Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Jerusalem/archive 1

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


Peer review

Self-nomination The Jerusalem article is comprehensive and very well-referenced, fulfilling all of the featured article criteria. Although there has been some controversy in the past about the idea of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, the article has remained relatively quiet and stable, with objections being very rare. The article presents the city of Jerusalem in a neutral light with "brilliant" prose. The article does not use any fair-use images and it does not appear to violate any standards set forth by WikiProjects and Wikipedia in general. Before anyone gawks at the length shown when hitting the edit this page link, I would like to note that there are only about thirty-four kilobytes of readable prose; that is well within the "rule of thumb" established by Wikipedia:Article size. -- tariqabjotu 04:12, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Tariq, per the FAC instructions, you forgot to identify this as a self-nomination; you're the top contributor to the article according to page history stats. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Without going into great detail about the unnecessary nature of the red text... I thought that instruction had been removed (and it really ought to be; it's not like it's my article and it shouldn't make a difference whether the nominator has worked on an FAC). -- tariqabjotu 02:55, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. The reference for it being the largest city seems very strange indeed. Don't they have a census?--Pharos 08:52, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Yes, I know; I agree there are too many sources for that one fact (there is a census) and for the fact regarding Jerusalem being a Jewish center since the 10th century BCE. Take a look at #Sources (January 2007) from the talk page. -- tariqabjotu 11:52, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I have shortened the references in question accordingly. -- tariqabjotu 13:43, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
      • I've re-lengthened them. Unfortunately, this claim was the subject of a lengthy debate and edit war that lasted almost two months, until sufficient high-quality sources were provided so that it was indisputable. Sadly, certain topics are going to be disputed ad nauseam until they are proven to death, and the coffin nailed and chained shut with a giant padlock. This happens to be one of them. Jayjg (talk) 17:17, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
        • A response to Jayjg has been provided on the talk page of the article. -- tariqabjotu 20:42, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, after tariqabjotu's extensive efforts (disclosure - I've been a very minor contributer to the article, mainly on the talk page). okedem 08:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Just a note, for compliance with FAC instructions; Okedem is in the top 10 contributors to the article, according to page history statistics. (Nothing personal, okedem; I'd just like to see better compliance in general with the instructions at FAC.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
As flattering as that might be, it's only by number of edits, not by content. Almost all of those edits were reverts of vandalism. I've added very little content to the article. okedem 20:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment Interesting article on a great city. Some suggestions: "Sports" subsection should be pruned. Which clubs won in which year is not necessary in this article (years are important in individual club articles). You can simply delete the subsection, and include the names of popular sports and prominent clubs in a paragraph at the end of "Culture" (before the subsection "Religious subsection"). The short paragraph on "Israel Festival" may be merged with the upper paragraph, and a separate short paragraph on sports may be created.
It would be nice if some crime statistics are added in the "Demographics" section. The one-sentence paragraph on the use of "Jerusalem stone", why is that added in "climate"? Any impact of climate on the use of the stone?
I have a feeling that the article is over-wikilinked. Have had some talks with User:Tariqabjotu in this regard. Comments from other users would help in this matter. Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 07:36, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the amount of links is fine (not over-linked). I don't think a reader should have to go back looking for a link, when he just wants some information about a specific subject (and so doesn't read the whole thing in one sitting). okedem 08:46, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I have removed the championship years from the Sports section, although I was a bit apprehensive about removing the sub-section altogether; it seems to go against the article structure established at Wikipedia:WikiProject Cities. I'll find some information on crime in Jerusalem a bit later (unless someone else gets to it first) and add crime as a sub-section under demographics. -- tariqabjotu 14:20, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll have to get around to this in about sixteen hours. I'm having trouble finding crime stats in English. I was able to find this page which seems to relate to crime statistics, but I don't know Hebrew. I'm can't seem to find the English translation and the search box on the English version of the Police website is not working. -- tariqabjotu 04:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
These are crime statistics, and they do have statistics for the different districts (like the Jerusalem district), but only in absolute numbers (like "number of murder cases"), not anything comparative (like "number of robberies per 1,000 residents"). Not very useful. okedem 09:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment I do not think starting the article with "Jerusalem is Israel's capital" is the most npov way to handle the dispute over Jerusalems' status. As a suggestion, I point you to Encarta's intro for Jerusalem which I think handles it very well:
Jerusalem (Hebrew Yerushalayim; Arabic Al Quds), city lying at the intersection of Israel and the West Bank, located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, about 50 km (about 30 mi) southeast of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Jerusalem is composed of two distinct sections: West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem. West Jerusalem, which is inhabited almost entirely by Jews, has been part of Israel since Israel was established in 1948. East Jerusalem, which has a large Palestinian Arab population and recently constructed Jewish areas, was held by Jordan between 1949 and the Six-Day War of 1967. During the war, East Jerusalem was captured by Israel, which has administered it since. Israel claims that Jerusalem is its capital, but Palestinians dispute the claim and the United Nations has not recognized it as such. Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider Jerusalem a holy city, and it contains sites sacred to all three religions. --A.Garnet 13:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to turn this into another "Capital of Israel" discussion, but concisely - Israel doesn't "claim" Jerusalem is its capital. Jerusalem is, de facto and de jure, its capital. It is the seat of government, parliament, supreme court, president's and PM's quarters. Israel has designated it as capital, and it serves as capital - thus it is capital. International recognition is not a prerequisite for a capital. okedem 14:00, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I believe a more than signficant part of the international community does not accept Israel administering East Jeursalem as part of its capital, therefore this is a significant political dispute, enough to warrant us handling the intro with a bit more sophistication (certainly for an FA). I believe there is nothing wrong with a similar intro to the Encarta suggestion I made above. --A.Garnet 14:18, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
