Talk:United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Explanation of revert

I'm reverting to the last version before Dailycare's recent changes. Here are the changes and why I think they should be reverted:

  1. Addition of the description "a respected international jurist" to Goldstone in lead. Inherently subjective superlatives such as "respected" do not belong in the voice of an encyclopedia article, certainly not in the lead.
  2. Removal from lead of sentence describing US House of Representatives resolution on the report. The US is the world's second largest democracy, making the House of Representatives one of the largest elected groups in the world in terms of number of people it represents. That this group would pass a resolution specifically responding to a particular report is highly notable. Additionally, the US is one of the few veto-wielding nations in the UNSC and is the largest financial contributor to the UN, and is thus extra notable in UN-related articles.
  3. Removal from lead of sentence on in-depth analyses of the report. This makes the corresponding section of the article not represented in the lead. As I said, in-depth analyses are by their very nature important, certainly more so than the non-analytical responses such as op-eds, etc. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 22:49, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Responding to the above, I've restored the "respected" line to the lead (see edit comment for reasoning), and also restored the parts of Jalopenos' revert that were not explained above (WP:REVERT stipulates reverts must be explained). Concerning the US House resolution, it's a notable event which is grounds for mentioning it in the article. It is not grounds for mentioning it in the lead, however, since this article should be primarily about the UN fact-finding mission and the lead reserved for material directly relevant to it. Hijacking the article to deal with criticism of the Goldstone report is what's meant by WP:COATRACK. Concerning the "in-depth analyses", there should be a WP:RS saying they're in-depth. The term "in-depth" occurs now only in the lead and not in the body, so it's at least to me unclear if the characterisation of the analyses as "in-depth" is sourced. Goldstone and Travers say criticism of the report is trivial in nature, so at least they (acknowledgedly they're authors of the report) don't feel the analyses are "in-depth". --Dailycare (talk) 20:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I would agree with dailcare on this. If you don't call Golstone a respected jurist, then you should list all his experience in the field of international law, from which it would be obvious that he should be respected. And the idea that the US house of reps is qualified to vote on the accuracy/repectablity of the report seems close to risible. If the congressmen could prove they had read the report, then they might be qualified. E4mmacro (talk) 02:49, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, the word "respected" is non neutral in tone and makes this article appear biased. I think it has no place unless we source it to an individual (for example, "The law expert Robert Bla, says Goldstone is a highly respected jurist". I also feel that a ruling by the US house of reps is a notable event, regardless of whether they are "qualified" or not . Marokwitz (talk) 08:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Article length

It is seems that we have reached the point wgen we, as editprs, have to stop, editing for a while and thin over the best interest of the encyc. reader. Wikipedae is an encyclopedae, and we all on the same track with that. I always try to look at article from the point of view of an general reader. When I look at this article, I see it being complicated and confusing. This article grew too much. It seems that we have over worked over it, as if we were writing a Phd thesis. Let's cut it down. Let's be more presize and up to the point. I propose the following cuts-in-down and below is how I would liked have seen the article to view like:
I don't quite see a problem with the length yet as long as it is structured. Readers looking for a quick info can simply read the lead/abstract/summary and readers looking for details won't mind the length anyhow.--Kmhkmh (talk) 16:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer that content be edited in the main article, many editors may not follow the talk page so much and in any case I'd prefer to have content removed in small increments (and after discussion) directly from the main page, instead of editing here and then replacing the text to the article. Concerning removals, I think this article concentrates too little on the content of the report and too much on criticism of it from the US and Israel (WP:COATRACK). At least sections concerning "reactions" to the original resolution (which is no longer relevant since the report is ready and includes Hamas) and composition of the team are not IMO notable. --Dailycare (talk) 07:50, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Kmhkm, I think that the sections have to be really shortened or separate articles to be created for example for Reactions and other lengthy sections.-- Jim Fitzgerald post 08:12, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Shortening the section somewhat by outsourcing the current content into main articles might be ok. But just shortening notable quotes or material for such a contentious and somewhat politicized topic will create a lot of problems and their might be intensive edit waring over the availabe space.--Kmhkmh (talk) 05:28, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
"article concentrates too little on the content of the report" - no problem to expand the contents of the report
"the original resolution (which is no longer relevant..." - as stated on several occasions, this entry is about the mission and issues concerning the resolution and mission members may explain at least partly the reasons why Israel chose not to cooperate; "the report is ready and includes Hamas" - show me where does the report condemn Hamas.
"for example for Reactions ..." - this separation is fine, but there was no actual reason to remove the critical issues from the HoR resoultion authors.--Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 10:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
"content": I believe the original editor's point was that the article is getting long, so we'd need to reduce the amount of text instead of increasing it. "Original resolution": this is possible, and can be presented in very compact form. I can do the edit if others are OK with it. "Hamas": see e.g. paragraphs 107-9. "HoR": can you provide the diff of the edit you're discussing? --Dailycare (talk) 16:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Dailycare, I do not mind, if you do edit to shorten the article.-- Jim Fitzgerald post 09:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Neither do I. Look at the amount of material describing the US reaction. Bizarre. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:48, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Dailycare, thanks for taken up the editing. Appreciate! -- Jim Fitzgerald post 09:58, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Gaza Strip map2.svg

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict was an investigative team established by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the Gaza War "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by...Israel against the Palestinian people."[1]

The mission was established on 3 April 2009. Richard Goldstone, a respected international jurist from South Africa,[2] was appointed to head the mission,[1] accompanied by Christine Chinkin of the United Kingdom, Hina Jilani of Pakistan and Desmond Travers of Ireland.[3]

The mission's controversial[4][5][6][7] final report was released 15 September 2009, and accused both Palestinian militants and Israeli Defense Forces of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. It recommended that the sides openly investigate their own conduct and, should they fail to do so, that the allegations to be brought to the International Criminal Court.[8][9] The Israeli government rejected the report as prejudiced and full of errors.[10] Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, initially rejected the report's findings,[11] but then urged world powers to embrace it.[12]

On 16 October 2009, The UNHRC passed a resolution endorsing the report and criticizing Israel, and on 4 November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for independent investigations to be conducted by Israel and Palestinian armed groups on allegations of war crimes described in the report.

This article needs re-thinking

This article is far too long and filled with conjecture and opinion particularly heavy on the smears and ad-hominem attacks on Goldstone et al. An editor recently started the job of cutting out some of the superfluous material, but more has since been added. The article would do well to focus on just the facts, the mission and the report and not the political storm that kicked up around the report. A mere section pointing out that there was a virulent campaign to discredit the report would suffice to provide the reader with the necessary information, rather than peppering the article with comment and opinion. Pexise (talk) 20:15, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

While I tend to agree that the entry is too long, we need to clarify something first. When you say "smears and ad-hominem attacks on Goldstone et al", do you mean like this one? or this one? or maybe this piece of crude zionist propaganda? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, exactly. Pexise (talk) 09:53, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Sceptic, it's easy to fill articles with partisan chatter. It's often very shiny and catchs the eye. Why only today I found myself reading 'ONSLAUGHT: ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON GAZA AND THE RULE OF LAW', the 45 page Report of the National Lawyers Guild delegation to Gaza. It's quite shiny, comprehensive and even has a pretty picture of the obliterated American International School in Gaza on the cover. We can't keep adding anything that catchs our eye to articles especially bloated ones like this one. Establishing notability for the information itself is an obvious requirement but Pexise's appeal to work at the meta level rather than the filling the article with chatter level makes a lot of sense. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

"rather than the filling the article with chatter level" - fine, let's move all the uninvolved governments' reactions to the separate article. But that does not and should not mean that the entry should be stripped of all the criticism of the report. And when Goldstone, Travers and Pexise say that "not a glove has been landed on the report itself" and dismiss this as "smears and ad-hominem attacks on Goldstone et al" (despite words "have the utmost respect for Justice Goldstone"...) - allow me to disagree and to do everything in my power to keep it there. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 10:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

→I guess the article by Melanie Phillips is doomed, as it would certainly be called a partisan pro-hasbara die-hard journalist writing for dubious source, but I can't help posting one short excerpt: " In attempting to discover whether Palestinian civilians were adequately protected by Hamas, Goldstone says delicately (par 35) that the mission "was faced with a certain reluctance by the persons it interviewed in Gaza to discuss the activities of the armed groups". A ‘certain reluctance,’ eh? Like a ‘certain reluctance’ to be thrown off the top of a tall building?" --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:42, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

