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User talk:Nishidani

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editor emeritus
This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia as of foals' ages.


The West Bank/Judea and Samaria Problem

Personal work section notes. I get headaches and am as slow as a wet week, in dragging up diffs, and even have a geezer's trouble in following these arguments all over several pages, so I can't really make an adequate case. So I'll have to make my contribution in the next few days, according to the fashion I normally work after, when I did work, in the real world. Reflecting from principles, through to the problem, the evidence and conclusions. Apologies to anyone reading this. It's written to help myself get some order into this chat, not to guide others.

  • An editorial split between those in favour of using 'Judea & Samaria' to designate (a) parts of, or (b) all, or (c) all of the West Bank and parts of Israel, and those who oppose the usage, except on those specific pages devoted to (i) Samaria (ii) Judea (iii) the administrative territory known in Israel as 'Judea & Samaria'.
  • The 'Judea and Samaria' school holds that (a) these are geographical and historical designations predating the West Bank (b) used in a variety of sources published in Israel and abroad to denote the territory, or parts of it, known as the West Bank (c) and that opposition to the employment of these words in wiki constitutes an 'ethnic-based discrimination' against both Israeli and Jewish people.(d) specifically, that MeteorMaker, Pedrito and myself have conducted a campaign to denigrate or deprecate Jewish terms in the I/P area, a kind of ethnic cleansing of nomenclature, in a way that lends substance to fears our position is motivated by, well let's call a spade a spade, anti-semitism.
  • The 'West Bank' school asserts that (a) these terms have an intrinsic denotative vagueness because they refer to different geophysical, administrative and political terrains depending on historical period, and that to use the terms of the territorially bounded and defined area known internationally as the West Bank creates cognitive dissonance (b) that these terms, as documented, were used under the British Mandate, then dropped for 'West Bank', which has remained to this day the default term of neutral usage internationally and in international law and diplomacy (c) that, after the Israeli conquest of the West Bank, in 1967, the terms 'Judea & Samaria' were pushed onto the political agenda by an extremist settler group, Gush Emunim, then adopted by the Likud government in 1977, and imposed by government decree on the Israeli mass media, which suppressed the international term, West Bank (d) that, as documented, the terms 'Judea and Samaria' have a potent ideological charge as appropriative nomenclature, renaming Palestinian land presently occupied, annexed or expropriated illegally by Israel (ICJ judgement 2004), over which Israel has no sovereignty, where Israel is establishing illegal settlements at least half of which on land with private Palestinian title, and with its own Arabic toponyms, and erasing the traditional native nomenclature by creating a neo-biblical toponomy (d) that reliable secondary sources explicitly define the term as partisan, even in contemporary Hebrew and Israeli usage (e) that the evidence for usage overwhelmingly documents the prevalence of 'West Bank' (northern, southern) in neutral sources, whose neutrality is affirmed also by the very sources that otherwise employ the words 'Samaria and Judea' adduced by the former school, (f) that if explicitly attested partisan Israeli toponymy and administrative nomenclature is allowed on non-Israeli territory, then by WP:NPOV criteria, automatically this would mean the corresponding Palestinian toponymy and nomenclature, often covering the same areas, would have to be introduced (g)that in this whole debate, the West Bankers have not even represented the Palestinian side, which is absent, invisible, while the Israeli side is being treated as though its national naming were on terms of parity and neutrality with international usage (h) that wiki criteria, WP:NPOV, WP:Undue, WP:RS, WP:NCGN etc. require that neutral terminology, particularly as evidenced by the overwhelming majority of reliable sources, be employed. (i) If we are to allow Israeli terminology to be generally employed in denoting territory over which Israel exercises no sovereignty, but is simply, in law, an occupying belligerent, a very dangerous precedent, with widespread consequences for articles where ethnic conflicts exist, would be created.

(ii)Note on language, naming as an appropriative act of possession and dominion.

'According to the aboriginal theory, the ancestor first called out his own name; and this gave rise to the most sacred and secret couplet or couplets of his song. The he 'named' (tneuka) the place where he had originated, the trees or rocks growing near his home, the animals sporting about nearby, any strangers that came to visit him, and so forth. He gave names to all of these, and thereby gained the power of calling them by their names; this enabled him to control them and to bind them to his will.'[1]

Wa’-yitser’ Yĕhôwāh’ (Adonai) ĕlôhīm’ min-hā'ădāmāh’ kol-‘ha’yath’ ha’-sādeh’ wĕ'ēth kol-ôph ha’-shāma’yim wa’-yāvē ‘ el-hā'ādām’ li-r'ôth mah-yiqrā-lô’ wĕ-kôl ăsher yiqrā-lô’ hā'-ādām‘ ne’pfesh ‘ha’yāh’ hû shĕmô. (20) Wa’- yiqrā’ hā'-ādām‘ shēmôth….

‘And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20. And Adam gave names.. .' [2]

Wa-‘allama ādama l-asmā’a kullahā,

'And He taught Adam the names, all of them.’ Qu’ran 2:31.[3]

In Thomas Pynchon's novel Mason & Dixon, the narrator Cherrycoke recounts, against the huge backdrop of seismic shifts in the political and scientific world of that time, the story of the eponymous figures who have undertaken to draw a scientific map of the wilderness and terrain between Pennsylvania and Maryland:

‘what we were doing out in that Country together was brave, scientifick beyond my understanding and ultimately meaningless, - we were putting a line straight through the heart of the Wilderness, eight yards wide and due west, in order to separate two Proprietorships, granted when the World was yet feudal and but eight years later to be nullified by the War for Independence.”

Late in the novel, the Chinaman of the piece remarks:

‘To rule forever, . .it is necessary only to create, among the people one would rule, what we call . . Bad History. Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,- to create thus a Distinction betwixt’em. –’tis the first stroke.-All else will follow as if predestin’d, into War and Devastation.’ [4]

The dispute here in wiki, like the historical reality it refers to, has its ‘Bad History’. In the novel, the apparently empirical task of defining boundaries is found unwittingly implicated in the later travails of American history, with its exceptionalism, erasure of native peoples, of possible alternative worlds, of Frostian paths never taken. American innocence and pragmatic realism, in the innocuous work of two surveyors, is swept up in the torment of power: cartographic principles embody an Enlightenment’s reach into the unknown, while, applied, to the ends of order and control, they inadvertently engender violent confusion and disarray. What is the ‘right line’ to take on nomenclature, when history’s line demarcating Israel and the West Bank was drawn by war, then the West Bank was occupied in the aftermath of war, and the world of Israeli settlers begins to redraw the map? One thing that happens is that the complexities have drawn editors into a minor war, as Pynchonesque as it is Pythonesque. There is one difference: most the cartographers say one thing, and Israel, the controlling power, asserts a different terminology. So what’s in a name?

Before the world was tribalized and invested by the collateral damage or fall-out from the Tower of Babel, God assigned to the mythical forefather of all, ‘man’ or Adam, the faculty to name the world, though God himself had exercised this right in naming the light (or) day (yom) and the darkness (hôshek) night(layĕlāh) (Gen.1.5) There was only one name for each thing, and in later European thought the primordial language employed in this taxonomy was to be called ‘the Adamic vernacular’[5]. The thesis was that the pristine jargon employed by Adam, being pre-Babelic, represented the true name for every object: every thing had a proper name intrinsic to its nature. The Greeks, as we see in Plato’s Cratylus, were much prepossessed by the philosophical crux of the correctness of names (ὀρθότης τῶν ὀνομάτων): did names have an intrinsic relation to, or represent, things, or was the link arbitrary.[6]. The Confucian school’s doctrine of the Rectification of names (zhèngmíng: 正名). In the Bible itself the Hebrew text is full of the magic of words, of the power of words themselves to alter reality, a belief testified to in Isaiah:

'So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please.'[7]

Modernity, especially after Ferdinand Saussure (1916), has opted, correctly, for the latter position, and disposed of the magical force of naming. But nationalism, another product of modernity, reintroduced it, via the backdoor, in a new sense. Naming was an act of assertive territorial control, of defining ethnic rights over land, especially as Anthony Smith argues, ethnie are defined also by attachment to a specific geophysical reality, the ‘homeland’ that defines in good part their identity [8]). Since national identities are a political construct, the inculcation of a uniform language, and the use of its lexicon to define or redefine the landscape, are crucial instruments in forging a national sense of common tradition. Nationalism demanded toponymic unison, and linguistic conformity.

John Gaddis, glossing James Scott’s recent book on North Dakota roads and maps, remarks on maps that they reflect

‘what states try to do to those portions of the earth’s surface they hope to control, and to the people who live upon them. For it’s only by making territories and societies legible – by which he means measurable and hence manipulable – that governments can impose and maintain their authority. “These state simplifications,” he writes, are “like abridged maps.” They don’t replicate what’s actually there, but “when allied with state power, (they) enable much of the reality they (depict) to be remade.” [9]

The idea of a nation as a territorial unit speaking one language over that territory is a parlously modern ideology, one engineered by nation-builders into a plausible if specious semblance of commonsense. As Massimo d’Azeglio is said to have remarked at the dawn of the Italian Risorgimento, ‘we have made Italy: our task now is to make Italians’[10], 95% of whom could neither read, write and nor often even speak ‘Italian’.

Imperialism, venturing into terra incognita to appropriate foreign land and incorporate it into an empire, went side by side with nationalism, which was a form of internal colonization over, and homogenization of, the disparate cultures that made up an historically defined territory. For the natives, their indigenous naming is ‘essentially a process of asserting ownership and control of place and landscape’[11]

Daphne Kutzner, in her analysis of the role of Empire in classic children’s fiction, looks at the question from the perspective of the intrusive Empire and its refraction of imperial renaming as reflected in popular books, notes that

‘Naming a place gives the namer power over it, or at least the illusion of power and control. Colonial powers literally transform a landscape once they rename it and begin reshaping it.’ [12]

Terra incognita is the foreigner’s name for an ostensibly empty landscape which, had they taken the trouble to learn the local languages, would have revealed itself to be replete from every rocky nook to crannied gulley with ancient toponyms. The tendency was one of erasure, and, as with introduced fauna and flora [13], the landscape was consistently remade as it was renamed to familiarize the alien by rendering it recognizable, a variation on the landscape settlers came from. The new mapping, as often as not, represent as much the settler’s mentality, as the queerly new features of the foreign landscape under toponymic domestication.[14]

Australia is somewhat the extraordinary exception, and broke with the gusto for imperial nomenclature. There, following the pattern set by the earlier land surveyor Thomas Mitchell and his assistant Philip Elliott that “the natives can furnish you with names for every flat and almost every hill” (1828), native names were adopted in a standarized English form for both euphony and their characteristic relation to the landscape, and indeed a resolution was passed as early as 1884 which established the priority of native names in international usage.[15]

Often imperialism and nationalism go hand in hand. Napoleon’s troops, in 1796, could hardly communicate with each other, such were the grammatical, semantic and syntactical rifts between the various provincial patois at the time. By 1814, Napoleon had formed a European empire, and millions of provincials spoke the one, uniform language of the French state’s army. When two nations, or ethnie, occupy the same territory, the historical victor’s toponymic choices, dictated by the victor’s native language, and as articulated in bureaucratic documents and maps, usually determines what names are to be used. However, the presence of two distinct ethnie on the same national soil creates fissiparous tensions in nomenclature. Speaking of French and British conflict in Canada over areas, Susan Drummond, remarks that, 'Symbolic appropriation of a territory is a critical index of control’, and notes that, as late as 1962, the Québec cartographer Brochu, invoked the political dimension of place names as important, in the conflict with the majoritarian English heritage of Canada over the naming of the northern Inuit lands. [16]

Again, in another familiar example, Alfonso Pérez-Agote notes that Spain has its Basque Autonomous region, Euskadi. But the original force of that name covers an area beyond the administrative and territorial units of Spain, and Basque nationalists evoke its symbolic territory, comprising also the Basque area of Navarre in France. Euskadi has, on one level, within Spanish administrative discourse, a ‘territorial political objectification’, and on another level, in Basque nationalism, a ‘non-administratively objectified’ territory extending into a neighbouring country.[17]. The analogy with Israeli and Palestinian nationalism is close. In Israeli discourse, Israel or Eretz Israel can denote Israel and its outriding West Bank, while Palestine, which is the favoured term of West Bank Arabs for the land they inhabit, also can refer to the whole neighbouring territory of Israel as well.

The anomaly, in comparative terms, is that history has settled the question, whatever local separatist nationalisms, revanchist or irredentist, may claim, except for such places as ‘Palestine’. For there, while Israel is a constituted state, it emerged the victor, manu militari in a conflict that gave it control over a contiguous land, but has no recognized legal right, since that land is defined as and ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory. Acts of unilateral annexation, the extension of administrative structures, settlements, toponymic remapping, and widescale expropriation of land in Palestinian title, is not only not recognized, but judged ‘illegal’ by the highest international bodies of law. All major encyclopedias (Encyclopædia Britannica, Encarta etc.,), except Wiki, maintain a strict neutrality, and, in recognition of the fraught difficulties, adopt the neutral toponymic convention of ‘(northern/southern) West Bank’ in order to avoid lending their prestige to the partisan politics of the parties in this regional conflict.

(iii)The specific instance of Palestine and the West Bank

When the British wrested control over Palestine from the Ottomans in the First World War, and established themselves there to administer the region, Selwyn Troen notes that, 'naming also became part of the contest for asserting control over Palestine'.[18]. As early as 1920 two Zionists advising the British Mandatory authority on everything regarding the assignment of Hebrew names, fought hard for the restoration of Hebraic toponymy, and when, with such places as Nablus, or indeed 'Palestine' itself, were given non-Hebrew names, they protested at the designations as evidence of discrimination against Jews. The point is made by the Israeli historian and cartographer Meron Benvenisti:-

'When the Geographical Committee for Names, which operated under the aegis of the Royal Geographical Society (the only body authorized to assign names throughout the British Empire, decided to call the Mandatory geopolitical entity “Palestine” and the city whose biblical name was Shechem, “Nablus” these Jewish advisers saw this as an act of anti-Jewish discrimination, and a searing defeat for Zionism.'[19]

One pauses to reflect. We are being accused here of 'anti-Jewish/Israeli discrimination' for refusing to insert Israeli toponyms into the West Bank. Nothing is said of the logic of this POV-pushing, i.e. that a Palestinian reader might well regard a Wiki endorsement of suc h foreign nomenclature as a 'searing defeat', and adduce it as proof of 'anti-Palestinian discrimination' both by Zionist editors, and Wikipedia itself.

Since Zionism took root, and especially since Israel was founded, the making of a people, living in a defined territorial unit and speaking one language, has followed the universal pattern of modernity. The landscape, full of Arabic words, had to be renamed, often according to Biblical terminology, but, more often, by the invention of Biblical-sounding names. To do this, a good part of the 10,000 odd Arabic toponyms collected by Herbert Kitchener, T. E. Lawrence and others in surveying that part of the Middle East had to be cancelled, and replaced with Israeli/Hebrew terms, to remake the landscape and its topographic songlines [20] resonate with historical depth. Hebrew is a ‘sacred tongue’ (Leshon HaQodesh:לשון הקודש), the Bible describes the conquest of Eretz Yisrael, and the dispossession of its indigenous peoples, who were not part of the chosen: the pattern is repeated in modern times, down to the renaming. The revival of Hebrew, with its potent shibboleths, understandably exercises a powerful hold over the new culture of the country.

The problem is, as Steven Runciman pointed out in the mid-sixties, that the part assigned to Israel by the UN deliberation of 1947 was the western, non-Biblical part, whilst the part assigned to a future Palestinian state, what we now call the West Bank, is precisely the area most infused with Biblical associations cherished by the Jewish people, with sites and names redolent of the founding myths and realities of their ancient forefathers. Israelis, in their secular land, mostly dwell where the Philistines dwelt. The Palestinians dwell where the ancient Jewish tribes once settled. The tensions simmer between the secular Israel, which thrives in its new Mediterranean world, and the religiously-identified Israel that aspires to return to a geophysical space where origins and the present, the sacred nomenclature of the Bible and the modern world of Jewish life, might at least, once more overlap, in an ‘Adamic’ harmony congruent with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

(iv)The Negev Precedent With the foundation of Israel, and in the aftermath of the 1948 war, the vast Negev and part of the Arava were captured, and Ben Gurion duly established a Negev Names Committee to ‘hebraize’ the landscape’s features, its mountains, valleys and springs. The area already had a rich Arab toponymy, and some on the committee thought these terms might be preserved as a ‘democratic gesture towards the Arab population of the new state.’ It was not to be. The nomadic Bedouin who dwelt throughout the area were rounded up and expelled by force. They had terms for everything, but with their uprooting and displacement, Benvenisti notes, ‘an entire world, as portrayed in their toponomastic traditions, died.' [21] Ben Gurion wrote to the committee setting forth his view that:-

We are obliged to remove the Arabic names for reasons of state. Just as we do not recognize the Arabs’ political proprietorship of the land, so also we do not recognize their spiritual proprietorship and their names.[22][23]

Political pressure and ‘the influence of patriotic arguments’ prevailed over those who, like S.Yeibin, thought the erasure of Arab names, many of which might preserve an archaic Hebrew origin. Yeibin thought this a disaster:-

‘With a clap of the hand they were wiping out an entire cultural heritage that must certainly conceal within it elements of the Israeli-Jewish heritage as well. The researchers did indeed endeavour to identify all those names that had a link to ancient Hebrew ones in an attempt “to redeem, as far as possible, names from the days of yore.” [24]<

Any Arabic toponym in short only interested the topographers in so far as it might provide a clue to reconstructing the hypothetical Hebraic original that might lie behind it. This consideration, however, often created a mess of concocted pseudo-traditional names. The hebraization of such Arabic toponyms did not restore the historic past, but invented a mythical landscape, resonant with traditionalist associations, that had, however, no roots in Jewish tradition. The most striking geologic formation in the Negev, Wadi Rumman was rewritten as if that word disguised an ancient Hebrew Ram ('elevated'), whereas the Arabic term it was calqued from actually meant 'Pomegranate Arroyo', for example.[25]

Reflecting on Benvenisti’s account in his larger study of language conflict in the Middle east, the Palestinian expatriate scholar Yasir Suleiman makes remarks that,

’By assigning Hebrew names anew to places on the map, the committee was therefore ‘redeeming’ these places from the corrupt and ‘alien’ Arabic names that they have acquired over the centuries’

and likens this process of linguistic erasure of Arabic and the reconstitution of Hebrew metaphorically to the nakba:-

‘The cartographic cleansing of the Negev map of Arabic place names and their replacement by Hebrew names is an enactment of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland’ [26]

The record is therefore one of a linguistic cleansing of Palestine of any trace of its long Arabic history, and, as we shall see, an attempt to remodel Arabic usage in the territories Israel conquered and controls, to conform with Hebrew. Toponyms can only retain some semblance of an Arabic form, if that form is suspected to camouflage, in turn, an original Hebraic name. Adapting the reborn Hebrew[27] language to the alien realities of the Palestinian landscape, the obvious problem was that the nomenclature for much of the flora and fauna, not to speak of the landscape itself, was infused with the very language, Arabic, a revarnished Hebrew had to compete with. As early as 1910 Jacob Fichman, a member of the Language Council, stated that Hebrew:

‘will not digest the new names of plants, especially those which have been taken from the Arabic language’ and that these borrowed names ‘will always be like atrophied limbs’ for ‘despite the fact that the Arabic language is our sister language in the family of Semitic languages, it has no foundation in our |psyche[28]

Hebrew was thus to be programmatically sealed off from Arabic, to prevent atrophisation, and cultivate purism by means of a fake Biblical antiquarianism. Theodor Adorno, writing in the melancholic aftermath of the Holocaust on the effects of cultural purism, once remarked on the purging of foreign words from German undertaken by nationalists intent restoring an ideal of cultural authenticity. He saw this as part of the pathology of nationalism in Germany. Foreign words were treated as if they were 'the Jews of language' (Fremdwörter sind die Juden der Sprache)[29]. In expunging the landscape and the human world of Palestine of its Arabic language, of landscape and culture, Zionism likewise treated Arabic as German or French linguistic purists treated loan-words in their own languages, or, later, actual Jews in their midst, as foreign bodies to be expelled, or expunged if a proper 'foundation for an authentically Jewish psyche' were to be successfully engineered. One would call this ironic, were it not so tragically melancholic in its unintended resonances.

(v)The West Bank. History and Naming The relationship between demographic displacement and the loss of one's landscape through the erasure of its traditional placenames in Palestine has been remarked on by Paul Diehl.

