From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blanking of relevant, sourced and attributed information[edit]

The major issue as I see it is the willful refusal of some editors to abide by Wiki policies and guidelines, particularly WP:NPOV and WP:V. When faced with material that is relevant to an article but that they don't like, even if it is attributed to a reliable, expert source, they will delete it. When other editors revert their deletions and ask for explanations, they receive nothing in the way of a substantive explanation. This disruptive behaviour leads to edit-warring and page protections, and discourages good faith editors from making contributions to Middle East related articles which are badly in need of improvement. The policies and guidelines adhered to in other parts of this grand encyclopedia are ignored, or only selectively and arbitrarily followed. Repeat offenders are not sanctioned, and use the claim that this is a content dispute to evade scrutiny of their actions.

There are many editors who have regularly engaged in this kind of behaviour, but there are five whose behaviours have stood out, since they regularly work in tandem. These are:

  1. Jaakobou (talk · contribs)
  2. Tewfik (talk · contribs)
  3. Armon (talk · contribs)
  4. Beit Or (talk · contribs)
  5. Jayjg (talk · contribs)

Second Intifada[edit]

Tewfik blanks sourced material added by Timeshifter (talk · contribs) (among others): 27 November [1], 28 November [2], 30 November [3], [4], [5].

Tewfik's edits to the talk page during this time are on 27 November [6] and 29 November [7].

I restore some of the material being blanked on 30 November [8], and make a series of edits (mostly copy edits). I leave a message on the talk afterward explaining my removal of attributed material of dubious reliability [9]. No one reverts the material or discusses it on talk.

After the page is pretty much stable for two weeks, edit-warring begins again on 16 December and continues until 29 December. Despite multiple requests to engage in talk, editors blank sourced information without responding to these requests substantively.

Blanking of material by four of the five editors listed above are as follows:

  • Two reverts to start off: [10], [11].
  • A message on his talk page asking him to engage in discussion[12] is deleted under the edit summary "rv trolling" [13]. Tewfik then leaves a message on the article talk page dealing with an issue unrelated to the mass blanking. [14].
  • I make changes to respond to concerns raised in edit summaries [15], since there is no substantive discussion on the talk page.
  • Tewfik deletes the material again: [16]. After Amaliq (talk · contribs) restores the blanked material, Tewfik again reverts with an edit summary of "revert stalker sock" [17].
  • After Timeshifter posts a message on Tewfik's talk asking him to discuss, (which he once again reverts as "trolling"), [18], Tewfik leaves a message on the talk [19] saying there is no use discussing things that have already been discussed [20]. I reply that I cannot see evidence of any previous substantive discussion and the text has since changed substantively [21]. Tewfik does not respond and ceases editing the article. He seems to have taken a wiki break since and has not returned to editing that article or others.
Beit Or[edit]
  • Blanks the material after it is restored by Timeshifter [22]
  • I revert her edit [23] and leave a message on the talk page, asking both Tewfik and Beit Or to explain their edits. [24].
  • Beit Or responds by reverting to Tewfik's version again [25].
  • I again revert Beit Or's edit [26] and leave a message on her talk page asking her again to discuss [27]. She does not respond and ceases further editing of the article.
  • Reverts to the version Tewfik and Beit Or were reverting to, without any explanation [28].
  • After I restore the material deleted with an edit summary asking people to engage in talk [29], my edit is again reverted by Armon [30].
  • After restoring the blanked material [31] I make a series of minor edits for flow and parity in the infobox.
  • Armon reverts these twice [32], [33]. After more changes, he blanks the material again three times: [34], [35], [36].
  • Blanks the sourced material without explanation twice: [37] [38].
  • A request I subsequently make to engage in discussion over the blanking [39] is left unanswered. After I leave a message on his talk page [40], Jaakobou refers me to Tewfik's response. I reply that this is an inadequate explanation [41].
  • Jaakobou's first edit to the talk page in response to requests to discuss the mass blanking is four days after his first reverts [42]. He subsequently makes a series of edits to the talk page, most of which deal with one sentence in the introduction (examples: [43], [44], [45]), while continuing to mass blank.
  • On the 26 December, Jaakobou again blanks the sourced material twice [46], [47].
  • On the 28 December, Jaakobou blanks the material three times [48], [49], [50].
  • On the 29 December, Jaakobou again blanks the material [51]. His is the last edit before the page is protected.

