IDF or the Israeli government publicly supports, for reason known only to them, is a red herring. If you point out which statements are " smears of living people", I'll remove them. I have been studying the sources provided here:, and many of them seriously doubt the "fact" of his death. It is far from a "tiny minority of conspiracy theorists." Millmoss (talk) 22:50, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The doctors from the hospital confirmed the death of Muhammad al-Durrah. And contrary to your claim, the fact that the IDF chose to not endorse the finding of an investigation conducted by their own general is casts serious doubt on said investigation. ← George talk 22:57, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

:::::::::::You are simply wrong about this last part. The official Israeli position was derived from an assumption that from a public relations perspective, no good can come of continued investigations - no one will be convinced, and continued debate just keeps this in the news as a PR nightmare. You can argue if this was a valid strategy, but it has absolutely no relevance to the validity of the investigation. This is basic logic, really. Millmoss (talk) 23:04, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Gen. Yom Tov Samia endorsed the investigation's determination that Palestinian bullets probably killed the boy. Also, Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland changed his position completely following investigations. You can see the latter in the second documentary (maybe the first one as well). Millmoss is right as well to the false assumption you've made about the official Israeli approach to this incident. Please be careful about making erroneous statements about the content.
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 23:11, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Gen. Samia conducted the investigation. And yes, Eiland supported that view, while the IDF distance themselves from both. One could say that Israel didn't want to embrace the report's conclusion because evidence that they didn't kill a 12-year-old would somehow be damning, but that falls into the realm of WP:OR. Or do we have a source for why the IDF didn't embrace the investigation's conclusions? ← George talk 23:16, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
We do have it and I and Millmoss just told you what the sources say. JaakobouChalk Talk 00:10, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Can you give me a direct quote from your source since I can't see it? ← George talk 00:18, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

:::::::::::::::Here you go: "In recent years Israel has avoided relating to the incident, mostly because of the Foreign Ministry's recommendation that renewed handling of the affair would not help Israel's image in any case. " This is from Ha'aretz: Millmoss (talk) 22:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Please stop promoting one version of what reliable sources say. Another version is that the dead boy in the images was (a) admitted at 10am (per the Palestinian doctor), which is earlier than the al-Durrahs were at the junction, and (b) this dead child was determined, by an international biometrics expert, as being a different boy than Jamal's son, Muhammad al-Durrah. I think we should avoid either statement about him being dead (quite possible but has been heavily questioned for inconsistencies and lack of evidence) or alive (not highly supported by reliable sources but is gaining in support).
In general, I'm undecided on the name change suggestion, but 'Death of' is a serious push in one direction and I am fully against that one.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 22:58, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The different positions

I thought it might help to lay out the various positions here for future reference:

  1. He was shot and killed by the IDF. Held by Charles Enderlin, Talal Abu Rahma, most of the media that first responded, the IDF initially
  2. He was shot and killed by Palestinian gunfire. Held by General Yom Tov Samia of the IDF following the Shahaf investigation, Daniel Leconte, former France 2 correspondent.
  3. He was shot and killed but we don't know who fired the shots. Held by Arlette Chabot of France 2, and Israeli historian Tom Segev.
  4. He was shot and killed, and we don't know by whom, but not by the IDF soldiers known to have been there. Held by James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthy.
  5. He was probably shot, but we don't know by whom, and we have no reason to suppose he's dead. A boy did die that day in that area, but he arrived at the hospital (10 am) before al-Durrah was shot (after midday), and the boy shown during the funeral was not al-Durrah. Held by Esther Schapira.
  6. There is no good reason to suppose that he was either shot or killed. The whole thing was a hoax. Held by Nahum Shahaf, Richard Landes, Philippe Karsenty, Daniel Seaman (Israeli govt press office), Luc Rosenzweig (retired managing editor of Le Monde), Jean-Claude Schlinger (French ballistics expert hired by Karsenty; Schlinger argues that it was probably a hoax, but if it was not, he was definitely not shot from the known IDF position).

My view from having read a lot of the research on this over the last couple of weeks is that most of the English-language media writing about it now would support the third position. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:53, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The latter is not necessarily a meaningful statement. The publications writing about it (such as the National Post, Jerusalem Post and Wall Street Journal, for instance) are (a) associated with a particular political POV, basically a hard-right pro-Israeli POV; and (b) the writings are almost entirely op-ed columns, not straight news reporting. The Al-Durrah story was originally covered in a very wide variety of outlets. Subsequent spikes in news coverage (as opposed to op-eds) related to, initially, Samia's exoneration of the IDF and then later the Karsenty libel trial. Coverage in the meantime was almost entirely confined to op-eds in right-wing outlets promoting a particular, often conspiracist, POV developed on the Internet by the likes of Landes. I don't think you can make a blanket statement about media positions without taking into account the facts that the outlets that are still covering the story are doing so primarily through op-ed commentary, not news reporting, and have a common ideological approach to the issue. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:12, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

SlimVirgin - I think there is actually a position between your #3 and #4, which is 'He was shot and killed but we don't know who fired the shots, except to say that it was not by fire from The IDF position, as that is physically impossible' - that is the position that I think most sources would support today - it is what Fallows says, and it was what the independent French ballistic expert says in the latest trial appeal. Millmoss (talk) 22:29, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I would note that what you describe is position #2. I would say not many sources support this view, with more leaning towards #3 (the "we don't know" angle). ← George talk 22:41, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

::No, it's not position 2. It does not say it was Palestinians who did it, it leaves the actual identity of the shooters as an open question. Fallows is very explicit about this, and raises the possibility (which he thinks is unlikely, but theoretically possible) that it was other Israelis, who were not located in the IDF position that was initially reported as the source of the deadly shots. As I wrote, this position is supported by Fallows, by the French Ballistic expert, and by Schapira's 1st documentary.Millmoss (talk) 22:54, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

So #1 says the IDF killed him, #2 says the Palestinians killed him, #3 says we don't know who killed him, #4 says that we don't know that he's dead, #5 says that we don't know if he's been shot at all. You proposed that another possibility is that someone other than the IDF killed him, but disagree that the only someone else on the scene was the Palestinians. So who do you then claim killed him? The French? Ninja assassins? A troupe of clowns? ← George talk 23:02, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

::::First of all, it is not about what I claim ( I don't claim anything), but what reliable sources claim. Please stop personalizing this debate, and certainly stop doing so with mocking language. I am quoting to you, almost verbatim, what Fallows says - which is that we don't know who killed him, but we know for certain that it was not the IDF soldiers in the IDF position. Who was it? Perhaps it was Palestinian gunmen (deliberately, or unintentionally). Perhaps it was other IDF soldiers (deliberately, or unintentionally), located in a different position. Perhaps it was Israeli civilians. I don't know, and neither do the sources who support this position - but to mock it as you do is not a serious way to conduct debate. Millmoss (talk) 23:10, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

You said that there's an alternate version of events, one in which neither the IDF nor the Palestinians shot at the boy, so I'm asking who else it could have been (it was intended to be lightweight jest, not heavy handed mock). The only other people within any reasonable distance of the junction, other than these two groups, would have been Israeli settlers or foreign journalists, and, as far as I know, nobody has claimed that either of them shot the boy. While some sources say it wasn't the IDF without explicitly saying it was the Palestinians, the alternative you propose of a non-IDF, non-Palestinian shooter is unsupported by any sources. ← George talk 23:21, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

ChrisO - I don't think your characterization of all the sources that support position number 3 as having "a hard-right pro-Israeli POV" is correct. I also don't think it is accurate to describe Schapira's documentaries as "Op-eds". Much of the coverage of the Karsenty libel trial concluded with news reports that echoed the claim that the entire event was staged - and this was in news outlets like Ha'artez that are far from having a "hard-right pro-Israeli POV". Millmoss (talk) 22:29, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

(ec) to Chris. It would take a while to gather the diffs, but I'm not talking about the Jerusalem Post, or clearly right-wing publications. Fallows's article in The Atlantic is a good example, as is Carvajal's in The New York Times. I also don't accept the straight news/opinion distinction. Just because something is on a news page doesn't mean it's not full of the writer's opinion, and something's being on a features page doesn't mean it's not well-researched. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Small query,
I didn't understand that we have a reliable source saying that Schillinger was hired by Karsenty. I thought that was speculation based on the reading of an unnamed ballistics document he published. Is this correct?
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 00:13, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
The Karsenty judgement says that he was a defense witness. ← George talk 00:34, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
As does Schlinger's report. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:36, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Just so I can get it straight, is this the unsigned report that appears on Karsenty's website? JaakobouChalk Talk 03:43, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Another primary/secondary source tension

I have another example of a primary source perhaps being misinterpreted by secondary ones:

The Weekly Standard wrote on July 7, 2008 that: "The judge also noted 'inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions in the explanations by Charles Enderlin,' whose appearance in court was his first sworn testimony in the matter." [3] Melanie Phillips wrote the same in The Jewish Chronicle on July 4, 2008: "As the Paris judge wrote, there were 'inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions' between Enderlin's commentary and the images he was describing."

But The Wall Street Journal Europe writes that in an editorial on May 27, 2008 that "Judge Trebucq said that Mr. Karsenty 'observed inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions in the explanations by Charles Enderlin' (my bold). [4]

There's a big difference between the court noting contradictions, and the court saying Karsenty noted them. The original French is here. I believe the relevant section is:

Qu’en effet, le prévenu rappelle les faits, relate la polémique, indique que la MENA accuse la chaîne française de faux, avant de donner sa propre analyse et ses conclusions; que, dans ce cadre, il qualifie le premier épisode de pure fiction, ce qui est aussi soutenu par plusieurs des grandes signatures de la presse et de l’information ayant vu les rushes en octobre 2004; qu’il expose ensuite, au sujet de la scène principale, dans laquelle il a observé des incohérences inexplicables et des contradictions dans les explications sur l’agonie de l’enfant données par Charles ENDERLIN, que celui-ci se trompe, ce qui revient à lui imputer une simple erreur, et « du même coup », trompe le public, ce qui apparaît comme une formulation euphémique; qu’en concluant par une interrogation sur les raisons de « chercher à couvrir cette imposture », Philippe KARSENTY aborde le fond du sujet...

Does that section say that Karsenty noted the contradictions, or that the court did? Is there anywhere else in the document that indicates the court itself noted these contradictions or that it agreed with Karsenty about them? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:52, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

The The Wall Street Journal Europe seems to be the most accurate. The French says that "he observed the inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions". ← George talk 01:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Is it Karsenty who is doing the observing? Is there any indication that the judge is agreeing? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:33, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not a French expert, but yes, in this case the "he" is referring to Karsenty when it says "he observed". It would be similar to if I wrote "SlimVirgin looked up, and she observed that the sky was blue that day". The Weekly Standard or Jewish Chronicle versions would be "George wrote that 'the sky was blue that day'", and the Wall Street Journal Europe version would be "George said that SlimVirgin 'observed that the sky was blue that day'". ← George talk 01:50, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, George. In the five years I've been editing WP, I don't think I've ever seen a story so badly written up by secondary sources. You expect to find occasional errors, but in this case, it's practically the default position. It's making the fact-checking very tedious. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:10, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I don't know any French but from what I understood, both sides got to sit in front of the video and tell the court what they are seeing. I understood that there were serious inconsistencies with the version of Enderlin, which fits with the "judge also noted 'inexplicable inconsistencies'" text. Karsenty was also giving his version to what he sees so the second version, i.e. "Judge Trebucq said that Mr. Karsenty 'observed'", fits as well. Both versions seem to agree that the judge found the inconsistencies to be inexplicable. Otherwise he wouldn't have noted them as such but rather describe them in a more neutral manner. e.g. Karsenty noted the court as to what he considered to be inexplicable consistencies. I general, I don't think we should over interpret the primary sources but I can see that we have a bit of a clash with secondary sources who each read the source a little differently. Do we have any other sources on this issue... perhaps the decision should be made based on the majority of secondary sources rather than based on our own reading of the primary source. Thoughts/suggestions? JaakobouChalk Talk 03:56, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
"Both versions seem to agree that the judge found the inconsistencies to be inexplicable." Hmm, no - one says the judge found the inconsistencies to be inexplicable, and the other says that that judge noted that Karsenty found the inconsistencies to be inexplicable. "Otherwise he wouldn't have noted them as such but rather describe them in a more neutral manner." Again, no. He noted that Karsenty argued the point. The judge wouldn't rephrase what someone else said when attributing it to them. ← George talk 04:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
According to your hypothesis on how we should read into the primary source text, there's still the issue that the judge saw inconsistencies. Like I said, the decision should be made based on the majority of secondary sources rather than based on our own reading of the primary source. JaakobouChalk Talk 04:26, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
If you don't like my translation, find another French translator, and they'll tell you the same thing - the judge noted that Karsenty observed inexplicable inconsistencies. How we resolve some secondary sources misreporting what the primary source says, and other secondary sources reporting it accurately, is another issue entirely. ← George talk 04:40, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be misreading errors into the secondary sources that I just disagree with. Your analysis of the primary source does not support that only Karsenty considered there to be inconsistencies. You'd assume as much just from the outcome of the trial (i.e. Karsenty being acquitted). No? JaakobouChalk Talk 04:56, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
J, where does it say in the transcript that the judge himself noted inconsistencies, as opposed to him noting that someone else noted them? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 06:01, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
From an ANI I see that some editors object to using all and every "Arab sources". Even al-Jazeera is objected to here where a very argumentative editor seems to try to shout down 6 other editors. It must be very difficult to write good articles in this atmosphere. (talk) 13:07, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
It's close to impossible. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:38, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
According to the current translation of this primary source, it would be deductive that the judge did not object to either the word 'inconsistencies' or to the word 'inexplicable' when both were presented to him. Its a matter of phrasing, though, we don't seem to have a professional translator and assumptions based on a primary source is something that I am advocating against. Could you clarify the actual status of secondary sources on this issue? What is the mainstream view and is there a way around the material that we're unsure/hypothesizing about.
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 20:20, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I understood your point, particularly "it would be deductive that the judge .." etc. My question was whether you have seen the judge say in the transcript that he himself noted inconsistencies regarding Enderlin. He seems to have made clear his views of the camerman's testimony, but not Enderlin's that I can see. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:38, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure we can use that source for writing something that contradicts reliable secondary sources. We've already seen where that approach led a couple editors here to to write in the article that multiple news outlets (supposedly) reported the story before it even occurred. I agree with you that there's a bit of a problem where two reliable sources contradict each other and my suggestion is to further investigate the mainstream view and also to see if there is a way around the material that we're unsure/hypothesizing about. JaakobouChalk Talk 22:55, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, I sympathise entirely with your comment that "I don't think I've ever seen a story so badly written up by secondary sources." This is a problem I've found as well; it was very apparent during the Karsenty case, when English-language secondary sources claimed that the court had ruled Enderlin's report a hoax when neither the court judgement nor the French-language reporting said any such thing. The reason, of course, is that neocon publications and hard-right writers like Melanie Phillips (who is known in UK media circles as "Mad Mel", with justification) report what they want to believe, not what actually happened. It's almost a case study in how ideologues distort factual reporting to create their own realities. -- ChrisO (talk) 08:53, 26 October 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure for the reasoning behind the new "Died September 30, 2000, aged 12" template, but it seems to ignore all the recent pulications and concerns raised by fellow editors. Do explain (or consider reverting). JaakobouChalk Talk 15:02, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

No. Read what SlimVirgin posted above at #The different positions. The view that he is not dead is clearly a tiny-minority position. This article has for a long time stated September 30, 2000 as the date of his death, and the removal of that death date would give undue weight to a fringe POV. We wouldn't delete the death date from Elvis's biography just because a few cranks think he's still alive and flipping burgers in Alabama or some such nonsense. The same principle applies here. -- ChrisO (talk) 16:39, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's a tough call. Chris is wrong that it's a "tiny-minority position" and the comparison with the "Elvis is alive" rumors can I think fairly be said to lack merit or utility. That said, any decision about putting in a death date is essentially endorsing a particular POV. Maybe there's a creative way around it. IronDuke 20:24, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the viewpoint that Elvis is alive is certainly more common than the view that Muhammad al-Durrah is. // Liftarn (talk) 19:28, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
That he's not dead is still a minority view. Perhaps not quite "tiny minority," because there are mainstream journalists who hold that position, but it's still a marginal position. Any creative solution while the article has this title (i.e. where it's a bio) will make it look obvious that we're trying a workaround, and that would endorse the minority position. I suggested moving it to Mohammad al-Durrah affair, which is what they do on the French WP. I didn't suggest that in order to avoid the death-date issue, but because this isn't really a bio, and there's a trend away from using people's names to describe an event. If it were moved, we could remove the death date, but we couldn't reach an agreement on a new title, and I don't see it as a major issue. My thinking was that, if we ever get the article to FAC, and it's quite close, it would become an issue, but as things stand, it's not. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:57, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
What about Mohammad al-Durrah shooting? ← George talk 21:10, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd support moving the article to Mohammad al-Durrah affair. IronDuke 21:33, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
"Affair" is much too vague. It tells you absolutely nothing about the issue discussed in the article. It's a classic weasel word and Wikipedia:Words to avoid rejects it: "[Affair] should not be used in article titles on current affairs, except in historical cases where the term is widely used by reputable historical sources." That is clearly not the case here. "Shooting" is more specific and therefore preferable. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:45, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
WTA is just a style guideline. If it helps us make the article more NPOV, then it's easily ignored. "Shooting" would be worse than what we have now. IronDuke 21:50, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Again, nobody, not even the fruitcake fringe, denies that there actually was a shooting, so there is no problem with maintaining NPOV with the term "shooting". You're also overlooking the POV component of the term "affair". As WP:WTA says, "The words scandal, affair, and -gate are often used in journalism to describe a controversial episode or in politics to discredit opponents. They typically imply wrongdoing or a point of view." Using "affair" sidelines the mainstream POV that there actually was a shooting in favour of the minority conspiracy theory POV. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:07, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
IronDuke - Does anyone actually suggest that there was no shooting at all? I've seen that some contend that the boy wasn't killed, and some suggest that the Palestinians shot him, but I haven't seen anyone claim that the Palestinians used some Hollywood-level special effects to create bullet holes (and the corresponding sounds of gunfire) in the video. ← George talk 22:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge, no one suggests there was no shooting at all. But the term Mohammad al-Durrah shooting strongly implies the boy was shot. And the event is controversial, so I think affair is the right word, AFATG. And again, I don't generally feel style guidelines trump NPOV. IronDuke 00:06, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I think we've been pretty clear as to why "affair" isn't acceptable, as it's synonymous with "scandal". I'd still favor Mohammad al-Durrah shooting until someone can come up with a better suggestion. ← George talk 00:58, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right that NPOV is the primary consideration, which is why "affair" must be rejected for the reason that George mentions. -- ChrisO (talk) 11:26, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
George, simply reiterating that you made a point does not address mine. If it would help, I, too, could simply restate my premise as though it were automatically true. The only argument (aside from naked assertion) advanced here is WTA. I've explained why that's irrelevant. IronDuke 23:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::::::I don't think anyone is denying that shooting took place between the IDF and Palestinians that day, at the junction. But certainly there are quite a few notable sources denying that there was any shooting of the al-Duras, so changing the title to something along the lines of Mohammad al-Durrah shooting is a bad idea. I don't think a convincing case has been made against the use of "affair". There are numerous sources that describe this incident using that term, and the incident is clearly controversial. Millmoss (talk) 22:52, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I would be against any title with the word "shooting" in it including (unless people were very persuasive), "alleged shooting." IronDuke 23:36, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Which reliable sources are saying there was no shooting of Jamal and/or Muhammad? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:53, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::::::::The ones that say this event was staged, or likely staged. Those include Ha'aretz, and the ones Jaakobu listed below - IHT, Daily Telegraph, Jewish Press,etc... Millmoss (talk) 00:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Can you show me where Ha'aretz or The Daily Telegraph say it was staged? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:27, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::::::::::Ha'artez says it here: "Court backs claim that al-Dura killing was staged", "[The court] backed Karsenty's claim that the station and its Middle East correspondent had broadcast a staged report" - [5]. The Daily Telegraph report, which Jaakobu references is in the "Sources" section, and says "Mohammed al-Durra footage may have been a hoax"; "Court judgment supports view it was a hoax"; "[The video] revealed staged battle scenes, rehearsed ambulance evacuations - but nothing to substantiate the toxic television report. No shots were seen coming from the Israeli position, no bullets were shown striking the boy, no blood was seen on the father’s shirt, though he was said to have cradled his eviscerated son in his arms, and the boy is seen to move, even to look conspiratorially at the television camera, when he is supposed to have been dead." [6] Millmoss (talk) 17:24, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

But that's the newspapers reporting that the court said it -- and the court didn't say it. (Note, too, that it's not The Daily Telegraph). These are examples of the poor reporting this case has received. But regardless of that, the newspapers are not themselves backing that view. What I asked you for was an example of a reliable source that is clearly supportive of the view that there was no shooting of the father and son at all, not one that mistakenly reports what someone else did or didn't say. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:38, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::::::::::::It actually is the Daily Telegraph, according to the byline, and it does say it is a hoax, or a likely hoax, when it describes the content of the video, not that that this is what the court says. Millmoss (talk) 18:10, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

It's the Australian Telegraph, and I don't understand your last point. The articles are reporting what they think the court said. Look, there is no reliable source who supports the idea that there was no shooting at all. Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah is therefore the title that makes most sense. It steers us away from the bio, which is good because we don't have enough information about the boy to justify a bio. It avoids "affair," which two editors argue implies there's a scandal. And it avoids the issue of whether anyone died. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:43, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::::::::::::::The byline says "The Daily Telegraph". If your point is that it is the Australian DT , rather than the British DT, you may be correct, but what difference this makes is not clear at all. Simply asserting that "there is no reliable source who supports the idea that there was no shooting at all" is unlikely to convince me, as such an assertion is contradicted by evidence presented: The DT article for one, is not 'reporting what they think the court said' - it is using its own words to describe the video as a hoax, and is contents as not containing any evidence of shooting. The DT article is also not the only one making that claim - numerous reliable sources, many of them listed in the "Sources" section, make that claim. It is true that there aren't any sources that support the idea that there was no shooting that day, at that location, but there are certainly sources that say the AL-Duras were not shot. Millmoss (talk) 20:03, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Thoughts: SlimVirign gave a reasoning to her edit as well as a suggestion towards a workaround that won't be a very obvious one. ChrisO gave and explanation that affair is too much of a synonym for scandal and promotes a POV. On the other hand, IronDuke stated that 'shooting' implies that the boy was shot (something that is heavily debated by the sources). In the sense of the arguments raised, I'm not sure that I am leaning towards any of the suggestions and I would like to see if there are, possibly more arguments/compromise suggestions that could be made. In any event, the newly added death stamp is a bit of a problem on its own and we need to find something that we can all agree on. Do we have any other articles of a similar nature/relevant policies that we can get inspiration from? JaakobouChalk Talk 12:09, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

The date of death isn't "newly added". It's been in the article for at least two years, if you look back in the history. The only new addition in that regard is the summary template. -- ChrisO (talk) 12:46, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, the summary template makes a disfference that recent sources (and a couple editors) disagree with because it seems to pull the article in the direction that the initial reports were supposedly correct. Do we have any other articles of a similar nature/relevant policies that we can get inspiration from to possibly resolve this issue in long term fashion? Further content based arguements might help us come to a more communal resolution. JaakobouChalk Talk 20:57, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
You're misrepresenting the sources. Have you looked at what SlimVirgin wrote above? "Most of the English-language media writing about it now would support the third position" [i.e. "he was shot and killed but we don't know who fired the shots"]. That's not simply "initial sources"; she's talking about what sources are saying now. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I spotted in an ANI that some editors seek to wiki-lawyer and use only fringe sources, while fighting tooth-and-nail to reject Reliable Sources. Here a case involving al-Jazeera where a very argumentative editor tries to shout down 6 other editors. It must be very difficult to write good articles in this atmosphere. (talk) 18:36, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Didn't you make that point already on this talk page a few days ago? Yes, it does make things unnecessarily difficult, but I've found that editors who try to shout down other editors tend to find themselves being ignored. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:27, 1 November 2009 (UTC)


As a workaround, I've removed the person infobox, with the date of birth and death, and replaced it with the historical event box, which just gives the date of the event. I've also rewritten the first sentence to make the article about the shooting of them both, which avoids the need to give a date of birth and death, and I've tweaked the rest of the text accordingly. We could now move the title to Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah, if that's wanted. Is this an improvement? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