‘The exclusive attachment to territory is reflected in the naming and renaming of places and locations in accordance with the historic and religious sites associated with the dominant political group. Not only did the outflow of Palestinian refugees bring about a change in the Jewish-Arab demographic rations, it brought about the replacement of an Arab-Palestinian landscape with a Jewish-Israeli landscape. The names of abandoned villages disappeared from the map and were replaced with alternative Hebrew names . . Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank have taken on biblical names associated with the specific sites as a means of expressing the Jewish priority in these places and the exclusive nature of the territorial attachment. Modern Israeli and Palestinian maps of Israel/Palestine possess the same outer borders, but the semantic content of the name is completely different.. The means by which new landscapes are created to replace or obliterate former landscapes is a good example of the way in which metaphysical and symbolic attachment to territory is translated into concrete realities on the ground.’ [30]

In 1950, when King Abdullah, of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, unilaterally annexed the territory he had conquered in 1948, he changed the name of his country to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which incorporated the remaining fragment of Palestine as aḍ-Ḍiffä l-Ġarbīyä, or 'the West Bank' of that kingdom. The usage is still current in German (Westjordanland). Though only Britain recognized his annexation, the word itself found ready acceptance in, and was not, 'forced on', the international community, as Binyamin Netanyahu argued. [31]

In 1967, Israel conquered what the world knew as ‘The West Bank’, the Biblical heartland, and a decree calling it ‘Judea and Samaria’ was issued by the Israeli military on December 17 that year with the explicit definition that it would be identical in meaning for all purposes to the West Bank region[32] to replace the interim terms 'Occupied Territories' (ha-shetahim ha-kevushim), and ‘the Administered Territories’ (ha-shetahim ha-muhzakim) in use since the immediate aftermath of the June war.[33] The term 'Judea and Samaria' however was rarely used until Likud took power[34]. The Labour Government never enacted a settlement policy, though Gush Emunim, an extremist settler ground with a fundamentalist ideology, pressed settlement, and propagated the terminology ‘Judea and Samaria’. When the Likud party, the maximalist, expansionist party with strong ties to both religious and ultra-Zionist groups and traditions, was elected in 1977, it imposed Samaria and Judea as the vox propria in modern Hebrew on the mass media, expressly forbidding the use of the international term West Bank[35][36]. Notably, the government's imposing of these terms on Israeli usage was seen as a prerequisite for an envisioned settlement policy, since accepting the terms would predispose the public to accepting the policy.[37]

Gideon Aran describes the achievement:

‘The importance of changing names in the process of conquering territory is well known. Assimilation of the name “Judea and Samaria” in normal and official language, as well as in jargon, attests to G(ush)E(numin)’s political and cultural achievements.' [38]

The Camp David Accords negotiations of and the final agreement, in 1979, only underline how great was the linguistic rift between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's position and the American government intent on brokering an agreement.

‘Begin consistently proved to be the most extreme member of his delegation, insisting on seemingly innocent terms such as “autonomy” as opposed to “self rule,” on the labelling of the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” in the Hebrew text, and on the use of the phrase “undivided Jerusalem.'[39]

A huge amount of wrangling between the American negotiators and Begin revolved around this term.

‘for what must have been the tenth time, he (Begin) objected to the term West Bank, giving a lesson to the president on the geographic and historical appropriateness of the term and the importance of using the words Judea and Samaria.’ [40]

Begin refused to back down from his ‘rock-hard’ intransigence on using ‘Judea and Samaria’ and at the Camp David signing ceremony, (March 26,1979) several interpretive notes were required to be added as annexes to the basic documents, one specifically dealing with the West Bank, which President Carter annotated with his own hand with the words:

‘I have been informed that the expression ‘West Bank’ is understood by the Government of Israel to mean ‘Judea and Samaria’. [41]

An ambitious programme of colonising settlement, toponomastic Hebraisation and cultural Judaization was undertaken, and indigenous Palestinians were shifted off their land, in a repetition of the Negev programme, which forms the precedent. The programme took wing especially after the unprovoked[42]invasion of Lebanon in 1982, whose key political objectives included ousting the refugee Palestinian resistance in the para-state[43] on Israel’s northern flank from Lebanon, where the PLO projected a 'state in waiting' image that threatened Israel’s plans for long-term control over the West Bank. The war was, the head of the IDF said at the time, ‘part of the struggle over the Land of Israel[44]. It aimed to further the isolation of Palestinians on the West Bank by depriving them of close support, halt the rise to political respectability of the PLO, which embodied Palestinian nationalist aspirations, and deprive that body of its claims to be a political partner in the peace process for Israel’s normalization of its relations with the outside world. [45] One calculation, a minority view entertained by both Ariel Sharon and Raphael Eytan, however, was that, expelled from Lebanon, the PLO would be forced to return to Jordan, topple king Hussein, and establish a Palestinian state there to satisfy Palestinian national ambitions that Israel would thwart on the West Bank. [46]

Changing the realities of occupied territory by the manipulation of language, Hebrew, Arabic, and in controllable sources like the global Wikipedia, became a programmatic goal. The settlers were in fact 'colonists' in the old sense, but Israeli English usage has here prevailed in the politics of the culture wars to determine how the international community perceives the dynamics of that area. The corresponding Hebrew usage is complex (see Israeli settlements), but continuity with the biblical setlement of Eretz Yisrael is evoked by referring to Jewish settlers as mitnahalim. The root *n-h-l directly evokes a passage in the Book of Numbers[47] where each tribe is assigned its portion on entering Canaan, or the Land of Israel, particularly as ' in the pledge by the tribes of Gad and Reuben that they will fight on the west side of the Jordan river to help the other tribes take possession of their assigned portions'[48] Settlers, qua, mitnahalim are not colonizing anybody's land, in this usage: they are simply taking up their 'assigned portions' as those were marked out by God to the Chosen People.

Rashid Khalidi has remarked how the Israeli authorities themselves try to engineer the way Palestinians think in Arabic by tampering with that language's natural idiom in the Arabic broadcasts they authorize. Over Israeli Arabic channels, one does not hear Jerusalem referred to, as it is customarily in Arabic, and by Palestinians, as Bayt al-Maqdis ('The House of Sanctity') or Al Quds al-Sharif ('The Noble Holy Place'). Arabic usage as sanctioned by Israel speaks rather of Urshalim ('Jerusalem') or Urshalim/al-Quds ('Jerusalem Al-Quds'). The purpose is to diffuse a variety of Arabic names for places that are calques on the Hebrew terms chosen for the area.[49].

This goes right through the bureaucratic language, a form of linguistic colonization that reinforces the physical occupation of the west Bank by cultural re-engineering. A new travel permit was imposed on the colonized Palestinians in the West Bank in 2002, and required of any of them wishing to travel in that area. This was issued, printed and released by Israeli authorities who call it in Arabic Tasrih tanaqul khas fi al-hawajiz al-dakhiliyya fi mantaqat yahuda wa al-samara. ('Special Travel Permit for the Internal Checkpioints in the Area of Judea and Samaria.'). Here, Palestinians who must travel in the West Bank, for them 'Filastin', are required to obtain a document which requires that area to be referred to by the settler term, 'Judea and Samaria'. It is this form of Arabic which they are expected to use in negotiating their way with Israeli authorities through checkpoints. But West Bank Palestinians simply abbreviate it and refer to their tasrih dakhili (Checkpoint permit), [50], thereby eluding the settler term imposed on them.

Michael Sfard indeed has spoken of Hebrew being mobilized to lend itself to the national emergency of occupying Palestine, and denying the Palestinians the liberty to be themselves. They are passive subjects of an activist language that wraps them about in bureaucratic euphemisms.

'It has been tasked with providing a soothing, anesthetizing name for the entire project of suffocation, for the blanket system of theft we have imposed on those we occupy . . Thus extrajudicial executions have become “targeted assassinations”. Torture has been dubbed “moderate physical pressure”. Expulsion to Gaza has been renamed “assigning a place of residence”. The theft of privately owned land has become “declaring the land state-owned”. Collective punishment is “leveraging civilians”; and collective punishment by blockade is a “siege,” “closure” or “separation".'[51]

A proposal is now being made to apply the principle of Hebraization, as of 2009, even to those places within Israel which the world designates by traditional toponyms, such as Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) Nazareth (Natzrat) and Jaffa (Yafo).[52][53] According to Yossi Sarid, the process, illustrated further by Knesset proposals to eliminate Arabic as one of Israel's official languages, constitutes a form of ethnocide.[54]

(vi) Analysis of Ynhockey's suggestions

‘Mapmaking was one of the specialized intellectual weapons by which power could be gained, administered, given legitimacy and codified’ [55]

'Mapmaking is not, however, solely an instrument of war; it is an activity of supreme political significance – a means of providing a basis for the mapmaker’s claims and for his social and symbolic values, while cloaking them in a guise of “scientific objectivity.” Maps are generally judged in terms of their “accuracy”, that is, the degree to which they succeed in reflecting and depicting the morphological landscape and its “man-made” covering But maps portray a fictitious reality that differs from other sorts of printed matter only in form.'[56]

After 1967 ‘Cartographers . .had many options, which tended to reveal their political proclivities. Those who were sympathetic to Israel labelled the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Sinai as “administered territories” and used the phrase “Judea and Samaria” for Jordan’s former West Bank. They also included all of Jerusalem within Israeli territory,. Mapmakers who were ideologically neutral generally referred to “occupied territory” and maintained the term “West Bank”. . . In the post-1993 period a Palestinian Authority has been established in the West Bank and Gaza, yet there is no actual independent state of Palestine. Most international maps have stayed with the terms “West Bank” and “Gaza” but maps published by the Palestinian Authority describe these areas as “Palestine.” Furthermore, Palestinian Authority maps usually leave out Israel and assign its territory to “Palestine,” with the added designation that it is “occupied territory.”Arthur Jay Klinghoffer, Harvey Sicherman, The power of projections: : how maps reflect global politics and history, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 pp.37-8

We are dealing with a defined territory and its naming. User:Ynhockey would make tidy distinctions, define the bound geographical territory (CIA Factbook) as just a political reality, and use Judea and Samaria for all other contexts. In his own work on Wiki, much of it admirable, we find many maps. Examine the following map he authored and uploaded, and which is employed on the Battle of Karameh

The central colour, a washed acquamarine tint, allows one to highlight the field of movement in the battle, and blurs the neat territorial division between the West Bank, and Jordan. But note that, in a wholly unnecessary manner, Israel is stamped in large bold characters and made to overlay the West Bank, which is placed diminutively in parentheses. Willy-nilly, the impression is that the West Bank is some territorial hypothesis or province within Israel. Whether Ynhockey meant to give the reader this impression or not is immaterial. Maps, as one source already quoted noted, reflect the cognitive bias of the mapmaker as much as an interpretation of a landscape, and here the bias is that the West Bank is under Israel, behind Israeli lines, a subset of that state. It is a fine example of what many cartographers and historians of cartography argue: the making of maps, and toponymic nomenclature in them, serves several purposes, to clarify, as here, a battle landscape, for example, but also to impose or assert power, or claims, or blur facts. Objectively, User:Ynhockey has loaded wiki with a map that cogs our perceptions, tilting them to an annexationist assumption. Indeed, unlike the Israeli government so far, his map actually looks like it has the West Bank annexed.

  1. ^ T.G.H.Strehlow, Songs of Central Australia,Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1971 p.126; cited by Barry Hill, Broken Song: T.G.H.Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession, Knopf, 2002 pp.436f.
  2. ^ Genesis, ch.2, verses 19-20, with apologies for my transcription
  3. ^ For a fascinating study on both the figure of Adam in Islamic tradition, and on commentaries on this particular text specifically, see M.J.Kister, ‘Ādam: A Study of Some Legends in Tafsīr and Hadīt Literature,’ in Joel L. Kraemer (ed.) Israel Oriental Studies, Volume XIII, BRILL, 1993 pp.112-174, p.140
  4. ^ Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon, Jonathan Cape, London 1997, pp.8,615
  5. ^ George Steiner, After Babel, Oxford University Press 1975 p.58
  6. ^ Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms,, vol.1, tr.Ralph Manheim, Yale UP 1955 pp.119ff.,p.122
  7. ^ Isaiah 5:11. For this and other passages, see S.J.Tambiah ’s 1968 Malinowsky lecture, "The Magical Power of Words," (the ancient Egyptians, the Semites and Sumerians all believed that “the world and its objects were created by the word of God; and the Greek doctrine of logos postulated that the soul or essence of things resided in their names (pp.182-3). My attention was drawn to this particular essay by Tambiah by Brian Vickers, Occult and scientific mentalities in the Renaissance, Cambridge University Press, 1984 p.96
  8. ^ Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origin of Nations, Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1986 passim
  9. ^ John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past, Oxford University Press US, 2004, p.131
  10. ^ Abbiamo fatto l'Italia. Ora si tratta di fare gli Italiani
  11. ^ Regis Stella, Imagining the Other: The Representation of the Papua New Guinean Subject, University Of Hawaiʻi Press, 2007 p.169 gives many Papuan examples. Compare his remark elsewhere in the same book, ‘In indigenous cultures . .(t)he most important means of taking control of the landscape is by naming, Naming provides the equivalent of a title deed, imbues power and identity to that which is named, gives the named place a presence, confers a reality, and allows it to be known.’ Ibid pp. 40-41
  12. ^ M. Daphne Kutzer, Empire's Children:Empire and Imperialism in Classic British Children's Books, Routledge, 2000 p.120
  13. ^ Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, Cambridge University Press, 1986
  14. ^ ‘Maps are a kind of language, or social product which act as mediators between an inner mental world and an outer physical world. But they are, perhaps first and foremost, guides to the mind-set which produced them. They are, in this sense, less a representation of part of the earth’s surface than a representation of the system of cognitive mapping which produced them,’ N.Penn, “Mapping the Cape: John Barrow and the First British Occupation of the Colony, 1794-1803.” in Pretexts 4 (2) Summer 1993, pp.20-43 p.23
  15. ^ John Atchison, ‘Naming Outback Australia,’ in Actes du XVI Congrès international des sciences onomastiques, Québec, Université Laval, 16-22 August 1987, Presses Université Laval, 1987 : pp.151-162 p.154-5
  16. ^ Susan Gay Drummond, Incorporating the Familiar, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1997 p.32 .
  17. ^ Alfonso Pérez-Agote, The Social Roots of Basque Nationalism, University of Nevada Press, 2006 p.xx
  18. ^ Selwyn Ilan Troen, Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs, and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement, Yale University Press, 2003 p.152
  19. ^ Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape:The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948, tr. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, University of California Press, 2000 pp.12-13 cf.'Suffused with the sense that “it is impossible for a present-day Hebrew map not to identify by name the places of Hebrew settlement mentioned in the Bible and in post-biblical Hebrew literature,” they set about identifying these sites and putting them on “Hebrew maps,” which they placed opposite the official Mandatory maps.’
  20. ^ Cf.Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, Jonathan Cape, London 1987
  21. ^ Benvenisti, ibid, p.19
  22. ^ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, op.cit.p.14. The Arabic names were also found ‘morose’ and ‘offensive’ . As one member put it: ‘Many of the names are offensive in their gloomy and morose meanings, which reflect the powerlessness of the nomads and their self-denigration in the face of the harshness of nature’ (ibid.p.17). On the committee see also his memoir, Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections, and Regrets from a Political Life, tr. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, University of California Press, 2007 p.72.
  23. ^ Amar Dahamshe Off the linguistic map. Are Arab place names derived from Hebrew? in Haaretz 30.06.10
  24. ^ Benvenisti, ibid. p.17, p.18
  25. ^ ‘The name of the Ramon Crater, for example, perhaps the most dramatic geological formation in the Negev, “is derived from the Hebrew adjective ram (meaning elevated), “states an Israeli guidebook. The fact that its name in Arabic was Wadi Rumman (Pomegranate Arroyo), . . was not considered worthy of mention’ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid. p.19
  26. ^ Yasir Suleiman, A War of Words: Language and Conflict in the Middle East, Cambridge University Press, 2004 p.161, p.162.
  27. ^ cf.Shalom Spiegel, Hebrew Reborn,, The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1930, Meridian Book reprint 1962. Shalom Spiegel was Sam Spiegel's more distinguished and erudite brother.
  28. ^ Yasir Suleiman, A War of Words, ibid p.140
  29. ^ Theodor Adorno, Minima moralia: Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben (1951), in Rolf Tiedemann (ed.) Gesammelte Schriften, Bd.4, Suhrkamp, 1980 p.123
  30. ^ Paul Francis Diehl, A Road Map to War, Vanderbilt University Press, 1999, pp.15-16.
  31. ^ 'The term West Bank was forced onto the international lexicon only after Jordan conquered the territory in 1948'. Binyamin Netanyahu, A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations, Warner Books, (1993) 2000 p.20. Netanyahu's dislike of the term (and his faulty memory for dates), is mirrored by the Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, evidence if ever of the neutrality of the term: cf.‘I did not realize what it meant to be a refugee until I became one myself. When the Israeli army occupied Deir Ghassanah and the whole eastern part of Palestine in 1967, the news bulletins began to speak of the occupation of the Israeli defense forces of the West Bank. The pollution of language is no more obvious than when concocting this term: West Bank. West of what? Bank of what? The reference here is to the west bank of the River Jordan, not to historical Palestine. If the reference were to Palestine they would have used the term eastern parts of Palestine. The west bank of the river is a geographical location, not a country, not a homeland. The battle for language becomes the battle for the land. The destruction of one leads to the destruction of the other. When Palestine disappears as a word, it disappears as a state, as a country and as a homeland. The name of Palestine itself had to vanish. . .The Israeli leaders, practicing their conviction that the whole land of Palestine belongs to them would concretize the myth and give my country yet another biblical name: Judea and Samaria, and give our villages and towns and cities Hebrew names. But call it the West Bank or call its Judea and Samaria, the fact remains that these territories are occupied. No problem! The Israeli governments, whether right or left or a combination of both, would simply drop the term occupied and say the Territories! Brilliant! I am a Palestinian, but my homeland is the Territories! What is happening here? By a single word they redefine an entire nation and delete history.’ Mourid Barghouti, 'The Servants of War and their Language', in International parliament of Writers, Autodafe, Seven Stories Press, 2003 pp.139-147 pp140-1
  32. ^ Emma Playfair, International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories: Two Decades of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Oxford University Press, 1992 p. 41.
  33. ^ Ran HaCohen, 'Influence of the Middle East Peace Process on the Hebrew Language' (1992), reprinted in Michael G. Clyne (ed.), Undoing and Redoing Corpus Planning, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.385-414, p.397.
  34. ^ Shlomo Gazit, Trapped Fools: Thirty Years of Israeli Policy in the Territories, Routledge, 2003 p. 162
  35. ^ 'The terms “occupied territory” or “West Bank” were forbidden in news reports.'Ian S. Lustick, 'The Riddle of Nationalism: The Dialectic of Religion and Nationalism in the Middle East', Logos, Vol.1, No.3, Summer 2002 pp.18-44, p. 39
  36. ^ 'Begin was happy to castigate the media and the intelligentsia for their views, real and imaginary, and their use of politically incorrect language. Israeli television was now instructed to use “Judea and Samaria’ for the administered territories, annexation became ‘incorporation’ and the Green Line suddenly disappeared from maps of Israel and the West Bank'. Colin Shindler, A History of Modern Israel, Cambridge University Press, 2008 p.174
  37. ^ 'The successful gaining of the popular acceptance of these terms was a prelude to gaining popular acceptance of the government’s settlement policies'.Myron J. Aronoff, Israeli Visions and Divisions: Cultural Change and Political Conflict, Transaction Publishers, 1991. p. 10.
  38. ^ Gideon Aran, 'Jewish Zionist Fundamentalism: The Block of the Faithful in Israel (Gush Enumin),', in American Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Chicago Press, 1994 pp.265-344, p.291, p.337
  39. ^ Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: a critical analysis of Israel's security & foreign policy, University of Michigan Press, 2006 p.441
  40. ^ William B. Quandt, Peace process: American diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1967, Brookings Institution Press, 2001, rev.ed.2001 p.130
  41. ^ William B.Quandt, Peace process, ibid. p.134. This was then accompanied by a formal note to Begin (September 22,1978), it which it was registered that ‘(A) In each paragraph of the Agreed Framework Document the expressions “Palestinians” or “Palestinian People” are being and will be construed and understood by you as “Palestinian Arabs”. (B)In each paragraph in which the expression “West Bank” appears, it is being, and will be, understood by the Government of Israel as Judea and Samaria.’ William B. Quandt, Camp David: peacemaking and politics, Brookings Institution Press, 1986 p.387
  42. ^ Howard Jones, Crucible of Power: A History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1897,Rowman & Littlefield, 2nd.ed. 2001 p.469
  43. ^ Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: The PLO in Lebanon, Westview Press, Boulder, 1990 p.2
  44. ^ James Ron, Frontiers and ghettos: state violence in Serbia and Israel, University of California Press, 2003 p.180. Decoded, the statement means, 'invading Lebanon secures the West Bank for Israel and thus achieves the Biblical borders set forth more or less in the Tanakh's account of the early kingdoms'
  45. ^ Eric J. Schmertz, Natalie Datlof, Alexej Ugrinsky, President Reagan and the world, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 p.44.
  46. ^ See Uri Bar-Joseph, Israel's National Security Towards the 21st Century, Routledge, 2001 p.185
  47. ^ Numbers, 32:18
  48. ^ David C. Jacobson, Does David still play before you? Israeli poetry and the Bible, Wayne State University Press, 1997 p.50
  49. ^ Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The construction of modern national consciousness, Columbia University Press, 1998 p.14
  50. ^ Nigel Craig Parsons,The Politics of the Palestinian Authority: From Oslo to Al-Aqsa, Routledge, 2005 p.299
  51. ^ Michael Sfard, Occupation double-speak,' at Haaretz, 12 June 2012.
  52. ^ Jonathan Cook, Israeli Road Signs, Counterpunch 17-19, July 2009
  53. ^ Nir Hasson, Give Arab train stations Hebrew names, says Israeli linguist, Haaretz 28/12/2009
  54. ^ Yossi Sarid 'Israel is not killing the Palestinian people - it's killing their culture,' Haaretz 3 Octobr 2014
  55. ^ John Brian Harley, David Woodward, The History of Cartography: Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, Humana Press, 1987 p.506, cited Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid.p.13
  56. ^ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid. p.13

Further reading:-

  • Mark Monmonier, No Dig, No Fly, No Go. How maps restrict and control, University of Chicago Press 2010

Things to be done/Notes to self (or what pieces are left of that hypothetical entity)

(2)'To call Dickens "Kaizanian" would be an over-statement of his considerable gift for for creating memorable characters, while to call Kaizan "Dickensian" would be a seriously misleading understatement. This richness became all the more impressive when set against the national drive towards human standardization.' ibid. p.430

To be kept close to the bottom of this page because I forget the agenda as time scurries on Nishidani (talk) 21:00, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

    • e.g.<ref="Horowitz" />:122-3 Nishidani (talk) 17:20, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

click7 here if recent changes to the above list don't appear

WP articles on Exceptionalism/ Indispensability

Nishidani, which books or scholarly articles do you recommend on the ancient roots of today's delusional belief among almost all countries in the globe that they, and their people, are exceptional or indispensable?