User:Sceptic Ashdod - are you sure you are able to edit this article in an objective, neutral way? Pexise (talk) 16:13, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Find an uninvolved administrator prepared to look at the work of this editor in the context of improving the article. Diffs like that one and this make it unlikely that User:Sceptic Ashdod is a fit person to be editting. 86.159.247.180 (talk) 18:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Not only is Sceptic fit to be editing, he is one of the people who has contributed most to this article. I suggest you guys move on to other avenues, such as, I don't know, contributing to the article. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 19:20, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't be unfair. This is a talk page. Editors on WP are entitled to their opinion, as long as their edits in article space are constructive and unbiased. --Marokwitz (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that this article is littered with opinion and conjecture which obscure the facts about the mission and the report. I think higher standards should be applied regarding what is notable and what is not. For example, I would suggest that the official Israeli government position regarding the report is notable and important, while the views of the South African chief Rabbi are not. Perhaps we can come up with some criteria? Pexise (talk) 00:07, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we can come up with any criteria as long as we have diametrally opposed views on the meaning of the words like "smear" and "ad-hominem attacks". I also don't think that neither encyclopedian entry on Goldstone (see e.g. HuffPo latest) nor entry on his report should be depleted of criticism. If anyone is looking into the list of Israeli war crimes - encyclopedia is not the best place for it.
I also don't think that, based on this edit, Pexise is more fit or impartial or constructive to edit this entry than me. Finally, if anyone will look at my work on this entry, don't miss the fact that it was me who started subsections on the 3 most notable incidents described in the report and included the repots findings on them (and the criticism on the findings too). --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:18, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
User:Sceptic Ashdod - thank you for pointing out that it was you who started the sub-sections on the notable incidents - those are important elements in the article. However, the report from the JCPA is really over-represented in these sections. The JCPA is a clearly partisan organisation made up of ex-Israeli military and diplomats. You must either state that fact, or cut down the representation of their views. Pexise (talk) 09:31, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
You charge report's critics with "smear" and "ad-hominem" attacks, yet all your arguments come down to exactly the same - labelling. Be it UN Watch or JCPA, they must be partisan and thus unreliable, unnotable, not trustworthy etc. However, in this particular case, it is enough to recall that the original The Forward article chose this pattern to confront Goldstone defending the report with the Halevi analyses, making the latter notable enough to qualify for this entry. You want to add some details or quote some important info from the report or from other publications regarding this incident? - go ahead, if these are important details no-one will object.
Now about the personnel employed by JCPA. How about reminding the readers that Human Rights Watch MidEast department is filled with personnel with strong anti-Israeli background (before joining HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson was on the steering committee of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), an organization heavily involved in pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activity; Joe Stork, the man behind "White Flag Deaths" report, was a founder and editor of the radical and postcolonial MERIP; Garlasco with his somewhat bizare for the human-rights activist hobby) each time HRW is mentioned in articles dealing with Israel? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 16:21, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
User:Sceptic Ashdod - your reasoning here is really confused. I am not making an ad-hominem attack against the JCPA, in fact I know very little about the organisation, I am merely pointing out that they are a particularly partisan source. The fact that I can identify that they are heavily partisan with just a few clicks on their webpage really shows how self-evident this is. Nearly all of their members have worked as high ranking officials in either the IDF or the Israeli Foreign Ministry - two institutions that are under investigation by the mission - I hardly expect them to be objective in this case.
Regarding your ad-hominem attack against HRW, the evidence you provide against Sarah Leah Whitson is very questionable. Though I know little of the ADC, it is a particularly unfortunate leap of logic to suggest that because an organisation is pro-Palestinian it must also be anti-Israel. Pexise (talk) 23:50, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I merely tried, Pexise, to put a mirror in front of you, but this is in vain. Your "identifications" and judgements about JCPA and HRW are as irrelevant as mine (especially in the light of your own admission that you know little about both JCPA and the background of HRW MidEast department personnel). The discussion about virtues of JCPA or HRW doesn't belong here. You tried to challenge the inclusion of the Halevi research on the grounds that it is not notable. I reminded you that it is - the original publication on the JCPA cite was reprinted in JPost and quoted in the Forward. This is enough to make it notable. Halevi's lack of objectivity is stated and reflected in the article - the first time he and JCPA is mentioned, its full name (suggesting that it is based in Jerusalem-Israel) and wikilink to the JCPA site is provided. In a single click every reader can see JCPA's personnel, their background and publications. More info about JCPA belongs there, not in this entry. You can install wikilinks to JCPA article every time JCPA is mentioned here if you feel like. Do you think it would be appropriate to write a sentence like "S.L. Whitson, a head of the MidEast HRW department, who was active in supporting the "Caterpillar" boycott campaign against Israel when employed for the HRW..."? Probably not, even though this info belongs to the article about criticism of HRW. Do you think it would be appropriate to write a sentence like "Organisation of Islamic Conference, that strongly objected any move against Sudanese government, was a trigger that started the Goldstone comission"? Probably not. Do you think it would be appropriate to write a sentence like "Mary Robinson, a mastermind of the infamous Durban I conference..."? Probably not. So pls make a distinction between your personal opinions and encyclopedia policies. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:33, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Once again your reasoning here is over-simplistic, you seem to follow a logic pattern of "with us or against us", which is most unfortunate. Human Rights Watch has built up a reputation over many years as an organisation which produces excellent, non-partisan reports and observations from a human rights point of view, not a pro-Palestinian, ant-Israel point of view. In fact, they have also been accused of being anti-Arab in the past. Pexise (talk) 11:09, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say a single word in my post about HRW. I merely ask you to stop using automatic labelling when you act as a wiki editor. If you want to discuss qualities of HRW's "excellent, non-partisan reports" about Gaza War, they are included in the International Law and the Gaza War article, you are welcome to discuss them there. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:24, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • To quote your previous posts: "How about reminding the readers that Human Rights Watch MidEast department is filled with personnel with strong anti-Israeli background" and "S.L. Whitson, a head of the MidEast HRW department, who was active in supporting the "Caterpillar" boycott campaign against Israel when employed for the HRW...". That's more than a single word about HRW. Pexise (talk) 11:32, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
You know, it's strange - you say English is your native tongue, but still you don't understand what I'm saying. Is my English so bad? I gave you several examples of sentences that would be inappropriate for wiki, they do not reflect my views on anything. The examples were crafted in such a manner that would most certainly conflict with your own views, but that's it. The point: the moment you start labelling (as you tried with JCPA) - expect the ricochet. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 14:39, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but you seem to have missed the point of my argument - your equivalence between the two examples (JCPA and HRW) is erroneous. HRW is independent of the investigation, regarless of any real or supposed criticism. JCPA is very, directly linked to one of the governments under investigation by the mission, therefore there is duty to inform the reader about this. Pexise (talk) 17:57, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
No, Pexise, what you dismiss as erroneous I find perfectly logical. HRW is not necessarily independant, since there are indications that its MidEast department is occupied by personnel with very clear agenda; JCPA is not directly linked to the government (at least not directly, maybe indirectly, who knows) - it is an NGO think-tank. "there is duty to inform the reader" - the reader is informed that Halevi comes from Jerusalem-based NGO, I don't even mind mentioning that he is colonel in reserve; there is a wikilink. That settles it. Finally, for one last time, it is not about making equations (how do you compare Roger Federer and LA Clippers?) - it is about notability for including in the article. Is Halevi's analyses notable enough to be included? Yes. Should his analyses be properly attributed? Yes. Is it properly attributed now? I think you and Dailycare took it to the absurd level, but these are secondary details and will be worked out eventually. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 19:07, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
The partisanship of Sceptic is obviously way beyond what should be tolerated in an editor of this article. His presence serves only to waste the time of good-faith editors and stop them from producing a good article. It must be questionable whether he could ever be fit to edit this article, but he could perhaps be invited back when there is an editor from Hamas attempting to push an opposing POV. Diffs such as this probably merit an immediate block. Diffs like this are extremely badly-thought out and are edit-warring. 86.159.247.180 (talk) 13:03, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Enough. Regardless of your opinion you must assume good faith while interacting with other editors. Please stop attacking other editors and focus on the article itself. Marokwitz (talk) 14:51, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Concerning the notability of Noam Chomsky

Here are a few WP:RS characterizing Chomsky:

"World famous intellectual Noam Chomsky is to visit Belfast" http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/belfast-festival/previews/world-famous-intellectual-noam-chomsky-coming-to-belfast-14455396.html

Noam Chomsky, the linguistics professor who has become one of the most outspoken critics of US foreign policy, has won a poll that names him as the world's top public intellectual.

Chomsky, who was underwhelmed by the honour, beat off challenges from Umberto Eco, Richard Dawkins, Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens to win the Prospect/Foreign Policy poll. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/18/books.highereducation
Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 07:36, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I removed that part because I could find no evidence of the notability of the specific opinion expressed by Chomsky that was added to this article. Chomsky himself is of course highly notable but what he said in this instance wasn't picked up by other RS at least as far as I could see. He would no doubt argue that the result is consistent with the propaganda model. This article is full of opinions lacking evidence of notability. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:07, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, actually it doesn't matter for me whether Chomsky is kept in or out, as long as the same criteria is applied to Chomsky vs. Warren Goldstein, Finkelstein vs. Dershowitz. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:16, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
ah, and of course the same criteria should be applied to Anne Bayefsky opinion, who is presented by WSJ as expert on human-rights law and an accredited United Nations observer, whose eviction from UN was also reported by FoxNews. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 10:26, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

President Thabo Mbeki has praised South Africa's new Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein, as a "true nation-builder". Now that the notability of W. Goldstein is established, either keep opinions of notable figures or delete all the specific opinions whose notability cannot be established. Same criteria pls. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 05:50, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly about the keeping or otherwise of Chomsky in this article, however I don't agree that anyone mentioned by Mbeki (who, I recall, also doubts whether HIV causes AIDS) is notable, especially in the context of the Goldstone report. Chomsky is arguably notable in the context of Israeli-US propaganda, which has (unfortunately) become a main topic of this article. We can of course also discuss, if e.g. the "Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs" is notable. --Dailycare (talk) 16:40, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Mbeki's ignorance in AIDS does not make him illegitimate SA president (Foo Fighters support of organization that denies link between HIV and AIDS does not strip them of being one of the most notable rock bands in the US musical scene). Amnesty's ignorance in the geophysics doesn't undermine fact that they called Chomsky "World famous intellectual". Goldstein is the religious leader of the SA Jewish community, the same community that brought up Goldstone. That, together with the fact that his opinion was published in its entirety in JPost, is enough to sustain his notability in the context of the Goldstone report. Next, he holds PhD in human rights law, that makes him fit to make such sort of comments.
JCPA's notability in the context of Goldstone report was extensively discussed with Pexise in one of the sections above. The fact that the analyses, initially published on JCPA site, was reprinted in JPost, then its excerpts were published in Forward and YNET, is enough to establish notability of the analyses in this context. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:09, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Goldstone - judgement vs facts

Do you think it would be appropriate to write that:

"Richard Goldstone, a respected international jurist from South Africa[13], who sent 13-year-old boy to prison for protesting apartheid[14], was appointed to head the mission"

