Talk:The Sergeants affair

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why is there no use of word terrorism? same evil as ISIS. Juror1 (talk) 00:57, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

The affair could not have been a catalyst for British withdrawal[edit]

The timetable does not allow it - UNSCOP was formed in May 1947 and visited Israel on June. Whether Irgun operations had a major influence on the British decision to let the UN decide on the ate of Palestine has been debated quite extensively. But the Sergeants Affair could not have been a factor given the timetable. At best it effected the decision on executions. Mashkin (talk) 08:42, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

It happened while UNSCOP was visiting, and was concurrent with the Exodus Affair. Sources say it influenced the British public opinion to leave Palestine. Also, I would appreciate it if you stopped accusing me of "corrupting" the entry, since I'm the one who created it, and you are the one who keeps removing sources information. -- Nudve (talk) 11:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
The timetable makes the influence you want to insert impossible: once the British agreed to the formation of UNSCOP they essentially agreed to leave abandon the Mandate. This decision was made well before the affair. Now suddenly you are claiming that the afair influenced UNSCOP. Well, UNSCOP has already left Israel by the time it happened (they have not submitted their report yet). In any case this is a different claim (which is at least not entirely impossible time-wise, just far fetched). There is a debate whether the Irgun's and other organizations actions influenced the British decision or at least impacted its timing (see for instance [1]. But there can be no real debate that the he Sergeants affair could not have influenced it. The fact that you started this entry does not give you any privileges . Mashkin (talk) 15:37, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Sources say otherwise, but since it's just the lead, I'll just remove it. The info you inserted instead is not supported by the source. -- Nudve (talk) 16:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
This article justifies as a sort of fair reprisal the kidnapping and killing in cold murder of two British NCOs by Zionist terrorists in the waning Palestine of 1947-48. It's the same case as that of Guilad Shalit nowadays. Double standard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The intention to terminate the British Mandate of Palestine "within 10 years" was publicly announced by British government as early as on 9-th of November, 1938 in the British White Paper of 1939. And the Royal comission made recomendation this even earlier. Therefore, this isolated act of terror could not had influence them. --Voldemar (talk) 12:00, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


Couple of questions, First is does this really belong in the article

Fifty abattoir slaughter men in Birkenhead "refused to handle kosher meat for a week as a protest against the murder of the two British sergeants in Palestine"

Then if it does, does an incident where meat packers refused to handle kosher meat for a week fall under a riot? TWilliams9 (talk) 07:44, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't mind removing this sentence, or renaming the section. What do you suggest? -- Nudve (talk) 07:54, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't view the information as particularly important, I would suggest removing it. If anyone objects to removing it, then maybe it can be moved. TWilliams9 (talk) 15:12, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Alright. -- Nudve (talk) 15:44, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


I have added this tag, as the article gives undue prominence to Zionist views. The extensive background section, which fails to detail the crimes for which the convicted terrorists were executed, is contradicted by the note left on the bodies by the murderers - "This is not a reprisal for the execution of three Jews but a "routine judicial fact". No background is given of anti- British violence by Zionists. (talk) 04:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The following language, for example, is not neutral - "Now Irgun was fighting against the clock, as all that was needed now for the sentences to be carried was an OK from the chief commander. Irgun resumed, with increased strength, its kidnapping attempts, but in vain." (talk) 04:56, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Some of this has been reworded by Mashkin. Are you OK with the current version? -- Nudve (talk) 14:39, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Someone is persistently editing this page to claim that Paice and Martin were executed. They were not. They were kidnapped and then murdered. Even if a state of war had existed between Britain and Israel, the killing of POWs is murder. - Fergus Mason —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, I have once more edited this page and tried to make it more neutral and more factually accurate. I would ask that anyone, especially Mashkin and Nudve, who has a problem with my edits should point out exactly what their problems are rather than just reverting the whole article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FergusM1970 (talkcontribs) 17:01, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I've done what I can with this article, for the moment. I have tried to backfill details of why Irgun members were being executed, removed politically and culturally loaded terms and cleaned up the ENglish a bit. Does anyone have any suggestions as to further improvements? Cheers. FergusM1970 (talk) 20:26, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Once again the article has been edited to give it a pro-Irgun slant. I have tried to return it to NPOV again, as well as converting it wholly into the English language, and would ask that anyone who disagrees with my edits show the courtesy of appearing here and explaining WHY they disagree. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I have reduced the description of the deaths of Paice and Martin to a simple statement to the effect that they were murdered at 18:00. Squeamish euphemisms for hanging such as "at 18:00 the chairs under them were dropped" belong in a story to children, not an encyclopaedia. Also, if anyone feels that the details of the victims being made to stand on chairs and blinfolded are important, then feel free to re-insert them. However, as I feel that the facts that Paice and Martin's bodies showed signs of beating and that they had been slowly strangled to death are at least as relevant, they should go back in too. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:45, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I have, again, changed the article to state that the Irgun members were EXECUTED and the hostages were MURDERED. This is NPOV and factually accurate. There is no moral equivalence between the two sets of killings. One group were convicted of violent crimes by a court and sentenced to death; the other group were kidnapped, held as hostages then killed solely as a reprisal. Execution and murder are the correct terms. FergusM1970 (talk) 15:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

The edits of FergusM1970 are biased and not to the point. Some of them are outright inventions (the beatings). As for Time magazine as a source, it can be a source for basic facts 9dates and events, but it did see the post mortem reports of the bodies and thus conclusions such as slow strangulation cannot be drawn (it is probably true, since the Irgun men, unlike the British, were not professional executioners).
The theme that FergusM1970 tries to insert into the article is the criminalization of the Irgun, and this is not necessarily helpful. Now in general I have no problem in calling what they did to their hostages murder, one should not apply it just because one can. It should be used only if it helps to explain what happened. Mashkin (talk) 16:29, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
The Time journalists may not have been present at the post mortems of the two men (if any were carried out, which is unlikely as cause of death was obvious and Paice's body was largely destroyed by the IED in any case) but neither were they present when the men were murdered, and you are using their article as a source for this. Anyway, a post mortem is not necessary to tell if a hanging victim died by strangulation. Short-drop hanging, as in this case, does not break the neck, therefore death is by slow asphyxiation. This leaves clearly visible external signs, including petechiae on the face and cyanosis of the mouth tissue and lips. If you have any reason to doubt that Paice and Martin died by strangulation, by all means let's discuss it, but the facts available so far make it clear that this is indeed how they died. I will remove it if you can produce evidence against it, but I will not remove it simply to gloss over the manner of their deaths, which was extremely unpleasant. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Using "Time" as a source to the actual hanging is a mistake that should be corrected. i guess that description is based on the various sources related to the Irgun.
As I said, do not rely on information that Time may or could not have. There is concensus that they had a short drop hanging and this is what should be written, not all the implications of such a method of killing. Btw, where do you get the partly striped part? Haaretz said that they with their undershirts. From the picture it is hard to figure out. Mashkin (talk) 20:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
The Time article stated that their shirts were wrapped round their heads. As I doubt that they did this themselves, their shirts had obviously been removed by the kidnappers. Therefore they had been partially stripped. FergusM1970 (talk) 13:45, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Are there any grounds on which you could reasonably say that the killings of Paice and Martin were NOT murder? If not, that description should stand. They were killed without legal justification, and that fits any reasonable definition of murder. FergusM1970 (talk) 17:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