I believe that's a reasonable compromise. By the way, I've just added a few lines concerning Jamal's injuries from some France 2 footage dated October 1st, 2000, along with a screen grab - though I doubt it will do much to convince the "all Arabs are liars" brigade. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:03, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::The move was premature - there does not seem to be consensus for it. Please undo it. Millmoss (talk) 20:11, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I've not seen any valid arguments against it, and SlimVirgin has already recast the article's first paragraph to reflect it. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::::I've made several of them, right above, as has IronDuke. Although he has not explicitly stated so, I would assume Jaakobu is opposed to this new title as well. It is clear there is no consensus for this move, so your action was premature. Kindly undo it while the discussion is ongoing. Millmoss (talk) 21:07, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

This whole discussion makes no sense. Look, there are many possible explanations for what happened that day, but there are only two basic possibilities for what is shown on the video and what sources describe. Either (a) someone, somewhere shot something in the general vicinity of the al-Durrahs, or (b) the incident was not only staged, but the video was edited using Hollywood-esque special effects to add gunfire and bullet holes. I've seen nobody claim the latter. Maybe it was staged by "Palestinian snipers", or maybe he was killed by a "Palestinian bullet" - I personally have no idea, but even those things do not conflict with an article title that says there was a shooting. We're not titling this Israeli shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah, or Palestinian shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah, we're only saying that by all accounts someone, somewhere shot something in their general vicinity. ← George talk 21:44, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

::::::When you call it "Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah" you are saying that they were shot - which is a point that is very much in dispute, and is certainly not evident in the video. Saying they were shot is different from saying there was shooting in their vicinity. If you want to title it September 30, 2000 Gaza shooting incident that would be fine with me. Millmoss (talk) 22:00, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure there were multiple "shooting incidents" that day. It should probably be Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah shooting (similar to my original suggestion) instead of Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah. The latter implies the two were shot, while the former can mean that there were shots fired at or near them, which may or may not have hit them. ← George talk 22:07, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any consensus for this move at all. By my count, there are three for it, three against (someone leap in and correct me if I'm wrong). If I'm not mistaken, controversial page moves must have consensus before being moved. Slim, would you mind undoing this until we have some sort of agreement? IronDuke 23:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC) Actually, make that 3-2. Sigh. Nevertheless, no consensus that I can see. IronDuke 03:38, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

ID, the idea is to get this article to FA status. We therefore have to find a title that's accurate and that reflects the contents. "Affair" smacks of scandal, the boy's name is inappropriate because it's not a bio, and the one we'd normally use in these circumstances -- Death of -- you'd object to. The current one is a compromise. I've been bending over backwards, actually, to make this article as neutral as I can, but it seems no matter how far I bend, it's not far enough. What we can't do is give credence to the right-wing Israeli POV that this was a hoax. We've included it, and we've removed the death date from the lead by changing it from a bio to an event article. That's goes quite far in the direction you and J have wanted. We can't go much further without it tipping too far. Remember that the alternative views are minority ones, the hoax view especially. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:41, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
While I'm happy, even eager, to discuss your reasoning for the move, can you put it back where it was until that discussion -- resulting in consensus -- is reached? IronDuke 23:29, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there's any point in doing that. The discussion had already gone round in circles for weeks, and there is no indication that I can see that you and Jaakobou are willing to compromise in the first place. Everyone else has tried to compromise with you,as SlimVirgin says; but Jaakobou in particular has been taking more and more extreme positions. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:59, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
ID, I'm not sure why you're asking me to move it. If it's a move that doesn't require the tools, you can move it yourself (though I hope you don't); if it does require the tools, I wouldn't be allowed to move it because I'm involved. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:02, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps I've gone briefly insane. Didn't you move the article in the first place? If not, who did? IronDuke 00:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think you have, and perhaps not briefly. :) It was Chris who moved it, but I very much support the move. It's the best compromise title we have. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:14, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
And likely not for the last time. ;) Chris, to reply to your point above, that you feel my argument (and Jaak's) lacks merit does not actually mean you get to move against consensus. That is policy, if I'm not mistaken. Could you please move the page back to where it was? I could also add that I've accepted one compromise position, and am willing to hear others with an open mind, but it doesn't matter: the page can't be moved like this even if I were deaf to all entreaties. IronDuke 00:18, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
The only suggestion you've come up with so far is an overly POV one - "affair", with its insinuations of "scandal", which is precisely why WP:WTA strongly rejects it. You and Jaakobou have consistently pushed for a title which would overtly favour a far-right minority POV and justified it on grounds which only a handful of the most extreme conspiracy theorists have put forward (note George's comment at the very bottom of this section). If you try to move it back and turn it back into a bio article then the death date and template that you objected to are going back in as well. They were taken out in an attempt to compromise with you, but if you're not interested in compromise - and I've not seen much sign that you are - then they can stay in the article as far as I'm concerned. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:33, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Chris makes a good point, ID. One of the issues editors who are sympathetic to the hoax claims complained about was that the lead contained a date of death. The article was therefore retitled and the lead rewritten to be about the shooting incident of both, rather than a bio of Muhammad, yet now you want it to be moved back. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:41, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Heyo all,
With all due respect, ChrisO has made something other than a good point. I can't recall to have "consistently pushed for a title which would overtly favour a far-right minority POV".[7] I can't recall to have pushed for it even once, let alone on a consistent basis. Would you mind clarifying where my comments led either of you to believe that I'm interested in anything other than a longstanding source-based version that would be acceptable to everyone? (Hint: You could also just stick to comments on content).
Anyways, I don't believe anyone here cares much to be lumped up either the "sympathetic to the hoax/blood libel" crowd. Certainly not as an argument to ignore what reliable sources actually say. I'd appreciate a review of recent sources so that we can honestly assert how the media views/reports on this event, now that more information has come to light about the initial report. There was a need to move the page, but I'm not wure that we've yet found the best formula. Certainly editors ehre are asserting things without backup from the sources and this is not the best way to construct a long-lasting version.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 16:14, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm… well, those are somewhat curious replies indeed. Chris, virtually everything you wrote above is either highly misleading, or flat false. I “came up with” precisely no suggestions. The one I supported was suggested by SlimVirgin. I supported it, mind you—at no point did I “push” for it, let alone “consistently.” You’ve advanced the WTA argument several times now, an argument which I have easily swatted away. It wasn’t that your counterarguments were unpersuasive, it’s that you failed to make any at all. And the page move cannot be called a “compromise’” when it is firmly rejected as worse than the original, can it? I mean, that’s just sort of flabbergasting. What if I said, “Let’s change the title to Muhammad al-Durrah hoax, you reject that, and then I move it there anyway. When you complain, I scold you for being unwilling to compromise. I’m pretty sure I know what happens next. You probably write something like “I’m sorry, IronDuke, you’re right. You bent over backwards to come with a title I would really love, and now I’m spoiling that by complaining. Carry on.” Right? Something like that? I’ll also note that you have not responded at all to my contention that a controversial page move should not be done without consensus, and that this was done here. I’m assuming you therefore agree that is what happened, and will have no procedural objections to my moving it back if we cannot come with a compromise soon.
And speaking of compromise: I’m by no means committed to “Affair,” and I take your concerns about it seriously. There are many other ways to express this issue, and we are all of us, whatever other faults we may have, pretty bright people on this page, if I do so myself. So… what about Muhammad al-Durrah incident? IronDuke 20:27, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, it looks like Millmoss was blocked, then unblocked, then reblocked again for being a sockpuppet of NoCal100 and LoverOfTheRussianQueen. I don't know if they'll be a part of this discussion going forward. ← George talk 08:58, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Can't say I'm surprised. That was clearly not a new user account. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:02, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • What drew your attention to this issue, Brewcrewer, given that before this post you hadn't edited for 27 days, and have never posted on this talk page before? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:32, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • comment on content, not the contributor. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 20:06, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • And if s/he had been following the talk page, s/he would understand why "affair" and "incident" are unacceptable and wouldn't be making ridiculous assertions about the father not being part of the story. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

So, I've gone ahead and moved the paged to "Incident," as I've seen no arguments against it. By my calculations, the current tally was 3-3 for moving the page to "Affair," as opposed to 2-1 for moving to "Incident." I hope everyone can live with this. If not, I remain open to further suggestions. IronDuke 23:18, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

No more page moves please, unless it goes through WP:RM. --Elonka 23:22, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that was a fast reply! Message received. IronDuke 23:27, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
There is an RM poll below. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:13, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
SV, respectfully, that poll isn't really on. It's more of a push poll than a neutral attempt to gather opinions, as can perhaps be gleaned by who is participating in it. I think there must be a better way to do this -- I remain confident that there is a solution we can all agree on (or at least most of us can). IronDuke 00:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Adding death dispute

Chris, in your second revert [8] in about ten minutes, in your edit summary you write "rv addition of personal commentary." There was no such commentary added. I am assuming, for the moment, that you made an honest mistake, and will refrain from undoing your edit. Your clarifying what happened there, and what your reasoning may have been, would be helpful. IronDuke 00:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Second documentary

I believe the second documentary just came out and that it wasn't yet aired in English anywhere. It makes a fair assessment that there would be more voices that support the ' original report was false and the scene could have been staged ' theory than there are at this point in time - and at a glance, I'm not sure these voices are in a minority (see Daily Telegraph and IHT below). With respect to the recent name talks, the video shows that the wall behind them was shot at so the new title isn't horrible -- but, the actual incident is very much unclear to (what seems to be) the majority of recent mainstream publications. I feel as though several editors concluded what the mainstream media says based on preconceptions and without seriously looking at what it actually says. I can understand how its easy to get carried away in reading what fits one's perspective on events but (and then complaining about the pains of bending backwards), despite that, I (actually) still have a hard time accepting the previous misrepresentations of sources and poor logic in regards to "proving" one theory over the other and the (glaring) disregard for reliable secondary sources (incivility was an issue as well). In the respect of "bending backwards", I just don't see it as there is currently a very humble mention of the (what might be and actually seems to be) majority recent view (i.e. ' original report was false and the scene could have been staged '). In fact, the article's lead treads around and doesn't even mention the main points, that the initial allegation (which was dubbed as a 'modern blood libel') against Israel was shot down by multiple reputable investigators... there is some apologetic phrasing that maybe maybe maybe (...maybe) Palestinians shot him "or that it remains unclear whether the boy died" (<- the latter is not notable enough for the lead IMHO), but nothing about Israel being stated as being most probably not guilty (the most glaring point). The current structure should also mention that after an initial acceptance of the Palestinian report, multiple reputable sources changed their perspective. From what I understand two focal points for this were the finding out that Palestinians, Talal Abu Rahmah included, routinely acted scenes out at the Netzarim junction -- supported by multiple sources, including Charles Enderlin. The second focal point for a change in media perspective was in the wake of the "raw" material France 2 presented and the successful appeal. Both notes (i.e. Not Israeli bullets, change of historical perspective) should be noted in a respectable manner and without prejudiced conclusions as to how reliable sources supposedly misunderstood the court's verdict. My suggestion for moving on in a balanced manner -- and without any theories towards the backwards elasticity of human perspectives -- is to forget what we think we know and make an actual analysis of the current reliable sources.
p.s. SlimVirign, your above comment amounts to offensive commentary -- i.e. conflating Americans, Germen, French, and other journalists and investigators with 'right-wing Israelis'. I'd hate seeing a thought pattern that is not based on sources and I repeat my request[9] that you refactor these comments.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 12:55, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Generic source review

I picked, without prejudice, the first ten on the list of recent sources:

  1. The Daily Telegraph - "it now seems that what we saw was not what actually happened.", "infamous hoax"
  2. Marianne (magazine) - I can't read French.
  3. Columbia Journalism Review - "the ‘official’ version of the event could not be true", "[not] enough evidence for the even more damning positive indictment [i.e. blood libel’ purposes]", "[Israel:] events of that day were essentially staged", "the tapes will probably show that the Israeli soldiers did not kill the boy, and that the cause of his death was either unclear or the result of a Palestinian bullet."
  4. The Blitz - "as it turns out, the entire incident was staged; a fake", "far more likely that Palestinian snipers “martyred” the boy to advance their cause"
  5. International Herald Tribune/New York Times? - "debate seethes about whether the ghastly televised footage of Mohammed al-Duri was genuine, misinterpreted or ... artfully staged", "[footage] does not clearly show the child's death.", "no definitive scene that showed that the child truly died.", "not convinced that the particular scene was staged, but only that ... [cut agony scene] ... does not exist."", "[France 2:] no one can say for certain who killed him, Palestinians or Israelis.",
  6. The Jewish Press - "apparently dying", "footage Enderlin said was too graphic and terrible to view does not even exist. It has also been confirmed that the Israelis could not have shot the boy or his father from their positions. Apparently there was no corpse, no autopsy, and no funeral. Nor was there any blood where the boy was allegedly killed.", "[Nidra Poller:] staged battle scenes, false injuries and comical ambulance evacuations reinforces the possibility that the (very brief and spliced together) al-Dura scene, too, was staged"
  7. Philadelphia Bulletin - ... will continue tomorrow.

I'm hoping that my review of the sources would be accepted as neutral/thorough but I'm open to queries/suggestion. I've not yet finished the reivew and as such, have not yet made any assertions/conclusions. JaakobouChalk Talk 00:36, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

How is reviewing sources from a list that was purposely cherry picked to support a particular view either neutral or thorough? ← George talk 08:45, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Heyo George,
I've put some considerable time in fully shortening the views presented in the sources, which are recent, mainstream publications about the Al-Durrah case. I can't see much point in the complaint that they are cherry picked since they are from a fairly large collection of mainstream and wiki-reliable sources. If you would like to introduce a list of recent publications that give different perspectives, I have no special objection to that. However, my question was about the way I presented the sources and not about if you like these mainstream sources or not. We seem to have some minor agreement here (due to general disagreement) about moving in the less assertive direction. I was trying to help people have a better perspective on what reliable sources say by giving allowing a fast review on the first ten (arbitrarily chosen). My time is quite limited these days and I will finish this list (if there is merit to it) as soon as possible.
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 23:38, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
George, Jaak has asked for specific comments regarding specific sources. If you have no opinion, you needn't post. If you do, by all means address them. IronDuke 23:28, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually no, he didn't "ask" for anything; he said he was open to "queries/suggestions". My query was how he could describe his methodology as "neutral/thorough". Watch the incivility. ← George talk 00:45, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that'd be a form of asking. I can take you through why a relatively obvious point is true if you need me to, but I'll assume for now you don't. There wasn't a particle of incivility to my post of course; ironically, your falsely accusing me of it is itself uncivil. And I note again, you have made no substantive points regarding Jaak's sources. IronDuke 00:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I consider statements meant to discourage other editors from contributing, such as "If you have no opinion, you needn't post", to be generally unhelpful and incivil in tone. Jaakobou asked for queries; I replied with a question asking how the methodology he described was either neutral or thorough, given that he's sampling a non-thorough, non-neutral set of data points. ← George talk 21:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Your reply, which did not address the specific sources Jaak had posted, was combative. If it had added to the discussion while being combative, I might have let it alone, but it did not. I find it curious that you take such a tone, and yet have strong feelings when it comes to others who you feel have not been sufficiently saccharine in their replies to you. As you continue to ignore the substance of what Jaak has posted, I don't really see the point of continuing this thread. IronDuke 23:53, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Clarification: I am still leaning towards neither of the suggestions and I would like to see if there are, possibly more arguments/compromise suggestions that could be made. I don't see the current re-title as a long term acceptable solution. JaakobouChalk Talk 23:29, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

In response to your reply to me above (which makes what you're trying to do much clearer), I don't think that this will be a fruitful approach. If you're specifically objecting to the term "shooting", you'll probably need to identify what sources say that neither the Israelis nor Palestinians shot at the al-Durrahs (note that a shooting can have occurred regardless of who fired the shots, and regardless of if the bullets actually hit the al-Durrahs). If you're just thinking out loud, trying to figure out a counterproposal for the title, that's certainly fine. It might be better to do it in your own userpage sandbox, but that's entirely up to you. I'm not particularly tied to this title, but just remember to cite as many reliable sources as you can find that support whatever title you end up proposing. Cheers. ← George talk 08:58, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Ref request

Can we have a link to the Canal+, April 24, 2008 ref? And this can't be correct: "In their eyes, Charles Enderlin would be a falsified of actuality." SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:28, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Chris, I'm moving this here for now. The right section for it would be at the end, in the impact section, where we say how various people have received things. But in the meantime, we need a link and a good translation, and we also need to decide whether this is the best source for that particular view.

The French television channel Canal+ described al-Durrah as "an unbearable symbol in the eyes of certain radical pro-Israelis. Thanks to the [World Wide] Web, they will get to question the authenticity of the France journalist [Enderlin]. Muhammad al-Durrah was not dead, his father was not injured, Muhammad was alive. In their eyes, Charles Enderlin would be a falsified of actuality."[1]

SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:36, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

"Falsified" is a typo on my part - sorry. It should be "falsifier". The lines in question are: "Un symbole insupportable aux yeux de certains radicaux pro-israéliens. Grâce au Web, ils vont réussir à mettre en doute l'authenticité du reportage du journaliste de France 2 . Mohammed al-Dura ne serait pas mort, son père n'aurait pas été blessé, Mohammed serait vivant. A leurs yeux, Charles Enderlin serait un falsificateur de l'actualité." I'm not sure if it's on the web, but I have a transcript of the Canal+ documentary. They visited Gaza and re-interviewed all of the participants, so it's a valuable source. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:39, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, if they did a proper investigation, it's a good source. I'll work it into the impact section. Enderlin also said something about this being a product of the Israeli right-wing, so I'll try to find that too. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:41, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at working it into the impact section per your suggestion. They follow a similar line to Cavajal about the potency of the footage, but put the controversy in an interesting light - that of right-wing radicals trying to tear down not only Enderlin but any journalist who doesn't cleave to their POV. That's a rather well-documented phenomenon, as I'm sure you're aware (think CAMERA). We should also not overlook the impact on Enderlin himself (the death threats etc), which I've also mentioned. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:14, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, why are you introducing a conspiracy theory into the "incident as initially reported" section? That destroys the point of the section, since it's not remotely contemporary. The subsequent conspiracy theorising should be kept in its own section. I don't see any point in selectively adding a counterpoint to one element of the original reporting, particularly as the conspiracy theorists have counterpoints to virtually every element. You're risking opening the door to the addition of any number of conspiracy theorist counterpoints. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:43, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
There's just one sentence (and, in fact, I think earlier I just had "but see below" with a link), because, although this is the "as initially reported" section, we can't let material that has been directly challenged stand as though it has not been challenged. That is the way I've written it throughout: mostly chronological, but with "but see this and see that," where relevant, so that readers aren't misled into thinking the issues are straightforward. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:46, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Chris, please don't keep calling it a conspiracy theory (you did it four times in that one post). :) I would like to try to take this to FAC. The way to do that is to have a well-written article, streamlined, with a coherent narrative and flow, and to make sure throughout that views are written about respectfully -- bearing in mind that minority views don't get as much space or focus. An FA has to exhaust the available reliable sources, or at least the available views. It can't miss any out (if mainstream sources have written about them).
What everyone has to remember is one very important fact. We were not there. We therefore don't know what happened. The only thing we can do is try to create an intelligent piece of writing based on what the newspapers and court documents are saying. We shouldn't emphasize anything irrelevant, and we shouldn't leave anything relevant out. This process is harder than usual because a lot of the newspapers aren't reporting accurately what other people have said, so it's a bit of a primary/secondary minefield. But if we add the strong POVs of editors into the mix, the process becomes impossible. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:54, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but not calling it a conspiracy theory won't change the fact that it most definitely is a conspiracy theory. Read what you yourself wrote: "[The Israeli doctor] David said the scars that Jamal presented as bullet wounds from the 2000 shooting were actually scars from a tendon repair operation that David had performed in 1994." You have a conspiracy theory straight off - that Jamal is lying about his bullet wounds and conspiring to misrepresent them. Think about it a bit more. We have video footage taken the day after the shooting showing Jamal in a hospital bed, in pain, covered in bloodstained bandages. We have his doctors talking about his injuries and showing X-ray photographs of his broken bones. We have first-hand news reports of him in hospital in Gaza and in Jordan. We know from those reports that he went through multiple operations in both Gaza and Jordan. So David is not only overtly stating that Jamal is lying, he's implicitly stating that his doctors are also lying, and that all the contemporary evidence - video footage, bloodstained bandages, X-ray plates, doctors' reports, journalists' first-hand reports - is all faked. I am uneasy (to say the least) that a completely unverified claim by an individual who we don't even know ever met Jamal before is being given as much prominence in the article - if not more - than the mass of undisputed first-hand reporting and photographs of his injuries. It seems too much like undue weight on a random individual's claims. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
A conspiracy theory involves more than people saying someone is lying. An important aspect of a story becoming a conspiracy theory is that it's not falsifable in the minds of its adherents: no matter what evidence you produce to refute it, they'll incorporate it into the theory. It's a closed system that ignores the standard rules of evidence. It's an ideology, in other words.
Jamal is saying, "This injury was obtained during a shooting." The doctor is saying, "That hand was injured before the shooting. I know this because I performed surgery on it." Those are conflicting claims, not a conspiracy theory.
I don't know why you would say the doctor's views are being given as much prominence as all the other views. The doctor is given very little space. SlimVirgin talk|contribs

We can't use this in the article because it's SYN, but one thing I personally found quite convincing is the article from the woman who knew Jamal a little because she'd hired him to do construction work around her house. It's a very good article; worth reading. [10] The last time she hired him would have been after the surgery the doctor said he performed. She doesn't mention him being unable to use his hand. On the contrary, he did some very intricate work for her on a picture frame that had broken. That doesn't mean the doctor didn't perform surgery, but it suggested to me that Jamal's hand wasn't paralysed after it, as it apparently was after the shooting. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:08, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

No alleged archives

It is suprising that there are "no archives". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Here's one place to go to see how the field was cleared for an NPOV editor to mend the article. A great shame that other admins later banned him. (talk) 17:44, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
The archive pages are still there but unlinked at the moment. I'll try to fix this. See [11] for a link to the most recent one. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:48, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I've restored links to them at the top of the page. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:35, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


Ironduke, do you seriously suppose this article might be awarded FA status with this as the title, and with a note from a Wikipedian after the date of death that the death is disputed? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

To be honest, FA status wasn't something I was particularly lusting after. I just want the article to be as neutral and accurate as possible. If that means no FA, I'm okay with that. I'd also add that you had an opportunity to comment on my proposed title change, but declined to do so. IronDuke 00:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
One way to ensure that the article is neutral, accurate, well-written, and well-sourced, is to submit it for FA status, because it means some of WP's best editors will review it. It's not for you to decide that that ought not to happen. Trying to get FA status isn't about acquiring a bauble; it's about trying to make the article the best it can be. The word "incident" in the title, and notes from Wikipedians in the text, won't get us there. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:01, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, FA reviewers could point these things out, if they felt they were a barrier. If so, they are easily altered. If not, it could be baubles all round :). BTW, I don't know what you mean by "notes from Wikipedians" -- I know pretty much for a fact you don't deny that his death is disputed. But again, I'm open to outside views. IronDuke 01:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
We don't write articles deliberately badly to give FA reviewers a reason to oppose. We write them as well as we can, in the hope that the reviewers support. What you are doing here is sabotaging that. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:09, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
That's begging the question, of course; you are repeating your original assertion as though it had been proven. It hasn't -- not even a start has been made on that process, assuming you are ultimately correct. But I'm still listening. IronDuke 01:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Which original assertion?
ID, don't do this. Your usual thing is to start pointless arguments and keep them going, lots of word play, rhetorical questions, on and on. It's a waste of time. Fact is that this is a bad title, and your edits made the article worse. "Incident" sounds as though we're holding it at arms' length and wearing a clothes peg on our noses. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:23, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Hm, well that is a bit disappointing. In your last sentence, you raise -- for the first time -- something close to an actual point, one I can actually engage. However, you are also getting personal (and are quite wrong in both fact and spirit on that front), so I'm uncomfortable continuing this discussion with you. I'll just say that I think most people would agree an "incident" occurred. Indeed, it seems highly obvious to me. IronDuke 01:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, one more thing and then I'll leave you with the last word. At present, we use the word "incident" specifically relating to MaD roughly 13 times in the article, including a section header. IronDuke 01:35, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for accusing you of arguing pointlessly; I was out of order doing that. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks very much for doing that, it is heartily appreciated. I'm happy to expand more on the above if you or anyone else would like. IronDuke 02:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Straw poll for title