Did you by any chance read The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome by Michael Parenti? I recommend it.

Additionally, you may want to take a look at a somewhat interesting recent article by David Bromwich on some of the ancient roots (going back to ancient Greece) of the modern Israeli, Arab, American, Chinese, Japanese, UK, Australian, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Indian, Brazilian, Nigerian, South African, Chilean, Columbian (as well as many other countries', indeed practically all countries') elites pushing their citizenry into the mental illness of falsely believing in their own exceptionalism/ indispensability/ grandiosity.

IjonTichy (talk) 03:23, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

It depends on how technical one wants to get or how far one has leisure to read around. There's a good if sometimes abstruse book by Giorgio Agamben called the State of Exception, on the historical roots and philosophical ramifications, which given your mention of Parenti's book, comes to mind because of its excellent examination of homo sacer. But the literature is vast, and much of it psychoanalytic, which is out of vogue, though Freud's remarks on der Narzißmus der kleinen Differenzen, or 'narcissism of minor differences' is a fundamental insight. Generally the works of Norman Cohn are in my view, indispensable for understanding historical trends of paranoia, esp. The Pursuit of the Millennium, Europe's Inner Demons, and Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith. Of course, they are more concerned with paranoid trends in history from messianism to antisemitism, rather than 'exceptionalism', which is in every sense of group identity, as we see from the common endonym of many tribes whose languages frequently define themselves by a word denoting 'people', implying 10,000 out-groups aren't quite people. But more specifically, engineering a notion of 'exceptionalism' is characteristic of all drives towards national statehood. The paradox of this kind of exceptionalism was well put by Ernest Gellner in his Nations and Nationalism: to form a distinct national identity, nation-builders had to mould or rig the micro-world views of numerous regional peasant communities to conform to a fictive sense of belonging to a larger state. You dissolved many 'exceptionalist' internal differences in order to assert an homogenized difference from the rest of the world. Modernization meant cancelling internal differences and exchanging them for a larger difference, that constructed by the new state to differentiate it as distinct from all neighbouring countries. Since democracy is premised on respect for internal differences, there is a natural tension between democracy and nationalism. Nationalism is powerful because it allows maximum expression in a group assertion of being exceptional for individual communities and persons who, sucked into the homogenizing world of industrialism, must sacrifice their personal sense of being individuals qua individuals. It's a safety valve for the loss of a real sense of intimate difference as we are drilled to conform to a broad model of seamless social group-identity. The paradox here is that the United States has a powerful political sense of its version of the fiction, in the idea it has an historic mission as an exceptionalist state, and yet is a democracy. Even in international law, it underwrites general principles and then adds clauses saying it alone is exempt from them (as Noam Chomsky repeatedly points out). It has deep roots, that you can get an idea of by reading any number of works, Jack P. Greene's The Intellectual Construction of America, University of North Carolina Press, 1993, or Byron E Shafer (ed.) Is America Different! A New Look at American Exceptionalism, Clarendon Press 1991 etc.
As for the engineering of delusional states of mind, and passing them off as normal, that is inherent in all modernization, and Walter Lippman's Public Opinion is a classic and germinal analysis of the problem.
I haven't read Parenti's book. I haven't read for that matter most books I should read. I'll keep an eye out for it.Nishidani (talk) 12:35, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
How Exceptionalism Fuels America’s Gun Massacres (Why Laws Won't Stop the Bloodshed), by Abby Martin, in CounterPunch
Nishidani, thanks for the detailed information.
Talking about Michael Parenti, here is a recent article by him. Reminding us that in all human clashes over the last several thousand years, including but not limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, power elites on all sides of the conflict send low-income and poor people to kill other low-income and poor people and to be killed by them, while the wealthy elites and high-ranking military officers on all sides smile all the way to the bank.
Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 14:14, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
The Ghosts of Gaza: Israel’s Soldier Suicides. IjonTichy (talk) 18:18, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. A useful summary, perhaps worth inclusion in the article. I don't think that blaming the jihadi elements like Col. Winter gets one anywhere. The IDF's policies haven't changed because of the rise of religious fanatics in the IDF ranks: their presence just makes explaining the usual policies, and criticism of Islamic jihadis, more difficult.Nishidani (talk) 18:57, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for demonstrating your extreme anti-Semitism and complete disregard for WP:BLP by calling an honorable Jewish soldier a "religious fanatic." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:42, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Jehovah akhbar! Nishidani (talk) 09:48, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a direct link to this Times of Israel article might be useful.     ←   ZScarpia   13:43, 2 November 2014 (UTC) (By the way, did you read about Netanyahu's gross, abominable, sickening, insulting etc. comparison between rocket attacks on Israel and Nazi aerial assaults on the UK during WWII? ;) )
Yes I did. Perhaps he got that hyperbole from his father, an excellent historian on medieval matters, but a wild-eyed apocalyptic fantasist with regard to contemporary history.Nishidani (talk) 20:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
From an interview Prof. Netanyahu did with Maariv: [1][2][3].     ←   ZScarpia   02:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Apologies for being pedantic, but there's an embarassing typo there, which means you wrote something very different from what you meant (think of the elative from the root K-B-R). Regards, NSH001 (talk) 22:51, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Whozzat? I love pedantry, but where's the typo, and in whose remark?Nishidani (talk) 23:12, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
See elative and akhbar and, err, a few lines up. --NSH001 (talk) 23:21, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I see. My cousins used to say that I was a great punner, only the point each time required a footnote or tedious paraphrase before you understood it (the irish joke about micturating, a malapropism for the intended 'matriculating', had to be glossed, and it was that which elicited my elder cousin's riposte).
In writing:'Jehovah akhbar!' I added the 'h' to make such a pun, 'Jehovah' (a misreading of YHWH) and 'akhbar' a distortion of '(Allahu akbar). The point was to liken distortions of holy writ for fanatical ends to slips in orthography, by twisting the terms, and driving home that our own evangelical fanaticism (Jehovah) made God out to be a 'mouse'(that roared). And I suppressed the pedantic temptation to add notes to the fact that in Mycenaean Greek there is a form 'si-mi-te-u' that is linked probably to an inscription at Chryse in the Troad attesting to a cult of Apollo Smintheus (Apollo the Vole). The god of the Trojans was a field-mouse (σμίνθος: as opposed to your average domestic mouse,μῦς), just like the akhbar in 'Jehovah akhbar'. I can't help making private puns, but it relieves the boredom of working here, at least makes me smile, and if flagged would only give the impression of a braggart display of pseudo-erudition. Cheers, pal. Nishidani (talk) 11:21, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Quotes from the book Johnny Got His Gun.   IjonTichy (talk) 08:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Coincidence. I read a long article on that extraordinary man, Dalton Trumbo, some weeks ago.Nishidani (talk) 20:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yale chaplain forced out by Zionist attacks. The chaplain was forced to resign over a brief letter to the New York Times in which he explained that actions such as the recent Israeli war on the people of Gaza were breeding anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. IjonTichy (talk) 20:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Noted that the day it occurred. He's the last on a list I have of, at last count, 36 prominent academics kicked out of academia or harassed or denied tenure for trying to make a reasonable case for Palestinian rights over the last few years. We have no wiki article on the phenomenon, despite the fact that it is a chronic problem.Nishidani (talk) 20:33, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
How is this a problem? Anti-Semites who demonize and tell lies about Jews and Israel should not be brainwashing students. Western universities are infested with anti-Semitism, as can be witnessed with the growing influenced of the racist hate group "Students for Justice in Palestine" in demonizing and slandering Israel on American universities. (unsigned comment left by

ZScarpia, care to explain your deliberate mischaracterization of Netanyahu's accurate comparison of the Hamas rocket attack on Israel to Nazi Germany's attacks on Britain? The Gazans are very similar to the Nazis and even have the same ideology of wanting to genocide all Jews. How come you people never post links that cast Arabs or Muslim in a bad light? You always post anti-Israel crap. Here are some things to enlighten you:

(unsigned comment left by

Is that an 'answer' to the documentation above about Israeli calls for a genocidal solution? This is the 'Yes,-but-they-are-even-worse' gambit in the dishwater polemical vein of public discourse on ethics and law. In Italy and Greece, many average people avoid taxes and scream when their services don't function, and their excuse is, 'But they (politicians and bigwigs) steal millions.' So your gambit is proof only of an an-ethical crowd attitude, based on focusing on the sins of others in order to turn the conversation away from one's own faults, shortcomings. It works of course, because, as the poet said Humankind cannot bear very much reality. And as another poet wrote:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
One was also told as a child that it is pointless talking back to garrulous airheads with a lopsided sense of outrage, esp. if that outrage is envenomed by a unilateral sense of righteousness and victimization. In any case, you will be reverted if you offload the usual junk of blinkered pathos on this page. So don't waste your time, or mine, further. Thank you.Nishidani (talk) 12:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

ZScarpia, care to explain your deliberate mischaracterization of Netanyahu's accurate comparison of the Hamas rocket attack on Israel to Nazi Germany's attacks on Britain? The theme of my postscript was hypocrisy and double standards. A bit of context: recently, a complaint was made about Nishidani's use of the Warsaw Ghetto as an example, the complaint being based on the (bogus) grounds that the ADL has stated that comparisons between the regime in Israel and that in Nazi Germany are anti-Semitic. Now, if supporters of Israel find such comparisons objectionable, shouldn't supporters of Israel avoid making those comparisons about others? If making comparisons between the two regimes is anti-Semitic, then what adjective should be used when supporters of Israel make similar comparisons about others. A case in point, which is why I highlighted it to Nishidani, is Netanyahu's comparison between Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and German ones on Britain during the Second World War [4][5]. The justification comment you left above serves as another case in point: The Gazans are very similar to the Nazis and even have the same ideology of wanting to genocide all Jews. As far as accuracy goes, you might like to read the linked-to Telegraph articles and also look at the Wikipedia ones on Qassam and V-2 rockets. If Netanyahu's speech writer had read the latter, perhaps he or she might not have made the historically erroneous claim that, "There's only been one other instance where a democracy has been rocketed and pelleted with these projectiles of death, and that's Britain during World War Two." Since the total Israeli death toll due to rocket attack is three people, if Hamas is really trying to "genocide all Jews", obviously their current rocket strategy isn't the way they're going to achieve it.     ←   ZScarpia   23:33, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Chris Hedges says that ISIS—the New Israel. IjonTichy (talk) 21:16, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

That parallels exist is clear. But Israel was not founded on internecine sanguinary sectarian murder between tribes, there was no reformist vs orthodox bloodbath: it succeeded because the Ashkenazi elite understood the technology of modernity, and had no real link to religion, unlike the maniacs who direct ISIS. Secondly, it is too early to speak of a state or a 'shell state'. Thirdly, the technocratic angle is trumped by ideology (just as Nazis destroyed for ideological reasons an advanced industrially able workforce in the Jewish populations of Europe, damaging their war from the inside). Hezbollah (and its imitator Hamas) does not wage war against the Lebanese Sunnis or the Maronites, Hezbollah provides services, and modernizes its Shiite tradition to make it compatible with a viable Islamic state. It does not behead its enemies, but if captured, keeps them in detention (apart from several early recourses to pure terror, mostly mirroring what it perceived its adversary did in targeted assassinations and indiscriminate bombings). Fourthly, Israel succeeded because it had a superpower patron: ISIS is patronized by backward obtuse monarchical regimes, with no industrial basis or growing service class of note: oil revenues buy off the population. Etc. So I am unimpressed (=disgusted), and don't think the analogy dignifies ISIS or demeans Israel, which drove out, as ISIS did, massive numbers of people, but did not, as ISIS does, murder, decapitate, or liquidate those who managed to remain (Christians, Yazidis, Shiites etc.) Israel was under a leash that imposed limits on what could be done before the world's eyes. ISIS has no such rein on what it might do. Nishidani (talk) 10:53, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
U.$. $enator tells Netanyahu Congre$$ will follow his lead on Iran sanctions. "In Jeru$alem, Lindsey Graham says $enate will vote on Iran sanctions bill in January."
"Graham also discussed the possibility of cutting off U.$. funding for the United Nations if the Security Council passes a pending Palestinian state resolution. “Any effort by the French, the Jordanians or anyone to avoid direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians over the peace process, anyone who tries to take this to the UN Security Council, there will be a violent backlash by the Congre$$ that could include suspending funding to the United Nations,” Graham said. “We will not sit back and allow the United Nations to take over the peace process.” "
IjonTichy (talk) 22:20, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Which Wikipedia article is the following source best suited for? Please advise.
Israeli Founder Contests Founding Myths, Consortium News. By Uri Avnery and William R. Polk.
Thanks, IjonTichy (talk) 22:27, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
‘You Have a Mother’. Very powerful, moving by Chris Hedges on the horrors of the Holocaust.   IjonTichy (talk) 06:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Gaza in Arizona - How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the U.S.-Mexican Border. "So consider it anything but an irony that, in this developing global set of boundary-busting partnerships, the factories that will produce the border fortresses designed by Elbit and other Israeli and U.S. high-tech firms will mainly be located in Mexico. Ill-paid Mexican blue-collar workers will, then, manufacture the very components of a future surveillance regime, which may well help locate, detain, arrest, incarcerate, and expel some of them if they try to cross into the United States."
  • Israel at the U.S. Borderlands, video interview with Todd Miller, the author

IjonTichy (talk) 07:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures, The Guardian. Looks like a 2015 partial update of the great 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi.
Happy weekend Nish, IjonTichy (talk) 21:53, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
How telling the truth gets an Israeli soldier thrown in jail. "Cpl. Shachar Berrin, 19, told of his personal experience of the occupation in a show for German TV, and was promptly tried and jailed by the IDF." Haaretz --- IjonTichy (talk) 18:01, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Missed that. If one wants to persist in being normal, one should be told that being so can carry a high price tag, as with this lad. When a spontaneous human feeling is ostracized, the society where this happens has problems, i.e., in this case the attrition of sensibility over 48 years of attempts to "normalize" indecency. A lot of regions in Germany in the early years of Hitler and co's insanity didn't take to the indecency of what was happening. One wonders what happened to the police officers in this village on the Rhine, who reacted normally, as did the villagers in the mid 30s. After another 6 years of it, normalcy surrendered, people turned away, it was none of their business, and a whole world became lunatic, accepting madness as the new norm. Though ageing, I try to remember the names of good people who do these normal things and get punished- Shachar Berrin- it's the only way to honour people whom one will never meet.Nishidani (talk) 18:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, that excellent book has a stupendously trenchant oxymoron in it that one should take on board, to lodge it within one's analytic framework, for the attrition of repeated injurious acts, rules, laws, administrative practices etc., that gradually erode one's capacity to see what is there to see, and call a spade a spade i.e. 'cold pogrom'. Much of what happens in the advanced world, in the E.E.C. etc fits this. It's not an area specific or ethnic specific pathology. Nishidani (talk) 19:14, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Online database 'exposes' pro-Palestinian college students in bid to block future jobs. "Canary Mission website keeps backers' identities hidden, calls on activists to 'ensure that today's radicals are not tomorrow's employees.'" Haaretz ---- IjonTichy (talk) 15:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks ITIT. People on The Forward still remember the lessons of history, that's why it is a joy to read. It reminded me of hundreds of personal incidents, of the career obstacles to figures like Isador Rabi, Arthur Kornberg, of how that flatulently logorrhoic Heidegger seconded his revered teacher, Edmund Husserl's removal, from the academic world after the 1933 elections. Husserl like thousands of scholars became immediately unemployable because of background 'checks'. Same in the Soviet Union, as with the early life of one of the most brilliant modern linguists, Alexandra Aikhenvald. The 'racial' profile translated into political unreliability. Here, the 'political' profile (do they support human rights for another 'ethos') translates into joblessness.
In Japan there used to be firms specializing in profiling all graduates who were of pariah origins, and furnishing this information to firms that might want a checkup on backgrounds. What's more disturbing is that it mirrors what anti-Semitic groups do, listing and identifying people as Jewish, grubbing up dossiers for eventual use, as with the infamous Posse Comitatus. Well, more or less, all nations, not least the U.S. are now using this. Google itself. Fortunately, speaking in egoistic terms, I'll be dead before this ability to have instantaneous background profiles of everyone you meet will feed into the perceptions of all organizations, employers, and, nod nod wink wink, tip the scales for or against people's utility to the government or company. Nishidani (talk) 16:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence (May 2015). "Four leading researchers share their concerns and solutions for reducing societal risks from intelligent machines." Nature.

"The United States, the United Kingdom and Israel — the three countries leading the development of Lethal autonomous weapons system (LAWS) technology — suggested that a treaty is unnecessary because they already have internal weapons review processes that ensure compliance with international law."

Yes, and we have ample evidence over the last 70 years (or longer) of that compliance, or more accurately, lack of compliance.

These three countries have near the highest levels of economic inequality in the world. And all three countries have some version of a permanent war economy.

