Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Palestine-Israel articles 3/Evidence

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Case clerk: L235 (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Guerillero (Talk) & Seraphimblade (Talk) & Doug Weller (Talk)

Any editor may add evidence to this page, irrespective of whether they are involved in the dispute. You must submit evidence in your own section. Editors who change other users' evidence may be sanctioned; if you have a concern with or objection to another user's evidence, contact the committee by e-mail or on the talk page. The standard limits for all evidence submissions are: 1000 words and 100 diffs for users who are parties to this case; or about 500 words and 50 diffs for other users. Detailed but succinct submissions are more useful to the committee. This page is not designed for the submission of general reflections on the arbitration process, Wikipedia in general, or other irrelevant and broad issues; and if you submit such content to this page, please expect it to be ignored or removed. General discussion of the case may be opened on the talk page. You must focus on the issues that are important to the dispute and submit diffs which illustrate the nature of the dispute or will be useful to the committee in its deliberations.

You must use the prescribed format in your evidence. Evidence should include a link to the actual page diff in question, or to a short page section; links to the page itself are inadequate. Never link to a page history, an editor's contributions, or a log for all actions of an editor (as those change over time), although a link to a log for a specific article or a specific block log is acceptable. Please make sure any page section links are permanent, and read the simple diff and link guide if you are not sure how to create a page diff.

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Evidence presented by user:Ykantor

User:Malik Shabazz is a strict anti Israeli editor. He is using an extreme Wiki lawyering in order to find a flaw in an sentence which might seem to be a pro Israeli text. Otherwise, he is rather good editor. If possible I would like him to recognize his questionable attitude, but I do not support an adminstrative action against him.

  • User:Malik Shabazz placed an [WP:ARBPIA alert] in my talkpage. I asked him to apologize and to undo himself but he refused. In my opinion, his motivation was his clear anti Israeli attitude, although the relevant sentence was undisputed and factual text. (BTW I am an Israeli editor.)
  • Sometimes, User:Malik Shabazz does not respect the wp:civil policy:
  1. Being rude: Stop the silliness about...
  2. Hints that my quote does not reflect the source: "I will repeat my caution. ... I suspect there's a letter or word missing from the last phrase as well." Ykantor (talk) 12:39, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Hammersoft

I strongly and vociferously object to ArbCom's attempts to sweep the misconduct of (now former) administrator Malik Shabazz under the rug as not being pertinent to the arbitration case at hand. The drafting arbitrator has apparently elected to wipe clean any evidence previously submitted regarding this case. I am stunned.

A sitting administrator, deeply involved in the very articles this case was brought to discuss, went off on a nearly two week long bender spewing a long slew of insults. Most egregious of this was "Now when the fuck is somebody going to address the fact that the Jewboy is harassing me? Or is only okay to hound niggers off Wikipedia?" [1]. The subject of this arbitration is Palestine-Israel articles. A sitting administrator issues a Jewish racial epithet embedded in a number of other insults and you conclude this has nothing to do with Palestine-Israel? What? The discretionary sanctions explicitly state "[Editors] are not expected to trade insults or engage in character assassination". This is precisely what happened, but we are to ignore this and move on as if nothing happened?

For years now WP:NPA has been abused, heavily violated without sanction and in many cases outright ignored. If ArbCom refuses to consider abjectly abhorrent behavior using a Jewish epithet in a dispute involving Israel related articles, then ArbCom might as well declare WP:NPA null and void. If it doesn't apply here, where it absolutely must apply in order for us to enable an encyclopedic environment, then there is no case to be made that it would apply anywhere else. This isn't about Malik Shabazz (who is gone from the project anyway), but about the need to have available sanctions in place that immediately and unequivocally allow an administrator to use harsh tools to immediate effect when a person in this highly controversial area uses racial epithets regardless of provocation. Such wording does not exist now. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:28, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Settleman

Lets say it out load - in the 'Battle of Wikipedia' Israel has undeniably lost

I have recently joined Wikipedia so I can speak only of my own experience but it wasn't pleasant, to say the least. While some editors, like Kingsindian, have integrity and others like Zero0000 and Huldra are very interested in actual knowledge from actual books, some are here to smear Israel and eliminate any chance of NPOV. The 1RR is a simple (and in a sense stupid) that makes it easy to enforce but the way some editors play the rules and write with bias, should command a rewrite of WP:POVPUSH definition.

I find Pluto's 'evidence' a bad joke. Where are all those pro-Israeli editors? Since I have started editing Susya which contained falsification by 'Human Rights NGOs' and basically said "The Israeli expelled the Palestinians again and again and then several times more", I was pulled into endless discussions on the talk page, many of which were completely baseless which can only fall under WP:CPUSH. Pro-Israel editors such as Igorp_lj, and E.M.Gregory seldom showed up, but it was extremely hard to get rid of material that didn't belong to begin with b/c of some editors behavior.

The 1RR proposals below are good tools to keep things quite but when one side has already 'won', the proposal to exempt "long-and-good-standing contributors" from 1RR tool only meant to ensure the 'other side' will never be able to recover. If Wikipedia is serious about being neutral, this case should be about - how do we fix the current bias that exists in so many articles?

Here is a list of some of the issues I have faced or saw in other pages –

  • Being a victim for an attempt of 'targeted killing' by an editor hardly (if any) involved in the discussions.
  • Morally wrong POVPUSH – [2] [3] [4] [5] The assailant is presented as the victim. How about this – Two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were shot dead after (allegedly???) killing 11 people at Charlie Hebdo.
  • Talking of this type of articles, the whole article is full with Ma'an news links while arutz 7 is out which has been pushed from previous articles in the 'series'. But according to this, they are completely comparable.
  • Severe POVPUSH – This one speaks for itself.
  • Claiming text resulted from a WikiTalk specifically made about settlements can be used for an organization. [6] [7]
  • Using irrelevancy – On Duma arson attack, multiple articles talking about additional fires in the same village to the same family were found irrelevant while on Susya, land confiscation 60 miles away was found to be relevant for describing a murder.
  • Claiming repeatedly Havakook's book quoted by the UN, scientific publications and NGOs on both sides is unreliable.
  • Claiming WP:NOYT has nothing to do with a youtube clip. (How do you even answer that?)
  • Personal attacks – "arguing on behalf of organizations with an ethnic cleansing programme" and continuously resist from deleting it.
  • Claiming pro-Palestinian NGO are RS while pro-Israeli aren't while they are both involved in the case at Supreme Court b/c when David Dean Shulman, or Arik Ascherman go out of their way to write books, draw up legal documents, and represent Palestinian rights under the conventions of international law, they are not doing so to defend a personal interest. Personally, it makes no difference to their material lives how cases work out. When Regavim et al. draw up legal documents, they do so for an express political and community interest, to nab more land, and drive Palestinians of. – This is the definition of POVPUSH clearly stated.
  • Repeating removal of 'Seasonal' from the lead though it is based on RS b/c Havakook doesn't say 'from 1830'. Several suggestions for text were made and removed. Requests for collaboration and building consensus for text were denied.[8] [9]
  • Putting back falsification of source with a touch or OR.
  • Checking RSN will result in multiple claims about 'settlers mouthpiece/organ/agenda' etc while every anti-Israel blog is 'raliable depends on context' but somehow the context is usually right.

To sum this up, the articles I edited extensively are controlled/patrolled by editors with extreme bias. Some of them will make ridicules claims and drag one into endless, senseless discussions. If Wikipedia wishes to get anywhere close to Neutral, things cannot keep going the way they are now but change in a major way.


A very efficient rule, no doubt. But maybe too efficient. Some cases are clearly WP:EDITWAR and should not be tolerated but I find myself (and other editors) breaking it by mistake while working on one part of an article and later move to another part. If someone edited something in between, we might find ourselves breaking 1RR. In other cases, editors are quick to remove a complete edit though only attribution is due or another minor fix. Waiting for 24 hours is counterproductive.

In other words, when partial revert is well explained and justified (and not a simple UNDO), the rule shouldn't apply automatically and editors who constructively contribute should at least enjoy the benefit of the doubt and given a chance to self revert before being reported. It is done between many editors anyway.

RS issues

Biased standards in what is considered RS

Arutz Shave, a major (undeniably biased) news group whose weekend (free) paper surpassed Haaretz in exposure is repeatedly removed by editors as non-RS because it is 'advocacy' or 'mouthpiece' of "settlers"[10][11][12] while numerous activists blogs (ex. +972, Mondoweiss) and biased NGO some considered radical (ex. Ta'ayush) are repeatedly considered RS.

In editorials on Jpost two NGO members falsified Yaakov Havakook book. While the Regavim person was 'demonstrating the unreliability of Regavim', B'tselem person was found to have 'impressions of reading Havakook's book'. I can see no reason but PPOV.

In short, every 'human-rights' NGO is RS while those who support settler are not. Activists doing it out of pure selflessness while settlers just 'nab more land'.[13] Arutz 7 is swiftly dismissed as for settler'. I called RHR to ask for their source (Grossman on Susya which I checked and they falsified it. People have done it in the past for worse then humanitarian reasons. There is no point to get into a conversation of who is right or wrong b/c WP:NPOV means it doesn't matter.

