Casting Aspersions

Casting Aspersions

One of the most effective ways to discredit a Wikipedia article is to hang a tag on it.  The first thing a reader sees on the page Racism in the Palestinian territories is a tag.  It reads:

Unbalanced scales.svg

The neutrality  of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (August 2010)

This has the immediate effect of making the reader doubt what he reads on the page, which contains well-sourced examples of Palestinian Arab anti-black racism and of Palestinian Arab ethnic and religious hatred directed towards blacks, Kurds, Christians, and Jews.

The first response of pro-Palestinian editors was to tag the page.  Then they attempted to delete it.  When that failed, they tagged it again and have kept it tagged ever since.

Tags are supposed to flag articles that need improvement.  However, many anti-Israel editors spend almost all of their Wikipedia time tagging pages and arguing on talk pages.  They are not here to add information, they are here to fight.     You can see this by clicking on “view history” on the Wikipedia tool bar.  Then click the word “contributions” beside the editors name.  Scroll down.  Click “edit count” on the tool bar at the bottom of the page.  Editors who are on Wikipedia only to fight have edit counts that look like this or this.  Editors who honestly contribute have edit counts that look like this or this.

To editors who come only to fight, tags are yet another tool in the battle to remove material that reflects badly on Palestinian Arabs, or that reflects well on Israelis.

The real work of Wikipedia, as always, takes place on the article’s talk page.  There are real arguments here.  Should racism be confined to discrimination by skin color?  Is it a term for discrimination against Christians, Kurds, or Jews?  It is clear that many of the editors are here only to make Israelis look bad and to protect Palestinians from legitimate criticism.

The article on Palestinian racism was, unsurprisingly, started by a pro-Israel editor who was presumably responding to the creation of Racism and ethnic discrimination in Israel on June 18, 2010.  There is racism in Israel.  There is racism everywhere.  This is what makes the attempt to delete the article on Racism in the Palestinian territories so extremely unethical.  It was nominated for deletion on August 20, 2010.  The article on Racism in Israel was nominated for deletion 9 hours later, presumably by a pro-Israel editor trying to make the point that Israel and the Arabs should get equal treatment.

Equal treatment is not want the pro-Palestinian editors want, they want to be free to criticize Israel while brooking no criticism of Palestinians.  They made an attempt to hijack the article by making it into an article about the anti-Arab racism of Israelis living in the West Bank.

That failed, but they will keep arguing on that talk page forever.  One of the goals of having interminable debates on the talk page, after all, is to keep the tags on the top of the page forever.  If the arguments end, the tags can be removed.   Keep on talking forever and you keep the tags on the page, making readers doubt the facts and sources presented.  And I do mean forever.

Take, for example: Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan.  The first thing a reader sees on the page is a placard that reads

This article’s factual accuracy is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (March 2008)

This tag has been at the top of the page since March 2008.

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Comments

  1. Andy says

    This article is spot on. I was just on the Racism in the Palestinian territories page. I added information from the well-known British journalist Peter Hitchens who recently visited the Palestinian territories and wrote about the “racial foulness” of the graffiti. There. It was immediately removed by an editor named Carwil.

    • Wikipedian says

      That is why need need this site Andy. Too many people are out to hide the truth or make up alternate realities that fit their political agenda.

  2. Dror Kamir says

    One of the problematic editors you’ve mentioned in your previous posts runs this “special” page as a subpage of his userpage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Supreme_Deliciousness/misc
    It is actually his webbing, or toolbox of weaponry. He is clearly not there to write and edit. He is a soldier who came to fight, and since he is quite good at it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he received training. This kind of people have always been on Wikipedia and were kindly shown the way out. Not anymore. Something really strange is going on, and I would really like to know what’s going on there behind the scenes.