? probably not. It is true that many regard him as a respected jurist. At the same time, taking into account the controversy repored in HuffPost and criticism by R.W. Johnson, I suggest we leave the judgements and controversial facts about him to the entry about Goldstone. Stating these in the lead is inappropriate. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:02, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Regardless of my personal opinion, which is that Goldstone IS most likely a highly respected jurist, I think that words such as "respected" should not be stated as a fact in encyclopedia articles except in direct quotes. "respected" is always a matter of opinion, there is no such thing as a universally "respected" person (at least not politically important individuals). The BBC is a reliable news source but not a reliable source for such matters of opinion. To the simple reader it may sound as if the article is "taking sides" by using peacock words. I'm sure there are many people which are "respected" mentioned in this article but we don't say that in the article, on grounds of objectivity. I vote to remove this word and allow the reader to make his or her own judgement. Alternatively, a direct quote should be used. --Marokwitz (talk) 07:18, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
What I tried to say is that the alternative suggestion would not resolve anything - one will directly quote a positive characteristic, another will come up with a negative one. All this should be removed from here to the entry dealing with Goldstone himself and a wikilink redirecting there is enough (it is also a sort of statement that the man is notable). --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:57, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
A quote is OK, in my view, since the reader would understand this is somebody's personal view and not the supposedly unbiased view of the encyclopedia. But I don't feel strongly about it. --Marokwitz (talk) 10:08, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Sceptic - you are once again pushing a WP:FRINGE view here by quoting a blog. Pexise (talk) 10:48, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Pexise, you made 3 mistakes in one sentence. (1) "quoting a blog" - HuffPost is not just a blog (btw, it is already cited in the article) and I think you know it. Moreover, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is definitely not a blog. Furthemore, R.W. Johnson's criticism was republished by Times which is, you know... (2) "you" - my concerns are shared by Marokwitz, who seems like totally neutral editor (3)"once again pushing a WP:FRINGE view" - take me to administrator if I am a "fringe views pusher"; anyway, this case of challenging insert of opinion is definitely not anything fringe. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:15, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The issue of the 13 year old in South Africa has nothing to do with this article.
  • No mainstream source has even mentioned it, and the view in HuffPost seems to be a particularly incomplete account (classic smear-tactics). Goldstone is generally considered to have been a key figure in the transition from Apartheid to democracy, to suggest otherwise would require much more than a single, low-profile opinion piece in the HuffPost. Pexise (talk) 11:50, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Many, many RS describe Goldstone using the term 'respected'. That is why we can describe him as respected. It is overwhelmingly validated by the evidence available to us and therefore complies with both WP:V, WP:NPOV and is not a peacock term. It is simply saying what the sources say. It's an important piece of information, important enough for numerous RS to include. As WP:PEA says, we are not meant to hid important things. It's an opinion in the same way that 'successful', 'important', 'wealthy' are opinions. They're adjectives describing things that can be measured about which there is a common, broad understanding of the catagorization used. Well sourced terms like these are used throughout Wikipedia. If we quote, which of the hundreds of RS sources do we quote ? If hundreds of RS described him by saying something like 'notable for sending a 13-year-old boy to prison for protesting apartheid' then we could too but they don't. Sceptic, please read the sanctions again. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:57, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Barbara Plett from BBC is not a reliable source regarding the question of whether somebody is respected. I'm sure there were many people respect Obama , Netanyahu , or Mussulini , and citations can be easily found, but we don't describe him as respected in WP because this is a matter of personal judgement and not objective. I propose a vote. Marokwitz (talk) 13:40, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Goldstone is respected at an international jurist, as evident by his particularly distinguished career, acheivements and highly respected postings. Obama, Natanyahu etc, are politicians, hence respected by their supporters, possibly not by their opponents. However, Obama, for example, may be respected as a law professor, for his academic work etc. Pexise (talk) 13:50, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Other evidence of the respect apportioned to Goldstone are the numerous international prizes and awards he has won and the honorary doctorates and degrees he has received from Universities across the world - including from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Pexise (talk) 13:57, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you noticed I never challenged the fact that he is respected, personally I think he is, however I believe that for the sake of objectiveness it is wrong to use such words in this article. They taint the entire article as biased. You could just as easily add that he is an professional, intelligent and just jurist. However despite it is most likely the truth, that would be obviously not a right choice for an encyclopedia. If such words used, there should be a reliable source cited and preferably quoted (and the personal opinion of one reporter is not considered reliable enough). If you can find a proper quote it would make this article appear much more objective. Marokwitz (talk) 14:28, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Here are 2 quotes about Goldstone: Alex Whiting, a professor at Harvard law school, called Goldstone "supremely qualified" for such an investigation; Irwin Cotler, one of the most notable critics of the mission, wrote that "if one wanted to have a distinguished person to head up an inquiry into the events of the Gaza war, Richard Goldstone would be a natural candidate... he brings to the table a special expertise and experience on matters at the intersection of international human rights law and international humanitarian law". And I can easily find the words of ADL president who said similar things about Goldstone. All these are valuable encyclopedic info for the entry about Goldstone. It is also conceivable to use some descriptive sentences about him in the particular section about him.
So indeed most agree that he IS respected lawyer. The dispute here, as Marokwitz tries to say, is not about whether he is a respected lawyer or not - the dispute is whether it is appropriate to use this wording in the lead. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 15:22, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
That's totally acceptable in my view - remove from the lead, and substitute one or both of these quotes showing his excellent reputation and qualifications. Can we reach a consensus and end the dispute ? 16:41, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
There is no policy based dispute because no policy based arguments have been presented to justify removing the word 'respected'. Hundreds of RS use 'respected' in their 'leads' on Goldstone. Not one BBC source, hundreds of sources. Just saying what the sources say is Wikipedia's policy based version of objectivity. We say it because they say it. It conveys information about Goldstone that the sources (not us) have decided is important and appropriate. The sources (not us) have taken the decision whether to include or exclude this term. Imposing an editorial model of objectivity on an article that excludes information based on personal views about words is inconsistent with policy and inconsistent with the model of objective (but actually subjective) reality presented by our sources which is the only one that matters. Since respected seems to be the word of choice in the sources I suggest we stick with it and add citations since it is likely to be challenged over and over again. Replacing a representative term from hundreds of sources with a specific quote from one source doesn't make sense in my view and is inconsistent with WP:DUE. This information should also be present in the section about him. Sean.hoyland - talk 18:05, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Concentrate, Sean. The question is not whether there are enough sources to write that Goldstone is respected jurist. The question is whether this word is included in the lead. A presumably neutral editor, Marokwitz, expressed concern saying that this word in the lead might compromise objectivity of the entry in the eyes of the reader. Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 19:17, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
You ignored everything I said that addressed exactly this point about source-based objectivity. That's fine but don't expect me to repeat myself. Sean.hoyland - talk 02:36, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Some sources use the term for Goldstone, most don't, some use other terms. Since "respected" is an inherently subjective term, writing it using the voice of the article violates WP:NPOV. It's also a typical violation of WP:PEACOCK - it's even in the list of peacock terms. Finally, since it doesn't contribute anything, and since brevity is required in the lead, it violates WP:LEAD. Those fighting to include it should think of the consequences if editors with other POVs started to scour sources for terms like that to and use them. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 20:49, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
How about changing "respected" to "venerated"? This would encapsulate his many awards and honours. Pexise (talk) 23:40, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but that's nonsense. Deciding that belligerents have commited war crimes is also an inherently subjective decision. Deciding to report that information is an inherently subjective decision by the sources. Should we exclude that too ? Terms like 'The mission's controversial[5][6][7][8] final report' are no different from 'respected'. WP:PEACOCK is there to prevent editors from using inappropriate, unsourced terms (i.e. information that is inconsistent with sources) and to prevent editors from hiding important information. Hiding important information and editorializing by information exclusion is a violation of NPOV. In this case we have an abundance of sources that support this term and it's weight is verifiable through it's widespread usage. Those fighting to exclude it should think of the consequences of allowing editors to exclude information deemed as important by sources. Inclusion has nothing to do with editors POV. It is the POV of the sources. A peacock really does have plumage. It's an observable feature of the bird that is notable and widely reported on. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:18, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
You are simply not listening. Nobody is trying to "hide" or "exclude" facts. In fact we (I hope I am speaking for rest) are in favor of including direct quotes that would establish that Goldstone is respected. We are only opposed to using the word "respected" in the lead section since it would makes the entire article appear biased. How is that hiding or excluding information? By the way the word controversial is quite different since it doesn't have neither negative or positive tone. Controversial is a factual term, which states that there is an ongoing controversy. Marokwitz (talk) 06:26, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Is anyone actually reading what I'm writing and noticing that I'm addressing the points that have been raised by referring to policies or is it okay now in Wikipedia to simply make unsupported assertions about the mental state of individuals that results from encountering the word 'respected' in an article ? Wiki-editorial opinions about words are irrelevant. We are not reliable sources. Voicing non-policy based personal opinions about appearences is a waste of time. Using a term that is used extensively in sources does not make something biased nor does it make it a peacock term. You or I thinking a word is biased is of no importance whatsoever. Neutrality is reflecting and providing due weight to what sources say and regard as important. These issues come up all the time in Wikipedia. 'Occupied' (a legal consensus opinion) is biased, 'Israeli settlement' (a governmental/transnational org descriptive opinion) is biased, 'Evolved' (a scientific consensus opinion) is biased. The list is endless with people trying to impose their personal models of what is bias on Wikipedia instead of simply following policy. Controversial is not 'quite different' at all. It's simply reflecting what the sources say. Whether 'respected' has a negative or positive tone is not our concern because it is the word used by many, many sources and our role is to simply reflect the sources. I don't know why or how they picked that word (lack of imagination perhaps), I don't know whether it is true and I don't care. If you are in favor of including direct quotes that would establish that Goldstone is respected according to sources simply put 'respected' in quotes in the lead. If it appears biased to you that is your problem not wikipedia's. Sean.hoyland - talk 07:35, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so lets go your way and add in the reputation of ALL the team members to the heading section, and put them in quotes as you suggested. That would at least make the WP:PEACOCK and WP:LEAD policy violations at least more obvious to the reader. I'm sure you won't object the following edit?

The mission was established on 3 April 2009, by the President of the UNHRC. Richard Goldstone, a "respected" international jurist from South Africa[15] was appointed to head the mission,[1] accompanied by internationally "respected" Christine Chinkin[16] of the United Kingdom, "highly respected" Hina Jilani[17] of Pakistan and "well-established expert with strong reputation"[18] Desmond Travers of Ireland.[3] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marokwitz (talkcontribs) 08:26, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

See strawman. If large numbers of sources said those things then so should we but they didn't. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:06, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Sean, I'm reading what you're saying, and it seems to boil down to this. 1. Those who disagree with you are ignoring WP policy, while you are following it. Response: It's not clear which policy you are claiming to follow. Is it WP:NPOV? That policy certainly doesn't require or encourage us to copy any superlative used in reliable sources. Conversely, I have argued above that your position is inconsistent with WP:NPOV, WP:PEACOCK andWP:LEAD. 2. The reliable sources tend to use the word "respected" for Goldstone, so we should, too. Response: I disagree with both parts of this argument. First, you haven't demonstrated that a majority or even a significant minority of RSs use the term. I just checked and it seems that not even a significant minority do. Second, we as an encyclopedia should not necessarily do everything the media (which comprises the vast majority of RSs in this case) does. For example, we should stay away from inherently subjective terms (as WP:PEACOCK tells us to do), even though the media often indulges itself in them. "Respected" is as inherently subjective as its antonyms, "disrespected" and "scorned", since they all describe feelings. "Lauded" and "condemned", not so much, since they describe speech/writing and occassionally actions. Another example would be "discredited", often used by RSs to describe the United Nations Human Rights Commission. I wonder if you would support using that term, in the voice of the article, in the lead of every article where the UNHRC is prominent. I might, because of the distinction I just drew. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 23:25, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Jalapenos, I'll give you 2 responses, one my personal view on this issue ignoring Wiki policy and another from my perspective as a wiki editor. They are quite different.
  • My personal view is that I don't care whether it's there or not. I don't think it's important and I don't think it contains useful information that increases a reader's understanding. Terms like 'respected' are pretty meaningless in a global encyclopedia and my preference would be to exclude it along with all of the other non-factual information that is meaningless, subjective and uninformative.
  • My view as a wiki editor is different. A great deal of this article is made up of uninformative opinion for which no evidence whatsoever has been presented to justify it's presence in the article. These are large sections of text not just one word. In contrast, the term 'respected' is one of those rare occasions where a large number of media sources appear to have decided that this term is worthy of mention, one that even includes JPost. So, to address your point 1., which policies am I claiming to follow ? WP:V compliance, WP:DUE because the sources have decided to highlight this aspect of Goldstone, WP:NPOV because neutrality is just reflecting what the sources say without imposing our views on the terminology they use and WP:PEACOCK because this is not a peacock term, it's not a superlative, it's a sourced term that many, many RS have conciously decided to use (just like they would for other people like Picasso etc which incidentally I also think is meaningless) and we are meant to convey information that sources deem important (i.e. not hid important information). To address your point 2., yes it's true that I haven't carried out a systematic study of the distribution of this term in sources but then that is true of other terms like 'controversial'. 'militant', 'islamist'. Consequently I can't make a definitive statement about the usage of the term 'respected'. However, it is abundantly clear that it's usage is very widespread (presumably because he is respected which is apparently important for some reason). As I said even Jpost used it. I would like to point out a fundamental flaw in your model of my approach. The terms 'Goldstone' and 'United Nations Human Rights Commission' are just strings of letters to me. They elicit no emotional response in me. That is because I am a sociopathic bastard. I would have no problem applying the same rules to any string of letters that represented something in the real world in any article throughout wikipedia. In fact I wish that Wikipedia worked like that so that the futile ethnic/political/religious subjective battles that go on here could be minimised.
What I find particularly frustrating as a wiki editor is the double think and double or perhaps lack of standards in these matters. Why for example are you and Marokwitz not applying the same approach to the situation in the lead where the Israeli government is simply described as the 'Israeli government' whereas Hamas are described as 'The militant Islamic group Hamas'. This makes no sense to me whatsoever and again 'Israeli government' and 'Hamas' are just strings of letters representing sets of people that I don't care about. Why not treat them the same ? What is the difference between 'The militant Islamic group' and 'respected' ? Why not 'hawkish, right wing Likud led Israeli government' and 'The militant Islamic group Hamas' ? What decision procedure are you using to decide when a string of letters contains information worthy of inclusion ? If we are going to drop 'respected' then let's drop 'The militant Islamic group'. Let's try to remove subjective information from the article unless there is an abundance of evidence to support it's inclusion. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:26, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
The difference between Hamas and the Israeli government is that Israel is a country, so we can assume people know what it is, whereas Hamas is not a country, many people don't know what it is, and so it has to be explained. "Militant Islamist Palestinian" is a very reserved description, erring on the side of caution. Britannica and Encarta, for example, use the word "terrorist" to describe the group. You may be interested in reading my user page, where I talk about the danger of double standards and ask others to help me avoid them. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 23:37, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
While i don't agree with User talk:Sean.hoyland reading of WP policies (if you take all those to an extreme they are not workable and do not match any ecyclopedia in the real world), he does however have a point here. Hamas could be described simply as the defacto government of Gaza, which solves the "reader does not know the term"-problem fine. Of course the reader may not be aware of hamas' nature, but that argument can be made as User talk:Sean.hoyland pointed out correctly for the Israeli goverment as well. In fact my bets might be on the average reader knowing more about Hamas' true nature than that of the Israeli government or its policies.--Kmhkmh (talk) 06:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Saying "the de-facto government in Gaza" would run into the same problem of readers not understanding us. Also, Hamas is not the same as the de-facto governemnt, and the response seems to have come from Hamas rather than the de-facto government. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 11:29, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Who has been asked ?

"independent investigations to be conducted by Israel and Palestinian armed groups " Can this be clarified? It sounds like an oxymoron. Rich Farmbrough, 12:53, 24 November 2009 (UTC).