William Saletan writes about Arutz Sheva that "For news it’s totally on the ball."[14]

Wikipedia has no tools of dealing with disruptive editing

While 1RR is a nice rule to quite things down, it is draconian and being abused. Meanwhile, a request to look at an editor behavior which I believe is extremely disruptive is answered with a shrug. Seems to me, the community is incapable or not even interested, of dealing with those issues.

BIAS issues

Using WP:LABEL by biased parties

"described as 'fanatics' by David Dean Shulman" - an academic and member of redical left NGO Ta'ayush.

Gideon Levy, Amira Hass etc'

The criticism about them can be viewed on their article (Haas should probably be expanded). Levy recently was criticized[15] by Isaac Herzog leader of Israeli left as a "one trick pony" and "fear-mongering messianic". My point - they write for a major Israeli publication but their opinion represent tiny part of Israeli public opinion. If they are notable enough to have their opinion included on many articles, why not balance it with writers of the other extreme? Seem to me like basic WP:WEIGHT.

1st lie, 2nd undue, 3rd unnotable, 4th irrelevant, 5th generic

The distance a group of biased editors will go to take out info about settlers community involvement in Duma arson attack while UN stats about 'settlers violence' in the whole West Bank seems to belong.

Seasoned editors make nonsense claims/replies

I apologize for using the word 'nonsense' but sometimes there is really not any better word to describe responses by editors.

  1. WP:NOYT has nothing to do with YouTube videos. [16]
  2. A book cited by all kind of sources fails RS. [17]
  3. Insisting a result of WT:Legality of Israeli settlements which was specifically for settlements is 'standard language' and can be used for an organization. Talk:Regavim (NGO)#Legal aspects, Talk:Regavim (NGO)#Sentence about settlements being illegal under international law. NPoV is an excuse to insert OR.
  4. Editor take out 'pro-Israel' material b/c it is 'irrelevant'/'generic'[18][19] but leaves in 'pro-Palestinian' undoubtfully generic stats b/c 'it is part of it'[20]. Double standards.


The main problem with Palestine-Israel articles isn't necessarily the new editors or socks but rather some of the old editors who know how to play the rules and transfer Wikipedia into an outlet of propaganda instead of outlet of neutral knowledge. The only way to create a change is effective enforcement and punishment against editors who constantly violate the rules.


I strongly support much of Number 57 and AnotherNewAccount evidence.

I might be a noob but my advantage is, I have a set of fresh eyes and lack of experience also means, no old grudges between editors. I understand that admin aren't supposed/expected to get involved in content disputes but in my short experience, some 'disputes' are simply WP:IDONTLIKEIT issues. I hope Wikipedia have matured to the point it can create tools to deal with those real, disruptive problems.

Evidence presented by Pluto2012


Wikipedia is the target of external advocacy groups whose aims are opposed to our policies:

Wider targets'

  • Yoni Kempinski, Israel Advocacy Needs to Move Online, Arutz Sheva, 3 mai 2015, citing a young student advocating for Israel writes : "The real front that people are fighting on is social media [but] Israel supporters are facing a losing battle."; "The important thing is to "arm our troops," he said, and teach everyone, of any age, how to use social media to advocate for the Jewish state."
@Igorp lj : Very interesting. You provide links from people being antisemites on facebook and calling for the death of Israel and Jews. They are not acceptable.
I find this interesting because this explain why pro-I contributors who advocate blindly for Israel are in a way WP:AGF. But there are as many islamophobia groups than antisemites groups on facebook. This doesn't mean that it is acceptable that pro-I advocacy groups target the social media (widely) in wp (in particular) to advocate or to defend the image of Israel. And you know very well we currently have many of contributors convinced that this "fight" and its legitimacy on wp. Could you please tell me how old you are ?

According to Jimbo Wales, NPoV should be respected by each contributor and should not be a matter of balance between several groups:

  • Inverview of Jimbo Wales:
    Mehdi Hasan: There’s also the issue, of course, of really, really contentious issues that people feel strongly about on lots of different sides. A few years ago, I believe, an Israeli lobbying group was accused of encouraging its members to become Wikipedia editors so that they could control the narrative on the Israeli conflict. How, then, can I take any pages on Wikipedia seriously about Israel-Palestine?
    Jimmy Wales: There's one model people have of how Wikipedia should work, which is a battleground. So the battleground is: Wikipedia will get to neutrality because people from different sides will fight it out until they somehow have to come to a compromise. We reject that approach. That approach is not healthy. That approach just leads to endless conflict. Instead what we like to say is, “Look, Wikipedia - every Wikipedia editor has a responsibility to try to be neutral. To try to take into account different perspectives on an issue, and if there is no one…”


I'd like to say that English is not my mother tongue and that I am mainly contributing on wp:fr (MrButler). There I have written 7 FA, all of them dealing with the I/P conflict and 3 of them dealing directly with topics that could be taggued pro-I (fr:Special Night Squads, fr:émeutes de Jérusalem de 1920, fr:Bataille de Latroun). 2 of these 7 articles were also translated from wp:fr to wp:en. I am also a former ArbCom member from wp:fr (15th CAr election). Pluto2012 (talk) 19:51, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unefficiency of WP:RCU

It is suggested a broader and faster use of WP:RCU. I fear it is not efficient. On wp:fr during last 3 yearswe faced a group of an unidentified number of contributors who were using around 10 accounts and for which WP:RCU proved not efficient due to the use of proxies. They were editing from China and the USA. Socks will adapt.

Gaming of the system by some "newcomers"

All newcomer are not problematic. Problematic editors are those who come on wikipedia but are WP:NOTHERE, know how to game the system in using Civil PoV pushing and the obligation of WP:AGF.

At the contrary of what Warkosign says, I don't think wp:civil is an issue. I think we could be very patient with contributors who make mistakes in behaving like on forums or from the internet and do not "master" the unusual (but important) standards of civility used on wikipedia. There is nothing harmful if you are accused of being biaised or insulted (once) if after we can discuss and explain our rules (per Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers). Of course, the newcomer has to change this (potential) behaviour but it is not a big issue.

The issue is facing "attrition wars" from newcomers who are just there to push a given pov. This is stressful, tiring and demotivating. We have the exemple of Malik Shabbaz that illustrates this. Everybody has to understand the frustration of a situation in which they arrive, WP:BATTLEGROUND, are driven out and then blocked but who come back -fresh- again and again.


1RR and 3RR

1RR is a very efficient rule. It has been so efficient that people learnt how useless is editwarring and the 1 revert that is allowed is even not often used. I think that we have to keep this rule. On the other side, the "newcomers" familiar with the system use this in combination with WP:Civil PoV pushing to start attrition wars with never ending discussions justifying their pov pushing and potential revert.

I suggest that the 1RR restriction is left for a group of long-and-good-standing contributors and who proved they are there to build an encyclopaedia in order to counter the abuse of 1RR by newcomers. The LaGSC would be tight to 3RR as everywhere else on wp:en but would certainly not use this, except against "problematic contributors". In case of "abuse" or misconduct, WP:A/E could shift them back to 1RR. No big deal.

The big advantage is that "newcomers" would be forced to bring real arguments on the talk pages in order to see their material introduced in the articles because if they want to fight ou "passer en force", they will lose their time (in 1RR vs 3RR). This way we would enforce good faith and prevent civil pov pushing.

-> 1RR-rule should be left for some contributors.

1-sided contributions and NPoV

In a difficult area such as the I/P conflict, contributors who are deeply involved should not work in the area. If you have been victim of a rape, don't start articles about this topic; if you are a member of the Scientology Church, don't start editing in that area; ...

That's the same here: if you are member of BDS, don't discuss about BDS... If somebody is unable to report the point of view of the "other side", because that is too hard for him and touched him (it is a war, missiles are shot, there are deaths, people fear for their lives, ...) he should just be banned from editing.

-> 1-sided editing and refusal to modify such editing when it is pointed out by others should be a reason of topic-ban on WP:A/E board.


@WarKosign: you write that somebody who claims that the issue is 1-side must be ignorant or dishonnest. It would not be fair to state the issue that we live is symetric. Most of newbees pov-pushers that we meet are pro-Israeli nationalists. You give some links that this source explains what is obvious : that the means and the ressources are not equivalent. I read somewhere sometime a clever comment that stated that wikipedia was not in a situation to comply with NPoV because it was written by Western people mainly and therefore was Western-mind biased. That's of course true even if we cannot do anything against that. By the same way I remind to have crossed 2 Palestinian contributors but tenths of Israli ones. It is obvious that I weighs more than P in the way wp is influenced.