As i said i do not object categorically to the label, but it is better to have mainly in the reaction of people to the action. I am not sure about having it in the title of the Section.
"Murder" is a verb, and is accurate in the context of what happened to Paice and Martin, ie. They were killed deliberately and with no legal sanction. Therefore it is a perfectly appropriate word to use in the title of the section. FergusM1970 (talk) 13:49, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Some terminology issue; given that Olei Hagardom is an article in Wikipedia, i think that it makes sense to say that the executed were the last of the Olei Hagardom. Another point is that those captured at the Acre Prison break were taken back to the prison - this is a point worth making rather than just general arrest.

The gallows policy: in 1946/7 there was a clear change in policy wrt the death penalty against Jewish political violence, and this should be mentioned "the British started a gallows policy, applying".

The description of the hanging of the sergeants; it is a bit lengthy, but it clarifies the improvised nature of the act. Mashkin (talk) 16:54, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

As regards the "gallows policy." I am happy to let that stand, as long as it is made clear that previously the perpetrators of Jewish political violence had NOT been execured for offences which would have earned a death penalty in Britain itself. Otherwise, it is wording that seeks to portray the British as using unusually harsh methods in Palestine. This was not the case. FergusM1970 (talk) 17:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Captial punishment in Palestine was applied to a much wider range of offences than in Britain. Basically anything involving a gun was subject to death. Mashkin (talk) 23:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC
I note that two of the five Irgun arrested at the Acre prison break were NOT executed, suggesting that there was a scale of penalties in use. I also note that in Britain in 1947, being an accomplice in a murder, especially one involving firearms, could be enough to get you hanged. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
usually the reason to execute someone was if he was determined a minor. Following the Arab Revolt and the impistion of Military emergency the British expanded significantly the range of crimes that were capital. Mashkin (talk) 10:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
If you have a source for this, and a list of the offences, that would be helpful. What crimes were capital in Palestine that would not have been under British military law at the time? FergusM1970 (talk) 13:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

My earlier edit that mentioned the fact that Paice and Martin's bodies were blackened and bruised contained NO invention. My edit said that the condition of the bodies SUGGESTED that they had been beaten prior to death. In what way is this an invention? Hanging, even slow hanging, does not leave a corpse bruised and bleeding. Regarding the hanging, while I fail to understand your insistence on referring to the movement of furniture rather than the killing of two men, I will let it stand. I have, however, added a sentence on the consequences of this. FergusM1970 (talk) 17:53, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

That is either original research or misleading. Mashkin (talk) 23:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I have re-inserted the description of the condition of the bodies when they were found. This is purely a factual description of the scene, and contains no speculation on how the bodies came to be in that condition. I feel that this is at least as relevant as the name of the song Haviv, Weiss and Nakar sang on the way to the gallows. It is also referenced (Time magazine) and NPOV (confined to relating the facts.) I am not willing to leave it out without a compelling reason. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:38, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Mashkin, in the true spirit of Wikipedia compromise I will swap your description of the sequence of the hangings (from Time magazine) for my description of the condition of the bodies when they were found (from Time magazine.) We can include both or remove both. Deal? FergusM1970 (talk) 18:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Ihave no objection to shortening the hanging description of the sergeants. It should preserve the makeshift nature of the action. Mashkin (talk) 23:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather both were left in, to be honest. The method of execution and the condition of the bodies are of use in understanding what happened. FergusM1970 (talk) 14:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the use of Olei Hagardom: I have edited this to include the FACTS (as an encyclopaedia should) while also including the term Olei Hagardom, for its cultural interest. We should avoid comfortable euphemisms for killing here. Haviv, Weiss and Nakar didn't just become the last of the Olei Hagardom; they were killed, albeit as judicial punishment for acts they had undeniably committed, as the end result of an archaic and brutal system of justice. Similarly, Paice and Martin weren't just deprived of something to sit on; they died painful and squalid deaths in a cellar. The fact is that all five men were killed, and we shouldn't squirm away from that to legitimise or even romanticise what was happening. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:16, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Another compromise: I am quite happy for the killing of five civilians by British troops to be described as murder, IF the killings of Paice and Martin are also so described. Both were reprisal killings, so the same terminology should be used. Either Paice, Martin and the five victims of the British reprisal were murdered, or two were hanged and five were shot. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:32, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

If the concensus is that Irgun's policy of reprisals should be known as an "eye for an eye" policy, I feel that the reprisals carried out by British troops after the murders of Martin and Paice should also be referred to in that manner. If anyone thinks this is unfair, please let me know why. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:39, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea what your new points are. Please use colon to indent, so it will be clear to what you are responding. you seem to be unnecessarily aggressive. please calm down. The biggest fault in your writing is that you are trying to make the point of proper legal procedure vs improper one. But this is hardly the interesting aspect of this event. Mashkin (talk) 23:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I have re-inserted the fact that after the chairs were removed from under Paice and Martin they died from asphyxiation due to short-drop hanging, and linked this to the Wiki article on hanging which specifically describes the effects of hanging by removing a stool or chair from under the suspended victim. One thing I am NOT willing to compromise on is my refusal to allow the movement of chairs to be used as a euphemism for the killings. FergusM1970 (talk) 13:39, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a source to support the asphyxiation theory? -- Nudve (talk) 14:49, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Follow the link to the Wikipedia article on hanging. You will find that it describes the cause of death for both short-drop and long-drop (British judicial) hanging, and is well supplied with sources. Long-drop hanging breaks the neck at the cervical vertebrae causing instant unconsciousness and rapid death; short-drop or suspension hanging restricts the passage of blood and air, and causes a slower death by asphyxiation. The drop needed to break the neck depends on body weight but averages around six feet. This is NOT original research, it's all in the hanging article or the primary sources for it.
Just to satisfy my curiosity, what else do you think people hanged with only a short drop might die of, if not asphyxiation? FergusM1970 (talk) 18:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I have, AGAIN, re-inserted the fact that what happened in the Feldman plant cellar was that Paice and Martin were killed. I fail to understand why this simple statement has repeatedly been removed. Unless you have evidence that shows they actually survived the hangings, which you DO NOT, leave it there. Removing any reference to them being killed is just childish, and if it happens again I will regard it as vandalism. FergusM1970 (talk) 14:01, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