This has been an age-old issue on this article. See Talk:Jerusalem/capital, Talk:Jerusalem#Capital of Israel, Talk:Jerusalem#Capital, "largest city" out of intro, Talk:Jerusalem#RfC, among other places. Take that as you wish. However, let me point you to the definition of capital. On Wikipedia capital and seat of government are two different articles, but they are essentially the same thing (the former article defines capital as the principal city or town associated with a country's government). According to Merriam-Webster, the capital is a city serving as a seat of government. Well, those definitions certainly apply here. The executive, judicial, and legislative branches for Israel are all located within the city of Jerusalem. There is a footnote attached to the statement in the first line. On this topic, I might advocate saying seat of government instead of capital or closing the gap between capital and the mention of the controversy. However, the very act of suggesting this could result in me being shunned from society. As usual. -- tariqabjotu 14:20, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the use of seat of government is a good alternative. What do you mean you will be "shunned from society" for suggesting this? --A.Garnet 14:31, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Essentially, one would see what boils down to we've discussed this before; now get over it. The problem is that this dispute has been muddied up by accusations that people advocating mentioning capital without qualification are pro-Israel, Jewish Zionists, etc., etc., whereas people against it are trying to make Jerusalem the capital of Palestine or are anti-Semitic, pro-Muslim, etc., etc. There have been times when this mud-slinging has been avoided (especially recently), but it's still a problem. I believe seat of government is the best way to keep the important fact in the intro without having to over-emphasize the controversy. In my opinion, it's neutral, but others see it as dancing around the topic. Note that prior to September 2006, "capital" was not mentioned in the first sentence of the article. Additionally, an RfC from January was inconclusive. -- tariqabjotu 14:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I dont want this FAC to be reduced to a dispute over the intro, but imo, if there is a better more encylopedic alternative, then it should be used regardless of what people "want". Seat of government is an excellent alternative and I would support it. Thanks, --A.Garnet 15:22, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Other alternatives raised included saying "national capital" and linking to Positions on Jerusalem. That could be a reasonable idea as well since most people know what a "capital" is and so the link to Positions on Jerusalem might be more useful. If I remember correctly, okedem (talk · contribs) agreed with an intro that included that (see this section), although I'm unsure if (s)he was aware of that link. So for clarification the ideas proposed over the past six or seven months have included....
  1. Current phrasing.
  2. "capital", with link to Positions on Jerusalem
  3. seat of government, instead of capital
  4. Moving "capital" out of the first sentence
  5. Closing the gap between saying "capital" and mentioning the related controversy
To be honest, all I care about is getting this article featured. I can live with the current phrasing if most people are okay with it, but I get the feeling that that is not entirely the case. On a side note, however, I'd like to point out that, as far as I know, the "international community" has rejected Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a form of punishment. In the same manner many Arab nations refuse to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation as a form of punishment (for what...?), much of the international community refuses to accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- even though it is -- due to the annexation of East Jerusalem (against some UN resolution somewhere, I believe). I think we may have trouble with the first sentence of this article being used in a Today's Featured Article Main Page blurb, as some important information is missing, but the footnote should suffice here. The expectation that someone would at least read the entire introduction (which does mention the controversy) is not unreasonable. Additionally, the statement by itself that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is not incorrect. So again, I'm okay with the current wording, but okay if a great number of people see it as problematic. -- tariqabjotu 15:41, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Attempting a compromise here, I added seat of government, without removing "capital", to emphasize the correctness of the term capital. -- tariqabjotu 16:31, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
My opinion on this is: We shouldn't use any phrasing which does not include the word "capital", since that's simply evasive. We use the word capital for every other capital city in the world, and Jerusalem shouldn't be any different. We should state the fact that it is capital, and it should be in the first sentence, as it is a major function. Despite all objections, going by the definition for "capital", Jerusalem is one.
Linking to "Positions..." seems like a good idea.
Is there a difference between "capital" and "national capital"? okedem 17:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there is a difference between "capital" and "national capital". -- tariqabjotu 17:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't really see how to close the gap between "capital", and the controversy, since that's a whole paragraph, and I don't want to flatten the issue to just a few words (like "its status is disputed"), when we can be far more informative. Honestly, I think the current phrasing is the best possible. I know the "capital" issue bothers many people, but it's just stating the facts, not saying that it's okay or anything. okedem 17:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the current wording is probably the best possible. I definitely believe that any Main Page blurb that mentions capital should link to Positions on Jerusalem since the footnote, for obvious reasons, cannot be put on the Main Page. But, on placing the link in the article itself, I'm indifferent; we may have done enough already. -- tariqabjotu 17:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
How about stating ", as claimed by Israeli law..." (with footnote, of course).--Dwaipayan (talk) 18:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
No, no, no. I say this again - by any common definition of the word "capital", Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It's not claimed, it just is, regardless of how right or internationally recognized it might be. okedem 19:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I dont find your position constructive okedem, you do not seem willing to accept anything that does not introduce Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, regardless of its internationally disputed status. Put simply, we cannot introduce Jeursalem on the front page of Wikipedia in front of 2m+ people as the capital of Israel, not when that capital entails the administration of an occupied part of the city whoses status remains unclear and the centre of much political debate. This is very simple, the solution is very simple as has been shown by myself and Tariq's suggestion. Now imo if this solution cannot be implemented because it will risk edit warring, and we must rely on a pov wording open to controversy, then this article is not stable enough to warrant FA status (which is a shame because the rest of the article is very good). --A.Garnet 20:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
You do not seem to address my point. A capital is a simple term, and it has a definition, which you can find in any dictionary and encyclopedia. Following that definition, Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Writing it any other way would distort the truth, and mislead the readers. It's current status and function as capital is reality, and not open to debate. Whether it should be under Israel's control, whether it's just and legal - that's another thing.
The controversy is handled well in the last paragraph of the lead. For the front page we can use something like this:
"Jerusalem ... is Israel's capital, and largest city (though its legal status is disputed, see Positions on Jerusalem)...". okedem 20:19, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
<- (de-intent) Exactly. The Main Page blurb does not have to be the first paragraph of the article. Additionally, a suitable Main Page blurb is not a pre-requisite for featured article status. The threat of preventing featured status from being granted is not constructive at all. -- tariqabjotu 21:03, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
My friend, I have made no threat in preventing this from reaching FA. I have said on the contrary that I would support your earlier suggestion and that the article is very good. For me however, no reputable encylopedia would begin an article on Jerusalem stating it as Israel's capital unless explained within the greater conflict. I'll leave this for other editors to comment lest you think I have some kind of interest in preventing this from reaching FA. --A.Garnet 22:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Not sure where I should put this comment, but here willdo: Just want to say that the point in the sentence about Jerusalem's status as Israel's capital not being recognised by the UN is irrelevant - recognition of capitals (any capitals) is a bilateral matter between governments. If you want to make the point I think you're trying to make, you need to say something about the number of countries that have located their embassies in Jerusalem (not many). PiCo 10:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment "Demographics" would be comprehensive with coverage of population density, literacy, sex ratio etc. Crime scenario is not that important. Languages spoken should be mentioned.
  • "Culture" Can we have something on the cuisine, dress (clothing)? Any indigenous sports? Any products unique to Jerusalem which are probably sold in some alleyways in the Old City (just guessing :)).
  • "Economy" What is the primary source of income? Tourism or service sector? Or may be both are equally contributive.

Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 05:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Perhaps some of the information under Demographics would be nice, but I want to warn you that those statistics may be difficult to find. As those pieces are tailored to the Indian city Wikiproject, I have a feeling they are easy to find in India's census. The same might not be true for Israel and Jerusalem. -- tariqabjotu 15:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. Ok, if data is not available, then of course that cannot be added. Please have a try. And what about the cultural bits like clothing and cuisine etc?--Dwaipayan (talk) 18:55, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Please try this, this, and related documents. How did they generate the data here? Here is a book. Someone may find it in some library. However, IMO, data is really hard to get. Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 19:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Did you mean to say data is really hard to get? If you meant really easy... um... I have been doing some searching and found very little prior to posting the comment above. Regardless, the first couple of sources look good. The book does not look like something that could be found in a standard library. Regarding the link in the middle, I stumbled upon that earlier but was dismayed that the stats included the West Bank and Gaza. If I remember correctly (from online sources I mean), the last census was in 1995. I'll try to find that and also look for later estimates, since 1995 information is a bit outdated. -- tariqabjotu 19:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Have you seen the things I added today to "demographics" and "economy"? The CBS has some good data. okedem 20:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Alright; I'll take a look at those. I'll be out of town until Sunday night (~ 00:00 UTC Monday). I may have Internet access while I'm away, but I cannot guarantee that. During that time, feel free (as always) to improve the article. -- tariqabjotu 23:26, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I really did mean that data is really hard to get. I did some search, and presumed you might have done much more extensive search than what I did. I must clarify that I did not make any sarcastic comment. I am only trying so that the article becomes even more comprehensive. Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 19:11, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Its very very well done. Its very well cited, and I'm highly impressed with this article Max 07:35, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Object switched to "support", see below. The fact that a large part of the city lies in the occupied territories should be explicitly mentioned in the introduction, as that is a central topic of debate, not only relating to Jerusalem itself but also to the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a whole. The statement from the introduction Israel's annexation of the primarily Arab neighborhoods that form East Jerusalem has been particularly controversial, as Jerusalem has been claimed by Palestinians as the capital for a future Palestinian state is not explicit enough. Given that even "occupied territories" is a hotly debated term it may be difficult to find a suitably NPOV way of phrasing it, but nevertheless it's a very important fact and must not be weaseled around. Kosebamse 11:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    I don't understand your objection. The issue is mentioned right there in the lead, and is not "weaseled around". Do you want it to be phrased differently? Make a suggestion, then. The issue is also handled in "History-->The state of Israel", and the whole section of "Government". okedem 11:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    Where is it "mentioned right there in the lead"? The only reference that I can find is the sentence that I cited and that is IMO not sufficient. There is no link there to the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967, to the law that formalised the annexation, or to the occupied territories in general. I am thinking of an explicit phrase along the lines of "situated partially in the occupied territories of West Bank (see also Jerusalem Law and Positions on Jerusalem)". I certainly would not insist on a particular way of phrasing it, but the matter should not be mentioned en passant and without a relevant link or two. Kosebamse 12:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC), amended 12:53, 12 April 2007
    I have made a suggestion on Talk:Jerusalem. Kosebamse 13:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    The matter has been discussed on Talk:Jerusalem, new phrasing is better IMO, retracting my objection. Kosebamse 14:10, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    Support. Overall, a well written, neutral and comprehensive article. (Note: I have made another suggestion for improvement on the talk page. )Kosebamse 15:33, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. A good, in depth article that presents Jerusalem with as much of an NPOV as I have seen on Israel pages. --יהושועEric 19:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. An inordinate amount of time and effort has been invested in this article, more than in many other FAs. nadav 10:06, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm going to stick my neck out and declare that 1d is a problem for me. The bias towards Judaism and Israel is variously subtle and not so subtle. It's a very difficult topic on which to achieve geopolitical and cultural balance in this context. Tony 13:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Do you have any examples? -- tariqabjotu 22:13, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, yeah. Just to start, what hits you in the face is the point of departure: it frames J entirely in Isreali terms, rather than taking a broad, historical sweep, and then providing the detail. Propriety is too hot an issue to take that line at the top. It's not good enough to put the disclaimers further down in the lead. The ambiguous (some would say "rich and complex") status of the city in political terms should be respected at the point of departure. I see now that similar issues have been raised above. The point of departure bias appears to be repeated on a smaller scale in lists in the lead. I think it needs to make more effort to acknowledge the Moslem view. I have absolutely no religious affiliations, and I have no interest in prioritising race and culture; quite the opposite. Tony 02:30, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
"frames J entirely in Isreali terms"? I think that is an exaggeration. We can all agree that NPOV is a priority for this article, but obviously we must mention in the first sentence the country where (most) of the city is located. In future, the east side will hopefully be the capital of Palestine, but there is no reason to omit that it is Israel's capital/seat of government already (and will continue to be, according to the Oslo accords). It would be unprecedented and unencyclopedic to bury the current status after a long history section. For that topic, we have History of Jerusalem. nadav 08:06, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Look at other articles about cities with long histories - they necessarily focus on modern times, and leave most of the history to another article. There's no way to avoid "framing Jerusalem in Israeli terms" - It's under Israel's control, has been for 59 years (west) and 40 years (east). It's populated by Israeli citizens, and is the nation's capital, housing all branches of government. It's an Israeli city, for better or worse. Of course, if you (Tony) have specific suggestions - please express them on the talk page. okedem 09:09, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Other cities with long histories? Like ... London or Paris, or Beijing? They are not the subject of bitter disputes over sovereignty. I'm not suggesting that the Israeli hold over the city be ignored in the article, or even in the lead. On the contrary, I'm suggesting that this claim not be framed as the starting point, and that rather a sense of the long, rich, multicultural history of the city be the theme in the opening paragraph, followed by a careful account, from a NPOV stance, of the current geopolitical status. Otherwise, WP might be seen to repeat in its text one of the adversarial perspectives that may be fuelling the real-life conflict. To achieve NPOV in this article, as I stated above, is a difficult task, although achievable, I think, with greater sensitivity to the major groups that lay claim to such sovereignty than is conveyed by the current opening. A special treatment is required; pointing to the structure, tone and content of articles on Moscow or Delhi, IMV, misses the point; Jerusalem is like no other city.

