Talk:Za'atar/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Redundancy, perhaps?

"It is traditionally composed of marjoram, wild oregano, thyme, toasted white sesame seeds, and sumac."


In the definition page for marjoram, it is said that wild marjoram is a name for oregano. This is probably a redundancy, seeing as oregano is already considered wild. Can anyone verify this? --Ramsobol 16:36, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Za'atar is typically made with Origanum syriacum. In Hebrew, however, it's ezov matzui, or wild hyssop; the wild is to emphasize that it's endemic. Unfortunately:
  1. Nobody but King Solomon says "hyssop" (1 Kings 5:13, if you're interested), and
  2. Za'atar isn't in Hyssopus.
As such, I've called it "wild oregano" (to distinguish it from, say, the oregano used in Italian food) and listed the species name. --Mgreenbe 17:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Thyme or oregano?

Za'tar is actually the Arabic word for thyme, and used by extension for this spice mix. Are we sure that it involves oregano, not thyme? Or are the two related? Palmiro | Talk 14:16, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, they're both in Lamiaceae and are very closely related. Common names aren't helpful here, though. Ietswaart is the up-to-date source on Lamiaceae, if we want to find out why syriacum is in Origanum and not Thymus. USDA/GRIN cites this page for the za'atar connection. The harder question is: is syriacum what's really used? The Zohary reference on the GRIN page will probably explain, as it's concerned with the region and not the taxonomical group. If you've seen it fresh, perhaps you can check out the pictures on the second link? To me it just looks like fresh oregano. --Mgreenbe 14:50, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
It may be that the Arabic word refers to both. Research is clearly required. I shall put the matter on my list of things to reflect on. Palmiro | Talk 15:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Haha! This paper mentions the two as being the same. Another cites the specific plant as "mardakoush" (fulltext). Ring a bell? This one backs it up, additionally mentioning the Turkish name yaban kekiği. I'll add in all of the fun medical facts later. --Mgreenbe 16:22, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
To further clarify the extent to which the waters are muddy, Samir Kassir, in his Histoire de Beyrouth, mentions the local invention of the "croissant au thym", which in fact is definitely with za3tar rather than with plain thyme... Palmiro | Talk 14:46, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Color me an philistine boor oaf, but I can barely tell the difference between za'atar, thyme, and oregano when dried and chopped. So I don't blame him. Are you comfortable leaving it in as O. syriacum? Perhaps its appropriate to mention the easy confusion between dried Origanum (née Majorana) and Thymus leaves. --Mgreenbe 15:19, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


I say leave it as O. Syriacum, which i've seen described in a plant book as "used frequently in middle eastern dishes due to its pungent flavor" with the common names "biblical hyssop; syrian marjoram" so it seems pretty clear to me that O. syriacium and zaatar are the same thing. - mofo
By this point I had to count the colons. :) I'm used to zaatar prepared by Lebanese Armenians. I can taste the oregano in it, and the people who prepare it claim that it comes from a special kind of oregano which grows wild on Lebanese hillsides--not the same thing as the "oregano" one buys in a regular grocery store. (...but don't ask me to define what "oregano" is, aside from a savory herb...) I'm also aware (as the article points out) that not all zaatar preparations are the same... but that zaatar preparations are usually a mixture, unless one buys the pickled, whole plant (which I am not competent to identify) in a jar at an Arabic grocer. Suggestion: Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with the article as it is; it might, however, be helpful to point out that there is some widespread confusion about what zaatar actually is; and that different people just might actually be using the word "zaatar" to refer to different things, albeit all savory herb pastes or the ingredients for them. This would prepare the reader for the inevitable differences of opinion to be encountered... Xenophon777 16:26, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Wow, there seems to be a strong desire to modify this page contrary to what is correct. Could there be some kind of moderation here? I think this site seems to be under attack by certain people for propaganda purposes (for Israel). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamiechef2 (talkcontribs) 19:54, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

RfC

There is currently an RfC on Hummus regarding similar questions about the inclusion of other categories and content, including those that cite Israeli/Jewish material. Please feel free to visit the TALK page and offer comments and imput. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Hummus#RfC

-- Nsaum75 (talk) 20:13, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Cited Information concerning Israel

Is there some reason that cited information regarding Za'atar and Israel shouldn't be included in this article? Over the past couple days I have noticed several users keep removing Israeli references. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 01:53, 1 March 2008 (UTC)


Anyone with experiences (culturally) in the middle east would know that hyssop is one variant of Za'atar, and Hyssop za'atar is the way Israelis (incorrectly) refer to it. This is an Arab dish mostly made with thyme, sesame seed, and can have oregano or sumac. I do not believe someone with a Zionist agenda should proclaim themselves an expert on an Arabic dish without studying it from a neutral point of view. This unfortunate butchery of the truth + removing all ref. citing the contribution of Palestine/Palestinians to this food should not be tolerated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamiechef2 (talkcontribs) 02:46, 1 March 2008 (UTC)


What leads you to believe I have a "Zionist agenda"? Food has no one nationality and no one people own a particular food. Taking into account that different cultures have different styles and receipes for the same dish or seasoning, it is a disservice to wikipedia to remove content just because you personally have issues with one fo the cultures in question.

As for the Palestinian contributions, they were not removed from it, as both version clearly mention it is very popular in Palestine etc., however you insist on removing any and all mention of the Israeli contributions to the seasoning. This creates a bias article. -- Nsaum75 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 03:58, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

All the "so-called experts" in Arab cuisine have brought no sources to the article. I was the one who added the source for the "medicinal" properties attributed to it in Lebanon. If yo have nothing constructive to add to this article, I would suggest you keep your paws off of it. Your warped political agendas are clearly showing. If you have political opinions, I would suggest writing a letter to your local newspaper. This is ot a forum for rewriting the history of the world (or the history of cuisine). There is much to do on Wikipedia - so please, help instead of hindering.--Gilabrand (talk) 16:53, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Removal of Israeli References

There is a dispute as to whether Za'atar should include information regarding Israeli contributions to the seasoning. This includes adding references/citations attributed to Israeli sources. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 05:11, 1 March 2008 (UTC)


Israeli contributions to the seasoning, including varariants such as Hyssop and direct references to Israel, have been repeatedly removed by several redlinked users, WP:SPA, and IP addresses. My personal thoughts are that we should include a wide array of nationality/cultures contributions to a seasoning, given that such contributions can be properly cited and referenced. Nsaum75 (talk) 05:17, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't really seem like an RfC is called for here, as the "anti-" faction is just repeatedly removing without discussion and probably using sockpuppets. I would try and get the page semi-protected. <eleland/talkedits> 17:05, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Just requested semi-protection, we'll see if that works. I tried a number of things (posting a notice in the WP:Administrator page etc) but nothing seems to be helping or bringing about a resolution. I created the RfC etc, in an attempt to create a dialog with them, however they seem to insist on commenting only in the Edit Summary -- Nsaum75 (talk) 18:27, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

This is remarkable how intolerant certain people are regarding a simple topic such as the Arabic dish Za'atar. The page was rewritten removing statements that were fair and tolerant such as "Some sources also include savory, hyssop, oregano, cumin, and fennel seed." and replacing them with a narrow and one-sided explanation of the components of Za'atar. I was raised eating za'atar my whole life, and know that there are many types and variations in the way to make it, the most common is with thyme. I feel the fair article was removed in favor of a biased one. We are going the wrong way in terms of the honesty in presenting accurate information, in favor of bias thanks to a few users (above) with an agenda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Food3754 (talkcontribs) 18:56, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Putting additional cited information that concern Israeli sources is considered bias?? Especially when the original information is left intact? Your reverts give the appearance that your opposition to the edits only concerns anything and everything mentioning Israel -- Nsaum75 (talk) 19:01, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
It is not nor has it ever been a Zionist food. Please stop with your personal agenda of promoting Zionist propaganda. Why do you insist on politicizing the food! Isnt the occupation enough? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.168.47.172 (talk) 19:30, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment I integrated both thyme & hyssop into the article, to show they both have standing, as well as alphabatized the ingredient list, herb list and country list, so that there would not appear to be any bias towards one country or another. If you disagree with this, before reverting again, please discuss your concerns here and let us address it as a community. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 23:42, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Very shrewd editing by Nsaum, to claim neutrality by statements such as "in alphabetical order" knowing full well it lists hyssop and Israel early in their categories respectively, meanwhile, also removing any mention of Palestine and showing an Israeli package of za'atar (bias) that is not needed. Common! this claim of "fair and balanced" reminds me of Fox news. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Food3754 (talkcontribs) 02:26, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Food3754, please kindly present any changes you think should be made here, before making changes to the ariticle, so that they may be discussed. I did not alphabatize them so that Israel would come close to the begining, I simply did it because I was tired of this article being scruitinized for any and every reason possible to edit/complain. Hence why I also alphabatized the herbs and ingredients, because editors have kept reorganizing/removing some of them. The package of Za'atar is to further support that some versions contain Hyssop. I am sorry you find the fact that it is an Israeli package offensive.
Furthermore, I did not remove any/all mentions of Palestine, infact I emphasised Palestine by adding that the way Palestinians used za'atar was Notible.
The only removal of the term "Palestine" was a revision made by Number 57 who changed "Palestine" to "Palestinian territories" [1]
You say that I and others are bias, when the same could be said for you. Please state what changes you would like to see here, so that we as a group can discuss them. That is the reason why I have opened up a WP:RfC on this article -- Nsaum75 (talk) 03:17, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