As for this: "The timing of death is not needed, or is OR." The first statement is your opinion, not mine. The second is false and I have linked to the appropriate Wiki article. I have re-inserted this fact to illustrate the improvised nature of the hanging. It is just as relevant as the song that Haviv, Weiss and Nakar were singing on their way to the gallows. I know that their chosen method of killing their hostages doesn't leave Irgun looking too good, but that is no reason to leave it out. FergusM1970 (talk) 14:09, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. This is not encyclopedic information. There is nothing unique in this short drop hanging. Mashkin (talk) 16:04, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Reverted. I quite agree that there was nothing unique in this hanging, which is why it is possible to accurately describe the consequences of it. I also note that once again, for reasons which are completely incomprehensible to me, you have deleted any reference to the fact that the aim of the hanging was to kill two people. Unless you have a compelling reason why this section should not include the information that Paice and Martin were killed, your persistent deletion of this fact is simple vandalism. Stop doing it. FergusM1970 (talk) 17:40, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I have re-inserted the phrase "crimes of political violence" in the section dealing with the British policy of capital punishment. Ben Yosef was not executed for a political act, he was executed for trying to murder a large number of civilians who were travelling on a bus, so I have also added detail of this attempt as I feel that it explains the reasons behind his execution. It is not NPOV to claim that he was executed for political rather than criminal reasons. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:55, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

As I said, we do not want to make this into an article on Ben Yosef. The description an Attack on an Arab bus is accurate and conveys what he did. One the other other hand once you start giving details you have to give the background (The Arab Revolt and the attacks on Jewish means of transportation, you have to point out the fact that nobody was hurt in the attack, the fact that it was not approved by Irgun;) in other words in becomes something like the Ben Yosef article itself). Mashkin (talk) 19:51, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I have edited this to state that he intended to destroy the bus and its occupants - essentially that he intended to commit murder - which is also accurate and conveys what he did. The fact that the crime had not been approved by Irgun is irrelevant to the fact that Ben Yosef intended to kill civilians, as is the fact that Arabs had attacked Jewish buses; he was convicted and executed for his own voluntary actions. If you are going to mention Ben Yosef's execution at all in this article, a brief explanation should be included. The wording as you left it implies that he was executed for his political views, which is false. I have also reinstated "acts of political violence." Those condemned were not executed for political reasons, but because they had been convicted of violent crimes. These statements are factual and I see no reason why they shouldn't be in the article. FergusM1970 (talk) 20:31, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Hand grenades, by the way, are a subset of the set "Bombs." They are explosive devices (bombs) distinguished by the fact that they are designed to be armed and placed or thrown by hand. FergusM1970 (talk) 21:01, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I have deleted the claim that the Defence (Emergency) Regulations authorised the death penalty for possession of arms or ammunition, or for membership in certain groups, as this assertion is not supported by the reference given. If you want to re-insert it, please provide a reference that backs it up. Alternatively, as the Defence (Emergency) Regulations were incorporated into Israeli law and still stand, are these offences capital crimes under modern Israeli law? If so, and if you can provide a reference to that effect, I'm happy for it to go back in. FergusM1970 (talk) 18:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I suggest reading the source before deleting. Footnote 9 supports this. Do not insert false information into the article as you did wrt Dov Gruner. Do not extrapolate and insert your own interpretations. Mashkin (talk) 18:56, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
You are correct, footnote 9 does support it. Unfortunately I am in Kabul with a very slow connection and lose a lot of formatting, so I apologise for that. However, what false information did I insert about Gruner? At the time of his arrest Gruner was still a member of the British Army. He had joined an organisation which was attacking the British Army and participated in one such attack. That is desertion. As noted in Bagon, the attack on the police station was lethal, i.e. it caused at least one death. Do you have a reason why these facts should be excluded?FergusM1970 (talk) 18:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
In the attack on the police station only Irgun members were killed. You cannot make up crimes that Gruner was not charged with - that is at the very least you have to bring evidence that he was charged with a certain violation. You are making stuff up and inserting it into the article. That is not proper behavior. Mashkin (talk) 19:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Don't threaten me, Mashkin. I was in error over the list of capital offences, and I have apologised for that. However, I did NOT deliberately insert false information. Dov Gruner was still a British soldier when he joined Irgun, and that qualifies as desertion under military law. Someone guilty of desertion is a deserter. How is this false? Secondly, I added the fact that the attack on the police station resulted in at least one death, and cited Bagon's thesis to support it. How is THIS false? Both pieces of information are factual and both have value in explaining why Bagon was executed while the majority of arrested Irgun and Stern Gang members were not. You may feel that they are not relevant. I disagree, and you do not own the article. I am strongly tempted to ask for a third opinion on this article, to break the pointless cycle of me editing and you reverting. FergusM1970 (talk) 19:19, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
You made stuff up by claimign that he was charged with murder or accessory to murder. You made stuff up by claimign that he was a deserter (he was demobilized). You cannot "deduce" these things, but have to base them on clear sources. You do not seem to be very knowledgeable in this area, and your obsession with this article is hurting Wikipedia. Mashkin (talk) 19:25, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
He was on demobilisation leave, therefore still in the Army. FergusM1970 (talk) 19:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Again, speculations. To mention this you will have to prove that it had significant affect on the trial. Not your own speculations.Mashkin (talk) 19:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It is NOT speculation. Gruner was on leave from the Army. This means quite unequivocably that he was still a member of it. Also, I have not claimed that it affected the trial. "The Gallows" states that Gruner was charged with firing weapons and setting explosives with intent to kill. Are you happy for this to be described as attempted murder or would you like to suggest another form of words? I think it is important to show that those Irgun members sentenced to death had been involved in major acts of violence, whereas the majority of arrested members were imprisoned. FergusM1970 (talk) 19:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I may lack knowledge in this area, but I am rapidly acquiring it and I am correcting and refining my edits where I come upon new information. My aim is to make the article NPOV. When I first found it in the course of research for a presentation on terrorist violence, it was hopelessly biased in favour of Irgun. I am making no comment on the legitimacy of Irgun's cause, but NPOV does not mean that euphemisms have to be used for criminal acts. I have limited research capabilities here, and I apologise for any errors that result from that, but I am trying to make the article balanced and that requires that the reason for the executions is explored, because it is NOT as simple as the British hanging people simply for refusing to recognise courts or for their beliefs. You have to bear in mind that both Irgun and the Stern Gang had attacked the British war effort during WW2 and that Lehi were known to have had contact with Nazi Germany, and that Irgun in particular had killed or injured dozens of people. They were violent, dangerous organisations and the British were required under the Mandate to maintain law and order. FergusM1970 (talk) 20:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
So far you have not proved yourself as a fast learner. I do not forget Irgun and Lehi's actions during WWII, but in this article (and the related ones) we are talking about the period after WWII - remember - all those executed in Palestine (except Ben Yosef) were executed in 1947. To a large extent the decision to apply the death penalty was political one. The attempts you make at making this into a legal issue are not in place. Mashkin (talk) 21:04, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It is beyond dispute that there IS a legal issue here. In fact there are two. Firstly, the British were the legal governing power under the Mandate. Secondly, many of the Irgun's acts would have been crimes in ANY context. Was the decision to execute those convicted of the most violent crimes political? Of course - the maintenance of law and order is a political activity. My objection to many of your edits has been that your aim seems to have been to gloss over the nature of the Irgun's acts. I note once again that I have not expressed any opinion on the Irgun's goals because such an opinion does not belong in this article. Details of their METHODS, though, are important to understanding why the situation developed the way it did. If Irgun had attacked British authority by marching, going on strike and printing newsletters, none of their members would have been hanged. If they had responded to the hangings with another landmine instead of the kidnapping, probable abuse and crude, slow murder of two young conscripts it would not have caused a backlash (which, by the way, I find disgusting) on British Jews. This is why I feel it is important that, where known, the offences for which the condemned were executed is included. On reflection I am OK with leaving out Gruner's membership of the British Army (under UK military law he WAS clearly a deserter) because, while not devoid of interest, it doesn't add any value.
There was a legal issue involved, but this is not the interesting aspect of the case.
Some of the problems with the way you edit are makign things up or OR, like trying to claim that the Sergeants were tortured. For such a claim you have to have a good RS, not some deduction from a description by Time.
You are also trying to make this into a debate on Etzel's (Irgun) activities and alternatives, which is not in place.
It's not up to you to decide what the interesting aspects of the event are; it isn't your article.
Of course it is up to me, you and any other editor to decide what are the interesting aspects and write about them.
If you think that it is the legal issues, then say so and we can debate it.Mashkin (talk) 14:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that a simple relation of the facts will do. I know you have previously referred to me attempting to criminalise Irgun, but the simple fact is that by acting in a way forbidden by both civil law and the laws of armed conflict, Irgun criminalised themselves. Anyway, what do YOU find interesting about it? FergusM1970 (talk) 16:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
As for making things up, where did I claim that the hostages were tortured? I said that the condition of their bodies suggested they had been beaten and, let's face it, this is the case. They were bruised and bloodied, and Irgun had a history of kidnapping and beating soldiers. However I am happy to just state the facts and let the reader draw his own conclusions. I am NOT happy for the facts to be left out in case someone draws conclusions that make Irgun look bad. Also, I am in no way trying to start a debate on Irgun. I am simply trying to ensure that the facts of their actions are not whitewashed over. Personally I hate all terrorists no matter what their cause, but that doesn't belong in a Wiki article. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:51, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
This is a clear OR. For such a famous event you have to rely on historians who wrote about it and if any one of them wrote such a thing that you can point it out 9provided that source explains how it arrived at the conclusion). Mashkin (talk) 14:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
It is NOT OR. The article states that the bodies were bruised and blackened. This was reported as fact at the time. It is a matter of record that Irgun kidnapped and beat soldiers. Put the two together and it's pretty clear what happened. Fine, it's not well enough referenced to go in the article, but you'd have to be pretty stupid to deny that Paice and Martin were most likely beaten by their murderers. After all the sort of person who's capable of strangling an innocent man to death, publicly displaying his corpse and wiring an explosive device to it is hardly above giving him a kicking first, is he? Anyway, the article does not state that Martin and Paice were beaten prior to their murders, but the facts are now in there and readers can draw their own conclusions. FergusM1970 (talk) 16:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I think we both share a desire to make this article accurate, but it also needs to be neutral and NPOV does not mean avoiding unpleasant facts. No doubt we would both object to removing the word "Murder" from the Holocaust article for fear of offending geriatric Nazis. I am happy to work with you to find a solution acceptable to both of us, because fighting against what I perceive as a political agenda (and I might be wrong - I suspect that English isn't your first language and you may be genuinely unaware that your wording shows bias) is becoming a massive pain in the hoop. FergusM1970 (talk) 13:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Have you heard of Godwin's law?
You keep claiming things about my position that are completely baseless.
Wikipedia has a certain style and guidelines, see Wikipedia:Words to avoid. Mashkin (talk) 07:21, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not think that pointing out a pro-Irgun slant to the original text of the article is at all "baseless." It was written in language that clearly portrayed Irgun as fighting against oppression. It used emotive words like "siege" when they were not appropriate and contained no mention of WHY Irgun members were being executed. I am also very aware of Godwin's Law, and would like to point out that it refers to comparing your opponent to the Nazis; this is something I did not in fact do. On the other hand, you do give a strong impression of adopting ownership of this article by your choice of language. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that you have yor facts wrong. I did no write the "original" the of the article. In fact, I belive that many of the articles that deal witg the irgun affairs are slanted since the starting point was often material issued by Irgun related institutions. The way you have edited the articles did not necessarily make them better. Mashkin (talk) 14:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I know you didn't write the original; nudve did, and it was awful. However you have done your fair share to maintain a pro-Irgun bias, whether intentionally or not. And I don't think there's much doubt that this article is now far better than it was, thanks to input from BOTH of us prompted by my edits. I am at the point of asking the editor who tagged it for neutrality to give it another look, now that it now no longer reads like a deluded adolescent's rosy-spectacled justification of terrorist scum. FergusM1970 (talk) 16:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

