User talk:GabrielF/Archives/2012/March

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Reply re Palestinian People

Thanks for your comment. I prefer to reply there since the other page is extremely noisy, and intelligent conversation is drowned out in the rush to voice 'opinions' which, in my view, show no sensitivity or familiarity with scholarly discourse. I would indeed appreciate if you could give me a pdf link I can open.

The article appears to deal with what Palestinian historians do re a national consciousness. They do exactly what Germans, Russians, French, Italians, Japanese, Chinese, and thinkers in every other culture I have more than a rough knowledge of have done though mostly before WW2 (Chinese, Korean and Japanese scholarship still suffers from RNDS, retrojective nationalist discourse syndrome, and the present case here parallels the problem the Chinese have in defining Tibetans, whose country they occupy, and whose cultural history they (over)write), they argue for the historical depth of a consciousness of identity that is really quite modern. The same goes for the history of the Jews, and Israel. Historians and theorists of nationalism, (Anthony D. Smith, Ernest Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm, Peter Alter and Benedict Anderson, to name but a few whose books lie before me, do not, as here, confuse the construction of a modern identity with the facts of a people as an historical population sharing a common culture. The word 'Arab' here, though eminently grounded in RS, is ambiguous, and those who object play on this ambiguity to make the nonsensical suggestion I am implying Jesus was an Arab (see Jayjg's rather silly caricature of my nuanced views). When AnonMoos mentioned Boudicca and Vercingétorix, I was reminded of a passage in Jacques Bainville's old Historie de la France,Arthème Fayard, Paris 1924:'Les Français n'ont jamais renié l'alouette gauloise et le soulèvement national dont Vercingétorix fut l'âme nous donne encore de la fierté,' etc, pp.13-14. He set French national consciousness back to Clovis (p.21),(while grounding it in Druids, Gauls, and Frankish history, which is nonsense. All national histories are vexed by politics, (US historiography, German historiography. Israeli historiography has notable examples of 'revisionism' away from a traditional template that assumes there is a national character from the very originsm, etc). Identities are constructed.

In the specific instance here, we are dealing with a 'people'. The page has been fixed, round Khalidi's work, to focus on modern Palestinian national consciousness, which like its Israeli counterpart, is very recent, since it presumes 'statehood' and 'politics' as the defining principle of modern identity. But, as the authors I mention clarify, you cannot confuse this with the concept of an 'historic people', for, as is obvious, a people with a common culture and/or language predate the nation that will express this as a political principle. Apply this premise to Italy, and you would not be able to say on wikipedia articles dealing with that country, as all RS do write, that an Italian people, as opposed to the 3-6% who were literate and wrote in varieties of Italian, existed before the Risorgimento. In other words, just as this fact that Italians, like the French after Napoleon's campaigns, discovered their national identity late, Khalidi's 'modern Palestinian national consciousness' does not preclude discourse on a Palestinian people, where RS use this term, whether geographically, culturally or otherwise.

The word 'Arab' thrown about here is ambiguous. It has a primarily ethnic, even 'racial' valency in Western usage. The Palestinians are 'Arab' culturally and linguistically. They have, certainly, Arab ethnic components in their 'stock' (traditionally identified with the perennially irruptive Bedouins of the TranJordan), and in the notable families of Jerusalem, Nablus and Hebron who can trace their descent back to the Islamic conquest, like Khalidi. But 'Arab' properly means, in Palestinian context, 'Arabic-speaking' or 'people enculturated in Arabic civilization'. The most comprehensive historian of modern Palestine, Henry Laurens is, unlike our articles, very attentive to using the word 'Muslim' for the pre-modern 'Arab' population. He describes the major components of Palestine's society i.e., 'Palestinians' (which he uses of the people in the mid-late 18th century La Question de Palestine, vol.1 of 3, Fayard, Paris 1999 p.74) in confessional terms, Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Only when the narrative shifts to Mandatory Palestine after WW1, when discourse bundles the former two confessional groups into 'Arabs' (while admitting, see the article, that they are not 'ethnic' Arabs) does he adopt throughout the term, in the sense of culturally and lingustically 'Arab'. Justly so, since the population, beyond its historic core, has had Franks, Circassians, Algerians, Moroccans, Bedouin, Egyptians, Kurds, Turks, Iranians, Bosnians and Caucasian mountain Muslims, Greeks, and even Germans (2000 Templars in Haifa), Russian ethnic etc.etc. infusion in early to modern times.

A fourth point, though people object if one alludes to the obvious. All of these I/P articles deal with two populations in a state of war. There is no doubt that editors here are highly conscious of politics, and tend to read edits in terms of advantages to one or the other side. We have partisans of a state, and partisans of a people who aspire to statehood. Most editors are, unfortunately partisans, who put their political awareness ahead of the encyclopedia aims of wikipedia, which privileges neutrality. It is very hard, therefore, for both sides to be neutral. Yet, the preponderence, in numbers, of editors identifying with the occupying power is self-evident. We have two Palestinian editors around. I don't think that Palestinian editors should have special privileges. I do think that when describing a people with whom the side you are deeply committed to is at war with, exceptional caution and respect and patience are obligatory. Rushing in to stack numbers, as has occurred here, is not a pretty sight, whatever individual motives may be. I appreciate particularly therefore that you have actually looked round for evidence, rather than simply entering a discussion with an 'opinion', most of which are neither here nor there.