Would people please express their preference here, bearing in mind that it would be good to get the article to FA. The title should be one that accurately reflects the majority and significant-minority positions, without sounding as though we're endorsing a tiny-minority. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Muhammad al-Durrah (advantage is it's simple; disadvantage is that the article's not about the boy, and we would have to include or omit a date of death in the first sentence).
  1. Third choice. ← George talk 06:20, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  2. Second choice. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Death of Muhammad al-Durrah (this is what we would normally choose in a situation like this; disadvantage is that a significant minority say there's no evidence that he died).
  1. First choice. ← George talk 06:20, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  2. Comment. This would be an obvious choice but there's no way the conspiracy theorists will allow this, unfortunately. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
    I'll just point out that I voted on what I felt was the most appropriate title for the event, based on Wikipedia policies - not what I think other editors will agree to. Even if "a significant minority say there's no evidence that he died", that doesn't mean that those commentators believe he didn't die, just that they see no evidence to confirm it. No one disputes that his death was widely reported. No one disputes that the doctors said he was dead. No one has reported seeing the boy alive in the last 9 years. Not a significant minority - no one. ← George talk 09:23, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah (advantage is that it deals with the shooting of both, and avoids the issue of whether the boy died; disadvantage is that contains the word "shooting," and a minority say the whole thing was a hoax—this is arguably a tiny-minority position, though it's hard to be sure).
  1. My first choice. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  2. Second choice. ← George talk 06:20, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  3. First choice. Even those who argue that the Israelis weren't responsible for the shooting don't deny that there was a shooting. The view that the whole thing was a hoax is a tiny-minority position and should not dictate the article's naming. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Muhammad al-Durrah affair (used by the French Wikipedia. Advantage is that it makes no comment on what happened; disadvantage is that "affair" may smack of scandal)
  1. Third choice. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Muhammad al-Durrah and France 2 (suggesting this here for the first time; advantage is that this is what the article is actually about; disadvantage is that it may sound as though we're endorsing an alternative view).
  1. Second choice. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure I agree with this straw poll. For one thing, I feel we're ossifying choices, and another, mutually agreeable one may well be out there. Also, the way the poll is phrased, it's quite leading. At the very least, I'd love it if the editorializing could be stripped out (including in the intro), and arguments for or against would be made under editors' own sigs. IronDuke 02:09, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Remove the comments if you want to. It's a perfectly standard poll, which is required by RM. My idea is to ask an involved admin to close it, so if you feel the comments are in the way, please remove them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:52, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, let me think about that. PS I think you mean "uninvolved" admin. And do they really "close" straw polls? IronDuke 00:54, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Ha ha, yes. Freudian slip. :) WP:RM asks that a poll be held and an admin close it. There are admins who specialize in page moves, so I was thinking of asking one of them. I may also put this up as an RfC, which was why I added the comments (I tried to keep them neutral), so that people not familiar with the issues would see what they were. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:56, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I was also thinking about the RfC route -- I'd encourage you to do that, as long as the posting was neutral. And as for the neutrality of the comments, really what would be most neutral there is no comments, yes? And I say again, I think a poll is premature. I'm sure there are many more ideas we could all come up with, one of them possibly leading to a title we can all live with. And this poll is short-circuiting discussion. You and Chris seem not to like incident, but there has been virtually no discussion as to why. Mind you, it doesn't have to be "Incident," but discussion is better than a poll here, IMO. IronDuke 01:00, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
There has to be some explanation for people if there's to be an RfC, or they won't know why we're asking. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. Perhaps there could be a "We wish to emphasize that the idea that MaD did not die is an insignificant minority view and the title should reflect this" section versus a "We wish to emphasize that the idea that MaD did not die is a significant minority view and the title should reflect this" section. But again, can we not have further discussion? This seems premature. IronDuke 01:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not liking the poll at this point in time. I don't think we'd get anything other than what we've got up to now in the discussions above. JaakobouChalk Talk 14:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the above sentiments. The format of the "poll" was not a good idea, per IronDuke. Nor has anything really changed from the discussion in the preceding section. The move to Shooting of Jamal and Muhammad al-Durrah was done with no consensus and to top that, was a poor idea. As explained above, Muhammad al-Durrah or Muhammad al-Durrah incident are really the only proper names that would satisfy all viewpoints. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 15:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

What happened to the links?

In the ref section, I notice there aren't any links to the refs in the footnote section, as there used to be. I personally find that a bit inconvenient and will totally baffle new users who want to see where the info is coming from -- can someone say why this was done? Was there an MOS change? Thanks. IronDuke 01:54, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

We've used short refs in the text for the footnotes, and full citations in a separate References section. The latter is required for FA. All the links are there. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:03, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, in that case I would really be arguing pointlessly if I argued against it ;). Just seems silly, though, doesn't it? You, a newbie, click on a footnote and, while the source is there, and could be clickable, it isn't. You'd have to know where to search further down. Ah, well. IronDuke 02:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The advantage is that long citations are moved out of the text; they can make articles harder to edit for flow in edit mode, which leads to poor writing. The disadvantage, as you say, is that readers have to click twice. There is a way of making the short refs jump to the longer ones, but it involves adding templates, and that slows page loading down. All the citation methods have their disadvantages. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:11, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Page moves

Would you guys please stop moving the page until a solid consensus is built?!?! It is totally confusing and irresponsible to be bold here given that there is so much discourse happening. I suggest moving back to plain al-Durrah until something can be agreed on. --Shuki (talk) 23:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Elonka has already requested that the page not be moved unless and until it goes through RM. IronDuke 00:08, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I have asked Elonka not to take admin action in relation to this page, as rightly or wrongly I see her as involved. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:51, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure you are right. Elonka was reviewing some of the poor conduct on this page a while back but other than that I don't believe she has expressed opinions in either direction or participated much in any Israeli-Arab content debate. In general, I think it is a good idea for admins to be knowledgeable of past behaviors. Did I miss anything there? JaakobouChalk Talk 07:12, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with SlimVirgin. Given the history of that involvement, further involvement would be inadvisable. -- ChrisO (talk) 13:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)


I'm not following how the latest revert makes things better. I attempted to shift the emphasis from the minority "boy might be alive" perspective to the far more mainstream published opinion that the incident was staged [to some extent]. It also begs the question on why we're not saying the most obvious conclusion from all the investigations. i.e. that [according to the investigations] Israelis could not have shot him. ChrisO tried to assert that these were not in the source (per "rv to SlimVirgin - POV, OR"[12]) so I've added a direct citation. Is there anything I'm missing here. Please explain. JaakobouChalk Talk 17:09, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I reverted because of your addition of an irrelevant point in the footnote, one that had nothing to do with the text, and because you repeated in the lead that some people think it was a hoax. That point is already there, where we say Karsenty was sued for saying it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:30, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
There's two problems with your perspective on layout here. For starters, that one of the people saying it were a hoax was sued, does not mean that we should exclude the note that multiple serious investigators found that (exhibit a) Israelis could not have shot him. This absolutely, positively must be included in a prominent location in the lead. Also, its not much of a point to exclude a note that the majority of investigations believe a portion of the event was staged... just becauswe a blogger got sued for saying just that. ChrisO made the cute claim that I'm making things up, so I gave the direct quote from our source. I'msorry that adding that quote offended you.[13] Regardless, I have no special ties with adding of the direct portion of our reference, but it does help people with concerns like the ones raised by ChrisO realize that the citation text actually say what they claim to be "rv to SlimVirgin - POV, OR"[14]. I'm not sure on another way of handling such an issue, where an editor claims the reference does not say something, when it clearly does. I know that you'd like the references to be clean, but this circumstance required a direct quote. Suggestions/thoughts? JaakobouChalk Talk 06:37, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your point. The lead lists the possibilities: Israelis shot him, Palestinians shot him, persons unknown shot him and maybe he didn't die, maybe no one shot him. We don't labour or highlight any of them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:25, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
The main media notability of the investigations was that after it became evident that the Israelites could not have shot him (according to the investigations), other theories were raised. The most prominent, I believe in later publications was that theory that the scene was staged - and not that the boy might be alive. I believe there's a clear difference between saying "Palestinians may have shot him" and between "Israelis could not have shot him". The latter, IMHO, is the more prominent assertion and the one that should be written. This was also the way it was written in the cited source (i.e. James Fallows 2003) and in my edit, I've added the exact quote to support this. There's no point in focusing the blame on the Palestinians if no one really knows what happened. All the speculations are only due to the most notable finding of the investigators. I also think that there hasn't been a huge support for the "no one knows if the boy is alive" theory. Placing that theory in contrast with the notability of the one that says the event was staged gives the staging theory the victory hands down. I believe the lead should reflect that. Hope my points are clear now so we can fix this issue. Let me know if you need the direct quotes I've used for this (you can also click on the above diff of your revert).
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 13:15, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed the import of SlimVirgin's words? When she says "we don't labour or highlight any of them", it's because we shouldn't. You are arguing in favour of slanting the entire article in favour of one POV which, not coincidentally, you evidently believe in. -- ChrisO (talk) 13:30, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
It's pretty clear that Jaakobou wants to highlight the conspiracy theory explanation, which is of course undue weight and overt POV-pushing. -- ChrisO (talk) 11:19, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
As a reminder, please keep comments focused on the content, not on the editors, thanks. --Elonka 00:37, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Elonka, you were asked by the two main contributors, both experienced editors, not to comment here as an admin. Doing so directly afterwards is provocative and inappropriate. Chris is right in what he says about Jaakobou, and always has been, just as he was right about others. Now, please, respect our judgment that you are involved, so that there's no more drama on this page. We have been doing fine in recent months, and the article has improved as a result. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:54, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
That's not right. Non of the recent allegations is either accurate or merited. Certainly, this is not the place to hold ideological grudges and use the platform as a battering ram and there's a number of very prominent policies that discuss incivility and other such basics that should be avoided in common editorial practice. The way to move forward should be through mutual respect among established editors who might be able to bring from their knowledge and experience to help create a more long term and wide-scale consensus text. Could you imagine the article lasting long term with a faulty assessment that AP reported on the shooting before it even occurred? I couldn't; I'm glad that, for example, we were able [after a bit of arguing] to correct it with a wide consensus. I'd like to renew my bid for collaboration. We all know something about the content and together we can make this article brilliant with a bit of collaboration and focus towards what our sources say, rather than possibly incorrect preconceptions dictate.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 06:44, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
This article is now making good progress, and has done for the last few months. I see it as quite close to FAC standard; all that's missing are some images, and perhaps more details of Schapira's documentary under her own section. It definitely does not need any more about the hoax allegations, especially not in the lead.
And "we" did not correct the AP report, Jaakobou. It was found to contain material not consistent with the date. It wasn't you who found that, and it had nothing to do with your posts about it. I really have no interest in arguing any further with you about this article. You've been making the same points for years, and they get us nowhere, because the only thing we can do in this article is repeat what reliable sources have said, in rough proportion to how the sources represent the claims. Unless and until the sources say more about the hoax allegations, we can't expand on them or highlight them, and I doubt there's a single experienced editor on Wikipedia who will tell you otherwise. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, one further point, then I'll say no more about it. I do want to write a brief paragraph for the lead summarizing the "Personal and political impact" section, because that's needed if we want to submit this for FAC. So the hoax issue will be mentioned there, but it will be discussed in terms of the political impact the image has had, not in terms of evidence for or against. That is, it will be a "meta" issue. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:35, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Dear SlimVirign,
Lead expansion: I have no intention on expanding the lead on the hoax theory but you can't present that theory differently than the mainstream media does. The claims are not focusing on the "boy might be alive" assertion that you've inserted into the lead (per: "or that it remains unclear whether the boy died"[15]), but rather on a claim that "Israelis didn't shoot him", and "possible that the incident was staged". The text should reflect the main point and not the fringe point. I'm 100% certain that this is how the text should be written and I've added two relevant quotes from the James Fallows source to support this (fairly minor but pertinent) change (see "was not shot by", and "event was staged" at the bottom[16]), and its hard for me to change that perspective if I'm under constant attacks for something that I'm not doing. Preconceptions are hard to change, but I'm fairly certain that there's nothing concrete in my fix suggestion here (of changing the phrasing on the investigations) to back up any of the bad faith allegations.
Side notes about the AP issue: I believe I made a strong case on why ChrisO's initial "discovery" -- that AP allegedly reported the incident before it occurred -- long before you also corroborated that he was wrong. I also saw that text you "found" but it did not have any time stamp and I wanted to give ChrisO the benefit of the doubt to come up with a different version than the one I was looking at.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 10:01, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry to repeat this, but it's important not to allow a meme to get started here. You made no case at all for removing the AP story. You just kept posting that it ought to be removed. Your posts had absolutely nothing to do with its removal. I spent a few weeks fact-checking the article, comparing every claim to what the sources said, comparing sources against each other, and checking that secondary sources had correctly interpreted primary sources. I found lots of errors, which I think had remained in the article because some people were adding errors and other people were scared to revert them, so errors were being absorbed into the next set of edits.
One of the issues I found was that an AP story had an inaccurate date-stamp on it; the story had been rewritten but the timestamp hadn't been changed. That was one of many issues I found, and my finding them had nothing to do with your posts. Now, please, no more discussing you and your opinions. The article is better than it has been for awhile, perhaps ever. It fairly represents the various views (except that we need more Schapira in her own section, in my opinion) to the best of our ability given how hard it is to judge proportion. There is probably a more coherent and readable account of your views in the current version than ever before, so you have won a lot of concessions. Please don't keep pushing for more. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:15, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Heyo SlimVirign,
I tend to agree that the article is in better shape and, though you might disagree, I feel that I've had a part in that. Still, personal views (per "your views in the current version") have nothing to do with poor conduct or the content discussion. In regards to the content, I've mentioned above (maybe you missed it) that the lead is focusing on the wrong part of the investigations (see "was not shot by", and "event was staged" at the bottom[17]). Are you still not undertsanding my concerns here?
p.s. You can/should review the AP case history to jog your memory. Please also mind the "meme" incivility.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 16:16, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
There is no need to review the AP "case history." There is no case history. I made my way through the article checking sources -- clunk, clunk, clunk -- and removed the AP one when I found the date discrepancy (which you hadn't noticed). It wasn't removed because of your posts about it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:33, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I find myself agreeing with Jaakobou that the lede should emphasize the issue of non-Israeli causation instead of the possibility of still being alive. Mainstream sources emphasize the former over the latter. The OR-like analysis of "mistakes in the secondary and primary sources" doesn't look that kosher and in-line with WP:OR.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 17:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
On another vein, some of the editor behavior here has been most troubling. Not sure why we're having continued unwelcome editors directed towards other editors. Perhaps editors that don't want others to chime in and need provenance information from all editors shouldn't really be editing this article. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 17:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I've been watching this discussion unfold, and I just don't get it. While Jaakobou's version is longer and harder to read, I'm just not getting what it adds or subtracts from the statement. The whole thing strikes me as a glass half full/glass half empty argument. What's the difference between saying the Israelis didn't shoot him and saying that the Palestinians did? What's the difference between saying that some claim the boy isn't dead and saying some claim that his death was staged? While Jaakobou's version isn't as well written, I don't really see the difference. ← George talk 18:12, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
One difference is that the writing in J's version is not as good, and the writing matters. He also wants to add to the lead that an investigation showed the incident to be staged. We already refer in the lead to Karsenty saying it was hoax, so saying it was staged is repetitive. It's also not entirely correct as he wrote it—neither the first nor the second IDF investigation concluded the issue had been staged, yet he says there was an "investigation" that showed this. He also wants to add that Israeli soldiers could not have shot the boy, rather than that they may not have done. His version also added an irrelevant footnote to the final section. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:33, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry that my version is "not as good" as yours. I wouldn't mind suggestions on how to rephrase it in a manner that you think is as good as your text. The issue, though, is that the investigations clearly all stated that Israelis could not have shot him. Can we start by accepting that this is what the cited article says? JaakobouChalk Talk 09:58, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
I can't see any argument against the source clearly saying "[Muhammad al-Durrah] was not shot by the Israeli soldiers who were known to be involved in the day's fighting—or so I am convinced, after spending a week in Israel talking with those examining the case." I've rephrased it from 'suggested' to 'stated'. I also disagree with the notion that Karsenty's court case clarifies that there are investigations towards the "staged scene" issue, which is far more notable than any "boy might not be dead" claims. I've also reviwed the French source and slightly rephrased the language so that it would be closer to our French source: "M. Karsenty était poursuivi pour avoir affirmé que les images diffusées par la chaîne publique en septembre 2000, montrant la mort sous les balles israéliennes d'un enfant palestinien blotti dans les bras de son père, pendant l'intifada, relevaient de la mise en scène (nos éditions du 16 septembre)." There's no mention of Enderlin in there and the accusation is that the images were staged and not that France 2 perpetrated anything other than broadcast these images. JaakobouChalk Talk 23:31, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
You just said that "no investigation showed that [Israelis didn't shoot the boy]". Did you miss the above text?
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 23:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Intifada balance

I'm finding the current note that "around 3,000 of them Palestinian" to be imbalanced use of statistics. For example, around 80 percent of Israeli casualties were inside Israel proper. Certainly a noteworthy statistic. Another is that of the 3000, more than 2000 were involved in militancy and of the about 1000 Israeli casualties, approximately 70 percent were civilians, leading Israel to construct the highly controversial security barrier. Anyways, I'm not yet sure on a phrasing that I'd be 100% happy with and I'm open to suggestions. JaakobouChalk Talk 16:30, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Don't understand recent change

Jaakobou recently changed one of the sentences in the "Ariel Sharon's visit to Temple Mount" section, and I don't completely understand the change, or what it adds to the article. LIkewise, however, I'm unsure if the original statement was accurate either.

The statement used to say:

"On September 28, 2000, two days before the incident, the Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making access to it a hotly contested issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The visit was seen as a provocation..."

Jaakobou changed this to:

"On September 28, 2000, two days before the incident, the Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making the Islamic Waqf administration over the site and the ban on non-Muslim prayer a hotly contested issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The visit was seen as a provocation..."

The original effectively stated that: Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, visiting the temple mount was contentious; his visit was viewed as a provocation. It flows logically, and makes some sense, but I'm not sure if it's accurate (more on that later). Jaakobou's version is more akin to: Ariel Sharon visited the Temple, Muslim control over the area is contentious; his visit was viewed as a provocation. This just doesn't flow (logically or chronologically), nor totally make sense.

To quote this Haaretz article:

"For 33 years, the Temple Mount was open to all, including Jews, who were permitted to visit - but not pray - on the site. This was the core element of the status quo set up by Moshe Dayan on the Temple Mount in June 1967. On the day following Sharon's visit to the Mount, the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust, closed it to all non-Muslim visitors, following consultations with the Palestinian Authority."

Some key points to take from this:

  1. Muslim control of the Temple Mount was setup by Moshe Dayan (an Israeli) in 1967.
  2. Everyone was permitted to visit, but only Muslims were permitted to pray, as part of the same status quo established in 1967. I believe the Israelis also hold (and enforce) this stance, albeit as a way to avoid confrontation.
  3. The Waqf only restricted access to the site after Sharon's visit.

This doesn't indicate to me, as Jaakobou wrote, that the "Waqf administration over the site and the ban on non-Muslim prayer [was] a hotly contested issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," as it had been the status quo situation for 33 years. Was highlighting the ban on prayer Sharon's impetus to visit? Did he openly pray at the Temple Mount? I couldn't find anything on that either, so I'm confused. And visiting the Temple Mount wasn't prohibited either as far as I can tell, so I'm not sure the original wording was accurate. To the best of my recollection, the Palestinians weren't upset because a Jew visited (which was allowed at the time), nor because that Jew prayed (which I didn't find evidence of), nor because of who administered the area (which doesn't really make sense). I believe they were upset specifically because it was Ariel Sharon who visited, a man whom they consider to be the "butcher of Beirut", guilty of war crimes in the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and because the visit was viewed more as a show of Israeli power, "rubbing it in the noses" of the Palestinians, so to speak. ← George talk 18:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps I can clear up some of your confusion. "Making access to it a hotly contested issue" is a bit misleading in its vagueness. There's not been an issue of Muslims having access. It's been Jews' access, and whether they may freely visit and/or pray. Thus, the issue here, as I think Jaak's edit correctly highlights, would be the Waqf controlling the area. And yes, this has been and continues to be a hot-button issue in the IP conflict, even 33 years later. Sharon's visit was contentious, and that his visit was contentious was itself contentious. IronDuke 20:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
That sentence should be as streamlined as possible with no unnecessary detail. I've changed it to: "The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making its rules of access one of the hotly contested issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." SlimVirgin 00:04, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Heyo George,
I figured it merited some basic notice that his visit is contenteous because he wanted to support Jewish people having a right to pray in the location. The reader needs some minimal half-sentence mention to help him understand on why Sharon took to make a visit and why it is seen as a provocation, yes? I tried to keep it minimal though without soapboxing about riots and random clashes and stone throwing. Thought I'd done a reasonable job at that actually.
SlimVirign Please,
If you don't understand what's going on content-wise, then ask before you remove highly relevant content. Is there anything else that needs clarifying on why Sharon visited the cite or are you thinking that the term suggesting Jews and Arabs have equal rights there is ok?
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 00:16, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I undid your latest edit on this topic. I think you're incorrect that Sharon's visit was contentious "because he wanted to support Jewish people having a right to pray in the location", and I'm unsure if that's even why he visited. So first, can you provide a source that says that the reason he went to visit the Temple Mount was to support Jewish people who want to pray there? Second, your wording mixes up two very different issues - the issue of access (which Jews had prior to Sharon's visit), and the issue of prayer (which was restricted to Muslims both before and after his visit). The law banning prayer isn't a matter of Jews versus Arabs (a comparison of apples and oranges); it's about Muslims and non-Muslims. ← George talk 16:49, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I reverted your last edit, George. Please discuss before making changes. Regards.--Mbz1 (talk) 20:48, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I reverted your last edit, Mbz1. Please discuss before making changes. Regards. -- (talk) 21:00, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

We now seem to be at the "discuss" part of the bold, revert, discuss cycle, so let's go through the individual changes proposed by Jaakobou:

  • Jaakobou proposes "stated that the IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs and suggested variously..."; SlimVirgin prefers "suggested variously that the IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs." Jaakobou's version assumes that all the "investigations" concluded that the IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs. Is this the case and if so, what is the source for this statement? It should not be restored without a source.
  • Jaakobou wants to add a statement about Sharon's visit making "Islamic administration over the site by the Waqf and the ban on non-Muslim prayer a hotly contested issue". This has been disputed and there have been a number of unanswered questions about this on the talk page (see George above); what is the source for this statement? None is cited. Again, it should not be included without a source.
  • Jaakobou wants to replace "Philippe Karsenty, was sued by France 2 for defamation, after he accused them of having broadcast a hoax, but a verdict in 2006 in the network's favour" with "Philippe Karsenty, was sued by France 2 for defamation, after he accused the French public network of broadcasting images from an orchestrated scene, but a verdict in 2006 in France 2's favour". I think on this issue he might have a point. The cited source says: "M. Karsenty était poursuivi pour avoir affirmé que les images diffusées par la chaîne publique en septembre 2000, montrant la mort sous les balles israéliennes d'un enfant palestinien blotti dans les bras de son père, pendant l'intifada, relevaient de la mise en scène ..." The term "mise en scène" is hard to translate into English as there's no direct equivalent, but "staged scene" would be closer to the mark than "hoax". On a stylistic point, using "France 2" twice in a sentence is repetitious and I suggest that SlimVirgin's use of "the network" for the second instance is better style. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:31, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Heyo ChrisO,
First, I'd like to thank you for listing down your concerns. Here's my addressing them, do let me know if I missed something.
  • IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs - It would seem that you've not been following the recent discussions and changes so much since I pointed out the exact phrase from the source that is currently used for the IDF issue. Anyways, no harm done and you can find it here - per "Whatever happened to him, he was not shot by the Israeli soldiers who were known to be involved in the day's fighting—or so I am convinced, after spending a week in Israel talking with those examining the case." If you need some other backup source for the "stated that Israeli soldiers could not have shot him" style text, let me know. It should be a problem as almost every investigation stated with that statement.
  • ban on non-Muslim prayer - We've had quite a few things there without a source and certainly, the places being holy does not explain why Sharon visited there as he is not a religious person. There's really no problem in adding a source here and a peaceful interaction would be appreciated in the event of mere concern that a source would benefit the text. Anyways, now that George stated his concern to be that I am incorrect, we can resolve this through sources instead of by vague reverts by a couple of his buddies (SlimVirgin and anon IP). I'll add one here a little later (its partly noted in the "The visit" wiki-linking in the text) but first I'd like to frame the arguments that need resolving away from the ones that are clear cut.
  • broadcasting images from an orchestrated scene - Agreed. If anyone else has something to add, do let me know so we canwork this point out.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 23:00, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. Taking those in order:
  • I don't see the relevance of the source you just cited - it doesn't address the issue I raised. If you want to assert that all the various investigations acquitted the IDF, you need to find a source that says that - some sort of review or overview of the investigations. Fallows was a fairly early commentator (2003, apparently). Without such a source your statement is basically original research.
  • By all means resolve this through sources. Please bring them to this talk page and get consensus for including this interpretation of the significance of Sharon's visit.
  • I suggest changing the line in question to: "Philippe Karsenty, was sued by France 2 for defamation, after he accused them of having broadcast a staged scene, but a verdict in 2006 in the network's favour ..." That is closer to the original French source, which speaks of a "mise en scène" (staged scene) rather than a "canular" (hoax). It also avoids the repetition that you introduced in your version. -- ChrisO (talk) 01:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Chris, I've changed "hoax" to "staged scene," per your suggestion. SlimVirgin 01:32, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for doing that. -- ChrisO (talk) 01:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Heyo ChrisO,
  • IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs - I'm not sure I'm following what you require in your request that I bring a source that "review[s] or overview[s]" the investigations. Our article text says that investigations "suggested" that the IDF did not shoot the boy and the cited source says that those examining the case persuaded Fallows with this issue. In this source, we have the text "The Israeli army, using the angles of the shots, demonstrated that the gunfire could not have come from their position." Would this be enough to persuade for the necessary change from "suggested" to "stated"?
  • Israel quickly accepted responsibility if no clarification to the objection is raised with the 'quickly' word, then it is most pertinent and I hope to add it or something similar to it as a clarification that the IDF did this prior to any serious investigation.
p.s. No offense SlimVirign, but you kind of make me laugh in how you're giving yourself and others credit for my suggestions. I hope you'll start noticing at some point though and take my comments and participation with a little less hostility. Just a tad would make a great difference.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 03:06, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The issue with your change wasn't that you changed "suggested" to "stated", it's that you changed the meaning of the sentence. The sentence used to say that different investigations came to different conclusions. Your wording says that all the investigations came to the conclusion that the IDF didn't shoot him, and that some came to additional conclusions. It's the nuanced difference in the meaning of the two sentences that's at issue.
  • Correct. My concern is that (to the best of my knowledge) the furor over Sharon's visit wasn't because he was a Jewish politician who supported the rights of other Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, but because he was Ariel Sharon. Let me put it to you this way: if Hitler was alive, and wanted to visit the wailing wall, how would Jews feel about that? I don't equate Sharon with Hitler personally, but to many Palestinians, Sharon is a war criminal who massacred women and children.
  • What value does the word "quickly" add? It implies that things were done in a haphazard manner (akin to something being done hastily), which is a very specific point of view. It would be better to say exactly how long they took, such as: "Israel accepted responsibility 24 hours later..." That's just an example, and I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but being specific is better than being weaselly. ← George talk 03:42, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Heyo George,
  • IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs - currently -- according to your interpretation since I don't see it that way -- the text says that "all the investigations suggested that the IDF didn't shoot him". Personally, I recall each and every discussion about the investigations to say "IDF didn't shoot the boy" or "most probably didn't shoot the boy" or "couldn't have shot the boy" which would translate to "stated" and not "suggested". 'm honestly not following the argument you're making here since it feels as though you're fighting an obvious change and, now, against 2 reliable sources. If you have suggestions/clarifications/etc. maybe that would help, but I can't persuade you that you're incorrect when you're promoting a dead argument. Have you seen reliable note on an investigation that said the IDF did shoot him? If not, then I just don't see a merit to the argument against changing 'suggested' to 'stated'. As a side suggestion. I recently saw a short documentary on the Al-Durrahs that said, "an IDF investigation, later substantiated by a German television's in depth investigation, declared that there was no line of fire between the IDF position and the position of the father and his son"[18] There's room, IMHO to add that clarification to the text as well.
  • ban on non-Muslim prayer - Those are two separate issues and I don't mind making note that "Sharon is a controversial figure in the Arab-Israeli conflict" right before a mention that his visit was seen as a provocation. Anyways, this source talks about "asserting his right and the right of every Jew to visit Jerusalem's holy places." Its not 100% accurate since Jews were allowed to visit but were not allowed to pray (kind of like being allowed to visit a steak-house but not being allowed to remove the blindfold and nose plugs). I'm hoping we can mull this one over and use this source for the note that there is a ban on non Muslim prayer rather than an all inclusive ban. Thoughts/suggestions? Feel free to make an edit to the article text on this one and, worst case, we'll argue about it a bit.
  • Israel quickly accepted responsibility - Israel accepted responsibility on the very day of the report and without any investigation. Here, we have the statement that "The IDF, which initially apologized for the death of al-Dura, concluded after an investigation that the boy could not have been hit by Israeli bullets." We also have a note that "The Israeli military issued an apology immediately after France 2’s report aired in 2000" here. The current phrasing makes it sound like they made a coherent decision that they were guilty and backtracked from it. However, its fairly clear from the sources that the response to the event was given too early and this should be clarified.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 21:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • It's simple - you didn't only change the word "suggested" to "stated", you also moved the word "variously", which fundamentally changes the meaning of the sentence. I'll try to think if I can think of a better way to say what you want without changing the sentence's meaning...
  • The statement you cited was said by Sharon himself, so it's hardly an unbiased view of what happened. The question is not what Ariel Sharon thought was the provocation, but how most reliable sources reported it. I think you'll find that most sources cited Sharon's visit as the instigating incident.
  • What's wrong with saying "Israel initially accepted responsibility..."? ← George talk 02:04, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we should be held hostage like this by one editor's insistence on constantly tweaking the article, and especially the lead, in the direction of a tiny-minority POV, something that has been going on now very disruptively for nearly three years. It has hugely hampered the development of the article because of the time spent on talk arguing about irrelevant points of English grammar or the neurotic minutiae of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The sentence in the current lead— ..."later official and unofficial investigations suggested variously that the IDF could not have shot the al-Durrahs, that they may have been hit by Palestinian bullets, that it remains unclear whether the boy died, or that the entire incident was staged"—is perfectly clear, accurate, and correctly written. The words were chosen deliberately to indicate that there have been a variety of suggestions and that the lead is not the place for further detail. There has been nothing that has risen above the level of a suggestion, because there has been no independent or official investigation, and as the France 2 news director said, no one can know who fired the fatal shots. I object to J's attempts, by tweaking the language here and there, to imply that the issue has been pinned down any further. SlimVirgin 02:22, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
With respect to the "quickly accepted responsibility," issue, I see that as quite different in implication from a mere "initially accepted responsibility." As The Forward article points out: "The Israeli military issued an apology immediately after France 2’s report aired in 2000..." (my emphasis) The immediacy of the the acceptance of responsibility upon the initial French report indicates that Israel made a statement before any thorough investigation was undertaken or completed. This puts a whole different light on it, and seems to be what the RS are saying. To leave out "quickly" in this context "makes it sound like they made a coherent decision that they were guilty and backtracked from it." The way I read what the RS are saying is that later, after consideration and study, the IDF came to a different conclusion. This is not to say that the IDF is either right or wrong in its conclusions, either the earlier or the later ones. It is just the way it went down. Stellarkid (talk) 03:50, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I think there's a couple problems with your analysis here. First, my objection to the term quickly isn't based on the temporal aspects of the term, it's based on the qualitative aspects it implies. To say something happened immediately, as The Forward article does, says nothing about how well it was or wasn't done, but to say something was done quickly can imply that it was done roughly or haphazardly - something which may be true, but something we shouldn't imply based solely on how we choose to interpret what sources are trying to say. That's why I favored the term initially - it has temporal aspects without implying any particular qualitative judgement - positive, or negative. The term immediately is probably fine too. Second, the IDF never officially "came to a different conclusion". The commander of the base accused of shooting the al-Durrahs conducted his own investigation, which determined that they weren't responsible. The IDF never officially embraced his conclusion, with some IDF officials condemning it because of the conflict of interest inherent in who conducted it, and the use of poorly chosen investigators. Some have argued that the reason that IDF never chose to accept the investigation's conclusions was because they didn't want to bring the issue up again, but that would be an original conclusion on our part. ← George talk 04:59, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Suggested vs stated

I'm not following the recent change.[19] Please explain. JaakobouChalk Talk 00:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Heyo SlimVirgin,
I promise to respond to anything you write and try to find a phrasing that works for you as well if you please try to collaborate here.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 12:24, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

DragonflySixtyseven has suggested that I need to make a gesture of good faith. As per his suggestion, I will voluntarily refrain from editing this article for one month. I will not edit the article from my Wikipedia account, or while logged out; I will (obviously) not create new accounts to get around this; I will not ask people I know - either in real life or online - to make the edits for me. I hope we can still review my suggestions here and come to a consensus about them. I'd like to add that I regret any incivilities that has occurred and apologize to anyone who may have perceived my actions or comments as incivil and felt obliged to respond. I certainly did not mean any of my comments to be incivil and would be happy to apologize and explain them if anyone is interested in doing that in order to get back to a more collaborative spirit of things.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 16:45, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

The above is related to this report that Jaakobou filed against me on WP:AN, and a subsequent proposal that he be topic-banned for three months. SlimVirgin 16:51, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
That's correct, it is. I feel that a voluntary topic ban will serve as a gesture of good faith; should you, SV, wish it, I will post the log of my discussion with Jaakobu in your userspace. (I have his permission.) DS (talk) 16:59, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be helpful, thank you, though I think it would be better to have this discussion on AN, as it's related to J, not the contents of the article as such. SlimVirgin 17:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I posted it to his userspace instead. DS (talk) 20:13, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

MENA? and date of Schapira demonstration outside France 2

My. Hasn't it gone quiet in here all of a sudden. Great article. Well done all concerned. Very neutral. 2 small points. What is MENA? And the article says Schapira's first documentary was broadcast in 2002 but "On October 2, 2000, 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside the offices of France 2, where Schapira's film was shown on a giant screen." Anthony (talk) 17:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi Anthony, thanks. MENA is the Metula News Agency, which I'll add shortly, and I'll fix the date issue while I'm at it. SlimVirgin 20:01, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Jewish New Year

SV and I had discussed this before, but I can't find the discussion in the archives, and I'm foggy for the reason for keeping this. Tiamut had removed mention of it, and Brewcrewer reinserted it. I think we're all aware of the correlation between the Palestinian Authority's call for a strike and the Second Intifada, but what does the Jewish New Year have to do with the PA's call for a strike? ← George talk 13:53, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Very good question George. I'm glad you brought it up. I was going to, but Brewcrewer's edit summary of "Jews aren't that bad" left me at a loss at where to begin. Perhaps with: "Of course they're not! Who ever said they were, and what the hell does that have to do with the issue at hand? Please, people, a little WP:AGF would be nice. Tiamuttalk 14:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
It's important from the Jewish perspective. It's the high holidays, Jews are going to the synagogue and what not, and then all hell breaks loose. Wars aren't generally named for the day that they started, but the Yom Kippur War is, for the same reason. The outbreak of violence on a high holy day is a notable aspect of the violence outbreak. It may be a coincidence that Arabs have attacked Jews on high holy days, and it may be unnotable from their prespective. But it is notable from the Jewish perspective.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 15:12, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you regarding the link between the Second Intifada and the Jewish New Year, and could definitely see mentioning it in the Second Intifada article itself, but this isn't that article. This sentence is specifically talking about the strike called by the Palestinian Authority, and I'm just not seeing any connection between the Jewish New Year and the strike itself.
Since the subject has come up here, involved editors may be interested that I started a WQA request regarding Brewcrewer's edit summary comment, prior to Tiamut mentioning it. I'm not seeking any kind of punishment, but it may be helpful if you could explain what you meant by "Jews aren't that bad" in your edit summary Brewcrewer. ← George talk 15:30, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
If there are no further objections, I'm going to restore the changes I made removing the reference to the Jewish New Year. As George and I have explained, it does not seem to be relevant to calling of the general strike and is therefore odd, undue highlighting to be included in this sentence in this article. Tiamuttalk 18:28, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Palestinian martyr?

An anonymous editor has twice changed the lead from Islamic martyr to Palestinian martyr, in addition to some other changes. I generally didn't agree with their edits, and both were reverted. However, after the ChrisO's message to the anonymous editor to check the link in his latest revert, I did just that, and found that "Palestinian martyr" may indeed be the more appropriate term. The first source, "BBC News, October 2, 2000" appears to be this article, titled "Boy becomes Palestinian martyr". The second source, "BBC News, November 19, 2000", appears to be this article. This source says that "Some 70 of the more than 200 Palestinians killed in the uprising have been children - each one described as a martyr by the Palestinians." The only mention of the Islamic concept of a martyr in this article, a shaheed, is in a statement by Israeli Colonel Noam Tiben, arguing that so many Palestinian children were being killed because families of the dead were being paid £1,200: "To pay someone money to become a shaheed (martyr) is a very dangerous attitude". He didn't appear to be referring to al-Durrah directly, and I'm not sure that an Israeli Colonel is the best source for labeling someone an Islamic martyr anyways. Do any neutral, reliable sources refer to al-Durrah as an Islamic martyr? ← George talk 11:32, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I too found the characterization "Islamic martyr" to be odd. I've never heard it before seeing it in this article and have always seen Durrah described as a "Palestinian martyr". I would support changing the wording to the latter, as the anon has suggested. Tiamuttalk 12:46, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm fine with changing it to Palestinian martyr. We had Palestinian icon (or icon throughout the Arab world, and words to that effect) for a long time. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:53, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
He's been noted as an icon for the Islamic muqawama, which is wider than then mere israeli-Palestinian issue. In that respect, 'Islamic' captures it more accuratly than 'Palestinian'. In a sense, 'Palestinian' misses on a vast issue here, and 'Islamic' is a bit overly includive, since there's quite a lot of Muslims who are not stooges for the muqawama rhetorics. In short, you could describe him as a Palestinian martyr, but he is also a martyr for a much wider scale group (for example, streets are named after him across the Arab world and in Iran as well) and we shouldn't change the text to avoid this. In that respect, ChridsO is accurate in his edit. JaakobouChalk Talk 15:53, 29 December 2009 (UTC) addy 15:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
If what you say is true, it should be easy to find a reference that says that. Please provide it. Until then, we have no source supporting that characterization, and should restore "Palestinian martyr" [20] or "Palestinian icon" [21]. Tiamuttalk 16:29, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
J, you were supposed to be staying away from this article for at least a month. Tiamut, I'd prefer not to quote anyone—like this [22]—but just to say Palestinian or Islamic martyr, icon, or whatever expression we agree on. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 19:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd suggest something like this:

The Muhammad al-Durrah incident took place in the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian territories on September 30, 2000, when Jamal al-Durrah and his 12-year-old son, Muhammad, were caught in crossfire during a clash between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian Security Forces. Initial reports said the boy had been killed and the father wounded by Israeli gunfire. Muhammad was immediately hailed throughout the Arab and Muslim world as a Palestinian icon and martyr.

SlimVirgin TALK contribs 20:00, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer if we distinguish between his status as a martyr (which was immediate) and that as a icon (which came over time). Drawing upon your suggestion, how about something like, "Imediately hailed as a Palestinian martyr, he became a Palestinian icon in the Arab and Muslim world." I would like it if we could include the quotes in the footnotes (i.e. "the paradigmatic Palestinian martyr" and "the foremost Palestinian icon", perhaps even quoting the full sentences to provide the reader with some context), but its not necessary if people find it to be too much. Those quotes are not overstatements by the way. Durrah is perhaps one of the most recognizable symbols of the Palestinian struggle in recent years and it would be good if the article reflected this more. The controversy over how he died is less important in the Arab world than his having died in his father's arms, live on television, apparently from Israeli gunfire, in the first days of the Second Intifada. Tiamuttalk 20:16, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Isn't it the case that he's seen as both a Palestinian and an Islamic martyr? He's certainly portrayed as dying for the Palestinian course, but the iconography surrounding him is also that of an Islamic martyr. Note for example the Jordanian postage stamp shown in the article, which depicts him along with the Dome of the Rock. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:02, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that a "shahid" is an Islamic martyr, which is what we're saying here, so we would be calling him an Islamic Islamic martyr. The point about al-Durrah is that he became a "shahid" for the Palestinian cause. Also, he's regarded as an icon by Palestinians who aren't Muslims. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 20:12, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Shahid (شهيد) means "martyr" and is used for both religious martyrs (be they Muslim or Christian or whatever) and in a secular context (such as a martyr for the cause of the liberation of X). nableezy - 20:23, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Palestinian martyrs are generally seen to martyrs for the secular-nationalist struggle for liberation, as noted in this source. Given that Palestinian society is, however, majority Muslim, the use of Islamic concepts and symbology are commonplace, but the Islamic dimension is generally downplayed to give prominence to the nationalist dimension of the struggle.
And by the way, the Dome of Rock is often seen as a symbol of Jerusalem in general (viewed as the capital of Palestine by Palestinians) or of the the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, rather than as an Islamic symbol. Tiamuttalk 20:16, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
By the way, this book, Al-Jazeera: the inside story of the Arab news channel that is challenging the West, covers some the terminology used by reporters at Al Jazeera, and provides some useful information we should probably incorporate into Wikipedia's own poorly written article on Shahids. On page 356 it says that,

"The Arabic word, shaheed, is rich in history and has implications of sacrificing oneself for a worthy cause. Al-Jaeera uses it to describe the dead in Palestine: most controversially, to refer to suicide bombers. Al Jazeera reporters used to say 'martyr' to describe Iraqis killed in the war, but a few months after the war ended, they ceased using the word, except in reported speech."

The same book then explains on page 357 that the Koran notes that only God can confer the title of shaheed. Explaining further its use by Al Jazeera when reporting on Palestine, it says:

"Calling the Palestinian dead 'martyrs' did not begin on Al-Jazeera and it is not used with the intention of romanticizing the conflict. The word is used throughout the Arab media to refer to anyone who dies fighting for Palestine. The only time you do not hear it being used in the Arab world is on the American-backed Arabic-language radio and television news channels like Radio Sawa and Al-Hurra, which have adopted phrses like 'guerilla fighter' and 'suicide bomber' instead. To most Arabs, calling someone who dies fighting for Palestine anything other than a 'martyr' is strange and disrespectful, but it is not a neutral term."

Walid al-Omary, the West Bank bureau head for Al Jazeera says he is often asked why they use the word and wonders what else he is supposed to use.

"Those people lost their lives because they are fighting for freedom and many of the Palestinian people were killed - more than 90 percent of them during this intifada - were civilians. They are not armed. They were killed in demonstrations or they were killed by the Israelis because they threw stones, or sometimes they are killed because the Israelis want to kill one activist and they demolish a whole building. What are we supposed to call these people?"

Anyway, perhaps I'll add some of this there soon too. Tiamuttalk 20:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I rather like SlimVirgin's proposed version above, though I would change the "immediately hailed" to something less extreme... something like: "Muhammad was subsequently viewed as a Palestinian icon and martyr throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds." Or something to that effect, anyways. Regarding Tiamut's suggestion, I'm not a big fan of including direct quotes in the lead in general. Regarding the term "shahid", nableezy's assessment seems sound - the term can be religious or not, and it's not necessarily Islamic. In this case, it would appear that al-Durrah was a Palestinian icon/martyr first and foremost, and an Islamic icon a distant second (if at all). ← George talk 06:06, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I think you're right that "subsequently" is less dramatic. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:08, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
George's suggestion is fine with me. Can I ask again though, about whether or not we can include the full quotes from the sources cited in the footnotes for this sentence? Or was that question already answered? I must say, I'm very much appreciating the thoughtful and relaxed approach to editing here. Tiamuttalk 09:46, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Note: I figure SlimVirign's suggestion works for me as well with the added note by George. It works around both issues I mentioned and touches on the one raised by ChrisO as well.
p.s. I figure we should still wikilink Islamic-martyr in there somewhere.
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 10:03, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The improvement in the tone of discussion is great, isn't it? I'll happily defer to those who are obviously more knowledgeable than me on the martyrdom issue. :-) -- ChrisO (talk) 10:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The collaborative tone is great, I agree. Tiamut, I'm not keen on having quotes in the lead unless they draw the reader in in some way e.g. by being particularly important or interesting or quirky, and then we'd have to say who said them. As his being regarded as a martyr isn't a bone of contention, I don't see the quotes as adding enough to justify inclusion. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:37, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Slim, just to clarify, I'm not talking about including quotes in the tex of the lead, but as footnotes to the sentence discussing his status as a martyr and icon. If your response was still negative to that, I'm sorry for misunderstanding. Tiamuttalk 13:12, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
No, it was my misunderstanding, sorry. I'd have no objection to including the quotes in a footnote. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:09, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Cool. I've changes the text to read as you and George suggested, and added the quotes to the footnotes. I've made a minor modification (changing "throughout" to "in"). Hope there are no problems with it. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Tiamuttalk 18:26, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Thanks. ← George talk 00:17, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


I'd like to begin a final push to get this to FA status. I'm going to do a final streamlining of the writing, though I don't think much will be involved, as it seems fairly smooth, and I'll add a final brief paragraph to the lead summing up the wider impact. Is there anything that people feel is still missing? Do others have a view as to how close it is to FA (or how far from it)?

My own concern was lack of free-licence images, and I still hope to find one of Charles Enderlin. I wrote to Esther Shapira hoping for some free images from her documentaries, but she referred me to the German network, as she doesn't own them. I didn't even bother to ask there as they almost certainly would have said no, and it would have required many emails to explain what I wanted and why. This means we don't have an image of the cameraman. I could take a fair-use one, but we may already have too much fair use for FA status, so I hesitate to add another. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:00, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I haven't gone through the article in any great detail since the more recent rewrites, but from what I've read I think it's quite close. Do we need to get it to GA status first though? It may be worth make a push for GA status while streamlining for FA. ← George talk 02:08, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
GA status can be very hit and miss, as it's just one person's opinion, and it can take a long time to get a review. I'd prefer to go straight to FA—I've never submitted anything via GA first. The final copy edit for FA needn't take more than a day or two if people agree it's otherwise ready. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:16, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd certainly support such a push. I wasn't sure if GA was necessary prior to going for FA or not. Thanks in large part to your personal efforts, this article is already pretty clear of the spelling and grammatical mistakes that infest most FA candidates. ← George talk 02:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
LOL, thanks (faint praise). No, just kidding. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:23, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Seriously, if you ever feel like scrubbing a (slightly) less controversial article, the Lebanon article could very much use it. :) Getting that article balanced between pro-Arab, Phoenicianist, Christian, Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Palestinian, Syrian, Israeli, and Western perspectives - under the constant drizzle of IP vandalism - is pretty much the bane of my existence. ← George talk 02:42, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
After this one, I'd like to try to get Exodus from Lydda and Ramla to FA status. If I survive these two, I may wander into Lebanon, but it's a big if. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:48, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Initially reported?

This was previously discussed here, and I thought that we had reached consensus against changing the lead wording from saying that the boy was "reported to have been killed" to saying the boy was "initially reported to have been killed". Yet the second sentence in the lead currently states that "Initial reports said the boy had been killed and the father wounded by Israeli gunfire." I propose rewording this to something like "The boy was reported killed and the father wounded by Israeli gunfire" or "Journalists at the scene reported that the boy had been killed and the father wounded by Israeli gunfire." Thoughts? ← George talk 02:03, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

"The boy was reported killed"... is better than the second alternative, since the reports of his death were not exclusively by journalists at the scene, as that version implies. -- ChrisO (talk) 02:19, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec) My thoughts at this stage, George, is that these points of detail are distinctions without a difference that only people closely involved in the editing are likely to notice. I think from this point on, we should focus on getting the writing as smooth as possible, so that readers not familiar with the story will want to read it, and won't find anything incongruous.
I think the "initial report" issue refers to the first reports saying it was Israeli gunfire. Subsequent reports cast doubt on that. So it's the source of the gunfire that was changed, not the fact of the death. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:21, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, I see what you mean. It can be read both ways, and I had confused the "Initial reports" as commenting on the boy's death rather than the source of the gunfire, likely because of my inherent slanted view from being involved in discussions on this page. It's probably fine the way it is though. Cheers. ← George talk 02:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, George, I think you were right: "initially reported" did start to look as though we were casting doubt on the death. I changed it to, "The incident was captured on film by France 2, who reported that the boy had been killed and the father wounded by Israeli gunfire." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:31, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The majority of later sources cast doubt to the "by Israel" part and the mainstream view posed by all the investigations is that Israeli gunfire could not have killed him. This needs to be fixed in a manner that doesn't give too much weight to the initial Palestinian report. Would you like me to provide a few sources that support this issue or are we in agreement?
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 20:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think that looks much better. It's much less ambiguous, because it describes specifically what France 2 reported - something we can easily verify. Well done. ← George talk 05:01, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Final paragraph in lead


I've added a fourth paragraph to the lead, a "meta" paragraph, explaining the power of the footage and why it came to matter (apart from the obvious). This kind of wrapping up is usually required at FAC.