As the editior who originally tagged this article for lack of neutrality, I am impressed by the rapid improvement, however the article still seems pro -irgun. For example, sentences as "The unexpected indeed happened—Weinberg and the sergeants showed up once again at “Gan Vered”. Kaplan spread his men around the coffee shop and along the road leading north to the camp. As one of the prisoners released in the Acre Prison break, he was determined to kidnap the sergeants in order to save the ones who were caught trying to free him." are far from neutral. In addition, the backgroud section fails to mention the difficulties the British faced in trying to control European immigration into Palestine. (talk) 19:33, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Good points, and I'll get them sorted. Thanks! FergusM1970 (talk) 01:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, I think these points are now sorted. Are you happy for me to take the neutrality tag off? FergusM1970 (talk) 20:15, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

British Police[edit]

You keep referring to "British police." Every reference I can find to the police seems to indicate that they were not British, but rather locals. Do you have a source showing that they were either members of a British police force or at least predominantly made up of British nationals? If not, it should be changed to read simply "police." FergusM1970 (talk) 16:45, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

The poilice force had locals (Jews and Arabs) but (i) as an institution it belong to the British administration (ii) the top brass and those working on the sensitive issues were British. In general, in the said period there was martial law and the military was more significant. Mashkin (talk) 06:59, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
OK. However I have added the word "colonial" and a link to the PPF article, as I feel that just calling them "British" police is likely to give a false impression. It was a British-run force, but not part of the actual organisation generally thought of as the British police. FergusM1970 (talk) 08:43, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

The police force in question was the Palestine Police Force (its correct title) often known as the Palestine Police, a force run along British lines comprised of both British nationals as well as local recruits, in the same way as the (former) Royal Hong Kong Police and other similar police forces. Strangways (talk) 21:21, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable Source[edit]