Compromise version

Hi guys. Can we discuss the "combined" version here? The revert war was tiresome and unproductive. Jd2718 (talk) 03:29, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I like your version, waiting for input from others -- Nsaum75 (talk) 03:32, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I suggest that certain editors, who have been intolerant and repeatedly attempted to hijack this article by inserting false pro-israel references, should refrain from from making further edits until a final version has been agreed upon by the remaining editors. This is an exclusive Arab seasoning, and the country of Israel has only been in existance since 1948. I find it highly suspect that the Jews could make any significant contributions in 60 years to an Arab food that has taken centuries to develop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.136.177.17 (talk) 06:00, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately the IP address is wrong. The Jewish people have been in the middle east at least long the Muslims & Arabs.[2] It is incorrect to state that the Jews have just arrived in the past 60 years since the creation of the modern state of Israel and therefore haven't had any impact on cusine. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 06:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Please comment on what's there. It now says that Israelis adopted it from their neighbors, and only recently. Jd2718 (talk) 06:10, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Nice. Check the history of this TALK page, you will see the IP address removed the article from WP:Israel when it made its above remark. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 06:37, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Jd2718, nice work, I appreciate your efforts for a compromise. Nsaum75, please give it a break already. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Food3754 (talkcontribs) 06:46, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Anti-Arabism is, for obvious reasons, very widespread in Israel, among all Jews. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jjcuisineart (talkcontribs) 09:38, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
There's definitely room here for a crack about being "anti" people who want to cut your head off and "drive you into the sea in a river of blood", sure. Please take your rhetoric and nonsense elsewhere. Especially since you're pretty obviously the anonymous IP who was giving the article such grief to start with. M1rth (talk) 16:28, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Jd2718, The last sentence in the 2nd paragraph states "Za'atar is made with dried thyme with sumac." Looking at the article history, I think the "dried thyme" reference is left over from a previous rearrange/merge/edit. I could be wrong though. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 07:14, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Nsaum, you are correct and the stray words are gone. Jd2718 (talk) 16:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, source not consistent with other sources (see [3], [4];additionally, I'm not convinced that the "controversy" is anything more than a POV vandal trying to insert an anti-Israel or anti-Jewish bias (given the recent uproar on Hummus as well). M1rth (talk) 16:34, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The earlier Israeli government source is clearly more reliable than the two you have just cited. Please read it, and come back here if you think it should still be deleted. The "characteristic Palestinian" line should stay out unless/until it is sourced, although looking quickly at some trade fair stuff, it seems universally understood (and thus will likely be easy to source). Jd2718 (talk) 16:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I have removed both the "recent Israeli" gunk and the "characteristic Palestinian" lines. I did this to try to keep politics out of the article as much as possible. Enough is enough, we had the same nonsense on Hummus. Let's try to leave it as a FOOD article for a while rather than a playground for people trying to expand their battlefield. Okay? M1rth (talk) 16:48, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Finding compromise on WP means finding compromise. It's a traditional Arab spice (mix) that has recently (1 -2 generations) become popular among Israelis. There is nothing political in saying this. Perhaps there is a better wording? But that gov't source looks ok. Jd2718 (talk) 16:54, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
To deny that Israelis enjoy it, that would be POV. To deny that it is traditionally associated with Arab (Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian) cooking would also be POV. Jd2718 (talk) 16:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Inserting the wording is POV, given that Jews have traditionally lived in most of the areas of the region, and the spice mix in myriad recipes is reputed to be old (actually older than Islam or Christianity). It looks to me to be the same POV the IP vandal was trying to push in both this article and Hummus, trying to bias them to support claims that no Jews were present at all in the region. With that in mind, I am absolutely opposed to trying to insert that kind of POV into the article. If a plant was put on the endangered species list, this is notable. Trying to "claim" a food for one side or the other of a conflict? Nope, sorry, that's just POV-pushing. M1rth (talk) 17:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

It was not a common Israeli spice in 1960. It is now. This is sourced to the Israeli government (same source as the endangered species bit.) There is no other claim being made. Jd2718 (talk) 17:08, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

One wonders: if it was "not a common Israeli" spice in 1960... how about 1948? 1927? 1900? 1800? 100 BC? Was it not commonly used by Arab Jews in the region? Can you source anything one way or the other? I think it's best not to have this debate at all, as it serves little for the article other than to introduce needless politics and worse, entangles the article in the incredibly poisonous israeli/palestinian conflict debates.M1rth (talk) 21:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

But there is a source, you have deleted it 3 times now, a publication of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs [5]. It says:

For Israeli Jews, zaatar used to be an exotic treat associated with visits to Arab bakeries. Today, commercial production has made it an integral element in Israeli cuisine. Zaatar is not only eaten with bread but also used to season meat, as a topping on spreads and even sprinkled on salads.

The article gives nice evidence that not every Palestinian/Israeli interaction needs to be seen through the lens of conflict. Jd2718 (talk) 02:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The Rambam, who prescribed za'atar, lived in Moorish Spain, Morocco and Egypt. He was one of the heads of the Cairo Jewish community. He wrote in ARABIC. But the information I brought on this was deleted. Hmmmm. I wonder why. --Gilabrand (talk) 05:22, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Can you bring it back here? I can't find it. Jd2718 (talk) 05:53, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
This section was removed:
==Healing properties==   

In Lebanon, there is a belief that this particular spice mixture makes the mind alert and the body strong. For this reason, children are encouraged to eat a za'atar sandwich for breakfast before an exam.[1] The Rambam, a medieval rabbi and physician, prescribed za'atar as an antiseptic and a remedy for intestinal parasites, colds, loss of appetite and flatulence. Rubbing the sides of the head with za'atar oil is believed to reduce headaches. [2] --Gilabrand (talk) 06:40, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Let's put it back. But as 'Maimonades' rather than 'Rambam' (writing for a general audience), and it looks like he wrote about medicine while in Egypt. Let's say that too. And let's see if we can't get a better source (but not to delay putting it back). Jd2718 (talk) 06:45, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
References to biblical hyssop, which has been identified as za'atar, were also removed. Here is a source (in addition to the botanical plant guide cited below): http://www.jhom.com/topics/spices/hyssop.html--Gilabrand (talk) 06:49, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks POVish. There is often doubt as to variety or species with older identifications of plant or animal species. And in any case, both this (and the previous, actually) refer to one plant, and not the spice mix (or mixes) that this article is about. Jd2718 (talk) 06:55, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
It is not POV - it is sourced information that appears in tons of articles. The article is called "za'atar" and that word refers to both the plant and the spice mixture. The identification with ezov is not controversial. Ezov/za'atar grows wild in Israel - Israel in the sense of a geographical place, not a political entity. It is mentioned many times and botanically described in the bible, which pre-dated Islam, and I don't understand what is controversial about any of this. To say that it belongs to a certain people or country is ridiculous. People who look up za'atar should be able to get all the relevant information about it. Not putting in sourced information because somebody has decided it's "theirs" is pandering to ignoramuses.--Gilabrand (talk) 07:11, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The article is about the mixture. It's in the first line, and has been from the first version. (The plant would be tougher since hyssop is not za'atar). It would also be better to avoid words like "pander" which tend to inflame. Jd2718 (talk) 07:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The name of the article is za'atar, which has two meanings. What somebody wrote in the first line can be changed to amend that. It makes no sense to have two articles about za'atar - one about a spice and one about the herb from which the spice is made. The reason I use language that you feel is "inflaming" is because I am running out of patience. The exploitation of this page has been going on for far too long, before you arrived. I do appreciate your attempt to mediate, but the same arguments are being applied to a whole host of food articles, and all my nicely worded entreaties to stop commandeering the article have led to naught. --Gilabrand (talk) 07:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Comment: Jd2718, first off let me say that I appreciate your efforts towards mediating and resolving this situation. And, without making comment addressing the meanings of za'atar, I can concur with Gilabrand, that editing the food related articles has become very trying lately. In my opinion all of this is less about food and more of a spill-over of thinly veiled new anti-semitism. However, my opinion regarding that aside, myself and other editors have been repeatedly insulted, taunted and belittled (sometimes its done vaguely, sometime its done quite direct) by a string of IPs and WP:SPAs (of which a few I suspect are WP:sockpuppets) whenever we make edits. I'm by no means "whining" or "crying" or in need of "thick skin", I'm simply stating that it can be very trying when just about everything you say is repeatedly attacked, reversed and protested in an insulting (and at times outright racist) way. This is why I have not been more forthcoming in helping with the latest round of "revisions" to this article. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from on this. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 08:06, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Origanum.html

A botanical guide states the following:

Origanum syriacum L.

