Talk:Start-up Nation/Archive 1

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"Arab readers who already hold a biased view of the topic."[edit]

Archive 1

The quote from the source is as follows:

Ruth Schuster, senior business and finance editor for The Marker, a financial paper distributed with the Israel daily Haaretz, says while there are great lessons to be gleaned from Israel’s high-tech success, Start-up Nation engages in too much cheerleading for its own good.
“The book is filled with a gasping sense of wonder, which weakened the authors’ arguments,” says Ms. Schuster, who reviewed the book for Haaretz. “I think there’s a lot of to learn about how this high-tech success happened. But imagine you’re an Egyptian reading this, and you have a jaundiced view of Israel. It could have been interesting, but instead I think they’ll throw it aside after a few pages because they’d see it as biased.”

The source does not say that Arab readers already hold a biased view of this subject, and it is a misrepresentation of the source, as well as a violation of our NPOV policy, to say that the source says this. It is humorous that an editor would re-revert this and claim it is more consistent with the given source. Brewcrewer, could you please explain why you re-reverted this change? nableezy - 19:40, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time. I'll highlight the specific words to make it easier. "But imagine you’re an Egyptian reading this, and you have a jaundiced view of Israel. It could have been interesting, but instead I think they’ll throw it aside after a few pages because they’d see it as biased.” Of course there are slight differences between the source and what it says in the article, but demanding that it say the same thing would run into copyright problems.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 20:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Demanding that it says the same thing is not what I was doing, though making up what I said could easily meet the definition of that link you provided. However, demanding that it has the same meaning is what is at issue. Since you italicized, not highlighted, the relevant portion I think we can assume that you read it. The author said that an Egyptian who likely holds a unfavorable view of Israel itself, not the topic of the book, would be put off by the books constant cheerleading. Not that they "already have a biased view" of Israel's economic story as you have reinserted into the article. If you do not correct the falsehood you reinserted I will have to spend the time cleaning up your mess. Only a "wikilawyer" would demand others do that, and you arent one, right? nableezy - 20:30, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
The context is quite clear that the "topic" is Israel, not its economic history. Let me know if there any other other real issues between all the rhetoric that needs responding to. Best, --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:29, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
All right, Ill take care of it. nableezy - 01:58, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

There's another problem here as well. "imagine you’re an Egyptian reading this, and you have a jaundiced view of Israel" - does "imagine" refer only to the first part of this phrase? It's not at all clear that Schuster is suggesting that all Egyptians have a jaundiced view of Israel; perhaps he is merely suggesting it's likely that many do. This makes the current phrasing in our article problematic. Schuster is talking about the book and how it may be perceived, not making a point about different nationalities and their biases. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:46, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The most sensible understanding is that in his opinion most Arabs are anti-Israel (very reasonable position). Not all Arabs and not one random Egyptian. If it were the latter, why choose "Egyptian" and not one "Belorussian"?--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 00:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
"Imagine you're an Israeli reading this, and you had been injured by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip" - is that suggesting that all or even most Israelis have been injured by rockets fired from the Gaza strip? The grammatical construct being used does not make any indication either way about this aspect of the meaning, so we should be using the conservative definition of what the author means, rather than making assumptions based on a "sensible understanding". If we word it neutrally, then the reader can decide for themselves what they think about other people's views of Israel. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:54, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Major analogy fail unless the context is something similar like "Israelis have a jaundiced view of being fired on by rockets."--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 01:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The analogy is not for the situation, but for the grammatical construct. You don't think it has some ambiguity? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:44, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

<--Since the quote is contentious, why not use a different quote, one that does not potentially insult Arab readers? And maybe one that is more closely related to Schuster's opinion of the book? betsythedevine (talk) 12:42, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like a great idea! --Demiurge1000 (talk) 18:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Removed POV[edit]

I removed the citation that contained the phrase "Stolen Lands". It is pure POV pushing (not intentionally by the editor of course), and has low encyclopedic value. It doesn't concern the book, but the general concept in it's basis, and looks more like an opinion column. Its like bringing general criticism of magic in a Harry Potter article. Broccolo (talk) 18:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