I do not believe that a M.Phil Thesis in Modern Middle Eastern Studies is a reliable source, and suggest that references to Paul Bagon's thesis be removed. (talk) 05:04, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The Bagon thesis is an RS. It is a thesis from a well known university on the topic. Are you arguing against reliance on theses? Mashkin (talk) 09:42, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, especially masters level theses - they are not fully reliable sources. Articles from peer reviewed journals should be prefered. (talk) 19:36, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


It's not clear from the article whether the men were military or police. Does anyone know? Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 15:13, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I made it clear in my edits, which have all been reverted by Nudve. They were Royal Military Police. - Fergus Mason —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Fergus. Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 16:25, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
My mistake, they were Intelligence Corps soldiers. FergusM1970 (talk) 15:18, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Terrorism Template[edit]

I have added this template to the article to give further context. (talk) 19:17, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

General state of the article[edit]

Just the other day I looked at the history of this article, and have come to the conclusion that this version from February 2008 is, on the whole, better than the current version. It is better-written and more engaging. For example, this passage: On July 11, 1947 the Irgun group retrieved weapons, drugs and other kidnap-related material from their hidden cache. is terrible. I have been trying to start cleaning it up, but always have other priorities :( so if anyone can do that, it would be much appreciated! It's unthinkable that the quality of an article degrades over a 2-year period. —Ynhockey (Talk) 23:21, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

No. Definitely not. The version you linked to has an appalling standard of English and is completely non-NPOV. More engaging or not, it is factually dreadful and hopelessly pro-Irgun.FergusM1970 (talk) 20:38, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you serious? I don't know about NPOV, but the current version includes a number of poorly-phrased sentences, and has overall poor grammar and style (i.e. "an appalling standard of English"). It is also poorly formatted according to several aspects of WP:MOS (headings, quotes, etc.). I'm not saying the old version was perfect, just that it was better than this one. Since it appears that the content and referencing of the two is almost identical, I don't see the harm of starting over from an older version (not necessarily the one I linked to). I can understand the fact that you have been the main editor of the article since its original writing and therefore do not appreciate my comments. I therefore ask you to please elaborate on the earlier comment of how the original version had "an appalling standard of English" and was "completely non-NPOV", so that we can come up with a version that addresses these problems. —Ynhockey (Talk) 23:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The version you linked to is riddled with spelling mistakes, poor grammar and improperly used words, for example -
within and out of
no feasible cause
unlimited dealy
the policy was culminating
during and Irgun raid
taken prisoners into the prison they had broken into
It uses emotive language to skew its portrayal in favour of Irgun, for example -
Trying to maintain its firm grip, the British practiced a gallows policy
41 prisoners were released, albeit with a heavy toll
Irgun decided to prevent rather than cure
All these examples are from the first section; the remainder is, if possible, even worse.
It either omits or distorts a lot of facts. It contains numerous factual inaccuracies, such as the implication that Irgun members were executed for political reasons or for refusing to recognise the court rather than for violent terrorist offences which they had committed. It uses squeamish euphemisms for the murders of Paice and Martin by referring to the chairs being removed from beneath them. It cherry-picks from sources; there is no reference to the fact that before Paice and Martin were murdered the treatment they received had left their bodies "blackened, bloodied" even though the same source was used for the details of reprisals by British troops. It falsely states that Paice and Martin were sentenced to death, and in fact the section describing their murders is titled "Trial and execution." And so on and so on and so on. It was so bad that it earned the non-NPOV tag. Wherever we want to get to, we're not starting from there or anywhere near it. Besides, what's wrong with the standard of English as it is now? For example you wrote -
"For example, this passage: On July 11, 1947 the Irgun group retrieved weapons, drugs and other kidnap-related material from their hidden cache. is terrible."
Why, exactly, is it terrible? It's factually accurate and grammatically correct.
It's far better written and infinitely more NPOV than nudve's effort, and there is a lot more factual information in there now. This is an encyclopaedia, not Irgun's Greatest Hits. Let's discuss any linguistic and style issues, but no way should this article return to being blatant pro-Irgun propaganda like it was previously.FergusM1970 (talk) 18:29, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually the current version reeks of POV polemic. The reader's emotions are invoked with every turn, including the word murder, a word to avoid which is liberally used across the article. One of the most important parts of the narrative was also mysteriously removed, namely the relation to Irgun's eye for an eye policy, where they created a mock trial for the sergeants, accusing them of a number of offenses, in response to the British trial of several Irgun members. If anything, it is the current version which distorts and misleads. It does not give any background to the hanging of the Irgun members and seeks to portray the British authorities in an overtly positive light, and the Irgun in an overtly negative light. A simple example is the following: The Irgun members lied and said that the bags contained guns. The fact that they lied is obviously inferred from the sentence even without this, but it is highlighted anyway in a clear attempt to smear the Irgun.
The language is also poor, and I am sorry that you cannot see the problem with the sentence outlined above ("kidnap-related materials"? Seriously? At least the original version gave a list of the materials in the preceding paragraph). However, my main language-related problem here is style; while it is overall similar to the original version, there are a number of changes that did not improve things and arguably made them worse—renaming of sections, poor formatting, short paragraphs and short sections, etc. I strongly suggest that you review WP:MOS, one of the most important guides for editing Wikipedia in general, also useful outside Wikipedia.
"Murder" is only a word to avoid if used incorrectly. It is an English verb meaning "to kill without legal sanction," and is therefore correctly used when referring to the deaths of Paice and Martin. The original article contained no mention of a mock trial; it referred only to the "sentences" being read to Paice and Martin; as they hadn't in fact been sentenced at all this was misleading and incorrect. In fact none of the references used for this article mention a mock trial either. This seems ample reason to exclude it. It also appears that you may not have fully read both the original and updated articles; I HAVE added background on the hangings of Irgun members. It was the original article that lacked this. For example the original article gave no idea AT ALL of why Irgun members were sentenced to death and seemed to imply that it was either because of their political views or because they refused to recognise the court. In fact, of course, all the Irgum members hanged during the Mandate would have been hanged had they been Britons who committed the same offences in the UK.
Relating the facts about Irgun's actions is in no way an attempt to smear them. As I have stated before to Mashkin, if a factual description of someone's actions makes them look bad this is the fault of their actions, not the description. I am certainly willing to discuss your changes before reverting them, but only if you do the same before reverting MY changes.FergusM1970 (talk) 15:13, 4 December 2009 (UTC)to the article.
I am going go slowly go through this and clean it up, please don't revert without discussing each point. —Ynhockey (Talk) 01:31, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I have added the word "some" to the statement about the murders of these men being a catalyst for the British withdrawal, as this is far from a unanimous opinion. See Mashkin's comments at the top of this discussion regarding the fact that the British had already agreed to the foundation of a UN body to end the Mandate. As the UN is the successor body to the League of Nations, which created the Mandate and thus made Britain responsible for law and order in Palestine, the formation of UNSCOP basically meant Britain was in the process of handing this responsibility back to the UN. I have also reinstated the word "murdered." It is a word with a clearly defined meaning which applies exactly to this event, and I see no reason to bowdlerise it. FergusM1970 (talk) 16:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
About the withdrawal: I'll put this point on hold, as I do not have the necessary sources now, but of course what is means is that it sped up the withdrawal and rallied public opinion in favor of it, more than ever before.
About the word murder: Using this word is a clear and unambiguous violation of WP:NPOV, as well as the guideline WP:WTA, which I encourage you to go over. By the way, I also support removing this wording for "Five Jews were murdered and 15 wounded.". Not every "word with a clearly defined meaning which applies exactly to [X] event" should be used on Wikipedia. For example, see WP:TERRORIST and other words to avoid in WP:WTA.
About sergeant vs. NCO: are you serious? This is first time I have heard this argument. You're saying that NCO, a vague word that refers to one of about a dozen different ranks, and has a completely different meaning in each army, is less ambiguous than the word sergeants, which has the same meaning everywhere? Can you provide reasoning for this claim?
Ynhockey (Talk) 23:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
This incident certainly affected public opinion, but I doubt that the deaths of two soldiers would affect British government policy. Bear in mind that two years earlier Britain had lost tens of thousands of men in WW2. Also bear in mind that since the end of the Mandate Britain has lost nearly 2,000 soldiers in anti-terrorist campaigns, with no visible effect on government policy at all.
I read the words to avoid list and didn't see murder in there. I have also had a look through WP and found the word used repeatedly to describe premeditated illegal killings. Therefore I am only willing to have it changed if you can demonstrate that there are circumstances in which kidnapping and hanging two men as a reprisal would NOT be murder and that these circumstances might apply here. Use of the word "murder" in such unambiguous circumstances is perfectly NPOV; what happened to Paice and Martin was premeditated killing that would be illegal under ANY conceivable circumstances, and this is what "murder" means.
There are police sergeants, pipe sergeants, Sergeants-at-Arms and Sergeants-Major. All have different meanings. There is also a great difference between the status of a Sergeant in the British or Commonwealth armies compared to a US, Russian or Israeli sergeant. NCO is a more precise term, and just to avoid any misunderstanding I've put Sgt Paice and Sgt Martin's ranks before their names to show exactly what kind of NCOs they were. FergusM1970 (talk) 17:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