One would hope that there is an independent judiciary in these countries which could carry them out, as opposed to the military investigations carried out by Israel so far (not independent as the military are investigating themselves). There are international standards for this. Pexise (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

US congress in the lead

I agree that the US congress non-binding resolution is notable, and should be included in the article, however, I have seen no justification that it should be in the lead. Since it is non-binding, it is surely a minor development, so why include it in the lead? What's more, it's an international report, so let's deal with international reactions - if the US vetoes the report in the UNSC, that would belong in the lead. Pexise (talk) 09:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

This has already been discussed. The UNGA resolution is also "non-binding". The US House of Representatives is one of the largest bodies in the world in terms of the number of people it represents, and it is very notable that it passed a resolution dealing with a particular UNHRC report. Further, US institutions have additional notability in UN-related articles because of the US, as you note, has an especially central position in the UN. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 11:36, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me - the US congress is one of the largest bodies in the world in terms of people it represents? The population of the US is approx 300million. What about the Indian Parliament which represents 1.2 billion - nearly one billion more people than the US congress? The UN General Assembly represents over 6 billion people - 20 times as many as the US congress.
But that's besides the point - the report deals with international law, so why favour the opinion of one nation out of the over 190 nations in the world and include them in the lead? Pexise (talk) 14:43, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Do you understand what "one of" means? You are correct that the Indian parliament represents more people, and if they passed a resolution dealing with a particular UNHRC report, that would also be lead-worthy, even though India (unlike the US) is not one of the most important players, the largest financial contributor or the most powerful democracy in the UN. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 17:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Other bodies that represent more people than the US Congress:
European Union: 500 million
African Union: 1 billion
UNASUR: 387.948 million
Chinese National People's Congress: 1.345 billion
UN General Assembly: over 6.5 billion. Pexise (talk) 19:06, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Numbers do not equate notability or reputation.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 02:17, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. So - is a non-binding resolution from the US House of Representatives notable? Pexise (talk) 09:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Pexise is convincing, let's get rid of US House reference from the lead section.-- Jim Fitzgerald post 13:12, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
The Chinese National People's Congress does not represent the populace of China since it is not elected by them. UNASUR is simply an economic organization. The UNGA and EU, like the US HOR, do in fact represent enough people to be in the lead: the UNGA is there already, and the EU will be if it adopts a resolution on the report. The AU is formed by a mix of democratic and non-democratic states - all in all it might represent enough people to be in the lead. As noted more than once, the US HOR is, in UN matters, notable even beyond its represented population because of the US's central role in the UN. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 19:29, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, but I still don't see how these numbers equate to notability. My illustrative examples were to show that while the US population is large, but it's still less than 5% of the world's population. I don't think that you can decide arbitrarily which countries/bodies "represent enough people to be in the lead" - what is your criteria?
  • The report is a UN report about Israel and Palestine. The position of the US government is important and notable, but it is already mentioned once in the lead, why is it notable to also mention a non-binding resolution from the US HoR?
  • By the way, UNASUR is not simply an economic organisation, it is an intergovernmental union. Pexise (talk) 21:14, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
The report is a UN report about Israel and Palestine - exactly, and that is what makes a US HOR resolution so extraordinary event. If any other country or union makes similar step it would be worthy of notice. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 04:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Undue prominence of UN Watch comments at 12th Special Session of the Human Rights Council

Colonel Richard Kemp's comments are presented in the Military commentators section. His comments on behalf of NGO UN Watch were made at the twelfth Special Session of the Human Rights Council in October. Other speakers at that session included..

  • Turkey, the League of Arab States, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Costa Rica, the African Union, Maldives, Panama, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Iceland, Morocco, Canada, Australia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Switzerland, Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'Amitié entre les peoples, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man, Human Rights Watch, Action Canada for Population and Development, Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, International Commission of Jurists, ADALAH – Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, B'nai B'rith International, Union of Arab Jurists, North South XXI, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, World Union for Progressive Judaism, international Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the International Committee For The Respect and Application Of The African Charter On Human Rights And People's Rights, the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, Israel, Palestine, United States, Chile, Slovenia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Norway, Mexico, India, Slovakia, Belgium, the Russian Federation, China, the Netherlands, Italy and Algeria.

So, just looking at the NGOs, UN Watch were one out of twenty NGOs that made statements at the session. This suggests that his comments have undue weight in this article and are presented out of context. What should be done ? Sean.hoyland - talk 06:05, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Were other NGOs speaches at this session reported in news? Who were the speakers? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:26, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
All statements were documented in the UNHRC press release (linked to above) for the special session. I don't know what was reported in news. I guess it's an editorial decision as to whether this article should include a unified section on the special session that dealt with the subject of this article based on the UNHRC press release or whether it should deal separately with individual pieces of information that came from the special session based on press reports. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:59, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't get it. Kemp's comment (placed in Military commentators section) related to the report would have undue weight in the following cases: either there are numerous other military commentators saying the opposite, or statements from other NGOs were reported massively in various RSs making them more notable than this one (Kemp-UN Watch statement was reported in JPost). Finally, Swiss ambassador's words at the session are covered in the article (their notability is demonstrated by its source) - would you argue there is an undue weight problem here too? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:49, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Read Begging the question to see what is wrong with "either there are numerous other military commentators saying the opposite" and my previous answer addressed "statements from other NGOs were reported massively in various RSs" i.e. the bit that says "it's an editorial decision as to whether..". Sean.hoyland - talk 12:11, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes you are too sophisticated for my poor brains. My personal editorial decision says that when a statement/opinion is cited in RS and it has a unique/valuable encyclopedian point, it should be included. As for my previous post, I didn't make a search so I don't know the answer. I say with all the sincerity - if multiple RSs reprinted other statements from the session and Kemp is nothing but a small percent, then your concerns are valid. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 14:03, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

UN Watch

UN Watch must be described as pro-Israel. Not to do so is deeply ingenuous - one of it's main activities is to criticise the UN's treatment of Israel. Pexise (talk) 09:33, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

You don't have to be "pro-Israel" to criticise the UN's treatment of Israel (recall Mary Robinson for one). I have a suggestion. Go to UN Human Rights Council site, find all the resolutions it issued since its inception in 2006 and return with the results. If the number of the resolutions devoted to Israelis-Palestinians is reasonably proportionate to other ongoing conflicts in the world (e.g. Kurds-Turks, Darfur, Sri-Lanka, China-Tibet, DR Congo, NATO-Afghanistan, etc.), I'll adopt your suggestion. If however the numbers will clearly and unequivocally indicate that the time spent on I-P conflict is by far excessive to all the other occurrences in the world, you'll adopt mine version - which is UN Watch, internationally acclaimed human rights watchdog. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I think if you want to prove a "pro israel"-policy of the UN watch, then from the wikipedia standpoint you simply need several reputable (and reliable) sources stating such a "pro israel"-policy. Personal analysis of UN-watch or the UN human rights council activities is good for a sanity check and for maybe as supporting material but not good for making any such claims in Wikipedia.--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:32, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, Pexise, if you edit your personal opinions into the article without even making an effort to find a supporting reliable source per WP:V, you run the risk of other editors seeing you as an annoyance rather than an asset. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 11:40, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
OK - so UN Watch is not pro-Israel? Pexise (talk) 14:37, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
See the page on UN Watch for a few comments about their policies concerning this issue. --Dailycare (talk) 15:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
If you agree to put a description to UN Human Rights Council, saying that it is a UN body fixated on vilifying Israel, we might have a ground for future discussion. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 17:05, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
OK - so you're saying UN Watch is not pro-Israel? Pexise (talk) 17:09, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that it is UN Watch, internationally acclaimed human rights watchdog. What makes it "pro-Israel" is first and foremost anti-Israeli bias of UN. Apart from that it is totally neutral objective org. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

"UN Watch is an organisation whose main purpose is to attack the United Nations in general, and its human rights council in particular, for alleged bias against Israel. ...

Anyone carrying a hypocrisy detector through the UN would be distracted by its continuous beeping, as one would expect in places filled with politicians and diplomats. But passing UN Watch's office would set it beeping as well. If the organization could point to a single occasion when it had condemned manifest Israeli transgressions of the human rights of Palestinians, it would give itself a secure platform from which to criticize the Human Rights Council. UN Watch rightly criticizes Sudan's refusal to let in a human rights council delegation into Darfur. But then how, with a straight face, can it avoid criticizing Israel for refusing to allow in rapporteurs from the same council?"Pexise (talk) 15:15, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
...Published in Comment is Free. Nothing more and nothing less. An opinion of a single person (maybe notable, I don't know), not a statement of fact by RS. I posted above an example of a statement of fact by RS and there are dozens like it. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 03:46, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Which "statement of fact by an RS" supported by dozens of other RS were you referring to, Goldstone is a "respected South African international law expert", Hamas are a "militant Islamist Palestinian movement" or that UN Watch are an "internationally acclaimed human rights watchdog" ? None of these are statements of fact as far as I'm concerned. They're all classifications based on sets of opinions. Sean.hoyland - talk 02:23, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
'They're all classifications based on sets of opinions.' - correct. The question is where is the threshold to include such an opinion as a description in encyclopedic article. So far, arguments in favor of describing UN Watch as "pro-Israel" are based solely on the common sense of some editors and one private opinion published in CiF. I think that an opinion of AFP would take precedence in such case, and I can come with dozens of such descriptions from major news outlets. I don't because I don't push describing UN Watch beyond what is already in the entry. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 03:43, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Concerning the respectability of Goldstone

Here are a few WP:RS that are on record (links provided below) saying Goldstone is "respected", "distinguished" or something to that effect: The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Jewish Forward, Jimmy Carter writing in NYT, the American Bar Association, Huffington Post, Haaretz, Washington Post, CNN ("chief UN prosecutor", slightly different), the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Radio France Internationale and the Jerusalem Post. Of course, we already have the BBC and IDF in the article saying the same.

As a further note, Goldstone was obviously asked to head the mission specifically because he was a respected figure, and I don't think anyone here genuinely questions he is a respected figure. One wonders, why the term (which has been sourced all along) has been repeatedly removed from the article.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/gaza-war-israel-palestinians-background ("respected")
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/21/war-crimes-white-wash ("respected")
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/09/gaza-hugo-chavez ("respected")
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/may/28/1 ("respected")

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article860805.ece :"distinguished"
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ghost-of-nuremberg-will-haunt-tribunal-there-are-no-victors-in-yugoslavias-war-therefore-no-victors-justice-judge-goldstone-tells-robert-block-in-the-hague-1445002.html ("one of South Africa's most respected judges")
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/first-catch-you-r-war-criminal-1617609.html ("a widely respected South African judge")
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-cabinet-split-over-calls-for-war-inquiry-1806267.html ("a respected former South African Supreme Court judge")
http://www.forward.com/articles/114867/ ("widely respected")
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/opinion/06iht-edcarter.html (Jimmy Carter calls Goldstone "one of the world’s most widely respected jurists")
In 1994, Goldstone received the International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/03/un-israelgaza-investigati_n_182693.html ("widely respected")
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=1115283&contrassID=0&subContrassID=0 ("widely respected ")
Washington Post Nov. 15, 2009 "War unchecked : The U.N.'s Goldstone commission missed a chance to promote accountability on 21st-century battlefields." uses "respected".
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/11/geneva.conventions.anniversary/index.html ("chief U.N. prosecutor for war crimes")
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/425c2276-bcdb-11de-a7ec-00144feab49a.html ("distinguished")
LA Times: "Clinton meeting with Palestinian, Israeli leaders in effort to restart peace talks" Oct. 31, 2009 :"A U.N. report by respected South African jurist Richard Goldstone" (Google has a cached version of the article)
http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/118/article_5463.asp ("respected")
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238562901063&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull ("respected") --Dailycare (talk) 15:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

No offense, but is this comedy? Goldstone is obviously respected (in the common sense), don't get irritated by smear in connection with the Goldstone report. At least the articles at camera or even the huffington post are such obvious hack jobs, that imho isn't really worth to entertain them.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:33, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This was written in response to this comment above: "First, you haven't demonstrated that a majority or even a significant minority of RSs use the term. I just checked and it seems that not even a significant minority do". Not wanting to rely only on Jalapeno's googling skills, I did 10 minutes' worth of my own. Sean BTW also has a Jerusalem Post article using the term "respected", so to the extent one considers Jerusalem Post a WP:RS it should be added to the list above. --Dailycare (talk) 16:05, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
(edit - added Jerusalem Post link above) --Dailycare (talk) 16:07, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Also, worth noting the following:

The many awards he has received locally and internationally include the International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association (1994) and Honorary Doctorates of Law from the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Natal, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, University of Notre Dame, Maryland University College, Wilfred Laurier in Ontario, the University of Glasgow, the Catholic University of Brabant in Tilburg, the Netherlands, the University of Calgary, Emory University, Princeton University, the University of Wales, Duke University, Bard College, Brandeis University, Bowdoin College and Case Western reserve University. He is an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple, London, an Honorary Fellow of St Johns College, Cambridge, an Honorary Member of the Association of the Bar of New York, and a Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar in 1996, 1998 and co-chaired sessions on International Law in 2001 and 2003. From October to December 2001 he was a visiting professor at the School of Law of the New York University. In October 2006 he shared with Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights.