+The US Aid is already mentioned in the article. Broccolo (talk) 18:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
You cant remove a review because you dont like what it has to say. It is a review of the book and a valid source. You dont like his view, tough. nableezy - 18:52, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
It's a matter of like/dislike, but a matter of POV under the envelope of literary criticism. "Stolen lands" is a POV whether in the article itself or in a citation. Broccolo (talk) 18:58, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
In that case "Israel" is a "POV". Either way, you have violated the 1RR. Barring a self-rv Ill see you at AE shortly. nableezy - 19:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Good try, but not enough. The article is not about I/P conflict, and not even marked as such. Broccolo (talk) 19:07, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Who is Jim Miles ("a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles' work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications") and what is the Palestine Chronicle ("The Palestine Chronicle is an independent online newspaper"). Neither seem particularly RS to me. And even if one of them kinda is, we have an UNDUE issue. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The Palestine Chronicle is a news source edited by Ramzy Baroud. If you wish to argue that it is not a RS feel free, but RS/N is thataway. You really want to argue that a single line from a review is "undue weight"? All right, we can have that argument, but in that case I expect we will have to remove most of the content in the article. nableezy - 19:36, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Who is Ramzy Baroud, and if he is so important why there's no article about him in Also, "The Palestine Chronicle" is the only source used in the article that has no article about it on Wikipedia .Broccolo (talk) 19:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Ramzy Baroud is an academic who has written several books on Palestine. Whether or not a person or a source has a Wikipedia article has no bearing, none at all, on whether or not a source is reliable. nableezy - 19:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
"thataway" is right here at the moment, where there is a clear consensus (myself included) of the position that neither the publication nor its author appear to come to close to anything resembling an RS.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:50, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Uhh no, we have a process for determining if a source is "reliable". That process does not include seeing how many partisans say "NO!" nableezy - 19:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I am afraid you are confused. Those here (if that's who you are insultingly calling "partisans") don't have to say "NO!" (drama in the original). The editor arguing for its inclusion has the WP:BURDEN of establishing its reliability. Nobody has yet to make any sort of basic argument as to why this meets RS. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:57, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Have you ever read WP:BURDEN? nableezy - 20:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you actually think this is a RS or are you just bringing up RSN for the bureaucratic value? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is a RS. It is an edited news source. On its face, this is an "RS". nableezy - 20:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Uh, no. A rudimentary understanding of our RS policy tells us that "Edited news sources" are not an RS "on [their] face." --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 20:10, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Ill take the sourec RS/N now. Its a bit tiring dealing with this here. nableezy - 20:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

<--The Jim Miles book review was added to the article by Mbz1; it was in the earliest version of this article posted here. [1] Considering the edit-warring going on here over including one negative statement about the book's premises in this article (where it would be buried among many quotes praising the book and/or eulogizing Israel), I don't think this article will be WP:NPOV any time soon. betsythedevine (talk) 20:31, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The quote as Mbz1 put it in the article is still there. The NPOV tag you put in the article is inappropriate and your edit summary saying that the quote isn't there is simply incorrect. I suggest you remove your preemptive NPOV tag. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
user:betsythedevine please stop gaming the system. Remove unwarranted POV tag. Broccolo (talk) 20:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
The quote that is being edit-warred out of the article, and that is not there now, is Miles's statement of his OPINION of the book, just as others quoted gave their OPINIONS of the book, just as most book reviews express an opinion of the book. His opinion, which several have now censored as unfit for the tender eyes of Wikipedians is "There is no economic miracle in Israel. There is a state supported economy that derives much of its initial wealth from stolen land and U.S. largess economically and militarily." That is not MY opinion, that is his opinion. The NPOV tag belongs right where it is. betsythedevine (talk) 20:55, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
and what makes "Jim Miles" notable enough that we should care what his OPINION is ?Rym torch (talk) 21:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
This article was not about I/P conflict. You inserted POV trying to make it connected to I/P conflict, and now when I removed POV you added, you tagged the article. It is gaming the system. Please stop doing this. Broccolo (talk) 21:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

