Talk:Israel-related animal conspiracy theories
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|A fact from Israel-related animal conspiracy theories appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the Did you know? column on 16 January 2011 (check views). The text of the entry was as follows: "Did you know
Seriously? This article is meant to mock the idea of such methods of spying, which is entirely unencylopedic. Never have I seen a documentary, report or other prominent outlet report on "Israel-related animal conspiracy theories". It appears to entirely be original research and synthesis of material composed by those who wish to make fun of reports of Israeli spying accusations. Why the hell does this exist? Should we have an article on AI militarization or data mining "conspiracy theories" next? Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 02:07, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
This difference, Bataaf van Oranje, is that conspiracy theories such as these are propagated not just by the uninformed but by government officials as well and thus affect public policy. Zozoulia (talk) 06:32, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
- Alright, I see that now. But it's just so weirdly specific. It's like the major contributors want this out in the open to set things straight or something. Not to mention "conspiracy theories" would be a weighted term if highly ranked political figures are involved. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 16:55, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
Heavy insinuations, pro-Israeli position throughout
In the "commentary" section, not a single Palestinian or Iranian voice is provided, despite Palestinians and Iranians being the primary witnesses of such events. The whole article weighs heavily in a bias in favour of Israel (for crying out loud, the article even has some Israeli bird specialist working for the government who no one ever heard of dismissing the claims--of course Israel will dismiss the claims!), and I agree with the above assessment that the article was written in such a way so as to ridicule the opposing argument, while heavily insinuating that these "conspiracy theories" have no merit.
One way of making it more balanced is to have an "Israel response" place to put all of the pro-Israeli spin that inundates this article, and another for the accusers.
Severe revisions without justification
In response to the above, while Solntsa90 may have never heard of the Israeli authority on birds quoted in the section he unilaterally removed, the man himself is widely known among avian ecologists and is the author of several books on the subject(probably a few more books than Solntsa90 has written). If his claims have not been dismissed by reputable Palestinians, Lebanese and Iranians, then he is invited to find one. The absence of such quotes does not prove a pro-Israeli bias, only that either there are no Palestinian, Lebanese or Iranian avian experts or that such experts who do exist will not deny that these reports of birds being used as Israeli spies are ludicrous. And no, I'm not an IDF representative not have I served in the IDF. That accusation, however, does shed some light on the long list of unilateral reverts made by Solntsa90 to articles involving Israel and Jews in general. Zozoulia (talk) 03:49, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
Let us wait for a senior editor to review our respective comments and our respective talk pages and judge for himself who's engaged in an "ad-hominem/personal attack-filled rant" against whose character. Zozoulia (talk) 06:14, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
- A third opinion has been requested on this page, but right now the page history is a mess of reverts, without any real discussion here. What precisely is the dispute? Which of the many reverts do you want a third opinion on (or is it all of them?) Regards, Vanamonde93 (talk) 17:31, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
- Zozoulia, thanks for your response below. First, a clarification; I am not here to adjudicate, but to offer a third opinion, which is non-binding. My word carries the same weight as that of another user. I would be willing to offer further comments if Solntsa90 has anything substantive to add to the summary of the dispute; however, in light of what has been said below, and looking at this diff, here are some thoughts. The main applicable policy here is WP:DUE. In that edit, Solntsa90 removes five separate bits of content. The first removal, "These conspiracies..." etc is justified; it is a statement that carries a certain POV connotation, and requires a source to remain in the article. The second removal is also justifiable for the same reason; unless a reliable secondary source mentions that particular fact, it is irrelevant. The third removal is not justified; this is a statement reported by a reliable secondary source, and as such, should be included. The removal of the neo-Nazi website is quite necessary; it is not a reliable source, and including constitutes undue weight. If, however, a secondary source is found mentioning the fact that this conspiracy is referenced by neo-nazis, then that could be included. Finally, the image of the Mossad seal does not seem very relevant, but is quite a trivial issue. TL;DR: anything added here of a POV nature needs to be supported by a reliable, secondary source, else should be removed. Vanamonde93 (talk) 02:29, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- Vanamonde93 Adjudication or not, I welcome your input however it may be defined, and, because I respect Wikipedia procedures, I am willing to accept your third opinion as binding in order to put this matter to rest. I trust that Solntsa90 will now revert his third removal and await his confirmation here that he has done so. If it remains un-reverted, I will revert it myself and expect him not to delete it again.
