Are you trying to deliberately sabotage the mediation before it has begun by including someone who "participated" with only 1 talk page comment in 5 months (Nickhh in December 2007), and including an IP editor who has made fewer than 20 edits in his entire editing history? 
Thanks for reminding me that - in addition to commenting yesterday, before the mediation was requested - I had actually participated in discussions briefly back in December as well (with two comments as it happens). Hence my post on the main project page is slightly inaccurate. I'm curious as well to uncover what you mean by suggesting that the addition of my name amounts to deliberate "sabotage" on Pedro's part. --Nickhh (talk) 16:56, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
You've made 1 comment five months ago and another 2 yesterday and already you're trying to turn the mediation into a WP:BATTLE and help Pedro Gonnet derail discussions.
You've clearly not been seriously involved in this mediation and the word 'sabotage' comes up when both uninvolved editors and an anon. IP with less than 20 edits are added into the mediation by the one person insisting on a WP:POINT for a full 5 months.
I prefer resolving the content issue than play games with Pedro Gonnet and whichever method he decides could make the mediation less productive (as occurred in the previous MEDCAB).
Cordially, JaakobouChalk Talk 17:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC) clarify 17:50, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
All of these accusations are way off beam and don't suggest that you are taking on mediation in the right spirit. To add to accusations of "sabotage", you're now accusing me of starting a "battle" over this and helping the "derailment" of discussions. Where? In what way have I done any of these things, either on the article talk page or here? I hope the mediator knows what they're taking on. --Nickhh (talk) 18:08, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I can't see the addition of anon. IPs with 20 edits as "the right spirit" to resolving 5 months of conversations.
Is there any special reason you believe this is helpful?
Cordially, JaakobouChalk Talk 21:45, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Will it make you all happy if I (188.8.131.52) decide to log in? I was involved before christmas, but then went away whilst I was moving house. Hello again. Timb0h (talk) 22:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for approving me as mediator in the Gilad Shalit case. I would like to begin with a short summary from each of you as to your views of the situation. Be as brief as possible, but it is important to get your current views down.
My part to play in this is rather small. The article Gilad Shalit was the first case I ever picked up at the mediation cabal, so I apologize to the two parties (Jaakobou and Pedrito) for my sub-par performance; I had not realized that I-P articles had many conflicts, just to prove my naivete. I am a bit hurt that Pedrito said the medcab case was handled poorly and off-track: after asking him to join IRC alongside Jaakobou, and waiting 2 weeks for Pedrito to contribute, I had to close the case. On the other hand, my understanding of certain policies and guidelines was not what it should have been to take on such a case. I agree entirely that the discussion was ridiculously unstructured, but didn't look that way (to me) since it was, after all, my structure ;-) But medcab is volunteer driven, mind, so we get a lot of newcomers who make mistakes
The dispute, at first, appeared to be over the use of "hostage" or "captive" to describe Schalit's status in the lead of the article. Pedrito contended that "captive" was the word most used in sources, and Jaakabou contended it was "hostage". This was the core of the content dispute (the real core, I believe, was assumptions of bad faith. I did not know how to work that angle, and wish that I could have). Both had evidence to back up each claim. Jaakobou contended that Pedrito's research on reliable sources using "captive" amounted to original research, and (to paraphrase) besides, most news agencies would call him a "hostage" after the abduction and demands. I came up with a compromise, which was built upon by Jaakobou. Pedrito was not there to offer his opinions (he had stuff to take care of off-wiki), so I put the case on hold and eventually closed it (compromise offer wasn't taken - in part because I was getting a little too involved myself with the offer). Edit wars had not broken out since I closed, though; it's a low-traffic area to begin with.
A little while ago (wiki-relative), the Schalit article was the focus of various kinds of edit-warring and talking-past-each-other-talk-page-talk. I did very little there, but it wasn't soon after that Jaakobou told me about the medcom request, and suspected meats/socks were pursuing him. I have no doubt that others suspect Jaak is somehow a puppetmaster, too, though. I believe neither. This is very heavy POV (emotionally, etc) territory, so I tend not to over-worry about meatpuppets. It's hard to tell who actually shares the same interest, and who's recruited to share it.
I apologize that most of what I observe is behavioral (POV on both sides, ABF, yadayadayada), but I was very new and that was all, relatively speaking, a long time ago.
Thank you for a frank and, evidently, heart-felt statement. Is it reasonable to conclude that you have learned a great deal from your experience? I was interested in your observation about a lack of good faith. That would certainly hinder collaboration. It will be interesting to hear what others have to say about this. Perhaps they could pick up on the question: How can we turn it around so that participants are able to AGF? Sunray (talk) 03:02, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I fear both editors are waiting for the other to release their statement before they release theirs. Almost like a game of chess, except whoever plays white feels they'll be at a disadvantage, because black will attack the piece instead of contributing to the game... Xavexgoem (talk) 11:00, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
My counterparts claimed that 'Prisoner of War' is of equal value to 'hostage'. I was hoping they will come up with something other than Sunray's finding of Abu Mujahid to support this statment. Anyways, I'll post some notes on the weekend for sure. JaakobouChalk Talk 11:55, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
As noted on the main page I do not really want to get involved in a long debate on this, but would like to reiterate a quick couple of points at the outset and leave it at that. I will accept whatever decision is made further down the line. Although it is frustrating to participants (and will often appear farcical to outsiders) when disputes break out over single words, at the same time language can be very loaded. Individual words can confer legitimacy onto actions, or equally connote disapproval. My view would be that in this case, as in all others, the lead paragraph at least should avoid any words such as arrested, abducted or kidnapped; or prisoner of war, hostage or whatever, and stick to the most obviously neutral language - that is, Gilad Shalit was "captured" or "taken" and is "being held". Further discussion, about the precise status afforded to a soldier in a conflict zone being held by a non-state group can be held further down if necessary. References to the media don't help either, as everyone can no doubt find examples of news media using their preferred terminology or descriptive phrase. Unless there's clear consensus across a range of mainstream media, official and academic sources about any of the more loaded terminology, it shouldn't go in the lead. --Nickhh (talk) 12:30, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I know I wasn't going to add anything here, but I did want to clarify this original point of mine, as Jaakobou appears to have misunderstood me slightly. When I said the terms "hostage" or "prisoner of war" were loaded, I was merely presenting them as the kind of words that made implicit judgements as to the legitimacy of the action. It had nothing to do with how often the terms have been used or not in this situation. As it happens I acknowledge that "prisoner of war" hasn't been used that often, but equally "hostage" in no way appears to be an agreed description. That was my original point - keep the lead at least minimal and neutral, unless there is a clear consensus among reliable sources in favour of a more non-neutral phrasing. --Nickhh (talk) 10:45, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's clear. If you do decide to participate more actively, please join the discussion based on the Action Plan below. Sunray (talk) 18:31, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
As only two participants have spoken above, it seems reasonable to conclude that folks believe that they have pretty much stated their case in the RfC and the MedCab case. Would it also be correct to assume that participants are somewhat burnt out with the discussion?
Despite much discussion and review of sources, consensus does not exist for the use of the term "hostage" in the lead.
Nickhh has suggested that relatively neutral words be used in the lead. How does this strike you?
Some editing of the section on International Law within the past ten days has begun to address the synthesis problem. However, the first paragraph of that section is lacking in citations. How could this section be improved?