SYNONYM(S) : Majorana crassa Moench, Majorana crassifolia Benth., Majorana syriaca (L.) Kostel., Origanum crassa (Moench) Chev., Origanum maru L. , Origanum pseudo-onites Lindberg

ARABIC : صعتر Satar (Za'atar).
ENGLISH : Bible hyssop, Syrian oregano, Wild marjoram.
FRENCH : Marjolaine de Syrie, Origan d'Egypt.
GERMAN : Arabischer Oregano , Echter Staudenmajoran, Syrischer majoran, Syrischer Ysop.
HEBREW : אֵזוֹב מָצוּי Ezov matzuy , זַעְתַּר Za'atar.
HUNGARIAN : Szíriai szurokfű, Szír izsóp.
PERSIAN : زعتر Za'atar (Zahtar, Zaatar, Za'tar).
TURKISH : Isrial kekiği, Suriye kekiği.

--Gilabrand (talk) 07:35, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The use of the same name for different species is confusing. I think the article already handles it ok. (I have had trouble in Istanbul wanting thyme, but getting oregano in response to requests for "kekik"). Should we do something with this list? It might be valuable just to keep it on the talkpage for editors to refer to. Is there some "Please do not archive" template? Jd2718 (talk) 17:13, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

disappointing and sad

JD, I don't know who you are, but if you think you are "making peace," you are mistaken. You are caving in to the hijackers. I introduced sourced information to this article that you automatically removed as if it were controversial. Since when is adding historical information that comes with a source controversial? Apparently only if the word Jew or Israel appears in it. Some editors have introducted OR and anecdotal evidence for the history, usage and healing properties of Za'atar. It is sad that any attempts to fill out an article that was unreferenced and poorly written are promptly removed to appease vandals, sock puppets and racists.-Gilabrand (talk) 14:11, 2 March 2008 (UTC) Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Gilabrand"--Gilabrand (talk) 14:14, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

cultural borrowing

Why are some editors opposed to mentioning that zaatar is a cultural borrowing in Israeli cuisine? The Israeli Foreign Ministry source (same one we use to show that the herb is protected) is clear. The fact seems to be 1) true, 2) well-sourced, 3) relevant, and 4) stated in as neutral a way as possible. Jd2718 (talk) 20:41, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Same problem at Falafel involving some of the same editors. The page there is now protected and a workshop page and RfC have been opened. Hopefully, people will abide by Wikipedia policies on sourcing and verifiability here so as to avoid that outcome. Tiamuttalk 12:04, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Sources

If you're going to push a source forward, Make sure it says what you are claiming it says. I am checking all pages involved in the vandalism of Jamiechef2 (talk · contribs) after continued problems with people trying to insert/re-insert POV Violation wording with either inadequate or misrepresented sources. M1rth (talk) 15:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

M1rth, you deleted this information, claiming it misrepresented the source. The source says:

Salt, particularly rock salt, was also an ingredient in medieval Arab cuisine. Several recipes called for scented salt, such as the lemon salt still used in Iran. And salt flavoured with spices, sour pomegranate seeds, or toasted sesame seeds was, and still is, popular, like the spice mixture zaatar.

I wrote: "It has been used along with other spiced salts as a staple in Arab cuisine from medieval times to the present." How is the a misrepresentation of the source exactly? Why would you delete it, rather than modifying it so as to make it more accurate? Please revert yourself or offer an alternative that better represents what the source says. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 16:05, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Read your own quote. Grammatically, it is a quote comparing modern-day popularity of Za'atar to ancient popularity of salt mixes in general. This is inadequate for your purposed addition to the article. M1rth (talk) 16:13, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I don't understand. The author discusses the use of rock salt, scented salts, and spiced salts (of which zaatar is one) in the context of their use in medieval Arab cuisine and in the present-day. How is my sentence misrepresenting what the author writes? It's a summary true, but that's what we do here at Wikipedia. Would you prefer that we include the whole quote instead? The information is clearly relevant to this article and I don't see why you would just outright delete it, rather than editing it as you think it should read. Tiamuttalk 16:17, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe you are confused. Za'atar is not a "spiced salt" from what I am searching up, though it may often be combined with salt (this even from our own article, [6]). In simple searching, I came up with recipes that don't involve salt at all. For example: [7] - it's the second hit. Added to the issue is that there is no one "zaatar" recipe just like there's no one "curry" or "seasoned salt" or "italian seasoning" recipe. If you're going to source something claiming it as "arab" (as opposed to other terms such as "middle eastern", "mediterranean", etc... "middle eastern" seems to come up pretty frequently, with "mediterranean" less so but still often enough) then you really need a solid food historian source, as opposed to just a cookbook. A cookbook can make a lot of claims about its recipes' sourcing and age that are highly dubious, but make for good copy. M1rth (talk) 17:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I believe it is you that is confused. Za'atar can refer to just the herb or the spiced salt mixture produced using the herb, plus salt, sesame seeds and sometimes sumac. (Just as Hummus can refer to chickpeas or the dip made using chickpeas, tahina, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil). This is evident from the sources used throughout the article, which include a recipe for Za'atar. Some newer recipes might not use salt, but the Arabic standard recipe does, as indicated by the source I provided you above.
I'm willing to look into finding a better source, but I believe a cookbook on Middle Eastern cuisine is really good enough for this claim, which is not controversial. It's a well-known fact that Za'atar has been a staple of the Arabic diet for centuries. If your problem is with the source, you can simply ask for a better one, without deleting the information. I find the deletion of sourced material to be disrespectful of the contributions of others. Tiamuttalk 20:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Another source that supports the use of za'atar as a spiced salt mixture by Arabs in medieval times is this one. While I can't access the full article because I don't have a subscription, this excerpt appeared in a google search: "Waines (1989) presented a medieval recipe of the spice mixture za'atar: "Scented salt was, like the kmakh preparations, used both as a seasoning in cooking [...]" Note that the article is entitled "History and Lore of Sesame in Southwest Asia" and the abstract indicates that "A survey of culinary, medicinal and linguistic data is presented. The status of its cultivation in the last century is represented by a rare look at practices in Armenia, Syria and Yemen." As I said, the idea that za'atar has been used in Arab cuisine from medieval times to the present is wholly uncontroversial. I expect that you will self-revert so as to restore the information I added to the article. Tiamuttalk 20:36, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Given the lack of a reponse, I've gone ahead and readded the information, appending the new reference as well. I've also restored material on Maimonides deleted by a new user since I think the source for it is sufficient. I've also added some new material sourced to a book on the Politics of Food and moved a paragraph on the use of Za'atar today into the introduction and out of the history section. I've ordered the countries alphabetically there and added, the Arab diaspora and Palestinian diaspora alongside the Armenian diaspora, given the new source I added as well. Please, all editors who wish to delete sourced material, are asked to bring their concerns here FIRST, before doing so, to eliminate the tendency toward edit warring. Thank you. Tiamuttalk 10:59, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I had previously reordered the countries geographically (starting in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine) but in hindsight that costs the article to please or displease editors equally - not really the right thing to have done. This looks much better. Jd2718 (talk) 11:31, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm wondering if we should maybe pare down the cuisine categories and remove the country-specific ones, like was done with Hummus. My reasoning is that eventually someone is going to come along and add back in Israeli cuisine and I'm concerned that will set off another edit war. --Nsaum75 (talk) 06:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd prefer that we retain any categories whose inclusion is supported by reliable sources. If there is a source that says that Za'atar is a part of Israeli cuisine, then it should be added as well. For now, it seems we lack such a source, though we do have sources attesting to the cultivation of Za'atar in Israel. I don't really support the idea that we should pre-emptively delete relevant information because it may offend people. We can deal with that problem when it arises and if we follow policy and guidelines, we should be able to come out with a reasonable consensus position with editors acting in good faith. Tiamuttalk 12:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The 2nd line in the History Section states: "Za'atar is now an integral element in Israeli cuisine"[3]. Given your comment: "If there is a source that says that Za'atar is a part of Israeli cuisine, then it should be added as well", then the argument could be made that the Israeli cuisine category should be added. The information is sourced and the article (as currently written) plainly states its an "integral element in Israeli Cuisine". However, I still feel that country-specific categories shouldn't be listed; not so much because it may offend people, but because it lends itself to bias, controversial and nationalistic edits --Nsaum75 (talk) 07:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I've left this article alone while fighting off the legion of sockpuppets that seem to be on Tiamut's side/POV on other food pages (and we're talking serious abuses here... but I think that's probably the best idea. Tiamut seems to definitely have an agenda that doesn't fit NPOV and I'd rather give the food articles neutral categories and get them out of the poisonous atmosphere of israeli/palestinian edit warring. M1rth (talk) 12:24, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry M1rth, but how are your comments above relevant to this discussion on how to improve the article at all? I took significant time to respond to your concerns above about the material you deleted. I found new sources that said the same thing. Instead of responding to what I wrote and admitting that you were wrong, you pop in here only to cast aspersions on my editing and assume bad faith about my motivations. I'm getting very tired of your disruptive comments and editing style and am beginning to wonder what your purpose here is. I've raised my concerns (once again) with AGK. I hope this time he do something about it, since it's clear that you do not understand how to participate in a collaborative editing environment. Tiamuttalk 12:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Copied from AGK's talk page: If it is important to Tiamut to force things into the article, I believe it should be important for her to get her sourcing right and write in a neutral manner. In Talk:Za'atar:Sources she is failing to do this. This includes drawing WP:OR/WP:SYN conclusions on history based on non-WP:RS-viable items such as non-peer-reviewed cookbooks; quoting "references" such as this that do not mention the subject at hand in text (quoting an article on sesame in "southwest asia" as reason to claim Za'atar is a "spiced salt" because it refers to a "spice mixture za'atar" recipe including scented salt, ancillary to an attempt to WP:SYN one line from one source with another line from another source to draw a conclusion, based on the only single line a google search will pull), and inserting further wording trying to claim the spice as "arab" by adding in various arab "diasporas" to the intro. As of yet, you will note I have not reverted this, despite my misgivings on her continual abuse of WP:SYN and poor sourcing. M1rth (talk) 17:14, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Armenian and Palestinian diasporas? To make this very encyclopedic entry complete we'll have to add that Israelis of both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi origin living in New York, Los Angeles and Europe, as well as backpackers in India and Nepal, eat za'atar whenever they possibly can. --Gilabrand (talk) 19:24, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Gilabrand, I asked in this section above for people to discuss sourced material they would like to see deleted here, before doing so. Instead of doing that, you deleted two pieces of sourced information with only the most cursory of discussion [8], [9] largely confined to edit summaries.
About the family and their garden, I am open to considering the removal of that information or its modification.
About the diasporas, Armenian diaspora was listed without any source prior. I added Arab diaspora and Palestinian diaspora too. And the addition of the information of za'atar is eaten for breakfast in the Arab world, predominantly in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine is sourced to a reliable source and I'm going to restore that information. Please place fact tags on items you feel need better sourcing. And by all means, do add that Israelis of Ashkenzi and Mizrahi origin as well backpackers in India and Nepal eat za'atar whenever they can if you have a source for that information. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 22:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs source