Pexise (talk) 16:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

You're wasting your time. It is not disputed that many RSs call Goldstone "respected", just as it is not disputed that there are many more RSs that don't. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 17:23, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
If you're now of the opinion that many RS call Goldstone respected, then you've changed your view and in that sense I wasn't wasting my time. --Dailycare (talk) 20:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I never disputed that many RSs call Goldstone respected, nor did anyone else. However, you still haven't shown what is special about this particular case that should make us ignore WP:PEACOCK and standard encyclopedic style for it. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 18:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes you did, above you state that "not even a significant minority" of RS say Goldstone is respected. As noted, WP:PEACOCK applies to "unsourced or unexplained" terms. Since we have a large number of RS saying Goldstone is respected, it's sourced and not contrary to WP:PEAOCK. --Dailycare (talk) 19:03, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I also said that. Both statements are true, and there is no contradiction between them. WP:PEACOCK is only one of the problems with the use of this term, and it says that words that don't impart verifiable information should not be used. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 19:17, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Since WP:PEACOCK doesn't apply, I suggest you introduce these "other problems" as otherwise you're just wasting everyone's time. We're not going to change the standard for sourcing from "mentioned by respectable sources" to "mentioned by all respectable sources". Not all RS mention Halevi's "talking points" yet you consider them adequately sourced, which I find rather odd. BTW, claiming that "many" is not a "significant minority" is not very ingenious, IMO. --Dailycare (talk) 17:45, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

<- I think the reason this is happening is that the arguments being used in this instance and related instances are unconvincing. They don't make sense. On the one hand we have the notion that many people may not know who Hamas are so we tell them who they are. Let's look at 3 sources.

  • according to Encata they're "a fundamentalist Islamic Palestinian organization supporting and engaging in resistance to Israel in the Israeli-occupied territories"
  • according to Britannica a "militant Palestinian Islamic movement...dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian Islamic state"
  • according to the Columbia Encyclopedia "a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization" which "seeks to establish an Islamic state in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip (the former mandate of Palestine)."

Let's pick Britannica as that is close to what we are saying.

On the other hand many people may not know who Goldstone is. Let's pick a random academic source.

  • apparently he's a "respected South African international law expert" according to the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations (in conjunction with UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Israel Studies Program, and UCLA School of Law International Human Rights Program).

If the intention is to tell people things that they may not know about something then militant=respected expert, Palestinian=South African, Islamic movement=international law and yet telling people about Goldstone is being handled differently. Goldstone is a respected South African international law expert and Hamas are a militant Palestinian Islamic movement. These are not controversial, unsourced peacock/defamatory statements.

As for the sourcing numbers argument (which is apparently only being applied to Goldstone and not Hamas), there will be large numbers of sources that do not describe Hamas this way and simply refer to them as Hamas. There will be a large number of sources that do not describe Goldstone this way and simply refer to him as Goldstone. The sources that simply say Hamas and Goldstone don't negate or diminish the existing evidence that the descriptions are verfiable. Defence lawyers can't get the forensic evidence against their clients dismissed by pointing to all of the places in the universe where no forensic evidence relating to the crime was collected. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

The main question is, since "respected" is not a typical encyclopedic term, and since it's clear that the vast majority of RS's don't use it for Goldstone, why is it so important to some to use it, and in the lead no less? To me, it's starting to look more and more like it's because that term promotes a particular POV. I'm glad, for example, that those with anti-Hamas POVs haven't tried to put in the lead that it is an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. They could have put that in, as well as many more unsavory facts about the group, since, as you note, Britannica - an RS - says them. If the pro-Goldstones can put in an inherently subjective peacock term that is generally eschewed by encyclopedias, why shouldn't the anti-Hamases put in a description of a group's raison d'etre as stated by Britannica? It's that type of situation I'm trying to avoid. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 19:51, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
  • A side issue, and not one to be discussed here, but Hamas is not dedicated to the destruction of Israel - they actually advocate a two state solution based on 1967 borders (see: for example). So, that is not a fact about the group. Pexise (talk) 20:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
No, Pexise, they don't. This is what is called a selective reading. "Hamas seeks the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza based on their borders before the Six Day War". Not a word about 2-state solution. And later in the text: "Meshal vowed Hamas would not recognize Israel's right to exist...". Btw, did you notice a description "Islamist militant organization" next to a "long-term truce"? I think of adding it to the lead. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 03:36, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Undue prominence of JCPA

{{rfctag}} I think that the criticisms of JCPA are given undue prominence by being placed in each section about the specific incidents dealt with in the report. I would suggest that each incident be dealt with on it's own, just dealing with the facts stated in the report. A separate criticism section afterwards could then compile all of the JCPA criticisms. At the moment each section just contains a lengthy portion devoted to JCPA criticism which makes JCPA seem as important as the report itself. Pexise (talk) 23:54, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't see reason to separate the specific incidents' findings and conclusions and the criticism of those findings and conclusions. The mission and its report is not absolute truth, not even a court. It's a fact-finding mission and some question the veracity of those particular facts it found. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 16:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
But the article is about the fact finding mission, so that should take precedence. I would like to know what other editors think. Pexise (talk) 16:55, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree, the article already features the Israeli government's objections to the report, and JCPA appears to be an Israeli source closely associated with the Israeli government/establishment that's echoing the government line. --Dailycare (talk) 19:42, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand how due weight has been established for the JCPA information in the first place. The prominence of their views in terms of article real estate is simply a consequence of the absence of the information from numerous other reliable published sources that examined these events using teams on the ground in Gaza before the fact finding mission even arrived. Shouldn't they all be represented equally or all be excluded ? Sean.hoyland - talk 20:03, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Halevi's analyses of the mission's findings was published on JCPA site, reprinted in JPost, cited in Forward and related in YNET. If other teams on the ground in Gaza issued relevant publications about reports findings on these specific incidents, they should be included too. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Following your logic, Dailycare, we don't need Goldstone report in wikipedia - Goldstone was until recently a board member of HRW and his report is nothing more but an echo of HRW's damning reports (cited several dozens of times) which are already mentioned in wiki. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:33, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

→The RfC filled by Pexise should be aborted. WP:RFC says in bullet #3: "Include a brief, neutral statement of the issue below the template". However, the statement saying "I think that the criticisms of JCPA are given undue prominence by being placed in each section about the specific incidents dealt with in the report" is not neutral and prejudices the outcome. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:59, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Editors are quite free to agree or disagree with my original suggestion. Furthermore, you have commented directly below with a statement of your position. I think people are quite able to make their own minds up here. Pexise (talk) 11:04, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

when filling RfC [[1]], you are supposed to leave a neutral statement on a RfC page. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

OK, I've added your comment to the RFC page. Pexise (talk) 14:47, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Did you? Where? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Sceptic, your HRW comparison doesn't quite work, and perhaps wasn't intended to? The Mission Goldstone led conducted its own investigation on-site, that the results are in-line with HRW's and Amnesty's investigations isn't surprising, since each outfit knows what it's doing. This article is about the Goldstone report (or the Mission to be exact), which was covered extensively in world media. Israel (which the report suggested had committed war crimes in Gaza) vociferously "disagreed" with the report on a rhetorical level, and JCPA (the staff of which is largely from the Israeli defence forces) echoed the Israeli government's view. Doubtless there were in the Soviet Union various "centres" that produced all manner of reports (reported in the Soviet press) disagreeing with findings critical of the Soviet system. Those reports should be given their due weight, and not more. --Dailycare (talk) 18:19, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Goldstone was a member of HRW; Halevi was a colonel in IDF. Goldstone interviewed people in Gaza; Halevi read easily accessible authentic Arabic-language stuff on internet. The latter criticised the former by saying that the former did not read the stuff the latter read. The criticism is in a proper place because it presents not only what the Goldstone mission did but also what it did not. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


→I think you are trying to create a sort of POV fork. That is prohibited. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 10:28, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