The footage of Jamal and Muhammad acquired what one writer called the iconic power of a battle flag.[2] For the Palestinians, the image of a father trying to protect his son from Israeli bullets confirmed their view of the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality toward them. For the Israelis, it amounted to a modern blood libel, an example of the ancient allegation that Jews sacrifice other people's children. Inevitably, the scene has been evoked in other deaths. It was blamed for the lynching of two Israeli army reservists in Ramallah on October 12, 2000, and for the burning of synagogues in France.[3] It could be seen in the background when Daniel Pearl, an American Jewish journalist, was beheaded by al-Quaeda in Pakistan in 2002. Suicide bombers have invoked Muhammad's name, as has Osama bin Laden. The power of the footage alone has ensured that, as James Fallows argues in The Atlantic, no version of the truth about it that is considered believable by all sides will ever emerge.[4] It has become what Charles Enderlin has called a "cultural prism." Its viewers will see what they want to see.[2]

SlimVirgin TALK contribs 04:09, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Hey there. I have some concerns about this "wrap paragraph". I find these two sentences - "It could be seen in the background when Daniel Pearl, an American Jewish journalist, was beheaded by al-Quaeda in Pakistan in 2002. Suicide bombers have invoked Muhammad's name, as has Osama bin Laden. - to be particularly irksome. The paragraph seems a bit slanted towards the Israeli or American POV. We should probably cut down a bit of the bloodshed and mention, for example, that "Parks and streets were named in Muhammad's honor, including the street in Cairo on which the Israeli embassy is located." No? Tiamuttalk 11:26, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Tiamut, the point of the last para is to emphasize the widespread effect the images had, which is why they became so controversial. That he became a martyr and icon is understood, and that parks etc would be named after him is part of that, so it would be too much detail for the lead—and it's also not about the footage. To show the power of the footage, we have to say what the alleged consequences were. It's part of showing why this matters, why we ought to care about it, apart from the fact of the boy's death. I don't see that as an Israeli or American POV. It was the people who engaged in these acts who invoked Muhammad. It's not someone simply claiming that he was invoked. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:56, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
You are right. It's true that some people have invoked or exploited his memory to engage in violent acts. Generally-speaking, in the Arab world, we don't tend to remember that though, which is why I characterized it as an Israeli or American POV. What we do tend to remember is that street, parks and postage stamps have been issued for him. I won't continue to protest the sentences you have there already. But I do think adding a sentence on how he was memoralized in the Arab and Muslim world by naming parks and streets after him and issuing postage stamps in his honor can be included as well. That is part of his legacy and its the one more commonly thought of by the people at large than what Bin Laden said or did while recalling his name. Tiamuttalk 12:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The length of the lead is a bit of a concern, but I'll see if I can work something in about the parks. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:39, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Streets and parks added. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:32, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I've more or less finished the copy edit, so I think I may nominate it now. It could take a couple of weeks or more to get enough reviews to pass or fail it anyway, so we may as well start. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:16, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, the nomination is up. See here. I wasn't sure who to include as the main editors, so I picked the four main editors from 2009: Chris, George, Jaakobou, and myself. I still have to write the dreaded ALT text, and a free image of Enderlin would be nice, but otherwise I think it's basically ready. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 08:38, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
ALT text done, links and dab links fixed. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 10:05, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Image rationales done. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 20:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Saw this at Project Israel and looking over the article, I have what might be considered a small point in the lede. It says of "blood libel" that "Jews are willing to sacrifice other people's children." The implication of a blood libel is more than a mere willingness to sacrifice others' children, but that it is part of religious ritual, a requirement. It is that "Jews kill children." Also the blood libel would be more appropriately wikified to blood libel against Jews than the more generalized blood libel. Stellarkid (talk) 15:09, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for looking at it, Stellarkid. I removed "willing to," so it's more definitive now. "Blood libel" is indeed linked to blood libel against Jews, just not visibly so. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:20, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The general idea seems good. There could be a quick mention of postage stamps, street names and promotional muqawama videos (like the Saudi one shown in Schapira's second video) as well. JaakobouChalk Talk 20:30, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Some comments on the fourth paragrah:

  • Shouldn't "the iconic power of a battle flag" in the first sentence have quotes around it?
  • I'd change "...a modern blood libel, an example of the ancient allegation that Jews sacrifice other people's children" with something like "...a modern blood libel, the centuries-old stereotyping of Jews as people who sacrifice children" or similar. Essentially I would remove "an example of" (blood libel isn't an example of the allegation, it is the allegation itself), replace "ancient" with "centuries-old" (or some other word to clarify that it's about 800 year olds, but not 5,000 year old or whatever), and replace "allegation" with "stereotyping" (the term allegation sounds like we're leaving it open whether or not it's true, when it most definitely isn't). Feel free to agree or disagree with any/all of these.
  • "an American-Jewish journalist" - Should this be "a Jewish American journalist"? I think it's more commonly written in that order at least...
  • "as James Fallows argues, no version of the truth will ever emerge that all sides might consider believable" - Shouldn't the latter part of this be directly quoted with quotation marks?

All-in-all it looks good. Just a few thoughts of mine, which you can accept or ignore; it's not a big deal. I generally don't like quotes in the lead, but when we're taking something word for word, don't we have to wrap it with quotes? ← George talk 05:23, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

  • I'll fix ancient, stereotyping, American Jewish. As for quotation marks, I don't like adding them unnecessarily. I attribute the first to a writer, so people know these are not my words. And the second is attributed to Fallows, so ditto. I usually only use quotation marks if something hangs on the issue. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:26, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Plus I slightly tweaked what Fallows wrote, because the way he wrote it was a little awkward. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:28, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I can't add stereotyping without rewriting the sentence. Replaced ancient. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:30, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
How about "false accusation" instead of "allegation"? This is taken directly from the blood libel article. (talk) 08:42, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Because it goes without saying. Adding "false" would be overegging the pudding. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 09:17, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't follow your logic or understand your objection... give me more than a metaphor please! There was a concern that the current "allegation" is inappropriate because it leaves it open for interpretation of whether or not the allegation is true. It is in fact ridiculous to suggest even a remote possibility of truth; therefore, adding the word false would not be overdoing anything. It would correct the issue and clarify the fact that blood libel is false. Furthermore, as I said, this is coming straight from the Blood libel against Jews article (I had the wrong link in the last post), so I don't really see why you have a problem with it. Breein1007 (talk) 21:11, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I've tweaked it along George's lines. [23] Adding "false" is too defensive. It labors the point. It's not good writing, and it looks odd. That it's in another article is not a good reason to add it here. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:06, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
That's fine, I'm satisfied with the new text. Thanks, Breein1007 (talk) 06:08, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Sorry if I was a bit short with you earlier, by the way. I didn't mean to be, but when I read my last post now, it looks snippy. My apologies. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 08:19, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


I am "mitigated" about the length in the lead dedicated to describe the counter thesis and I think they are really given wp:undue weight. If all the critics are listed, then all the evidences on one side and the supports (eg, the one of the 300 French journalists) on the other side should be listed too. As a reader, with the current version, I have the feeling that much relevance is given to the critics [as if they were the truth] but as someone who knows the topic, I know that it is not clear at all to know where the truth is.
As a consequence, I would remove all this from the lead :

A controversial IDF investigation in November 2000 concluded that the IDF had probably not shot the al-Durrahs.[7] France 2's news editor, Arlette Chabot, acknowledged in 2005 that no one could say for sure who fired the shots.[8] Three senior French journalists who saw the raw footage in 2004 expressed concern about the network's presentation of it, arguing that it is not clear from the footage alone that the boy died, and that France 2 cut a final few seconds in which he appears to lift his head.[9] Other commentators, including the director of the Israeli government's press office, said the scenes had been staged by Palestinian protesters as a propaganda exercise aimed at the news agencies filming at the Netzarim junction that day.[10] Philippe Karsenty, a French media commentator, was successfully sued by France 2 for suggesting this; however, the ruling was overturned in 2008.[11] France 2 has appealed to the Cour de cassation, France's highest court, in a case that is ongoing.[12]

I would just leave the beginning and add one line to summarize the issue :

Over the following months and years, several official and unofficial investigations questioned the accuracy of France 2's report[6] in what is known as the "Muhammad al-Durrah Affair".

Ceedjee (talk) 10:44, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Ceedjee, two things. It was agreed here on talk that we would elaborate a little on who was saying what. And in the FAC, the reviewers asked for even more elaboration. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 10:58, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi SlimVirgin. I just discover the FA review and never really follow this talk page. I understand what you say and the potential frustration. I just "review" the article (per your suggestion, in fact). ;-)
To focus only on the topic : ok but why in the lead (that is not the purpose) and why only the minds that critic the incident (that is not npov) ?
If the principle that was agreed here was really followed, per wp:npov, you have to give a synthesis of all the article that were published in the Arab world about the Affair (thousands ?) and at least, list all the supports to France2 in the media.
Ceedjee (talk) 11:18, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
If you'd like to be an FA reviewer, you'd be very welcome. The nomination is Here. I agree with your final point, yes, but what we tried to do was summarize what the mainstream English-language sources are saying. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:22, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't like following "formal ways". You can do what you like from my comments.
To be honnest : my mind is that it is not a great success... : Eg, in the lead, there is this source in French, this is not a wp:rs source.
With the current way, lead is not, from my mind, neutral. Ceedjee (talk) 11:50, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Other points

  1. Mena, Media-ratings, Karsenty etc are NOT wp:rs sources according to our wikipedian rules. But it is true that they make much noise. My mind is that they should be considered as primary sources in the affair and that they should be mentioned or refered to ONLY througn wp:rs secondary sources (such as Le Figaro, Le Monde Diplomatique, The NY Times, ...)
  2. The impact of the Intifada and the Arab world as well as the sympathy to the Palestinian cause that the incident produced should be developed from wp:rs secondary sources (references of this events are described in articles dealing with the 2nd intifada on the historical point of view). Historians (it must be checked who) also sometimes point out that Al-Dura is just one of the numerours children who was killed and, true or not, it symbolizes these deaths.
  3. Luc Rosenzweig recently published (dec 2009) a synthesis of the Affair. According to him, the Legion d'Honneur given to Enderlin proves that French government supports France2 but according to him, the medical-legal examination of al-Dura father will prove who lies and who doesn't. (Note I still see this as a primary source and not a wp:rs secondary one...)
  4. No "Reactions in Israel" and/or in "Israel media" sections ?
  5. Section "Senior French journalists view the footage" ends with the statement made by the "journalists" that they don't support Mena and the thesis of the hoax. That is a little bit misleading given Luc Rosenzweig, one of them, is still a strong supporter of this thesis (nb: just for editors information Rosenzweig was a collaborator of Mena in the past).

Ceedjee (talk) 11:16, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


SlimVirgin, I'm glad to see you working on this article. I glanced over some of your edits and they looked fine to me. Coppertwig (talk) 00:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


I see some refs point to causeur which is blog-related and not RS. AdvaitNirukta (talk) 15:36, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Changes to the article


I have deeply studied this story and I want to make changes to the article. Sorry for my bad english but, I can bring reliable french sources on this event. I added one for instance. To begin, the intro is missing something quite important and well sourced: that the "controversy" about all this affair is coming from very few people, and is not mainstream. 99% of the journalists and specialists in France are with Enderlin. The agency that started the affair is quite controversial, according to relaible sources like Le Monde Diplomatique. So the intro should reflect this, among many other things that are missing in this article. Thanks. AdvaitNirukta (talk) 16:24, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


My apologies to SlimVirgin and Leifern, I would like to first discuss here about the following points:

  • The intro is misleading. It omits the fact that the controversy is coming from extremely few and politically marked milieux. 99% of journalists and specialists in France are with Enderlin.
  • The articles misses good refs on the subject (Weill-Raynal, Le Monde Diplomatique, Medias etc.)
  • It misses the recent FR3 affair in relation with Durah's father.
  • Some refs like "causeur" are oriented and not WP:RS, à la blog.
  • etc.

Thanks AdvaitNirukta (talk) 16:36, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Advait, if you'd be willing to list here the facts that you believe are missing, especially any very recent developments in France, with sources, that would be much appreciated. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:40, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
In fairness: From what I can tell, Advait wanted to 1) include when this incident occurred in relation to Sharon's walk on the Temple Mount, and 2) some further information about one of the investigators, somehow tying him to Yigal Amir. As for point 1) I think that's covered in the paragraph below, and placing the incident in the context of the intifadah (with links) gives the reader ample opportunity to find out more about it. As for 2), the relevance is yet to be determined. I am sure every single person mentioned in this article has had some kind of association that might, in some people's eyes, put their credibility at risk. IMHO, the article should focus on facts, and disputed facts, related to the actual event, rather than on the personalities involved. Leifern (talk) 18:31, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I've felt for some time that we don't have a sufficient representation of the French perspective - no fault of SlimVirgin's, since it's not easy for people outside France to keep track of developments there. If you can provide those "good refs" you refer to, that would be great. As for the FR3 affair, SlimVirgin, you'll recall I mentioned this to you a while ago but was unable to find sources. I've now managed to source it and will add a new section to the article shortly. -- ChrisO (talk) 16:56, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've now added the new info on the Jamal al-Durrah defamation lawsuit. It's certainly interesting that a colleague of Charles Enderlin has apparently been involved in the campaign against him... -- ChrisO (talk) 17:39, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
By the way, don't worry that rogatory commission is currently a redlink; I'll provide an article for that term. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:40, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by indicted in this context? I can't read the source because it's subscription only. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:03, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a direct quotation from the source. Don't forget that the French legal system works in a fundamentally different way to the Anglo-American one. What seems to have happened here is that in 2008 Jamal sued the publication, but found that the interviewer was using a pseudonym. The court used a rogatory commission - effectively a sub poena - to find the interviewer's true identity. Having established that, "Serge Benattar, directeur de la publication d'Actualité Juive, et Clément Weill-Raynal ont été mis en examen pour diffamation par Nicolas Blot, juge d'instruction au TGI de Paris." -- ChrisO (talk) 18:30, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
This is an English article, and indictment implies criminality. I think all it means is that they were joined to the action. We can't imply criminality. BLP violation. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:36, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I changed it to "were added to the complaint," just to be on the safe side. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:41, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
No, that's wrong. The French legal system is fundamentally different - it's inquisitorial, not adversarial. The judge manages the case, investigates, interrogates witnesses, obtains evidence and issues indictments. There isn't a jury, so he combines the role of judge, jury and (to some extent) prosecutor, in that he performs duties which in the US would be carried out by a district attorney. I suggest you read fr:Mise en examen. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:45, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
But it's a civil case, not criminal, at least not as things stand. I know that the French system is different, but we have to be careful with the English words we use, that's my only point. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:47, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
It makes no difference whether it's civil or criminal. In this context it simply means that the judge filed defamation charges against the two individuals concerned. They were not "joined to the action", since there was no action until the court filed the charges. The term "mis en examen", used in the Politis article, has a very precise legal meaning and we must not fall into the trap of distorting it from an anglocentric perspective. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:50, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Point taken, but we also can't ignore that the word has a different connotation in English. I can't see what's wrong with "were added to the complaint." It's neutral and factual. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I've emailed a lawyer in France to ask what the best description of this is. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
"Were added to the complaint" is inaccurate, since what the court actually did was to file charges. "Adding to a complaint" is a different action altogether. I've modified the wording in a way that reflects this, which will hopefully meet your concerns: "In October 2009, the Paris magistrate issued defamation charges against Weill-Raynal and Serge Benattar". -- ChrisO (talk) 18:57, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits

Chris, as you're adding a lot from the Enderlin interview with that website, can you add a link so we can read it? I've tried to find it online, but can't. Also the Rabin connection has been disputed by one of the parties, which is why I removed it. I should know more tomorrow. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:28, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd be interested to know what the story is with the Rabin connection, because otherwise there's no explanation of why Doriel got involved. As for the Enderlin interview, it's from a defunct website; I just found an archived copy at -- ChrisO (talk) 00:41, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll email about the Rabin thing, as it's a BLP issue.

Introduction to Controversy section

(ec) I wonder if the new paragraph to the introduction of the Controversy section is needed, and whether it's misleading. It says:

The al-Durrah incident faded from the headlines after a few months but became the subject of intense controversy in the French blogosphere. The footage was analysed frame-by-frame by bloggers, independent journalists, as well as genuine and self-described experts who questioned its veracity. This eventually led to litigation and an ongoing controversy that remains unresolved.

Schwartz is the source, but he makes clear that it was Schapira's documentary that stirred it up, not bloggers. [24] I'd prefer not to have to get into that in the introduction of that section. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:46, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

I've removed it for now, as I can't see the point in having an introduction to the introduction, especially as it's not clear that it's correct. The source (Adi Schwartz of Haaretz) said:

In effect the story was removed from the agenda. One of the few exceptions was a German documentary, broadcast in April 2002, that claimed that it was not IDF soldiers who fired at the child. This aroused Karsenty's curiosity. The French blogosphere, too, was in an uproar. Bloggers, independent journalists, and both genuine and self-described experts, almost all of them Jews, all of them private citizens, repeatedly analyzed every frame broadcast on television. Here, in the blogosphere, the "maximalist version" developed, to the effect that not only did IDF soldiers not fire at Mohammed al-Dura, but in fact the entire incident was staged by France 2's Palestinian photographer, for propaganda purposes.

We say:

The al-Durrah incident faded from the headlines after a few months but became the subject of intense controversy in the French blogosphere. The footage was analysed frame-by-frame by bloggers, independent journalists, as well as genuine and self-described experts who questioned its veracity. This eventually led to litigation and raised a series of questions that remain unresolved.

I don't know why we mention the blogosphere, but leave out the German documentary and Karsenty, which gives the impression that it was only the blogosphere that was discussing it to begin with—and the first version of this edit also left out that Schwartz said "genuine" experts too. I'd prefer that we left this paragraph out entirely, because it introduces a complication that we don't need. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:54, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Tiamut, the Mitchell report talks about it being foreseen by those who urged that the visit not take place; that's not quite the same as your edit. I'd urge that these issues be left alone. The article's been reviewed by four experienced, uninvolved editors, and they see this version as neutral. I hope that will be respected. It's especially not worth changing the Sharon material, because the article's not about him. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:54, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Slim. The sentence a written is not netural and it slightly incorrect. It downplays the assessment in the Mitchell Report of the event having been a catalyst (though not the main cause) of what followed. That's what the Report meant by its "poor timing" and "provocative effect". I'm open to rewording, but it definitely needs some fine tuning, particularly because its juxtaposition with the Palestinian and Israeli views above makes it seem like the Palestinians are wrong/liars. Read it more closely.
In the first part of the sentence, "sparked" should be changed to "caused". Actually, the sentence should be changed from "The May 2001 Mitchell Report into what sparked the violence" to "The May 2001 Mitchell Report, set up to investigate the reasons for the breakdown of the peace process, noted that ..."
The latter half of the sentence would be more faithful to the text of the report if it read: "[...] while Sharon's visit did not cause the uprising, it "was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been forseen."
I realize that the article has undergone a FAC. No one has commented however on that particular sentence. Perhaps they did not notice? Tiamuttalk 09:05, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi Tiamut, before the FAC nomination, that section said:

On September 28, 2000, two days before the incident, the Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making its rules of access one of the hotly contested issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The visit was seen as a provocation, and the following day, September 29, violent protests broke out in and around the Old City, leaving seven Palestinians dead and 300 wounded.[13] On September 30, further protests against the previous day's deaths escalated into widespread violence across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The uprising became known as the Second, or Al-Aqsa, Intifada, named after the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount. It lasted 4–5 years and cost 4,000 lives, around 3,000 of them Palestinian.[14]

There was an objection to this from one of the reviewers, on the grounds that it did not give the Israeli perspective. I was resistant to changing it then, for the same reason I am now (that the article's not about this), but the objection was firm, so I changed it to (with the significant additions in bold, and using the Mitchell report as a source):

On September 28, 2000, two days before the shooting, the Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making its rules of access a hotly contested issue. Sharon's visit was seen as provocative—the trigger for the violence that followed, according to the Palestinians, or the pretext, according to the Israelis[6]—and the next day violent protests broke out in and around the Old City, leaving seven Palestinians dead and 300 wounded.[17] On the same day, an Israeli police officer was killed by a Palestinian police officer in a joint patrol.[18] Israel's ambassador to the United Nations said there had been violence before Sharon's visit too: Molotov cocktails had been thrown on September 13, and an Israeli soldier had been killed by a roadside bomb on September 27.[18] The May 2001 Mitchell Report into what sparked the violence concluded that, although Sharon's visit was poorly timed, it was not the cause of the uprising.[19]

On September 30, the day of the shooting, further protests against the previous day's deaths escalated into widespread violence across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The uprising became known as the Second, or Al-Aqsa, Intifada, named after the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount. It lasted over four years and cost 4,000 lives, around 3,000 of them Palestinian.[20]

I also added a footnote from the Mitchell report:

The report concluded: "[W]e have no basis on which to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the PA [Palestinian Authority] to initiate a campaign of violence at the first opportunity; or to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the GOI [Government of Israel] to respond with lethal force.

However, there is also no evidence on which to conclude that the PA made a consistent effort to contain the demonstrations and control the violence once it began; or that the GOI made a consistent effort to use non-lethal means to control demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. Amid rising anger, fear, and mistrust, each side assumed the worst about the other and acted accordingly.

The Sharon visit did not cause the 'Al-Aqsa Intifada.' But it was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been foreseen; indeed, it was foreseen by those who urged that the visit be prohibited. More significant were the events that followed: The decision of the Israeli police on September 29 to use lethal means against the Palestinian demonstrators; and the subsequent failure, as noted above, of either party to exercise restraint."