Doesn't seem to be very reliable regarding the latin name of hyssop which is not Majorana Syriaca (that's the name for Marjoram). An article I added to the external links section notes that the Israeli government markets za'atar as "hyssop" or "holy hyssop" but that hyssop doesn't actually grow in Palestine-Israel. Accordingly, the introduction needs some changing, because we are surrently listing hyssop as one of the main ingredients of za'atar and using the latin name for marjoram. Anyone up to making the changes, or should I? Tiamuttalk 23:27, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at this [10] or at the section Talk:Za'atar#http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Origanum.html, above. There seems to be a variety of usages, some contradictory. Jd2718 (talk) 23:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Fascinating ... note that Origanum vulgare L. which in Arabic is listed as صَعْتَرُ بَرّي Satar barri means "Wild Za'atar". This would be the herb most often used by Arabs in traditional Arabic za'atar preparations (and we don't even have it listed in the introduction). This source on language and za'atar explains that "Hyssop officinalis, which grows widely in Southern Europe, is almost never found wild in Palestine, whereas Origanum vulgare is extremely common." Further the same source says that Israeli producers market za'atar as hyssop or holy hyssop even though za'atar is made from oregano, thyme and/or marjoram. How can we change the text to better reflect these multiple meanings, the colloquial usages versus the technical? Should we create a terminology section? Tiamuttalk 23:54, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Also note that the latin synonyms for Origanum syriacum L. (in Arabic, Za'atar) are listed as Majorana crassa, Majorana crassifolia, Majorana syriaca, Origanum crassa, Origanum maru L., Origanum pseudo-onites, but not Hyssop officinalis. The common English terms listed for it include "Bible hyssop, Syrian oregano, Wild marjoram", but is "Bible hyssop" a synonym for "Hyssop" itself? And if so, why is the latin name for Hyssop not included in the synonyms? Am I missing something? Tiamuttalk 23:59, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm convinced that it is complex. Beyond that? I don't know. It looks like a hard slog to sort this out. Maybe we can find a temporary opener that avoids obvious errors, while we continue to sift, or enlist someone with greater expertise or familiarity with reliable sources here. Remember, local usage may vary. Jd2718 (talk) 01:08, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmmmm ... Is there a botany project here that could lend some expert eyes to the situation? That might be of help. On another note, I agree that local usage may vary, but based on the sources we have so far, there is some indication that "hyssop" is being used colloquially (it's latin name does not appear in any sources), and according to one source it is used as a marketing device, despite its not actually being used in the preparation due to its non-existence in the region in question. Granted, it may be being cultivated by Israel after its import from southern Europe, but I don't think that's the case. Tiamuttalk 01:55, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I found Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants and tagged this article as needing attention. Hopefully, that will help bring other eyes. Also, I noticed at the top of the page Talk:Za'atar#Redundancy, perhaps?, another editor explaining that "hyssop" is used in the Bible but that Za'atar is not Hyssopus, but rather Origanum syriacum or "Wild Oregano". I will ask that editor to come back here and take a look, since they seem rather knowledgeable about the subject in general. Hopefully, we will be able to sort this all out. Tiamuttalk 02:05, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Amazing how 'obscure' projects turn out to be so useful! Thank you for the ongoing effort. Jd2718 (talk) 02:32, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Hey Jd2718, I decided to take a stab at it myself since the Wikiproject on Plants doesn't seem to be responding. I've made changes and added sources where required. Let me know wht you think and where the text needs to be made more clear or where you think additional sources might be required. Another set of eyes would be great given the many different names and sources, but I think what I've done so far is an improvement (in that at least it follows what the sources we have actually say). Thanks. Tiamuttalk 02:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll look closer, but on first inspection it seems to catch the details well. I am concerned that the paragraph on Israel is showing the signs of having been warred over: too many citations, too many marginal facts. I may try to rewrite, but I'll bring proposals here, to Talk, first. Jd2718 (talk) 02:49, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jd2718, on my part I can say that I have no problem with additions or changes to the article text when done in line with what the sources. (My only problems are with deletions of sourced material that don't discuss the (ir)relevancy here first, or the altering of text in a way that is not in accordance with the source.) However, your comment may be directed to others on this page, in which case I can't speak for them. But you might try using WP:BRD to move things forward if you feel the edit might be disputed but want people to know that reversion, followed by discussion is encouraged. Anyway, thanks for your initial feedback. I'll be waiting for more. Tiamuttalk 03:03, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Hebrew name?