<--You are mistaken about my motivation in adding that quote, please WP:AGF. I went to the Miles book review cited by Mbz1 in search of a more informative quote to explain why Miles was quoted as saying There is no economic miracle in Israel." I added the quote expressing his reasoning to the article. Several people, including you, then swooped down on the article first to remove that quote and then to demand that the link to that book review be removed. It is my opinion that the reason for all this zeal to censor out one single sentence critical of Israel and the book is also the reason that this article is being pushed toward the front page and has been tagged since April 27 as "Top Importance" by Project Israel. The reason is that promoting positive stories about Israel and negative stories about her Arab neighbors is, in fact, related to the P/I conflict as broadly defined by WP:ARBPIA. betsythedevine (talk) 22:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

B class and Top importance?!? LOL — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
So you're saying we should AGF regarding your motivation, but then you go ahead ascribe all kinds of nefarious motivations to everyone who disagrees with you. Interesting. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 22:32, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The debate seems to be about whether or not Palestine Chronicle qualifies as a reliable source in this context or not. What we could do is add a statement that the Chronicle is a Palestinian-advocacy group, as has been done in the past for Israeli-advocacy sources like CAMERA etc. Otherwise the issue could go to WP:RSN. Gatoclass (talk) 10:35, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

The RSN discussion is here. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 10:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the thread seems to have attracted mostly involved editors. As a compromise, I reiterate my suggestion that the source be included with the caveat that it comes from a Palestinian advocacy group. Gatoclass (talk) 08:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Why is it so important to include criticism by someone nobody heard of and who lacks any expertise, which was published by an advocacy site? Serious question.
While it's true the RSN thread attracted mostly involved editors, the consensus both here and there seems pretty clear. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 12:26, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

DYK nomination[edit]

DYK nomination was declined by user:Betsythedevine. It is an extremely bad faith attempt to decline promotion of the article that is written in neutral language and with absolutely neutral hook. The same user added POV tag against the consensus. When I was writing this article I used both positive and negative reviews. Below are examples of negative reviews from my initial writing:

  1. "written from an unquestionably Israeli perspective and are likely to irk those with reservations about Israeli foreign policy"
  2. "So this book does explain a lot - by omission in part, by inadvertent admission in others. There is no economic miracle in Israel"
  3. "The book is filled with a gasping sense of wonder, which weakened the authors’ arguments"
  4. "that this book will look biased to a regular Arab reader"
  5. "The reviewer also foresees potential problem for Israel's economic future: "It lies in its failure to assimilate into its business culture both Arab-Israelis and ultra-orthodox Jews, who will together be about one-third of the population by 2025. Only 39% of ultra-Orthodox men and 25% of Arab women are employed"
  6. "Maureen Farrell from Forbes wrote that she was disappointed that the authors mostly ignored the effects of U.S. foreign aid. "
  7. "The book received mixed reviews, with some reviewers strongly supporting its arguments and statistics and others rejecting or even ridiculing them."