I prefer older versions of the article, where the term IED (abbreviation for Improvised Explosive Device) was not used. The article on IEDs says that the term was coined by the British army in the 70s. My impression is that the term didn't come into wider usage until the current war in Afghanistan, when journalists embedded with allied troops or attending military briefings adopted it. The term doesn't appear in any of my dictionaries, which include an 80s paper and a current computer version of the Chambers Dictionary. Why don't we use conventional terms such as bomb (and its subtypes timebombs, carbombs etc.), mines and (a more unusual alternative) petards, particularly in historical articles. After all, the IED article uses the word bomb to define what an IED is. Are we going to have descriptions of anarchists throwing IEDs in articles? What do other people think? -- ZScarpia (talk) 22:32, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I prefer IED as it is an accurate description of the device used. The fact that the event occurred in the 1940s doesn't mean that we have to use 1940s terminology to describe it, the same as we don't write articles about the Vikings in Old Norse. This was an improvised device and therefore IED is the correct term. FergusM1970 (talk) 00:30, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
In reply, IED may be an accurate description of the devices described, but so are bomb (or, if you want to be more descriptive, improvised bomb) and other more widely used terms which are in as much usage today as they were in the 1940s and earlier. Taking your example of the Vikings, I'm curious to know, is there a modern military acronym for a battering ram made out of a log (perhaps, IPSD, for improvised portal-sundering device)?
Ideally, other editors would have expressed an opinion so that we could establish a consensus wording. In the absence of that, how are we going to avoid falling in to a slow moving edit war? Perhaps we could take a couple of usages each: you take the end of the article where the booby-trap is mentioned and I take the description of the device placed at the railway station and that of the device smuggled into the prison?
-- ZScarpia (talk) 12:14, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
A battering ram is now known as a Breaching Ram, or informally as a Harvey Doorbanger.
Do you have any specific objection to IED other than the fact that you personally don't like it? As it is undeniably accurate I see no reason why it shouldn't stay. My objection to the use of terms like "mine" is that it implies a manufactured military item rather than an improvised one. "Bomb" accurately describes an improvised device but also describes lots of other things. "IED" is precise and unambiguous. "Improvised bomb" says nothing that IED doesn't and has the drawback of not being as familiar a term. Almost everyone knows what "IED" means these days. FergusM1970 (talk) 23:21, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Of sources relating to the "Sergeans' Affair" examined, none used the terms IED or improvised explosive device.

The English-language sources cited in the article use the following terminology:

Other sources checked used the following terminology:

  • Major Farran's Hat, David Cesarani: mine.
  • Israel, a History, Martin Gilbert: booby-trapped.
  • Terror out of Zion, J Bowyer Bell: mine.
  • The Siege, Conor Cruise O'Brien: booby-trapped.
  • Menahem Begin, Eitan Haber: mine.

    ←   ZScarpia   13:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Unless anyone can produce a source which says that an IED was used, I suggest we stick with the word 'mine'. For all anyone here knows, the device may well have been a regular military mine (there must have been enough of them knocking around and I have seen an Irgun account which said they were in possession of them).     ←   ZScarpia   01:18, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Sherman, in Mandate Days, says that an anti-personnel mine was used. That sounds like a regular landmine.     ←   ZScarpia   19:40, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

WP:AT: Shouldn't the article title be Sergeants affair without the initial The?     ←   ZScarpia   18:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Source reliability[edit]

The site is not a reliable source. Jewish Virtual Library articles, depending on where they are sourced from, may be considered reliable. The article cited here, though, carries no information about such things as its author, where it was obtained from or whether it was peer-reviewed.     ←   ZScarpia   18:36, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I believe that the information was written by Yehuda Lapidot, who is a reliable source. That will require checking however, and I'll post my findings as I have time to look into it. —Ynhockey (Talk) 09:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Source reliability, of course, is decided by consensus and is determined by multiple factors, including who the author is, who the publisher is and whether the publication has been peer-reviewed. Do you know whether the site and Yehuda Lapidot have been discussed at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard? As far as I can make out, they haven't. It appears that none of Lapidot's books on the Irgun have been translated and printed in English. In my opinion, there isn't anything on the or Memories of an Irgun Fighter (text also written by Lapidot) sites that can't be better sourced in books such as Bowyer Bell's Terror out of Zion.     ←   ZScarpia   12:32, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I removed a couple of Hebrew web sources because they are no longer valid. Do you know anywhere else where the documents might be available? They were:
"פרשת הסרג'נטים בנתניה" -
"תליית הסרג'נטים הבריטיים בנתניה" -
    ←   ZScarpia   12:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Since I first saw this article a recurring feature has been that many editors insist in writing "jew" with an initial capital. In English only proper nouns are capitalised, and "jew" is a common noun. While it may be customary for followers of Judaism to capitalise the word "jew," it's not correct English and I suggest we cease doing it. Otherwise we might as well start capitalising "policeman" and "militant."