Are there other observations that should be mentioned? One thing that may surprise participants is that there seem to be real areas of agreement in the discussions thus far. Also, despite some flare-ups and edit waring, participants have generally shown a resolve to discuss things reasonably. Comments? Sunray (talk) 07:36, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Sunray! Sorry for not having participated yet. Your assumption regarding burn-out is correct -- this issue is somewhat low on my priorities list, since so far it has only been a source of aggravation. I have been preparing a statement along the lines of what I said in the MedCab case, but have been too busy to wrap it up and post it. If all goes well, it should appear here sometime soon. After today, though, I will be unavailable until Tuesday. Cheers and thanks! pedrito - talk - 30.05.2008 07:49
It has been over a month since this went to MedCab, so another few days, probably won't hurt. However, to get this done, we will need some people who agree to work on it. Let's just assume that we know (from RfC and MedCab) what the issues are. Check out my summary, above. What else needs to be added? I've also suggested some areas of agreement, below. Perhaps you (I mean all participants) could begin there. What can we work on together? How about starting with an agenda? Sunray (talk) 16:11, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Participants agree that the words "captive" and "hostage" can be used in the article (though with conditions and sparingly).
Despite lack of agreement regarding use of "hostage" in the lead, no one seems to disagree with the possibility of a section on terminology that discusses the use of terms such as "hostage" and "prisoner of war." (The International Law section has begun to address this).
Each of the participants has agreed (at one point or another) that it is o.k. to say that Shalit was abducted.
Sounds ok to me. I will post a statement as soon as possible (extremely busy these days), although, in the meantime - I would like to see a collection of the sources that use POW in regard to Gilad Shalit. JaakobouChalk Talk 04:46, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Evidently each of these expressions has an ideological connotation. "Prisoner of war" was used by Hamas  and has been used to discuss the ideological aspects of the incident. . In the RfC, Drork discussed POW status under International Law. Subsequently the "International Law" section was added to the article. Sunray (talk) 14:52, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not suggesting that the term be used (beyond the current discussion in the Int Law section of the article)—only that it is a term for discussion in this mediation (since it has been discussed by participants). Sunray (talk) 15:22, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
No worries. I Was only inquiring to who else used the term other tha Abu Mujahid. JaakobouChalk Talk 15:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
There is no consensus to use the term POW generally in the article except in a section that discusses the various terms and how they might be used. The term appears twice in the article: Once, in the "Diplomatic efforts" section as a report that Abu Mujahed, spokesman for the captors, said:"He is being treated in accordance with Islamic values regulating the treatment of prisoners of war." The second use is in the International Law section and discusses Geneva Conventions. What are the concerns, if any, regarding these two uses? Sunray (talk) 16:39, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Small comment - Mujahid's definition of "Islamic Prisoner of War" is not nearly the same as the international definition of the term. Still, at no point did I raise an objection to adding his position into the article. However, the comparison made by Nickhh to 'hostage' seems false as long as the only source for the comparison is Mr. Mujahid vs. 15 reliable sources. JaakobouChalk Talk 16:54, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we should discuss the use of the term "hostage" now. Jaakobou and Drork have spoken in favour of its use. Timboh, Nickh and Pedrito have expressed some concerns about its general use. Simply put, what are the arguments for or against its use? Sunray (talk) 19:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Argument for 1: Only concise term to describe the hostage situation. i.e. a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands - Merriam-Webster.
I'm afraid my time is very limited due to several activities I'm involved in, some of them are related to Wikimedia and the Wikimania convention in Alexandria. Therefore, it is only now that I managed to read the discussion, and I couldn't read all statements thoroughly. However, since I was part of the original debate over the word "hostage", I would like to comment about this issue. Wikipedia rightfully encourages the use of references to back statements and prevent original research which is beyond Wikipedia's scope, however this rule is not to be followed blindly, nor override the common sense. There are facts on the ground that are not denied about Gilad Schalit's condition: he was taken against his will from within Israel, after his unit was attacked with no previous provocation. He is currently held in Gaza against his will. No one knows where he is held or when he will be released. The Red Cross was not allowed to visit him, nor can he contact his family regularly. The people who hold him say they will release him only if Israel submit to their demands. The most accurate word in the English language to describe this situation is "hostage". Any other word would simply be a euphemism. Wikipedia uses a neutral point of view, but it does not resort to euphemisms - there is a huge difference. Just to give you the other side of the coin - Israel held several Lebanese hostages in the past (as far as I know they were all released eventually), so this hostage holding tactic was used by Israel as it used today by Hamas and other parties in the region. This way or another, Gilad Schalit is currently a hostage according to the most commonly used criteria. If the word implies a criminal activity, then I am afraid this is a truth we cannot ignore. Of course Wikipedia is not a tribunal, but holding a person against his will in order to force another side to submit to certain demands is considered by many people a crime, and this is the case here too. Once again, if it soothes someone's mind, I can say that this sort of activity, with all the implication it might have, was carried out by Israel too in the past. That's the truth, don't ignore it. NPOV doesn't mean hiding the truth. DrorK (talk) 15:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Preferred term: User:Jaakobou has presented a number of sources using the word "hostage" in several different contexts, yet he has been unable to show, as of yet, that this term is in fact the preferred term. I don't deny that some -- even serious -- media have used the term. What I do deny, however, is that this is the preferred language.
Inflammatory language: In general, Wikipedia frowns upon the use of inflated and/or inflammatory language. The term hostage implies criminal activity, yet all actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict state that they are at War, for which other rules apply -- i.e. capturing an enemy soldier while on active military duty in a conflict zone is not a crime.
Sources/Media: User:Jaakobou's favourite source, the CNN-article , uses the term hostage only in the lead. A quick check on Google News shows that only 18 of 242 articles on Gilad Shalit use the term "hostage" (131 use the term "prisoner", 47 the term "abducted"). In general, the media try to avoid inflated or inflammatory language, as is best exemplified by the BBC's World News editor, Jon Williams .
Burden of proof: For some incredibly odd reason I have found myself in the strange position of having to prove the negative of User:Jaakobou's claims. As a reminder to everybody here, this dispute started when, in a discussion on Talk:Israeli-Palestinian conflict regarding the same terminology, User:Jaakobou went to Gilad Shalit and inserted the term "hostage" to score in a discussion there (see , ). Since it is he who inserted the term "hostage" over "POW", it is up to him to prove that the former term is in fact preferred (i.e. not just used in some sources, but in most sources), and not up to me to prove the opposite.
In the MedCab case, these issues all got blurred, especially the burden-of-proof issue. I hope that in this mediation, the discussion will be more focussed, addressing these points one by one.
As already stated in the MedCab case, my standing on this issue is:
The word "hostage" is too inflammatory and WP:UNDUE for the lead.
If the issue is notable enough and there are enough reliable sources, Gilad Shalit's status as a hostage can be brought up elsewhere in the article, i.e. in a section regarding legal issues in general (there are much more interesting issues then just nomenclature, mind you).
So, may the case begin :) Cheers, pedrito - talk - 10.06.2008 06:45
Very nice summaries! I would like to try something that has been used in outside dispute resolution sessions. Would each of you now, please, summarize the other's argument? Sunray (talk) 06:59, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Sure, good idea. I will reduce myself to summarizing User:Jaakobou's statements alone:
"hostage", per its definition, fits the description of Gilad Shalit,
Some news sources use this term.