A few more negative reviews from RS could be added, but to decline DYK for this article will mean going to a new low, to impost the censorship. --Mbz1 (talk) 04:08, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored, but DYK has rules that do not fit this article, which is only-slightly-veiled promotion of a book related to ARBPIA. You list above 6 very brief negative cites from your original review totalling about 140 words. You quoted positive material much more extensively, even mis-identifying the publisher's blurb (ad) for the book as a "review" and using it as a source for 4 different footnotes. Rapturous praise of the book in Jerusalem Post gets 2 footnotes, The WSJ gets 3 footnotes -- and we already have 9 pointers to positive praise to "balance" your 6 tiny negative statements. A neoconservative puffpiece at AEI gets only 1 footnote but you quoted 110 words from it--almost as much text from this one source as from all your "negative" "balance" put together. This article is not neutral and it is not appropriate for DYK. betsythedevine (talk) 05:13, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
First of all as you should have seen at the nomination user:Gatoclass said he would fix POV if any before promoting the article. There was no reason for you to jump in with your decline as you did.
Second of all the book got more positive than negative reviews, and that is why the article is neutral.
Third of all, I have said, and I repeat it, everybody is welcome to add more reviews from reliable sources.
I repeat you tagging the article and declining DYK are a bad faith edits and a part of your campaign that nobody, but you and one other user is supporting. Please stop.--Mbz1 (talk) 05:21, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe that this article is an example of people (not just Mbz1) trying to use DYK to showcase their political viewpoints on Wikipedia's front page. I am willing to WP:AGF that this article is also an example of people who believe that articles and books promoting their own beliefs are "neutral." I have not heard any pushback at DYK against my pointing out the clear policy that DYK is NOT meant "to promote one side of any ongoing dispute." Are you claiming that everybody who has not commented really thinks we should ignore or change that DYK policy?
Please stop the WP:PA and assertions of bad faith. Improve the article instead of just reasserting it's already neutral -- sorry, but it is not neutral to paraphrase a small number of negative reviews while quoting many sentences from a larger number of positive reviews. If you want examples of what an article describing a non-fiction bestseller looks like, as opposed to an article promoting the book and the POV advanced by said book, take a look at The Big Short or In Defense of Food. betsythedevine (talk) 06:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I do not know what WP:PA you are talking about.
You failed to respond my main point, which is:
user:Gatoclass said he would fix POV if any before promoting the article. There was no reason for you to jump in with your decline as you did. You should have a little bit more patience. I assure you that user:Gatoclass would not allow a POV article to get promoted, but he does it peacefully, while you're creating an absolutely unneeded drama on a few different pages. Once again I am asking you to stop,--Mbz1 (talk) 06:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Can any involved editor decline a DYK nomination? That's just silly. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 09:47, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It tells that "book addresses the trillion-dollar question "How is it that Israel--a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources--produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?". The book analyzes three major factors that, in the authors opinion, contribute most to Israel's economic growth. Those factors are immigration, R&D, and mandatory military service."
So far so good. There were obviously other very important factors, such as economic and military help from other countries. So, what exactly were contributions of all these different factors, preferably in quantitative terms, according to the book? And what exactly methodology did they use for analysis of these factors? That is what I would like to learn as a reader of the article. Hodja Nasreddin (talk) 19:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)


Those sources look useful, thanks for making the effort. I will try to find the time to add some of this content shortly. Gatoclass (talk) 08:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I've added some of that content to the "Criticism" section, and also used it to provide some background about the author. If no-one has any objections, I see no reason why this article can't be promoted at DYK now. We'll give it 24 hours or so to see if there are any new concerns. Gatoclass (talk) 12:54, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The material you included from the Jordan Times includes "the many decades during which Arab Israelis were not allowed into Israeli universities". I'm pretty sure this is incorrect and that Arab Israelis were not barred from Israeli universities at all, not to mention for "many decades". Anyone got a source describing this issue? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 13:30, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I know nothing about this issue, but I did a quick google search and it appears Arabs have a hard time gaining access to Israeli universities and often have to go overseas to get a tertiary education. Gatoclass (talk) 14:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not the same as "the many decades during which Arab Israelis were not allowed into Israeli universities". No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 14:13, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
He may not be talking about a formal restriction, but rather an informal barrier. But if so I agree the language is misleading. The text may need to be massaged a bit. Gatoclass (talk) 14:23, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I tweaked it to a much more generic statement per your concerns. Gatoclass (talk) 14:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The new way it's put is more in line with reality, but I'm not sure this is legitimate "massaging" of the text since it changes the meaning of what he said.
I also noticed the article says "He also states that Israel received $4.2 billion in foreign aid to resettle the approximately one million Soviet Jews who migrated to Israel since the 1980s...". This is also incorrect. Israel didn't receive $4.2 billion in foreign aid, it received loan guarantees. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:03, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It's probably fair to say that the education statement is a soundbite-like oversimplication of a complicated set of circumstances that prevented Arab Israelis from attending university e.g. needing a permit to travel until 1966, not being allowed to take certain courses such as electrical engineering for security reasons, not being able to find/afford somewhere to live, culturally focused entrance exams etc etc. I suppose when a book contains oversimplifications as probably all popular books do, its not surprising that some reviews will contain oversimplifications. Sean.hoyland - talk 15:06, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
None of that amounts to being "not allowed into Israeli universities" for "many decades". It's not an oversimplification, it's simply incorrect. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:13, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay, but the article no longer contains that statement. And there is no question that Israeli Arabs face many economic and educational disadvantages by comparison with the Jewish population. I don't think it's unreasonable to include a reference to such in the article. This article was written in a very one-sided manner, and there hasn't yet been time to find some more critical views that might provide an adequate balance. Right now we're trying to reach agreement on a version of the article that is suitable for mainpage exposure. We have all the time in the world to quibble about whether one statement or another in one of the sources is technically correct or not, but the clock is running down on the DYK nomination and we need to have an agreed-upon version before the nom expires. Gatoclass (talk) 15:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't have much interest in DYK. I just think that including information that is patently false because someone wrote it in a book review is not a good idea. I also don't think that it's a good idea to "massage" stuff to the point it loses its original meaning. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Removal of author section[edit]