All this said, we nevertheless don't mind because any rule or any action we could take cannot target one side but only both. Pluto2012 (talk) 21:18, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WarKosign: The Guardian says : "The propaganda war between Israel and the Palestinians is not new, but this battle-round is being fought with unprecedented ferocity. And like the asymmetry in the military conflict, the strength and resources of the Israel social media troops outweigh those of Hamas and other Palestinian organisations. (...) In recent years Israel has recruited hundreds of students to assist in its hasbara, or public diplomacy campaign. These individuals – some of whom are paid – act openly and covertly, many engaging in below-the-line online discussion threads to promote Israel's interests."
As far as wikipedia is concerned, Palestinian and Arab "pov-pushers" may have come and but they just don't harm us. What we get from them are basic vandalisms reverted by sight by anybody. On the other side pro-I pov pushers are currently acting on wikipedia. No comparison is possible and no symetry can be traced (see below). Pluto2012 (talk) 05:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WarKosign: You consider they harm us and that I feel they don't because I share their pov. Please stop bad faith. You have been proven the symetry is not an argument and you didn't provide any evidence but (just) your mind. Could you please provide an equivalent event as the one described here below ? Are there socks acting at the same levels as NoCal100, HerutJuram or Runtshit ? If so, who ? And I don't enter in the topic of the contributor currently editing or in the outing and threaths. Pluto2012 (talk) 06:21, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WarKosign (about asking to a contributor on his talk page if he has another account or if he is paid for editing): I'd rather agree with your comments on the counter-productive effect and uselessness of such demands. I have always seen this done and understood this was used to be more severe in case the contributor was indeed acting that way. I think that I was asked myself several times this "question". We should get rid of this and "forbids" this. Pluto2012 (talk) 16:36, 14 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Experience from wp:fr

On wp:fr we recently found and get rid of a group of 5/10 of them (the number of socks is undefinied). After they were banned they created a "fork" in which they explain they are funded, how wikipedia diabolizes Israel, attack our administrators (among others). Then provide proudly themselves the links to the different WP:AN/I requests about them. They also explain why wikipedia is antisemite and have created a facebook account now but it is not our matter. Pluto2012 (talk) 05:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Kingsindian

I am not sure how wide the scope of this case is, and I am skeptical that these things can really be legislated. However, I will give some of my concerns.

People concentrating on violations of simply "one-side"

There is doubt about the WP:NPOV policy. See for example the discussion even between administrators at WP:AE here, let alone the participants (some are socks) - for the record, I agree with Sandstein in that discussion. Also note the comments of Zad68 there, who states that 95% of the editors in this area should probably be banned using this criteria. Editors are of course allowed to have POV (see WP:YESPOV), but they should edit neutrally, and reflect the source fully, and try to find sources which contradict the assertions. Admittedly, this is hard to do, but one should strive toward it. People seem to believe that as long as they add stuff which is sourced (without any concern for WP:DUE weight and so on) their duty is done. There are many people who I can name, who I have never seen add anything at all neutral or positive about Palestinians, or anything bad about Israel. For the record, I do not believe that one needs to ban 95% of editors, just some clear guidelines would help.

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

My second last sentence (starting with "There are many people...") seems to have confused matters somewhat. I don't want people to badmouth Israel or Palestinians willy-nilly. The aim should be to present different viewpoints, show sources fully and so on. See, for instance, the series of edits captured in this diff. It certainly is "from one side", but I think it moves towards NPOV, rather than away from it (I made the edits, so I am biased obviously). Because the edit adds (undisputed as far as I know) material from many good academic sources about the background, which just happens to "favour one side". Here the comments by Zero0000 at the AE discussion linked above are appropriate. Kingsindian  17:36, 5 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wikipedia WP:ARBPIA is plagued by repeated sockpuppetry. A few of the most prolific ones are Wlglunight93, NoCal100 and AndresHerutJaim. Diffs can be found aplenty by just clicking on the names, so I'm not linking them explicitly.

Long-term edit-warring

Many of the sock-puppeters and some good-faith new users edit-war about the same content over and over again. Some of it is legitimate, some not.

  • Example1 About the use of "terrorist" in the lead. Note that many of the discussants on the talk pages are socks of users I listed above, though some are good-faith disagreements.
  • Example2 The role of Arafat in the intifada

Many more can be given.

Removal of "suspect" sources on sight

One of the activities of sockpuppets in this area(diff), and also some long-term users (diff), is to remove sources they don't like on sight. This is relevant to Settleman's comment but separate from it. These people do not consider either the text linked, or the author, but simply apply a blind rule - this is Mondoweiss, or +972_Magazine, it must go. As WP:BIASED and WP:IRS state clearly, reliability is always in context. If arguments are given for use in particular cases, they resort to an absolutist tit-for-tat position, saying: "ok if you treat Mondoweiss as RS, I will then treat Arutz Sheva as RS" (see RSN discussion). Most attempts to argue for nuance falls on deaf ears. Secondly, often the information is uncontroversial, and can be found elsewhere. (See discussion here talk page discussion with two socks, both since banned, and talk page discussion for a good-faith long-term user.) But people do not care about WP:PRESERVE and simply delete inconvenient content.


As mentioned in the case opening, firstly, there is a large probability that one is dealing with a sock in this area. In this case, many people who ignore context, and try to wave WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF are simply living in another world. The civility and AGF violations do not occur in a vacuum, but arise out of long-term content disputes, often with socks and trolls. Malik has already retired, and of course he went overboard in this instance, but one cannot ignore the pattern of abuse which led to this behaviour.

Secondly, clear guidelines are needed, on NPOV and sourcing. I am not sure sure ArbCom can or should legislate it, but something should be done.

Thirdly, admins should police this area actively, instead of being passive receivers of complaints. Kingsindian  17:27, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Replies to points made elsewhere

A note on civility

If this was not clear in my above remarks, I oppose the comments by WarKosign on "low-key incivility". Most "low-key incivil" remarks have real content disputes behind them, and it is easy to differentiate genuine personal attacks from merely strong disagreement (which is often acccompanied by exasperation against the editor which you disagree with). In my opinion, lowering the threshold of "incivility" is a standing invitation for trolls and socks to bait people, leading them to transgress the lower threshold and getting banned. There are a hundred different ways for civil POV-pushing and trolling (WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT and passive-aggression being the most obvious ones), which will not be caught by this low threshold. Kingsindian  11:14, 7 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bias and stuff

Of course everyone has bias, that is totally ok (see WP:YESPOV). I am not talking about banning people who only create articles on terrorist attacks in Israel (for instance). However, what is not allowed is to edit to further one side. One should reflect sources fully and fairly, not remove inconvenient info, as the WP:AE example I gave above did. Also, a common "technique" in this area is to see some inconvenient fact, and then bury it in a barrage of counter-claims, often citing the same sources, and often repeated two or three times, with no concern for WP:DUE weight or even coherence. Compare for instance, the version before and after my edits here, according to the scheme here.

To Igorp_lj

I am not sure what exactly Igorp_lj is saying about "witch-hunt" etc., so I will just ignore it. Igorp_lj's response here, as their practice elsewhere, is simply comparing "pro-Palestinian" and "pro-Israeli" source blindly, without any consideration of quality. Simply reading the talk page sections (which they provide) of the "Gatestone institute" and "Max Blumenthal" is sufficient. The former (it is still in the article, though it should be removed) is an exceptional claim (that Hamas forced people to stay in Shujaiyya during the bombing), which is contradicted by every independent source on the matter, including the UN report; while the other is direct witness testimony fleshing out details which are corroborated elsewhere. Hence the importance of WP:RS always being in context. Most of the other charges are also refuted by simply reading the links which they provide, as opposed to their commentary on it.

"Greetings" to new editors

It is routine to get "greetings" like the one Settleman received. I also got one when I started editing intensively. I didn't mind - there are enough socks in this area for one to be careful. Kingsindian  19:31, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by StevenJ81

  • I request that ArbCom consider statements both on this page and in the original case request involving Malik. Regardless of whether word limits, etc., were honored, and leaving aside issues specific to Malik (and his interlocutor), much serious and useful evidence is there.
  • For the record, just about every problem that has been mentioned here goes both ways. I make no claims as to whether it goes both ways in equal volumes. However, there are certainly editors here (trolls, etc.) who also have nothing good to say about Israel or Zionism, and are not willing to criticize Palestinians. It would not be correct to characterize this as a one-way street.
  • I don't need to add to Kingsindian's comment on sockpuppetry. Consider that incorporated into what follows.

Functionally, WP:Anyone can edit is already dead in this topic area

Mostly, I avoid editing in this area. It is not fun, and it is not rewarding. And people who try to stay in the middle to edit in a balanced way (notwithstanding their IRL POV) simply get squashed. My own recent example was around United Synagogue, a British Jewish umbrella organization for Orthodox synagogues. Most of its work is domestic, but as with many Jewish groups, there is some Israel advocacy involved. A WP:SPA insisted on a lengthy description of outside criticism of this advocacy. I had not been following the page. But I stepped in to try to mediate, mostly noting that Israel advocacy was only a fraction of the organization's work, and offering to work with the SPA in a sandbox to create an appropriately weighted and balanced contribution. I also said I'd be available the following week for this. She agreed to work with me—and then proceeded to ignore our agreement and resume adding the same material. At this point, she stated (contrary to Pluto2012's quote of Jimbo above) that she was entitled to add anything sourced, in any quantity, and that it was up to the rest of the world to provide balance and weight to counter. And I have had many such encounters with SPAs and IPs who are not WP:HERE, and therefore mostly don't care about rules that don't help them do what they want.