"Israel Second Most Unequal Economy in World" (June 2015). "Shir Hever says the current OECD statistics on inequality in Israel would be even worse if the Palestinian population in the occupied territories were taken into account." The Real News

IjonTichy (talk) 16:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Rather than think this symptomatic of the usual suspects, I think one should examine this, and all such facts, in the broader context. A slow summer's reading of Immanuel Wallerstein's The Modern World System (3 vols), Michael Mann 's The Sources of Social Power, (4 vols) give one a general structural sense of the underlying mechanisms (that include China). If you have philosophical interests, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's works,Dialectic of Enlightenment is excellent, as is the former's late work Negative Dialectics, though it can be heavy going for those unfamiliar with the Hegelian background (in such cases, I advise reading it in 10 page sections, interleaved by breaks of reading Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster novels, if only because humour's the only thing left to stave off the potential for anxiety that certain kinds of hard realism can induce.Nishidani (talk) 18:52, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Have you listened to this,IjonTichy . We all know out Chomsky back to back, but I found that modest delivery exceptionally moving.Best Nishidani (talk) 14:24, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

What actually happened on the ground and not in generic newspaper reports on blame. Any articles welcome

Among other things, the Samson Option is supposed to immediately saturate with bombing the precise area and surrounds where any IDF soldier is presumed captured. According to this report, it didn't work that way: the families hit by a direct IAF missile were two kilometres away.Nishidani (talk) 17:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
'something about the sheer weight of Gaza’s suffering — in wartime and under siege — stunts language, too. I’m supposed to be a writer. But I have not written a word about Gaza in more than 100 days. I couldn’t.'
  • "Kill Anything": Israeli Soldiers Say Gaza Atrocities Came from Orders for Indiscriminate Fire, 6 May 2015, Democracy Now!.     Appears to have many similarities to the free-fire zones described in the book Kill Anything That Moves by Nick Turse. And to the allied firebombing of Dresden and other German and Japanese cities in WWII. And the Nazi slaughter of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and other Jewish uprisings in WWII, as well as other Nazi slaughters in WWII in Western Europe and the Eastern Front, and Japanese massacres in China before and during WW-II. And the wholesale killing of native Americans in the United States, especially from 1865-1900. Free slaughter zones were also practiced in the first world war and in thousands of other conflicts throughout human history going back thousands of years ago. It was, and is, a favorite tactic of colonizing/ occupying forces. IjonTichy (talk) 22:24, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Have you read Kiernan's Blood and Soil: Modern Genocide 1500-2000,?Nishidani (talk) 09:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I noted, read, and (all too briefly) edited it in to an article here. I'm old enough not to be surprised by the normalcy of evil, and that otherwise good people can, in the right circumstances behave with, or mindlessly justify, barbaric behavior. It's not just linked to occupations, or colonization. What is going on, since you link it, in the Palestinian territories is absolutely normal, as slaughter or putting the Indians/Aborigines etc., who survived the genocides on reservations, was quite 'normal'. In fact, if one wants a theoretical grid for interpreting the I/E conflict perhaps the best one is provided by the 'conquest of the West'(Bank). The only anomaly, as Tony Judt pointed out years ago, is that is looks, being part of our backyard, terribly anachronistic. It's true that statistically, in any army, 5-7% are categorized as natural born killers, who enjoy that form of employment, as opposed to the larger percentages that deliberately avoid shooting at the enemy. There's a good book on this: Dave Grossman's, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society,. But that's little consolation, since most of us are not troubled by the massacres in our midst.Nishidani (talk) 17:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
This is How We Fought in Gaza - Soldiers' testimonies and photographs from Operation "Protective Edge" (2014) (242 pages).
Gaza: Killing Gets Easier (June 2015). "... if all this is now acceptable public discourse inside Israel, then killing more [Palestinians] will become easier and easier and look less and less like the crime it is." David Dean Shulman, in the New York Review of Books ---- IjonTichy (talk) 07:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

American Sniper (film)

I think you may find the critical commentary on the film American Sniper very interesting. The commentary includes analysis of the political, historical, social, cultural, philosophical, moral, ethical, religious, racial, ethnic and other aspects of society. I started the article, but don't have the time to combine or interweave the rich - both deep and broad - set of sources (including e.g. Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Max Blumenthal and many other scholars and investigative journalists, and I'm hopeful additional scholars e.g. Norman Finklestein may express their views in the near future too) into a more 'coherent' story. (Fahrenheit 9/11 controversies is an example of a more coherent article.) It would be great if you applied your considerable talents to improve the article. You may enjoy it.

Here is a helpful comment from the talk page of the article on the film: "One good way to condense the text would be to group individual critiques under similar themes, rather than chop up criticism into two sentence "paragraphs" that read like a play-by-play of every person's view, and become somewhat overwhelming to read. Something more balanced and easier to read might go "A number of critics cited inaccuracies or distortions in the film. For example, Joe Smith stated "..." Similarly, Sue Smith wrote "..."". The next paragraph might read "Reception from Arab and Islamic-majority countries was (harsh/mixed) [Cite relevent examples]" This is how an encyclopedia should read, and it takes a bit more editorial finesse than quote after quote, but it is better writing. --Animalparty-- (talk) 20:12, 28 January 2015 (UTC) "

Warm regards, IjonTichy (talk) 04:45, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Most of those are soundbite judgements, for and against. Of course, one could compile a list of such reviews succinctly excerpted for the outright thumbs-up/-down reactions by competent movie critics, as is being done. I did much of such a compilation for that trashy piece of filmic fantasy by Emmerich, Anonymous (film), but I don't think this is informative. Or let us say, you need reviews by critics who do frame analysis, historico-sociological contextualization, and do so within the logic of, say Eastwood's career parabola (for example, there is more than an inkling of a Wende, a readjustment of focus, starting from Unforgiven, A Perfect World and The Bridges of Madison County through to Letters from Iwo Jima Invictus and Gran Torino, that seems, at least to judge from some reviews I've read, to be undone in American Sniper. The key there is to see how he deals with 'empathy for the other' (zilch in the Dirty Harry series) and the emergence of self-awareness in the to-be-admired protagonist/broken hero, the shift from the heroic to the tragic. I usually wait a few years to read or watch anything new, but expect it would, in its genre, have a hard time rivaling the Enemy at the Gates film on Vasily Zaytsev. Zaytsev snipered to defend his homeland against barbarian invaders, but the backdrop is larger. Chris Kyle was a professional killer in a barbaric army of invaders. Nishidani (talk) 11:16, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. By the way I also generally wait at least a year to watch new films, more typically several years or even decades. Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 17:15, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Apropos, see Max Alvarez, 'A Short History of Sniper Cinema,' Counterpunch Jan 30-Feb 1, 2015. He appears to have missed the old classic Sergeant York (film) about Alvin C. York's WW1 exploits.Nishidani (talk) 17:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for Information.   Among the many criticisms of the political/ historical/ social/ ethical aspects of American Sniper (film), one of the most brilliantly insightful, and most frightening and disturbing, is the commentary by Janet Weil: Gunman As Hero, Children As Targets, Iraq As Backdrop: A Review of ‘American Sniper’, published at
Among other things, Weil refers to the documentary film Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. The full documentary (50 min) can be viewed here.
Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 04:48, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Let’s start with Clint Eastwood himself, who says that American Sniper was meant to criticize war. “The biggest antiwar statement any film” can make is to show, he said, “the fact of what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did.” There are two Eastwoods in the popular imagination – the celebrant of violence in the Sergio Leone “spaghetti westerns” and the Dirty Harry movies; and the lamenter of violence in films such as Unforgiven and Gran Torino. But as American Sniper demonstrates, those two modes are not so far apart. Eastwood does here what he has done repeatedly in his career – resolves his hero’s ambivalence, psychic pain, and sense of structural powerlessness through masculine honor, sacrifice, and vulnerability (often played out on a highly racialized landscape).

Which was my original point, though he picked up what I forgot The Outlaw Josey Wales, which goes back to mark the Wende earlier (1976) than I did, and where the ambiguity, and its resolution is perhaps better exemplified by the figure played by John Vernon than by Eastwood perhaps.Nishidani (talk) 12:23, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, when I originally read the paragraph you quoted above, your words sprang into my mind ... Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 16:56, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I happened to catch The Hurt Locker on the boobtube the other night. That is a masterly piece of film in the genre against which to measure this Eastwood reel.Nishidani (talk) 10:57, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The Hurt Locker and American Sniper are similar in the sense (a) both were successful financially (although the latter much more so than the former), and (b) both received a very large number of positive reviews. but the two films are very different in the sense that Sniper received a much larger number of negative reviews of the historical/ political/ social (HPS) aspects of the film than Locker. For example, for a partial listing of the negative reviews of the HPS aspects of Sniper, see this section of the article talk page.

Did you get a chance to watch Lord of War and War, Inc.? I highly recommend these two films. They are both highly intelligent, deeply insightful, thought provoking, and entertaining. I've read extensively over the last 10 years about the complex, challenging issues analyzed in these films, and both of these films offer highly accurate, truthful, penetrating, revealing, sophisticated, nuanced historical/ political/ social commentary. (Which partially explains why both films received poor reviews from mainstream film critics.) The films are not documentaries, they are officially works of fiction, but in reality they are (to a large extent) documentaries well-disguised as mass entertainment (otherwise they could not be sufficiently funded, as well-made war movies generally require relatively high budgets). Both offer many documentary-like elements of the highest quality. By the way you may want to check the Wikiquote entries on both films to get a taste for the high level of intelligence and brutal intellectual honesty offered by these films. Take good care, IjonTichy (talk) 00:17, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

I've seen Lord of War, despite disliking Nicolas Cage, and have yet to see War, Inc, despite having a high regard for John Cusack. If there is a defect in the former, it is (to make a variation on the point re the antithetic tensions in Eastwood's films) that (a) the horror of arms-running is embodied by a marginal criminal, whereas it is how official states function, as is admitted only in the postscript to the film and (b) the lesson Yuri voices as the sum of the wisdom he acquired in supplying dictators with weapons of massacre, 'Never go to war, especially with yourself' is contradicted by his own life, which is split, except for two moments, between the realized fantasy of an American dream world laundered of violence, and the brutalizing reality of the violent world he exploits to finance his other life. He's a liminal maverick, but everything he does is what the respectable world of state 'actors' do on a day by day basis, as part of their job, which no one takes exception to. Suffice it to see the massive, lunatic contradictions in the real life behavior of a mainstream figure depicted by Tom Hanks in (Charlie Wilson's War). Still, it's some time since I saw the film, and, as I said, I don't like Cage as an actor.
Vladimir Propp argued that humanity had but 5 plotlines in its fabulatory repertoire, which is probably richer than the story-lines of people or of history in the real world. Generally the rare grim tales in the Grimm brothers' yarns don't translate well for a mass audience, and fail box office success, and the obvious reason, to cite Ibsen, is that we're more comfortable existentially with the blandishment of lies, or as the Old Possum said in Burnt Norton: 'Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind cannot bear very much reality.' We know everything to the point of having at arm's reach a certain predictive grasp of the consequences of our repeated national and international follies, but it is only to be expected that it has little or almost no impact on reality.Nishidani (talk) 11:31, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your insights Nish. Your keen observations of Lord don't diminish my very high regard for the film (and I don't feel that was your intention at all). All your observations are insightful and thought provoking. I agree with your analysis. You mentioned you saw Lord some years ago, maybe if you will watch it again you may develop additional perspectives. If I would have watched all these films 10 years ago I probably would have rated Sniper very highly and Lord and War Inc very poorly. It is only because I've educated myself extensively over the last 10 years about the financial interests behind war (and more importantly and more generally about the role of financial interests in larger society from ancient human history to date) that I was in a position to develop a full and deep appreciation for the brutal intellectual honesty of films such as Lord and War Inc, both of which I've watched for the first time in 2013.
By the way Lord was successful at the box office, although nowhere near the level of the financial success of Sniper. Andrew Niccol, the writer and director of Lord, [also the writer (but not the director) of The Truman Show, another great film in my view] appears to have made several compromises in the script of Lord which in my view did not detract from the film and probably helped the film to (at least modestly) succeed at the box office. Without crafting Lord with an eye towards financial success Niccol would have faced enormous roadblocks to obtain funding for his future filmmaking efforts, e.g. Good Kill (which I've not yet seen --- did you get a chance to catch it yet?). And I loved the Yuri speech near the end of Lord where he informs the idealistic Interpol agent Jack Valentine that the state 'actors' are much larger criminals than Yuri himself and that the state is certain to intervene on Yuri's behalf.
By the way in my view other great anti-war films include, but are certainly not limited to, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well as High Noon, and of course many films by Charlie Chaplin, including but not limited to The Great Dictator. IjonTichy (talk) 19:36, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, there's an ad break from listening to Luttwak discuss Libya, so I haven't time to add my list. (Some wars are 'good', you know, i.e.necessary. The Holocaust wouldn't have occurred if more Jews acted (then, rather than applying the doctrine against harmless Palestinians now) in WW2 like the Bielski brothers. Have you seen La grande guerra. I suppose it wouldn't go over well in translation, there's so much local dialect, regional mindsets, etc., in it. Extremely powerful ending. Train of Life,The 25th Hour, The Last Valley, Zulu) (saw that with my father, who gave me through the film a detailed run-down of the history of Zulu chieftains by name, which his father transmitted to him in turn, since he had fought in the Boer War: a fine study in courage, by both sides, even if the Brits were imperial arseholes), and yes, (I liked the character portraits of the British soldiers, esp the one played by Attenborough) in Guns at Batasi 'Nite (no, I wasn't being critical of the Cage film, really. But his speech in the end sounding to me like a pretext, and therefore an example of instrumental self-justification. Put it this way- what the film is trying to say is: the 'American dream' is built on foreign nightmares, whether it's Yuri the maverick or the State Department doesn't really matter. Back to the debate.Nishidani (talk) 21:25, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I will definitely look into the films you linked to.
By pure coincidence, I've read the Hebrew translation of The Good Soldier Švejk about one short year before I was drafted into the Israeli military. Without a doubt one of the top 3 antiwar books I've read in my lifetime. Decades later, I smile when I remember the pure joy I felt reading that book. From the first page of the book I sensed this was a special, extremely well-crafted story, and I remember trying to limit my reading of the book to only a few paragraphs every day over a period of weeks, in an effort to prolong the pleasure as much as possible. And when I finished reading the book I immediately read it again from cover to cover. I experienced the same joy very recently, in 2011-2, when I read Catch-22 for the first time in my life -- not only the best antiwar book I've ever read, but the very best book in any genre I've ever read. Best, IjonTichy (talk) 00:18, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Švejk would be even better in Yiddish, I would reckon. I thought immediately of Catch-22 just as I switched off the computer, and also Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, which is up there with the greatest American novels. Since you mentioned finance and violence, the latter is particularly apposite. There is a long speech in there by General Cummings, designed to show that (despite 'us' being on the good side) the directive elite of the Western powers, esp. corporate America, are as fascist as their enemies. Quite a premonitory statement for the period. I can't find the chapter or page numbers as my worn copy is stored elsewhere, but I recommend it, if you haven't read it (Uri Avnery's In the Fields of Philistia must be a fascinating read, though I haven't seen it yet). I was raised listening to people talking about their Boer and WW1 memories - they glossed life in the trenches more or less along the lines of Wilfred Owen's poem, or Frederick Manning's The Middle Parts of Fortune, Robert Graves's Good-Bye to All That and Frank Richard's Old Soldiers Never Die. There's a huge number of very good books and films (Gallipoli is another: my paternal grandfather was there), now that you mention it. I suppose it's just entertainment now: since, if the consumers of these realistic fictions took their reading or viewing of these things to heart, the world would be a different place. Cheers.Nishidani (talk) 09:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. Full text of the book on WikiSource and Well-made 10-min film on YouTube.
Allegory of the Cave by Plato. Well-made 3-min film on YouTube.
IjonTichy (talk) 19:40, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Manifestations of Apartheid Israel (May 2015). "Shir Hever, economist at the Alternative Information Center, says segregation begins five seconds after disembarking in Israel and there is blatant racism of various kinds isolating Arabs." May 27, 2015, The Real News

Philip Weiss on Oren. I've always thought people like myself are just all transcribers of an internal debate (taking sides, of course. I remember the 50s ad 60s, and how crucial Jewish voices were in pressing for sanity in American society). Regards Nishidani (talk) 14:47, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, this is interesting.
Oren appears to be accusing Jewish critics of the brutal, vicious policies of the government of Israel of being Self-hating Jews.
"This just shows how meretricious the use of the “anti-Semite” label is, and ought to offer even more encouragement to all you non-Jewish critics of Israel who are afraid to say anything lest you be tarred." I agree with this statement by Philip Weiss.
Back in February of this year, on the talk page of American Sniper (film), when editors accused Max Blumenthal and Zaid Jilani of anti-Semitism in an effort to suppress and silence the excellent, powerful criticism of the film offered by Blumenthal and Jilani, user:Nbauman put it best, when he said something to the effect that anti-Semitism is now the new McCarthyism. I agreed with Nbauman, and added that the accusations against Blumenthal and Jilani in the mass media (e.g. on Fox News) were a Hasbara i.e. propaganda effort.
I am seeing a number of recent attempts in the mass media, as well as on Wikipedia, to suppress and silence valid, well-documented criticism of the policies of various governments (Israel, US, Russia, Ukraine, other former Soviet Union countries, France, Spain, some Arab countries, the UK among other governments) by accusing the critics, both Jews and non-Jews, of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments. These vacuous accusations are a form of ad hominem attacks on the critics. In my view, some of these frivolous, baseless, groundless accusations were issued in an effort to silence and intimidate editors such as yourself, Nishidani, among other productive, acting-in-good-faith WP editors.
Also, as I posted on your talk page, accusations of Antisemitism are intended, among other purposes, to distract the populace from enormous socio-economic inequalities and the on-going kleptocratic looting, i.e. the transferring (stealing) of the public wealth to create private riches. This distraction campaign is one part of the timeless - ancient, current, and future - stratagem of kleptocrats/ oligarchs/ plutocrats and their servile hacks in practically all global countries, governments and mass media, employing almost infinitely many variations of Bread and circuses-style and Circus Maximus-style distractions. (Another example, among many examples of massive distractions are the Orwellian-called "democratic elections." For a small subset of the many good examples on this issue, see all the books and investigative reports and essays by Chris Hedges, for example his most recent essay 'America's Electoral Farce.' Also highly recommended: 'Obey': Film Based on Chris Hedges' book 'Death of the Liberal Class' by Temujin Doran, freely available on YouTube. In my view the film is different than the book and is mostly based on Chris Hedges' columns in TruthDig, but nonetheless it is a very good film.)
[There is no 'conspiracy' here of any kind by the kleptocratic oligarchs -- they are only people like everyone else and they are not part of any cabal or organization, they are not at fault here, the global socio-economic system is the problem and it developed slowly over thousands of years and is now deeply embedded in each and every person on the planet, including myself. In many cases these distractions are not even part of a deliberate strategy or tactic - in many cases the kleptocratic plutocrats and their hacks in government and the mass media and other 'professions' (e.g. most, although not all, so-called 'economists,' or e.g. the military-surveillance-police-prison professions) actually fully believe their own propaganda, Hasbara and public relations horseshit.] IjonTichy (talk) 15:34, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, one should try to keep cheerful, even when listening to this, which elaborates on your second paragraph. That programme is one of the several bright spots one can listen into the world over for keeping the broad public informed of what's going on, and worth checking from time to time. Politicians are, predictably, trying to shut it down, citing economic rationales. Nishidani (talk) 16:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, this radio program is informative. May I also recommend everything by Juice Rap News, including e.g. this episode. IjonTichy (talk) 17:02, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Good grief, two intelligent sites in Downunderland! Very good. Bookmarked for daily use.Nishidani (talk) 20:54, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I was not in the best of moods today but your comments lifted my spirits. You are right, one should try to keep cheerful, despite all the insanity in the world in general and on WP in particular, and to remember the bigger picture, including e.g. that the world, including WP, also have much goodness and hope to offer. Best wishes, IjonTichy (talk) 22:58, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

U.S. gunman kills three young Muslims

U.S. gunman kills three young Muslims, Reuters. --IjonTichy (talk) 17:40, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Chris Johnson, One dead and three injured in Copenhagen 'terrorist attack', The Guardian, 14 February 2015. Nishidani (talk) 11:00, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Gunman as Hero, Children as Targets, Iraq as Backdrop ---- IjonTichy (talk) 18:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
drone piloting is, of course, a form of sniping. It's striking that they have a high trauma index, until one remembers that the juxtaposition of doing a normal desk job, killing people you don't know by pushing buttons, and then going home to dinner and TV with the kids parallels the Vietnam syndrome so many vets spoke about, one night in a jungle swamp scared to death and shooting, then if you survived, being whipped out by helicopter to sunbake on a Danang beach, with all the mod-cons, as if you were back home on vacation. I often wonder about the private lives of the large number of snipers in the IDF who, once the spotter has identified the leader of a bunch of stone-throwers, shoot him, esp. like the Palestinian journalist a while back who was shot through his camera lens, as he focused to film a riot, and lost his eye. Very good aim, with a rubber coated steel bullet. He can't get a pass for treatment in East Jerusalem where St John's Hospital is the best clinic for such cases.Nishidani (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Former US military personnel urge drone pilots to walk away from controls. "Letter from 45 retired and former military members call on pilots at Creech and Beale air force bases to refuse to carry out duties as they ‘profoundly violate’ law." The Guardian, via ---- IjonTichy (talk) 22:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

New AP Report on the Massacre in Gaza in Summer 2014

Economist Shir Hever discusses an Associated Press report about attacks on the Gaza civilian population during Operation Protective Edge, The Real News. HEVER: "This is the importance of the AP report now, because it undermines the Israeli narrative about that war. This argument, as if Hamas has been using human shields to protect their fighters, this is an extremely racist argument. It presents the people of Gaza as if they don't care about their own family, about their own neighbors."   ...   HEVER: "it just shows that the only thing that the Israeli forces were effective at doing is keeping most of the Israeli civilians out of harm's way. But when it comes to using their offensive capabilities, they have made no effort to distinguish between Palestinian civilians and fighters."