Gilabrand has removed the "About the author" section. I think the author's background is relevant to this article. Senor's links to the Israeli and US right are relevant in regards to a book that has in effect been described as a public relations exercise. There is no question the section was informative and AFAIK there are plenty of precedents for adding some info about the author in book articles. Gatoclass (talk) 15:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I just noticed that Gilabrand has also removed the statement that the occupied territories provide a significant source of revenue for Israel. I can't imagine why he has done that but it's an inappropriate edit in my view. Gatoclass (talk) 15:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a book jacket. "About the author" sections are not standard on articles about books. (Have a look at the articles on books in "Category:Books about economic history", for instance, and you will not find a single one of those dozens of articles with a section called "about the author") The material was placed on the author's page. Apart from the fact that this Jordanian Times article is full of falsifications, the statement about revenue does not belong here. If you think it is important, put it in Economy of Israel. This book is about start-ups, not occupied territories or the Arab Israeli conflict, despite some very conspicuous attempts to slant it in that direction.--Geewhiz (talk) 16:00, 4 May 2011 (UTC)\
The book is about startups, but the article is about the book. Critics of the book have mentioned some elements of Israel's economy that they feel should not have been omitted from the book. For example (the text Gilabrand recently removed) " The West Bank and Gaza, a $3 billion economy that is virtually closed to Jordanian exports, are not mentioned as a source of revenue for Israel." It is relevant to give an accurate description of what the book's critics said and why they said it. Whether or not author sections are "standard" in articles about books, they are certainly not forbidden. And next time, as per WP:RV, linked to from the ARBPIA template above, "revert a good faith edit only after discussing the matter." betsythedevine (talk) 16:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I disagree, and incidentally, I don't believe I need anyone's permission to edit the article, which I have worked on extensively and upgraded considerably from the miserable mess it was before I started.--Geewhiz (talk) 16:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
"despite some very conspicuous attempts to slant it in that direction"...sigh. The reviews say what they say. Reviewers always talk about whatever they want. C'est la vie. It's nobody's fault. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Article about Dan Senor is linked to from the lead, that's why I am removing cherry-picked information about the authors.--Broccolo (talk) 20:24, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

<--Why not improve and balance the author information instead of reverting? Or are you saying that any information about these authors will only lower our opinion of their book? Gatoclass is doing a huge favor by putting "your" article into clean enough shape that it will be eligible for DYK--I don't understand why you want to stop him from doing that. Gilabrand also made some very good changes. But the NPOV tag is not coming off the article until the dispute ends. betsythedevine (talk) 20:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I have no problem with there being a section about the authors although it would have been nice if you didn't get all the information for it from an article by someone who obviously doesn't like the guy.
I also have no problem with the quote discussed above. I do have issues with a couple of other things which I noted in the previous section. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:18, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be consensus expressed here that the disputed quote from a reviewer should be restored to the article; I will restore it. betsythedevine (talk) 03:13, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see the relevance of the quote about Israeli market access to the territories. Israeli start-ups aren't successful because they can sell to Palestinians, they're successful because they're selling to high-tech companies. That review barely addresses the subject matter of the book at all, its just a lot of sour grapes about Israel's success. GabrielF (talk) 03:45, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
The point of including the quote is not that it reflects what you believe or what I believe, it is that it reflects what the critic being quoted believes. My impression from comments above was that Gatoclass, Sean Hoyland, and No MOre Mr Nice Guy agreed this quote could go back in. Besides, if you disagree with the critic, surely it makes the book look even better to include "sour grapes" statements by the critic, doesn't it? betsythedevine (talk) 03:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I support restoring the information about the authors with the exception of the business about Senor being a former "AIPAC Internee". Once you're at a point in your career where people are seriously talking about you for a senate run, where you did an internship is irrelevant.GabrielF (talk) 05:15, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