Someone has readded the Hebrew word for Za'atar to the introduction. I question the suitability of this edit, given that Za'atar is an Arabic word that is translated into many other languages (should we have the armenian and greek names for it there as well)? I would however, like to hear from others before removing this addition so s to avoid an edit war. Can someone please explain the rationale for adding Hebrew here? Thanks. Tiamuttalk 03:35, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

What is the problem with having the Hebrew name included? The article makes it quite clear that this is a popular condiment in Israel, where the language is Hebrew. It seems quite normal and common to list multiple names - compare with Falafel, or Sauerkraut. If you know and want to add the Greek and Armenian names- go right ahead. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 03:43, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with including the Hebrew name in the body of the article, in the section which discusses the use of Za'atar in Israel. I do have a problem with placing it on par with the Arabic term from whence the name of the condiment dervies because it implies that the word comes from Hebrew as well. As far as I know, that is not true, and unless you have a source that says that is the case, I would prefer not to mislead readers into thinking this is an etymological designation. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 03:58, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it implies anything but the fact that this is what it is called in Hebrew. There is no discussion of etymology next to it, and the very next sentence makes it clear that it is from the Arabic word for the plant. Again, this is common practice on Wikipedia: check out Tarator - no fewer than 3 languages in the title, one with 3 variations. No one thinks this is misleading. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 04:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I understand where you are coming from, but in my view it remains misleading and implies an etymological connection of some sort which is not borne out by the sources we have discussing the term Za'atar. No matter. I'm in no hurry to remove it. I'd be more than willing to hear what other editors have to say about the subject before doing anything rash. Thanks for your reply. Tiamuttalk 04:32, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Za'atar is indeed the Arabic name for the herb, which was borrowed (not "stolen") by Hebrew-speakers. In the Bible, za'atar is called "ezov" (usually translated as hyssop). If you live in Israel, you can find it growing wild, and it is not the same as oregano or thyme, despite the fact that the plants have a somewhat similar look, with woody stems and tiny greyish leaves. The smell and taste are distinctly different. Since this is a Middle Eastern herb, and the two dominant languages spoken in the Middle East are Arabic and Hebrew, I think having the Hebrew alongside the Arabic is perfectly valid, and is not misleading in any way. The information about "ezov" that I once added with a reference was deleted at some point. --Gilabrand (talk) 06:27, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Gilabrand. Bible hyssop is a common English term used to refer to Origanum syriacum (also called "Syrian oregano" or "wild majoram". This article on language explains that "hyssopus officinalis" does not grow in Palestine in the wild, only in Southern Europe. It also contains information that suggests that the hyssop referred to in the Bible may indeed have been "Syrian oregano". The term "ezov" is associated with hyssop, but its associations with Syrian oregano are not clear. Please re-read the sources now cited in the article. I am not against including more material on the Hebrew term and its relationship to za'atar. I am however hesitant to include non-Arabic terms in the first sentence in the lead because as the sources indicate, it is clear that Za'atar comes from Arabic and not Hebrew, Armenian or Greek. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 09:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

The article from the Jewish Forward is indeed interesting. I found the use of the phrase "Arab spice" surprising. Editors should review the source carefully. Jd2718 (talk) 03:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I am Dr. Drakken has restored the Hebrew name again with an edit summary saying "see talk". I tried to find something in WP:MoS about the appropriate use of other languages in the lead, but couldn't find anything specific. Does anybody know if it is appropriate to cite other languages alongside the English term if they are not related to the etynology of the term? Thanks. Tiamuttalk 12:17, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
This appears to be a borrowing/transliteration into Hebrew. By the way, Drakken seems to have asked us to read his comments at talk, but he didn't make any. Jd2718 (talk) 13:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
feel free to have a look at the beginning of this section, whee my comments are clearly spelled out. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 14:38, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
The issue, Dr. Drakken, is that it doesn't make sense to unduly highlight the Hebrew translation of the Arabic original considering that the use of Za'atar in Israel is due to its being an arab spice to which the Israelis were introduced over the last 60 years. As I said before, should we translate the arabic into Armenian, Greek and other languages as well? We would end up with a long list that doesn't provide the reader with information regarding the rlevance of these translations. I move that we keep the Arabic only, since it's an Arabic word and Arab spice. If you want to note the Hebrew transliteration in the section on Israel that's fine, but it's not appropriate for the introduction, given it's a mere translation. Tiamuttalk 16:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I've shown you numerous examples, from other WP pages, that show quite clearly that it is customary and common to list multiple language variants of the same word, as in Tarator. I've also said I have no objection to adding the Greek and Armenian names. There is nothing undue about giving the names in languages of the countries where it is used. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 04:29, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
None of those are directly relevant here: za'atar is an Arabic word that is recently being transliterated. Jd2718 (talk) 05:01, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course it is directly relevant. Tartor for example, regardless of its origin, is translated on its page into 3 languages: Albanian, Bulgarian, and Macedonian , and all three are used in the first line. This is the exact same situation. See Falafel for another example. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 14:59, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
No it's not actually. Selected examples of what is done on other pages isn't relevant here. I can find you just as many examples that only list the language from which the word derives or that list no language at all. We need to discuss the merits of adding the Hebrew language translation of the Arabic original here, not elsewhere.
Also, you write in this edit summary that we should "gain consensus" before deleting the Hebrew again. You have got it backwards however. The editor adding material is the one who needs to gain consensus for his edit (please read WP:CONSENSUS). At least two editors here have outlined solid reasons for why the Hebrew addition is inappropriate and/or misleading here. Until you work towards gaining consensus from those two editors for your edit, your continual resinsertion of it is disruptive and leads to edit-warring. Please self-revert. Tiamuttalk 23:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it is , actually, as it establishes when common WP practice is. No one has yet explained why this is inappropriate or misleading here, and no one seems to think it is inappropriate or misleading at Tarator. At least two editors have objected to your inappropriate continual deletion of this, which is disruptive and leads to edit-warring. Please work to gain consensus for it. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 23:22, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
It has been explained at length as to why it is inappropriate and misleading (in my own humble opinion, of course). However, in order to clear this up once and for all, I've left a note at the WP:MoS talk page asking for more explicit guidance on which languages should be included after the bolded term. It's not covered explicitly there as it stands now, (though there is the example of Vienna cited which shows only the German original and not for example, the French, Spanish and Arabic translations of the terms as well). In any case, I'm hoping they will be able to provide some outside input that can help us here, and that more generally, it will prompt people to make a more explicit guideline at that page so that these kinds of issues can be minimized in the future. Tiamuttalk 23:56, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
It has been asserted, by you, that this is uncommon - which I have shown to be false, and it has been asserted by you, that this is misleading, which is incorrect, as I pointed out that the very next sentence makes clear it is an Arab word. Other than that, there have been no explanations of why this is inappropriate and misleading , while I have shown that this is common practice on numerous articles. Vienna is not a food, but a city in Austria, where the only official language is German. Thus, it makes no sense to provide the Arabic or Spanish name for it, By contrast, Brussels is a city in a country with two official languages, and lo and behold, its article lists not only the Flemish and French names, but also the German! And needless to say, as you are obviously well aware, Jerusalem's article also gives the Arabic name, even though the etymology has nothing to do with Arabic. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 00:10, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I've asked for help at the MoS page and I suggest we wait for their feedback. While you raise an interesting point about place names like Jerusalem using both Hebrew and Arabic, I would argue that place names, particularly when there is contestation over their ownership are a different issue from the one at hand.

We are discussing food here and whether it is appropriate to list the names of food in multiple languages, when it is clear that they derive from one (in this case, Arabic). While you cited examples like Tarator, there are counter-examples, such as Sushi and Pizza, which are both widely consumed around the world and yet, surprise, surprise only their Japanese and Italian names respectively are included in brackets after the bolded term. As I have said a number of times, listing every language in which Za'atar can be transcribed is unnecessary and misleading. Readers want to know where the term came from and not how it is written in mutliple other languages. Arabic is the only appropriate inclusion in my opinion since it is the language from which the English name derives. Placing only Hebrew beside it seems to be a way of unduly emphasizing its use in Israel, while placing other languages there too (such as Armenian, Greek, etc.,) is unnecessary clutter and raises the question of where to draw the line. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 00:50, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

This really is a discussion of za'atar, not of tarator or pizza. The word is Arabic, and it is transliterated (rather than translated) into other languages. This is en.wikipedia, so we start with English. And there really is not a case for a transliteration into other alphabets. Jd2718 (talk) 01:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I came here from Talk:Falafel, and I absolutely agree that having only the Hebrew next to the Arabic is misleading and that including other languages besides the one whence the word derives is unnecessary clutter. I don't see how anything is gained by listing other languages there. The only argument I have seen for keeping other languages is that it's done elsewhere, which is clearly fallacious. -- Irn (talk) 03:14, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Suggested compromise

I understand there are severely hurt feelings on both sides, and that at least some of the accounts arguing against the Hebrew transliteration in the lede are sock-puppets who are acting out of ethnic hostility rather than WP policy.

However, I think it's important to acknowledge that the word "Za'atar" is an Arabic word, whether it's borrowed into other languages or not. The Hebrew in the lede is not a big problem for me, or apparently for Tiamut, but it is a little dubious.