I must reiterate that I mean no ill-will to any religion or cultural group in my recommendation that a more balanced opening be developed. My only concern is to ensure that WP's worldwide reputation for balance is not put at the slightest risk by a gold-star endorsement of the opening wording. Tony 09:37, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Let's not confuse the legality of Israel's claim over the city with the reality of it. Jerusalem, regardless of international perspective, is under Israel's full control, and has been for a long time now. It is an Israeli city, and that's the fact today. There's serious controversy over its future, sure, but that is handled in the article right now. The only sovereign entity there is Israel, even if other group want sovereignty too.
I can't really say anything more - if you'd like to make specific suggestions, I'd be glad to discuss them with you, and I'm sure the other editors would too. okedem 10:40, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
But my point is that the article currently does confuse those two concepts. Tony 11:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it's wrong to skirt the issue by placing the current status after a long history section. I do, however, see a compromise. We keep the current first sentence, but move up to the second sentence the statement "Jerusalem has been claimed by Palestinians as the capital for a future Palestinian state" which now appears towards the bottom. Reactions? (We should probably move this discussion to Talk:Jerusalem by now). nadav 10:57, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Support This article is as NPOV as possible satisfying both sides. A great article and thoroughly fascinating Flymeoutofhere 10:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Object The lead is simply unacceptable, as it does not adequately summarize the article. It has no word on history, only on religion and geography. The reader will never learn that Jerusalem is first and foremost the holiest city in Judaism. Now the article jumbles together Jerusalem's role in Judaism, which is immense, and the fact that the city was Muhammad's first direction of prayer, a minor and insignificant fact, which was only the case for a very brief time period. Beit Or 17:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Did you miss this sentence: "Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE."?
I don't pertain to know much about Islam, but Jerusalem is considered holy to Muslims, and that's a fact. The lead doesn't talk about the reason, and says nothing about direction of prayer (besides, isn't Jerusalem where Muhammad is believed to have ascended to the heavens from?). What would you like to add about history? We can add a paragraph summarizing the history section. okedem 18:03, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there is such a sentence, but its buried after the completely misleading claim "Jerusalem is considered important to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." The lead does mention Muhammad's direction of prayer despite the extremley low importance of this fact; please read carefully. Beit Or 18:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Jerusalem is holy to Christians and Muslims only because it is the holy city of Judaism, to which the other religions are styled as successor traditions. I am not aware that Jerusalem, unlike Mecca, Medina, Najaf or Karbala, has ever played any practical role in Islam, either related to the discharge of religious duties or as a center of administration, excepting seventeen months during which it was the direction of prayer for a few hundred people who had never visited the city.Proabivouac 19:29, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that's true. The Night of Ascension is exclusive to Islam and the crucifixion of Jesus is insignificant in Judaism. -- tariqabjotu 03:33, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree with Tariqabjotu. Do you have any evidence for your assertion that "Jerusalem is holy to Christians and Muslims only because it is the holy city of Judaism". --Agha Nader 03:38, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Object, simply because the article - like the city, it sadly seems - will never be entirely stable, and will never be free of NPOV arguments and partisanship. Featuring it will invite more strife and discord, and that's precisely something we don't need on this topic. This may very well be the best-written article in WP; but the underlying topic is simply too controversial to showcase it. My apologies on all those who have worked hard on it - my view should not discount your efforts and accomplishments. --Leifern 18:56, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
    • This objection is not actionable and can be disregarded. (Rule of thumb: most any objection containing the phrase "this article can never be a featured article beccause..." is inactionable) Raul654 03:44, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure how I could address this. Many changes are being made according to statements on this FAC and the talk page or in attempts to fight vandalism, but that does not make the article unstable. Objecting to granting featured status on the basis that doing so might lead to "strife and discord" does not seem to be reasonable. If there is a problem with the article as it currently is, please raise the matter. However, if your objection is based solely on conjecture (i.e. "what could happen"), there's no decent objection here. -- tariqabjotu 03:42, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Well, look at the discussion that's resulting from the nomination itself. For some people, anything that gives Jerusalem any amount of legitimacy as Israel's capital or even a holy city for Jews is unacceptable; for others, efforts to deprive Israel of its sovereign right to choose its own capital is reprehensible. You can't bridge those two views in an article. --Leifern 13:59, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
        • I beg to differ on that last point. A compromise seems possible here as people from both sides of the aisle (if there is an aisle) seem to have converged upon Talk:Jerusalem#Compromise. Ultimately at the end of the day, some of the objections may just be out of line. Everyone is free to voice his or her opinion, but no one is bound to accept it as correct when that's just not the case. -- tariqabjotu 16:30, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Object I must concur with Beit Or regarding the lead. It is certainly appropriate to mention Jerusalem's secondary role in Christianity and even more minor role in Islam, but to treat these as mirror images of or somehow analogous to Judaism's singular focus on Jerusalem, which appears to have been quite consciously done at several turns, constitutes undue weight. A greater emphasis on history in the lead will also help address this problem.Proabivouac 19:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
First off, please assume good faith - we're all working for a better article here.
Look at it another way - Judaism is a minor religion, with a few million believers. Islam and Christianity have, combined, billions of believers. Thus, even a relatively minor role is one of them can be viewed as very important.