What is relevant is defined by reliable sources. Having said that, I'd be happy to keep information about Dan Senor in the Dan Senor article. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:09, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Fareed Zakaria[edit]

Is there an independent source for the Fareed Zakaria quote? I can't find it anywhere except promotional materials from the publisher. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 21:44, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Found a video clip of it. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:08, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

the economist[edit]

The Economist article is not really a review but rather a discussion of the Israeli economy at large. It should not be in the "praise section". I propose that we either eliminate it or move it to the overview and use it to describe the context within which the book was written. We might add something to the first paragraph of that section like: "The Economist notes that the success of Israel's high-tech sector in the past twenty years - the country now leads the world in the number of high-tech start-ups and the size of [its] venture-capital industry" when its population is taken into account - has attracted recent attention from the business press and Start-Up Nation is the most notable of a "growing pile" of books on the subject". GabrielF (talk) 21:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

fwiw the NY Times quote is also froma passing mention in an article about startups, not from a review. betsythedevine (talk) 23:14, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Now that I read the source, I think we should remove the NYTimes quote. It's not clear that the author is making a substantive remark about the book. It seems like what he's saying is something like "Israel may have succeeded because of x, but that's not necessarily why other areas have succeeded."GabrielF (talk) 23:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Best seller claims in lead[edit]

The claims in the lead do not have a reliable source and misrepresent the source they do have, a statement made by coauthor Saul Singer when being interviewed. The lead claims the book reached " fifth place on The New York Times Best Seller list and The Wall Street Journal's best seller list for books on business. What Singer actually claimed is "It reached No. 5 on the business bestseller lists of both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal." The "Business Bestseller list" of the NYT is entirely separate from the prestigious NYT Nonfiction bestseller list [2]. The lead should not be wikilinked to the more prestigious list. betsythedevine (talk) 04:26, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


The Financial Times review makes some interesting points that may...or may worth including. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


Let me list 5 reasons this article is not NPOV, despite Broccolo's inappropriate removal of the NPOV tag.

  1. The book and material praising the book are presented without context, and attempts to add context (such as author information) get removed. AEI neocon Alex Brill is cited twice (88 words in all) from a review originally published in "the American Council on Germany's newsletter Transatlantic Dialogue." Is that really a source 12 times more nonpartisan and notable than Palestine Times, from which only 7 words are permitted?
  2. The book has received more praise than criticism, which would be all the more reason to let the book's few critics explain their own reasoning. Instead, people praising the book are quoted in many more places and at much greater length than its critics.
  3. Two different efforts to let two different critics of the book express their reasoning in their own words immediately sparked angry accusations that the editor trying to balance the article was in fact trying to insert his/her own POV into the article.
  4. In addition to a Praise section that is longer than Mixed and Criticism combined, the sections "Book overview," "Contributing factors to success", and "Impact" have also been used to coatrack additional praise for the book and lengthy repetition of its patriotic claims about Israel.
  5. Efforts by Gatoclass, who had been asked by Mbz1 to work on the article and make it NPOV were largely reverted. Adding insult to injury, Gato, who had been invited to work here, was punished for GF work to add balance and context by being multiply described as an "involved" editor whose opinion on the article's POV should not be considered.

Let me just quote what the NPOV tag says: "The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved." The dispute has not been resolved and the tag should not be removed until it is. betsythedevine (talk) 22:28, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I think the NPOV tag should still be on the article and I think Broccolo should not have removed it. But I would like to solicit the opinion of others instead of just putting it back myself. I do think it belongs on the article but my understanding is that one should not just revert (what you think is) someone else's bad revert. Is that correct? betsythedevine (talk) 22:33, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I would like to thank Malik Shabazz for restoring the POV tag to where it belongs until the dispute is resolved. I am seeking consensus here on the talk page to get the issues resolved. I understand that the two critical reviews used language that was inflammatory and offensive to some people. I would not object to having them quoted indirectly as long as enough information is included to make it clear what each reviewer's objections were. Of course it should be made clear that we are reporting OPINIONS expressed by a reviewer, not FACTS endorsed by Wikipedia. betsythedevine (talk) 02:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

RE: Brill - The quote from Brill in the "impact" section really doesn't address the book's impact on commentators and policymakers in the same way that the rest of that paragraph does. Perhaps it can be replaced with a sentence along the lines of: "Journalists and policymakers in several countries have recommended Start-Up Nation as a useful guide for promoting entrepreneurship." with a citation to Brill. This would also provide a better lead sentence for that paragraph.