Other very experienced editors have also told me that they no longer edit in this area, though I will let them tell their own stories. But my conclusion is: When experienced editors—editors who are HERE—can no longer tolerate contributing here, then it is no longer true that anyone can edit. And if that is true, then I believe we are entitled to favor trusted editors over WP:NOTHERE contributors.

This may require a two-stage solution

The problem of trolls (etc.) overwhelms all other problems and questions here. I'd like to think that if we got rid of NOTHERE contributors in this topic area, and otherwise enforce the regular rules, the rest of us would have sufficient goodwill to get things right. But I see no way to know that for sure until we get rid of the known, pervasive problem of trolls. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:44, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some responses to others' comments

  • I honestly don't know how much of the RS problem comes from experienced editors and how much from SPA's/SP-IP's. But I generally think each individual reference should be evaluated on its own merit, not deleted because someone doesn't like the source in general. In turn, when people use sources, it's one thing to use sources to support facts, another to use them to support theories and opinions. If editors are careful to distinguish, we will have fewer problems with this.
  • 1RR: I'm not sure I'll really know the importance of this until there are no NOTHERE editors around. But in general terms I like Zero's approach below.
  • Everyone has some bias. Obviously. The question is whether you can see through it and try to edit neutrally (as best you can) or not. That's really what we need people to try to do. Hence, I concur with Pluto2012's point: it's a problem when people say "I can just insert this source, and it's up to others to balance the bias." Doesn't work. If you can't write neutrally all by yourself, work it out on the talk page.
  • Similarly, the rules here fit together. One of my main problems with civil POV pushers is their use of rules selectively to accomplish what they want. You can't, for example, hide behind WP:RS to justify an edit when people are telling you it violates WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV.
  • I have to say that I am extremely disappointed with Huldra's evidence. As WarKosign wrote, Huldra prevents a false dichotomy between international and Israeli points of view. Further, Huldra essentially proposes that where Israeli and international points of view differ, we should automatically abandon NPOV in favor of the international position. I respectfully disagree.
  • My PPOV is pro-Israel. And I would love to get rid of socks and SPA's. From any side. Period. They make it hard to write balanced submissions.
  • I fully support Igorp_lj's comments at "Wider targets"
  • I fully support what Ivanvector has written. And while I'm not sure if I agree with Number57's conclusions, I think his recitation of history around here is really important. Pro-Israel editors here now—responsible ones—currently feel completely outnumbered and unable to contribute, even neutrally.
  • Finally, re what AnotherNewAccount said: Regardless of the legal judgment on settlements, many anti-settlement editors translate that into a moral judgment. That has a strong effect on the possibility of moving edits reflecting those judgments toward NPOV. And as to bad-faith use of sources (or bad-faith removal of sources), see my first response comment above. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:30, 17 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by WarKosign

Everyone has bias

Virtually anyone is biased. I urge any editor who considers themselves neutral to take the religion bias test.

More importantly, unless an editor makes purely gnomish edits, every edit can be seen as having a bias. A good faith editor who sees a biased article would try to correct the bias towards what they consider neutral, while an editor of an opposing bias would be trying to correct it in the opposite direction. It is unrealistic to request either of these editors to be editing against their bias toward what they consider a less neutral article. Assuming both edit in good faith, the best we can do is to enable and force them to resolve their disagreements in a civil way. The result should then average towards something resembling true NPOV. We should concentrate on dealing with editors who edit in bad faith and/or are uncivil.

Proposed remedies

Two major problems are edit warring and sockpuppetry. WP:1RR is supposed to alevate edit warring, but in my opinion it falls short. Examine the following sequence which happens quite often:

  1. Editor A makes a bold change.
  2. Editor B reverts the change. B exhausted their 1RR quota here.
  3. Editor A reverts B's revert. A exhausted their 1RR quota here.

The result is: A's edit is in, B has nothing to do about it, nothing is forcing A to follow WP:BRD and to discuss the edit. B can open a discussion, hoping that A is willing to respond, rather than simply re-do the edit 24 hours later.

Since any editor is able to force their changes, even if only temporarily, it increases the temptation to use sock puppets.

I suggest to consider A's first edit a revert for 1RR limitation, it would stop the sequence after 2, thus forcing the editors into following WP:BRD and greatly reducing the benefit of employing sock puppets.

To address Zero0000's concern: consider this edit as a revert only *after* it has been reverted. If an editor made several changes and they all were reverted the user is still not in violation of WP:1RR, but should not be making further reverts or bold edits in the next 24 hours. WarKosign 10:39, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another remedy would be reducing tolerance for uncivil remarks and low-key personal attacks. At the moment editors are permitted to make harsh and unpleasant remarks during discussion, and over time it takes the toll and may result in an outburst. While outright violation of WP:CIV (as seems to be the case with Malik Shabazz) is unacceptable whatever the cause may be, it would be better to somehow codify strict civility standard, it would make discussing controversial changes a much more pleasant experience. I'm taking about expression such as:

  • POV-pusher
  • X-hater
  • anti-Y
  • "nonsense" "crap" "propaganda" etc when dismissing an opponent's argument or diminishing the merit of the edit instead of describing the perceived problem.

When an editor is alerted to their minor incivility, they should be considered warned and ideally strike the comment out. If such warnings accumulate, the editor should be sanctioned in some form. WarKosign 08:33, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Response to Huldra

I did not want to point fingers, but I have to respond to Huldra's statement. This is one example of a very biased editor who will not admit the bias and would try anything to tip the scales in favor of her side.

One-sided recruitment

Just as there are opinions about pro-Israeli bias and conspiracy theories about pro-zionist recruitment, there are equally strong opinions [21] [22] [23] that Wikipedia is biased against Israel. The perceived bias of Wikipedia is almost exactly the opposite of the bias of the person who observes it.

Here is one case of pro-Palestinian recruitment campaign. It is one-sided when you choose to look only on one side.

@Zero0000: About Yesha council's course: "The idea is not to make Wikipedia rightist but for it to include our point of view,". Is there anything wrong with that ?

Here is another such report about a pro-Palestinian Wikipedia workshop. Here are allegations about "Wikipedians for Palestine", a "secret pro-Palestinian group off Wikipedia". We will never know who started it and who's only responding, and it's irrelevant. The web is full of accusations of meatpuppetry and canvassing on both sides. Someone saying it's a single-sided phenomena must be either ignorant or dishonest. WarKosign 19:52, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pluto2012: Yes, it its likely that the conditions in Palestinian territories are not favorable for many editors to be active there. Nothing, however, prevents the other 2/3 of the Palestinian people who live outside of these territories (including in the US and Europe) from editing. Also nothing prevents residents of states hostile to Israel from editing, and indeed I've seen more than enough new editors identifying themselves as Muslim popping up and pushing anti-Israeli agenda. WarKosign 21:27, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pluto2012: I must disagree with your "they don't harm us". I consider the result of their actions more harmful than apparently you do, it could be because you disagree with them less than me. I do not imply any bad faith in agreeing with their POV - I agree with POV of some of pro-Israel POV pushers, but certainly not with their tactics or style. Their actions also consists mostly of easily reverted vandalism. I probably consider them less harmful than you do, because of our different bias. So far I saw no proof that there is no symmetry, and it doesn't matter since as you wrote any rule would have to targets both sides equally. WarKosign 06:07, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POV sources

Here Huldra presents a false dichotomy of International vs Israeli position. On some subjects Israeli position is in minority that still enjoys strong international support. On some other subjects Israeli position has nearly complete international support, except by the side automatically opposing the Zionist entity. Discarding the sources supporting Israeli position as POV contradicts the very nature of WP:NPOV - wikipedia is there to represent the conflicts and not to participate in them and cannot pick which side to represent. Ta'ayush is described by sources as radical/extreme left so this is what wikipedia should report. It doesn't matter that apparently Huldra's positions are close to this organization so she doesn't consider them particularly radical. WarKosign 07:40, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POV naming

You could mention that many of the Arab villages were built on ruins of ancient Jewish villages, and Arab names were often derived from ancient Hebrew names. See for example Huqoq -> Yaquq -> Hukok. Ramla is an exception rather than the rule, Lod and Beersheba are mentioned in the bible and Arabic al-Ludd and Biʾr as-Sab are corruptions of ancient Jewish cities' names. As you correctly pointed out, if a single article exists for different periods of a place it should use the current WP:COMMONNAME, so it's something worth correcting for Cyprus rather than breaking for Israel. WarKosign 16:35, 18 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assumption of Bad faith

I'd like to support Igorp lj. A user once asked me whether "one of my socks" was behind some nasty remarks on their talk page, and even complimented me on sophisticated use of IP masking. This kind of unbased assumption of bad faith should be considered a personal attack. It is appropriate to raise a suspicion on appropriate forums, it should be unacceptable and punishable to accuse an editor on any other forum. I do support Zero0000's suggestion to be more proactive in locating sock puppets and indeed a highly skilled new editor is a good reason to request a CU, but not to try and ambush them on their talk page. If indeed this is a sock, you don't expect them to admit guilt this way, do you ? So this accusation achieves nothing except offending a good-faith editor. WarKosign 10:45, 14 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Zero0000

I have been editing in the i/p area for 13.6 years, 11 years as administrator. I'll surprise some people here by saying that I don't think matters are worse now than in the past. There were times, especially before the 1RR rule, when trying to improve an article was like fighting off a pack of wild dogs. However, it remains one of Wikipedia's problem areas and improvements are desirable. Zerotalk 10:32, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1RR rule

I think that WarKosign's comments on 1RR are worthy of serious thought. The 1RR rule is one of the best things that ever happened to the I/P area of Wikipedia, but it does have its imperfections. WarKosign's proposal doesn't quite work though, as someone should be able to insert different new material multiple times in one day. Let us consider replacing or augmenting 1RR by this:

  • An editor may not insert the same new material twice, or delete the same material twice, in any 24-hour period.