How about we move the Hebrew down into the "History" section? We can say, "For Israeli Jews, zaatar (Hebrew: זעתר) used to be an exotic treat associated with visits to Arab bakeries..." <eleland/talkedits> 13:34, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

That's a good suggestion Eleland. My problem with the Hebrew in the lead is that it is one of many transliterations of the Arabic word and I don't see the need to unduly highlight that particular transliteration when this is an English encyclopedia and there are many equivalent transliterations (for example, Greek, Armenian, etc.) that are just as valid or relevant. We shouldn't be clutering up the lead with other non-Romanized transliterations that are unrelated to the term's etymology. There is nothing though, in my opinion, with including the non-Romanized transliterations in the sections coverig each of the areas in question. Thanks for your comments. Tiamuttalk 14:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Why is it an "arabic word"? Why are you so insistent on removing it from the lead? I don't see it as "Undue" any more than any other food articles and every other one I've ever seen has it the other way, they list all transliterations up front. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maha Pizza (talkcontribs) 13:35, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

It's an Arabic word because it comes from the Arabic language. The reason, at least as far as I can see, for including the Arabic in the lede is because that's how the word originally appears in its original language - because the word has been transliterated into English from Arabic. To include any other transliteration next to that is dubious at best because it gives the appearance that the origins of the word might not be Arabic. Thus, undue weight. Further, what does it add to the article to have the word transliterated into other languages in the lede? -- Irn (talk) 16:36, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

suggestion find some high quality encyclopedic sources to promote your perspective rather than simply promoting your perspective. JaakobouChalk Talk 14:52, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

What are you on about? This isn't a matter of "perspective," Jaakobou. Nobody's "promoting" a particular point of view. "Za'atar" is an Arabic word. Are you now disputing this? Sheesh. It never ends. <eleland/talkedits> 20:44, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Jaakobu. I replaced the lead because I could not find one article where someone tried to hide another transliteration later in the article, and after reviewing the page history I can only conclude that there is some goal to create a weight in one direction or the other by those seeking the removal of the transliteration. I too would like to see some sourcing for the hand-waving claim that "it is an arabic word" over and over again. Just because you repeat a claim over and over does not make it so, that is merely Proof by assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maha Pizza (talkcontribs) 22:36, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The source you want is already in the article: this piece from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "For Israeli Jews, zaatar used to be an exotic treat associated with visits to Arab bakeries." Based on this, I'll restore the lead. Should you find a contradictory source, please share it here. Jd2718 (talk) 01:28, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

No. There is no reason really for including the Hebrew word for this just because it is eaten in Israel. Whatever next? The Hebrew word for crisp in articles about crisps because crisps are also eaten in Tel Aviv? Grace Note (talk) 03:48, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely agree. However, it seems Hex has ignored this talk page and is adamant on its inclusion for some reason. I support moving it to the History section as Eleland suggested above, and I notice no one's managed to counter Irn's or Jd2718's comments. I'm removing it again, but I don't want to enter into an edit war. Hopefully we can just come to an agreement. 82.17.236.83 (talk) 05:33, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Huh? Ignored this talk page? I don't think you've actually read the whole thing. There is considerable discussion below about the compromise achieved by keeping both terms in order to discourage POV warriors. You do realize that the discussion in this section page is almost a year old, don't you? — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:49, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you previously ignored the talk page and reintroduced the Hebrew text into the introduction. See the Hummus page for a similar predicament; there only exists Arabic text in the intro because the dish is originally Arabic. There's a reason why Hebrew, Greek, etc. isn't included in the intro for that article. There's nothing POV about it - it doesn't matter how much the residents of a country enjoy it, all that matters is where it originated, and that's what should be used. Everything else can go in the main body of the article, I don't see why there's a problem with doing it that way. 82.17.236.83 (talk) 01:17, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. I was talking about keeping the term in the article at all, not in the lede. You haven't been watching this article for very long, I think - I already restored the Hebrew text to where you put it several(!) times, after people like Grace Note deleted it. Then it got deleted yet again, so I moved it to the lede - so at least the two non-English versions would be side be side. Whenever there's an isolated instance of one or the other language in the article, some POV-pusher will come along and delete it. Just wait and see...
I don't care where it is in the article, so long as it's there somewhere. Please don't make out that I'm fixated on keeping it in the lede, because I'm not. All I want is to prevent unbelievably lame edit-warring from happening. Okay? — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:58, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
The article is now exactly back at where it was before, with the Hebrew text further down. I have had to temporarily block User:Galassi for edit-warring over this. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:59, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Commercial sources - POV inclusion?

I see there is a strong effort to include a picture of an Israeli brand of commercial za'atar on this page. It implies this company's sole commercialization of this food and nothing is further from the truth. There are far too many numerous Arab commercial sources and for them to be excluded just to show one example of an Israeli brand is clear bias. In addition, this page already has an unbiased picture of a za'atar dish. The second picture is completely unwarranted in this page and more appropriate for a 'commercial za'atar" page or perhaps the company's own website. The discussion of Israeli commercialization should suffice. Furthermore, biasing one particular brand of Israeli za'atar over others is also implied by showing a picture, whereas this impression is not left when no picture is included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Factfisher (talkcontribs) 02:45, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

You are welcome to add to this article and find/include non-bias Arab sources. This particular bottle of Za'atar was bought in Houston, Texas at an Arab Market. The reason it was used was because the label was also in English (this is English wikipedia after all) not to push an Israeli POV. Please be more careful not to jump the gun and immediately consider that because it also has a hebrew label, that an Israeli POV is being pushed. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 02:53, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps, then a picture of commercial za'atar with no Arabic or Hebrew would be most appropriate. I will see if I can take a clear picture of one of many that meet that criteria at a local market in NYC. However, there would still be the issue of unfairly highlighting one particular brand, whether Arabic, English, or Hebrew, which I have not seen done in many similar food articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Factfisher (talkcontribs) 03:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Would you object to the bottle being turned, so that the Hebrew label doesnt show -- making only the english label visible? I still have the bottle and can take its photo. --Nsaum75 (talk) 03:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate your sincere efforts on this page, Nsaum. I must express my concern, though, that the picture highlights the "Pyramid" brand of za'atar which is highlighting 1 brand only on this site which I feel is inappropriate. (Even in English only, the words on the box are clearly representative of the Israeli terminology regarding za'atar) Now, even if it was Syrian or Lebanese, I just dont feel this sight should be subject to "branding". Feel free to have the pic on the site, I just do not feel it is an appropriate placement and would like discussion to continue.

Factfisher, from your comments, I seem to glean you're not so bothered by the "highlighting" of a commercial mark with a photo, as you are that the company happens to be culturally Israeli. Am I missing anything? Gwen Gale (talk) 13:47, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I know that this has been a very controversial subject, and there are strong feelings on all sides, but I can't help but say — come on! It's a picture of a container of Za'atar. It's not an endorsement of the Evil Zionist Cultural Theft Conspiracy. It's even placed next to a "history" section which is ~60% about Za'atar in Israel/Palestine, so it matches the content of the text. If you want to go out and take a picture of some other commercial brand of Za'atar, then add it to the article, by all means do so! But please don't just remove the picture because it has Hebrew letters on it. <eleland/talkedits> 17:55, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Yep, as to photos of commercial preparations, I'd say the more the merrier fits here. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:04, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
All, my intention it not necessarily a backlash against "Evil Zionist" anything, but lets be honest here, highlighting one particular vendor of a food on what should be a purely informative article of the food itself (not of any particular commercial providers) does nothing beneficial to the article. It places a bias, even if unintentional, by highlighting that brand. One would then ask, then, why not another Israeli brand (of which there are many). Secondly, if someone were to post an Egyptian brand of za'atar, than why not a Lebanese or Syrian brand? The argument would never end. I have found that the history of these types of articles is a very touchy subject and it would be a benefit to the page and all who read it for the article to be as neutral as possible. Pictures can imply many things and therefore the standard of neutrality should apply to them. I understand not everyone may see this as such a sensitive topic and may find my argument petty. This is just my perception on the matter, however, and I felt it warranted a discussion, thats all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Factfisher (talkcontribs) 00:09, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Neutrality? Touchy? Factfisher, who is being touchy here? To be straight with you, it still sounds to me as though you don't like the Hebrew lettering, is all. Gwen Gale (talk) 00:17, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Returning to all of this recently, I suggest we compare with, say, tahini. (Hmm...za'atar and tahini. Sounds better already!) The purpose of the (branded in Arabic and English) jar is to show how tahini is sold and the separation of the oil. The za'atar spice pyramid photo serves, perhaps, to illustrate (a) how the product is sometimes sold, and (b) illustrate the prose describing za'atar in Israel. I think (b) is a worthwhile goal, so the inclusion of the image itself isn't POV -- it doesn't suggest that this is the only way za'atar is purchased. On the other hand, I think we can find better photos than a closed spice jar. I think a picture of za'atar for sale in a souk would be great, and it avoids the branding issue. I've found the following, what do people think?