RE: Critics. I haven't read the Palestine Times piece, but I think the coverage of the Jordan Times piece should be changed a bit to make it more clear how the writer is challenging Start-Up Nation's claims. Right now it reads like Mansour is raising issues that aren't connected to the book's theme of entrepreneurship but are just familiar criticisms of Israel and I think this is why it's controversial. My recommendation: instead of saying "On the question of foreign aid, Mansour notes..." we should say something like "Mansour argues that two of the factors to which Senor and Singer attribute Israel's success, the IDF and Soviet-Jewish immigration, have only been sustainable because of the foreign aid that Israel receives from the United States and private sources. Mansour also faults the authors for suggesting that the disparity between entrepreneurship in Israel's Arab and Jewish sectors is rooted in the exemption of Arabs from military service rather than what Mansour perceives to be "the discriminatory policies of Israel against its Arab citizens". GabrielF (talk) 03:14, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Those sound like excellent suggestions. I really appreciate your understanding that I am trying to make this article better not worse. I agree that the reviews need to be quoted for what they say about the book, not to import gratuitous criticism of Israel. betsythedevine (talk) 03:19, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Footnote -- I am impressed by and grateful for all the effort being made to improve the article. It seems to me that "dispute" has ended and collaboration is ongoing. Although some of the air of a publicity blurb still hovers over the article (in my opinion) whatever issues remain are pretty minor and being addressed. I am going to take the POV tag off the article now and unless driveby WP:BATTLEGROUND edits mess up this hard work by so many people (and unless they stick) I hope this will soon head off to DYK as per our policies. betsythedevine (talk) 16:14, 6 May 2011 (UTC).

An apology from an ignoramus[edit]

I would like to thank GabrielF so much for making me realize how obnoxious I was (inadvertantly) being about the 2 critical reviews from Palestine and Jordan. I really just did not "get it" how important it would be to others to separate out what critics were legitimately saying about the book that is the topic of the article and critics saying nasty things about Israel. And you are hearing this from a woman who once (longggggg ago) gave Bruce McLane a bloody nose for telling me my mother wasn't a virgin. Not that I knew what one was but I knew it was good, and if it was good by god my mother was one. But I digress. And no, I don't think I was right about that after all. My point, and I do have one, is that I apologize to people whose feelings were hurt by me on the matter of quoting those critics. Because I do know from firsthand that it is painful to hear something you love publicly criticized in what you feel is a very unfair way -- I just didn't realize that there was a good way to get around that problem here, to express what SHOULD be said without excoriating feelings with stuff that NEEDN'T be said.

It seems to me quite legitimate, as GabrielF suggests, to let the critics speak about their issues with the BOOK. But there is no reason for the critics to have a forum here in this article to say hurtful things about Israel. Looking back on previous discussions, I now realize that others were trying to say this but I did not understand what they were saying.

Anyway, it is very late where I am and I'm very sleepy. Once again, I really apologize for not understanding what people were upset about and thinking you were upset about something different, and being upset that you were supposedly upset about what I thought it was. Good grief and good night. If this is too off-topic maybe somebody could erase it? betsythedevine (talk) 03:53, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Don't be too hard on yourself. Collaborative editing can be a difficult process, especially on controversial subjects, and I could have communicated better earlier.
Bruce Mclane sounds like a real douche. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 10:04, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, he wasn't exactly a prince of PC but he was only about 7 years old at the time. All the more reason for me not to take him as a role model! Thanks so much, GabrielF and No More Mr Nice Guy, for your kind words. Not least because I woke up wondering if anybody would be able to make head or tail of what I was trying to say when I wrote that last night. Thank goodness other Wikipedians are so smart! betsythedevine (talk) 11:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)