No-one is accusing HRW of war crimes in Gaza. Halevi's talking points were not covered broadly in international media. The Goldstone report was covered broadly in international media. Halevi's talking points should be given their due weight, not the same weight as the Goldstone report. --Dailycare (talk) 17:54, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
HRW accused IDF of war crimes in Gaza War before and after Goldstone was appointed to lead the mission. If you think that Halevi's objectivity is impaired because he is a former colonel in IDF and his boss is a former ambassador, you also have to admit that Goldstone's objectivity is impaired because he is a former board member of HRW.
"The Goldstone report was covered broadly in international media" - this is why this lengthy and messy entry is devoted completely to the mission, members, report, proceedings, findings. What is not covered broadly in international media is the Goldstone findings and conclusions of these specific incidents (unless you can prove my google research wrong). This is why Halevi's analyses of Goldstone findings and conclusions of these specific incidents that was covered by the media is not given excessive weight.
Some minor adjustments could be made, but a removal of Halevi's analyses of Goldstone findings on these specific incidents to separate section is an attempt to create a sort of POV fork and it will not work. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 05:19, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Your Halevi vs Goldstone objectivity comparison would work better if Goldstone had been a former member of Hamas. I'm just saying. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
or if Halevi is chosen to head an objective international fact-finding mission to assess Hamas conduct, promising to be as impartial as the Almighty himself. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 09:21, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
..and if Halevi had been a former board member of HRW. We should probably stop now as I'm getting confused. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:34, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
HRW is in fact an impartial entity that wasn't party to the conflict. This can't be said of the IDF. Concluding that war crimes were committed isn't rocket science (certainly no pun intended), Chinkin did so based on reports even before travelling to the area. I'd also say that I don't believe any adult persons anywhere really, at the end of the day, honestly believe there's anything fundamentally wrong with the Goldstone report. But returning to the topic, JCPA should be given due weight, not undue weight. I refer again to the Soviet analogy. --Dailycare (talk) 16:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
"HRW is in fact an impartial entity that wasn't party to the conflict" - yes. but. the moment it started publishing its reports accusing IDF and Hamas with war crimes, Goldstone (being a member of HRW board and quoting HRW some 30 times in his report) lost his impartiality.
"I don't believe any adult persons anywhere really, at the end of the day, honestly believe there's anything fundamentally wrong with the Goldstone report" - your belief, Daylicare, is admirable but it has no connection to the reality. From my standpoint I can only cautiously express hope that maybe those who read thoroughly Abd Rabbo family incident, would realize what the problem with the Goldstone report is.
"I refer again to the Soviet analogy" - your Soviet analogy is quite offensive actually. You can use it when discussing modern Iran or North Korea perhaps, not Israel. Soviet Union was a close undemocratic dictatorship, with no freedom of speech whatsoever. Dissidents found themselves jailed or exiled. There were no such things as NGOs and everything was under total governmental control. This is not the case with Israel. Freedom of speech prevails (not only in Haaretz, but in JPost too. e.g. Larry Derfner); multiple political parties allowed including those who oppose the very nature of the state; dissidents e.g. B'Tselem and Neve Gordon express their views freely; NGOs are NGOs, i.e. they are not manipulated by Government. Steinberg and Montell are both entitled to their vews, and so are Halevi and Avneri.
"JCPA should be given due weight" - I tried to make google search and find all the publications in RS about Goldstone findings on Maqadme mosque incident. I came up with 1, 2, 3, 4. I exclude 5, because it is merely a testimony, published before the report. In 2 out of 4 RS articles on the Goldstone findings on the incident, Halevi is present. This is undue weight? Or you prove my search wrong?
The pertinence of the Soviet analogy turns on the facts of the case, not on whether someone finds it "offensive". What comes to the RS front, Jewish Forward indeed does mention Halevi, however your other source is just Halevi himself writing on the opinion page of ynetnews. Here are a few sources mentioning the Goldstone report and the mosque attack: 1, 2, 3, 4. So we have 6 sources, including Reuters and BBC, without Halevi and one source (Jewish Forward) with him. --Dailycare (talk) 18:05, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
[2] - tikkun.org is definitely not a RS; [3] - BBC article from June 9 couldn't say a word about the report; it merely says that Goldstone visited the mosque; [1] and [4] indeed mention Goldstone - and also Gold who is you know a head of JCPA. Ynet and JPost do count in because these are examples where RS dedicates space to Halevi to express his critical analyses of Goldstone findings. In 3 out of 7 RS we have Halevi, and in 2 out of 4 remaining we have his boss.
Even if you manage to improve this statistics, this discussion became futile. It was started in an attempt to separate Halevi's analyses of the Goldstone report from the report. It is a case of POV fork and taking into consideration that in 5 out of 7 RS on the mosque Goldstone is criticized - the criticism stays. You can give somewhat more weight to the report by adding a couple of sentences about the findings if something is missing there. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 05:50, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Let's not move the goalposts here. Halevi (who is not Gold) features only in the Jewish Forward, which isn't exactly the centre of the global media scene. He also managed to get in two opinion pieces in Israeli publications, which should again only be given their due weight, no more. We have then (even assuming your point about the BBC source and Tikkun, and entering LA Times and Financial Times) six RS that mention Goldstone's report and the mosque incident without mentioning Halevi. 6-1. In fact, Gold's claim that Israel didn't bomb the mosque at all is arguably better sourced than Halevi (Arutz Sheva vs. Jewish Forward), so it should be given at least the same weight in the article. A further point is that the set of Financial Times, Reuters, Al Jazeera, New York Times, LA Times and Israel National News is collectively considerably more substantial than the Jewish Forward. My point isn't that all criticism should be removed, just that it not be given undue prominence. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 21:08, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

<- ..but getting back to the Pexise's initial comment about separating the JCPA stuff from the mission stuff, that is a position I fully support. It's cleaner. The findings section should be about the findings. The reactions section should be about the reactions. If you put all the reactions together I think you will see that this article is already pretty POV fork-like. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:03, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

+1--Kmhkmh (talk) 07:27, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
"The findings section should be about the findings" - it is. Halevi analyses the report's findings of these specific incidents, not simply dubs them as inherently flawed. Whenever there's a general criticism, it is indeed put in reactions.
This is how I understand WP:NPOV: a decision to create separate article on "Int_Law in Gaza War" was a correct one based on contents fork policy; a decision to create separate article on HRW criticism seems very controversial to me as in my opinion it violates POV-fork policy. Similarly, separating specific findings and analyses of these specific findings looks like violation of POV-fork policy to me. I'm ready to defend my opinion on this matter in front of any higher authority. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 07:45, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps I should clarify what I meant. Halevi, HRW, the Israeli government, Hamas, media commentators, the US gov etc etc were not part of the mission. They did not produce the mission's findings. Their statements about the findings are not part of the findings. They are reacting to the findings, they're reactions. A clear separation between findings and reactions in the article isn't a clear violation of anything. That doesn't make any sense. POV-forking refers to creating separate articles for separate POVs. There is no higher authority. It's a content dispute. Consensus rules. As for the HRW POV fork, people only have themselves to blame for that. If they use Wikipedia to mount attacks on an organization and it's staff by filling articles with criticism then it makes it very difficult to get the article renamed to something more neutral like reception history or whatever (I forget what I suggested but it was something along those lines). People object by saying, 'but it's full of criticism' so you have a catch-22 situation. If everyone followed NPOV in the first place it wouldn't happen. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
..and here is a typical example of an HRW-like criticism vs reception issue at a subarticle level. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:30, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
For me it doesn't make any sense why a policy on the article's section is different from the policy on the article. Let's pretend there's a separate article titled "Goldstone findings on Al-Maqadmah mosque incident". Would you claim that it must include only Goldstone findings without Halevi's analyses?
There's no consensus. Then what? Continue this thread indefinitely? Start an edit war? --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • My initial point is that the article is about the report, not the incidents themselves. Therefore, the sections should deal with what the report says about the incidents, not what is disputed about what happened.
  • For this reason, I have not suggested cutting the JCPA material out, but separating it, so the reader is clear about what the report says. A separate section could discuss reactions to the report's findings regarding the incidents - I would also suggest we have a broader set of reactions than just JCPA which obviously lacks independence in this case (as pointed out by several other editors). Pexise (talk) 17:15, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

It seems to be the case that all of the editors apart from Sceptic Ashdod agree with my suggestion to move JCPA criticism to a separate section, I propose we have a vote and go with the majority decision. Please vote below: Pexise (talk) 11:04, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to move JCPA criticism to a separate section as suggested in the sandbox below -

Pexise - in favour Pexise (talk) 11:04, 6 December 2009 (UTC)


This is the second time in a short while that you try to bend the rules in wiki. The first was improperly filled RfC request. The second is the attempt to resolve a dispute by a majority decision.
No less than 3 RS (out of total less than 10) provide space for Halevi to question Goldstone findings on these specific incidents. Not only did Halevi provide his version of the events (which indeed may be irrelevant), but he also pointed out where Goldstone is, in his opinion, gone wrong about the incidents.
A separation to 2 sub-sub-subsections could be done within particular sub-subsection dealing with specific incident. A separation suggested by Pexise, which is to remove JCPA criticism of the report's specific findings, is creating POV fork. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:58, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not trying to bend the rules and I resent the accusation. It just seems that if all of the editors except you are in favour of my suggestion, then I don't see why your version should be the one in the article.
Please read my suggested version before commenting on it, you will see that I am not suggesting the criticism be removed, rather that it be put into one single section. Pexise (talk) 14:21, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Sceptic, see my comment above concerning the citation of Halevi's "talking points", timestamped 21:08, 3 December 2009. Halevi is a small minority view, based on comparing the sources as I describe above. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 20:56, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Pexise, you failed to follow simple rules (outlined in WP:RFC) and fill RfC properly (this diff), so I am sceptical about chances to demonstrate you that a proposal to move Halevi's analyses of specific Goldstone findings to completely separate far-away section borders on POV forking. I see you proposal as an attempt to avoid negative view on the report's methodology while investigating these particluar incidents. If there are other, positive or negative, publications that discuss these particular findings, they should be included in the same section.
Daylicare, I agree that Gold's words could be included as being well-sourced, although I don't see any additional encyclopedic value in them. I disagree with you count, it is 8-3 and not 6-1; anyway the section on the findings is about the report's findings. As I continue to tell you, Halevi's major point is critical analyses of the Goldstone findings, Halevi's speculations on what could have happened is merely a side point. Halevi's words belong to the section because they discuss Goldstone specific findings. That said, the wording can be worked out, and if any significant point from the report's findings was left out it should be added. Editing the wording, while keeping the major points, is acceptable. Removing them to another far-away section is not. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see your objection to Pexise's suggestion as having any validity. It's based on a misuse of the term POV-forking and an assumption of bad faith. The JCPA parts shouldn't have been put in that section in the first place in my view since they aren't part of the findings. We shouldn't have been put in the position where we needed to have this discussion. Have you read WP:POVFORK ? There is no such thing as 'borders on POV forking' within an article. It's unreasonable to construct an imaginary border zone around a content guideline that relates to separate articles and then complain when you think editors have entered that border zone based on 'I see your proposal as an attempt to...'. There isn't a border zone. It doesn't border on a POV fork. It's not a POV-fork. It's not related to POV-forking in any way, shape or form. It's the same as describing a book/film/scientific theory/event etc etc in a section about that thing and then describing the reactions etc to that book/film/scientific theory/event etc etc in a separate section. It's an approach that's used all over the place in Wikipedia. Pexise's suggestion (e.g. at 17:15, 5 December 2009) are perfectly reasonable. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:32, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Agreed - I will change the content - any objections can be discussed here. Pexise (talk) 21:02, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

This thread is impossible to edit, we'll start a new one. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

These are the sections in question (material from JCPA in bold):

Al-Maqadmah mosque incident

The report stated that the strike on the al-Maqadmah mosque on the outskirts of Jabilyah occured when between 200 and 300 men and women attended for their evening prayer, with 15 people being killed and 40 wounded as a result of the attack. The Mission found that the mosque was damaged and lodged in its interior walls with "small metal cubes", several of which were retrieved by the Mission when it inspected the site. The Mission concluded that the mosque had been hit by an air-to-ground missile fitted with a shrapnel fragmentation sleeve, fired from an aircraft. The Mission based its findings on investigation of the site, photographs and interviewing witnesses. The Mission found no indications that the mosque was used to launch rockets, store munitions or shelter combatants. The Mission also found that no other damage was done in the area at the time, making the attack an isolated incident. The Mission concluded that the Israelis intentionally bombed the mosque.[8][19] Judge Goldstone said: "Assuming that weapons were stored in the mosque, it would not be a war crime to bomb it at night... It would be a war crime to bomb it during the day when 350 people are praying". He further added that there is no other possible interpretation for what could have occurred other than a deliberate targeting of civilians.[20] The report also reproduces a statement from the Israeli government concerning the attack, where the Israeli government both denies that the mosque was attacked and states that the casualties of the attack were Hamas operatives. The report says that the position of the Israeli government contains "apparent contradictions" and is "unsatisfactory" and "demonstrably false".[8]

Researcher of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), headed by former Israeli diplomat Dore Gold, Jonathan Halevi asserted that in the course of the inquiry the commission did not consider other possibilities, such as a drone strike aimed at a group of militants nearby which he attributes to the fact that the blast hit presumably just outside the mosque.[20] He also stated that "[a]n examination of freely accessible Palestinian sources shows that the casualties in this incident were terrorist operatives", specifically naming 7 out of the 15 dead.[21][22] The report also says that the mosque had unexpectedly combined its sunset and evening prayers on the day of the incident, and it is possible that this detail was not known to the IDF at the moment of the strike, added Halevi.[20] Halevi added later that the scenario which can explain the circumstances of the attack on the mosque and bridge the gap between the positions of the IDF and the Goldstone Committee could be the strike aimed at Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative Ahmed Abu Ita who went to the Maqadmah mosque to meet other operatives nearby.[23]

Zeitoun incident

According to the investigation by the mission members, based on interviews with family members, neighbors, Palestinian Red Crescent personnel, submissions from various NGOs and visits to the site, the report says that hundred members of the extended al-Samouni family were gathered together in one house after the fighting in the area was over, ordered there by Israeli soldiers patrolling their Gaza neighborhood of Zeytoun as part of the ground phase of the Gaza War; when five men stepped out of the house to collect firewood, a missile struck them, fired, possibly, from an Apache helicopter; several more missiles followed, this time aimed directly at the house. In all, 21 family members were killed, including women and children. When the surviving al-Samounis attempted to leave and make their way to Gaza City, they were told by an Israeli soldier to return to the house.[20]