This allows one editor to preserve the article against one opponent. However, I suggest that that is a smaller deficiency than allowing one editor to change the article against one opponent, since it means that one editor cannot easily overrule a previous consensus text. Zerotalk 10:32, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To WarKosign: That's an alternative, but I'm concerned it will be too complicated to explain to new editors. Zerotalk 10:52, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sock detection

The problem about socks is that (1) they can do a lot of damage before being detected and blocked, and (2) they come back, often using sleeper accounts.

One thing that hinders sock detection is the high barrier against CU. It is often the case that new users come along with mature editing skills and knowledge of Wikipedia processes. At the moment CU is usually refused unless evidence is provided linking the new account with a specific older account. I propose instead:

  • A suspicious amount of prior knowledge in a new editor, combined with a clearly one-sided editing strategy, should be grounds for requesting a CU.

The CheckUser retains the power to decide if the circumstantial evidence is sufficient, which will prevent gratuitous fishing.

To limit the abilities of socks to come back, I propose:

  • When an account is blocked as a sock, CU to look for sleeper accounts should be routine.

Timing the CU for a few days after the block would catch many returning socks. Zerotalk 11:11, 6 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Source quality and NPOV

The I/P conflict is written about so much that practically any opinion you can imagine, regardless of how connected it is to reality, can be found in print somewhere. A wealth of sources should be a good thing, but in practice it means that editors who are here primarily as partisans get away with treating Wikipedia as a forum for their own opinions just by googling for sources that express the same opinions. The most skilled of these editors (I'm not going to name anyone) hang around for a long time doing practically nothing else.

(1) The standard for "reliable source" is too low. Personally I avoid even the most outspoken academic experts on each side (e.g. Karsh and Pappé), which may be going too far. However, the use of newspaper articles for history (as opposed to news) should be restricted to articles by experts or quoting experts. (Another reason this is important is that journalists who just need a sentence or two of historical background for their articles often get it from Wikipedia.)
(2) A very common way that pov pushers get their opinions into articles is to quote their favorite journalist's opinion. I propose that opinions expressed by journalists ought to be banned almost completely (a few exceptions could be formulated). The only permitted opinions on whether some event is wonderful or terrible should be opinions by people involved in the event or prominent public figures like government leaders.
(3) People who always add the same pov into articles often respond that someone else can add the other pov. I believe this is a misinterpretation of the rules. I'd like to see a strong statement from ArbCom that neutral editing is an obligation on all individual editors. That doesn't mean that every single edit has to be neutral, rather that every editor is required to work towards a neutral article. Zerotalk 02:14, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the links. I hadn't realised that WikiProject Palestine is an evil anti-Israel plot. Zerotalk 09:57, 9 September 2015 (UTC) @WarKosign: I'm wondering why you don't realise that such weak evidence is supporting the opposite case. The article says that the Yesha Council is actually running courses, and in return some Palestinian journalist calls for a response. Where can we read about the funding and actual running of courses or programs in response to the call? Zerotalk 13:04, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Igorp lj

* Upd: it's rev.2 of my evidence what is changed according to the following ask.

I am not a frequent visitor in this section, but after reading the preliminary and latest evidences, decided to leave my one too.
So here is my own feeling about an atmosphere in IP section: it's even not the saddest thing that visiting it isn't pleasure, and sometimes - even disgusting.
The saddest one is that some editors and admins :(, who has set control on access of information to Wiki, harm its reliability.


E.g., for 3+ months, a very important information in Wiki was simply absent. It's about the fact that the EU continued to apply anti-terrorism sanctions against Hamas just after of procedural decisions of the Court and is going to appeal against this decision. My attempts to change this absurd situation by Wiki tools simply failed.

It is clear that if to exclude "inconvenient" sources, as in the case above, or the most of (pro)Israeli sources - in general, leaving only a few of major Israeli media against a lot of (pro) Arab / Palestinian, anti-Israeli sources and Israeli marginals & foreign agents, a real situation will be completely distorted.

How it works? Just applying a dual approach to the assessment of a "Pro et Contra" sources. Only (!) a couple of examples:

Therefore, first of all, I'd suggest to create a group what'll re-check per same criteria how all sources from both the sides meet RS requiremens.


I consider it unacceptable that some editors allow to themselves such personal attacks against opponents as:

  • series of insults[1]
  • such reaction on my technical question as:
    • "You are, as on several other pages earlier, not understanding the points made, and engaging in a personal polemic. The connection is made in the text..." (IMHO, not in source, but...)
  • The same coarse invectives in response to my exact quoting from the source p.156, p.218:
    • "I've tried to be nice and helpful. It's evident that you don't understand rules, grammar, nothing. It's pointless interacting with you. 'Palestinian citizens of Israel (subject) took to the streets to demonstrate' cannot be rephrased as 'Palestinian citizens of Israel" demonstrations,' for the simple fucking reason..."
  • The same such examples may be found here, as well as
    • "The fact that you have the primitive idea"; "You have shown nothing, zero, zilch."
in other case, etc.


I consider it unacceptable that some editors allow to themselves:

  • to add to an article only what corresponds to his vision, whether it is written in the sources, and then to insists in a mentor tone on incorrect information. See a "peaceful's saga" in respose to my {{cn}}{{clarify}}[1] & compare it with a final var reached with other editor, not with "peaceful" one)
    • "Please desist from this bad habit (plunking cn tags when the sources provide the clarification you request" (13 April 2015)
    • As I said, read Cheneweth, who reports that datum. (14 April 2015)
  • choosing a worst case from different sources: "children as young as 6 have been arrested for stone-throwing" instead of (7 & 12-old boys, NYT)
  • such edit of a LEDE (!) as 14 August 2015
  • to make and support such biased articles as 2015-1 & 2015-2, mainly based on one bias source, and
    • to offer to other esitors to clean up after "I built content... here very rapidly since it's not an article that requires deep research". (sic!) IMHO, it's a frank DISRUPT.
  • such Selective Quoting & Omitting as in the following cases: 1996 shelling of Qana & Khawaja & LeVine + "Clarity", etc.
  • to use wp:TLDR arguments as a combination of statements, what are slightly related to a subject of discussion and should be checked for their authenticity and / or selective quoting.
  • to coordinate on a Talk page who will make a next revert in an article.

AGF, EQ, removing a Caution from a Talk page

IMHO, such "greeitng" from one editor as

  • "Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. May I ask if you have edited Wikipedia before, and if so, under what account name(s)? Cheers"

isn't the best Hello for a new editor just after his registration.

It wasn't enough - a more hard & provocative one came from another editor: "Paid editing ; former editing on wp".
But more strange thing happened yet later: my corresponding Caution what I've left on his Talk has been removed twice - by him ("AGF & EQ: game over") and by yet one person who already wrote at his User page: "RETIRED This user is no longer active on Wikipedia". :)
Thus, some user who calls himself here as administrator and former arbiter in other Wiki, feels himself entitled to ask not ethical questions to other, but does not tolerates any remarks in his address, and (as I understand it, in violation of the Rules) forcely removes it from his Talk. And after my "You have no right to remove it", another user appears and supports him. Now I have to restore it once more.[2]


IMHO, just what I've described above prevents civilized cooperation in IP section and harm Wkipedia's reliability.


RS+ (to Kingsindian)

@Kingsindian: Regarding to your "Removal of "suspect" sources on sight" & "Long-term edit-warring" It's a fine example of a "dual approach" what I've mentioned above: supporting the Mondoweiss & +972 Magazine and rejecting such sources as Khaled Abu Toameh, Nicole Hong (WSJ), Tom Gross, PMW, Arutz 7, etc. (I'll try to find a time to check what's up there).

The same is about using the terrorist word: as I remember it's decided do not use it in such articles as Jaffa Road bus bombings, etc. Is it right? --Igorp_lj (talk) 16:26, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Kingsindian: ("To Igorp_lj") : Sorry, I do not understand whom do you mean, writing "their practice elsewhere" and other such claims.

  • But I've already shown that a real result for your "importance of WP:RS always being in context" is a dual approach to them. See my examples in "RS" above.
  • IMHO, your "without any consideration of quality" (RS) isn't correct.

--Igorp_lj (talk) 23:37, 17 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Witch hunt' as solution ?