Look. We can all argue about what weight to give each thing, and we'll never be completely pleased. We can't make the lead long enough to include everything, and we don't want to leave things out. Instead of calling out what you think is wrong, why not suggest a better way to phrase things? Please try. The talk page is right there, waiting for you. okedem 19:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to have to concur with Okedem on this; I don't see the problem. Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE seems to cover the matter. -- tariqabjotu 04:21, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Object I still do not agree with the current wording of the introduction. It's status as capital should be explained within the context of the conflict, not stated as fact in the first sentence. I have already said however that i'd agree with "seat of government" and the capital dispute explained further below. --A.Garnet 19:35, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
And I have explained why "capital" should remain, given that Jerusalem fulfills the definition of capital, which can be found in any dictionary or encyclopedia, and does not include any demand for international recognition. Saying anything other than "capital" would distort reality, and mislead the readers. okedem 19:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be fine for almost every other city; but not for this one. On one side, yes, J does fulfil that definition, but it's a disputed definition. That is why POV cannot be satisfied by privileging that statement. The order in which the participating cultures/religions are treated, on the largest and the smallest levels, should also be varied during the article, to give a sense of even-handedness. Tony 22:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Please try not to over-politicize the lead; it simply states the facts as they are. Jayjg (talk) 22:19, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm gobsmacked that you can't see that the current wording is highly politicised. That's why people are raising POV here. BTW, Object (Cautious withdrawal of object) until the issues are fixed. Tony 22:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
The only thing "politicizing" it is your attempt to claim that simple facts are "political". Jayjg (talk) 00:34, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg, everyone agrees that as of now all of Jerusalem is controlled by Israel. That is not the point. The argument is that the question of what Jerusalem's status should be is so very controversial that mention of it should already be mentioned in the very beginning. Encyclopedists have struggled with this issue before. Encarta devotes its entire first paragraph to this controversy. What do you think of the compromise on the talk page? nadav 23:59, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not just a fact that Jerusalem is controlled by Israel; it is also de facto and de jure Israel's capital. The U.N. has no input into which cities countries elect as their capital, nor do other countries. To insist that basic facts cannot be stated because of Palestinian wish lists and demands is fairly absurd. Shall we also say that Tel Aviv is not an Israeli city, because Hamas insists that it too is "occupied Palestinian land"? Jayjg (talk) 00:34, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
No no no, I would never say that. Instead we should give more weight to the question of future status by adding text on Palestinian claims, while keeping fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. nadav 00:51, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
"a disputed definition"? Disputed by who? Can you find any definition of "capital" which has a requirement for international recognition? All definitions I found are basically this: "a city is the capital if it's designated as such, and/or if it's the seat of government." Jerusalem fulfills both these terms, so, obviously, it's the capital of Israel. Capital describes a reality, and shouldn't be bent to political claims. okedem 08:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. I am very saddened by the turn this discussion is taking. Editors have worked so hard on this article and it has been years in development. FA status would have been a remarkable statement that even on tough issues with entrenched POV's, compromise is still possible and an excellent article can exist on Wikipedia. Perhaps I was too optimistic. It seems people are too unwilling to work together and accept compromises that achieve a higher goal. (I don't want to ponder the political implications.) It will be sad indeed if Leifern's objection is proved correct. nadav 23:06, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment regarding lead I have made a few changes to the intro. Please review and comment either here or on the talk page -- wherever you feel is more appropriate. -- tariqabjotu 06:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
IMO the change is not an improvement. What does "remains meaningful to Palestinians, who see it as the capital for a future palestinian state" mean? It certainly does not do justice to the intensity of the struggle over the status of Jerusalem. The second Intifada is known as the Al-Aska Intifada. Jerusalem's status is one of the key (some say intractable) issues at the core of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Many Palestinians considered Oslo a sell out becuase it prosponed the decision on the status of the Jerusalem to the final stage. Then there is the question of the attempts by the Israeli authorities to create facts on the ground by attempting to reduce the Palestinian population (by denying planning applications, beurocratic obstacles to granting residency rights of babies born to Palestinian families, removing residency rights from Palestinians who have spent more than two years abroud, constructing the wall on a route which isolates Palestinian areas, encircling Palestinian areas with new jewish neigbourhoods. Of course this does not need to be detailed in the intro. But the intro should make the bitterness of the conflict over Jeruslem clear (a conflict which has claimed hundreds of victims in Jerusalem over the last two decades). And the conflict should be given more space in the body of the article. ابو علي (Abu Ali) 10:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
This is the Jerusalem article, not the Arab-Israeli conflict article. -- tariqabjotu 10:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
So it is. But the two are so intimately linked that is hard to talk about one without the other. ابو علي (Abu Ali) 10:49, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Tariq. This isn't the place. Do you want the lead to read: "And Palestinians have murdered more than a 1,000 Israelis in what they call the Al-Aska Intifada over control of Jerusalem"? Let's not turn this into another fight. Not everything needs to be about the conflict. It's mentioned, and that's enough. Please, we're trying to reach some acceptable phrasing here, and we can't put the entire article in the lead! okedem 10:52, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I would not consider "And Palestinians have murdered more than a 1,000 Israelis in what they call the Al-Aska Intifada over control of Jerusalem" to be a NPOV formulation. ابو علي (Abu Ali) 10:55, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Nor would I, and I would never actually add such a sentence to the lead. What I'm trying to say it that we don't have to focus on the conflict in every single paragraph and article here - it's just not the place. If we stray from the cold hard facts (and start guessing just how important Jerusalem is for the Palestinians) we'll fight forever, and get nowhere. Better to stick with the current formulation. The lead already has more than enough about the current status, considering it's only the last 60 years, in a city with a history of at least 3,000 years. okedem 11:04, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