My point is that eventually the issue I raised, as to the guiding and misleading premise on the page as it stands, must be addressed since Palestinian in modern usage (OED) and in historical scholarship cannot be restricted to modern Palestinians from the time they acquired an identity as a nationality. This makes of them an exception to wiki practice for historic populations who lack statehood, where no such taboo, as exists here among editors, exists. I can understand why people get upset at the citation of sources for JC as a 'Palestinian'. I suggested he be mentioned as a Jew on the parallel page for the Jewish people years ago, and the thumbs down was immediate, though all admit he was born, and died, a Jew, and is one of the most famous Jews in history. So, it remains a startling fact that of the hundreds of thousands of wiki biographies, Jesus cannot be classified by the common name for his place of birth in historical scholarship, nor by his ethnicity. I am for conceptual coherence, and respect for RS: I dislike 'exceptionalisms' in principle, as generally special pleading for a partisan interest, or border-maintenance of taboos, as the phenomenon is known in anthropological theory, since Victor Turner. Nothing else counts for an encyclopedia that is above the fray in its drive for comprehensive neutrality.Nishidani (talk) 14:13, 6 March 2012 (UTC) No need to reply. But since an argument grounded in RS has been wavily dismissed as pure 'sophistry', I think some should be aware that an informed understanding of the premises there, in terms of modern scholarship, is a requisite for contextualizing my suggestion, so that is can be understood as neither adventitious or a political provocation.Nishidani (talk) 14:13, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Avant Garde Digital

Dear sir/madam, where do I go for mentioning the reasons why avant garde digital should stay on wikipedia? I have added some reasons in the "talk" and "discussions" of the page, but I cannot find the page where discussion is going on.

You have deleted the article as a heavy handed decision. I did say that i will bring up more articles of notability. Please restart the discussion. The page cannot be deleted like this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry that you feel the deletion process was "heavy-handed", but it was a discussion that took place over several days and involved a number of experienced editors. You can take the issue to Wikipedia:Deletion review. I suggest reading up on the deletion policies beforehand. GabrielF (talk) 19:03, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Copyright issues at Defense (Emergency) Regulations

I have done a major amount of rewriting at Defense (Emergency) Regulations, which I believe sufficiently eliminated the problems it previously had regarding copyright violation. If you agree, please remove its listing at WP:Contributor copyright investigations#Tiamut. Thanks. Zerotalk 14:07, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Personal problem?

Hello GabrielF,

We have for the most part disagreed everytime we have worked on articles together regarding how to present information, ever since our first encounter at Faris Odeh. You have opened a CCI case against me, even though it is advised that you do not do such a thing with editors who you view as opponents. You have now nominated an article I wrote for deletion. I'd like to ask you to back off, if you don't mind. I'm sure there are other things you can do with your time. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 16:38, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I accept your explanation at face value and I'm sorry for the assumption. I found the timing odd perhaps, but will assume good faith. As such, you can continue to do as you have been doing. I'll try not to take it personally or feel humiliated (as I have been feeling just a bit). Thanks for your collaborative tone and approach. Tiamuttalk 18:14, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you

... for some common sense on If Americans Knew. --NSH001 (talk)

Heavy handed?

Could you be a bit more specific about what the problems are with Palestinian costumes? And is this shut-down technique ok for anyone to use? I have seen dozens of articles with worse "text-lifts" than this (many of them my own). Do I just add the same banner which you have used? Padres Hana (talk) 16:38, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Derrick Bell

Have you looked into whether the text is copied from Wikipedia, rather than the reverse? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:10, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your prompt and clear answer. I will try to work on this important article this evening. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:18, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


Speedy G12 is used only when the entire article is a copyvio, you have found the source(s) for it, & there is no free content worth savings in the present version or in the history, It is also not generally used when there would be a viable stub article if the copyvio were removed and the basic facts written as a stub. I have therefore removed the speedy from some article you have tagged.

Anything more complicated than that should be either fixed if you can do it, or else listed on WP:Copyright Problems. Personally, whether I will try myself to fix it depends on the importance and the availability of sources. DGG ( talk ) 07:15, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

The Curator's Barnstar

Curator's barnstar.jpg The Curator's Barnstar
You deserve another one for your excellent work in the Resource Exchange! -- OBSIDIANSOUL 20:21, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


Thank you so much for notifying me! WhisperToMe (talk) 19:42, 17 March 2012 (UTC)


Thanks, Gabriel! WhisperToMe (talk) 07:31, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

It's award time

Phodopus sungorus - Hamsterkraftwerk.jpg The "He Just Keeps Going and Going" Award
I'm not sure where you find the energy to help so many people with their resource requests, but Wikipedia is a much better place because of it. Thank you! — Mr. Stradivarius 17:05, 29 March 2012 (UTC)