My objection to changing this back and forth is that the article's not about Sharon's visit. We mention it as background only because the reliable sources do, and although we do have to mention it, the less said about it, the better, so long as the reader grasps the basics. We could change that one sentence to: "The May 2001 Mitchell Report into what sparked the violence concluded that, although Sharon's visit was poorly timed and its effects foreseeable, it was not the cause of the uprising." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 17:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi Slim. Yes, I see the objection that was raised in the FAC now. I must say I agree with your position. The paragraph reflected the mainstream view on what happened before the changes and as you rightly point out, its not the subject of this article. I'm fine with your suggested alteration to "its effects forseeable". I'm still concerned by the "what sparked the violence" bit. I would prefer either that it be changed to "what caused the violence", so as to make clear to the reader that the visit could still be considered a catalyst (which I believe is not ruled out by the wording used in the report). Alternately, we could characterize the Mitchell Report more broadly, and merge your suggested change with mine, so that it reads: "The May 2001 Mitchell Report, which investigated the reasons for the breakdown of the peace process, noted that although Sharon's visit was poorly timed and its effects foreseeable, it was not the cause of the uprising."
Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough response. Tiamuttalk 05:46, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
PS. The sentence which I have placed in italics above, should either be removed or balanced by a statement from a Palestinian representative on the violence practiced by Israelis against Palestinians over that same period. It is not NPOV to leave it there as it is. Tiamuttalk 05:49, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem with mentioning the peace process there is that we've not mentioned it before. I'd really like to avoid this spiralling out. How about: we put the sentence in italics into a footnote, change sparked to caused, and add "its effects foreseeable"? So the paragraph would read:

On September 28, 2000, two days before the shooting, the Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, making its rules of access a hotly contested issue. Sharon's visit was seen as provocative—the trigger for the violence that followed, according to the Palestinians, or the pretext, according to the Israelis[6]—and the next day violent protests broke out in and around the Old City, leaving seven Palestinians dead and 300 wounded.[17] On the same day, an Israeli police officer was killed by a Palestinian police officer in a joint patrol.[18] The May 2001 Mitchell Report into what caused the violence concluded that, although Sharon's visit was poorly timed and its effects foreseeable, it was not the cause of the uprising.[19]

SlimVirgin TALK contribs 05:57, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Good enough I guess. Perhaps the footnote might include Palestinian casualties due to Israeli violence as well, if a reliable source discussing it in the context of those events can be found and it can be summed up briefly? Thanks for your attentiveness. Tiamuttalk 06:03, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
PS. You could perhaps simplify the sentence altogether (and remove a redundancy the change in wording introduced) by writing: "The May 2001 Mitchell Report concluded that, although Sharon's visit was poorly timed and its effects foreseeable, it was not the cause of the uprising." Tiamuttalk 06:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Not so sure about the footnote. The next paragraph does end with, "It lasted over four years and cost 4,000 lives, around 3,000 of them Palestinian," and there have been objections to that. My preference would be not to rock the boat. Good thinking regarding the last sentence. I'll add the changes we've agreed on. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Done. Actually, I had to retain "into what caused the violence," otherwise the Mitchell Report suddenly appears, unexplained. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:20, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Whether sentence

This was a key issue at FAC, Tiamut: "Whether the Israelis or the Palestinians shot the boy remains a matter of dispute." One of the reviewers wanted it at the start of the second para. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 09:23, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm aware of that Slim. I've been following the FAC discussion. Frankly however, I find that many of the concessions you made to Wehwalt to garner his support fo the FAC nomination have compromised NPOV in this article by giving UNDUE weight to minority.fringe viewpoints. The sentence should not use "remains" either, since it was not always a matter of dispute as to who shot Durrah. It only became one after the IDF began backtracking from its acceptance of responsibility. Placing the sentence so high up in the introduction gives the reader the impression that it wa disputed from the start, which is simply not true. I share the concerns expressed by hamiltonstone in the FAC review regarding the impression the article gives now. This is one small way to correct that. Tiamuttalk 09:33, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
If the article is destabilized, it will not be promoted. Please bear that in mind. It currently has three supports, plus one weak and one qualified, all from uninvolved editors. The issue of who did the shooting was disputed from the start, and is disputed by almost everyone now, including France 2 executives (Enderlin's bosses). Enderlin sort of stands by the report, but not very strongly (he says things like, "it would surprise me if the shooting had not come from the Israeli side" (paraphrasing)). The fact is that there's no evidence one way or the other, because all the evidence was destroyed. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 09:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to your concerns and do not want to derail the FAC nomination. However, it is debatable that who did the shooting was disputed from the start. I find that a difficult statement to swallow given that Enderlin reported it was the IDF on the day it happened and the IDF accepted responsibility three days later. According to the bulk of the material in the article, the dispute emerged with time and was not an issue at the outset. Our lead should reflect that.
The only editor to advocate for this change was Wehwalt. The change has skewed the narrative of the intro and is part of what is contributing to the impression the article gives of undue weight to minority positions. If Wehwalt withdraws his support for the article because of this change, that's unfortunate. But I don't think that his approval should sway us to undermine NPOV and WEIGHT. Tiamuttalk 09:44, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
The sentence is now "is disputed," not "remains disputed." So it now no longer gives the impression of dispute from the start.
As for the other changes you made, I can't see the point of them and it affects the flow. "Stating" is always best avoided. France 2 has "appealed" to the court repeats the word "appeal" in that sentence. It wasn't unrest, it was rioting. It wasn't just in the Territories, it was throughout them. Filmed "behind a concrete cylinder where they sought cover ..." sounds awkward. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 10:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
They're minor changes, by the way, so I don't mean to give the impression that it's an issue. I just can't see the point of them, and then of reverting. What it's doing is making the article appear unstable, and that's obviously not going to help. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 10:08, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for changing "remains" to "is". The placement still irks me since its not chronological but I'm not going to revert again. I'd prefer it down below, but its not worth destabilizing the article over it.
I think "stating" is preferable to "telling viewers," since the latter implies Enderlin was instructing then what to believe, rather simply reporting. Perhaps "reporting" would be an acceptable compromise? :::::"Appealed" is preferable to "taken" to me since it clarifies that the previous decision is being challenged, but perhaps "challenged the decision" can do that?
I don't find "rioting" to be appropriate, especially when accompanied with "throughout" and followed by the sentence on crossfire. "Unrest" is more inclusive (can include anything from gunfights to rioting to non-violent demonstrations) and "in" is better than "throughout" since there were many villages in the territories where nothing was going on that day.
About the concrete cylinder word order, you are right, your version is better. Tiamuttalk 11:19, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I made changes per my comments above here. I hope they meet with your approval. Tiamuttalk 14:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Jaakobou has reverted all the changes I made in this edit. So we are back to square one. I'm respectful of your request that we try to avoid disrupting the article which might jeopardie its FAC nomination. So I'll be waiting for you (SlimVirgin) to respond to my suggested changes before reintroducing them again. Tiamuttalk 16:56, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment: Tiamut should avoid calling militancy against civilians (a.k.a. terrorism) "unrest". That is extremely provocative and pushing the envelope. JaakobouChalk Talk 19:20, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Jaakobou, I replaced the word "rioting" with the word "unrest". I explained the reasons for my change above. If you could respond to those arguments, that would be good. Your comment is as it is nonsensical given that nowhere in the changes I made is "terrorism" or "militancy against civlians" mentioned. I would appreciate it if you would cease being provocative by a) mischaracterizing my edits, b) using WP:WTA which aren't even relevant to this discussion. Tiamuttalk 19:34, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll quote SlimVirign here: "It wasn't unrest, it was rioting. It wasn't just in the Territories, it was throughout them." Your suggestion that violence that targets civilians is somehow 'unrest' is insulting apologetics. Quit it. JaakobouChalk Talk 22:01, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I read SlimVirgin's comment, which I responded to as follows: I don't find "rioting" to be appropriate, especially when accompanied with "throughout" and followed by the sentence on crossfire. "Unrest" is more inclusive (can include anything from gunfights to rioting to non-violent demonstrations) and "in" is better than "throughout" since there were many villages in the territories where nothing was going on that day.
Please respond to that comment instead of repeating a comment made to me by another editor and to which I have already responded. As to the rest of your comment, its clearly off-topic and provocative, and I'm quite frankly uninterested. Tiamuttalk 22:14, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Been watching this discussion for a while. In general, I don't draw a large distinction between the various things Tiamut suggested, but here are my thoughts:
  • While it's accurate to say there was rioting throughout the territories, unrest includes things that also happened which weren't riotous, like the Palestinian strike. I'm generally okay with either term... unrest is more accurate in a broader sense, while rioting may be more accurate since we're describing the second day of the Second Intifada. That said, many described the Palestinians at the Netzarim Junction as "protesters", and protesting has a different connotation than "rioting". Likewise, "unrest" can describe the actions of both sides - the exchanges of gunfire - while nobody would say the Israelis were rioting.
  • I agree with SV's change of "remains" to "is".
  • "Reporting" sounds more neutral and encyclopedic than "telling viewers", even if both are accurate. I'm generally okay with either though. Would it make more sense to describe what exactly he did (voice-over narration)?
  • Jaakobou - I don't understand what you mean by "muqawama apologetics", and don't find the comment particularly helpful, so maybe you can explain what you meant by it.
Granted we're just tweaking a few words, but let's try not to destabilize the article too much. ← George talk 23:53, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
  • "Unrest" is not a useful euphemism here.
  • I think "has become" is an improvement over "remains" and "is."
  • It wasn't exactly "reporting", was it? Any more than if I posted the video to YouTube and narrated it. Jaak's formulation is better. IronDuke 00:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • "Unrest" is a not a euphemism. It is more inclusive of the spectrum of activities that took place that day. "Rioting" is prohibitively limiting, given that it does not include gunfights or non-violent demonstrations.
  • I'm neutral on that suggestion. It really makes no difference to me, though present tense is preferable in terms of style.
  • It was "reporting", whether bad or good, accurate or inaccurate, remains to be determined. "Telling viewers" is taking a side in that debate as it implies he was telling something that was not true. And the formulation, in all cases, is not Jaakobou's. He simply reverted back to SlimVirgin's version. He has introduced no original thought or material to this debate. Tiamuttalk 07:24, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
It is a euphemism. To describe militancy with 'unrest' because a few people only threw stones and didn't try to kill anyone is just as bad as describing Hamas as not having aspirations to destroy Israel.[25] You've been editing wikipedia for long enough learn what balance is and these muqauwama apologetics are inexcusable. JaakobouChalk Talk 14:03, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Extremely long third paragraph giving undue weight to fringe theories

I think its length and tone is part of the reason that some people feel that the article is giving undue weight to minority/fringe theories. I would like to suggest for the following minor changes to address that (words to remove are struck while tose to be added are in italics):
Over In the months and years following the incident, a number of investigators commentators questioned the accuracy of France 2's report.[6] A controversial IDF investigation in October 2000 concluded that the IDF had probably not shot the al-Durrahs.[7] Three senior French journalists who saw reviewed the raw footage in 2004 argued said that it is not clear from the footage alone that the boy died did not show the boy's death, or who shot him. and that France 2 cut a final few seconds in which he appears to lift his hand from his face.[8] A year later, Arlette Chabot, France 2's news editor, said in 2005 that no one could say for sure who fired the shots.[9] Other commentators, including The director of the Israeli government press office, among other commentators, said the scenes had been staged by Palestinian protesters.[10] Philippe Karsenty, a French media commentator, was sued in 2004 for libel by France 2 for suggesting this; a 2006 ruling against him in 2006 was overturned by the Paris Court of Appeal in May 2008, a decision that France 2 is challenging before the French Supreme Court.[11] In September 2008, Patrick de Carolis, the CEO of France Télévisions, which runs France 2, agreed to set up convene an independent group of experts to examine the issues.[12]

The major change I am proposing here is removing mention of Durrah's hand moving, which was not mentioned by all three French editors (I believe only one of them did, if at all). Instead, I've added their opinion that it could not be known who shot him. That makes Arlette Chabot's opinion, saying the same thing, redundant and it really unnecessary for the introduction. This paragraph is still too long in my opinion, but I think these changes will help to address some of the weight and POV issues.
PS. I'm proposing this here first to avoid destablizing the article and jeopardizing its FAC nomination. Tiamuttalk 14:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Please do not dress down violence and terrorism as 'unrest'. Thanks. JaakobouChalk Talk 16:41, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
You might want to move this comment to the section above since it is not related to the changes being proposed here. Tiamuttalk 16:49, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Tiamut, these changes are wrong. The journalists weren't commissioned by anyone, for example. Please leave the article as it was. It needs to be reviewed by uninvolved editors now, not by us. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:45, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I've changed that (sorry I misread). Please review the rest of the changes. I don't believe they are wrong as well. Tiamuttalk 07:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I think my current thinking here is probably pretty close to hamiltonstone's comments from the FAC discussion. I think we have UNDUE problems, and I think the third paragraph, as Tiamut identified, is the biggest culprit. The beginning of the introduction is fairly vague, summarizing the events well, and only identifying the key players (the boy, his father, the cameraman, and Enderlin). Then the third paragraph goes into much more detail about the minority view, putting people like Karsenty and the director of the Israeli GPO on equal footing with the key players. This causes an UNDUE issue I think, but it can still probably pass FAC because, quite honestly, the independent, uninvolved editors don't appear to be able to tell majority from minority view, or just don't care if the views are balanced based on how widely they're held (versus just being balanced 50/50). ← George talk 00:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Most of the reviewers have no POV of their own that I can tell. They're experienced editors and reviewers, all of them. Please leave the article to be reviewed by them.
As for Karsenty etc, the fact is that Karsenty's role now is the story, because he's been the subject of three court cases, and it's before the Supreme Court. It's not his fault that happened. It's the fault of France 2 for suing him. That exposed them to this situation, and so here it is. They made him a key player. France 2's bosses have now set up an independent group to examine those claims. That makes those claims even more central to the story than before. The story as told in 2010 is not the story as told in 2000. The lead reflects the key players of today.
One of the problems with the editing on this page has always been that some of the editors think they know what happened. But none of us knows, no matter how strong our beliefs. Personally, I think he died. I think the images we had in the article -- the boy in the hospital, in the morgue, at the funeral -- were him. But I don't know that. And there's no doubting that there's something odd about the way the story was reported. Just one example of the weirdness is that three of the primary sources -- the doctor, the cameraman, and the correspondent -- disagree wildly about when it happened (10 am, noon, 3 pm), which should be one of the most basic facts. And it's all downhill from there. There's virtually nothing that the key players agree on, and all the recent news coverage reflects that. We can't write this article based on sources from 2000, just as we don't write the history of the Third Reich based only on articles from 1933, or the history of the World Trade Center attacks only on articles from September 11, 2000.
Please let the reviewers decide whether we've told the story properly, and not start messing around with it after we have five six supports. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:29, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Just want to add here: I'm sorry if the above sounded like a lecture. I'm just feeling a bit frustrated. My apologies. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 04:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say that the personal views of reviewers is the problem. I only know that when I read the introduction, I don't get the same sense of what is the majority view and what is the minority view that I do when I review sources. Maybe reviewers simply read WP:UNDUE differently than I do, or they haven't read enough sources to determine what constitutes the majority versus the minority view - I don't know. And I have left it up to the reviewers - note that I haven't opposed the nomination on the FAC page, even though I think the article has UNDUE issues.
Regarding Karsenty et al, I disagree that his role "is the story" now, and I'm worried that framing it as such lends itself to recentism. What if the court rules in France 2's favor? Do we then hack out all the emphasis on Karsenty's appeal? Or if his position is upheld, and the court rules that he has the right to claim that the event was staged, what conclusion can we draw from that, if any? Either way, I just don't really think his case is central to the whole controversy. The French court isn't ruling on whether IDF soldiers shot the boy, or whether the events were staged by Palestinians, just whether Karsenty had a legal right to make the claims he did. I think the court case has been blown out of proportion in relation to the bigger issue of the shooting itself. And what about the General Samia's investigation? The investigation was almost universally panned, including by members of the Knesset and IDF (which never accepted it), yet in the lead we only mention it as a "controversial IDF investigation" without any context. This paragraph just doesn't seem balanced to me.
Any editor that thinks they know what exactly happened is delusional; none of us do, and odds are many of the key players don't know for sure. Personally, I would be more suspicious if the times did match up, in a part of the world where most people don't even know their date of birth (which makes writing biographical articles really interesting...). But again, our views have nothing to do with WP:UNDUE. My personal view of the incident matches Wehwalt's quite closely, but I don't judge articles based on what I think, just on how they're reported, in proportion to the prominence of each view among those reports. ← George talk 04:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
You argued at the FAC that the lead shouldn't say any more about the controversial IDF investigation, even though Wehwalt wanted more, because the Israeli govt changed its mind about it formally in 2008. The Paris judge in 2008 said that the cameraman's statements were "not perfectly credible." That was the significance of it. When a judge in a libel trial says such a thing, it gives a green light, and the news coverage changed in tone considerably. We've been through all this. What I'd like to know is whether a group of experienced, uninvolved editors, who are clearly reading it (the latest support said he has just spent two hours reading it), think it's FA standard. It isn't fair to wait until that process is nearly over and start suggesting key changes to the lead, obviously. And the idea that we should remove Enderlin's boss when she was basically contradicting him—it's been there for years and is clearly important.
It has to be possible to get an I/P article to FA standard. The only one I know of that has so far made it is Jerusalem, and the writer of that was driven half mad by one side pulling one way, and the other the opposite. At some point, the process has to devolve to unininvolved editors who don't care about the usual I/P minutiae. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm trying very hard here not to disrupt the FAC process out of respect for your (SlimVirgin's) efforts. I've started proposing my changes here instead of editing the article directly. I've held off on commenting at the FAC where, with the article in its current state, I would definitely vote oppose, because I don't want to torpedo the nom. I'm concerned that your desire to get the article promoted to FAC has meant you are less concerned with editing in line with NPOV and UNDUE and more concerned with pandering to the rather eccentric demands of the FAC committee.
George may come at things (personally) from the oposite end of the specturm that I do, but I share every single one of the concerns he raised, and those of hamiltonstone (raised at the FAC itself). I don't see why our article gives so much attention to the views of minor players. The third paragraph in the intro is problematic and should be cut down (if not radically revised). You (Slim) have made a lot of changes to the article during the FAC process. Editors who have been following the developments at this article for some time watched to see where you were going with them. You know as well as we do what the sources say. The people in the FAC do not (they don't generally review all the sources).
I hope you will take the time to review the changes I've proposed here. I won't bother proposing anymore if I'm going to told I'm "involved" (implication: somehow being disruptive?) for doing so. Tiamuttalk 07:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
PS. Its a little unfair to say people are acoming here at the last minute to make changes to the lead when the changes you made have been done over the last couple of weeks. I needed time to process them. Sorry for the delay but I believe I'm well within my right to suggest changes, FAC nom or not. Tiamuttalk 07:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I didn't argue that we shouldn't include more on General Samia's investigation, I merely supported your statement that reliable sources were "uniformly critical" of it. Wehwalt felt you were writing from the Palestinian perspective, and wanted to describe the investigation as the official IDF stance, which it was not. To the best of my knowledge, the IDF still hasn't adopted the investigation's conclusions (that IDF soldiers could not have shot the boy). In a relative sense, the investigation does have more weight on the topic than Karsenty's case. Karsenty's case is secondary really to the commentary that emerged from it (the judge's comment you quoted; the testimonies of the French journalists who watched the video for the court).
If you're only interested in the views of uninvolved editors, then you can ignore my input. Though understand that I'm still free to voice my opinions. And I don't think it's necessarily fair to so dramatically change the lead during the FAC process (which, you may remember, I complained about at the time) and not expect feedback. I'm not saying that we should necessarily remove any of the things we're discussing, but when the minority view is given such prominence, we have balance issues. For instance, Samia's investigation is almost universally panned (and very harshly), and we describe this as "controversial". That's fine, by itself, but then we spend a full sentence discussing what you yourself described as a "very small minority position" - that the whole thing was staged. Maybe that's not an UNDUE issue, but the two don't feel balanced to me. ← George talk 09:23, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Between 2006 and 2008, this article lurched back and forth between two sides, both of them trying to suppress the key arguments of the other side. From 2008-ish onwards, it stabilized considerably, but it still suffered from one side not wanting to let the other side tell the full story, citing UNDUE, FRINGE etc. Even when court cases were being held, and serious commentators (including some with no dog in the fight) were saying something was wrong, and there needed to be a public inquiry, editors here were still citing UNDUE.

One of the early comments on the FAC was from Ling.Nut. S/he asked that the best points of each side be expanded on, particularly in the lead, so I did that. Those of you who are saying the article doesn't reflect the sources are engaged in wishful thinking, because it absolutely does. I've been reading them carefully since October, so please give me some credit for knowing what they say. Every single extended article on this subject centres around the details of the controversy—and sympathetically so—including from writers like James Fallows, an excellent journalist with no history of prejudice in either direction that I know of, writing in an old and respected magazine, The Atlantic. So UNDUE doesn't apply. You have to go right back to September, October 2000 to find uncritical coverage of the original report. The lead has to summarize the key aspects of the article, per LEAD. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

As I've said, I have my concerns, which you can choose to ignore or not. That said, I don't think any of my concerns preclude the article from achieving featured status (something that is long overdue anyways). Just be aware that there are issues of balance which I think we need to spend more time discussing, even after the article achieves featured status. ← George talk 09:23, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem with trying to change things at this stage is that it's this version of the article that has six supports. If we change anything significant now, those reviewers would have to be asked to look at it again. Tiamut, you remember how you felt going for a DYK with people changing things while you were trying to nominate it. Well, that's how I feel, times three months. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:03, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I understand the sensitivity, which is why I'm trying to be sensitive (unlike the people I was dealing with at Lydda Death March, who unilaterally changed the page's name just before it went up for DYK - and I'm sorry, but I don't see parallels in my behaviour and theirs and find the comparison a little offensive). The changes I am proposing above should not irk those people who have granted their support thus far. They are not revolutionary. They are minor tweaks which I believe will help address some the issues raised by hamiltonstone, George and myself. None of us voted oppose in the FAC, despite our reservations with the article, because it is a quality piece of writing and research. That it has weight issues that are compromising NPOV can be addressed now or later, but they need to be addressed.
I thought you might find it preferable to do these things during the FAc review so that the changes can get the stamp of approval of the reviewers. Otherwise, you might resist future changes by saying it could compromise the FAC. I feel a bit like the article being held hostage by the FAC and we are being asked not to be bold so that you can get a FAC credit. Its not the end of the world if it fails now. It can be renominated again. Its much worse in my opinion for it to be suffering from issues the dealing of which is postponed just to let it pass the FAC. :::All that said, I don't intend to oppose the FAc nomination and I've been holding off on making changes directly to the article to respond to your request that I not "destabilize"~ the article. As such, I'd appreciate it if you would respond to the suggested changes I've proposed in this section and the one and above and incorporate any changes that are amenable to you yourself or continue the discussion to find suitable alternatives. If you don't want to, I may have start editing the article again directly. That's not a threat. But I'm not going to be intimidated into waiving my right to to edit the encyclopedia that anybody can simply because you've decided not to rock the FAC boat. Tiamuttalk 11:27, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Your proposed changes one by one: Removing Arlette Chabot saying no one can say for sure who fired the shots. Removing that will not fly. It was very significant that she publicly contradicted Enderlin, because she is his boss. It has been in the lead for a long time, rightly so. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm fine with leaving it in, though I've suggested a minor rephrasing for flow. Tiamuttalk 15:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I can certainly understand that, but if I feel an article is in some way lacking I'll voice my opinion on it. I think most of your rewriting over the last couple weeks was done just to appease Wehwalt, who decided to oppose the nomination anyways, but I don't think that just because someone is uninvolved means that they're impartial on a subject, or should be able to make any demands they want on an article. Heck, I bet without his changes you'd still have six supports, him opposed, and a better, much more balanced article in general. That said, to be quite honest, I just don't care. The article isn't perfect, but it's good enough to be featured - better than other featured articles on less controversial subjects for sure. At the end of the day, if people want to oppose the nomination, oh well - it's just a gold star for an already well written article anyways. ← George talk 11:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
There were a few changes I made only because of Wehwalt, but most of them I made simply with Wehwalt in mind, which isn't quite the same thing. There are lots of Wehwalts, and their POV has to be addressed. It was mostly Ling.Nut who influenced me. S/he just wants the story to be told, and I've found it very frustrating over the last couple of years that I couldn't do that. One of the reasons I enjoyed rewriting this is that I don't have a strong POV about it. I think the boy in the morgue is him, but the people who don't think he died really are a very small minority. Most of the commentators just think there was something odd about the reporting, that things didn't happen the way they were presented, and that the people involved need to acknowledge it. When I start writing about something seriously, I just want to tell the story, wherever it leads, and any POV I have seems to fall away. So when Ling.Nut seemed to want that, I was happy to deliver. I don't think the article would have been supported without the changes. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Actally, Tiamut, I'd prefer if you would list your reasons for opposing—or your suggestions for change (however you want to put it)—on the review page as the others did. You're not one of the article's editors, so you're entitled to review it as an uninvolved person—your first edit to the article was four days before I nominated it, and you'd made only four edits when the nom was posted. Please read the article through, then open up a section for yourself, and list your points and the reasons for them. I can either agree, or explain why I don't. That way, the reviewers and delegates will see the exchange and can take it into account.

I'd also like to ask you to do this: please imagine that it was an Israeli cameraman who was freelancing for France 2 that day, and that he told Enderlin that the boy and his father had been "the target of fire from the Palestinian positions." Enderlin believed him and broadcast it, and for the next few weeks and longer, the world's newspapers ran stories on how the Palestinians had shot the child in cold blood.

Imagine that, five years later, after independent journalists had viewed the raw footage, Arlette Chabot, Enderlin's boss, had finally said in public, "no one can say for sure who fired the shots." And we were now discussing whether that belonged in the lead. What would your position be? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:51, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Above, I've added that I'm fine with leaving the Chabot comment in and have changed the text I am proposing accordingly. If you want to me take all my concerns to the FAC I will. I thought however that it would be better to discuss them here since as I stated above, they are minor changes that I think would help address the issues raised without derailing the FAC nom. But whatever you want, I guess. Tiamuttalk 15:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The advantage of doing it on the FAC page is that, if changes are proposed, other reviewers will see them, and can voice their protests or support. The FAC delegates (the ones who promote or fail the article) need to see it too.
It's up to you how your format it. The easiest thing for me would be if you could list the things you'd like to see changed and why, then I can address them individually, either changing the article, or trying to persuade you why I shouldn't. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

New article

A new article today about this in Haaretz by Reuven Pedatzur, senior lecturer in Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Seems he read your article (even the footnotes) and focusins on the minority views, put forward the conspiracy theory version of events - that Palestinians are liars and no boy died. Wonderful. Tiamuttalk 07:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
LOL, while I don't share you cynicism, my initial, independently-drawn conclusion of this article was the same; the author could have at least attributed Wikipedia for doing his research, even if the conclusions were his own. :) ← George talk 09:29, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I really do wish I had your sense of humour George. Life would be so much easier. Anyway you are right. Unfortunately, people don't seem to understand that while Wikipedia's copyright free material is offered freely for reproduction, noting where its taken from is all that's asked to avoid the charge of plagiarism. Funny how journalists have no qualms about it. I've seen it happen before too. A journalist at the New York Times once wrote an article on Nadia Abu El Haj that was practically a repeat of our article (its also used as a source in our article). Things can get very circular on the internet, very fast. Tiamuttalk 10:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Or the WP article now reflects the sources, and he read those sources. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:00, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Entirely possible. I was just struck at the point by point similarities between the two - the mention of the martyrdom and symbolism, the stamps and streets, Schapira and Karsenty, Abu Rahma's statements about "cold blood", the varying times of death, Yehuda David. I think this is about the only article I've read that includes all of these points, aside from Wikipedia, but sure, maybe the author just researched the subject very well. ← George talk 11:23, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Given that he's a senior academic, I doubt he'd copy from Wikipedia so easily, unless he knew from his own work that the article is comprhensive and accurate. We don't have the right/left leg issue, which I don't recall seeing, so he clearly did his own reading too. That's likely from Schapira. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:36, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Yup, I felt about the same, which is why I didn't bring it up. Seemed to me like he was mixing Wikipedia's facts and figures in with the conclusions and opinions of Schapira and others. At worst, it's just a compliment to the Wikipedia article (though I'd be hesitant to use it as a source because of my suspicions). ← George talk 11:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

OR and UNDUE highlighting in lead

[26] For the Israelis, the world's willingness to believe they had killed the boy was a modern version of the blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice.<ref>[ Patience 2007]. Note: the blood libel was the claim that it was a Jewish custom to sacrifice a Christian child on the eve of [[Pesach]] ([[Passover]]), and to make [[matzo]], or unleavened bread, using the child's blood.</ref>

Many people have objected to this statement, which has been removed multiple times. I agree with the objections. The relevant text in the article cited reads as follows:

The director of the Israeli government's press office, Danny Seaman, last month described the events as being "staged".