According to the researcher at the JCPA J. Halevi, an examination of freely accessible Palestinian sources shows that al-Samounis who testified in front of the commission, hid important details relevant to the events. He asserts that at least three of the family members were operatives of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including Tawfiq Rashad Hilmi al-Samouni who was killed on the day of the incident. He further adds that the official Palestinian Islamic Jihad version, issued on that day, says that on the evening of the previous day and on the day of the incident its fighters had been engaged in hostilities against IDF soldiers in the area; another announcement of the organization states that one of Islamic Jihad's operatives, Muhammad Ibrahim al-Samouni, was killed in fighting nearby. Halevi finally says that the four men who had left the al-Samouni house that day, might had gone out for a reason connected to the military activities taking place in the same area between Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives and IDF forces.[24][22]

Al-Fakhura school incident

The report says that IDF's mortar shelling near a United Nations-run Al-Fakhura school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, which was sheltering some 1,300 people, killed 35 and wounded up to 40 people. The investigation did not exclude the possibility that Israeli forces were responding to fire from an armed Palestinian group, as Israel said, but said that this and similar attacks "cannot meet the test of what a reasonable commander would have determined to be an acceptable loss of civilian life for the military advantage sought".[25] The mission criticized IDF for the choice of the weapons for the supposed counterstrike and concluded that the IDF fire at the Al-Fakhura street violated the law of proportionality.[26] Researcher from JCPA, headed by former Israeli diplomat Dore Gold, stated that examination of freely accessible Palestinian sources shows that one of the key witnesses of the fact-finding committee on the incident was directly linked to the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades and that contrary to the claims, there were Palestinian operatives in the Al-Fakhura school area. He also stressed that at least 6 militants were killed in the incident.[22] In the initial response to the report, Israeli Government replied that regarding this incident, the committee findings reflect the oversimplistic approach to complex military challenges during the urban fighting, implying that the mission members did not possess the information that was known to the force's commander at the time of the attack regarding the immediate threat, weapon's availability and potential risks to civilians.[27]


Suggested revision to this section:

Al-Maqadmah mosque incident

The report stated that the strike on the al-Maqadmah mosque on the outskirts of Jabilyah occured when between 200 and 300 men and women attended for their evening prayer, with 15 people being killed and 40 wounded as a result of the attack. The Mission found that the mosque was damaged and lodged in its interior walls with "small metal cubes", several of which were retrieved by the Mission when it inspected the site. The Mission concluded that the mosque had been hit by an air-to-ground missile fitted with a shrapnel fragmentation sleeve, fired from an aircraft. The Mission based its findings on investigation of the site, photographs and interviewing witnesses. The Mission found no indications that the mosque was used to launch rockets, store munitions or shelter combatants. The Mission also found that no other damage was done in the area at the time, making the attack an isolated incident. The Mission concluded that the Israelis intentionally bombed the mosque.[8][19] Judge Goldstone said: "Assuming that weapons were stored in the mosque, it would not be a war crime to bomb it at night... It would be a war crime to bomb it during the day when 350 people are praying". He further added that there is no other possible interpretation for what could have occurred other than a deliberate targeting of civilians.[20] The report also reproduces a statement from the Israeli government concerning the attack, where the Israeli government both denies that the mosque was attacked and states that the casualties of the attack were Hamas operatives. The report says that the position of the Israeli government contains "apparent contradictions" and is "unsatisfactory" and "demonstrably false".[8]

Zeitoun incident

According to the investigation by the mission members, based on interviews with family members, neighbors, Palestinian Red Crescent personnel, submissions from various NGOs and visits to the site, the report says that hundred members of the extended al-Samouni family were gathered together in one house after the fighting in the area was over, ordered there by Israeli soldiers patrolling their Gaza neighborhood of Zeytoun as part of the ground phase of the Gaza War; when five men stepped out of the house to collect firewood, a missile struck them, fired, possibly, from an Apache helicopter; several more missiles followed, this time aimed directly at the house. In all, 21 family members were killed, including women and children. When the surviving al-Samounis attempted to leave and make their way to Gaza City, they were told by an Israeli soldier to return to the house.[20]

Al-Fakhura school incident

The report says that IDF's mortar shelling near a United Nations-run Al-Fakhura school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, which was sheltering some 1,300 people, killed 35 and wounded up to 40 people. The investigation did not exclude the possibility that Israeli forces were responding to fire from an armed Palestinian group, as Israel said, but said that this and similar attacks "cannot meet the test of what a reasonable commander would have determined to be an acceptable loss of civilian life for the military advantage sought".[25] The mission criticized IDF for the choice of the weapons for the supposed counterstrike and concluded that the IDF fire at the Al-Fakhura street violated the law of proportionality.[26]

In its initial response to the report, the Israeli Government replied that regarding this incident, the committee findings reflect the oversimplistic approach to complex military challenges during the urban fighting, implying that the mission members did not possess the information that was known to the force's commander at the time of the attack regarding the immediate threat, weapon's availability and potential risks to civilians.[27]

Criticisms by Jerusalem Centre for Public affairs

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), a pro-Israel think tank headed by former Israeli diplomat Dore Gold produced a report, written by Jonathan Halevi a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces, which criticised the report's findings in several of the incidents.

Regarding the Al-Maqadmah mosque incident, Halevi suggested that the damage could have resulted from a drone strike aimed at a group of militants nearby which he attributes to the fact that the blast hit presumably just outside the mosque.[20] He also alleged that 7 out of the 15 dead were terrorist operatives.[21][22] Halevi added later that a scenario which could explain the circumstances of the attack on the mosque and bridge the gap between the positions of the IDF and the Goldstone Committee could be the strike aimed at Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative Ahmed Abu Ita who went to the Maqadmah mosque to meet other operatives nearby.[23]

On the Zeitoun incident Halevi alleged that al-Samounis who testified in front of the commission hid important details relevant to the events. He alleges that at least three of the family members were operatives of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including Tawfiq Rashad Hilmi al-Samouni who was killed on the day of the incident. He further adds that the official Palestinian Islamic Jihad version, issued on that day, says that on the evening of the previous day and on the day of the incident its fighters had been engaged in hostilities against IDF soldiers in the area; another announcement of the organization states that one of Islamic Jihad's operatives, Muhammad Ibrahim al-Samouni, was killed in fighting nearby. Halevi finally says that the four men who had left the al-Samouni house that day, might had gone out for a reason connected to the military activities taking place in the same area between Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives and IDF forces.[24][22]

Finally, on the Al-Fakhura school incident Halevi alleges that one of the key witnesses of the fact-finding committee on the incident was directly linked to the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades and that contrary to the claims, there were Palestinian operatives in the Al-Fakhura school area. He also alleges that at least 6 militants were killed in the incident.[22]

PBS

Jim, regarding this, what claim is it supporting, 'Goldstone dismissed as "baseless"' or something else? Where is it in the transcript ? The first ref supports this statement already. Is the PBS transcript ref in the right place ? Also wouldn't it be better to link to the actual source http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10232009/transcript1.html rather than a hasbara site ? Sean.hoyland - talk 17:11, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Ongoing IDF investigation

The Military Police has launched a new criminal investigation into allegations that soldiers committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in early November.

Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit met with US administration and UN officials in New York overnight Wednesday, briefing them on investigations the IDF is conducting into last winter's Operation Cast Lead.

The IDF has completed a review of the 36 "most serious" cases of alleged war crimes as cited by Judge Richard Goldstone in his damning report on Operation Cast Lead, and concluded that 30 of them are "baseless accusations". --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

unrelated, but interesting: The Goldstone report drove the Israelis and Palestinians apart, a U.S. State Department official said, according to JTA. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 11:30, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I seriously doubt any of these investigations will meet the required standards. The fact that the IDF is carrying them out means they are not independent. There is a whole detailed section in the Goldstone report about the inadequacy of Israeli military investigations. Is the Israeli judiciary not moving forward with this at all? Pexise (talk) 23:42, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Those links were put to archive the ongoing investigation, nothing more and nothing less. But if Goldstone's (and Pexise's) opinion on the IDF's ability to investigate itself is correct then every Western army should be reformed too. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 10:57, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Goldstone findings vs Halevi response part 2

1. Sean, I don't have to assume bad faith - I know that Pexise first called Halevi's analyses "smear and ad-hominem attack", then tried to delete it because it is "not notable". You yourself assume bad faith when asking me if I read WP:POVFORK. Of course I did, otherwise I wouldn't be appealing to it. You understood it differently, but it is not the first time we are having a dispute.

2. You support the following: a sub-sub-subsection entitled "Goldstone findings on the mosque incident" and somewhere else in the text, in completely different location, a sub-sub-subsection entitled "Halevi's analyses of Goldstone findings on the mosque incident". What I did, as a confidence-builduing step, to split instead the "mosque incident" in two: "Goldstone findings" and "Halevi's analyses of Goldstone findings". Maybe I'm wrong about the POV fork (this is why I was cautious with the wording), but when I read "A point of view fork is an attempt to evade the neutrality policy by creating a new article about a certain subject that is already treated in an article, often to avoid or highlight negative or positive viewpoints or facts" I see a clear resemblance to this case. Why would the subject (Goldstone findings on the mosque incident) be treated twice in the article?

3. Apart from the disputed separation, there are many more problems with Pexise edit. The least apparent is the omission of the following sentence: "The Mission has established that the Israeli armed forces fired a missile that struck near the doorway of the mosque". The sentence in fact was copy-pasted directly from the report. It is important because of 2 reasons: the mosque body was not hit (we don't know if that was intentionally or not) and because Halevi builds his speculation (a precision strike) on this finding.

4. Even worse than the separation itself, Pexise distorts Halevi's words. Halevi's suggestion of a drone strike is a minor secondary point. More important, he says that the commission did not consider other possibilities, such as a drone strike - and that part is omitted. After Pexise treatment, Halevi's suggestions about the incidents do not belong in the article at all, but should be moved to the articles dealing with those specific incidents only. I'll repeat again, if this is still unclear: Halevi issued his analyses in order to say what he believes is wrong with the Goldstone report, not to tell what actually happened in those incidents.

5. The 1.5 line-long attribution Pexise put to Halevi (The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), a pro-Israel think tank headed by former Israeli diplomat Dore Gold produced a report, written by Jonathan Halevi a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces) is, forgive me harsh words, beyond ridiculous. The former one (headed by former Israeli diplomat) is ridiculous, but the latter one goes beyond that. How would you react if I write "UNHRC, a UN body heavily biased against Israel, dispatched a mission"?