Za'atar plant
Pita bi'za'atar

The latter would probably be good in the culinary use section. --Mgreenbe (talk) 16:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)


I think the first picture would be a nice addition to the page, and have no real objections to either one. Thanks for posting! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Factfisher (talkcontribs) 02:11, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Added. Does someone knowledgeable in Arabic want to round out the transliterations? --Mgreenbe (talk) 13:56, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I have a packet of za'atar from Syria. Perhaps I should take a photo of it and we can include that *and* the Israeli brand as equal examples. — Hex (❝?!❞) 11:04, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

You know what - after reviewing the contribution of "Factfisher", it's painfully obvious that it's an SPA, and I am not minded to give its objections any credence. I've gone ahead and added both pictures. — Hex (❝?!❞) 11:54, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Looks good; kudos (to you and Jd2718, who recently reorganized). --mgreenbe (talk) 21:01, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the mention. Look, it's an Arab spice that's been adopted by Israelis, the article says that, the photos reflect that. All good. It doesn't negate the cultural appropriation bit, which is really a big deal. I'm not sure that any PoV warrior is going to be happy as it stands, but no matter. Most of what belongs is there, most of what doesn't is not. Jd2718 (talk) 01:49, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


Unnecessary Photos

Why are two photos of commercially prepared Za'atar? Is this not overkill? The photo on the left serves as a good example of commercially prepared Za'atar, as it is available world wide. The photo on the right should be removed as it adds additional clutter to the section and is redundant in nature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AshrafRana (talkcontribs) 21:41, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Please don't remove the photo of the Israeli za'atar. In return, you get to expect that other editors will not remove the Arabic za'atar. This is called balance. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:56, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
It's called giving undue weight to your particular POV. No one who doesn't share your POV cares that we illustrate the article with Syrian za'atar, nor do they care what the Hebrew for it is, because this is an English-language article. I know it's hard to step outside your viewpoint and see that, but believe me, it's pretty clear when you do.Grace Note (talk) 03:51, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
The two forms and packaging illustrated are very different and the photos by no means duplicative. A little diversity is beneficial and harmless. Calling a second photo overkill is overkill. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:07, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
What an absurd argument Grace Note makes. I look forward to him/her removing all the Japanese text from sushi, because it "is an English-language article". — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:25, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Grace Note, both photos were left as sort of a "stalemate" to resolve repeated edit wars. As silly as it may seem, both Hummus & Za'atar have edit-warred to no end (with arguments spilling over from each article), therefore WP has been...bent...in some areas, in order to create a stable article. In fact, both food items made it onto the List of Lamest edit wars. So I ask, that you at least take this into consideration, and reconsider your removal of the photo. --Nsaum75 (talk) 04:11, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. I went ahead & restored the status quo ante, in the interest of peacekeeping. Hertz1888 (talk) 05:29, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


I agree, Why have a photo of an Israeli product in this Arab food article that has nothing to do with Israel except that they stole it from us? The Israeli sections of the article must be removed including the image "Commercially prepared za'atar from Israel"--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 20:39, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

No. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:00, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Speedy Delete of Hebrew-language Za'atar photo

I'm seeking comment on the {{Db-f3}} tag which was placed on the hebrew language za'atar photo. An editor, with no other edit history, removed the image from the article referring to it as zionist za'atar and tagged it for speedy deletion. Since I contributed the photo, I didn't want to remove the speedy delete tag until discussing if it was truely warranted. While assuming WP:Good Faith, it appears the user chose to single out the Hebrew-language version by raising licensing concerns, while not holding the same standard to the "Syrian" version (which is also a photo of a commonly available package of za'atar). I raise this issue because if you look at the history of the article, there have been repeated attempts to remove only the Hebrew-language photo.

I still have the bottle of za'atar and can take a new photo, or adjust the licensing so that it can be used in the article --Nsaum75 (talk) 04:40, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

So far, Falafelmeister's account is a single-purpose account, that purpose evidently being the highly specific one of trying to wipe away this one photo. I suspected from the start the deletion requests were part of a new hostile attempt to expunge anything Israeli from certain food articles. What cinched it for me was that editor's immediate attempt to remove this one photo from the article, without waiting to see if the image deletion request would be honored, and referring to it as "zionist" (not Israeli) za'atar. That is anything but a neutral point of view constructive action. Hertz1888 (talk) 05:27, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
After researching other photos [11], [12], that are used in articles to show examples of a commercially available product (ie: photos not used in a article about a specific brand), I have adjusted the licensing to more closely reflect what I believe is a true and correct license. Wikipedia is filled with thousands of photos of potentially non-free, branded images; and while attempting to assume WP:Good Faith, I reiterate that I cannot help but feel this photo was singled out based upon ulterior motives. --Nsaum75 (talk) 08:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I have indefinitely blocked Falafelmeister as an SPA. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:17, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Israeli culture theft

The Israeli sections of the article must be removed including the image of "Commercially prepared za'atar from Israel", Why is this picture in the article about a food that is 100% Arab and 0% Israeli or jewish? it comes from Arab countries. Israel and Jews have nothing to do with it. They have stolen our lands, now they steal our food and claim it as theyrse. This is not acceptable --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 16:53, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

If you look further up this talk page, you'll see there have been previous discussions on this theme. This doen't mean that it can't be discussed again, but people should make themselves familiar with the old arguments before raising things again.--Peter cohen (talk) 19:29, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. — Hex (❝?!❞) 20:57, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The information regarding Israel is from reliable sources and publications. Its inclusion may be challenged, however one of Wikipedia's core tenets[13] is to ensure all articles are written from a neutral point of view, and removal of properly sourced Israeli/Jewish-related information might be viewed as a violation of that tenet. --Nsaum75 (talk) 00:55, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I have added sourced information on the origins of Za'atar -- which themselves are vague, but are clearly of Middle Eastern and Levantine origin. Please discuss further here before anyone chooses to revert or insert unsourced information. --Nsaum75 (talk) 09:20, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Your sources are only confirming the israeli culture theft of Arab foods. The way they stole our food, put an israeli flag on it and exported it to america making americans believe its "israeli food" . Disgusting! --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 09:45, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I hope you are banned from Wikipedia soon for your comments on this and many other pages. You are a disgrace to Wikipedia (if not the human race).--Gilabrand (talk) 09:52, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I have only followed the rules. Disgrace to the human race? this is personal insult! you should be immidiatly banned from wikipedia!--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 09:58, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I second the motion for Miss Deliciousness to be banned from Wikipedia. That person's contributions are themselves insulting. Miss Deliciousness should go play elsewhere. (98.194.124.102 (talk) 09:22, 16 June 2009 (UTC))

comments request

Israel is Jewish state that was declare in May 1948. Israel is compose of ashkenazi (originally jew from europe), safardi (originally jew from spain) or mizrahi (originally jew from northern africa). Za'atar is not native to this areas. Should the Israeli state be mentioned in articles historical section and given equal weight to native arab source information? I thanks everyone. Ani medjool (talk) 23:53, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Jews were not restricted to just North Africa, Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Jews have lived in the Levant for thousands of years. For instance, the Jewish exodus from Arab lands, included Jews living in Syria and Lebanon. And in the time since the founding of Israel, Jews have left their long-time communities in Iran, Iraq, Jordan and other Arab lands, to move to Israel. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that Za'atar has no historical link to Jews in general or the Arab Jews in Israel, who lived in the area prior to 1948. Furthermore by not including Israel, you are denying the history of thousands of Arab Israelis and Christian Israelis who have lived in the area for ages. The article makes it clear the food is of middle eastern and levantine origin, and I dont think a photograph of a bottle of Za'atar from Israel or information about the protection of "wild hyssop" by the Israeli government, qualifies as WP:UNDUE. --Nsaum75 (talk) 00:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Jews from Syria and Lebanon that live in Israel are very few if you compare them to the Israeli population, it may be less then 20k?-30k? The absolute vast majority of Jews from Middle Eastern countries came from Morocco, north africa, Kurdish inhabited areas, Yemen, Iran. These people that live there have no connection whatsoever to any Leavantine Arab food including zaatar. And those Syrian and Lebanese Jews, they were eating Syrian and Lebanese food, not Israeli food and not Jewish food. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 00:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I eat spaghetti and I'm not Italian. Foodways can be adopted. If lots of Israelis eat Zatar, it becomes an Israeli food. Like spaghetti is now found in every American grocery which, I assure you , was not true 100 years ago.Historicist (talk) 02:50, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