"Events could not have occurred as they were described by the network's reporter, Charles Enderlin, since they contradict the law of physics," he wrote in a letter.

"This blood libel," Mr Seaman added, "inflamed the Arab world and led to many victims in Israel and across the world."

However, another Israeli government spokesman, Miri Eisen, has said this is Mr Seaman's "professional" view and that the government has no position on the question of the staging of the incident.

How was the opinion of one man transformed into "For the Israelis..."? I find this to be an OR leap, particularly so given that the Israeli government distanced itself from Seaman's position. I also find its highlighting in the lead (and the devotion of so much space to what was passing comment) to be WP:UNDUE highlighting. In short, I also support its removal from there. I suggest if its to be included at all, that it be rephrased, attributed to Seaman (with a note of the Israeli government's not sharing his position) and added to the body of the article. Tiamuttalk 20:59, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Is any actually for keeping the blood libel statement? NickCT (talk) 21:07, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Many people haven't objected, Tiamut. The article was mentioned off-wiki and since then some barely used accounts have turned up to remove it. It is not the opinion of one man. It's a very widely published opinion. I wouldn't have included it in the lead as written otherwise. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:09, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Slim - I just don't see how you could argue that this was relevant. This would be like inserting into the Rodney King lede "The police felt like they were being demonized after the Rodney King beating, as they had been demonized in early 19th century America by Irish immigrants". What? Why? Who? Doesn't make sense. Shouldn't be there. NickCT (talk) 21:20, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
@Slim - After checking the history, I noticed you've single handedly reverted multiple editors who made this same edit. You don't WP:OWN this page. I suggest you yield to the majority. NickCT (talk) 21:23, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I have been reverting sockpuppets, I think. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:28, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I would ask anyone commenting here to read the article and the sources carefully. A lot of work (a huge amount of work) went into making sure each side's views were represented, both in the lead and elsewhere, as well as carefully sourced and balanced. You're entitled to disagree, of course, but I ask that you disagree after making yourself familiar with it all, because the chances are high that, if you read the article and the sources, you'll see why it's written as it is.
Nick, if that had been a notable view of the police after the King incident, it would indeed belong in the lead. The blood libel allegation is a prominent complaint among the sources. What is meant by it is that the world was too willing to believe that the Israelis, or the Jews, would target a child, in the opinion of sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:28, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Hold on. Let me examine your claim regarding notability. NickCT (talk) 21:37, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Read the source in the lead. Then look at the sources in the Personal and political impact section. And then also take a look at Further reading—the Le Meilleur des mondes debate, for example. The views of the French philosopher, Pierre-André Taguieff, for example, are quite typical of the views of sections of the Jewish community: not all, certainly, but typical of the sections who believe the video was problematic. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:48, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Can you point to the other sources that use the term "blood libel" explicitly? Or is it only Seaman who does that? Tiamuttalk 21:50, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
If you read the sources I pointed out above, you'll see it used many times. See one of the Taguieff articles e.g. [27] (this is a translation; original under FR). It's in the Schapira documentary too. Had it only been Seaman, I almost certainly wouldn't have added it to the lead, and if I had, I'd have attributed. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:56, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Well the current reference doesn't make it obvious that this is a notable. Infact, the current reference simply says some Israeli politician mentioned it in passing. I tried to test whether this was a "notable" by googling blood libel al-durrah. The top 5 links refering to blood libel are summarized below -
  1. Atlantic journal saying some arabs used the incident to try and suggest blood libel was true
  2. Partisan Institue of Jewish affairs quoting some academic
  3. Blog post, refuting blod libel claim
  4. Article accounting claim that the whole event was staged, and was infact blood libel
  5. Article questioning whether the event was Israeli Brutality or blood libel
After looking through these, I can find no source suggesting wide spread Israeli sentiment of somekind of blood libel smear against them. The current source cited, and others that make the same claim are usually simply quoting partisan individuals. Do you have any evidence that for Israelis in general "the world's willingness to believe they had killed the boy was a modern version of the blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice"? NickCT (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I see it now. One of the other articles cited in the body is also quoting Seaman: ""The creation of the myth of Muhammad al-Dura has caused great damage to the State of Israel. This is an explicit blood libel against the state. And just as blood libels in the old days have led to pogroms, this one has also caused damage and dozens of dead," said Government Press Office director Daniel Seaman." [28]. Then there is the Fallows piece which does not characterize it as an Israeli position, but instead says: "The harshest version of the al-Dura case from the Arab side is that it proves the ancient "blood libel"—Jews want to kill gentile children—and shows that Americans count Arab life so cheap that they will let the Israelis keep on killing."
I still think this has no place in the lead and that the conclusion that Seaman's view (and Tagueieff's) represent all Israelis is an OR one. The issue is more complicated than that and should be phrased with more care. Tiamuttalk 22:01, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec to Nick). Then you haven't looked properly. Please read the sources I suggested above. Yes, of course, they are partisan in the sense of expressing a particular view. But it is a view that is widespread within the Israeli and Jewish communities. The lead can't give the Palestinian view without the other view. I notice none of you are questioning the former.
Tiamut, please read the article and the sources carefully. It's not something that takes 20 minutes. If you read them, you'll see that it's a widespread view. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:04, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I've read multiple sources. I can't find any RS that reflects your claim. If you believe you've got something, please point directly to it. Re "I notice none of you are questioning the former." - That the palestinian community would be outraged by the killing seems self-evident (as perhaps its self evident the black community would be upset by the Rodney King beating). That Israeli's at large would make this blood libel claim does not seem self-evident. Again, please provide references. NickCT (talk) 22:20, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

And Nick, I think you need to say what your other or previous accounts were. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I've also read the sources. None of them say what you say in the lead. I still believe the conclusion is OR and that saying this iew is widespread among Israelis is a gross leap not borne out by the sources cited. As I suggested earlier, the material should be rephrased to reflect what the sources say (and attributed to their interlocutorss) and this material should not be in the lead. Tiamuttalk 22:27, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, are there any secondary sources that support the broad statement about "the Israelis"? Everything seems to be a primary source, or else it quotes Seaman. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:31, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

(ec, to Tiamut) What you're basically asking me to do here is to re-read all the sources myself and compile a list on talk of sources who refer to in terms of blood libel. I can do that, of course. But you could do it too. If you're coming back after 20 or 30 minutes to say you've read the sources, then you clearly haven't, unless you're some kind of genius speed-reader. :)
What disappoints me about this is that none of you are questioning the sentence before it: "For the Palestinians, it confirmed their view of the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality toward them." It's discouraging to see an attempt to remove one point of view, but no mention of the other. It would be nice to move beyond that, given the amount of effort that's been put into this page. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:35, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Slim - I addressed the latter point earlier. I think this situation is analogous to the Rodney King beating (i.e. in that it is an innappropriate use of force against a ethnic minority). It's self-evident that the african american community was upset by the beating. Stating that police were upset about all the negative media attention seems a little UNDUE.
Rere-read all the sources myself - You want us to re-read all your sources for you? NickCT (talk) 22:42, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec to Nick) No, I would like you to read the sources for yourself, not for me. They're in the article. I've pointed some out on this page. But what you want is for me to lay out a series of easy-to-read diffs so you can click on them, bang bang bang, and see the words "blood libel," so you don't have to do any actual reading, and don't have to read the article. :)
I will do that if I have to. It's just a pity that people can't get past that style of editing. But I won't have time to do it until next week because it will likely take me a few hours. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:53, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
The first sentence (about the Palestinians) is based on a secondary source ("His name is known to every Arab, his death cited as the ultimate example of Israeli military brutality."). The second sentence isn't. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:50, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
That's the primary difference for me too. As yes Slim Virgin, I am a super fast reader. I looked at the articles cited here, and in the article after the term blood libel wherever it was mentioned in the article. I still don't think they support your formulation in the lead. I still think its undue. And I still think it should be rephrased, attributed to its authors and discussed with more nuance somewhere other than the lead. Tiamuttalk 22:56, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Which sources did you read? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:59, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
The ones I linked to (Fallows, Waked, BBC, and Taguieff (which you linked to). I also skimmed the ones linked by NickCT. Is there a source I missed? Is there one that says this view is held by Israelis at large? Tiamuttalk 23:11, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not a view that's held by all Israelis, obviously. Enderlin is an Israeli. But it's a prominent view. You don't have to believe it was staged to see it as a blood libel. The position is that people were far too quick to assume that Israel had targeted the child; the leap to that conclusion is regularly expressed in terms of blood libel. Attributing to its authors would be poor writing. The Palestinians think X, but Seaman, Taguieff, A, B, and C think Y.
Anyway, the time I am spending here is time I could spend compiling sources. I won't be able to post it for a few days, so I hope you'll allow me that space, as this objection is somewhat unexpected. You didn't mention it during the FAC, Tiamut. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:17, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I gave up mentioning things during the FAC for a number of reasons and there are still a lot of problems with this article that I haven't even begun to broach, and may never get around to raising. Take all the time you want. But please don't imply that I or others don't have a right to raise issues now that this is a FAC. A lot of changes were bulldozed through during that process. While those who reviewed the article think its some of our best work (and I agree to some extent, particularly regarding the prose) I think its lacking in NPOV and gives UNDUE prominence to certain fringe and minority positions. I've said that before and I will continue to say it whenever I feel its appropriate. I hope that's okay with you. Tiamuttalk 23:43, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
It disturbs me that this issue was raised on Wikipedia Review as part of their efforts to bait me, and lo and behold a bunch of accounts and IP addresses, most of them sporadically used, turn up here to remove it. Tiamut, I ask you to take into account that you may see some of these points as UNDUE because you strongly disagree with them, and also because I don't think you've read the article and the sources carefully. Please do me a favour. Print out a copy of the article and read it through. If you do that, I think you'll see that a tremendous amount of work went into offering balance, and not letting any "side" (and there are more than two) get the last word in on any point.
The only editor during the FAC who opposed this was the one with pro-Israel views, who declared that it was pro-Palestinian. Please take that into account too. This article will never please anyone with strong views on either side. It is written for intelligent people in the middle, people who don't pretend to know and who largely don't care, but who may be curious. That's the readership I aimed at. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:53, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, this isn't some kind of conspiracy (and even if there were one, its certainly not one I am aware of or form a part of). I have a problem with the text. So do NickCT and MalikShabazz, from what I can gather from their comments here. Our objections aren't based in our lack NPOV to this conflict or to the subject at hand. They are based on policy.
I'm aware that Wehwalt opposed the FAC nomination and that his opposition resulted in your making massive changes to this article to try to garner his support. I have said previously that those concessions compromised the NPOV of the article, rather than improving it. Part of the reason I avoided taking part in the FAC review was to avoid warring with Wehwalt and to avoid being seen as using the FAC as leverage to effect changes I wanted to see effected.
Please rest assured that I have read the sources in question and I still don't think the material should be phrased as it is, nor placed where it is. I've thoroughly explained my rationale above. I'd appreciate it if you would stop atttributing my objections to POV, careless reading, or a lack of understanding of the issues at hand.
In summary, I'd like to see a reliable secondary source that supports the idea that "Israelis view the allegation of Durrah's killing by Israeli forces to be a blood libel". I believe this is a fringe minority position (and the sources I've read have not convinced me that another conclusion is warranted). Most Israelis I know (and I live here remember) still think Israel probably killed him, and that even if he didn't, the confusion was a function of the fog of war, and not some malicious blood libel tendency among Arabs or French reporters. I realize my personal experience isn't an RS, but neither are primary sources used to make OR conclusions. Tiamuttalk 00:05, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not alleging that you're part of anything, Tiamut. But I'm discouraged to see you vehemently oppose NoCal100 in all his forms (rightly so), even to the point of striking out his views on this talk page as I recall, yet post here in support of an equally obvious sock who's agreeing with you. The only thing that will reduce sockpuppetry in I/P articles is if all the regular editors object to socks whenever we see them, regardless of the views they're supporting.
Anyway, as I said, I'm willing to compile a list of sources. But it will take me a few days, and while I'm willing to discuss the issue with you, I'm not keen on talking to whichever socks turn up. I hope you can understand and respect that. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 00:20, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

SlimV - Your accusations of sock puppetry are infantile. Quit crying just because people dislike what you've written. We've all have written bad statements into ledes before. There is no reason to get upset about it. Simply whining "read my sources" over and over is not going to help. Why not work with us? I think there is some scope here for compromise. Can we for instance mention that "some" people hold the opinion that this is similar to blood libel (thereby removing weight from what is seen as UNDUE WEIGHT)? NickCT (talk) 00:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

SV, I'm not aware of socks being involved in this discussion. Even if that were the case, I've clearly outlined my rationale (rooted in policies) as to why this information is inappropriate as phrased. Even so, I haven't reverted to delete it even once and have been, I believe, quite patient, during a discussion in which I've seen a lot of evasion of the issue at hand on your part.
NickCT, "some" is WP:weasel wording. I would not support that formulation, though I am open to exploring other phrasing options rooted in what the sources say. Tiamuttalk 00:34, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Tiamut - Agree with your WP:WEASEL assessment. Sometimes WEASELing is a good way to work out of disputes of this nature (which is why I suggested it). Do you think you might be able to suggest compromise wording? Until then, I suggest we remove the offending statement while Slim "researches" as the clear majority seems to be for its removal.NickCT (talk) 00:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd have to agree with SV here (though I emphatically do not agree with everything she says/thinks/does, even on this article). What some Palestinians have viewed this event as menaing is balanced against what some Israelis believe it to be (ZOMG, weasel word!). NickCT, let me ask you directly: is this your only account? I'm not trying to make you feel defensive, but in this sensitive area, I think it's right to insist that people edit with their main account. IronDuke 01:15, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Just a small point of correction there, ID. None of you know what I think. :) It's my sincere hope that no one reading this article would be able to work out from the article alone what my personal views are on this issue, insofar as I have any. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:34, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Or? Perhaps you underestimate my special powers? They're pretty durn vast, you know. IronDuke 01:42, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
True, but then you would know whether I'm underestimating you, wouldn't you? :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:46, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Touché. IronDuke 01:49, 20 February 2010 (UTC)


I've been watching this discussion unfold for a bit. What do editors think of removing both sentences from the lead - this sentence about blood libel, as well as the preceding statement regarding Palestinian views on "the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality"? While they balance each other fairly well, they're both a bit overly dramatic, and neither is a great reflection of the sources, in my opinion. Or what about toning down both sentences a bit: "For Arabs, it was as an example of Israeli military brutality against Palestinians; for Israelis, it was an excuse for Arabs to renew accusations of a modern blood libel." I'm not exactly sure on the exact wording, and I'm not sure that a blanket label like "Israelis" correctly reflects the views of most Israelis, but if these sentences are kept, I think toning them down a bit might go a long way. ← George talk 02:42, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

You said you're not sure on the exact wording, but I'll just say now before people start commenting on the proposal that your suggested wording in effect made it worse, and didn't tone it down. The old sentence said "apparently limitless nature" ie: not trying to say that the boy was killed by the IDF. Your suggestion says "an example of" ie: claiming definitively that the boy was killed by the IDF. Making this claim is of course not something we can do in this article. Just goes to show how careful you have to be with wording. Breein1007 (talk) 03:03, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I put the "an example of" in the context of views held by Arabs, who, overwhelmingly, do believe that the Israeli military is brutal against Palestinians. Likewise, I put the "an excuse for Arabs" in the context of the views held by Israelis, who, to some degree, do believe that this was a case of blood libel. I never mentioned anything about the boy actually being killed. ← George talk 03:24, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi George, I think the two sentences as they stand provide a broad brushstroke of both sides, which is all they were intended to do, and both perspectives are dominant in the reliable sources. Some sources for blood libel below. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:36, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
George, all we would have to do to limit it is add these few words (new words in bold): "For the Palestinians, it confirmed their view of the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality toward them. For sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities, the world's willingness to believe the IDF had killed the boy was a modern version of the blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:45, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
This was the first version of that sentence, but I was asked to change it, though I don't recall why: "For the Israelis and sections of the Jewish community around the world, it amounted to a modern blood libel, an example of the ancient allegation that Jews sacrifice other people's children." [29] SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:55, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I actually think the sentence before it also has issues. The sentence cited, and the Fallows piece in general, seems to indicate that Israeli brutality was an Arab view, not uniquely a Palestinian one. I'm also not completely comfortable switching from the source's terminology, "the ultimate example of Israeli military brutality", to "the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality". I'm not sure where the "apparently limitless" phrasing came from, but I think it's quite different than an "ultimate example". I think your rephrasing of the second sentence is probably sufficient, but personally I would change the "an example of" to a dash. ← George talk 05:11, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to paraphrase any particular source. It's a summary of the views I've read as broadly representative of the Palestinian position. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:22, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
George, would this do? "For sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities, it amounted to a modern blood libel—the ancient allegation that Jews sacrifice other people's children." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:32, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
No. Sorry. Still WP:UNDUE. If you really wanted to keep that sentence you really have to tone it down. Something like "A number of Israeli politicians and political writers suggested the controvery amounted to modern blood libel" or "A number of Israeli politicians and political writers suggested the controversy amounted to an antisemetic smear campaign". Spelling out what exactly blood libel is, is simple gratuatus. Also... I picked up on this conversation below! NickCT (talk) 06:38, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
SlimVirgin - I think the beginning of your sentence is definitely better than what exists now - it's not perfect, but better. Now that I read it, I actually think the m-dash may sound better as a comma, but that's pretty minor. The big problem with this suggestion is you don't define "it", where "it" is "the world's willingness to believe they had killed the boy" in the current version. But I'm also not totally happy with that wording. I don't believe the Israelis you're describing viewed "the world's willingness to believe they had killed the boy" as blood libel (maybe willing to believe that IDF soldiers killed him could be an acceptance of the blood libel stereotype, but it's not a claim of blood libel in and of itself). I think they specifically viewed Arab reporting and commentary on the shooting, which sometimes cited this as an example that Israelis didn't care about Palestinian children or some such, as the modern blood libel. That distinction isn't clear in either version.
Regarding NickCT's objection to defining the term "blood libel", honestly, it's not a term I had heard used prior to reading Wikipedia, so I'm okay with defining it.
And I'm still not completely happy with the preceding sentence and the "limitless nature of Israel's brutality" still either. Please re-read my initial suggestion with the following in mind: what I was specifically trying to say was that (a) some Arabs cited al-Durrah as proof that Israeli's didn't care about Palestinians, and (b) some Israelis felt such claims were really blood libel in disguise. I don't know that I'm really comfortable going beyond those two points in these sentences, based on my reading of sources, but you're more familiar with the sources than I am. ← George talk 09:07, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Selected sources for blood libel

Note: bold added.

  1. Anthony Julius, lawyer, Engage. "The blood libel has acquired an anti-Zionist character ... It is now a commonplace for Zionists / Israelis to be characterised as child-murderers. The death of Mohammed al-Dura on 30 September 2000 in circumstances that are still unclear, but which almost certainly were not the consequence of deliberate action by Israeli forces, was represented as disclosing the criminal essence of Zionism. And Zionism in turn was represented as Judaism Unmasked. The Zionist does openly what his co-religionists hitherto did in secret." [30]
  2. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, lawyer, Israel Law Center. "This modern-day blood libel resulted in hundreds of Jewish and Arab deaths, and ignited a still-flaming torch of international hatred, only for the saking of raising France 2's ratings." [31]
  3. Pierre-Andre Taguieff, philosopher, in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: "The old anti-Jewish stereotype of the blood libel reappeared with the al-Dura affair, which is why it is extremely significant." [32]
    Taguieff again in Le Meilleur des Mondes. Google translation: "The legend of "Jewish ritual murder" reactivated by exploiting symbolic the "dead line" of the young al-Dura became a source of inspiration for all cultural forms of contemporary anti-Jewish propaganda, postage stamps and posters bearing the image of al-Dura in interactive television programs." Original: "La légende du « crime rituel juif », réactivée par l’exploitation symbolique de la « mort en direct » du jeune al-Dura, est devenue une source d’inspiration pour toutes les formes culturelles de la propagande antijuive contemporaine, des timbres-poste et des affiches à l’effigie d’al-Dura aux émissions interactives de télévision." [33]
  4. Stéphane Juffa, The Wall Street Journal: "What turned these images into a modern blood-libel against Israel was only Mr. Enderlin's voice-over."
  5. Amnon Lord, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "Who killed Muhammad al-Dura? Blood libel—model 2000 ... His death turned into a blood libel accompanying the terror and violence, and it became the altar upon which the good name of the people and the State of Israel was sacrificed during the last two years." [34]
  6. James Fallows, The Atlantic. "The harshest version of the al-Dura case from the Arab side is that it proves the ancient "blood libel"—Jews want to kill gentile children—and shows that Americans count Arab life so cheap that they will let the Israelis keep on killing." [35]
  7. Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post. "Yet, even as private individuals were dedicating their time and passion to proving that France 2 had purposely broadcast a blood libel against Israel that caused the death and injury of Israelis and Jews throughout the world and marred the honor of the IDF, official Israel remained silent." [36]
  8. Rudy Reichstadt, Le Meilleur des Mondes. Google translation: "This image, tragic, a father and son huddled against a wall; image erected in emblem of both the "martyrs" and "sadistic Israeli" image declined on all modes - in textbooks , on t-shirts, postage stamps - plastered along roads in the West Bank and to Mali; image reactualizing the old accusation of anti-Jewish "ritual murder" ... Original: "Cette image, tragique, d’un père et de son fils recroquevillés contre un muret ; cette image érigée en emblème à la fois du « martyre palestinien » et du « sadisme israélien » ; cette image déclinée sur tous les modes – dans les manuels scolaires, sur des tee-shirts, des timbres postes –, placardée le long des routes en Cisjordanie et jusqu’au Mali; cette image réactualisant l’antique accusation antijuive de « crime rituel » ..." [37]
  9. Ron Rosenbaum, Those who forget the past, 2004, p. 273. "This second Intifada also marked the emergence of the Al-Jazeera effect, with satellite television beaming brutal images of the conflict, such as the death of twelve-year-old Palestinian Muhammed al-Dura, into millions of homes worldwide. In Europe, Muslim extremists took out their furty on Jews and Jewish institutions. Some in the European Press ... used incendiary imagery that routinely drew comparisons between Israel and the Nazi regime. This crude caricature of Israelis as slaughterers of the innocent soon morphed into the age-old "blood libel," as when ... La Stampa published a cartoon depicting the infant Jesus threatened by Israeli tanks imploring, "Don't tell me they want to kill me again."
  10. Baruch Gordon, Israel National News. "The raw footage as presented to the court has increased suspicions that the original France-2 report which blamed Israeli soldiers for shooting the 12-year-old was a staged blood libel." [38]
  11. Melanie Philips, Standpoint. "It was, in short, a modern-day blood libel, an updated version of the medieval calumny that the Jews target gentile children for murder — which itself caused the murder of thousands of Jews over the centuries." [39]
    Philips again in The Spectator. "... even now certain representatives of the Israel government are playing a most ambiguous role in defending their country against this modern blood libel." [40]
  12. Nidra Poller, New York Sun. "Vindictive anger is aimed straight at Metula News Agency, a prickly French-language Israeli news service operating up in the Metula hills overlooking Lebanon, with an excellent track record and particular tenacity in denouncing the Al Dura blood libel. [41]
  13. Richard Landes. "The al-Dura story operated as a new mutation of one of the core motifs of anti-Semitism–blood libel." [42]
  14. Ed O'Loughlin, The Age. "According to Danny Seaman, director of Israel's Government Press Office, the France 2 television station "essentially staged" the footage seven years ago this week as a "blood libel" against the Jewish state. Although his remarks have not been formally endorsed by his superiors, Mr Seaman is the most senior official yet to express a view that is increasingly popular among supporters of Israeli policy." [43]
    BBC News, citing Daniel Seaman. ""This blood libel," Mr Seaman added, "inflamed the Arab world and led to many victims in Israel and across the world." [44]
    San Francisco Chronicle, citing Seaman. "In response, Daniel Seaman, director of the Israel Government Press Office, openly accused Enderlin and his cameraman, Talal Abu Rahma, of a "modern blood libel" against Israel." [45]
    Ali Waked, YNet News, citing Seaman. "The creation of the myth of Muhammad al-Dura has caused great damage to the State of Israel. This is an explicit blood libel against the state. And just as blood libels in the old days have led to pogroms, this one has also caused damage and dozens of dead," said Government Press Office director Daniel Seaman." [46]
    Seaman himself in Ynet News. "Members of the office must be willing to dedicate the required effort, while displaying public courage at times, in order to disprove and thwart the blood libels formulated by the Palestinians ..." [47]
  15. Alex Grobman "How the Arabs Manipulate the Media, Israelis and the West" at History News Network writes: "Historian Richard Landes began investigating the case as a blood libel after seeing this incident as “One Jew allegedly kills a gentile child in cold blood, and all Jews everywhere are responsible." He also provides reference to "Amnon Lord, “Who Killed Muhammad Al-Dura? Blood Libel-Model 2000” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs No. 482. (July 15, 2002)"[48]