Both are correct, however none really make a case... "Hostage" may be correct, but it is inflammatory (as per User:Nickhh's comments above and in the spirit of WP:NPOV and WP:WTA) and "some" reputable sources using it in headlines does not make it a preferred term (as per WP:UNDUE).
Did I miss anything? Cheers, pedrito - talk - 10.06.2008 07:36
Your summary seems to encompass two major points that have been raised by Jaakabou. I would suggest that you need not counter it right now (Let's get his summary of what you have said first). What do you think J's interest is? Sunray (talk) 17:16, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
[With respect to Jaakabou's summary of my views, below]: The wording I suggested was "captive", which is used in most media reports. Cheers, pedrito - talk - 12.06.2008 14:03
Thank you for clarifying that. I've taken a first crack at identifying common interests. I've also suggested a plan of action. Would you be willing to work on that?Sunray (talk) 15:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Argument for 1: Only concise term to describe the hostage situation. i.e. a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands - Merriam-Webster. There are no other English terms I'm aware of to accurately describe the "kidnapping for ransom" situation.
The term POW is not a "loaded point of view" equivalent for Hostage. The first was only used, best I'm aware, by Abu Mujahid of Hamas, while the latter is used by a plethora of high-quality reliable sources. (see also #Arguments for inclusion of "Hostage" above) However, I am willing to compromise writing down the fringe Hamas perspective -- with reasonable weight -- in the article, adding that Hamas uses the "POW" term in relation their war with Israel while using Palestinian militants imprisoned by Israel as a point of reference (possibly on the Gilad_Shalit#Capture section). I think that is a fair compromise suggestion regarding the concern that "hostage" could confer illegitimacy onto the kidnapping activity.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 18:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The term "hostage" is the only one to refer to the "kidnapping for ransom" situation and is used by a plethora of high-quality reliable sources both in body and lead. (see also #Arguments for inclusion of "Hostage" above)
It is the "Preferred" term as it is the only correct English term for the hostage situation. I fail to see the only descriptive as "Inflammatory" since it describes the situation without embellishing it. The term derives it's "criminal activity" implication because it is a tactic used predominantly by criminal bodies - legitimate bodies usually resort to other methods of persuasion where needed (such as diplomacy). However, there are no special apprehensions from using the term when legitimate bodies apply it.
There is, best I'm aware, no "Reciprocity" in comparison with the Palestinian militants imprisoned in Israel. Israel imprisons, without any demands from the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian militants so that they won't commit acts of violence against Israeli civilians -- a large chunk of them taken into custody after harming/killing Israelis. Shalit was not in pursuit of harming Palestinian civilians but was rather on guard duty and was taken with ransom demands. i.e. taken hostage. There is no room for "Reciprocity" because Israel does not take Palestinian militants pushing the Palestinian Authority to accept it's hostage demands.
I am willing consider any other terminology that might be suggested to describe the hostage situation. I believe this is a fair compromise suggestion in regards to the concern that "hostage" is not a preferred term.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 18:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
'Burden of proof' side note: There seems to be no reliable sources which support the POW phrasing which would automatically suggest the term "hostage", which can be cited to many high quality sources, is preferable to it. JaakobouChalk Talk 18:16, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The following are samples of Pedrito violations of WP:SOAP during this MEDCOM process.
Interestingly enough, the term "hostage" is not applied when referring to Palestinian Prisoners... held in military prisons, under administrative detention (no trial), are subject to harsh interrogation techniques considered torture by the United Nations - Pedrito, 06:45, 10 June 2008
The fact that he is being used as a bartering chip doesn't make him a hostage either, since Israel does this regularly with it's own Palestinian prisoners without being accused itself of holding hostages. Pedrito, 15:57, 4 July 2008
Note A:Hostage - a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands - Merriam-Webster.
Inflammatory language: The term hostage implies criminal activity while Hamas is at war with Israel. i.e. capturing active enemy soldiers in a conflict zone is not a crime.
Reciprocity: The term "hostage" is not applied when referring to heavily tortured Palestinian Prisoners who are used as bargaining chips.
Sources/Media: Jaakobou's favourite source uses the term hostage only in the lead. A Google News check shows "prisoner" and "abducted" are used more often than "hostage". The media tries to avoid inflated or inflammatory language as did Jon Williams while explaining that "kidnapped" is a term used for civilians and "captured" is a term used by the BBC to describe Shalit's cross border abduction.
Undue weight: Saying Gilad Shalit to be a hostage merits mention as a minority view and should not be used prominently in the lead.
Burden of proof: This dispute started when Jaakobou inserted the term "hostage". Since it is he who inserted the term "hostage" over "POW", it is up to him to prove that the former term is in fact preferred.
Jaakobou: Would you be able to summarize what Pedrito is saying? Sunray (talk) 23:39, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I've addressed Pedrito's statement as much as possible on my notes above (i.e. #Notes regarding statement by Pedrito), taking a summerised look into his points and also giving a response. Is there a point which Pedrito raised as concern that you believe I have missed in my notes?
Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see your summary of his views. It seems to me that you are not summarizing, but rather disputing what he says. The reason for asking for this summary is to see whether you clearly understand each other's perspective. Then if we can discuss the underlying interests you both have, we may be able to find some common ground. It is not easy to paraphrase what someone is saying when you disagree, but if you both can do it, I think it might be helpful. Would you be willing to write a brief summary of P's views (without a rejoinder? Sunray (talk) 06:05, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I realize that I misread Jaakobou's summary of Pedrito's views. It was actually a perfectly good summary. I fear that my error may have contributed to an impasse. My apologies. I will try to address the issue in another way below. Sunray (talk) 18:10, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
It is not my place to comment on Pedrito's interests. However, I believe the raised arguments and the representation of my arguments are primarily false which would certainly lead to conflict without a third party either agreeing that they are false or suggesting I am incorrect in my assessment and noting that they are correct. JaakobouChalk Talk 08:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this summary. I agree that it is not necessary that you summarize Pedrito's interests. If you were to do that it would be important to assume good faith. I've started to summarize some common interests below. It is very general at the moment, but it would be great if we could begin there. Would you be able to take a close look at it? Sunray (talk) 14:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
The participants have each made summary of how they see the dispute. These summaries will be useful as we move forward.
One obstacle to a negotiated agreement is the fact that they have each honed their position to a fine point. They are articulate and have done considerable research. We need to look for ways for them to collaborate.
I had hoped for a summary from each of what the other is saying. They seem to be having a hard time doing that without, at the same time advancing their own point of view (which is entirely understandable under the circumstances, given the length of time they have been discussing it).
I will wait for a bit longer to see if they are willing to work on that some more (I've asked a specific question of each).
I will then summarize, what I see as common interests. Sunray (talk) 01:25, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
There is a symmetry to the views expressed by Pedrito and Jakabou they are like Yin and Yang. If this is the case, each of their views may be expressed in the article and held together in dynamic tension. WP would certainly benefit from a more nuanced article if this were the case. So, I wonder, how could we explore this possibility.
all participants care about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict
all participants are skilled at using language and getting it right.
the "Areas of agreement" section, states:
Despite lack of agreement regarding use of "hostage" in the lead, no one seems to disagree with the possibility of a section on terminology that discusses the use of terms such as "hostage" and "prisoner of war." (The International Law section has begun to address this).