Over the course of this lengthy edit-war, both Armon and Jaakobou are blocked for 3RR (the former for his edits here, the latter for his edits at House demolition in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).

List of Israeli civilian casualties in the Second Intifada[edit]

Here, the pattern of mass blanking with little substantive discussion established in the Second Intifada continues. Tewfik and Armon are the key players, Jaakobou engages in move warring towards the end.

I was invited to look at this page by Armon who invited many editors of all stripes to give their input, so as to break a deadlock over the article name and scope that had manifested in a rather sterile move war. I made my first edit there on 21 November.

The list was entitled List of attacks on non-combatants during the Second Intifada at the time. Initially there was discussion regarding the reliability of sources I had used and I made changes to bring my initial edits more in line with WP:RS. When the sources were beyond disrepute (November 24th onward), blankings of Palestinian civilian casualties continued to be carried out by Tewfik and Armon based on the idea that Palestinian deaths had to be the result of intentional Israeli attacks on civilians, rather than just collateral damage. This position was unsupported by the majority of editors working at the page who noted that speculating as to intention was WP:OR.


[52], [53], [54], [55], [56], [57], [58]


[59], [60], [61], [62], [63], [64], [65]

As a result of their obstructionism, the material on Palestinian casualties was moved to its own article entitled List of Palestinian civilian casualties in the Second Intifada and this article's name was changed to the title it currently holds. Both pages were page protected after move-warring.


This editor deserves his own section, largely because it is my belief that as an admin, he is the one responsible for introducing the idea that sourced information can be blanked first and discussed later.

This was the case at the article Palestinian people where Jayjg's blanking of sourced material and his use of wholesale reverts was the subject of WP:ANI report, filed just before he took his multi-month sabbatical [66]. The idea that Jayjg's actions should not be reviewed in the Arbcomm because he hasn't been involved in recent months is unfair, given that he was intimately involved prior to his sabbatical and his actions were discussed in the previous Arbcomm case on Apartheid (though not as extensively as they might have been since he did not participate due to his having taken a sabbatical - I for one did not present evidence against him at the time, due to his being absent). He has also since returned to editing articles related to this subject area, such as the Palestinian right of return.

Diffs related to the ANI case opened on his blanking and reverting at Palestinian people include:

  • SevenOfDiamonds (talk · contribs) taking issue with Jayjg's selective interpretation of attribution guidelines:[67]
  • My message to Jayjg taking issue with his continued wholesale reverting: [68].
  • Jayjg deleting my follow-up message: [69].
  • TimVickers (talk · contribs) taking issue with Jayjg's incivility in the ANI discussion on Palestinian people: [70].

Complaints regarding Jayjg's use of wholsale reverts date back to 2004. (See this Arbcomm case [71]). Note that Remedy #5 prohibited Jayjg from removing adequately sourced material for a set period.

  • It should also be noted that other editors deleting information without engaging in substantive discussion alongside Jayjg at Palestinian people included: Beit Or, Tewfik, and Armon. While it appears as though they are engaged in talk when one scans the talk page history, the comments are often unrelated to the deletions. A poll initiated by Itzse (talk · contribs) to change the name of the article to "Palestinians" was ongoing at the time, so for example, Beit Or's only comments on the talk were in support of Itzse's proposal, [72][73][74] never once discussing the content she was deleting.

More on Beit Or[edit]

Two months before the blankings at Second Intifada, Beit Or wikistalked me to five different articles in half an hour, blanking my (sourced) additions. I left a message on her(his?) talk page [75], [76], and [77]. (Diffs on the blankings are posted there).

A month prior to that (August 2007) I left a message on her talk [78] regarding her deletions at Palestinian people and House demolition in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

More on Tewfik[edit]

Despite Tariqabjotu (talk · contribs)'s claims that he hasn't seen any evidence of edit-warring by Tewfik, I have had a different experience. Messages I have left on Tewfik's talk regarding his tendency toward the repeated deletion of sourced material, besides the ones listed above, include:

  1. A notice about the discussion on Palestinian people at WP:ANI in August[79]
  2. In May 2007, over repeated deletions of sourced material at multiple articles[80] Note that Tewfik also repeatedly deleted these from his talk [81][82][83]
  3. In February 2007, over deletions of sourced material on the indigenous status of Palestinians [84].