@Pluto2012: @Kingsindian: I am not sure that such Hunt or any kind of McCarthyism is a right solution to combat anonymous, socks and allegedly existing groups.

On anonyms: see this (02.2002 - 08.2007) statistics what provides the following ratio for Israeli / PNA editors: (3.83 : 1) for number of edits, and (3.48 : 1) - for articles, wherein it doesn't include editors from other countries, including Muslim ones + let's take into account that access to the Internet is more easier now.
It would be interesting to see a similar statistics as function of edits' focus (bias, vandalysm), and for specific articles, such as Protective Edge, during a peak period, and after it.
My own feeling based on checking my Watch list doesn't lead me to any unequivocal conclusions about biased / vandalysm edits made by anonymous or registered editors. --Igorp_lj (talk) 10:00, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Wider targets" @Pluto2012

@Pluto2012: I honestly do not know how to treat this your post. :(
Maybe just to remind you that Israel, Jews and those who can't tolerate anti-Semitism, still have to contend with Judeophobia, and not only in the social media, e.g. as is in Facebook:

--Igorp_lj (talk) 20:50, 11 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

to Huldra

  • "about my welcome of Settleman"

As I know it wasn't your 1st such "greeting". The rest - see my opinion above. --Igorp_lj (talk) 23:50, 17 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • "I would just note that in these last years, Israel has lost a *lot* of sympathy in the world. In 2013, according to Haaretz:.."

I've already proposed you to treat carefully an info from Haaretz, especially the titles. Its "Poll: Israel Among World's Least Popular Nations" one isn't quite correct. See a source: "BBC poll: Germany most popular country in the world - that is, among the 17 countries represented, Israel got No. 14. About other 22-17 = 5 ones, as well as about a rest of the world, any info is absent. Moreover, I would not advise you to base your "I stand by my statement: there is a one-sided pro-Israeli recruitment" allegations on this poll. There are a lot others, such as: No. 21, No. 37 (from 125), No. 9 from a lot, etc. :)

  • "it should not surprise anyone if that is reflected on Wikipedia" -

Or is sourced from Wiki as well. ):) --Igorp_lj (talk) 00:09, 18 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

to a "Violation of NPA, POLEMIC, POVPUSH, CPUSH" Case's dicussion

(copy from WP:AN/I Case)

Oppose. Moreover, I'd ask again (see. my "14:41, 14 September 2015" above) to escape for a moment from condemnation of Settleman and to give a specific analysis (yes / no / why) of his examples for the (possible) Nishidani's violations. Unfortunately, at the moment, this discussion seems me another attempt of the same "judges" to punish an editor who dared to criticize one from a current Wiki-establishment. That's the pity, but it isn't a first such case. If I am not mistaken, the last such Case against Nishidani lasted 37 minutes (!) till its 1st condemnation, and 10 hours - until its final closure.):) As I think, the current Case will be a good example too for a Palestine-Israel articles 3 discussion, because it characterized well a current situation in IP sector. I hope that has to be a way to repair its current status when Wiki isn't NPOV, and being only a spokesman for one of conflict's parties, only distorts an existing reality in the region. Sorry, but it's how I see it. --Igorp_lj (talk) 01:02, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Upd: See User_talk:Igorp_lj#messages_to_other_users

Evidence presented by Ivanvector

Anyone can't edit

One of our founding principles is being an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. However, other commenters here have rightly pointed out that the state of WP:ARBPIA and other topic areas like it have already functionally done away with "anyone can edit"; StevenJ81 explains this eloquently above. This has also been my anecdotal experience with several real people I know who were highly prolific contributors in sensitive topic areas, but who have stopped editing entirely because they couldn't stand the constant barrage of abuse and vandalism by POV warriors with throwaway sock accounts, but moreso because we lack the awareness to see the problem for how serious it is, and we simultaneously lack the willingness to do anything meaningful about it. The dispute which led to this case is evidence of both of these deficiencies. POV warriors will relentlessly push their POV until they win; we have not developed an effective way to stop this. Consider: valued administrator Malik Shabazz is (presumably) gone for good or faces an uphill battle should he decide to return, while banned sockmaster NoCal100 has very likely already created a new account and returned to editing. Our sanctions are meaningless to seriously problematic editors: dodging sanctions is so much like a game to them that we even keep score for them.

Regrettably, any discussion about stricter discipline in topic areas such as these gets waved off with shouts of "too draconian" or similar, with high regard for the standard of "anyone can edit" which the community has admirably set for itself. But we are already at a point where several areas of the project experience a de facto exemption from "anyone can edit", and if we are really serious about creating an environment where anyone can (and is encouraged to) edit, then we absolutely must be able to effectively deal with editors whose only purpose is to push their bias. Pending changes level 2 is often suggested as a solution, although there is no consensus for its use. In other places a much higher confirmation requirement (30 days, 200 edits I believe, versus 4d/10e) for users to be allowed to edit has been used, but as I said before I don't remember which topic area this was so can't ask anyone who edits there if it has been effective.

Of course bias and POV will always be an issue faced by this project, but neutral point of view is as much a policy and principle as anything that we have, including "anyone can edit", and if editors cannot put aside their bias and edit collaboratively then they should not edit. Just like WP:COI, editors who are likely to be biased should be encouraged to avoid sensitive topics, because they are unlikely to be able to see their own bias, and the resulting conflicts have been shown time and time again to be explosive and destructive to the project. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 17:40, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User Jéské Couriano informed me on my talk page that the topic area currently under a 30/500 edit restriction is Gamergate controversy, as a result of this enforcement thread. Also within that discussion is a note about a similar restriction at Nagorno-Karabakh which has been in effect since April 2012, in response to "the extreme problem of sock editing". Jéské speculates that the restriction has had a positive result regarding sockpuppet accounts. Neither they nor I edit in that area, but I at least haven't seen a single thread about Gamergate at ANI in recent memory, whereas not all that long ago Gamergate basically dominated that entire page. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 20:53, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Response to Huldra

(header added for convenience

@Huldra: I think you're not done, but I'd like to address your suggestion of exempting users from revert restrictions for accounts less than 500 edits old. I can see such a rule being quite open to abuse from socks: they would just clog the noticeboards with whining about inappropriate reverts, which is one of the known tactics of sock farms. In the example I gave above, there is a restriction in the software (maybe it's an edit filter, I'm honestly not sure) which simply prevents accounts below the bar from editing on the affected pages at all, including the talk pages. There is no need to revert, the edits just simply don't go through. The disruption is prevented from happening in the first place. Sure, it prevents some quality editors from editing, but overall the topic area improves. We have seen that there is going to be collateral damage no matter what we do; our goal should be to improve the editing experience overall. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 23:23, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Huldra: (re: [24]) it would indeed be regrettable to impede these useful IP gnome edits, but I think that loss is acceptable for the "greater good" of improving the topic area. Other editors can and will eventually fix those things. Also, ping does not work unless you sign in the same edit, so my apologies if your comment was sitting there for a while. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 14:50, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Huldra

Having edited in the I/P area for 10 years (with a total of 37K+ edits on en.wp, with commons-edits: about 40K; 75% on building articles); I agree that the area has *always* been terribly. Look at this, back in 2005.

One-sided recruitment

There have been several recruitment campaigns for the pro-Israeli/pro-Zionist side: See links in the Pluto2012-section, and links here, in addition to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/CAMERA lobbying. These day, you apparently can even get credits at Uni in Israel for it. This has been going on since -at least- 2008. There has never once (AFAIK) been a recruitment campaign for a pro-Palestinian side.

I stand by my statement: there is a one-sided pro-Israeli recruitment drive to Wikipedia. (WarKosign list an Oboler-article about the CAMERA -affair in 2008 (suffice to say that Oboler´s findings are exactly the opposite of what found, the same year), and two references to an article of McQuillan. McQuillan, was banned for naming editor “bali ultimate as a “functional Holocaust denier.” Bali ultimate is User:Dan Murphy, a reporter for Christian Science Monitor. He was described a being “livid” being called a Holocaust denier. So apparently it is a sign of “bias against Israel” to act against people who go around branding editors as “functional Holocaust denier.”)

As for the interesting observation of Number 57: I would just note that in these last years, Israel has lost a *lot* of sympathy in the world. In 2013, according to Haaretz: “only countries less popular than Israel are North Korea, Pakistan and Iran”: it should not surprise anyone if that is reflected on Wikipedia.

POV sources

Is Wikipedia to reflect the International view on the Middle East, or the Israeli view? I would argue that it should reflect the International view. I urge to clarify this. Keeping that in mind, we should understand that many of the NGOs which are branded as "radical left" in Israel, are nothing more than mainstream, when it comes to international opinion.

That editors use google books for finding the words “taayush radical”", and then puts the result into the Ta'ayush -article: that does not make Ta'ayush especially radical.

I could have used google books for finding the words "respected Ta'ayush", and found this Tanya Reinhart, but that is not the way I edit.

(And just to clarify: I have personally never had anything to do with Ta'ayush )


I would *fully* support either Zero0000 or WarKosigns suggestion. Present 1RR rules favours socks. In addition; I would like to suggest that we can rv IPs, or editors with less than 500 edits, as many times as we want.