Shalit has been held captive since the day of his abduction. Some Palestinians have stated that Shalit, as a captured combatant, is being held as a prisoner of war not a hostage by Hamas, as part of a war against foreign occupation. Guerrilla wars against "alien occupation" and "colonial domination" are covered by Protocol 2 Additional to the Geneva Conventions. Israel, the USA and many other states have not ratified this Protocol, the USA citing provisons protecting fighters not wearing uniforms which they argued endanger civilians.
However, it has been argued that Shalit is a hostage since ransom demands have been made for information regarding Shalit,, and Hamas is negotiating his possible release with Israel; demanding in exchange multiple high-level Palestinian prisoners who were involved in attacks on Israelis. Being held against his will for the purpose of ransom confirms Shalit's status to be that of a hostage.
On 25 June, 2007, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem issued a statement that "International humanitarian law absolutely prohibits taking and holding a person by force in order to compel the enemy to meet certain demands" and thus is considered by them a war crime. Israel has not requested that the Security Council consider if a war crime is involved, and Israeli courts generally consider all acts of violence by Palestinian fighters to be criminal activity.
That same day, a year after Shalit's abduction, the military wing of Hamas,Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released an audio tape on which Shalit is heard sending a message to his family, friends and the Israeli government and army and appealing for a prisoner-swap deal to be reached to secure his release. Shalit's letter states that his medical condition is deteriorating and that he requires immediate and lengthy hospitalization. The tape was the first sign of life from Shalit, released by his captors, since his capture a year earlier.
If you agree with this plan of action, what would you be willing to work on (with reference to the five points listed above)? Sunray (talk) 14:48, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm willing to cooperate with you but I really feel that there's absolutely no need to open these irrelevant issues here. We've been "debating" the hostage issue for months and the international section was supposedly an agreed compromise but it's clearly no longer an agreed upon solution. It would be best to focus on the main problem rather than expand it to side-issues which are not at the core of the problem. I request that you re-read my comment to you and suggest a possible poll by the MEDCOM members on my raised concern. (from 08:11, 12 June 2008)
An observation: My presence here, on behalf of MedCom, is not to find the right words to use, but rather to help editors work together for the good of the encyclopedia.
I had hoped to find something that we could work on collaboratively. How is that a side issue? Sunray (talk) 05:32, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
That sounds pretty positive in scope. However, I would like to make a small suggestion, that one main purpose of a mediation is to help editors work together on the specific issues which are in conflict. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, though while it may sound broad, it needs to be read in conjunction with the "Agenda," and "Action Plan" identified above. Note that the Action Plan modifies the order of the Agenda slightly in order to begin working on a topic that will possibly generate some agreement. Sunray (talk) 18:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Recently Jaakabou moved comments by Nickhh from one section to another. I'm fine with that, but would like to have a clear understanding between the various participants on how the page will be managed. My recommendation would be that decisions be made by consensus. So if anyone has a concern about the page format, or moves of text, or other administrative matters, please feel free to discuss them here. Sunray (talk) 18:29, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I am concerned that my suggestion notes, supported by Sm8900, have been ignored. I'd be interested in your perspective as mediator regarding how we can resolve my concerns that Pedrito's arguments have been primarily false. If you can't comment on the raised arguments, then we need to find some mediation process where others (i.e. uninvovled editors) could. I'd suggest we raise this issue to the Mediation Committee to see what they suggest. Would this be ok with you Sunray? JaakobouChalk Talk 06:34, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
You have called for involvement by other members of the Mediation Committee. What would you wish to accomplish by this? Sunray (talk) 10:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I have left a note for Pedrito on his talk page requesting his involvement in this mediation. I am still prepared to deal with any matter that he and Jaakobou agree to discuss that is pertinent to this mediation. Sunray (talk) 20:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I suggest we return to the use of the word "hostage" as it is the first issue identified by each of you. As the format above proved difficult for some (i.e. me), perhaps we could keep all of the discussion in one section. Could we now discuss comments for and against the use of the term?
Jaakabou has said that he believes that "hostage" is a valid description of the situation, based on word definition, and that the term has been used by a variety of reliable sources.
Pedrito has said that he doubts that "hostage" is the preferred term and finds its use is inflammatory. He suggests that there should be reciprocity in the use of terms and questions J's sources. He also says that using the term in the lead gives it undue weight.
With respect to P's first two points, Jaakabou has replied that: 1) based on the dictionary definition, "hostage" is the preferred term, and, 2) reciprocity is not a concern, since only one Palistinian source has used the term "prisoner of war."
Pedrito: Would you be willing to respond to Jaakabou's comments? How can we determine preferred terminology? Sunray (talk) 18:56, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi Sunray, and thanks for your patience! If I may, I'll address your two points directly:
Preferred term: There seems to be some misunderstanding here, as this initially meant the term preferred by the media. I don't disagree that the dictionary definition is accurate, but that is also the case for many inflammatory expressions that are not generally used in the media.
Reciprocity: Here again there seems to be some misunderstanding. The alternative to "hostage" has always been, since the beginning of this debate, "captive", and not "prisoner of war", "guest" or whatever.
For me the issue is still very simple: the term "hostage" is inflammatory and not the preferred term. The alternative, which is used widely (more widely than "hostage") is "captive". This is not a matter of taste, but of Wikipedia policy. If anybody wants to add a section on international law, they should do so, but it must adhere to Wikipedia standards (e.g.WP:V, WP:SYNTH, WP:NOTABILITY...), but this is a separate issue and should not be treated with the terminology issue.
I am a bit disappointed that instead of addressing these issues directly, the discussion has been deflected towards straw men arguments such as dictionary definitions and the term "prisoner of war". Let's stay focussed, shall we?
I don't believe it was ascertained that 'hostage' is indeed inflammatory, certainly not by use of reliable sourcing. Until such time as this WP:OR is given some reliable source weight, we have evidence to the opposite as some news outlets who make a point of not using 'terrorist' when a Palestinian is involved (e.g. BBC, Reuters) have used 'hostage'. These two and many other reliable, non partisan sources as well have all used 'hostage' so the claim that this word is inflammatory has absolutely no footing.
I reiterate that I've made a compromise suggestion above.
Sure, use the word "captive". This is what I have been saying all along. pedrito - talk - 03.07.2008 09:25
You have both made useful comments, I think. The tone is generally civil. You have both indicated that you want to discuss the issues related to finding the best terminology (for describing Shalit's situation) to use in the article. Issues:
Pedrito has said that by "preferred term" he means the term preferred by the media. Question for Pedrito: Why is the term "hostage" inflammatory?
"Captive" has been suggested by Pedrito as the best alternative to "hostage." Question for Jaakobou: What are the considerations for using the word captive?
I very much appreciate the effort you are both making and am willing to continue here as long as it seems productive. Sunray (talk) 15:50, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick answer and I'm off for the weekend... I consider "hostage" to be inflammatory because it implies only criminal activity. Gilad Shalit was not an innocent civilian, he was a soldier captured during active duty. Given the circumstances, his capture is a perfectly acceptable act of war. Of course, he's not being held under any conditions acceptable to the Red Cross or anybody else, but that doesn't make him a hostage. The fact that he is being used as a bartering chip doesn't make him a hostage either, since Israel does this regularly with it's own Palestinian prisoners without being accused itself of holding hostages.