@SlimV - re your references. It looks like you've collected phrases from a dozen op-ed style pieces, and you're using that to say "This is what Israelis think". Unconvincing.
Come to think of it, I like Georges deletion proprosal. The sentences add little to the article. In fact I'd also be for eliminating the sentence prior to the two in contention (i.e. "The footage has acquired what one writer called the iconic power of a battle flag"). "Battle flag" is an ambiguous term. This seems unencyclopedic, and frankly, poor writing. Is anyone against just deleting the majority of this paragraph (beside SlimV who is trying to WP:OWN this article, and will be against any substantive change)?
@IronDuke - Breein kindly setup a page for casting basless assertions about my identity (see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/NickCT). NickCT (talk) 06:16, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

It's Jewish and/or Israeli pundits that seem to bring up this "blood libel" charge. Are there any Arab sources that actually accused Israelis of "Blood libel"?? I think I read that people were charging Israel with issues over allegations of organ harvesting and an FBI-arrest in NJ of a organ-ring, but the subject incident is a death by crossfire in a battle scene, therefore the "blood libel" charge, nobody is seriously making it, but for some reason Israelis and Jews are writing about it. It doesn't belong here in an encyclopedia article about the incident. If Jewish or Israeli sources want to discuss the issue (no good connection, imho) then let them in their articles etc. but it's not appropriate here. The paragraph still contains this so-called "balance" as it has something about Daniel Pearl's death (?), so before the edit it was 2 out of 3 references for the Jewish side which was unbalanced. I don't support the balance in this case anyway when it's wrong-headed and unencyclopedic. This whole thing seems to stink anyway, it should be about reporting the facts of the incident, not crafting balance or "pundit" analysis , and then give 2 out of 3 in this so-called prior balance to the Jewish side, when it was an Arab that was killed!! Incredible. Some things in Wikipedia stick out like a sore thumb when you read them, this one did when I read it, and therefore it was edited out to improve the article's purpose. Perhaps some of the people who constantly edit the article could appreciate a fresh reader's perspective to how it reads?!! Blood libel sticks out like a sore thumb as totally biased and unencylopedic in discussing a crossfire incident. Leave that to "pundits" to ponder for whatever reasons they are trying to link the two. Come on. Geez. Soledad22 (talk) 07:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Hey mate, I think you're just a tad confused. We aren't dealing with anything "Arab vs Jew" here. Aside from the obvious reason, would you care to explain why you are turning this into a Jewish issue? It's alright... I still love you. Breein1007 (talk) 07:01, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

The incident was a tragedy, crossfire, between Israelis and Arabs, but somehow a charge of Blood libel against Jews is plunked down as per my explanation above. You're right, it's crazy to bring a "Jewish" issue into this crossfire incident that occurred between Israeli and Palestinian troops in heat of a firefight. Let's remove it. Soledad22 (talk) 07:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I've been trying to look for secondary sources that describe Israeli reaction to the incident or their views concerning world opinion of the incident. I'd like to see two sentences in the lede, because I think it's important to describe the way the incident affected both Israelis and Palestinians, but I don't think primary sources are a legitimate way of gauging public opinion. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 21:19, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
@ Malik - It's fine if we want to put in some kind of Palestinian reaction/Israeli reaction pierce in there. But this whole blood libel shinanigans has to go. Please propose a rewrite. NickCT (talk) 21:45, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
As I wrote, I'm still looking for sources. I can't write anything before I find sources. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:15, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Ok. Well it seems like the two sentences have caused allot of controversy. I suggest immediately deleting them pending rewrite. I think we've reached consensus that the blood libel stuff isn't appropriate. Is anyone against an immediate deletion of both sentences? NickCT (talk) 22:28, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

No objection here. I still find that whole paragraph hugely problematic, but starting with those two sentences sounds fine. Tiamuttalk 22:39, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Ok done. Would anyone object to deleting the "battle flag" sentence. I don't think it really adds anything, and it's sorta ambiguous. NickCT (talk) 23:01, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with the process of deleting content from the article based on a discussion that lasted 11 minutes. Please allow other editors to comment before you start pruning the article.
My view is that the sentence about the battle flag accurately summarizes a paragraph in the article and should stay. I also think the pair of sentences should stay until there is consensus to remove them. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 23:19, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Malik bulk consensus over the past couple days has been against the blood libel material. Please read before assuming edits are based on limited discussion. Re the battle flag; I'm not saying it is not accurate, I'm saying it's not clear and not necessary. Battle flag is obviously metaphorical, and I don't think it provides the naive reader with any encyclopedic type background into the event. NickCT (talk) 23:34, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I think the sentences should stay for now...Modernist (talk) 23:39, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Care to elaborate? NickCT (talk) 23:54, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I did a Google search for "blood libel" and Goldstone. It seems to me that Jewish/Israeli pundits like to talk (amongst themselves) about "Blood Libel" when nobody else is accusing them of it!! It doesn't belong in an encyclopedia article for the English-speaking world. It seems to me that perhaps the Jewish/Israeli pundits are using it as a smear tactic against critics? Just because the Goldstone report said something about killing in Gaza, it's as if the Jewish/Israeli pundits are saying "hey you are accusing us of blood libel!" when NOBODY is doing so. Back to subject here, blood libel definitely doesn't belong on this incident, it's a poison-the-well and smear technique, and let's not forget this was a crossfire incident that was on secret "Blood Libel"! Soledad22 (talk) 07:37, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

You misread the main argument by the "pundits". The report is accused of saying Israel went on the operation with the desire to kill innocent civilians. If it does say this (I haven't corroborated the critics), it is indeed a libelous statement of the worst kind. I still don't see the connection to this article though outside of one not liking the critics' perspective enough to bother to read it.
Regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 15:07, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the blood libel clearly has no connection to this article. It's an obvious attempt to poison the well. It seems to me that only a couple of editors support keeping the material. Shall we put it a vote? And before you say it, I know votes are evil, but they are really the only way to override stone-walling editors. NickCT (talk) 16:34, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Where did the "yeah" come from? Regardless of my personal perspective, I'm supporting to repeat what the sources say and they do say that this is seen as a blood libel. We don't do things here by a sheer vote if there's no valid justification and the only reasoning I can see here is the IDONTLIKEIT one. Are you in disagreement that there are numerous sources that describe the event as a modern day blood libel? JaakobouChalk Talk 18:16, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I think editors have misread the sources to some extent, which is what I tried to clarify earlier with my suggestion in the first break above. The claims of blood libel aren't so broad as the article currently describes. The current versions says that "the world's willingness to believe [Israelis] had killed the boy" was a blood libel. This isn't what the Israelis discussing blood libel were saying. It's straightforward, really: Arab commentators pointed to al-Durrah and said "See? To Israelis, the lives of Palestinians are meaningless. They even kill innocent Palestinian children in cold blood!". In response, Israeli commentators said "See? The Palestinians are saying we kill children for no reason. This is a modern blood libel!" I still believe this sentence, and the one before it describing "the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality", should be changed to reflect that. ← George talk 19:58, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi George, could we focus on just the blood libel sentence for now? I'm not entirely sure what you mean, and I'm sorry if I'm being dense. I think it's the ease with which the allegation was accepted generally. One person (the cameraman) said the boy was targeted by the IDF. On the basis of just that one claim, France 2 broadcast it. And on the basis of just that one broadcast, the world repeated it. Therein lies the core of the blood libel reaction, if I can put it that way; the outrage is prompted by what is seen an antisemitism—the world believed this because of antisemitism. That is my understanding of the sources.

Is there a particular source in the section above who represents the point you're making? I'm not saying I think you're wrong; just that that's not what I saw in the sources. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 20:32, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really following George either. If you're saying that the blood libel claims are not broad. If that is what you're saying then I do think you are wrong. You're also wrong by suggesting the Israelis are trying to wrongfully smear Arabs (per "In response"). The commentators involved are, for one, not only Israeli and the issue with the case goes beyond resonding to a smear campaign with a counter smear campaign.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 20:57, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I've changed it to "For sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities, the allegations amounted to a modern blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice." This makes it clear that it's not all Israelis, and not only Israelis, and it removed the "world's willingness to believe." George, is that closer to what you'd prefer? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 21:08, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, very much so. My long-winded (edit conflicted) reply is below, but essentially "the world's willingness to believe" being labelled as blood libel was the thing I most objected to. I think that wording confused a very small minority view (that the whole thing was staged) that doesn't belong in the lead, with a much more common view (that some Arabs are racist against Jews). ← George talk 22:07, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Sure. I think Fallows summarized it fairly well when he wrote: "The harshest version of the al-Dura case from the Arab side is that it proves the ancient 'blood libel'—Jews want to kill gentile children—and shows that Americans count Arab life so cheap that they will let the Israelis keep on killing." Note that he isn't describing "the world's willingness to believe [Israelis] had killed the boy" as blood libel, just the extremist Arab narrative as such. Fallows also quoted Israeli strategist and military thinker Dan Schueftan: "[It was] the ultimate symbol of what the Arabs want to think: the father is trying to protect his son, and the satanic Jews—there is no other word for it—are trying to kill him. These Jews are people who will come to kill our children, because they are not human." Again, Schueftan isn't describing "the world's willingness to believe [Israelis] had killed the boy" as blood libel, he's saying Arabs view Jews as satanic, inhuman baby killers, and they point to al-Durrah as an example of this. Presumably, Schueftan was describing only those Arabs who held the extremist blood libel perspective that Fallows described earlier in this manner, and not all Arabs.
I do think that the blood libel label got warped a bit over time though. Specifically, Seaman and those who believed that the whole thing was staged label the entire event as blood libel. Which makes sense, no? If you believed that the whole thing was staged, then the staging itself would have been pure propaganda to convince the world that Jews kill children. But I think we agree that the entire thing being staged is a very small minority view. I suspect what other editors are really objecting to with regards to UNDUE is that the current wording, "the world's willingness to believe [Israelis] had killed the boy", talks specifically about this very small view. We're muddling these two different perspectives, both of which label something as blood libel—the earlier view that rather extreme Arab commentators (think al-Manar) framed al-Durrah in a anti-Semitic manner, and the later view that the entire event was staged to paint Jews in a bad light. I think the prior is quite a bit more common, and belongs in the lead, while the latter is quite limited, and probably doesn't. ← George talk 22:02, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, thanks for that change. It's supported by a secondary source (Fallows), and my own search for secondary sources was frustratingly unproductive. If I may, I would recommend sourcing the statement to Fallows (I would do it myself, but I don't fully understand the footnote system you're using and I don't want to muck it up). Thank you. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations to SlimVirgin for having put a lot of hard work into improving this article (and to others who have no doubt also done so when I wasn't looking), and for collecting an impressive list of quotes about "blood libel". I think that list of quotes can probably be used to support the sufficient notability of the phrase "blood libel" to include it in the lead. I also agree with Malik and Tiamut that a secondary source is required to support whatever particular statement is made in the article. I suppose Fallows can be considered a secondary source; however, what it says seems to me different from what the sentence in the article currently says (current article version, last edited by SlimVirgin, has "For sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities, the allegations amounted to a modern blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice.") I suggest that the Caroline Glick source can also be considered a secondary source, and that be used as the source here.
Since none of the quoted sources seem to give a definition of "blood libel", I don't think we need to either, and to do so, especially in the lead, not only takes up space but is unnecessarily inflammatory and possibly OR; a wikilink to the blood libel article is enough.
If Fallows is used as a source, "the allegations" should be changed to "the harshest allegations"; if Glick is used, "the allegations" should be changed to "France 2's allegations". However, even if the change is made, Fallows (as quoted above) would still not support the sentence, though Glick would.
Another possible wording, not necessarily better than the current one, might be "France 2's broadcast was denounced in Israel as a "blood libel"" (sourced to Glick; or with deprecated, disparaged, deplored or decried instead of denounced; or by some in Israel). Coppertwig (talk) 00:18, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful comment Coppertwig. I think your suggested phrasing using Glick as a source is preferable to what we currently have. Should we stick with Fallows as a source, you are correct to suggest that the definition of "blood libel" should nonetheless be removed. I was going to make the same suggestion myself (and I believe others hae raised that issue as well above). Tiamuttalk 00:34, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
PS. I think the current version is still a corruption of what Fallows says, as he is referring to an extremist Arab position that the al-Dura case proves ancient blood libel allegations. It should therefore not be used to support the current formulation. Tiamuttalk 00:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I'd just like to chime in and say that I strongly agree with CopperTwig's statement - " I don't think we need to either, and to do so, especially in the lead, not only takes up space but is unnecessarily inflammatory and possibly". This in my mind has been the problem the entire time. I'm going to find any resolution that doesn't follow this suggestion unsatisfactory. NickCT (talk) 15:40, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I remain thoroughly unconvinced and I do not believe that my points were addressed or read. To propagandize over "blood libel" or "Daniel Pearl beheaded by Al Qaeda", or quote "James Fallows" in the lead, is really quite poor editing for what is supposed to be an ENCYCLOPEDIA article. I remain totally unconvinced here, sorry. Please try and think that we are editing an encyclopedia and NOT A BLOG. Soledad22 (talk) 20:02, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

PS SLim's text: "For sections of ..... the allegations ......., ..... centuries-old...... an association........." I don't care what Wikipedia subject we are discussing, go ahean and put anything in the blanks above for any subject, it's horribly written and full of qualifiers, etc. If you need that many qualifiers, it's not encyclopedic. It tries to make a connection where there is none whatsoever, only in the minds of a small few Israeli and Jewish pundits.

Also, do I understand that "James Fallows" in the best unbaised source for this? That's very "bloggish". Come on, trust me, to a fresh set of eyes "blood libel" reads like propaganda. Slim, it appears that maybe you have spent a great deal of time on this particular article, you might want to consider a fresh perspective. Thanks.Soledad22 (talk) 20:44, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Break 3

Thanks for the input, everyone. I've added several sources, so the sentence is now supported by Fallows in The Atlantic; Julius, an academic and lawyer who has written scholarly work on blood libels and antisemitism; Lauter in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency; Glick in the Jerusalem Post; and the Israeli govt spokesman being quoted by the BBC (the Patience reference); see the list of sources above for what's what. The sources each approach the point from a different perspective, but they support the general point in the article that, "For sections of the Israeli and Jewish communities, the allegations amounted to a modern blood libel, the centuries-old antisemitic association of Jews with child sacrifice.'

Coppertwig, we have to explain what a blood libel is, because it's a term readers may not be familiar with. If you can think of a more succinct way to do it, I'm open to suggestions. My preference was ...."a modern blood libel, the ancient allegation that Jews are willing to sacrifice other people's children," but someone else preferred the current version. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

SlimVirgin: your sources are all Israeli/Jewish, almost all the photos on the article (along the right side) are Israelis or Jews. It reads like propaganda (the whole article). Do you support that position? Can you try and be unbiased? Maybe a better title for this poorly written article ought to be "Bickering over the Muhammad al-Durrah killing", because that's the way it reads. Hardly any info here on this article than bickering. Sorry, but I totally disagree with you and there is definitely no consensus to connecting this to "Blood Libel". Me thinks you might have a problem with WP:OWN here. I wish you could work to build consensus, and I see you reverted again a minor contribution to fixing this article. That's not working with people. SlimV: I think linking directly to Wikipedia's Blood Libel page is a good explanation, rather than your opinion about it. One who links to Blood_libel_against_Jews can see how INAPPROPRIATE it is for this crossfire tragedy and that Israeli/Jewish-side pundits are using it as a cheap smear. Can't you see this? Soledad22 (talk) 06:21, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia: "Blood libels against Jews are false accusations that Jews use human blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays." Doesn't belong on the subject article at all. It should be removed.Soledad22 (talk) 06:27, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Slim - It wasn't just Copper asking for the definition to be removed. It was a majority of editors who weighed in on the subject. Now I suggest you reword it to account for the concerns, or I will tag as POV.
Slim - Surely you recoginize the two sentences in question are going to be inflammatory. Do you REALLY think that the sentences add enough value to article to make up for all the painful debate they will cause? I see very little value in having them there. I'm a little distrubed that you would press so hard to keep them. Are you trying to make a point? NickCT (talk) 16:23, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
The "blood libel" charge is brought up by many reliable sources. It is entirely appropriate to include it, as it is an important facet of the incident. Attempts to remove it are a violation of WP:NPOV. Plot Spoiler (talk) 05:09, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not contesting that many RS quote pundits who bring this point up. What I question is the relevance to the subject at hand. We could take a whole bunch of "incident" articles and fill them with comments about the reactions of various groups to the incidents, and the charges and counter charges over the incident. This type of thing usually only ends up inflaming people. Best simply to stick to the facts.
Unfortunately, this type of language is akin to all the vague aspertions to antisemitism that get brought up with any type of anti-Israeli critisism. Charges of antisemitism of this nature are despicable when they occur in real life, and even more despicable when editors try to write them into WP.
As this material has been pointed out as being contentious several times, and Slim, who apparently WP:OWNs this article, does not wish to address it, I'm tagging the sentences. Do not remove the tag until we come to some consensus on this matter. NickCT (talk) 13:26, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
NickCT, Wikipedia isn't about your opinion about what constitutes anti-Semitism and what doesn't. It's what reliable sources say. Keep your opinion out of this because it is a clear violation of WP:NPOV. Plot Spoiler (talk) 14:09, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Plot - I agree entirely with "isn't about your opinion about what constitutes anti-Semitism". But simply saying there is RS to back something up, doesn't justify its inclusion in an article. I take this as being self-evident, but if you like I can point you towards some guideline pages on the matter. NickCT (talk) 14:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
At least four editors here feel that defining a "blood libel" is WP:UNDUE and unnecessary in the lead. We do hae wikilinks for a reason after all. Per WP:CONSENSUS, the objections of these four editors which are policy based and/or style based should be taken into account. The sentence should either remain tagged until the issue is resolved or the sentence fragment in question should simply be removed. While I still have concerns regarding a kind of synthesis in the sentence as its phrased at present, addressing this particular concern would go a long way to demonstrating that there is room for good faith collaboration here. Tiamuttalk 14:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Agree strongly with Tiamut. I'm willing to be proved wrong here, but so far it seems like a group of editors are being a little heavy handed in perserving the current wording. Let's discuss this. Let's seek consensus! Let's make WP a better place! NickCT (talk) 15:30, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Slim and Modern seem to be choosing to edit war this rather than discuss. I hate whining to admins about this kind of thing, but perhaps its time? Comments?NickCT (talk) 15:35, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Your whining complaint - WP:IDONTLIKEIT is getting old...Modernist (talk) 15:41, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Modernist - Your refusal to argue on the points and simply control the article through majority & editting warring is wholely against the spirit of consensus. Now cease this jeuvinile behavior and say something worthwhile please. NickCT (talk) 15:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I completely agree with NickCT. "blood libel which according to WIKIPEDIA is: "accusations that Jews use human blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays..." is just ridiculous in the lead. I read this article in passing, and to a new reader it stinks to high heaven, because rather than being an article about the incident itself, the victims, the tragedy, this Wikipeida article reads (not like an encyclopedia article about the subject topic) but rather a bickering about the blame, cover-up, a source of propaganda, finger-pointing, etc. this is best left to blogs. To put the bickering "journalists'" names ahead of the subject participants, the child that was actually killed, is the worst of the worst. I'm going to edit this again, and people better have a good reason to revert it, because there is no reason the journalists should be more important in this article than the subject itself!!! Soledad22 (talk) 07:55, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

blood libel Break 4

I fail to see any reason this well-sourced material should be removed. WP:LEAD requires notable controversies related to the subject to be in the lead; this is clearly the case, and is well-sourced. It would violate NPOV to remove it. This is a featured article, remarkably well balanced, and we should reject efforts to unbalance it. THF (talk) 15:58, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Considering the amount and level of reliable sources and the nature of the incident and the bitter aftermath it is included correctly...Modernist (talk) 16:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
If you both review the discussion above, people are not asking that the material be removed per se, only that it better reflect what secondary sources have to say. There is also a question of whether or not it is necessary to define blood libel in the lead. Four editors think it is not necessary, while one does (the others opinions onn that particular issue are not clear). So please, review the discussion carefully before making comments that do not address what is actually being discussed. Thank you. Tiamuttalk 16:06, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
With due respect I am saying the brief description of blood libel is properly included and necessary and as far as I can tell the inclusion does reasonably and adequately paraphrase and reflect the secondary sources...Modernist (talk) 16:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
@THF - Look, I'm not going to argue about whether the material is well sourced. Is it REALLY notable though? I mean, if I find several well-sourced charges levelled against the Isreali army by Arab commentors, does that ought be included? NickCT (talk) 16:19, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
It is notable enough that one could hypothetically create a Blood libel and the Muhammad al-Durrah incident article and it would be better sourced than tens of thousands of existing Wikipedia articles. If anything, the fact of the blood libel should be more prominent, but I won't militate for a change given that the article has featured-article status. You are certainly welcome to add sources to the existing "For the Palestinians, it confirmed their view of the apparently limitless nature of Israel's brutality toward them" sentence that is also in the lead (and before the blood libel sentence)--and unlike the sentence about brutality, the "blood libel" fact has the advantage of being true. THF (talk) 16:26, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm... Your arguement seems to be that all lines of debate/contention surrounding an issue/incident/article should be included in that article's lede provided they can be well sourced. Is that an accurate reflection of your views? Do you not see the danger in that? NickCT (talk) 16:44, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I've stated my views above, and they don't need rephrasing: they are a straightforward application of WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV. Your version of my views is inaccurate. THF (talk) 17:15, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Wow THF. You like to lay down the law huh? Well ok then. It seems there is no room for debate here. NickCT (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

People section: the subject victims of the shooting are placed AFTER the journalists?

I reordered the people section to put the subject: Muhammad al-Durrah at the top. SlimVirgin reverted this simple improvement without discussion. The subject victims should be listed ahead of the "journalists. Unless this article is retitled to "Post-shooting Analysis of the Muhammad al-Durrah killing", there is NO REASON that the victims shouldn't be placed above the bios of journalists. Again, to a first time reader looking for facts, why is Charles Enderlin placed above the topic subject and his father?? It flows horribly, poorly organized.Soledad22 (talk) 16:37, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

This does seem a little awkward. In his revert Slim said having Al-durrah's bio at the bottom of the "people" section "improved flow". That seems dubious. I think this is more of Slim trying to WP:OWN this article. NickCT (talk) 17:01, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Another comment; Is "People" really an appropriate title for this section. "Participants", "Primary Participants", "Involved Individuals" maybe? "People" seems a little nebulus. NickCT (talk) 17:04, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Canal+, April 24, 2008
    • ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Carvajal was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Poller2005 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Fallows was invoked but never defined (see the help page).