More comments

  • Support. Tariqabjotu is to be commended for tackling this, and he's done a remarkable job of steering a middle course and trying to describe each position fairly. It's carefully written, well-sourced, interesting, comprehensive, easy to read, and it's a good length. I hope that editors who are opposing only on the basis of strong POV will reconsider. We don't have to agree with articles to be able to see the quality in them. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:21, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Further comment—SV, this "middle course" is a matter for debate. What some reviewers see as a one-sided framing of the point of the departure, and in the ordering of other information in the article, is unchanged. Here's an example from lower down in the lead of subtle framing towards the Israeli claim:
"The civic and cultural center of modern Israel extends from western Jerusalem toward the country's other urban areas to the west, while areas populated mostly by Arabs may be found in the northern, eastern and southern districts." "Modern Israel" (as a state, with all of the advantages and prestige that a nation carries) is pitted agains individual "Arabs". The nation frame is reinforced in the same sentence with "the country's". The western part of the city is framed in terms of national ownership, and one that extends outward geographically into the "nation". By contrast, the other major group, the Arabs, are billed as only "mostly" populating "areas"; these are worded in terms of areas that "may be found" (vs. "extending"), and are further described as mere "districts". The bias in this article would provide fodder for a whole linguistics PhD dissertation.

As well as Criterion 1d, I wish to broaden my objection to 1a. Here are examples of why:

    • What is "storied history". "Storied doesn't seem to be a word.
    • Unnecessary amplifications and repetitions at the top: "... is Israel's capital and seat of government. It is Israel's largest city[iv] both in population and area, with a population of approximately 724,000 (as of 2006) in an area totaling 126". "is Israel's" x 2; "population" x 2; "area" x 2. Is "both" necessary? It's not used for "captial and seat of government". Is "totaling" necessary, instead of the unmarked "of"? Perhaps as a personal preference, I'd use "about" rather than "approximately", as shorter, plainer and less spiky.
    • "Barely one square kilometer,[7] the Old City is home to several of Jerusalem's most important and contested religious sites, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount for Jews, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians."—"in area" is required after "kilometer". There are two subset items ("several of" and "including"); can we do without one or both of these to strengthen the flow?
    • "Surrounding the Old City are more modern areas of Jerusalem." Is "of Jerusalem" necessary in this firm context? "More" is ambiguous—it could mean "further" or it could be comparative (more modern than the old city). Is the word necesssary at all? In any case, if it's retained, it needs a deictic ("the"). Tony 03:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
      • First, storied is a word. And so is nitpicking. I took care of most of the items in the second half of your statement. Regarding the first half... I pretty much left that alone. The lead is being discussed on the talk page quite a bit. In my opinion, I think you're over-analyzing things. There is little choice but to "pit" (uh... sure...) the country of Israel with individual Arabs. There's no other country to discuss, so what else are we to say? Israel is one of the most developed country in the region, so... you know... que sera sera. Neutrality does not mean distorting facts to ensure a disadvantaged group is portrayed as equal to a more advantaged group. Like I said, you're reading into things too hard. If you're willing to debunk an article based solely on petty semantics over whether "may be found" is used versus "extending" while also complaining that "population" is used twice in the first paragraph, you have come to the wrong place. -- tariqabjotu 04:29, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Tariq. This looks like nitpicking, and moreover it comes down to stylistic preference. I think it reads very well as is. Even if you don't agree, will you dismiss the entire article because of it? nadav 05:41, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, whether we like it or not, around Jerusalem there's one sovereign country, Israel, and areas/districts populated with Arabs/Palestinians. Only one sovereign body here, one country. If you'd really like, we can add something like: "...mostly by Arabs may be found in the northern, eastern and southern districts (including areas controlled by the Palestinian National Authority)" (these are Bethlehem and Ramallah).
Of course there is some "framing" of Jerusalem as a part of Israel - It is a part of Israel! Israel controls all of it, it's Israel's capital, it's an Israeli city with Israelis living in it! So we talk about its history, we talk about the conflict, we talk about Palestinian claims to it, but still, today, it's an Israeli city. How would you like to phrase it?
Please, try not to read hidden meaning in every little word here. These words were chosen in good faith, not to try and hide/distort the truth. Don't confuse style with content. okedem 12:46, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • At the link you provided, "storied" = often spoken of or written about; famous:

Theirs was the most storied romance in Hollywood.

I suggest that you use a more familiar word, and one that you can be sure is appropriate. Romance novels or the tabloids may "story" a love affair, but I'm unsure whether the history of a city is an appropriate use for this epithet.

These were examples of why the whole article needs the attention of a copy-editor, preferably one who's unfamiliar with the text.

It's easy to accuse me of "overanalysing" that passage, but you offer no qualitative rejoinder or rebuttal to the points I made in that analysis: that the bias is subtle and infused throughout the wording. Accusing me of "petty semantics" and "reading into things too hard" isn't going to contribute to serious debate here, either. And if you don't care about ungainly repetition, right at the top, you've come to the wrong place; this article isn't going to satisfy the criteria. Nor is your insincere and apparently gloating "que sera sera" a serious rebuttal. There's a circularity about the world-view espoused here. Tony 07:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

At the risk of turning the entire future of the Jerusalem article into a silly argument over a word, let me offer the following def.s from Random House unabridged [1] and from Merriam-Websters [2] resp.: "1. recorded or celebrated in history or story: the storied cities of ancient Greece.", "2 : having an interesting history : celebrated in story or history <a storied institution>" nadav 12:02, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that you were sending mixed messages when you advocated both word variety (by complaining about the repetition of "population") and lack of word variety (by complaining about the "areas" vs. "extending" bit) in the same comment. Additionally, I'm unsure where you get gloating from. I was saying that Israel is the most developed country in the Middle East; that's the way it is whether you like it or not. So, it would be very difficult to portray Israel as being on equal footing as the West Bank or whatever political entity is located there. I did provide a rebuttal: you're reading into things too hard and inventing bias where none is actually present, in the same manner you misinterpreted my words (most likely inadvertently). I'm not sure how else to convey this. -- tariqabjotu 18:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Keep in mind that Tony often comes up with nitpicking details regarding his own personal preferences that have nothing to do with proper or even preferred usage, and then opposes FA status ostensibly for those reasons. It's best to ignore them, rather than get worked up. Jayjg (talk) 22:58, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. Tony, I feel you're being too harsh. The copy editing points you made are largely minor and boil down to preference. For example, I wouldn't write "Surrounding the Old City are the more modern areas of Jerusalem," but there's nothing wrong with it. It might be faster for you to tweak the writing than to leave detailed examples here.
  • As for the POV issue, I can't see a POV in "The civic and cultural center of Israel extends from western Jerusalem toward the country's other urban areas to the west, while areas populated mostly by Arabs may be found in the northern, eastern and southern districts."
  • You wrote of that sentence

    "Modern Israel" (as a state, with all of the advantages and prestige that a nation carries) is pitted agains individual "Arabs". The nation frame is reinforced in the same sentence with "the country's". The western part of the city is framed in terms of national ownership, and one that extends outward geographically into the "nation". By contrast, the other major group, the Arabs, are billed as only "mostly" populating "areas"; these are worded in terms of areas that "may be found" (vs. "extending"), and are further described as mere "districts". The bias in this article would provide fodder for a whole linguistics PhD dissertation.

  • It is a fact that there is a state of Israel and that there is no other state on that piece of land. I feel that in trying to deconstruct that sentence in terms of bias, you may simply be reflecting your own, because I think most people would not see in it what you extracted from it. This is understandable because biases are hard to shake off, but I feel that tariqabjotu has managed it. How would you rewrite that sentence, as a matter of interest?
  • I spoke to a friend about this yesterday. He was born in Israel and lived in Jerusalem for a few years as an adult. He is non-Zionist and doesn't like that the State of Israel exists in its current form, and he is himself a good writer, so I asked him to read this article. He said it was excellent. He said he doubted there is a more neutral way to present the contentious issues, and he called the article "a work of art." SlimVirgin (talk) 18:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Why should we care about your non-Zionist friend? Beit Or 21:23, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Good question. Since when are the opinions of non-Zionists acceptable on Wikipedia? :-) ابو علي (Abu Ali) 14:54, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Because he's Israeli and cares deeply about the country; because he loves Jerusalem and knows a lot about it; and because he's non-Zionist and so, while loving Israel, he understands the hostility toward it. He's also a good writer. For all those reasons, I was interested to see what he made of the article. He called it a "work of art." I thought that was worth mentioning. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:35, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have a Zionist friend, who is a professional writer and thinks that this article is a badly-written exercise in skewing the image of Jerusalem. Sounds impressive? Beit Or 22:22, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I was going to make a point-by-point analysis of the history section to demostrate it weaknesses, which are multiple. Since I have no time for that right, it may be enough to point out the on-going disputes on talk regarding history and lead to show that the article in its current state is light years away from featured status. Beit Or 21:21, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