The same goes for "jewish," but "Judaism," of course, is a proper noun.

On a related note, is it really necessary to dehumanise the victims of the British reprisals by referring to them as "jews"? Can't we call them "civilians" or "people"? Their religious opinions weren't the most important fact about them, after all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FergusM1970 (talkcontribs) 17:21, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Have you looked in a dictionary? In the ones I have at home, as well as an online version, the word Jew is capitalised when it is being used as a noun (as is the word Arab).     ←   ZScarpia   18:10, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does seem to have become a convention. However the fact remains that "jew," "arab" and so on are not proper nouns and should not be capitalised. It's not a big deal though, so I will immediately cease losing sleep over it. I do note that the wiki article on the word "jew" only capitalises it in English and German (and in German, of course, it's actually correct.) FergusM1970 (talk) 14:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
In an old King James Bible, Jews and Arabians get a capitalised first letter, along with Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots etc. In my dictionary, words like Apache and Zulu also get capitalised. Are you sure that they aren't proper nouns?     ←   ZScarpia   17:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Yep. "Jerusalem" is a proper noun. "Bob" is a proper noun. "Jew," "arab" and "tree" are common nouns. However there does seem to be a convention that common nouns derived from proper nouns (Jew/Judaism, German/Germany etc) get capitalised, so I should probably get back in my box and go with accepted usage on this one. FergusM1970 (talk) 20:23, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does seem that nationalities and adherents to the religions (or sects of the religions) get capitalised. Apparently there is a growing trend to drop the initial capital in Web (the capital initial letter in Internet already seems to be pretty much a lost cause). Interestingly, we seem to have French dressing, but french fries.     ←   ZScarpia   14:59, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I suspect it's just a sign of the English language's continuing progress away from its German roots. As for French fries, I would personally capitalise the first F (oh look, I did...) so it's probably a personal choice, although not being American I'd never actually use the term anyway; I call them Pommes in Germany and chips in the UK. It's all very strange. As for religion, I am an ex christian and it would never even occur to me to capitalise christian, christianity etc. However many people do. FergusM1970 (talk) 09:03, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

The memorial grove[edit]

There exists a memorial grove near Netanya, called "חורשת הסרגנטים" or "יער הסרגנטים" -- "sergeants grove" It is mentioned as a major tourist attraction in Netanya though no mention about who were the sergeants.

As an interesting side fact: this grove is a home to the extremely rare "Iris atropurpurea" flower -- the earliest blooming Iris. --Voldemar (talk) 13:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Martin's religion[edit]

I have deleted the claim that:

"However, Martin himself did not consider himself Jewish, as illustrated by the fact that his headstone is not marked with a star of David: the headstones of servicemen in Commonwealth War Cemeteries are marked with the symbol appropriate to their religion, if any, as declared by the serviceman. Therefore the fact that his headstone is marked with a cross indicates that he was in fact Christian."

The cross is the default marker on CWGC headstones, and alternatives are generally only used where there was active information to the contrary, either a previous self-declaration by the individual themselves, or subsequently by their family, but that didn't always happen. Martin may very well have identified himself as Christian, or his family may have, but it is equally possible that the cross was merely assumed to be appropriate, so in itself it cannot be given the weight that the above text implies. Nick Cooper (talk) 22:38, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Antisemitic rioting in British cities[edit]

I can confirm that Bethell, the source cited, did write that the rioting was antisemitic.     ←   ZScarpia   18:25, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

See below.Owain the 1st (talk) 15:51, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Re: last link in lead[edit]

As discussed on my talk page,Red Stone Arsenal you need to put the right link up to exact page(if you can, I cannot get it to work) otherwise you are causing confusion.The link you have there is this one [1]which says nothing about what is claimed and the link you need is this one up [2].People should not have to wade thru two links to get to info plus put the page number in the link info it is a very long article.Owain the 1st (talk) 15:49, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

only those who are willfully obtuse are confused. Nonetheless, I've linked to the .pdf Red Stone Arsenal (talk) 17:07, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
You cannot expect a person to click on your link and then have to click on another link and then have to go thru over 100 pages just to find the source of what is posted in the lead.It has nothing to do with being obtuse at all, it has to do with putting proper sources to statements in articles which you failed to do.You have also failed to put the page number as I asked in the link info.So now you have a link to the right article but anybody will still have to wade thru 129 pages to find it.I suggest again that you include it to avoid time wasting trying to find it.Owain the 1st (talk) 17:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Why not be bold and add the page number yourself? You are quick on the reverts, willfully violating the 1RR, constantly accusing other editors who disagree with you of "vandalism", yet not bold enough to add a page number yourself? Marokwitz (talk) 17:15, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
2nd that. feel free to add page numbers (note that you will then have to split the reference up to 7 different ones, one for each time/different page it is used). That's a lot of work just to satisfy willful obtuseness, so I'm not going to invest my time doing it. Red Stone Arsenal (talk) 17:57, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry but I am not here to alter your mistake.You made a big deal about it being in the link and it was not.I had to explain to you that you had the wrong link and suggested that you put up the right link which you have now done and also to put up the page number which you failed to do.So you have put up a link now that anybody looking at will have to wade thru 129 pages to find what it is for.It is not very good editing frankly. You need to sort that out.Thanks Owain the 1st (talk) 18:01, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Is it really so difficult for you to admit you were wrong? Marokwitz (talk) 18:07, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I was not wrong, there was no mention of what was stated in the article in the link provided.They had to change the link and that is what has happened. Anyway I think I have covered everything here.Owain the 1st (talk) 18:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC) website[edit]

In my opinion, the website should not be being used as a reliable source.     ←   ZScarpia   17:17, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

No, of course it cannot be. Zerotalk 17:28, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Also, an uncredited article from the Jewish Virtual Library is being used as a reliable source.     ←   ZScarpia   16:49, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Bethell - page numbers.[edit]

A number of editors keep re-adding a macro requesting that page numbers for citations to Bethell and Bowyer Bell be given. In the references, the Bethell citation gives a page range, pages 323 to 340, which should be adequate I think. Bowyer Bell has an extensive index. By looking it up, the appropriate pages for the content in question can be seen to be 237 and 238.     ←   ZScarpia   09:20, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Revert by Bad Dryer[edit]