To make it short: "hostage" implies purely criminal activity, whereas this was an act of war.
Pedrito says that the term "hostage" implies a crime. How would that be determined? Sunray (talk) 05:54, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Normally in the case of a crime, there is a charge laid. This doesn't seem to be the case here. So who decides on the use of the term? Sunray (talk) 05:13, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
This discussion seems quite pointless. Pedrito doesn't understand the English principals of language explained on the differences between 'captive' and 'hostage' and makes very offensive soapbox claims about Israel for his justification to have the discussion stuck. I have never seen such an overwhelming case of clear cut reliable sources + proper English definition vs. fringe theory being stuck for so long and part of that can be attributed to the lax mediation process. JaakobouChalk Talk 10:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
You have lost me on this one. What soapbox claim are you referring to? As far as your comments about the mediation process. I suppose that is directed at me. However, it takes three to make a mediation. Perhaps if we all put more effort into this it would go better. Sunray (talk) 06:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jack, go read WP:CIV and come back when you've calmed-down a notch. If you're going to accuse me of WP:SOAP, please back this up with some quotes or strike it out again.
To answer your question, Sunray, I'm talking about the implications of the word. "Hostage" is harsh and inflammatory language and that is why most media sources use "captive". We should also be using "captive", as it is used for people held in any military conflict.
I am still waiting for Jack to show that "hostage" is preferred over "captive" (and not some straw-man term) or for some justification as to why it is does not matter that the term is inflammatory, non-reciprocal or non-preferred.
Pedrito, thank you for your response. Would you be able to participate more actively now? Jaakoubou, would you be willing to provide some references in response to Pedrito's comment about which term is preferred by the media? Sunray (talk) 06:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
unfortunately, I'll be leaving on vacation soon and will not be able to check here regularly. My participation has been weak since, as I have stated several times, I am in the odd position of having to defend the word "captive" when it was in fact the status quo before Jack inserted "hostage" (the "burden of proof"-thing).
Instead of asking him for some references (he will provide the few he has used over and over once again), why don't you ask him to demonstrate that this is the term preferred by the media? That would pretty-much settle it, don't you think? If he can show this (unequivocally, non-editorial or headline material in Lexis/Nexis or Google news search kind of thing), then there is no case against using "hostage".
I've added a #Soapboxing section. As an important note; Although these tactics could very well be re-employed in the future, Israel does not take hostages or torture suicide bombers and their senders. Regardless, even if she were to take hostages - that has zero connection with Gilad shalit being a hostage due to the reasoning of his abduction (i.e. taken by force to secure the taker's demands - Merriam-Webster). JaakobouChalk Talk 10:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Jack, I won't get into your comments regarding torturing dead people (suicide bombers are, per definition, dead on arrival). Seriously, taking two heavily-parsed statements I made more than two weeks ago to get all upset about now is just more WP:LAWYER than I can handle.
Can you show that "hostage" is preferred over "captive" in the media and other WP:RS? If not, then you have absolutely no case to argue here. Cheers, pedrito - talk - 18.07.2008 10:26
I've already explained multiple times that 'captured' refers to the abduction and 'hostage' refers to the ransom demands (see: #Notes regarding statement by Pedrito). This was also illustrated with Merriam-Webster. The assertion that it is not the preferred term has no footing and is based on poorly conducted original research and the non-neutral point of view that because Israel does X and Y then Hamas can't be accused of anything that sounds criminal.
Off-topic note - Hussam Abdo and Wafa al-Biss were not dead on arrival and it would be best if there will be no more spreading of false information and original research.
Cordially, JaakobouChalk Talk 11:16, 18 July 2008 (UTC) added link. 11:20, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
No, not "captured", "captive". And stop harping on off-topic distractions. The term "captive", which is used in the exact same way as "hostage", is used more often by WP:RSs. Or can you prove otherwise? Cheers, pedrito - talk - 18.07.2008 11:27
I'd be willing to reconsider my position (about basic English principles) if there would be found a single reliable source that uses the word "captive" in the context of ransom demands. JaakobouChalk Talk 11:39, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
No. You know you can't show squat so now you're moving the goalposts. I'll wait for our mediator to weigh-in. Cheers, pedrito - talk - 18.07.2008 12:10
It seems to be to be a rather narrow criterion when you add "in the context of ransom demands." Since we are talking about a general descriptor, I would like to get an idea of the way that the status of Shalit is described generally. Sunray (talk) 14:58, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be useful, if we are to continue, for participants to refrain from making accusations about each other and adding barbed comments ("soapboxing," "harping," etc.).
As to whether we continue: Pedrito observes that his participation has not been active. What I would like to know is whether we should adjourn until he returns from vacation. I would only support this is both of you wish to continue and will participate actively and civilly. Sunray (talk) 14:58, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm all for continuing this after my vacations. I will post here as soon as I am back. I'm sure Jack will have sufficient time during my absence to attempt to show that "captive" is not preferred over "hostage" and I am looking forward to his reply on that specific question.
As for keeping the discussion civil, one big step would be to stay focused and stop trying to accuse the other party of violations or infractions that have nothing to do with the case at hand. If we manage to stay focussed, this could be resolved rather quickly.
Cheers and thanks for your patience, pedrito - talk - 18.07.2008 15:08
If we could establish a general rule that on this page comments about each other are to be avoided, I think that might help. We need to confine comments to the issue at hand.
While we are waiting to hear from Jaakoubou, Pedrito, please tell us how long you are planning to be away. Sunray (talk) 15:36, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree to the rule and will be away for at most three weeks. Cheers, pedrito - talk - 18.07.2008 15:44
I have been editing Wikipedia for over five years albeit from different accounts, and would question the veracity of this debate and whether a case for mediation should have ever been opened at all.
In the good old days when policies and guidelines were still being formulated, Wikipedians went about their work just as well as they do today, but with more sensibility it seems. An Rfm would never have been opened to debate the inclusion or exclusion of a word in the said article that is easily comprehendable and/or explained sufficiently in any good dictionary. There are so many policies, guidelines and guides of guidelines, and I could name at least 20 of them that would cover this case, but for now I would say this is a case of WP:SNOW.
Can the mediator please arrive by a decision that will not further deride this case.