Reason for rv IPs, or "new" editors with less than 500 edits: take Mandatory Palestine; where I recently broke the 1RR reverting a Telstra sock. As this was just a "borderline vandalism" (rm the Palestine flag); I am "sitting on pins and needles" for hours, days afterwards, being afraid that someone will report me. That this happen, due to my actions most likely agains a sock who has threatened to rape me and kill me, countless times (see the AN/I-report); makes me more angry than I can express in words.

I have considered the possibility asking for semi-protecting the whole I/P area, however, new editors, or even IPs, sometimes do very useful edits. (Here is an IP correcting my blunder, when I mixed up Beitin and Beita! <facepalm>)

@Ivanvector: I see your point: but that would limit new IPs making perfectly fine edits, say, this yeasterday. But I could absolutely live with your version; what I find untenable is the present situation.

Socks, sock detection

It is not surprising that some of the most pro-Israeli editors in the I/P area do *not* think that socking is a major problem; as the vast majority of the sock-masters are pro-Israeli. I have a personal suspicion that this might have something to do with those recruitment-drives: most people are simply not "cut out" for editing in the I/P-section, so they end up socking instead.

I fully support the suggestions of Zero0000. As an example: I´m 99,9 % sure that User:Gilabrand was back within days of her being indeffed. Yes, I know her new account (one of them!), (But obviously, pr. WP:ASPERSIONS I cannot name it.) I emailed it to User:HJ Mitchell, but it was over 3 months after the new account had registered. However, CU of banned socks would have caught her.

I am very pleased that no-one has argued against the proposals from Zero0000, and I hope takes this as a clear signal.


The result is a Wikipedia where, say, coverage of Israeli children killed in the conflict gets 100 times more coverage than Palestinian children killed in the conflict. (This is assuming that articles on either side, are on average, equal length). This and the equally tilted coverage of persons, or NGOs, who have an opinion about the Middle East. (Look out for those: "Controversy" and "criticism"-sections for anyone who has ever been critical of *any* Israeli action). I don´t think can do anything about this, as long as the present "beliefs" are in place: namely that there will be no "editorial oversight" of the area. Whatever succeeds Wikipedia might change that. Huldra (talk) 23:30, 8 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of all the investigations being done on Wikipedia content, none (AFAIK?) has centered on the results of "nationalistic" editing. Take two areas: Israel/Palestine and Cyprus (North/South), where the North have been Turkish/Turkish-Cypriot majority since the 1974 war.

A couple of "theories to test": over representation of Pro-Israel (vs pro-Palestinian) editors, and over-representation of pro-Greek/Greek-Cypriot (vs pro- Turk/Turkish-Cypriot ) editors.

Can we see/measure how, if any, such over-representation of editors has tilted the content of Wikipedia?

  1. : Names: how are they chosen? Typically, Israeli towns were given new Hebrew names when their Arab population was kicked out in -48: Wikipedia follow the new Hebrew names. (Lydda --> Lod, Ramlah --> Ramla, Beisan --> Beit She'an, Biʾr as-Sab -->Beersheba ). North-Cypriot towns were given new Turkish names when their Greek inhabitants were kicked out in -74: Interestingly, Wikipedia still follows the pre-74 Greek spelling. So we have Kyrenia (and not "Girne"), Karavas (and not "Alsancak"). Pr Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) and WP:COMMONNAME : "Girne" "outguns" "Kyrenia" massively, also on
  2. : Victims: compare the number of victims in the conflict, with A: the number of articles on those victims. B: the average amount of space (measured in words, or KB) given to each victim (yes, that is taken from this)
  3. : Keeping in mind Zeq´s old advice: Every time you see a Hamas person makes an outragous statements [..] you write a small article about that peroson (google his name to find more ) and bring the quote from memri. why doing all that ? because google is wikipedia friend - 3 days after you created the article google the person's name again and voila your article will be the #1 in google for that name. How can we measure the effects of such campaigns?
  4. : Other ways of measuring tilted, skewed material?

I think an answer to these questions are way beyond the powers of, but perhaps could urge WMF to investigate? Huldra (talk) 23:35, 17 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


To Igor: about my welcome of Settleman: yes, I would say that was absolutely correct in *this* case. His *very* first edit was the creation of a new article. ..In a very controversial area, no less. Now, how many new editors do that?

In general, I think we should keep this option. But only use it when a new editor do things very few "real" new editors do. Dive into edit-wars, finding their way around WP:AE and the other boards with the utmost of familiarity, etc. It gives a hint to later editors that something does not quite "sound" right. Incidentally, I have welcomed countless Nocal-socks this way!

User:WarKosign is obviously correct in stating that what was asked him, was way, way over the line. But WarKosign brought it to WP:AE where both of them were given a 3 month interaction-ban: that should also have been mentioned. (link); Huldra (talk) 20:40, 14 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by AnotherNewAccount

I have edited in the topic area on occasions. Mostly, it's an unpleasant experience. Many of my good faith contributions have been angrily reverted, and I don't know enough or care enough to argue the point on the talk pages. As other editors have noted, the topic area is not open for anyone to edit. The topic area is utterly dominated by WP:ACTIVISTs who are far too emotionally invested in the topic, and with altogether far too much time on their hands.

Since my time, investment and knowledge of in the area is limited, my involvement in the topic is limited to mostly reading about it.

I do however know enough to know when I'm reading biased or inaccurate material. It is infuriating to be reading a well-written and informative article on a topic, only to suddenly hit a jarring piece of one-sided propaganda casually thrown in by someone who has an axe to grind - and wants to make sure the reader knows about it!

In times past I would try and reword, rewrite or even remove the biased material entirely, in order to ensure that the article projects a neutral and disinterested tone. Now I am inclined simply to leave it there as a poorly-written carbuncle, even at the expense of damaging the credibility of the wider article. This is bad for the encyclopedia, but it's better than legitimising clearly dubious material, or getting into an argument with one or more of the activists over the "removal of sourced material".

I'll detail some specific thoughts below.

Israeli settlements

Wikipedia has a blind spot with Israelis living in the West Bank (i.e. settlers). The illegality of Israel settlements in the West Bank is well understood, but pro-Palestine editors constantly translate this legal judgement into a moral judgement on the settlements, and inhabitants of those settlements; the "illegality" is used as a justification to disregard the neutral point of view policy.

Very briefly, the settlements are almost universally referenced in derisive language, and the inhabitants referred to in a dehumanising manner. I have noticed, in particular, the use of the word "settler" as a derogatory adjective - i.e. "settler homes", "settler vehicles" etc.

Impeaching material on settlements and settlers, often meticulously sourced, is inserted way past the boundaries of WP:UNDUE. In one article I noticed, activist editors removed a substantial amount of potentially verifiable, but insufficiently negative material on a small settlement somewhere in the West Bank, on the grounds that it was all "unsourced". (This was indeed true, but this was clearly an excuse, not the reason). Over the next few months and years, they proceeded to insert a dizzying amount of impeaching WP:COATRACK content such that that article is now nothing more than a meticulously sourced indictment of the settlement rather than an informative article.

West Bank

WP:WESTBANK needs revisiting and updating. When this policy was instituted, Zionist editors were constantly referring to it as "Judea and Samaria", and as "part of Israel" etc. Since the widespread (but not universal) recognition of the State of Palestine, pro-Palestine editors have started trying to refer to the West Bank as "Palestine" whenever they think they can get away with it - despite the fact that this country does not and never has controlled most of the West Bank, it's unfinalized status, and is still subject to negotiations etc.

On reverts

I have observed on occasion an editor who seems to "revert ninja" on a variety of contentious topics (I saw them doing a similar thing on a climate change-related article a while back), reverting on behalf of "his" favoured side with only minimal contribution to the debate. When challenged, his replies were usually terse, dismissive and not conducive resolving the dispute.

Willful "revert ninjaing" needs to be restricted in contentious areas. Reverting is by it's nature a hostile act and anyone reverting in the middle of a dispute should be explaining their actions on the talk page.

By the way, I very rarely revert in anger. When I do I always include a clear reason in the edit summary. I believe that there should be a "no reversion without explanation" rule in contentious areas.

Bad faith use of sources

Outright misrepresentation of a source

The first instance of a "bad faith use of a source" I encountered in my few and brief forays into this topic area concerned the misuse of a line drawing in Peter Stalker's respected atlas, A Guide to Countries of the World to state outright that Ariel University was "in Palestine" (it's actually in that area of land known as the West Bank). This "fact" was not said explicitly in the source: merely inferred from the line drawing - a line drawing of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (this is loosely related to the West Bank-is-Palestine issue noted earlier).

The rationale was simple: This is a map of Palestine. Ariel University is in the middle of that map. Therefore, Ariel University is in Palestine.

Anyone who understands anything about the nature of this conflict knows that the issue isn't so clear cut, and I did not believe for even a single instant that the author would bluntly resolve the sovereignty of any land mass under such dispute.

Ultimately, Igorp lj had to obtain the original source, verify that the author had in fact made no such such claims, and had in an fact supplied the map with a huge caveat. I consider the insertation, the edit warring, and ultimate forcing of another editor to "prove" the source was misrepresented to be extremely tendentious editing behaviour. Editors should be held to account if they willfully misrepresent sources to frustrate the ultimate aim of encyclopedia accuracy.