That discussion only started as a way to satisfy some of the complaints voiced here by you and others. As for Itzse, he meant well, but just added unsourced statements which were reverted. nadav 22:47, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm concurring with Nadav. The statement that this article is "light years away from featured status", especially based solely on those two discussions, is light-years away from being correct. -- tariqabjotu 23:49, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Beit Or, can you give an example of a sentence or paragraph that you feel is unacceptable: not just one that you don't like, but one that you feel is clearly too POV for FA status? Or if the issue is omission, can you give an example of a point you feel is missing and which you regard as important for neutrality? SlimVirgin (talk) 21:31, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Since you're pressing, a few quick points:
  • The whole history section is mostly about changes in control. There is virtually nothing at all on the city proper: how it developed, for instance.
  • The entire history of Jerusalem between the 6th century BCE and the time of Herod is missing. These are five centuries, full of lots of interesting events.
  • "From that point, the rights of the non-Muslims under Islamic territory were governed by the Pact of Umar..." This is wrong and unhistorical, the Pact of Umar was developed by Muslim scholars of the 8th century onwards, who projected their rulings back to Umar in order to lend them greater authority.
  • The section on religious significance contains three paragraphs: the shortest one on Judaism, the two longer ones on Christianity and Islam. This is absolutely unacceptable given the totally different weight given to Jerusalem by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. As I have pointed out above, the article strongly and consistently underplays the Jewish nature of Jerusalem.
  • Why is there nothing at all on Jerusalem in literature and arts?
Beit Or 22:19, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
If the Jerusalem article were any longer, it would be called too long. Editorial decisions have to be made on what to include. The time period before Herod is mentioned as including the Hasmonean rule. Note that there is also a lack of authoritative sources about this time, since it precedes Josephus. The religious significance paragraphs are merely summaries of topics that have entire subarticles devoted to them, so it is not useful to look at the difference of a few lines. Also, the Judaism paragraph appears first. nadav 00:20, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
As for Pact of Umar, the period discussed there is the 8th century. While its eventual codified form may have only appeared later, many scholars contend that its ideas date back to even pre-Islamic times. Most importantly, the statement in the article is sourced to an authoritative work by Marcus, who writes:

The Pact was probably originated about 637 by Omar I after the conquest of Christian Syria and Palestine. By accretions from established practices and precedents, the Pact was extended; yet despite these additions the whole Pact was ascribed to Omar...It is generally assumed that its present form dates from about the ninth century

So, in some form, the pact was already practiced. Moreover, the sentence in the article is also speaking about the 400 years that followed, which includes the time the time the pact was codified in its present form. If you don't like the current wording, I suggest you change it to something you find more agreeable. nadav 00:43, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Beit, much of the information you may be looking for is in (or at least should be in) the History of Jerusalem article, which is more detailed and lengthy than the section in the main Jerusalem article. I'll work on a footnote for the Pact of Omar though to clarify the matter and the questionable time frame of its creation. -- tariqabjotu 02:03, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The footnote on the Pact of Umar is even more POV (and, to put it bluntly, false) than the body of the article. In fact, it is the consensus opinion of modern historians that the Pact of Umar is a work of later Muslim jurists. If anything, the article seems to be getting worse. Beit Or 19:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Could you write something about it yourself for the article? SlimVirgin (talk) 19:21, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Will you give me a barnstar for that? :) Seriously, no, I'm not going to rewrite the lead and the whole history section. Beit Or 19:32, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
No one asked you to; we're talking about the Pact of Omar piece. I too am itching to see your take on the matter. -- tariqabjotu 19:40, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Whether anyone asked me or not, this is what the article needs. Beit Or 19:49, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
So you're not willing to propose a new wording for the footnote that you feel is neutral? I guess there's nothing else to see here then... -- tariqabjotu 19:52, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
One either reivews the article or makes substantial edits to it, but not both. At least, this is my understanding of the process. It is not appropriate to tell commenters on FAC "then go fix it if you care". In adidtion, I wasn't talking about the footnote only; both the body text and the footnote are unacceptable, and the latter has made the former look even worse. Beit Or 19:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
If you don't want to write something in the article, you can propose something either here or on the talk page. You can't just say the footnote is POV, but then withhold further rationale. The footnote clearly notes the timing of the Pact of Umar is debatable; one can easily find sources that support either position. What more do you want? -- tariqabjotu 20:03, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Your comment above has misrepresented my arguments. I did not "withhold further rationale", but provided it, several times by now. It is a false and unattributed idea that the timing of the Pact of Umar is debatable; the consensus opinion of modern historians is that Umar never signed such a document. I can't be more clear than that. Beit Or 20:11, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The note doesn't say he did. Everyone agrees that in its current form, it did not originate with him. But Marcus says that in some (more limited) form it probably existed in his lifetime, and many point out that the pact is very similar to the earlier Persian law. Thus (say the experts cited in the note) it is reasonable to believe that the pact was already established practice in some form. nadav 00:18, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
If by unattributed you mean sourced, then yes, that is correct. -- tariqabjotu 20:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
We're all editors here, Beit Or. We don't have one class of reviewers, and another class that does the actual work. If you want to see the section you complained about improved, and you know what you're talking about, by all means go ahead and improve it, or place your suggested text on the talk page for discussion. Can you give some sources for "the consensus opinion of modern historians is that Umar never signed such a document"? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
  • comment images- can we get more images of the city, especially the modern city into this article. I think we could have a few more images of famous landmarks in the old city, but we need more images of the modern city here.--Sefringle 04:01, 20 April 2007 (UTC)