So why don't you go over to the Spaghetti article and ad images of Israeli manufactured spaghetti and ad sections explaining how spaghetti is eaten in Israel and by Jews? and also ad "Israeli cuisine" at the bottom, and the Israeli sections must be even longer and greater then the Italian section, you know, so they can resemble the Israeli sections of Arab food articles. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 08:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

  • This is an absurd discussion. See this article copied form a similar discussion:
  • " I have been following and editing Middle Eastern food articles for quite some time now, and I have watched as editors have attempted to find creative ways to use Wikipedia's own "laws" regarding sourced information to try to either demonize certain cultures' contributions and adoptions of foods or turn seemingly innocent articles about mashed chickpeas into political statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict. (See here and here) --Nsaum75 (talk) 10:37, 25 March 2009 (UTC)"
We should stop this nonsense.Historicist (talk) 03:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

i have made the photo of the za'atar less offensive. why are two photos wanted? the syrian zaatar is real and historically accurate but the jewish zaatar is a copycat and a sad attempt by the jews to revise history —Preceding unsigned comment added by XXinshallahXX (talkcontribs) 23:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Reverted. Politically-motivated vandalism is unwelcome on Wikipedia. — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:02, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Hebrew Za'atar

I remove foto of Hebrew Za'atar for several reason. Before other editor add it again, let us discuss and reach agreement of facts.

1. Za'atar is historically Middle Eastern, Levant and Arab food. The foto of the Jewish Za'atar might mislead new reader or student to the belief that Za'atar have Israeli or Jew origins to. This is factually incorrect.

2. Foto is example of commercial prepare Za'atar. There exists example already, two example not needed. It be confusing to new reader. The Jewish Za'atar foto is older on wikipedia, but the Syrian Za'atar is better foto and more representatives of Za'atar of commerce.

3. User who contribute Jewish Za'atar foto have history of bias pro israel editing. If you view list of Nsaum75 contributions you will see this. They adding this to article about Arab food is a example of bias editing because it push to change nature of article from a arab food article, plus it try to give legitimacy of ownership of za'atar by jews and israeli.

As you can see, the Jewish Israeli Za'atar is misleading, duplicate and unneeded, so I remove it. Ani medjool (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:29, 26 August 2009 (UTC).

I agree with that the photo of the Israeli manufactured zaatar shouldn't be in the article at all. Its as much relevance as having Argentinian manufactured zaatar, it has no connection to the dish historically or in any other way and has no place in the article. The Syrian image is the correct one and is enough. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 22:33, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Jews and Israel food fotos have no legitimacy in middle eastern and arab food article, just like foto of Za'atar from Argentina would have no legitimacy. Many Jew in Israel move there from Argentina too, proving your comment true. Very good example! Thank you Ani medjool (talk)

Right. The next step no doubt is to say Jews and Israel have no legitimacy in the Middle East. The political motivation and bias here is loud, clear, and ugly—and of course blames bias on the "other side". Per previous discussions stability was reached by balancing the two photos. Unilaterally removing one (guess which one) destroys whatever harmony may have been achieved. Hertz1888 (talk) 00:04, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
There is no harmony, balance or neutrality in putting Israel on the same position as Arab countries in Arab food articles, specially since the Israeli section are almost always greater then the Arab ones. Including in this article.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 07:02, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the history section is almost entirely about Israel; However most of the Israel-related content in this food article, and others, deals with various disagreements and contention over the Israelis adoption/adaptation of a particular food. We could pare down some of the contentious material, but in the past that has not been agreeable to many editors (sometimes including myself). That said, the history section should be expanded to include other countries. --Nsaum75 (talk) 07:34, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Most of the material in the History section related to Israel doesn't discuss the history of the herb. It's discussing the contentious nature of the Israeli adoption of the herb, or Israel's allegedly "anti-Arab" law about picking it. I'd suggest moving that paragraph out of the History section entirely and into a new section, named something like Controversy. ← George [talk] 07:50, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
The controversy is part of the history of the herb (As Nsaum57 said recently at Israeli salad). It should not be segregated from the rest of the information on the usage of the herb. Tiamuttalk 11:35, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Correct, that's precisely why I have not always been supportive of paring down the "contentious" information in an article; the contentiousness of it is part of the history of the food. That said, there may be better ways to incorporate the information into the article. Regardless, the history section should be expanded to be more inclusive of other cultures & countries. -- Nsaum75 (talk) 12:33, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Just because something happened in the past, doesn't mean that labeling it as history is always the best course of action. In this case, I think the paragraph should actually be broken up into three parts. The first part, dealing with naming za'atar "hyssop" in Israel, should be moved into the Etymology section. The second part, about za'atar becoming "an integral element in Israeli cuisine", absolutely makes sense where it is in the History section. The third part, discussing confiscation of za'atar and the law Palestinians view as "anti-Arab", makes more sense in a Controversies section. Theoretically, everything that didn't happen in the future happened in the past, but that doesn't mean that we must put everything from the past in the history section. Sentences should go in the sections most appropriate to the contents of those sentences. ← George [talk] 20:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
George, I agree that the hyssop naming related info is better dealt with in the etymology section, but disagree about farming out the information regarding the restrictions on the gathering of za'atar in israel to a "controversies" section. It's OR for us to name it a controversy. None of the sources do that. Its part of the history of the use of the herb, and should stay in the history section. Tiamuttalk 20:44, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, so what would you call a law that Arabs view as "almost anti-Arab", if not controversial? It's probably okay to keep it as a part of the history section for now though, until and unless more material on such controversies related to this spice arise. It actually may make more sense to create a single article detailing all such food-related controversies (if they really exist, as the tenaciously deletionist editors here would seem to suggest). ← George [talk] 22:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Both Supreme Deliciousness and Ani medjool have now received final warnings for making politically-motivated deletions in this article. I am going to start handing out blocks if it happens again. — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:10, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Third-level warning given ShalilKempa. Hertz1888 (talk) 03:30, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Anyone able to translate the Hebrew on the Israeli Za'atar? I can tell that the large print says Za'atar, but what does the rest say? At a guess one line is the equivalent to the "all natural" in the English wording, but does the rest relate to the Biblical term for hyssop? (BTW, I stand by what I said in my last edit to the page that it is the fact that the label references "Hyssop" and "The Holy Hyssop" than makes it relevant ot the article. We don't actually need two pictures of commercial products in themselves and in principle the removal would have otherwise been quite appropriate.)--Peter cohen (talk) 22:50, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I am be bold like Wikipedia say and make this comment: Reader can see Za'atar herb in Syrian Za'atar bag. No herb visibility exist in jewish "Za'atar". Because it not able to be viewed, nobody know if it really Za'atar or maybe fake Za'atar. This make Syrian Za'atar foto more represental of Za'atar. This fact make whatever the bottle say in the jewish language unimportant and non relevant to article. Plus no body know what the jewish say. So it should be deleted from wikipedia. Do other agree with my facts? If no, I can discover other reason for delete of the jews "Za'atar". Thank you. Ani medjool (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:08, 27 August 2009 (UTC).
Are you serious? You want to remove the photo of a package laballed "za'atar" because you can't see the spice through the package? LOL! ← George [talk] 23:43, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
It help establish superiority of Syrian Za'atar foto and it relevance over the foto of supposed jewish "za'atar". It cannot be deny that seeing product inside package make it better foto. Ani medjool (talk)
Sorry, but the adults who edit Wikipedia articles don't have the time to entertain delusional conspiracy theories. Please find some other way to spend your time. -- — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:28, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Your repeated use of "Jewish" rather than "Israeli" makes your true motivation crystal clear. — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:30, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

All of these objections to the bottle of Za'atar are saddening. If we are going to fight over the bottle's appearance and its Hebrew text, then someone could also easily point out that the Syrian Za'atar package actually says "Green Thyme" in English at the top; and although I do not read Arabic, my guess is that the Arabic text immediately above the English text translates to "Green Thyme" as well. However, such arguments are silly and creates distrust and animosity amongst editors. I support Hex, lets try to be adults and Assume Good Faith instead of adopting wild conspiracy theories regarding packaging and labeling. --Nsaum75 (talk) 04:26, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I concur. If there are valid reasons to remove either image (or both), present them, but the arguments presented here for removal of the image are silly – and worse, bigoted. (Btw, the Arabic reads za'atar akhtar - akhtar being the Arabic word for green, and za'atar being the Arabic word for thyme.) ← George [talk] 05:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
George, Thank you for the translation. --Nsaum75 (talk) 05:13, 28 August 2009 (UTC)