6. Imposing a majority opinion as a means to resolve a dispute is not the best wiki way. I am going to restore the previous version. I'd notice that even if the current dispute is stuck, there are means to move forward - arbitrations and so on. I hope no edit war will emerge. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

7. I took Sean's advice and took a look at one article of scientfic theory: Irreducible complexity. When the article deals with concrete examples of the Behe's theory (The mousetrap analogy, Eye, Flagella), it provides responses to Behe's claims in the same sub-sections. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:43, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

If readers won't be allowed to simply read about the findings in a section about the findings without having the clutter of JCPA (and other) reactions imposed on them in that section my preference would be to remove the entire section altogether and have nothing about the findings in the article at all. They can read the report themselves without this article in the comfort of their own homes where they are in control of the signal to noise ratio. Sean.hoyland - talk 14:21, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Including Halevi's criticisms in with details of the report findings just makes it look like blatant POV pushing.
The description of JCPA is entirely correct and valid - all of the things mentioned are facts and a reader would want to know them. Saying that the UNHRC is biased against Israel is not a fact, it is your opinion. Pexise (talk) 18:40, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Pexise, you need to familiarize yourself with the wiki concept of consensus (WP:CONS) and realise that reverting due to "no consensus" is not helpful (WP:DRNC). --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:36, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Congrats, you started an edit-warring and you are dragging me in, as you didn't even start to address numerous issues with your version.
FYI, UN HRC's disproportionate focus on Israel vs. OPT was noted by UN Secretary-Generals Annan and Ki-moon, by HRW, by Irwin Cotler, by Mary Robinson, US officials and many others including Goldstone. Solid fact - 6 out of its 12 special sessions were dedicated to condemn Israel. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Sean, the readers can still "read the report themselves without this article in the comfort of their own homes where they are in control of the signal to noise ratio", irregardless to what this entry says and where. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
You have failed to convince any other editors. You have not provided any legitimate policy based reasoning. You are edit warring your preferred version into the article. Your approach goes against common sense. Your editing on this issue is consistent with tendentious editing. Editors shouldn't have to deal with this kind of editing and readers shouldn't have to have your views imposed on them unilaterally. Apparently you aren't going to stop. So I will say again, if readers won't be allowed to simply read about the findings in a section about the findings without having the clutter of JCPA (and other) reactions imposed on them in that section my preference would be to remove the entire section altogether and have nothing about the findings in the article at all. That will stop the edit warring and your tendentious editing. It is better in my view to have no information here than to have a situation where you take actions that result in edit warring. The different versions are too different for a compromise to be possible as far as I can tell so I see no point trying to resolve the issue. Alternatively we could just have the JCPA reaction by itself in the reactions section, rename the article and actively turn this article into a legitimate and allowed POV-fork to present views that you are willing to allow readers to read without interference. Sean.hoyland - talk 02:18, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
"You have failed to convince any other editors" - neither had you. In wiki disputes, any opinion counts.
"You have not provided any legitimate policy based reasoning" - actually I had, appealing to POV fork. You disagreed. But what legitimate policy based reasoning did you provide? Undue weight? At least in the course of discussion I started to move in your direction by first splitting mosque findings (1) and then editing the Halevi's response (2). What else? Blatant POV pushing? Hardly serious argument. Better was one that said that a separation between findings and reception is a standard wiki practice. I showed that at least in one case the opposite is true. You could have flooded me with other examples but you didn't.
"You are edit warring your preferred version into the article" - no, Pexise and I are edit warring. You need two for tango. The difference is that I was ready to modify my version as showed above, in at least the slightest attempt to address concerns raised in the course of discussion, while Pexise haven't yet tried to make changes to his version (and there are multiple issues with it).
"Your approach goes against common sense" - had I heard this words from a totally neutral person, I could have taken them seriously. When it comes from someone who's quick to reprimand me and ignores multiple edit and policy problems with Daylicare and Pexise, I only shrug.
"readers shouldn't have to have your views imposed on them unilaterally" - the same is true about Pexise. We are having a dispute and I am not running away from it, but as long as it is in process, there's no case to impose Pexise's version unilaterally. I am ready to move on with the discussion and to involve available means of arbitration.
"Apparently you aren't going to stop" - that's right, I will not stop to discuss the issue until the dispute is resolved or until the resolution is imposed on us by higher authorities.
"my preference would be to remove the entire section altogether and have nothing about the findings in the article at all" - that is a more balanced approach. However, it is problematic from the encyclopedian point of view. Those incidents (and maybe a couple more not covered yet, like the factory destruction) were mentioned as examples of the most vivid mission findings. Moreover, Goldstone himself noted on several occasions that he was struck most by them, espacially by mosque and Zeitoun neighborhood incidents. Deleting them from the entry is not encyclopedia-wise.
I didn't understand the last paragraph. "just have the JCPA reaction by itself in the reactions section" - without Goldstone findings? Beware, someone might accuse you in blatant pro-Israeli POV pushing. I don't have much experience in these matters, but "legitimate and allowed POV-fork" sounds like a contradiction in itself. But if you have in mind creating a separate article devoted to the report exclusively, it will hardly solve anything. The report (not only the mission) was dubbed controversial by several media RSs including BBC. The wiki article should address the controversy, not copy-paste its findings. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:33, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I see no reason to discuss this further because it won't change anything. We should remove the section. The article is already much larger than 100Kb. I see no reason to create an article about the findings or have any details about the findings anywhere in Wikipedia at the moment because the same issues will emerge. The findings can be added in 10 years time by different editors. There is no deadline. You can participate in dispute resolution if you like but I don't see a dispute. I can't find those JCPA statements in the findings. The way I look at it is that dispute resolution will just expose more people to things that reduce the quality of their editing experience here. As I said, editors shouldn't have to deal with this kind of thing. I have no problem with blatant POV pushing in Wikipedia articles but it's critically important that it be blatant so that the nature of the material is clear to the reader. That is why I suggested possibly making this article into a POV-fork that presents the pro-Israeli view. That is allowed and a common approach in other areas Wikipedia:POVFORK#Articles_whose_subject_is_a_POV. What is more important from my perspective is to limit the counter-productive effects of advocacy and narrative wars on editors. It drives people away from articles and lowers quality. The articles are much less important because there isn't a deadline. Sean.hoyland - talk 12:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It is true that there is no reason to discuss it further, but I am in favor of resolving this by means of neutral uninvolved administrator or something like that. I am sure there are people who are glad to help. I will endorse any recommendation. I see it as a win-win situation, cause a weighted balanced opinion of someone who's much more experienced will provide important insights for the future.
I think you confuse between contents fork and POV fork, and even if you don't, creating a POV-fork on a matter of Goldstone report doesn't seem too wise for me. It is a notable event, but not as notable as Bible or Creationism. Again, if the arbitration will recommend it, I don't have problem.
A more obvious way to reduce the length of the entry is to spin off "Governments and regional organizations" response and "Subsequent developments" - their additional encyclopedic value is low given each country's vote in UNHRC and UNGA. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

One (insignificant) detail

what's one more zero?, asks Shalem Center's representative in his JPost-published blog. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 15:49, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Which part of this wikipedia article does your posting this information address ? Sean.hoyland - talk 06:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
No such part yet. There are many aspects of the report that are left uncovered. Yet. Maybe someday. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 08:37, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Well I guess a little reading never killed anyone. But if we're allowed to complain preemptively I would like to say that the infobox should probably have "paperback/pdf" rather than just one or the other. --JGGardiner (talk) 09:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

one more comment

for the jurist comment's section: Three Strikes. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 06:33, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

...and an unexpected lawsuit twist: "The Goldstone report says, among other things, that the rocket attacks by Hamas constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, so as a member of the United Nations, I don't believe Belgium will ignore the complaint," Coveliers added. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 13:54, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

map for UN general assembly vote

where is the map for that? I would make one but I don't know how to do so.Tallicfan20 (talk) 02:03, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Israel's efforts to counter the report

I added this section a few days ago and it was deleted in its entirety with the remark "dubious sources." Here is what I added and have now restored:

===Israel's efforts to fight the report===
In October 2009, the Israeli government established a task force to recommend steps to counter the Goldstone report and its implications. This task force is charged with recommending actions to counter the report on the legal and diplomatic-political fronts, and to recommend public relations steps that should be taken. (Haaretz, 27 October 2009, "Israel Forms Task Force to Counter Goldstone Gaza Report," http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1124000.html) The United States pledged to stand by Israel in the fight against the Goldstone report.(Haaretz, 21 Oct. 2009, "'U.S. to Stand by Israel in the Fight Against Goldstone Report," http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122612.html)
Also in October 2009, Yuval Diskin, head of the Israeli Shin Bet security service, met in Ramallah with President Mahmud Abbas and informed him that if Abbas refuses to ask to postpone the UN vote on the Goldstone report then Israel will turn the West Bank into a "second Gaza."(Haaretz, 17 Jan. 2010, "Diskin to Abbas: Defer UN Vote on Goldstone or Face 'Second Gaza,'" http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1143038.html)

The sources I provide are reliable per WP rules and fully support the content. Haaretz is one of the leading and most respected daily newspapers in Israel. So today restored it. If you disagree please present arguments here before attemting to delete. I will consider it vandalism or an edit lacking in good faith if you delete an entire small section without first posting a valid reason and awaiting others' input.

Also, I added a question mark to the title of the preceding section about Israel's own investigation of allegations of the Goldstone report. That section does not claim that there is any Israeli investigation in existence. In fact it states that despite Israeli experts' calls for an investigation, Israeli leaders have thus far been against. If you disagree please state your reasons here.--NYCJosh (talk) 18:43, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The section was removed again in its entirety with the comment POV fork. The section explains efforts of Israel to counter the report, as reported by a number of sources. There is not even one opinion, interpretation or point of view expressed. It's not a fork because it's in the section about developments since the issuing of the report, including the responses of several countries, including Israel. Please explain reason for removing or restore. I don't want to get into an edit war.--NYCJosh (talk) 23:56, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm taking a look at this and the Ha'artz article and note. 1)"A PA official close to Abbas told Haaretz..." So this was an unnamed PA official's version and interpretation of the comments. In fact there are a number of ways to interpret "a second Gaza" and I think a further reading of the article clarifies that Diskin was talking about revoking the easement of restrictions &financially, ie no mobile telephone franchise- not! a bombing campaign! against the West Bank. Such a comment is more by way of a rumor and horribly open to interpretation. There is no neutral reason to insert it. The article needs culling not more dubious additions. Stellarkid (talk) 03:48, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
With respect, I think your comment shows a misunderstanding of WP rules. Haaretz is a reliable source. The source states that "Haaretz has learned" about the content of the meeting between Diskin and Abbas. We as WP editors cannot question the source's information beyond that (unless of course there is another RS that contradicts or casts serious doubt). We simple have to accept the content of the source as reliable. It's certainly not rumor and, as far as we at WP are concerned it's not subject to interpretation.
As far as "no neutral way to insert it" I am not sure what this means. Any single fact in the article may tend to portray Israel or Hamas more or less favorable. Sometimes, reasonable minds may differ on whether a particular fact or event portrays one side more or less favorably. That's not our job here. Our job is to present relevant information supported by RS in a non-POV way.
In any event your comment relates only to the second parag of my contribution. --NYCJosh (talk) 04:51, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

→There are several problems with your edits, NYCJosh:

  • You may propose modifications to any headline or section contents. However, placing a questionmark in the header of the section merely shows that you do not understand what wikipedia is about.
The heading is a bit misleading because the word "internal" is ambiguous: is it an independent commission of inquiry "internal" to Israel that will have public hearings and make its findings public, with possible referrals to Israeli prosecutors for any individual wrongdoing, as called for by Goldstone, or is it "internal" to the IDF with no public report? The latter is what the section describes as having taken place while the former may be implied by the heading.--NYCJosh (talk) 22:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Placing the same sentence twice in the overloaded entry is a bad judgement.
The first sentence is a topic sentence to introduce the new subject. The latter provides some detail. That's standard practice but I am not wedded to that particular formulation.--NYCJosh (talk) 22:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The entry has already 2 places that deal with Israeli reaction - "reactions" and "Israeli internal investigations". Starting another one on an overlapping topic with a one-sided contents is, as Jalapenos noted, a POV-fork.
We can move it to the former.--NYCJosh (talk) 22:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
  • "Second Gaza" makes a good headline. However, Haaretz were at least fair and explained in the very next paragraph what actually stands behind this definition (withdrawal of a permission for Wataniya and revoke the easing of restrictions on movement). You were far from that fair - something that is more fit of a tabloid editor than a wiki editor. Btw, I don't really understand what was the exact motivation to recycle something that was reported back in October. See for example IPS news. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 19:46, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I have no objection to more detail being added. If you were aware of this in October then you might have felt free to contribute it then. I don't pretend to know the precise chain of journalistic events by which Haaretz got this story and their timing.--NYCJosh (talk) 22:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I think you confuse the words "internal" and "independant". Anyway, read the entire subsection and make your own proposals. Just don't put questionmarks there. --Sceptic from Ashdod (talk) 14:01, 25 January 2010 (UTC)