High civilian death toll in Gaza house strikes, says report, Ynet news --- IjonTichy (talk) 18:43, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

הווידוי המדהים של קצין תקציבים בצבא: "רק חיפשנו איפה לדחוף את הכסף"
"The amazing confession of a budgeting officer in the [Israeli] military: we were searching where to shove the money ... Sometimes I felt the senior command were so excited from the mountains of money that were expected to arrive, that I had the sense that maybe they pushed a little for an escalation." TheMarker. --- IjonTichy (talk) 15:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Nothing really. Small change (i.e.Moldavia compared to the Iraqi scam. It is however, understudied, the sociology of threat forecasting in order to enhance greater access to the public purse.Nishidani (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
UN Chief Criticizes Israel Over Deaths of Children in Gaza. ---- IjonTichy (talk) 22:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Jewish Supremacism (My Awakening to the Jewish Question)

@Nishidani:I wrote an article for introducing a book by David Duke in my user space draft page. But several users come and make problem for it and after move to main space with me deleted it. They want bane me and said that you can add negative idea in the article. But they don't accept and delete page and want ban me. Can you help me? AliAkar (talk) 12:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

I haven't read the page, since it has been deleted. It is not anti-Semitic in itself to write an analysis or article on an anti-Semitic book. Were that so great scholars like Norman Cohn would have been fired for writing magisterial studies of the Protocols of Zion and the history of that forgery. David Duke is an anti-Semite of course, and his thinking illustrates in textbook fashion the profound envy that permeates anti-Semitic minds and culture. The jealous deplore as negative traits what they themselves would secretly aspire to have, but haven't. Were they to have the gifts, or power or influence they imagine others possess, they would consider all these things in a positive light. Let me illustrate. In the David Duke article he is quoted as saying:-

We [Whites] desire to live in our own neighborhoods, go to our own schools, work in our own cities and towns, and ultimately live as one extended family in our own nation. We shall end the racial genocide of integration. We shall work for the eventual establishment of a separate homeland for African Americans, so each race will be free to pursue its own destiny without racial conflicts and ill will.

I.e. he wants a community that mirrors the one constructed in Israel where some observers say (and it is profoundly untrue of how, generally, Jews in the diaspora act) that there is:

A reality where religious and ethnic communities maintain their separation. Palestinians and Jews live live in their own neighbourhoods, read their own newspapers, send their children to their own schools, use their own bus lines and taxi companies. Ira Sharkansky, The potential for Ambiguity: The Case of Jerusalem, in Efraim Karsh, From Rabin to Netanyahu: Israel's Troubled Agenda, Frank Cass 1997 pp.187-200 p.187.

So you see, it is impossible for any rational person to admire David Duke's writings and, at the same time, be a critic of Israel or 'the Jews', because what critics might deplore in Israel's ethnocratic tendencies, or in the traditions of communitarian identity in Jewish tradition, is something David Duke brandishes as an ideal for the 'white race'. Anything DD has to say that might seem accurate, is so because it has been copied and pasted from the works of great Jewish critics and writers who, however, were not 'jealous' or 'envious' of some vague 'Jewish other' for the simple reason that they themselves were inclusive Jews, happy to live with several identities, none of which had anything to do with racial stereotypes or national-ethnic profiling. DD, like all racists, anti-Semites, and homogenizing rhetors of separate identity. I'm afraid I can't help you out therefore, other than stating briefly that, while there's a place on wiki for articles on any book, any wikipedian who wishes to write on this kind of trash, should immerse themselves in the history of both racism and anti-Semitism, which is just the 'accelerated grimace' of the former. Ideas can kill. Mein Kampf produced the holocaust, the Aeneid's Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos might have given 'moral' comfort to the imperial campaigners who massacred the Jews for their revolt against Rome, Theodor Herzl's Altneuland fantasy spelt misery, dispossession, and disaster for millions of Palestinians, even to this day, . .the list is infinite.Nishidani (talk) 14:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Your comparison of the recreation of Israel to the Holcaust is extremely anti-Semitic and despicable, and you should retract your absurdly racist claim immediately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

See any primer on how to acquire basic literacy and reading skills.Nishidani (talk) 11:11, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
War against the people (June 2015). By Derek Gregory.
See also: Securocracy. -- IjonTichy (talk) 18:14, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I hope you noted that your President today did something that exhibits a courage and symbolic manifestation of deep compassion for a despised enemy that no other politician in the world in recent memory (Willi Brandt at Auschwitz is the last time I can recall a similar gesture) has proved capable of doing. I know a lot of his background, and worried over his election to that position. He is an inclusivist for a single state. If the kind of gestures he is making, in this, and at commemorations for the Kafr Qasim massacre for example, were to become far more widespread, the conflict would be wrapped up, as solved. Hats off to him. It is magnificent. Nishidani (talk) 18:57, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Nish, you have a good sense of humor. I smiled as I read your note. I think you may know that Rivlin did not remove the Israeli flag - this was only a thought experiment based on the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, where South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the Confederate flag to be removed from statehouse grounds by the State legislature. Regarding Rivlin's words on the massacre Kfar Kassem, Rivlin should be commended for saying these words. IjonTichy (talk) 22:27, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm naïve, or else according to a noted wiki authority on my hidden Machiavellian psychopathology, it was a prophylactic feint to forfend accurate charges that I am an anti-Semite!. The fact is, I had a large amount of reading done yesterday and on browsing per duty a dozen websites, read way too fast, and didn't see it was a 'thought experiment' (an interesting phrase a 'thought' is always experimental, as opposed to 'experiential thoughts'), as you, and Simon now gently remind me. Old age!! The geezer's getting soppy, the anti-Semite Nazi is on his last legs as 'the sixth age slips into the lean and slippered pantaloon' and he drools empathy with his age-old 'enemy' etc. With enemas like Nishidunny who needs fiends, SignalmanFreud might have whispered to Giacomo ReJoyce. Uh well, it just means Willi Brandt is up there alone.Nishidani (talk) 14:22, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
A magisterial analysis of the grotesque Projection (Psychology) that DD exhibits Nish. Always a pleasure. However, I must say I do find your mention of Herzl somewhat strained in the context of the extended sentence. You know I will offer gentle criticism on occasion, which is why we are mates. Yours aye, the redoubtable Irondome (talk) 23:30, 23 June 2015 (UTC), or Simon, according to the weather.
A further thought experiment concerning Rivlin and the role of the Israeli President. I believe the office is unique amongst the nations in that it appears to embody the moral and or ethical counterweight to the national "mood". The gadfly. As President. What if Einstein would have accepted the proffered role of President in the early days of Israels' rebirth? Sadly, he declined, as we know. Simon. Irondome (talk) 23:48, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Knuckle-dusters excluded, I take uppercuts thrown my way by mates as salutary wake up calls. Relationships, virtual or otherwise, that can't tolerate strong disagreements are false, so any challenges are more than welcome. Herzl has always puzzled me. He certainly knew in depth the dangers in the air of European anti-Semitism, but he knew virtually nothing about Judaism, or the Middle East, or history. Most rabbis thought his idea heretical, and most eastern european Jews thought America was the new Zion. I think they were right: and have produced much that is best in a country I otherwise have difficulty liking. Knowing little made Herzl into a very effective politician. I'll think it over some more though. Yes, Einstein, had he accepted, would have made a difference, but he probably realized that remaining intelligent and being a politician are two incompatible states. Hang on, had he recalled Schrödinger's cat, he might well have accepted, since it allows you to be both alive (someone who thinks) and dead (a politician) simultaneously!Nishidani (talk) 14:22, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

The Anatomy of Hell (July 2015), The New York Review of Books. Richard J. Evans: "The power of the “Holocaust” as a concept has all but obliterated other aspects of the crimes of the Nazis and driven the history of the concentration camps from cultural memory."

Thanks for that. I must order some of those books. Noted esp.'To subsume all of these crimes under the concept of the “Holocaust” is to narrow our vision unduly and to constrain our ability to pursue similar crimes in the future. As the two lawyers remark: “It is tragic that triggers for prosecutions of genocide and other mass atrocities still exist, that the brutalization of civilian populations and massive theft, rape, and dismemberment of peoples is not just a historical vignette, but part of today’s news. At least, however,” they conclude, ending on a note of cautious optimism, “the ideas of the 1940s have evolved into a system of justice to deal with some of these crimes,” and that is “an improvement over where we were seventy years ago.”'
In camp slang, people who had given up the struggle to survive were, as Primo Levi wrote, called 'Muslims'.Nishidani (talk) 12:04, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Lawmakers Are Using Trade Rules to Blacklist Critics of Israel. "Legislation to fast track new trade pacts specifically targets supporters of the BDS movement against the Israeli occupation."

IjonTichy (talk) 22:29, 25 June 2015 (UTC)


Yonatan Mendel, Diary, London Review of Books, Vol. 37 No. 6 -19 March, 6 March 2015.

quote of the week

Ayman Odeh, the head of the new Joint Arab List, is a true leader. Extremely incisive, he often uses irony and wit to undermine his detractors while advancing an egalitarian vision for the future. In a moment of candor, a well-known Israeli commentator characterized his demeanor as a serious threat: “He’s really dangerous,” she said, “he projects something every Israeli can relate to.” Neve Gordon, 'The End of the Liberal Zionist Façade,' Counterpunch 20-22 March 2015

Further testimonials from Israeli soldiers on Israeli war crimes during the 1967 war (June 2015), Haaretz. --IjonTichy (talk) 17:55, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

The state of knowledge, sigh (reliable sources etc.)

Itay Blumental, '3,000-year-old artifacts from Egypt rule of Canaan found in Negev cave,'

Artefacts were used by the tribe of Judah, the only tribe of Israel not to be exiled to Babylon in the late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. (circa 1,500 BCE) and the Iron Age (1,000 BCE)

Fascinating. The Babylonian exile took place 900-400 years after the artefacts were made, artefacts which (a) are Egyptian in motifs and style and yet (b) bear witness to Judahite cultural patterns a thousand/500 years later. Great. Nishidani (talk) 10:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Nish can you please explain/ interpret this further. I think I know what this means but am not sure.
By the way I think you'll be interested in viewing the New Interviews with Norman Finkelstein, May 2015
IjonTichy (talk) 17:18, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The writer knows nothing of the subject (a) The way it is phrased the Babylonian captivity extended from the late Bronze Age (which ended 1,200 ca). The Babylonian captivity starts around 597, which is, the late Iron Age. (b)The tribe of Judah was exiled to Babylon. (c)What has the tribe of Judah to do with artefacts which the article states were dated from 1,500-1,000 BCE?, a period before we have any historic notice of that tribe. Did they inherit them, dig them up for re-use?, and if so, what significance would that have. No more than if a Spartan used ornaments from a Mycenaean tomb? It's hogwash in short, explicable only as another endless attempt to make ethnic connections history (so far) doesn't permit. Thanks for the link to Norman. I'll examine it presently.Nishidani (talk) 18:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Reference errors on 2 April

Hello, I'm ReferenceBot. I have automatically detected that an edit performed by you may have introduced errors in referencing. It is as follows:

Please check this page and fix the errors highlighted. If you think this is a false positive, you can report it to my operator. Thanks, ReferenceBot (talk) 00:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Well, you learn something new every day

Hmm, you wouldn't expect a single extra quotation mark to make such a difference, but the wiki parser does do some things differently within ref tags.

I always enjoy a good puzzle, as I did those in Kasner & Newman's book, Mathematics and the Imagination, when I was in hospital for three months at the age of 10 because an incompetent locum doctor couldn't diagnose a textbook case of appendicitis. Our usual GP wouldn't have made that mistake.

Thanks for the challenge. --NSH002 (talk) 18:32, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Request for input

I see you have had previous interactions with the editor Hijiri88, apparently including specifically the article on Emperor Jimmu. I have very serious questions regarding his basic competence and his regular abuse of policies and guidelines, and have started a discussion at WP:ANI#Ongoing gross incivility of Hijiri88. Anything you might be able to present regarding his behavior and ability to deal with criticism, be it positive or negative, would be welcome. John Carter (talk) 18:13, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I'll certainly look into it, John. I get on well with Hijiri, as I do with yourself. Miyazawa Kenji was critical of 'narrow nationalism' while Tanaka Chigaku's movement was close to ultra-rightist, so the point is delicate. Miyazawa doesn't, from my recalled reading, strike me as politically nationalist in Chigaku's sense. I'm busy tonight, but will look further into the complaints and page tomorrow, if possible. Cheers. Nishidani (talk) 18:49, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
The issue probably isn't so much "nationalism," narrow or broad, but more about behavior. Of course, if you have any reference sources on the subject, they would be more than welcome. I just a bit earlier today finished the Guide to Reference sublist on the History of Asia and there seem to be about 8 or 9 at this point, because the GtR is pretty much current, recent biographical encyclopedias on Japan, which, between them and any other reference type sources, would probably provide the best indicators of content of the biography, provided we take into account the obvious biases implicit in biographies of poets, or authors, or political activists, in reference works dealing with those more specialized topics. Some of them, and maybe others available through Resource Exchange on perhaps the Koku-whatever-the-hell-it-is group might be among the most useful. One particular point of interest in the biography is that it states the subject had been turned down by the Koku group earlier, before he became a street preacher or whatever it was. It might be interesting to see when he first approached them, particularly how quickly after his alleged conversion, and if they are known what reasons he supplied for choosing that particular group, which, from what I understand, probably has the weakest ties to the Lotus Sutra of all the Nichiren groups. Anyway, just a few opinions. John Carter (talk) 18:57, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I dislike Nichiren, and groups affiliated to it. Buddhism is another matter. One of my teachers was a Buddhist, with a deep affection for the Lotus Sutra, perhaps because he had seen WW2 and was an intelligence agent. But I think Miyazawa's life and work can't be tainted by association: many things affect affiliation, and I can't see any evidence (to the contrary) that this side of the Nichiren tradition, it was nationalistic from the start, was what drew him to it. In any case I've made some observations on the page. Cheers, John, and thanks for the notification. He's a very interesting writer. Nishidani (talk) 14:14, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
If Miyazawa were available in a really good translation, I probably would try to read him. I unfortunately tend to think that a lot would be lost in translation. He seems to be one of the comparatively rare writers who are acquainted with both science and religion, and try to in a sense bridge the gap between those two fields, and such writers tend to have some of the more interesting things to say in general.
Oh, and FWIW, I think I've gotten at least a few new reference source articles related to the topic. If you wanted to drop me an e-mail, I could forward them, and the other ones from RX, to you. I can try to search the various databanks of newspapers and journals this week as well, although I honestly tend to doubt that there is likely to be much information related to his biography anyway which wouldn't be available through other sources already. John Carter (talk) 17:47, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
He is available actually in translation.
  • Kenji Miyazawa,Night of the Milky Way Railway, trans.Sarah M.Strong M.E. Sharpe, 1991
  • Kenji Miyazawa,Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa, tr. John Bester, Kodansha International, 1997
  • Miyazawa Kenji, Ten Japanese Stories for Children, tr.P.A. George Northern Book Centre, 2005
Thanks for the offer, but, in the next few weeks, as time allows, I'll be looking at his Japanese works, and works on him in Japanese, John. I'm interested in his possible influences on Murakami Haruki, all of whose works I've read, and I hadn't until this week, made the connection. It can't be a coincidence that the 15 vol. collected works came out in 1973, just before Murakami started writing. If you can get hold of Sarah Strong's translation, it will certainly give you an inkling. Cheers, and, thanks again for drawing my attention to this.Nishidani (talk) 19:14, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually, at least one of those translations got an award for the quality of the translation as well, according to the godawful mess of articles I've been downloading today. There are, actually, a frighteningly large number of sources relating to the subject and his works on NewsBank and ProQuest, and, so far as I can tell, JSTOR as well. I haven't downloaded the mess of articles and reviews on JSTOR completely yet, but his influences seem to extend a bit further into Thoreau (influencing him, obviously, not the other way around), and the beat writers as well. John Carter (talk) 16:59, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Kenji draft

Hey Nishidani, sorry to bother you with this again, but recent developments have made me worried that if I go to all the trouble of completely rewriting the article and radically increasing its coverage of the stuff Icuc2 said I should, when I try to overlay the draft on the article I will immediately be reverted and forced to discuss each individual point for weeks on end as I have up to this point on the relatively tiny matter of whether "Kokuchukai" and "nationalism" should be mentioned in the lead.

Do you also think I should just give up and make "piecemeal" edits? I took your editing my redraft as a blessing on the project, especially in the light of your previous talk page posts, but was I wrong to read it this way? I have reverted my own removal of the Kokuchukai name-drop in the lead of my redraft in the hopes that there are no other problems. Pending discussion of course: your own comments on this issue were unclear so I don't think there is any "consensus" on whether Kokuchukai should be name-checked in the lead one way or the other.


Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:07, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Strike while the iron is hot and just do your revision according to your own lights. If you have any trouble, notify me. In any case when you are through is the time for other editors to make constructive comments, but I'm fairly sure that if you do get through your revision it will be more comprehensive than what we have and can rapidly be inserted as an updated replacement. Editors can then add modifications, or suggest rearrangements. Don't let yourself get distracted by endless talk: stick to the article. I'll review it top to bottom when you're done with it. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 12:12, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't see any problem in mentioning his brief affiliation with Tanaka Chigaku's Kokuchukai in the lead, shorn of adjectives. That can be discussed in the appropriate section. From my examination of the record it is a minor part of the story (so far). One must be fearless in these things.Nishidani (talk) 12:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Curtis's still at it

Hey, our mutual friend is still at it, only this time when I tried to revert his insertion of dubiously-sourced OR he took me straight to the admin board. The content problem is already fixed (not by CurtisNaito, of course), but he appears to still be asking for some form of sanction against me. You wanna try talking some sense into him again? Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:04, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

The fact that two POV pushing, but worse still, utterly incompetent editors joined in to tempt you to break the 3R rule is no excuse for breaking it. Your position is worsened by a tendency to harangue, even if you do so with meticulous attention to problems of sourcing. What's worse. The talk pages give a lot of substantial links and scholarship to the contested issue. No edit went ahead, I gather, for several months, with none of the squabblers troubling to add Nakanishi, Miller et al.'s known views on Yamanoue no Okura's continental origins or connections to add the theory to the page. This is exactly what happened at Miyazawa Kenji: bucket loads of argufying on the talk page, and no significant editing to improve a mediocre article. One simply must learn to enjoy editing articles, which means avoiding the traps set by donkeys. You need more detachment. I suggest you take a voluntary break, apologize for the error, and trust more in the fact that a stupid edit up on a page for a few days is not going to imperil the world. If that were true, most of Wikipedia spells doom for humanity. Don't think angrily about editors you consider stupid. Those who are have to live with themselves, which is a terrible, somewhat tragically unfortunate destiny, deserving tacit pity rather than antagonistic opposition.Nishidani (talk) 10:49, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


I'm just want to ask how are you¿. Regards---1339861mzb (talk) 06:32, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, I won't be eudaemonic until the numerous problems with exigent folks are solved here, and I can have some time to myself, and finally plant my gardens. The soil's been turned twice in a month, and lies there, bare and beckoning for seed, under a warm sun, as one rushes out to buy someone something urgently telephoned for, or console the neurasthenic quibbles of the hyperaged. On the other hand, one glows within to see one's 16 year old cat, given for moribund by winter, basking on the raked clean soil, or squirming with delight as it tumbles back and forth to flag to me that I might stop a while and tickle her to ease a slight itchiness, with a backscratch. The vet said her mouth ulcers were incurable: we found, by experiment, a diet that has her thriving. Hope you too are well. Cheers.Nishidani (talk) 07:19, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Re Pity

I cannot hide my deep depression Nish. Do you have a link to the NYT article you mentioned on my TP? I would appreciate it if you could dig it out. Kind regards Simon. Irondome (talk) 00:38, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

CurtisNaito needs to be banned from edits related to pre-1868 Japanese history

You have said it several times and I have too; as of this edit I have officially had enough. I think given the massive time-wasting fusterclucks on Talk:Soga–Mononobe conflict, Talk:Emperor Jimmu, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Korean influence on Japanese culture and the accompanying talk page with the obvious WP:COMPETENCE and WP:IDHT issues that show no signs of improving, we have a pretty good case for a TBAN, if not a block. User:Sturmgewehr88 would probably agree as well.