Thank you for your comments. It seems to me that Wikipedia has changed considerably in the past five years. In any event, this case was accepted by the Mediation Committee for mediation. I think if you look more deeply into it, you will find that it is about much more than one word. Sunray (talk) 17:13, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
That is incorrect. The mediation was opened due to a few anonnymous editors and Pedrito arguing the validity of the word 'hostage' on the Gilad Shalit page. JaakobouChalk Talk 19:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Sunray, with all due respect to you and your new role as mediator, this Rfm should not have been submitted, nor should it have been accepted by the MC, and with no immediate decision forthcoming should be speedily repealed. Whilst more than the one word is currently being debated on the talk page, the actual Rfm is based on that one word alone. This is clearly WP:SNOW. ephix (talk) 20:25, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
From the Request for mediation/Gilad Shalit project page:
"Additional issues to be mediated
... In my view though the issue is a bit more subtle than whether the word hostage in used in the article - it's about using the word "hostage", as a definitive description of his status, in the lead to the article. I haven't seen anyone objecting to the use of the word elsewhere in the page, although presumably the involved parties will clarify that themselves. --Nickhh (talk) 07:01, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Additional issue 2 - The possible addition of a section citing the different terminology that has been used by different articles in the media. Possibly as a replacement to terms that are not the preferred terminology from being used in the lead in paragraph Timb0h (talk) 08:11, 18 April 2008 (UTC)"
Certainly if one or both of the parties refuse to mediate in good faith, there will not be a snowball's chance of getting much further. However, Pedrito has indicated a willingness to continue. I am currently waiting to see if Jaakoubou is willing to engage in serious mediation. Sunray (talk) 03:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
(Note to Sunray:) Despite the copy-paste from the project page, your assessment regarding the topic of mediation is still incorrect. Nickhh and Timb0, who gave a total combined contribution of approx 10 comments to the entire 8+ months of discussion may have tagged material which they wanted resolved to the mediation. However, it was not the reason the mediation was opened. JaakobouChalk Talk 13:28, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
You seem to overlook two facts here: 1) Pedrito is a central party to the mediation and he believes that there is at least one other important issue. 2) With respect to Timb0h and Nickhh, they remain parties to the mediation, albiet not in a central role. However, as participants, their views and concerns need to be taken into account. Sunray (talk) 18:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Just to be clear. It seems as though you are saying that I have not engaged the mediation in a serious fashion(?). What are you basing this assertion upon? JaakobouChalk Talk 13:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
This is all a sideshow, IMO. You, (Jaakoubou) have been trying to get an outside viewpoint to tell me what to do. You have put out requests to the Mediation Committee and in various other forums. The Mediation Committee has confirmed that this is a valid mediation and have encouraged the participants to continue. This shopping around takes time and energy that could be devoted to mediation. I have asked you two questions, above, and am awaiting your response to each. Sunray (talk) 18:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Two questions that I asked Jaakoubou seemed to get overlooked. I'm adding them here for clarity. The first is a question about usage. We need to get a determination on how the Shalit case is portrayed in the media generally. Also, has there been discussion of terminology in the media? Here's the first question I asked on July 18:
"It seems to be to be a rather narrow criterion when you add "in the context of ransom demands." Since we are talking about a general descriptor, I would like to get an idea of the way that the status of Shalit is described generally."
I also asked both you and Pedrito a question about process:
"As to whether we continue: Pedrito observes that his participation has not been active. What I would like to know is whether we should adjourn until he returns from vacation. I would only support this is both of you wish to continue and will participate actively and civilly."
Pedrito has responded to the latter question in the affirmative. What is your response, Jaakabout? Sunray (talk) 18:40, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Neither Pedrito nor Jaakoubou has made an entry here for over two weeks. Pedrito explained that he would be away during this time. Jaakoubou has not given a reason for his lack of participation. I’ve asked him two questions. One is about proceeding with the case. The other is about an aspect of the content. Obviously the one about the case needs to be dealt with.
Neither of you engaged in sustained participation together thus far. A continued low level of participation will not allow us to achieve the goals we’ve set. Unlike arbitration, mediation is a “facilitated conversation.” Whereas an arbitrator hears evidence and then makes a ruling, a mediator assists participants to find common ground and agree on an action plan. For that to happen we need the continuous participation of the parties to the mediation.
I have tried, thus far, to provide factual commentary and to encourage you both to participate in a civil manner. I am fully aware that this mediation is not an easy one. I bear neither of you any ill-will whatsoever and continue to be confident that if we apply ourselves to this, it could be successful.
Would you be able to provide assurance of your willingness to pursue this mediation actively for a sustained period (e.g., a two-week trial)? If both of you do not answer in the affirmative, by August 15, I will close the mediation. Sunray (talk) 17:21, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I wholly appreciate your efforts in moving us both to a common ground and I want to apologize for making you feel as though that is not a possibility and insisting on an external resolution for our arguments.
I'd be willing to give the mediation process a continued effort and try to work out the differences between me and Pedrito. I believe that if he were to participate a little more, then there could be a chance to come out with an agreed upon compromise without pursuing an arbitration over the issue.
I'm not sure I understand the second question which you've made and to be frank, one of the reasons I had not replied to your questions was due to what I felt, was an insulting nature within' them - albeit I'm certain there was no malice intended. Regardless, if the question is about the general manner in which Shalit is being described, then the answer is "abducted Israeli soldier who is held hostage by Hamas". I felt this was cleared up by the sources which I took note of.
I hope I have answered the questions to your satisfaction. JaakobouChalk Talk 19:49, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. You have now both indicated you would be willing to carry on. Also thank you for providing that link. For discussion here, we will need to have such links, as we cannot assume data from any previous mediation, unless referred to and discussed here. I will discuss the information you have provided in a new "Resume discussion" section, below. Sunray (talk) 17:24, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
For the sake of simplicity, I've begun a new section for discussion, as several "process" questions intervened in the previous sections. In his last post, Jaakoubou said:
... I'm not sure I understand the second question which you've made and to be frank, one of the reasons I had not replied to your questions was due to what I felt, was an insulting nature within' them - albeit I'm certain there was no malice intended. Regardless, if the question is about the general manner in which Shalit is being described, then the answer is "abducted Israeli soldier who is held hostage by Hamas". I felt this was cleared up by the sources which I took note of.
I hope I have answered the questions to your satisfaction. JaakobouChalk Talk 19:49, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be valuable to have some analysis of the sources and also of the use of the various terms. For example, I note that while the Jerusalem Post uses the term "hostage," "kidnapped" is more common, and I note that Reuters uses the term "captive" far more often. Have either of you found any neutral sources? What discussion has there been about the use of these terms for political purposes? Sunray (talk) 17:34, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe Pedrito can supply a reliable source which makes the assessment? I'd be very interested. JaakobouChalk Talk 18:42, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
How about we work on this assessment together? Sunray (talk) 01:34, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Sure. My main concern here is Original Research though I'm open to explore what reliable sources say of the kidnapped Shalit. However, if we were to work on this assessment together I'd suggest that we explore the way in which books and media describe the hostage demands/negotiations. I don't see the article being written without that portion of Gilad's grave circumstances and I'm still uncertain that proper considerations were applied behind the request to remove this story of the hostage demands from the encyclopedia. Even if Reuters do use another term (which refers to something different) more times in their news articles about Shalit, the question remains what words are used to describe the hostage negotiations/demands/situation. Surely his captivity is only half the story. JaakobouChalk Talk 04:25, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Sample source check: The National Post, for example notes that, "Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas two years ago and held for ransom ever since." The word "hostage" is used in the text as a generic descriptive to the abducted Israeli soldiers, while the word "captive" appears in the article as well but with the context of ransom demands explained next to it (since 'captive' does not suggest hostage demands). JaakobouChalk Talk 04:33, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Continued check on same publication: Here, The Post mentions that Israel would make every effort to bring Shalit back but the story is about what the Post describes as a death threat to Samir Kuntar. The word "captive" is used alongside "abducted" without use of the word "hostage" as The National Post does not describe the ransom demands at all. Regardless, his abduction and captivity are only half the story. JaakobouChalk Talk 04:48, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Good that you mention original research. In a very real sense I see it as our intent in this exercise to avoid OR. If we analyze this properly, we will be meeting the requirements to make the article as neutral as possible. The question of ransom does need to be addressed. So we might want to examine what the indicators are for "ransom" vs. "prisoner exchange," among other terms.