Use of sources to support opinions, not facts

I see the use of sources to support opinions rather than facts quite a lot, but I couldn't think of a specific example off the top of my head until I read Igorp lj's post above.

Here's a quote from the very first sentence of the "Regavim (NGO)" diff above:

Regavim (רגבים) is an Israeli NGO, one that, according to its critics, is described as a 'settler-colonial NGO'.[1]

In this case, it is quite obvious that the "settler-colonial NGO" opinion is in fact the editor's personal opinion, attributed to some scholar who happens to share the editor's personal opinion, and who happens to have written a scholarly publication on the matter that backs up that editor's personal opinion.

The source is not bad, per se, but it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and not used to attack the subject of the article in the very first sentence! A source certainly should not be used as a vehicle for an editor's personal views, which in this case it is.

There is some more I'd like to write, but I have probably stretched beyond the word limit. I would surely elaborate at a later date. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 00:11, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. ^ Nicola Perugini, Neve Gordon, The Human Right to Dominate,Oxford University Press, 2015 p.116.

Response to Number 57's submission

In my submission above, I tried to be quite specific. Number 57 has been much more general and I urge the committee to take his views, shaped by his own experiences, over along period, very seriously.

As a reader, I put it to the committee that the problems in this topic area as articulated by Number 57 have ultimately skewed the content to the point that the ordinary reader cannot be sure that they are getting a full, balanced and neutral account of the topic, taken as a whole. They can certainly be sure it is accurate - everything they'll read is indeed superficially accurate - but it is too often presented in a manner intended to skew the reader's perception or influence the reader's sympathies.

I disagree with Number 57's suggestion that we should simply ban the problematic editors. While that would be convenient, they haven't done anything that is specifically actionable. I'm also one of those users who is more concerned with the quality of the content than the actions of editors.

A much better solution would be to rustle up a posse of UNINVOLVED editors from elsewhere on the encyclopedia and give the entire topic area a spring clean. Identifying problematic articles, checking them for neutrality, rewriting biased content, removing WP:UNDUE and WP:COATRACK POVcruft, adding balancing content if necessary, etc. Because, at least in theory, anyone can edit, this doesn't even need ArbCom sanction!

I also think we could use a "Controversial Issues" WikiProject in Wikipedia. Israel-Palestine is by no means the only topic affected by some of the NPOV issues noted here. It could be a point for uninvolved editors to keep an eye on the most problematic topic areas (I'd keep the scope fairly tight - the half-dozen issues that keep popping up on WP:AE, rather than everything on this list) and keep them on a short leash. I would take more interest in some of these other problem areas if I knew when there was a problem that really needs outside input - before it ends up at WP:AE.

In the longer term, however, I think ArbCom is simply going to have to answer some of the key content questions, going forward. Many of the ructions on the talk pages here are the same editors going through the same arguments over the same issues that could have been avoided with some simple, clear, and unambiguous content policies, laid down by ArbCom. It has shown the ability to do so in the past, with the Jerusalem policy and the WP:WESTBANK policy, and others.

AnotherNewAccount (talk) 22:30, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by Nishidani

I had no intention of writing here since I have no evidence to present, and this format requires evidence. Seconding Steven, I would only suggest that the facility with which a great wikipedian and administrator was reduced to exasperation by a useless blow-in/POV pusher be kept foremost in mind in honing remedial measures. That should never happen again. I should also like to state that, in my personal view, the 'pro-Israeli'/'pro-Palestinian' reciprocal profiling is a misnomer. I consider that 90% of the reliable sources best harvested for both sides to be sufficiently represented within articles and books written by Israelis and Jews. For me both POVs represent different approaches within an inframural Jewish/Israeli debate. Without feigning to be paradoxical, I believe that balancing sources for WP:NPOV could be simply done generally by giving both sides of this infra-Jewish debate. None of the sources from that field which I quote are 'anti-Israel' or 'pro-Palestinian' in the naïve sense. It is essentially an inframural argument between supporters of Israel as to whether the Palestinians in their midst are a negligible reality or whether acknowledging the Palestinian 'other' is the sine qua non of the kind of Israel they envisage. I could best illustrate this by alluding to WarKoSign's remarks about the Yesha council and the subsequent exchange with Zero. Mondoweiss ran this article today. For one group of Israeli Jews, Palestinians don't exist as a significant entity: for Philip Weiss and many others, this is deeply problematical for Israel. So something 'pro-Palestinian' doesn't translate as 'anti-Israel' any more than something 'pro-Israel' means 'anti-Palestinian'. That is all I wish to say.Nishidani (talk) 19:22, 11 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{Write your assertion here}

Place argument and diffs which support your assertion; for example, your first assertion might be "So-and-so engages in edit warring", which should be the title of this section. Here you would show specific edits to specific articles which show So-and-so engaging in edit warring.

Evidence presented by Number 57

Although this case has repeatedly popped up on various pages on my watchlist, I wasn't really sure whether I would bother contributing, as sadly and frankly, I don't really believe that the problems that plague this area of Wikipedia will ever be solved.

I started editing Wikipedia in 2005, and in 2006 I started writing articles about Israeli society, concentrating on domestic politics, football and places. I created hundreds of articles, trying to ensure there was a complete set of articles on all registered place in Israel, all political parties, Knesset members and so forth. Thankfully the vast majority of these are untouched by the shenanigans that go on here, but a few end up being the subject of attention from our resident problem editors.

When I first started working on these articles, the problem was the pro-Israel editors, who were probably in the majority at the time, and were definitely more persistent. I frequently got into edit wars with them, largely over attempts to list Israeli settlements as being "in Israel" or attempts to label anyone who spoke out against Israeli occupation as left-wing in an article that mentioned them (my one block is for an edit war with one notoriously pro-Israel editor). I pissed these people off to the extent that there was a canvassing campaign amongst them to oppose my RfA. Thankfully almost all these editors are long-since retired or topic banned.

Prior to becoming an admin, I was extremely disappointed with the attitude shown by admins towards POV pushing. It was very clear that the vast majority of editors were WP:SPAs, who were only on Wikipedia to edit in this topic area in clearly biased manner. For some reason, the powers that be were simply unwilling to stop this. The answer I got (when I asked why nothing was happening) was that biased editors weren't a problem as they tended to balance each other out. Even if this was true at the time, it certainly isn't anymore.

Sometime in the late 2000s, the pendulum swung the other way, where it has remained since. The vast majority of pro-Israel editors were topic banned or simply went away. On the other hand, the number of pro-Palestinian editors increased significantly. This effect was multiplied by some of the latter camp focussing heavily on getting those in the former camp topic banned via frequent reports at WP:AE and WP:SPI.

The current situation, with an extreme imbalance in the number of editors with a clear bias, is extremely problematic for the following reasons:

  • A balanced debate is impossible. The sheer weight of numbers mean that any RfC, AfD etc can be swung in one direction. Closing admins are not familiar with the known bias of the editors and take their comments at face value. In reality, the direction of the comments of the editors can be predicted as easily as the result of a football match between Germany and Gibraltar.
  • The editors with the numbers can easily tag team against the other side - three editors can be easily reverted by five. Some editors think 1RR has improved the situation in the topic area. I would contend that it's made things worse: Although it's reduced the amount of reverts, combined with the tag teaming, it has led to the smaller group committing more infringements and getting some form of block or topic ban – it's now just a vicious cycle that reinforces the numerical superiority problem.

The aforementioned tag teaming is exacerbated by the fact that editors in this topic area follow each other round (at least that's what I'll assume by AGF; the alternative is that there is some off-wiki organisation going on). Either way, numerous editors will often simultaneously show up soon after one another at an article they've never touched before.

Some of the "evidence" above is laughable, particularly the idea that pro-Israel editors are a problem anymore. New pro-Israeli editors are very easy to spot, and generally end up banned quite quickly, either for being sockpuppets, or for violating 1RR – they are not very clever.

Personally I think the only solution to solving the chronic NPOV issues in this area is to topic ban most of the existing editors. It's quite clear that the vast majority of editors contributing in this area are SPAs dedicated to promoting the narrative of one of the two sides; they contribute to few or no other topic areas, and tend to disappear completely when topic banned (as they only have one interest). These editors are very easy to spot (just look at their contributions), and simply need to be removed from the topic area. But sadly I have no faith that sufficienct action will be taken; as a cynic, I suspect the actual outcome (if any) will merely result in a situation that further enhances the side with the most editors. Number 57 20:47, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence presented by {your user name}

*****Before using the last evidence template, please make a copy for the next person*****

{Write your assertion here}

Place argument and diffs which support your assertion; for example, your first assertion might be "So-and-so engages in edit warring", which should be the title of this section. Here you would show specific edits to specific articles which show So-and-so engaging in edit warring.

{Write your assertion here}

Place argument and diffs which support the second assertion; for example, your second assertion might be "So-and-so makes personal attacks", which should be the title of this section. Here you would show specific edits where So-and-so made personal attacks.