Problem is I have a history of poor ANI formatting, which has also resulted in a currently-ongoing fustercluck that I'd rather see closed before opening a thread on Curtis. It's especially intimidating trying to explain to the ANI crowd that another user has been misrepresenting sources on 7th-century Japan -- how would they know, and what diffs would I use? Just show them the size in bytes of the talk page and explain that 90% of it is Curtis simply not getting it (with one or two particularly egregious diffs like [6])?

Any advice?

(And sorry again for constantly dragging you into this bullshit. Believe me, it annoys me as much as you.)

Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:37, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Just don't reply to him. WP:AGF when applied to the obtuse, just translates into WP:TLDR, esp. at boards where behavior is argued to be problematical. Unless one can limit one's evidence and exposition to a large no of diffs showing poor judgement, and a shot paragraph, and refrain from any further argument, any calls for sanctions will be ignored. He appears to be a passive-aggressive, staying calm while making edits or comments that are stupid. So, just edit, and ignore him.Nishidani (talk) 19:17, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you wanna field this one or will I? Or should we just ignore it?
Also, fyi, I opened a subthread to TBAN Curtis from pre-Heian Japanese history.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 15:06, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I hope you don't get upset that I said both of you deserve sanctions. I can see why you get upset, but one cannot edit Wikipedia unless one has a certain serenity, even in the face of extremely silly editing. Most of these articles require editing, not debate, and engaging overly with, or taking seriously, incompetent editors is soul-destroying. I'd suggest you offer to take a break. I would also suggest you refrain from adding more to these threads, and let the complaint take its course, with external editors' input. If one loves a subject, and reads extensively, one learns to ignore nonsense, and to spend one's time more productively. Think about it.Nishidani (talk) 15:13, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Little help

Believe it or not, Curtis has actually started an ANI thread asking for me to TBANned for supposedly engaging in "battleground" behaviour. Even though said battleground behaviour consists of pointing out the blatantly obvious fact that he has been misreading/misrepresenting sources, something you yourself have pointed out too. The thread is TLDR but several users who don't like me for other reasons have already voiced their support without actually reading the discussion. Little help convincing the community/admin corps that he is the one who needs a TBAN? Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:27, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Another potential CIR issue?

Hey Nishidani, sorry to bother you again, but could you help me keep an eye on this? The user's understanding of NOR and V seems to be at least as poor as that other user's, and I just don't have the energy to be called "repulsive" and get told I should be de facto site-banned every time I try to explain NOR. Your skin seems to be thicker than mine. I'd ask for an IBAN, but I'm done with ANI for the foreseeable future, and apparently IBANs are physically unenforceable... Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I think you need a rest. The problem was nugatory and undeserving of adjectives or anxiety.Nishidani (talk) 08:37, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Shurat HaDin

I added lots of content to Shurat HaDin in Feb. and again today, can you help in trimming it and improving its concision. (By the way I highly recommend watching both interviews with Michael Ratner on The Real News, linked in the article on Shurat HaDin.) Thanks. IjonTichy (talk) 17:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Dinner's on the table and I had to rush. I'll get back to a second review. Tighter synthesis, and indirect narrative is best. If you think I've wieded the paruing axe too mightily, drop a note in the meantime. Nishidani (talk) 17:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your contributions to the article. I hope you enjoyed your dinner. Did you get a chance to work on your fruit trees and pet your cat? One of my puppies is sleeping in my lap as I type this. Enjoy your weekend, IjonTichy (talk) 21:22, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Bit too busy these days to do more than a preliminary revision. Remind me in duke course to look over it again. I always enjoy meals, though I don't know why one always has to eat them unless to acknowledge the genius of cooks/wives, who take so much care to prepare them. My cat's called the labourer's foreman. All that will galvanize it out of gerontocratic somnolence is the noise of me with a mower, a saw, clippers, or a hoe, at which she will appear out of hiding, and curl up within a few feet, and watch. I was raised to kill them on sight, and taking it, and a few others, in, began as the penitence of maturity. I now like them, except when they kill lizards, geckoes, snakes or robins and the like. I've had to landscape sections of my gardens to make them impenetrable to cats, and safe for reptiles. Well, the cat's ensconced, like William James's cat, in the library asleep near Plato, so I can finally sneak off, and get some further, nighttime reading done. Very best (thanks for those additions) Nishidani (talk) 21:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Being a relentless POV pusher. An epistemological note

Often one overreads into errors. They may or may not be casual or fortuitious, or the result of haste. But, if you begin to comb an editor's edits for proof of a pattern, it is easy, as one scans hundreds of diffs hastily, to get that impression confirmed. This is an epistemological vice that lies behind all sorts of personal, social and historical misprisions, and one we should all take on board if we are to avoid the predictable consequences of suspiciousness. One example I noted yesterday, which I didn't trouble to annotate, but which lies there, unrebutted. I've mulled it overnight. It endorses my own view that we are all fallible, even the best intentioned makes slips, and nothing is to be read into them, unless of course the slips are so consistently bad, we finally have to conclude that the systematic distortion of evidence is intentional.

I do think, among other things, that you (just you, not everyone) are a relentless POV pusher, who subtly changes what the sources say to advance a POV. Those "slips" you mention above do indeed look bad and can hardly be explained by "haste". Just like in the examples you give above that are supposed to showcase your wonderful NPOV editing, an 18 year old Palestinian who stabs people is called a "boy" (not in the source) or an Israeli who is stabbed in the stomach (in the source) turns into "lightly wounded in the torso", or the many many many other such examples I could bring if anyone actually cared about the integrity of this encyclopedia.

  • an 18 year old Palestinian who stabs people is called a "boy" (not in the source).
I presume, since no link is provided, that this refers to this edit and its follow-up, where I mention an 18 year old Palestinian as being a "teenager", and for stylistic variation, then write:'The boy was arrested by an armed guard and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.. This is in the source cited =' a 18-year-old Arab teen.'
I had 'teen' before me in the source, and, to avoid reduplication, glossed it as 'boy' for stylistic variation.
Now a reader who reads this with a suspicious eye for evidence to confirm a preconception, can read formidable implications into it. By making an 18 year old person attempting to commit a grievous bodily assault with a lethel weapon, out to be a 'boy', am I not manipulating things to insinuate some sympathy ('yes a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli, but the assailant was just a kid')? Possible. But, little matter that the source I first used described him as a 'teen', a synonym for 'boy'. Little matter that a casual glance for the definition of boyMerriam-Webster yields ‘a young man’, and in the Oxford Dictionary ‘A male child or youth’. Little matter that, if you think that, you should, if you are empirically minded, google "18 year old boy" to verify whether this is normal English (you get about 191,000 hits, all using in a vast variety of sociological, psychological texts, novels, etc, precisely this term). No. Just refract the difference through an 'antisemite' lens, and you can, I imagine, get an edgy sense that there's again a hint here that the editor (Nishidani) is manipulating language to downplay to partisan advantage the seriousness of an incident in which an innocent Israeli was the victim of a terrorist.
  • an Israeli who is stabbed in the stomach (in the source) turns into "lightly wounded in the torso".
Well, 'the text says stabbed in the stomach' yes, but the headline says Soldier stabbed, sustains light wounds to torso. I actually recall thinking over this as I read the evidence and mulled the edit. Stomach means the digestive organ but also the epidermal area external to, but aligned with, the stomach. When one 'crawls on one's stomach', one does not crawl on the digestive organ, unless we are speaking of gastropods. The source doesn't clarify which is meant, but if the stab wound punctured the stomach, then the reporter and his editor are idiots in describing this as 'a light wound'.
The scene is described by Reuters thus:

Before Barkat intervened, the distant but distinct black-and-white footage showed a man waving his arm in a stabbing motion and making contact with one individual and attempting to stab others as they waited to cross the road. When they realized what had happened, the pedestrians ran clear. The stab victim was rushed to hospital but was not seriously hurt, medical officials said.

I don't trust any news reports at face value. All of them have internal contradictions, are partial, or just superficial. One doesn't know. One simply choses the least ambiguous term and paraphrases, hoping for the best.
Lesson. The editor in question was a victim of 'haste', in making two errors, almost certainly unintentional, while attempting, ironically, to disprove that my own two errors were due to haste. I tend to think one of my own two errors earlier 8than these two) may indeed suggest that unconscious bias influenced that edit. But if this 'slip' can be construed as evidence of tendentiousness, then idem, the same goes for the editor above. I prefer to think that, in a medium like this, we all have our lapses, and frailties, and the sensible thing is, when they occur, to note them, drop a note, or correct them, without nagging the bone of suspicion to create a psychological drama.Nishidani (talk) 12:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Allow me to help you out here before you congratulate yourself a little too much:
  • In the first case, the source uses the following descriptors - "18-year-old Arab teen", "terrorist", and "the attacker". "Terrorist" we don't use. "Teen" you used already. What's wrong with "the attacker"? It's in the source, it's descriptive, it's neutral, it's used in the same context where you use "boy", and it doesn't imply he wasn't an adult. Why didn't you use that?
Have you ever called an 18 year old Israeli who tried to kill a Palestinian a "boy"? That would definately convince me you think the term is neutral and appropriate for any 18 year old.
  • In the second case (source. You're quoting the wrong one above) you completely removed the perpetrator and put the whole thing in a passive voice. A reader will not know a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli in the stomach. All he sees is that an "Israeli was lightly wounded in the torso". Maybe he slipped and hurt himself on a rock as he was trying to put his boot on a Palestinian's neck? Perhaps he was running to oppress a Palestinian, didn't look where he was going, ran into a tree and got a splinter in the back? Somebody tried to kill this guy with a knife, but a reader will not know that.
By the way - "light wound" usually means a wound that doesn't require surgery to repair (and is not life threatening, of course). So in this case he was probably stabbed in the belly, without much damage to an internal organ. There was still blood as you can see in the pictures.
To conclude: you were not "chos[ing] the least ambiguous term and paraphrases", and can't even see you weren't after it's pointed out to you. That's a problem. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 04:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, let me reformulate this with visual simplicity to try and get througfh to you what you are consistently doing.
You are convinced that
  • I am an anti-Semite
  • dangerous to Wikipedia
  • also (the present case) because I subtly falsify sources-
  • to document the latter you provide two extra 'bits of evidence'
  • (a)'an 18 year old Palestinian who stabs people is called a "boy" (not in the source)
  • (b) 'an Israeli who is stabbed in the stomach (in the source) turns into "lightly wounded in the torso",
I replied to (a) You slipped up. The source says teen, which every native English speaker uses interchangeably with boy.
I replied to (b) You slipped up. The source uses precisely the words I used.
Those are the facts. How do you react? You made exactly the kind of error you attributed to me. Your misreading is proof of nothing for you. My putative errors are proof of malice. If I screw up, we have a pathology (anti-Semitism). If you screw, well, you just keep pushing on your case.
In logical form, you have two premises-
  • (1) If a an apparent divergence, even minute, between source and text, can be detected in N's work, the discrepancy is proof of deliberate distortion with malicious intent ('Jew-baiting, getting at Jews).
  • (2) If N shows my assertions are false, by indicating my claims of distortion were based on disattention and misrepresentation, the discrepancy between my claims and the evidence is proof that . . . . N is wrong.
What is going on here was diagnosed by Hume centuries ago, and there is a vast literature on the psychology of prejudice, or cranky speculative tendencies in human kind. The rule is: prejudice is a state of mind in which, once a person has committed himself to an idea, or emotional impression, no evidence can undermine it. To the contrary, any counter-indications, or disproof, rather than sow seeds of doubt, only tend to confirm the original suspicion.
Concretely in the present case: 'I(NMMGG) know Nishidani is an anti-Semite, and I've given him my evidence, and the way he responds to my evidence only confirms that my original impression is correct,
Hume analyses this commonplace human frailty or self-confirming state of delusion, thus:

As belief is almost absolutely requisite to the exciting our passions, so the passions in their turn are very favourable to belief; and not only such facts as convey agreeable emotions, but very often such as give pain, do upon that account become more readily the objects of faith and opinion. A coward, whose fears are easily awaken'd, readily assents to every account of danger he meets with; as a person of a sorrowful and melancholy disposition is very credulous of every thing, that nourishes his prevailing passion. When any affecting object is presented, it gives the alarm, and excites immediately a degree of its proper passion; especially in persons who are naturally inclined to that passion. This emotion passes by an easy transition to the imagination; and diffusing itself over our idea of the affecting object, makes us form that idea with greater force and vivacity, and consequently assent to it, according to the precedent system.' David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. Ernest C. Mossner,(1739/1740) Penguin 1985 p.169.

I suppose even this is more evidence I'm an anti-Semite.Nishidani (talk) 09:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I suppose we can argue about the "boy" thing, although google shows that "man" or "young man" are more popular and you had a perfectly good "the attacker" in the article, but when the source says a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli and your report removed the Palestinian and the stabbing, and you think that's ok, there's definitely a problem. You used the words in the article, only not enough of them to convey a precise and full account of what happened. You honestly don't see that?
Your "logic form" is so flawed, I won't even bother to correct it. You are obviously unable to understand what I'm thinking. Or more precisely, your attempt to analyze my thoughts is so influenced by your sense of victimhood, you are not even close. But like you like to say, that's a normal and natural flaw.
That quote above describes you to a tee. Everything I say you jump with your whiny "he thinks I'm an anti-semite!" "is he implying I'm an anti-semite?" "he can't be right, he's only saying I'm an anti-semite!". Get over yourself. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 17:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

'Your "logic form" is so flawed, I won't even bother to correct it.'

I made no attempt to analyse your thoughts. Why should I? Not even you appear to do that (analyse your thoughts: you're too busy trying to figure out mine, and that's the problem) I analysed your premises. You have no answer but to repeat yourself. p.s. I don't 'whine'. It's rather puerile to suggest that: you try to insult me with an absurd smear, I reply reasonably, and you jump at that as a proof of being my too touchy. I've seen more self-awareness in a kindergarten, chum. Indeed, being touchy when smeared is, for you, proof there's something wrong with my 'attitude'. It's rather like an unprovoked bully complainingwhining that the person he is trying to beat up is putting up a stalwart defense to protect himself. I must be 'whiny', an adjective that suggests some lacrimose sense of resentment of the downtrodden (See Dostoievsky's Notes from the underground). To to the contrary, I, well, wine only when I dine, and it being close to 8 p.m. here, thanks for the hint. I'm sure a fine repaste awaits me in the kitchen. Cheerio, poor fellow.Nishidani (talk) 17:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I swear to god I knew you'd latch on to the word "whine". Of course you're trying to analyze my thoughts. What you call my "premises" is what you think I'm thinking. Stop it. You're not good at it.
I asked you a simple question: Source says "A stabbed B, wounding him lightly". In the article, you put "B was wounded lightly". An active act becomes passive. A is completely removed. The stabbing is removed. It is no longer an attempted murder, it may be an accident. You think this is OK? Stop telling me why you think I'm asking. Stop pretending to be hunted when you were the one who brought this up as an exemplar of your NPOV editing, and just answer the question. Why did you think not reporting what the article said about the perpetrator and the actual act was an NPOV way to describe the event? Can you explain it? I doubt it. Here's a great opportunity for you to attempt some self-awareness, pal. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 18:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
You're not a paragon of dialectical courtesy, I ask questions, you don't answer them. You keep raising queries successively about my responses to your questions. Okay I'll give you a leg up since you're way out of your depth and don't know how to formulate an argument, pursue it logically or reply cogently. Let's regard this fantasy of yours as a serious hypothesis worthy of verification. To make the theory you have one datum, always a bad move. Unique events cannot be verified scientifically. But, anyhow,
N sees a source writing "A(Palestinian) caused B (Israeli) harm".
There's something suspicious in the way he has recast this in the form
"An Israeli was harmed". and the assailant is removed.
There are seven cases in which stabbing is registered, divided between the active and the passive voice.
(A)8 January. 'A 21-year-old ultra-orthodox yeshiva student was stabbed in the upper body by an assailant, using a screwdriver, while walking on Sultan Suleiman Street near the Damascus Gate. The assault is believed to be motivated by nationalist feelings, initial reports speaking of an Arab fleeing the scene. Police later arrested a 15-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem on suspicion of having caused the injury.
(B)21 January.'Israeli passengers were stabbed in a Tel Aviv bus by Hamza Muhammad Hasan Matrouk (23) from the West Bank Nur Shams refugee camp of Tulkarm. 16 passengers were wounded, of them 4 seriously and 3 moderately. The terrorist was apprehended after being shot in the leg during a chase, nearby.'
(C)22 February.'Abraham Goldstein, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed in the stomach by a Palestinian teenager, Mahmoud Abu Aosba, (18) from Birzeit. The incident occurred in Safra Square in Jerusalem. The boy was arrested by an armed guard and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.'
(D) 8 April.'8 April Two Israeli soldiers were stabbed, one suffering a serious neck wound, by Muhammad Jasser Karakra of the village of Sinjil. The incident took place at 10 a.m. north of Ramallah on Route 60 near the settlement of Shilo. The assailant was shot dead by First Sergeant Tomer Lan, who was lightly wounded.
(E)20 April.'A 27-year-old Israeli Palestinian street cleaner[206] or construction worker for the Herzliya Municipality was stabbed by a man, reportedly with a Russian accent, who screamed "Death to Arabs" and then wounded him in the shoulder. Police arrested a suspect, who has reportedly confessed'
The source for E, nota bene, is Ma'an News Agency which used the active tense of an Israeli stabbing a Palestinian, and had this skewed by me into the passive tense (Israeli stabs Palestinian worker near Tel Aviv).
(F)25 April.'A Palestinian from Idhna, Mahmoud Abu Jheisha (20), initially wrongly identified as Assad al-Salayma,[218] was shot dead when, rushing a combat unit, he stabbed an Israeli soldier three times near the Cave of the Patriarchs[219] ("Ibrahimi Mosque"[218]) in Hebron.'
(G)23 May. ' A 19 year old Palestinian stabbed two 17 year old Israeli youths in the back as they were on their way to prayer at the Western Wall for Shavuot. It added to a spate of similar attacks in this period.'
I've struck out (G) because as evidence it is contaminated since I wrote it after you raised this contention.
If your active/passive verb tense+Israeli/Palestinian 'theorum' functions, it must find confirmation in some consistent differential indicative of bias over these 7 instances.
So, pull your finger out and do some homework for a change. As you do so, extend it to be more comprehensive.
Give me the analysis of the ethnic breakdown of the victims of violence who are described in the passive voice in that article you're citing from. Check
'was injured' No. Israelis =?/No, Palestians =?
'was shot' No. Israelis =?/ No.Palestinians=?
I'm taking in a movie, so take your time.Nishidani (talk) 19:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Your accusing me of not answering your questions and then going ahead and not answering mine is somewhat amusing.
Here are some simple, direct, yes/no questions. Maybe they will be easier and allow you less of an opportunity to beat around the bush:
  1. Would a reader understand that a person was stabbed in the original case we're discussing? Yes or no?
  2. Was a person stabbed? Yes or no?
  3. Did a Palestinian do it? Yes or no?
  4. Can a reader glean a Palestinian did it from the article? Yes or no?
  5. Considering your above answers, did the edit conform with Wikipedia policies? Yes or no?
(side note: you claim my theory must find confirmation in your short list of cherry picked examples, and then accuse me of not knowing how to pursue an argument logically. As if the fact you don't do something all the time means you don't do it at all. I forget the term for that fallacy). No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:56, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I just saw your "Forrest Gump" edit summary. Good one. FYI, every time you call me an idiot or make fun of my English skills I know I hit a nerve. It's a very convenient tell. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I feel like Forrest Gump, replying seriously to someone as ill-mannered as yourself. There was nothing 'cherry-picked', again the choice of word indicates prejudice, since every instance in the page was included. For you information, 'cherry pick' means selecting from a large sample (A) to isolate a subset (A'). When (A) and (A') are identical, no selection has taken place, ergo, 'cherry pick' is ridiculous. Whoops, the ad break is over, Forrest has just joined Gary Sinise in s bsr and they are singing Auld Lang's Syne. Pull your finger out, and get your argument from all the evidence together. . .Nishidani (talk) 21:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Ill-mannered. Another good one, coming from you. I hope by the time Lieutenant Dan gets his new legs you'll be able to answer my simple yes/no questions above. As for "cherry pick", you picked a few examples out of your, what was it, 37000 edits? And even if these were all the examples on that particular page (I've never read it), all it can prove is that you usually (6:7) don't do it on that page. It tells us nothing about your general editing practices, apropos logic. This leads to followup questions, but really, at this point just straight answers to the simple questions above would be great. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:34, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Forrest's marathon phase has just ended, and this has been like sprinting a marathon in the company of a toddler who hasn't found his legs, on my shoulder. I've made one edit, to address the one point in your chip-on-the-shoulder grievance screed. So you can sleep easy for the sanity of the reader on that entry. Back to Forest and his son in front of the boobtube. Good night and goodbye. With David Hume as nocturnal company, one tends to get choosy about one's interlocutors.Nishidani (talk) 21:54, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd sleep easy if you could bring yourself to admit that omitting the perpetrator and the fact there was a stabbing when reporting on a stabbing is not a good way to write an encyclopedia. But it seems like you feel you'd lose face if you did that, so you resort to "I fixed it but it wasn't broken". Oh well. As someone who admonishes other editors to be more precise and nuanced, I hope next time you'll be more careful with your "paraphrasing" even if it's just so you won't have to waste your time talking to me. If that happens I'll feel we achieved something here today, against all odds. Goodbye. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 05:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I sleep like a top. If you're having trouble, why don't you try actually editing in constructively useful additions to the encyclopedia, instead of idly sitting round picking over the delicacies of what other people do, like the conversants overheard by a traveler in The Twa Corbies? Rolling up one's mental sleeves, reading widely in the topic area, finding fresh information to enrich its menu of details, choosing the appropriate words to paraphrase the content, all this is work, and, if, together with the other activities in one's daily round, one does enough of it, one closes one's book, at the end of the day, with a solaced somnolent sense that one's earned one's keep in the world. One of the extracurricular lessons I learned as a child going to school each day came from watching men at work: if a railroad was to be repaired, or a pothole in the road fixed, one often saw 5 or 6 men on the job. 5 would stand around, all work-shy while the one born navvie or fettler in the group shoveled the overburden, jimmied the sleepers or mixed concrete, or worked a wrench on the mains. It was a good lesson, i.e., lots of folks, when there's work to be done, sit round, kibitz, chiak, bat the breeze, pull on a fag, offer sardonic advice on what the one person actually working does. Check your editing record. There's almost zero content added, and most of it is on talk pages. Otherwise you remove stuff. This little chat here is perhaps a good indication why you might not be sleeping easier. You're wide awake watching other people work, (a certain vigilance is of course indispensable) but doing nothing but hair-splitting: while combing strans, you may spot some dandruff, or cleave the problematical hair with theodolite precision, but this nugatory fiddling rarely gives one a sweat, and a sense of accomplishment. Try it. Don't whinge for days until someone following your complaints gives you the pittance of information you could have gotten at the drop of a hat by simply googling for a few seconds ([7],[8], or this offer of stuff you complained was lacking, which enabled you to make the edit you wanted). Take a hint, it does wonders for the cot hours, and the prescription is free and a dead-set remedy for Morphean angst. Nishidani (talk) 07:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, in the real world I sleep like a log. Thanks for the usual long winded and somewhat patronizing lecture. I chose what I'd like to do here, just like you do. Not that it's any of your business, but unlike you I'm not a retired childless old man who can dedicate hours every day to editing here. I have kids, friends, and a job. I prefer to spend most of my free time with my family and friends, and dedicate just a little of it to making sure people like you don't turn this encyclopedia into something that looks like it was written by your friends Ben White and Max Blumenthal. So expect me to continue pointing out your policy and guideline violations and expecting you to fix them if/when I don't have the time or inclination to do so myself. That's how this place works. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 18:11, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I chose what I'd like to do here, just like you do. Not that it's any of your business.’