Regarding deletion of the quote about bird tracking devices: I propose quoting instead the article quoted in the Wikipedia article entitled [Bird ringing#Leg gague], which is as follows: The band size is determined by using the leg gauge. A leg gauge is placed around the bird’s leg which determines the circumference of the leg. After identifying the size of a band it is then placed on around the leg with the help from the banding pliers. In Australia, band size range from 1 to 15, plus special sizes for birds whose leg shapes require special bands, such as parrots and pelicans.
Regarding deletion of the statement "These conspiracies are often reported as evidence of a Zionist or Israeli plot" (which Solntsa90 incorrectly calls a "boilerplate"): There are a plethora of quotes from respectable sources (who aren't Israelis, so don't worry Solntsa90) that can be offered to justify retention of this statement. For example, from Foreign Policy magazine: .
Regarding the neo-Nazi website Stormfront (website): it, of course, is NOT referenced as a "reliable source." It is cited to identify the type of audience that believes in and propagates Israel-related animal conspiracy theories. I would also note that a link to the Stormfront website appears in its own Wikipedia article. Nonetheless, if it is required to provided another link to another neo-Nazi website in order to retain the reference, the Internet (regrettably) is full of them. Here's another: . Is that sufficient to retain the original reference?
I was not the editor who added the Mossad seal and personally think it's irrelevant. I have no objection to its removal from the article. 07:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC) 07:17, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- I restored some of the information that was removed on spurious grounds. I think the Stormfront info would require a third party to mention that these things were mentioned there before we could include it here. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 07:37, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- I'm wondering if there is any source here that address the topic of the article rather than particular events. I'm too lazy to look at all of them. If there is no such source, then I don't know why this is not a massive example of SYNTH. Zerotalk 07:50, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- You can start with the article Conspiracy theories in the Arab world, which contains 34 footnotes (and no, I didn't write or edit it). The subject is dealt with in a New Statesman article at , in Al Arabiya at  and in The Huffington Post at . This is only a small sample. 09:36, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Now that the Stormfront reference is gone, the pointless Mossad seal and quote by a minor figure being reiterated is gone, and more diverse voices have been added, I have no problem with the current edition as it stands except for one thing: The commentary section could use some points of view from the Iranian and Palestinians who are the ones behind these claims. So far, all of the 'commentary' is under the guise of making this look like a conspiracy or as if it is driven by anti-semitism, when there is not really much evidence for the case. Solntsa90 (talk) 10:03, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- No additional "diverse voices" were added until after the above comment was posted. Since then I have added quotes by a Turkish official and a Palestinian activist in Jerusalem who made the original accusations about the bee-eater and the rats, respectively. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Iran's Fars News Agency were quoted earlier in the original text and their quotes remain. Once again, I invite Solntsa90 to go beyond criticism and deletion and instead contribute to the article by finding additional quotes from reputable sources. Very frankly, however, for reasons that are irrelevant to our discussion, conspiracy theories are popular in the Arab world and many of them are indeed driven by antisemitism. Among these are the popular medieval accusations that Jews bake Passover matzah with Christian blood  and poison the wells of non-Jews . From there it is a short hop, skip and a jump to conspiracy theories about sharks, birds, rats, and dolphins. See [], written by a journalist from Al Jazeera. For a book-length discussion, I would recommend . 10:36, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- Thanks for discussing, everybody. I have no intentions of being dragged into this dispute, so I'm not going to participate further here after this comment. What I want to reiterate that you cannot provide information as commentary without the support of a reliable, secondary source. The stormfront website does not qualify, and that sentence should be removed until a reliable secondary source making the connection is found. Vanamonde93 (talk) 02:08, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
- Vanamonde93 Thank you for your service. Once again, however, I wish to clarify that mentioning that Stormfront publicized the accusation that Israel let loose "supernatural rats" in the Old City of Jerusalem to scare away Palestinian residents was not providing "information as commentary." It was mentioning a fact, i.e., that neo-Nazi audiences readily recycle such absurd allegations. I will revert upon finding an appropriate secondary source as you suggest. Solntsa90 As for "more opinions that support the opposing viewpoint," that shouldn't be difficult. The Palestinian and Iranian media regularly publicize the most vile allegations about Israel and Jews (see the links above). But since their media is state-controlled, there is no critical discussion of statements such as these, because doing so would cast aspersions on the officials who authorized their publication in the first place. Zozoulia (talk) 08:59, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Response to Vanamonde93
Thank you for offering to adjudicate this dispute.