As to sources. The National Post is a good example of the problem we face. It is owned by Canwest, which is controlled by the Asper family. There has been considerable discussion in Canada about editorial control by the Aspers. Here's a quote from the WP article:
"Canwest is often cited as an example of how the ownership of Canadian media has become concentrated in the hands of a few individuals and large corporations. Canwest founder Izzy Asper was known as a strong supporter of both Canada's Liberal Party and Israel's right-wing Likud party, and of many laissez-faire policies in both countries. Observers have suggested that Asper's political views have had a significant impact on news coverage at CanWest media outlets..."
So we need to consider this in our analysis. NPOV will not be easy to achieve in this article. However, if we succeed, it will be a real contribution to Wikipedia. Sunray (talk) 05:35, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
It's very kind of you to look into the ownership of the National Post, but I believe that there is balance in that we have on the list sources which are traditionally accused of anti-Israeli bias as well. JaakobouChalk Talk 06:22, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Nothing kind about it. I'm Canadian :-) I'm sure you are right about a balance. But we do have to consider the source(s). I hadn't read your second example, when I posted my last remarks (edit conflict). It is very interesting. The dynamics of the coverage may have shifted somewhat. Again, we do have to watch for OR, but I expect that if all three of us put out minds to it, we should be able to deal with it. Sunray (talk) 06:30, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I was among those who requested this mediation, even though I hardly participated in the discussion. I have been quite busy in many other Wikimedian projects in several languages, and I suppose you will understand that discussing a single word in an article could not be on the top of my task list. However, now that I read this discussion, I find it peculiar. Apparently there is a huge list of serious resources collected by User:Jaakobou that show that Gilad Shalit is referred to as a hostage. I wonder why this list of resources is not enough to end this discussion. It would be a very bad precedent if a mediator rules against a user who was diligent enough to back his claim with such a list of significant resources. If other users want to bring contradictory resources - fine, but I haven't seen any of the kind in this discussion. As for the claim that "hostage" is not neutral enoguh - it is neutral in the right context, and this is apparently the right context in the opinion of many important newspaper editors whose objectivity is not disputed. Pedrito raised several other claims which are not backed with any source and which are highly debatable, e.g. the claim that capturing an enemy soldier during a war is alway legitimate. It COULD be legitimate in certain circumstances, but I can hardly understand how he reached the conclusion that it is ALWAYS legitimate. Furthermore, the condition in which the soldier is held against his will should also be considered, and apparently many writers and editors have indeed considered them and came to the conclusion that Shalit is indeed a hostage. To sum it all up, I can hardly understand why this discussion goes on so long, now that there are significant evidences to support the use of the word "hostage". DrorK (talk) 14:32, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm back. Drork, you're kind of missing the point. You want sources that explicitly refer to him as a captive and not a hostage? Here:
I'd give you more, but I'm getting tired of copy-pasting. These are the first few results from a Google News search for the terms "gilad shalit +captive -hostage". I assume Jack got his sources the same way. The question is not who has the coolest source collection. The question is which term is preferred. Jack has not been able to show that "hostage" is preferred. Until he can, he does not have a case.
Arutz Sheva definitely refers to Gilad Shavit either as a kidnapee or a hostage. Here is an example for the "hostage option": 
Haaretz usually refers to Shalit as kidnapee (a term you rejected as well), but in some cases the term "hostage" is used as well: 
Ynet adopts a similar approach to Haaretz. Shalit is usually referred to as a kidnapee, but occasionally as a hostage: .
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency report says: "Shalit has been held captive by Hamas since he was kidnapped".
Rocky Mountain News also uses the term "kidnapped" along with "captive", i.e. they do not intentionally refrain from using the term "kidnapped" but merely say that: the kidnapee is being held captive (which is logically true).
The article by Xinhua China you've brought says: "the fate of the Israeli corporal, kidnapped by Hamas-led militants".
I'm sorry but we cannot have a serious discussion when you bring misleading quotes from the press. Please end this discussion, if you don't have any more arguments. DrorK (talk) 18:07, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi Drork, welcome back to the discussion. There is no question that Shalit has been referred to both as "hostage" and "captive." What we are attempting to determine is which term, or terms, Wikipedia will use in this article. To get to that, we are looking at both usage and the nature of media accounts. We probably don't need more references right now, we have lots of those. What we need is an analysis of those references. I am proposing that those of us who wish to participate collaborate in that analysis. It is very important to note that a mediator does not "rule" or hear "evidence." My job is to assist the participants to engage in discussion so that we may together determine appropriate action. Are you with us?
Pedrito: Welcome back as well. Jaakoubou and I began a new discussion in this section. We were beginning to map out some parameters for an analysis of terms. We discussed both prevalence of references and the ways in which the media have discussed the event and the negotiations. We were beginning to touch on media bias. I thought we were making progress. Would you be able to look at the discussion and provide comments? Sunray (talk) 19:16, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't see Pedrito raising any concern to the bias of Reuters, CNN, BBC and Haaretz - so while it could be fun, it will not help us close this discussion. Sunray's suggestion to focus on how the media reports the situation (i.e. the ransom demands when they do report it) was very good though. Still, the biggest concern is whether this is even a perspective worth "disecting" into when the reasoning for the claim has been established on a non neutral and certainly non mainstream view (comparisons with convicted Palestinian militants and Hamas narratives). If Pedrito is interested in further exploring the nature of statistics in the matter of when Shalit's ransom demands are mentioned, that would be great and I'd like to see some collaboration on this issue. The current situation -- where no reliable sources have been presented for the original claim (i.e. there is no need to prove that the term hostage is more "preferred" to captive because the two are not reciprocal and have a differnt meaning) -- is a bit of a problem though and while I can see where Pedrito is coming from, it is a point that doesn't have any chance of being accepted by the mainstream (no one is going to change the dictionary).