Almost correct, though it looks like a paradox. I do what I like to do here, but unlike you, I don’t waste my time loading a page with pseud's corner stuff that aims to assail the bona fides of other editors. On reflection, in saying that it is none of my business when you make an inept attempt to smear me User:No More Mr Nice Guy/Antisemitism and Wikipedia, you are not making a paradox, but a confession. The page obviously does attempt to smear me, but only mirrors by its hysteria, as in a looking glass darkly, some undercurrent of anxiety perhaps, or a problem, you have. This problem of yours, is, quite correctly ‘none of my business’. You have to live with your fantasies about me. I just live, preferably under the Socratic dispensation, which demands irony. Nishidani (talk) 19:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
You just took one part of a sentence I wrote and tried to make it seem like it's related to a previous one by changing my comma into a period. Very honest. I suppose it's an indication of hysteria or anxiety for me to point this out? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, well, (ad break for Murder by Numbers) just don't post here any more. It's boring and quite pointless.Nishidani (talk) 20:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Again, you can't even admit you made a mistake. I said "A. Not that it's any of your business, but B". You turned it into "A is none of your business", while changing a comma into a period in a supposed quote. I'm starting to think the generous explanation here is that you suffer from an acute case of confirmation bias. Anyway, I will not post here again unless I have some administrative issue that I need to notify you about. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:15, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
To repeat. Don't try to be vexatious. Be courteous for once, and comply with a request, backed by third parties, to avoid this page. That's a good chap.Nishidani (talk) 21:20, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I realize that this is your talk page, Nishidani, but is there a Reset button I can push to end this tit-for-tat arguing and lighten up the atmosphere around here so things can go back to normal operations? I fear without intervention this will go on unceasingly. Liz Read! Talk! 19:33, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Um, I'm just about to take in a movie after my wife flicked the channel and I glimpsed over my shoulkder Sandra Bullock waking up after sniffing inadvertently her partner's armpit. This won't end until some independent editor gives a simple policy call on whether an editor can maintain on wikispace an open attack on another editor's bona fides. In Europe, being a known anti-Semite is a serious matter (and that's a good thing) with consequences for one's civil standing. So far, one such editor has agreed that the page in question is a personal attack (WP:AGF). But that thread resists closure, I assume because on this topic, people tend to waffle and waver, or just not touch it, and don't call a spade a spade either way. It's a simple call. If NMMGG can publicly prove his case that I am a racist intent on persecuting Jews also on wikipedia, - something an Arbcom review dismissed examining exactly the evidence he posted there-Arbcom should be overruled and I should be permabanned. If, instead, that is seen as a personal attack, then a compromise along the lines I suggest should be worked out. I.e. he can keep the page, but should acknowledge that, on my page, I have responded to that smear. Nishidani (talk) 19:44, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Personal closeing quote (to satisfy also Liz's request):One can prove someone is an anti-Semite. No one can disprove he is not anti-Semitic, on the often psychologically true principle that:'qui s'excuse s'accuse'. That is a hermeneutic impasse, the mental joker in the pack, that stops morbid inquisitors, as it did in all the paranoid persecutions of history, from seeing the flaws in their own, endless routine of suspicion.Nishidani (talk) 19:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


Unfortunately, I have nothing to add to what is already written in the subject: Talk:Timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, 2015#As boorish as false (:)
--Igorp_lj (talk) 23:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

'Unfortunately, I have nothing to add'. That's a relief. Nishidani (talk) 07:10, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I don´t know why....

but this cartoon reminded me of your talk-page. Cheers, Huldra (talk) 21:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

thanks Huldra. a very good cartoon by Ted Rall. Norman Finkelstein, in his recent interviews on The Real News Network, discussed this issue in detail. (The links to the interviews are in the 'External links' section of the Wikipedia article on Finkelstein.) IjonTichy (talk) 21:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
More boredom than wardoom. My apologies to fortuitous readers of this page, and its occasional discursive travails. Time for the fartsack.Nishidani (talk) 22:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Jewish religious terrorism

With regards to Baruch Goldstein, he should DEFINITELY not be in Category:Jewish physicians, see,_gender,_religion_and_sexuality. As for religious terrorism, see Islamic terrorism where no individuals are included as pages where subcategories are appropriate. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:06, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Cite the exact passage.
Why is Irving Moskowitz in Category:Jewish physicians but Baruch Goldstein must be excluded, both are/were highly active in West Bank settlements? Are you saying that because BG was a settler terrorist he must be excluded, whereas the physician who finances settlements is okay? By the way. You have, once more, broken 1R. Again, in deference to our mutual friend, I will not report it. But there are a lot of people whose tolerance of editwarring abuse is less lenient than mine, dear.Nishidani (talk) 19:15, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In Wikipedia there is an informal guideline called Wikipedia:Other stuff exists which says that arguments like 'As for religious terrorism, see Islamic terrorism where no individuals are included as pages where subcategories are appropriate' carry no weight. Practice in one area does not, in short, legitimate copycat behavior in another.Nishidani (talk) 19:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I didn't know about Irving Moskowitz, but putting him in Jewish physicians is blatant overcat. Plenty of the 9/11 hijackers had similar qualifications, but are not included in the category. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
And it's not hiding anything. Osama Bin Ladin isn't in the category Islamic terrorism, is that hiding the fact he was a terrorist? He's in the category Al Qaeda founders under the category Al Qaeda members by role under the category Al-Qaeda members under the category Al-Qaeda under the category Designated terrorist organizations associated with Islam under the category Islamic terrorism. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Ugh, and I got reported again. I'm not sure why I bother. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You did not read my reference to Wikipedia:Other stuff exists. It is utterly irrelevant what is occurring on Islamic pages. Any editor that keeps thinking 'A they do this, so I'll do the same' is bound for trouble. In fact, there's no problem in adding Islamic/Muslim physician as a cat to an Islamic terrorist's page, if he/she happens to have been qualified that way. Nishidani (talk) 19:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I'll advise you in loco Simonis, since he's probably skolling a Guinness at the rubbidy at this hour. What you do is (a) immediately revert (b) drop an apology on the administrative page with a link to your repentant revert and (c) undertake at the board to restrict yourself to a 1R rule on all articles for some months, I/P or not, something like that. Cross your fingers. I'll light a candle. But, really, trigger happy editing is something you simply must expunge from your temptation list. Nishidani (talk) 19:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
And for ****'s sake, don't argue the point. You just admitted to 2 reverts, not three. But that is beside the point. The rule is, you can't even do more than 1 revert, which you just admit to having done. Nishidani (talk) 19:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I thought it was 3RR. Crap. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:41, 1 June 2015 (UTC) I'll revert.
I even apply 1R generally to all articles, I/P or not. The working rule is, if reverted, go to the talk page, explain your view briefly, and wait a day or so. Adopt Pavlovian responses in our world, and you go to the dogs. Nishidani (talk) 19:58, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

No surprise: peace is far less expensive than war.

Jodi Rudoren, 'Profit as an Incentive for Israeli-Palestinian Peace,' New York Times 8 June 2015.Nishidani (talk) 07:04, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Someone's trying to

crack my google account. So if any odd edits appear in my name, please notify me. Thank you.12:31, 9 June 2015 (UTC)Nishidani (talk)

Odd edits appear in your name all the time. Paul B (talk) 13:37, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
beware! Odd editors try to get even :) Nishidani (talk) 13:40, 9 June 2015 (UTC)


I made these changes to the Gilad Shalit page: I removed the word "kidnapping" and replaced this with capture/captivity. I believe you agree with this, judging from your comments on the Hamas talk page in which there is the same dispute by the same editors. Additionally, I made the following two changes: I removed the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers from the "see-also" section of the Gilad Shalit page. The rationale for this is that I do not regard those two events to be similar enough to warrant (one involved the murder of civilians; the other taking a soldier hostage) inclusion in that section. I removed the Gilad Shalit article from the categories "Kidnappings by Islamists" and "Victims of anti-Semetic violence". The rationale for the former is that, as previously noted, "kidnapping" is a pov (if not wholly incorrect) word to describe the incident, and the latter simply has to do with the fact that there is no evidence that anti-Semitism played a role in Hamas taking Shalit hostage(to my knowledge, that is). These edits have since been reverted; I am being "double-teamed" by the two editors who are getting on my nerve. I assume you know who they are, as you have also dealt with them. They have not substantively responded on the Hamas talk page; they are reverting my edits without any argument. It is beyond dispute that they are agenda-driven and not genuinely interested in maintaining a neutral point of view.

My (informal) question to you, therefore, is, given your relatively large amount of experience as a Wikipedia editor(something which I lack), how should this situation be dealt with? I am not responding to it in an intelligent manner, I will admit, (accidentally violating 1RR on the 2014 Gaza War reverting what I regard to be their misguided edits; facetious name calling), but not withstanding this, I have a stern conviction that I am right and I am being wronged by blatantly partisan editors not editing in good faith. I mean, what is there to take issue with in the word "capture"? JDiala (talk) 06:26, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

While a discussion of a contested edit is underway, one should not preempt things, even if others do, to insert your own preferred version. The Hamas page has a lead which rather than sum up the history of the organization, is a POV-designed attack charge sheet on it as a terrorist organization, for example. One shouldn't get 'worried' or 'overwrought' by that, but rather work slowly to improve the content, and then insist that the lead reflect it neutrally (WP:Lede). Anything about soldier Shalit generates hysteria, since the poor fellow was the object of massive and daily reportage singling his unfortunate captivity as if it were anomalous, when what befell him is commonplace, but not mentioned much in sources, when Israeli forces seize, detain, "kidnap" Palestinians (children in the territories who are pastoring flocks are often 'seized' by settlers for several hours. It is rarely reported). The latter, to adopt a term from Jane Austin's novels, "don't signify": the former is an Israeli. You have to get used to this, since it is how the mainstream sources frame issues, and it is pointless getting worked up about it.Nishidani (talk) 10:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
If you find that the bad faith, tacit tagteaming, external support for bad edits by the invariable intervention of I/Ps and general lack of cogency when 'hostile' editors deign to address the talk page, 'worries you' or 'unnerves you', you should take a little break or leave the field. This place is both the meeting ground of good mannered people and sumud practitioners dedicated to fairness, and a battle ground where conflictual attitudes tempt the mediocre to push a grievance (from both 'sides'). I survived by regarding it as a training ground for never being put out, or 'unnerved' by behavior that reeks of gaming, i.e.,the numbers game. While deplorable, it is predictable. The only solution, for those who stay in, is patience, and respect for the rules whatever the others do. It's difficult, but quiet persistence, and a patient eye for finding very good sources, will over time improve the articles. Hoping for quick results only leads to disappointment with the project. I'm reverted every day. I plug away, and most of my day is spend productively because I have other things, far more interesting, to do. Best wishes.Nishidani (talk) 07:05, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thank you for the advice :). JDiala (talk) 23:30, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I should have added, that I do hope you stay around. I wrote the above somewhat pompous advice while somewhat distracted. I'ìd just come back from my gardens where every morning I collect up to 50 snails and carry them over to an olive field where I release them into the tall spears of grass. Only way to ensure they survive, and my vegetable patches aren't eaten. After 20 years of doing this, I heard, as I was walking along, a weeping sound, a limpid wheeze of pain, and looked about to see if one of the cats was injured and hiding with its wounds under a bush nearby. No. The minute but shrill whistle of hurt piped up again, and again, and I realized it came from my hands. It came from a large snail, one of those cupped there. Of course it can't be what it sounds like, a low but clear strangled groan, but it was a deadringer for the same. Probably air squeezed from between the shell and the gastropod. But one could have sworn it was as if one of Evans-Wentz's leprechauns was weeping at being manhandled. Best wishes. Nishidani (talk) 07:12, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Hello! There is a DR/N request you may have interest in.


This message is being sent to let you know of a discussion at the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute discussion you may have participated in. Content disputes can hold up article development and make editing difficult for editors. You are not required to participate, but you are both invited and encouraged to help this dispute come to a resolution. The thread is "Talk:Shang dynasty#Language". Please join us to help form a consensus. Thank you! Kharkiv07 (T) 20:18, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

comic quote for the day

Meanwhile, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, continues work on the rehabilitation of Gaza,Nishidani (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

ds alert

Why are you removing a ds alert from someone else's talk page? Gaijin42 (talk) 16:05, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I know Pluto's record, I remember all the warnings. The assumption he does not know the obvious is offensive. He's a very intelligent guy, with a very good memory (and we disagree about lots). Nothing personal.Nishidani (talk) 16:07, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Quite the opposite, I said I assumed he DID know. But all of his previous posts at AE or other places (that I could see) were more than a year ago, and therefore do not qualify as "notification" under the DS policies. Please restore the notice. Gaijin42 (talk) 16:13, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Unlike myself he is not, I gather, in proximity of the age when Alzheimer's or dementia strikes. I've done this in the past on his page with similar notices. Sometimes he has reciprocated on mine, removing useless notices. If he objects he will certainly tell me.Nishidani (talk) 16:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It is not a matter of Alzheimers. Its a matter of policy. Per Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Awareness_and_alerts the alert must be given again every 12 months or the person is considered not aware and therefore is not sanctionable (if needed). Gaijin42 (talk) 16:52, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Do some constructive editing instead of bothering experienced editors with junk alerts. No one thinks I or a dozen other editors warrant such stuff dumped on their pages, editors with long experience like Pluto. Nishidani (talk) 16:56, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you think experienced editors should be permanently on notice of DS, its a position I might support, but its an argument to go make with ArbCom. They wrote the policy that explicitly says people are not considered aware if they have not been notified in the last 12 months and that such notice must be given using the ds/alert template. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:00, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Actually the alert is still needed, but don't worry, it got entered in the edit filter log which is all that matters for future enforcement. EdJohnston (talk) 17:02, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
EdJohnston In this particular scenario, if Pluto were brought up for enforcement, would he not have the (valid!) defense that "I was not aware, because I did not see the alert, because it was deleted before I saw it" ? Gaijin42 (talk) 17:11, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Nishidani, that's a valid point. Will you please undo your removal of the notice on User:Pluto2012's page? Thanks, EdJohnston (talk) 17:20, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course, I'll do that right now, since like Johnuniq your calls have a high impeccability percentage. l'd ask Gaijin to be coherent, however. It's my personal conviction that editors' major defect is lack of coherence (IP editors will remove at sight any source they think is not RS, if they dislike the content, while leaving on the page any non-RS that backs their POV etc.), and in this case, I would note that Gaijin hasn't to my knowledge posted the same template on a dozen editors' pages I follow, all IP editors, logically, in this case, should be alerted, indeed it should be done by a bot. Singling him out looks, well, distinctly odd. What's sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. Pluto often gets vexatious notifications which I or he customarily removes. Nishidani (talk) 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I posted it to Pluto's page, because I saw commentary from Pluto that concerned me, and made me think a discussion at AE may occur some time in the future. I am unaware of the IPs you are referring to, as there are no IPs commenting in the page that I am interacting with Pluto on. If you however see cause for concern, then certainly go ahead and notify them. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:42, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd appreciate a link to the comment (not 'commentary') that led you to forewarn him of future consequences.Nishidani (talk) 19:00, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I confirm that I am aware of this policy.
But I also want to underline the point of Nishidani : don't you really feel all this is childish.
Gaijin42 : for my defence, if one day I am the subject of an AE from you, I will say that you preferred posting a 'ds' warning on my talk page, without comment, rather than to explain me what 'edit summary' had offended you.
Pluto2012 (talk) 06:31, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I do think this should be clarified. I'm not talking about a discussion. Gaijin, please be courteous enough to provide a link to the comment Pluto made, which either 'concerns you' (i.e.regards you personally) or 'concerns you' (gives rise to concerns that Pluto's editing is problematical). If you have a duty to notify, you also have an (unwritten perhaps) obligation to specify what the problem is. Not to clarify this early on is to leave Pluto unaware of the kind of thing you might eventually use in an AE case. One should not edit under a cloud or surrounded by mysteries. Thank you. Nishidani (talk) 09:21, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── it was his talk comments that all Jewish/Israeli sources were unreliable "Hasbara" propaganda and should not be used on wikipedia. To spin the issue around, what would you think of an editor who said that all Palestinian sources were "Pallywood" and should not be used? Would you think perhaps they have an WP:NPOV issue? Gaijin42 (talk) 14:00, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I would have appreciated a diff. I looked around and this seems to fit the description. If it does, confirm and I'll look into it. is this the diff?Nishidani (talk) 16:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Since I don't have much time, and you are slow in either confirming or not confirming this, I take it that this, in that thread, is what you object to, You have, in my view, misrepresented the remark.Since Pluto has been one of the strongest advocates for basing most of our reconstructions of the period of Mandatory Japan, down to the war of 1947-1948 on the scholarship of Israeli historians (which in my view is strongly partisan, though admirably thorough) the idea that, as you insinuate with that all , that he believes Jewish/Israeli sources are unreliable is counterfactual. What he is saying is that on delicate topics, the masses of popular journalism, mainstream or not, in Israel and abroad are not good sources because they suffer from a lack of detachment. I disagree with him on The Forward for example, and several other venues. But to anyone reading the press reportage in The Times of Israel, the Algemeiner and many other sources knows, as Chemi Shalev's article indicates in a thread above, a huge amount of relevant material is ignored, as hysterical point-scoring races into print. Any one who prefers to look at history with the detached pathos of distance, as he does and I aspire to do, feels a strong unease with this bitter, squabbling deadline sensationalism that infects most reports. I certainly would not have been as drastic as Pluto, but then English is one of my mothertongues, I go for nuance, and nitpick where a foreign user of the language might not see anything worrisome. Your construal has, in my view, grossly distorted and interpreted as possibly antisemitic a mandarin dislike of the frivolous insouciance to the complete factual record typical of the popular press most keenly involved in the I/P conflict, in someone who, laudibly, has in my experience been both philosemitic, and an admirer of Jewish/Israeli scholarship.Nishidani (talk) 18:29, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I alluded to Chemi Shalev's Haaretz article as if I had posted it here, when in fact I posted it yesterday at Talk:Timeline of the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. For convenience I will also place it here.