Solntsa90 decided to unilaterally delete several sections of the article in question without any proper discussion on the article's talk page. That itself is a violation of Wikipedia policy. This is apparently not the first time that he has unilaterally made deletions from an existing Wikipedia article that relates to Israel and/or Jews. I therefore request that his deletes from this current article be reverted until a proper Wikipedia review process takes place.
In his initial response to me he made several claims that belie a NPOV. The following are, inter alia, some of his reasons for unilateral deletion:
1. "In the "commentary" section, not a single Palestinian or Iranian voice is provided, despite Palestinians and Iranians being the primary witnesses of such events." This is simply untrue, so much so that one ahs to question whether Solntsa90 bothered to read the article in its entirety. The article quotes five Egyptians, one Saudi, one Lebanese, the president of the Palestinian Authority, two Palestinian news agencies and an Iranian one as well. The article also quotes Irish, British, American, and Canadian journalists. I have mentioned to Solntsa90 that if he can find any Palestinian or Iranian authorities who should be quoted he is welcome to add references to any relevant comments that they have made.
2. "The whole article weighs heavily in a bias in favour of Israel (for crying out loud, the article even has some Israeli bird specialist working for the government who no one ever heard of dismissing the claims--of course Israel will dismiss the claims!)" The Israeli "bird specialist" (the proper term is "avian ecologist") is quoted in 947 news accounts that I personally have found online in languages using the Latin alphabet (i.e., not Hebrew), including, for example, in Italian, Romanian and Indonesian. He is a published author as well. Yes, he is an Israeli, but that does not impeach his authority on the subject at hand, unless one assumes all Israelis should automatically be disqualified from being quoted in Wikipedia. It should also be noted that he is quoted as the expert that he is, and not as a spokesman for Israel, which Solntsa90 assumes he is without offering any evidence.
3. "The article was written in such a way so as to ridicule the opposing argument, while heavily insinuating that these 'conspiracy theories' have no merit." I challenge anyone to find any term in the text that could be described as "ridicule," but yes, conspiracy theories such as these are absurd, even if they are widely believed in the Middle East. Indeed, the article quotes Saudi prince Bandar as dismissing the claims, and a Lebanese journalist who tries to explain why conspiracy theories thrive in the the Arab world and help define its political culture. Which, by the way, is the reason why this article is important to retain in Wikipedia.
4. "Otherwise, this entire article seems like it could have been written by IDF (Not saying it was, but one wouldn't be able to tell the difference)." Well, first of all, I am not employed by the IDF and never have been. Neither I nor my wife nor my children have served in the IDF. And anyone who is truly familiar with the IDF can readily tell certainly tell the difference between a legitimate military document and this article. But what on earth does the IDF have to do with this anyway? This assumption, like many others, is most revealing.
5. Solntsa90 unilaterally deleted from the text a reference that one of these conspiracy theories was repeated on a neo-Nazi web site. Removing that indicates a desire to whitewash the severity of the conspiracy theory itself. Its inclusion in the text is vital because it indicates a possible source for these conspiracy theories, as well as the existence of a ready audience for them.
A request for full protection was made at requests for protection, which i declined for now as discussion seems to take place. All participants should refrain from (hothearteadly) revert back and forth. Please discuss and find hopefully find consensus. I have watchlisted and will fully protect it this gets out of hand. Cheers. Lectonar (talk) 11:38, 1 February 2016 (UTC) Thank you Zozoulia (talk) 17:23, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- Cite error: The named reference
Avinetwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme; Recommended Band Size List – Birds of Australia and its Territories