Bad Dryer, with regard to this edit, please read Wikipedia:What SYNTH is not, particularly the section SYNTH is not just any synthesis. Exactly which part of pointing out that terminating the mandate within ten years had been British governmnet policy since eight years before the hangings is SYNTH? How did the Brad Dyer user account end up pointing at yours?     ←   ZScarpia   02:15, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

I read Wikipedia:What SYNTH is not, right up until the point where it says 'This essay is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline' - you know - the very first line. If and when it becomes policy, I will give it its due consideration. Until then, I don't give a hoot what some random Wikipedia editor thinks about how policy should be interpreted.
In contrast, WP:SYNTH is policy, today, and must be adhered to by all editors. The first line of WP:SYNTH says "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources" - which is exactly what you are doing here. You are taking materiel from the White Paper (a primary source, which should not be used to begin with), interpreting the sentence there which says "The objective of His Majesty's Government is the establishment within 10 years of an independent Palestine State in such treaty relations with the United Kingdom as will provide satisfactorily for the commercial and strategic requirements of both countries in the future. The proposal for the establishment of the independent State would involve consultation with the Council of the League of Nations with a view to the termination of the Mandate. " to mean that the mandate will end by November 1948 - an original research interpretation not explicitly stated in the source (does "consultation... with a view to end the mandate" mean the same thing as "the mandate will end"? I don't think so, and the source does not explicitly say what your interpretation says, as required by WP:PRIMARY), and then contrasting that with Begin's statement form a second source using the conjunctive adverb 'however' to imply that Begin was lying or taking credit for something he does not deserve. This is precisely Synthesis as defined by WP:SYNTH (plus violations of WP:PRIMARY).
The answer to your other question is here [3]. Bad Dryer (talk) 22:44, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Bad Dryer. This is obvious OR. That you think the primary document relates to something is not enough, you need a reliable source making the connection. I'm surprised you weren't aware of this. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 23:36, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
There is no use of a primary document. There is no 'connection', only a contrast. Nothing is unsourced.     ←   ZScarpia   23:46, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
([EC] Erroneous claims and faulty reasoning:
  • The source used is a secondary one, not the White Paper itself.
  • The statement represented by the sentence represents what the source says.
  • The statement represented by the sentence does not synthesise material from different sources.
  • The two sentences placed side-by-side are, as you say, a contrast: Begin's claim and the fact that the stated intention of the British Government, made nine years previously, was to try to end the mandate within ten years. Any conclusions drawn are up to the reader. Contrasts are not a form of synthesis.
    ←   ZScarpia   23:43, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
The source used is "British White Paper of 1939" - that is a primary source.
The statement you are using was quoted verbatim in my explanation, above. It does not say 'The mandate will end in 10 years'. "consultation... with a view to end the mandate" does not mean the same thing as "the mandate will end".
Contrasting two sentences, from two different sources is textbook synthesis. So much so, that a near exact parallel of what your are doing here is is given as an example of what not to do in WP:SYNTH, reproduced below:
Here are two sentences showing simple examples of improper editorial synthesis
  • In this first sentence, both parts of the sentence may be reliably sourced, but they have been combined to imply that the UN has failed to maintain world peace. If no reliable source has combined the material in this way, it is original research.
N The United Nations' stated objective is to maintain international peace and security, but since its creation there have been 160 wars throughout the world.

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Talk about textbook example. "Begin said this helped make the British leave, but the British were leaving anyway". Find a reliable source that makes the connection, otherwise it's so very obviously SYNTH. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Actually, Begin said that the hangings were one of the events which "tipped the balance", meaning that, if it hadn't been for events such as the hangings, the British wouldn't have left. What the sentence you deleted pointed out was that the fact that it had been British policy since 1939 that the Mandate should end within 10 years. Readers can form their own conclusions. There is no original research there. I will admit, though, that I thought the source was an article about the White Paper rather than just a copy of its contents. Note that the WP:SYNTH policy directs readers to the WP:What SYNTH is not essay.     ←   ZScarpia   01:07, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
Whatever. I think we're done here. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 01:11, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
That does depend on me a little bit, and on any other editors who may care to comment on the matter, doesn't it?     ←   ZScarpia   01:23, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Since it is obvious that the murders of Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice served no purpose and made no difference to anything at all, and since the 1939 White Paper stated, 'The objective of His Majesty's Government is the establishment within ten years of an independent Palestine State,' meaning that the British were seeking to end the Mandate by 1949 at the latest, it is misleading to include Begin's self-serving and patently false claim without challenge or qualification as if it were true. Nor is it correct to claim that the White Paper itself is not a useable or quotable WP source. There are many WP articles on British legislation which cite the legislation itself or associated government publications as sources. (See 'Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984', for instance.)Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:30, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

The White Paper planned to make Palestine an Arab-majority state, though in the aftermath of World War II, the British attempted to find a mutually negotiated solution between Jews and Arabs and failed (thus UNSCOP and the Anglo American Committee on Palestine were invited). I've read last years' comprehensive book on the Jewish insurgency by Bruce Hoffman Anonymous Soldiers, as well as Bell's book, which made clear that the British had real strategic and economic interests in the area, and began to build new bases there even in the aftermath of Word War II. The Irgun and Lehi, and to a lesser extent, the Haganah, wore the British down through violent attacks (in addition to the Haganah's illegal immigration campaign), and this exhausted a financially strained Britain. Both Hoffman and Bell credit this incident with being the "straw that broke the camel's back", especially due to the reaction of British public opinion. Hoffman in particular cites Arthur Creech-Jones as crediting the "deadly blow against British patience and pride" this incident created. David Charters also quotes William Nicol Gray (former Inspector General of the Palestine Police Force) as saying that the Night of the Beatings, the Acre Prison break, and the Sergeants affair were the three incidents that shook the British government the most to give up the Mandate due to the tremendous loss of prestige that they inflicted, which challenged the British government to either launch a campaign of total suppression or get out. It's very clear that this incident was very significant.--RM (Be my friend) 23:56, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Consider the timing: as has been discussed in the 'The affair could not have been a catalyst for British withdrawal' section above, by the time the killings took place in mid-July 1947, the UK had already handed the situation in Palestine to the UN to solve and the UNSCOP committee had been formed (15 May 1947) and visited Palestine (June 18 to July 3). Also consider that, prior to the killings, scores of members of the armed forces and police had been killed and that more were killed during the period of the kidnapping. Consider the nature of the Mandates, which were supposed to be time-limited. Consider the official policy of the UK, outlined in the White Paper of 1939, that the Mandate should end after ten years (as far as 'making' Palestine an Arab-majority state goes, of course, at that point, Arab citizens of Palestine outnumbered Jewish ones by a ration of about 2:1, the number of Jewish citizens still being less than the number of Arab ones there had been at the start of the Mandate).     ←   ZScarpia   12:48, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ מאיר פעיל ופנחס יורמן, מבחן התנועה הציונית 1931-1948: מרות ההנהגה המדינית מול הפורשים, הוצאת צ'ריקובר, 2003