"The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness,” Judith Herman writes in the book Trauma and Recovery, but that observation relates to people who had been exposed to the calamities in the first place. Last summer, the overwhelming majority of Israelis were spared the sights and sounds of the carnage in Gaza: Israeli media refrained from covering the suffering of Gazans while politicians and pundits maintained that it was unpatriotic to even discuss. The hardships and ordeals of Israelis cowering from rocket attacks, undeniable in and of themselves, were magnified tenfold while the misery of Gaza was not only downplayed but also depicted as well deserved. Chemi Shalev , 'UN report on Gaza will further embed Israelis in their isolated bunker,' Haaretz 22 June 2015.

That statement was true of the war, but it is (as can be easily documented) true of reportage on the I/P area generally, from the New York Times downwards, and is one of the reasons this area is particularly difficult to edit unless editors commit themselves to thorough analysis of multiple sources before editing, i.e., informing themselves of the subject's depths and omissions given the WP:systemic bias at work. You don't get this problem in academic historical works written by scholars in Israel or the diaspora. There is a total inversion of the prejudices of the press, and any reader of the latter can only deplore that the same hard eyes, and meticulous care for details rarely turns up on television or in newsprint, the last of which constitutes for most editors the basis for their I/P contributions.Nishidani (talk) 18:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the dispute in the Shang Dynasty section

@Nishidani: Do you think the citations I posted are incapable of being succinctly and accurately summarized in the proposed language section. I admittedly lack the expertise in linguistics to do so, but are you capable of it? I know you said you generally disagree with me on the subject, but I'm curious as to your thoughts as you seem the most objective of the participants. --Easy772 (talk) 06:27, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

You come over as a nice guy with a passion for these subjects, and that is all to the good, indeed an invaluable resource for wikipedia. From my reading, you are unaware of the impact your mode of presentation of material has, which has legitimate claims to be registered on these pages: the impact is negative because it is unfocused, and indiscriminate. The amount of off-line work those simple edits have triggered, for example, downloading and incorporating the Sagart/Baxter phonological reconstruction of Old Chinese for my own files, is enormous, even if rewarding. It, and other offline interests, leave me little time for anything but basic work here, I'm afraid.One piece of advice: rather than get swept up in the intense to-and-fro of argufying, where you are cornered (and several of those editors are knowledgeable, excellent contributors, particularly Kanguole), I think it sensible to take one's time, study the two branches (linguistics and archaeological) at leisure, 'closely, draft your notes in an orderly fashion, and, when you are absolutely clear as to the state of research, come back to present your case, succinctly and cogently, without drifting into and this, and this, and then this. Regards.Nishidani (talk) 10:25, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Regarding linguistics, It seems to me, even with my limited experience that the state of research is unclear on the issue. I have also noted that it seems highly politicized, with certain "camps" being accused of being biased towards certain scenarios (For example here). I do note, however, that "Austric" languages and their affinity to Old Chinese are often discussed in the first few opening paragraphs and I in all honesty don't think a brief mention of this in Layman's terms is dishonest. I am content to drop the issue if Kanguole or others have already addressed them in the Old Chinese (or related) sections.
Regarding physical anthropology/archaeology, The resemblance of Anyang sacrificial pit remains to modern day Southern Chinese and Hainan Islanders won't change, unlike 'Old Chinese' linguistics. In all the studies the Anyang cluster with Southern Chinese and Hainan Islanders. Only when Atyal (A Taiwanese tribal group with extensive historical cohabitation with Han Taiwanese) are included do they occupy a node intermediate. I have plotted the measurements from Howell's data set myself and can confirm similarities between populations from the general South China region. Whether these remains are characteristic of "Shang commoners" is the core issue in this discussion. I had previously always assumed they were considered Shang citizens due to the tone researchers took when describing them, e.g. the most recent saying directly "they are thought to be Han." Only on online forums and blog comment sections did I ever see opposition to this. Despite claiming a "plethora" of evidence, Lathdrinor only came up with one citation (Yang 1966) stating that these remains were "non-Shang", but in his 1983 work Howells claims to have disproved this and demonstrates they were ordinary northern Chinese from this time period (page 225). Lathdrinor has yet to respond. I am far from an expert in this field either, but this would be much easier for me to state/discuss cogently, especially since my opposition seem to have expertise in linguistics.

Easy772 (talk) 17:07, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

PS: I should clarify that I wasn't attempting to "move the goalposts" like I was accused of with the physical anthropology/ archaeology edits. I made several other edits to the Shang Dynasty article in the 'related sites' and 'genetic studies' section, which weren't reverted (I'm guessing because of no mention of direct "foreign" affinity to the Shang). Easy772 (talk) 17:27, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

I am almost always unsure what the historical facts are. I am, instead, fascinated by what various theories do in piecing together what facts we have. I am like that because time and again in my early studies, I was almost convinced of a hypothesis, and then found it contradicted either by new evidence, or another theory, or challenged by a critic using a different perspective. There is no doubt that in these areas, certainties are rare, and all positions are provisory. This is particularly true of archaeology and genetics. In any case, I think you are making useful contributions. My only point is that, if you want anything to stick on Wikipedia, in a controversial or editor-controvertive environment here, slow background study, accessing the best available sources (which takes time) and careful checking of who said what, when, and in what context, is the only way to go. I've sometimes waited several years to do an edit I thought necessary but didn't have sufficiently strong orthodox sources to justify it. This is one of the problems with DeLancey's hypothesis (which seems to me reasonable qua hypothesis). We simply have to wait until more scholars in the field respond to his suggestion that when the Zhou overthrew the Shang the latter probably spoke a language different from the Tibetan-Burman form used by the Zhou. Nishidani (talk) 21:04, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Understood, I am completely prepared to wait. To be completely honest I am also interested to explore the Wiki mediation process as well. The most annoying thing is that people are accusing me of "synthesis" regarding linguistics, genetics, physical anthropology etc. But they just don't understand that these often don't change in sync and, for example, similarities in linguistics don't prove a shared ancestral origin anyways. Take for example the Cham ethnic group in Vietnam, they speak an Austronesian language, but they are genetically closer to Austro-Asiatic speakers. And even looking at the dendrogram I posted earlier on crania, even though it's a good "general" indicator of genetic relationships, you can clearly see that many populations with shared origins are more separate than we'd expect (e.g. Taiwan aboriginals and Filipinos). I obviously can't segue into this sort of disclaimer every time I post material from different disciplines, though I don't think I should be held responsible for trying to balance "due weight" across sections regarding these different disciplines. It's not my fault if someone thinks remains with Southern Chinese affinity in bronze age North China strengthens the argument for an Austro-Asiatic Shang language. Sorry for my rant. Easy772 (talk) 06:41, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Alain Menargues

If you have some time, I would appreciate if you take a look at this. The source is Alain Menargues Secrets de la Guerre du Liban pp469-70. What exactly does he say about Sayeret Matkal? Kingsindian  11:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not quite satisfied that this is factual, as opposed to a (strong) inference. I'll keep my eyes peeled or 'my pies eeled' as the cockneys might say. Zero is, apparently, busy to gather from a recent edit and away, but he has more access to library sources to hunt this up eventually . I'll do any translations if any foreign language material emerges. As always, one should never rush, but bide one's time. At the moment, therefore, I think the passage requires attribution.Nishidani (talk) 13:36, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I have checked the Trablousi reference and it also does not say anything specifically about this 63 number. I have reproduced the relevant text on the talk page there. Kingsindian  14:21, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

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George Shulz source (trivial)

I was reading the George Shulz source which you pointed to on the talk page. A quite frank account. Despite the grim subject matter, I laughed out aloud when reading this:

I came into the department at 5:00am. Habib was screaming in rage on the tacsat. The shelling was the worst he had seen in eight weeks of war...Begin was calmly denying that any shelling was taking place; this had just been confirmed by Defence Minister Ariel Sharon. "There is no intent today to occupy West Beirut. If we had such an intent, I would write to Ronald Reagan." The United States was being fed hysterical, inflated reporting, Begin said.

Hill relayed this to Habib. "Oh, yeah?", Habib said, and held his tacsat earpiece out of the window, so that we could hear Israeli artillery firing. Hill counted eight shells within thirty seconds

Kingsindian  12:40, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Yep. That sticks in the memory:I can't recall the name of the State official standing by and actually managing to calculate the intensity of the non-existent bombing,6 shells per 30 second, as Habib's tacsat let them hear, and Begin was on the other phone saying 'you guys are prey to hysterical fantasies'. It is one of numerous episodes reported in White House memoirs for that crucial period, perhaps the most hilarious if tragic. Caspar Weinberger, a hawk, was so pissed off by the repeated lying straight over the telephone that he was entertaining the idea of breaking of diplomatic relations. But the point is, I've read the same scenario in virtually every insider account of all the many crises in the Middle East. Exasperation in the White House, repeated threats, ignored, lies told that men on the ground know are untrue,and, result, once havoc is finished, shaking hand publicly, smiles, all is well. The only group that kept its word throughout, the PLO gets the people it was obliged to protect slaughtered, as the standbys pledging to protect them let it happen, and is blamed in books (it has a lot to be blamed for, like Hamas, but not for things like this). The scenario should be in every briefing book for crisis management, how to play the game. 'Guys, this is what you are expected to repeat'.Nishidani (talk) 12:54, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry read too fast (emergencies here..) Hill was the chap's name and as you report, it was 8 shells per half minute, quite remarkable for a cease-fire folks on the line were swearing had been upheld. Nothing like this external reality enters the Kahan Commission's timeline.Nishidani (talk) 12:56, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
All this of course just to underline what editors should know, and often refuse to know or do. Even excellent RS can be made to say anything, unless one really delves into at least 10 books for each historic episode and gets some picture of its complexities, so that the editor can evaluate the RS for their meta-reliability. It's a method that should be discussed and taught, but would probably disenchant most newcomers. Most editors appear to read a page exclusively to weigh its POV drift from line to line, and if they see something that they dislike, delete it or get a snippet to balance it, without actually studying the subject generally. If one knows nothing but what is on a wiki page or what one vaguely recalls, even googling for some useful 'stuff' is not going to be helpful unless you can measure it against a broad picture with fuller details. This is what Zero taught the I/P area by example. I must stop preaching to the choir.Nishidani (talk) 13:04, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Just a follow up note. This Israeli strategic form of brinksmanship probably dates from Lavon, should be called, without giving too much of my handle's meaning away, the Nishtagea doctrine. The idea is, in critical situations, act with ostensibly mad unpredictability to unnerve your allies even, so that they fall in with your insistently maximum demands for fear of worse.In game theory, it is actually quite logical (Syriza, from a completely different rationale, is doing it now, though being weak its bluff was called by the thugocracy that rules the troika, as always happens to weak imitators who use this method with their strong allies) Many sources mention this, )Matthew Abraham, Out of Bounds: Academic Freedom and the Question of Palestine, Bloomsbury Publishing 2014 p.77, for example and it deserves a book length study.Nishidani (talk) 18:24, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Chomsky also mentions this in his Fateful Triangle. It is comparable to Nixon's madman theory. Anyway, I am a bit skeptical about Shulz's claim of being appalled by the massacres etc. The US responsibility was considerable, since they brokered the whole deal, and also withdrew the MNF early, allowing the subsequent massacre. Kingsindian  18:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
All memoirs are self-serving, but I was just surprised by the details, which are high pythonesque tragicomedy where psychological manias and political image fears clashed (what worried the US politicos were the photos coming out. No photos no image problem). Inadvertently he revealed that there is nothing rational about policy in such moments, which is something people should learn to see. For that alone, his account is commendable. Of course the US fucked up, but that was Weinberger's fault, if I remember correctly, since as he later clarified, U.S. troops should never be committed under those circumstances. Shultz overrode him, but CW managed to get them taken out as a compromise, the massacre ensued as was forseeable, and, as a further consequence, this time foolishly with forseeable consequences, the US reintroduced its troops after the massacre, having lost all credibility, and were massacred themselvesthe following year. It's an interesting sidelight that the only intelligent and respected brokers in for the US this area, Philip Habib and George J. Mitchell were Maronites: they rose above any historic enmity to see deeply into the other side (much as James Wolfensohn did). But none of this has nany impact on policy: to the contrary the memoirs re all three show how any decent broker is stymied from go to woe by either the US or Israel or both. Nishidani (talk) 19:41, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Blumental article in Journal of Palestine Studies

I wonder if you have seen this Journal of Palestine Studies article by Blumenthal? It goes into a fair bit of details about Ofer Winter, and also a bit about Khuzaa and Shujaiyya (not a lot). Not a lot of new things that I didn't know, but collected conveniently in one place. Kingsindian  20:45, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks indeed. I'll read it this afternoon. Only have time for the introduction, and stopped at 'Ariel Sharon . .warrior-politician', which is appropriate but reminded me of one of the defining terms for Sharon is 'larger-than-life', the ingeniously comfy euphemism (nodnodwinkwink ='larger than the lives he'd destroyed) developed after his comeback by his admirers in the media to cover the issue of his record for ruthless ethnocide.Nishidani (talk) 06:48, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

The phenomenon of retaliatory edits.

I consider odd when, having reverted a red-inked editor on an otherwise obscure page, which I mainly wrote (in the sense I understand the subject), an editor with whom I am in dispute on a completely different page suddenly appears out of the blue, having never edited the page, to support the initial revert, and roll back my edit. No talk page argument, nothing. I am in two minds how this kind of behavior should be classified, 'retaliatory' or 'punitive' (in the latter case, because one might not be getting one's way on the other page). I don't recall any wiki guidance on this. Pure speculation in specific cases, of course, but it is not infrequent, and when a pattern is established, recourse to some remedy is not excluded. The person who most enjoyed doing this in my regard was User:NoCal100, since permabanned but a constant revenant as a sockpuppet. Nishidani (talk) 13:42, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, most of the consensus on WP is silent, just proceeding through incremental edits or tweaks on the main page. However, anything is potentially challengeable, and of course "retaliation" and "punitive" etc. can't be proved. Best to simply open a talk page discussion. Talking through edit summaries only works if there is a background of trust. In this area, nobody really trusts anyone on the "other side". Thus more detailed explanations are necessary on the talk page. I learnt this because my first major WP:ARBPIA article was the 2014 Gaza war. Even truculent editors usually "saw the light" after enough explanation on the talk page. I made sure to open a new talk page section on each revert I made. If the local consensus is against you, open an RfC. In my experience, RfCs usually shortcut interminable talkpage discussions and usually produce the right result. I recall very few RfCs that I have "lost". It just takes a bit of time. Kingsindian  18:34, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I note these things in a section just to keep track. I hate reading other people's contribs. I don't think of myself as 'on one side', though I am mainly concerned with the Palestinian record since I noticed in 2007 that only 2 people of Palestinian origin were active. There are quite a significant number of editors that some might identify as being on 'the other side' (quite improper designation for them) whose judgement I trust implicitly, and if I see their work on my watchlist I never check it. Hertz1800 and Avi, Irondome, to begin with, not to mention more than a dozen others I could easily name. Some I sometimes check, WarKoSign and Greyshark, but usually think they are excellent editors, with an obvious POV, who can be trusted, if there is a dispute or diff of opinion, to come to a quick compromise. So I don't check them often, except if the edit summary looks a touch sensitive. The people whose edits I check are at anytime only about 5 to 7,whose edits I don't usually trust for objectivity: most of them are drive-by removalists, or talkpage cunctorians and have no intent to be constructive. Nishidani (talk) 18:48, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
That's why I put the "other side" in quotes. As for the rest, the best essay I have read about unconstructive talk page warriors is WP:GLUE. It points out that WP:AGF is not only a good thing in itself, it can also lay bare the bad-faith efforts of others. As long as you keep emphasizing the correct arguments on the talk page, the bad-faith warriors will shoot themselves in the foot, or simply be ineffectual in the long run. Kingsindian  19:05, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
Well from a medical point of view, the issue is one whether they put their feet in their mouths before or after the shooting. I think before, on clinical observations.Nishidani (talk) 10:04, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

You edit like it is an article

This edit use language of newspaper not encyclopedia. " He has no complaint about this because it is designed, he added, " DaniDin 17:47, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

There is almost no encyclopedic writing in wiki articles, unless you see an FA. Writing an encyclopedic article requires one, at worst, two hands. As the Swedes say when reformulating the old English proverb: 'Too many kuks spoil the brothel.'Nishidani (talk) 10:09, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

surprise surprise

Shocked and astounded. Though I have to give that one credit, they played the newbie confused by all these rules quite well. nableezy - 21:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I wasn't surprised. There are so many sockpuppets, that though I noticed he was one from the start, I couldn't finger which one it was. One just knows these things. When Sean Hoyland said he was JaimeHerut whoever, the meisterpuppeter, it didn't ring true to me. What admins don't realize is the burden of having to argue with people you know are socks, because, though one's instincts after a decade can detect them pretty quickly, the evidence is only intuitive, not empirical and therefore protesting is pointless. Nishidani (talk) 21:51, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Kingsindian's to blame for this brilliant work. If we had more editors who only checked sock patterns, and ignored page editing, this place would almost become workable.Nishidani (talk) 21:59, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Request for mediation rejected

The request for formal mediation concerning Shang Dynasty, to which you were listed as a party, has been declined. To read an explanation by the Mediation Committee for the rejection of this request, see the mediation request page, which will be deleted by an administrator after a reasonable time. Please direct questions relating to this request to the Chairman of the Committee, or to the mailing list. For more information on forms of dispute resolution, other than formal mediation, that are available, see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.

For the Mediation Committee, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:42, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
(Delivered by MediationBot, on behalf of the Mediation Committee.)

First Palestinians, then Greeks. Bravo Germany


If you know of any worthy candidates, feel free to add them at List of peace activists. Thanks --NSH001 (talk) 13:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

P.S. Glad to see you back after your absence, was getting a bit worried about you – but everyone needs a break from time to time!

I'll have a look presently. Half the academic staff in the Humanities Department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem should be there, only we lack wiki bios. Indologists, scholars of Greek, Latin, history, esp. conspicuous.
Not quite the 'break' the 'doctor ordered'! Close shave a week ago, Monday 1:30 am. Checked in to the local hospital with stomach pains that had persisted for 2 days. Put on a waiting list as 'not urgent' (I apparently gave too dryly clinical a description of symptoms). Fortunately I suffered a complete collapse while shuffling outside the waiting room to vomit in the gutter round 4 a.m., and was whipped into emergency. Wife thought I was dead. Perforated appendix (at my fucking age!), peritonitis, about an hour from death's door. The real suffering was that I had to go six days without a decent plate of pasta. All well now, with fork regularly twiddling over parmesan-lashed spaghetti. Cheers N, N.Nishidani (talk) 15:07, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

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