Pedrito, would you be interested in disecting the language used when the topic is the ransom demands or would you prefer another handling method? JaakobouChalk Talk 20:18, 11 August 2008 (UTC) little rephrase and typos. 20:28, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to add a note that I'm very much open to expanding on the Hamas viewpoint even if it is a fringe perspective. Perhaps Pedrito is concerned that by accepting the mainstream language, he is conceding that Hamas have violated international law. Well, it's not a big deal to report the facts, and when Israel/Russia/US/Other violate international law it's no differnt than when Hamas does. Hamas perspective is well represented in the article and they are not mistreated by making note of the basics - that demanding ransom for kidnapped people is described by Dictionaries (e.g. Webster's Dictionary) and mainstream sources as hostage taking. If there is an issue that Pedrito feels does not get enough representation in the article, that could be a starting point for a compromise (as long as it is within Wikipedia's encyclopedic reasoning and policies). JaakobouChalk Talk 20:39, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
p.s. Pedrito, if my assesment regarding concenrs of bias in sources is wrong, then please correct me and supply an explanation to your concerns in that regard. JaakobouChalk Talk 20:44, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can understand, we are trying to avoid original research here, but by analyzing the media's use of terms we are falling again into the original research trap. We've seen various sources from different countries, and addressing different communities, using either the term "kidnapped" or the term "hostage". We saw them using these terms in their reports' sections (rather than their editorials or opinions' sections). There is no need for further analysis. That would be exactly as bad as trying to analyze the meaning of the word "hostage", a thing which was totally rejected on the account of no original research. DrorK (talk) 06:33, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Please read the policy on original research more carefully. The policy is: "Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source." We do not intend to publish anything, merely to analyze the use of terms. I asked if you were with us. I'm not sure what your answer is. Let me re-phrase the question: Would you be willing to participate in this mediation constructively? Sunray (talk) 06:44, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, this mediation causes more damage than benefit in the way it is conducted. The discussion is too long and heads towards undesirable directions. Assessing and analyzing the accuracy and objectivity of so many well-known resources is not something we should not do in Wikipedia. I wouldn't like it to serve as a model to other similar discussions in Wikipedia, and therefore I wouldn't like to participate in this discussion anymore. DrorK (talk) 07:21, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I will withdraw your name from the list of participants. Sunray (talk) 07:27, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll throw an outside opinion in here, and I find myself agreeing with Drork - this is months of not much progress based on one word. I'm not 100% sure that either term really makes a difference in the way either party thinks it does - if the key problem is that the legitimacy of the action hinges on the word used, neither "captive" nor "hostage" imply legitimacy - legally speaking, to hold someone captive is a crime (involuntary captivity), and so is taking hostages (which is also charged as involuntary captivity). One term isn't "better" than the other. If it's a question of what to use when citing sources, use more quotes - that way the source is accountable, not the article editors. Regardless of the decision, this is ranging too far into a political correctness issue, and semantics is not MedCab's job. MSJapan (talk) 21:38, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Jaakoubou: You are concerned that a new section will result in bypassing your question to Pedrito? I don't see why it should. I am trying to deal with side-tracking arguments, hence decided that a new section was needed. However, I fully intend to deal with points raised above. Pedrito: Would you be able to address J's point in the previous section? Sunray (talk) 01:35, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Drork: I have no objection to your re-joining this mediation. You have made some worthwhile contributions in the past (particularly in the MedCab case). I think you have raised some worthwhile points for discussion above and would like to pursue them. I would like to have an agreement on who is in this discussion and then limit it to that. That is the only way I know how to mediate. Would you please indicate your intentions? Sunray (talk) 01:35, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Jaakoubou and Pedrito, and others who have engaged in this lengthy discussion have done a great deal of research on use of terms. From the material cited above, it seems clear that, if we go by media reports, the terms "captive" and "hostage" have both been used many times and by a variety of media. Is there one "preferred" term? It seems doubtful that there is based on quantity. However, we might want to look further into the question of neutrality. It is evident that there are tendencies within certain media towards the use of one term or another. This would seem to be an indicator of the editorial bias of a particular medium. There is not doubt that we have to be neutral in our use of terms.
In all the sources that been provided by Shalit mediation participants (in the MedCab case and this one) I haven't found much commentary on neutral language in the use of terms. There was one comment by BBC Editor Jon Williams:
"... As ever in reporting the Middle East, language - and the choice of words - is incredibly important. Was the soldier kidnapped or captured, were the Hamas politicians arrested or detained?
"Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry value judgements. Our job is to remain objective. By doing so, I hope we allow our audiences on radio and television to make their own assessment of the story. So we try to stick to the facts - civilians are "kidnapped", Cpl Shalit was "captured"; since troops don't usually make "arrests", the politicians were "detained". Doubtless some will disagree. But that's, in essence, the heart of the story - two competing narratives."
Interesting comment. What do you think? Sunray (talk) 17:35, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you would not break in new sections when Pedrito has not yet responded to my raised questions. To be frank, it feels as though I'm mediating with you and your own arguments rather than Pedrito and it is certainly not a very good way to reach article concensus when one of the parties is not even present in the discussions.
The BBC, btw, uses the term 'hostage' when discussing the crisis of the ransom demands because it is not a loaded/non-neutral terminology. You can see two samples for the BBC using it among the reliable-sourcing refs.
Also, I remind that 'captive' and 'hostage' are not reciprocal terms and one appearing more than the other only means that one half of the story appeared more often the the other half. I'm not aware that this was raised, but was there an argument that we should write the Shalit article without the ransom demands information? Pedrito, feel free to answer that one - please.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 18:25, 13 August 2008 (UTC) clarify 18:26, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Even though I am no longer an integral part of this discussion, I have noticed this quotation, and I have to comment about it, because it relates to many other similar issues in many other articles. I consider the BBC a very important and respected source of information, and yet the criteria they present here are insufficient and superficial. A civilian can be kidnapped, captured or arrested and so can a soldiers. It all depends on the circumstances in which the person was taken against his/her will, the purpose for which s/he was taken against his/her will and the conditions in which s/he is held. Imagine this scenario: a group of people attack a soldier, harm him, put him in a trunk, drive him to an unknown place, and lock him up. Will the BBC call it a "capture" rather than "kidnapping" because the person is a soldier? I doubt it. The BBC tries to avoid the problem by saying "Cpl Shalit is a soldier" but this just looking for a way out, and not a serious attempt to deal with the problem. The same goes for the arrest/detain issue. Troops can arrest. I suppose the British troops in Northern Ireland arrested a few people during the time of The Troubles. I doubt if the BBC called these people "detainees". Once again, saying "troops don't arrest" is just running away from the problem with superficial arguments. With all due respect, and I sincerely have a lot of respect to the BBC, they should do a lot more thinking about this issue, and they don't solve our problem here. DrorK (talk) 18:47, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Several people have mentioned that certain terms connote a crime. For a crime to be committed, a subject has to be charged and convicted. Hostage-taking is a crime. What are the implications of this? Sunray (talk) 01:37, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
There's a few implications but I've decided to refactor my previous comment since I would not wish to partake in soapboxing. I believe Pedrito has been avoiding the conversation's questions and suggestions for quite some time both on the previous MEDCAB and also now on the MEDCOM and perhaps it is time to close this mediation if he has no intentions in partaking in them. JaakobouChalk Talk 14:22, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
You raise the question of Pedrito's participation (or lack thereof). I note that he has not made many edits to WP in the past month. However, he has made a few within the past week. I will ask him if he is going to participate. If not, I agree, we should close. Sunray (talk) 05:20, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I contacted Pedrito. He replied on my talk page, and appoligized that he has not had more time to put towards this mediation. However, he said that he was of the opinion that the case was "going nowhere." He added:
"I don't think it will ever be possible to keep the discussion on-track. If you share this opinion, then just close the mediation."
Since both participants have indicated a desire to close, I will do so. Thank you both for the time you did devote to this case. Sunray (talk) 06:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Clarification: I expressed desire to try and work things out, but also expressed concerns towards Pedrito's "avoiding the conversation". I very much appreciate your immense efforts to try and work things out without him though. Cheers, JaakobouChalk Talk 16:41, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
That's actually kind of cute... But anyone who reads this page probably won't buy it.
First you tried to sabotage the mediation entirely by removing users you didn't like. Then you tried the "Prisoner of war" red herring. Then you tried masses of sources. Then you tried the dictionary. Then you returned to the "Prisoner of war" thing. Then you tried to sneak in another red herring -- "captured" instead of "captive" -- when you thought I was off on vacation. Then you try to shift the goalposts. Then you go shopping. Then you ignore the whole discussion and start again with your mass of sources. Then you start attacking my sources. Then you try to switch the whole discussion to perceived source bias. And finally, you blame me, who has stuck to the same arguments and unanswered questions from the beginning of the discussion, for the failure. Really cute.