Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles/Workshop

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This is a page for working on Arbitration decisions. The Arbitrators, parties to the case, and other editors may draft proposals and post them to this page for review and comments. Proposals may include proposed general principles, findings of fact, remedies, and enforcement provisions—the same format as is used in Arbitration Committee decisions. The bottom of the page may be used for overall analysis of the /Evidence and for general discussion of the case.

Any user may edit this workshop page. Please sign all suggestions and comments. Arbitrators will place proposed items they believe should be part of the final decision on the /Proposed decision page, which only Arbitrators may edit, for voting.

Contents

Motions and requests by the parties[edit]

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Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

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Proposed temporary injunctions[edit]

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3)

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4)

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Questions to the parties[edit]

Question by HG[edit]

N.B. These are "proposed questions" insofar as I recommend that an ArbCom member ask them. Update: Good objections have been raised. I'm willing to delete this section or leave it for further comment. Meanwhile, in lieu of questions, I've added principles about COI below. HG | Talk 19:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Rationale: Concerns/insinuations have been raised about conflicts-of-interest of involved parties. It’d be helpful to gauge whether any conflicts-of-interest may be contributing to the I-P disputes and, if so, whether the remedies should address COI. At the same time, improper accusations should be put to rest. Accordingly, it’s fitting to question those parties engaged in “battleground” incidents about COI. It’d be best for these questions to be posed across-the-board by a neutral party. While I may be sufficiently neutral to ask such questions, I’d prefer and propose that, given their official capacity, an ArbCom member ask these questions. Thanks, HG | Talk 16:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed questions: What conflicts-of-interest do you have when working on articles about Israeli or Palestinian topics? (For this question, please include Arab, Islamic and Jewish topics.) Specifically: Is any of your Wikipedia editing an aspect of paid or volunteer work for an NGO or governmental group? Do you knowingly receive any guidance or information about Wikipedia editing from any NGO or governmental group/representatives? Affirmative answers need not disqualify you from editing. You may answer on-wiki or through a private email to ArbCom. (Draft by HG | Talk 16:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Arbcom rarely concerns itself with why an editor is disruptive. Editors who behave themselves and edit collaboratively are welcome; editors who edit combatively are not. Thatcher 17:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. But the innuendos are being floated, with attempts as substantiation. Although no individuals have been accused (I think), wouldn't it be better to clear the air? Thanks for your response. HG | Talk 18:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any reason to reward the purveyors of innuendo by asking editors to sign what amounts to a loyalty oath. Thatcher 18:38, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point. From that standpoint, we should focus on halting the insinuations, etc., and we should assume the good faith of combative editors. Still, I suppose that, by virtue of editing WP, all editors are implicitly agreeing to abide by the COI guidelines. Might it be helpful for a principle to specify the COI expectations as it applies to this case? HG | Talk 19:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
One constant tension in the project is the inherent conflict between the two official principles of anonymity and COI. Which is more important? Apparently it's easier to enforce the anonymity policy and its companion AGF policy, than to try to ensure COI issues are rooted-out and dealt with. I don't have an answer to resolving this conflict, but hope that the project's leadership might eventually provide some direction on this thorny issue. Cla68 (talk) 06:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

FYI this topic recently discussed here: Wikipedia_talk:Conflict_of_interest#Exposing_COI_versus_outing_the_editor Carol Moore 16:39, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Proposed final decision[edit]

Proposals by User:ChrisO[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

Recidivism[edit]

1) Users who have been sanctioned for improper conduct are expected to avoid repeating it should they continue to participate in the project. Failure to do so may lead to the imposition of increasingly severe sanctions.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. I'm thinking in particular of the editors (on both sides) who have been sanctioned repeatedly for 3RR and other violations but have continued in kind. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Improper use of editing tools[edit]

2) Wikipedia editing tools such as Twinkle are provided to assist users in common Wikipedia maintenance tasks and to help to repair acts of vandalism. They should be used with caution and restraint. Rollback functionality should not be used to perform any revert which ought ordinarily to be explained, such as a revert of a good-faith content edit.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. This was the issue with Jaakobou which led in part to this arbitration being requested in the first place. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Purpose of Wikipedia: user pages[edit]

3) The purpose of user pages is to aid in encyclopedic collaboration. In keeping with the purpose of Wikipedia, user pages may not be used for displaying religious, ethnic, national, or racial propaganda.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
In principle I would cautiously support such a proposal, but in practice I suspect that it would become an excuse to stamp out some types of "propaganda" while tolerating others, based mainly on systemic political and cultural biases. <eleland/talkedits> 00:01, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. As we've seen with the recent controversy over Hezbollah user boxes, the use of user pages to display controversial slogans and logos doesn't aid a harmonious editing environment. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Unrelated to the present matter. -- Kendrick7talk 23:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
This was an issue with Macedonia and it's certainly an issue here. We should apply a consistent standard in dealing with editors embroiled in a religious/nationalist dispute. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:28, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Chris -- this is a relevant point for the ArbComm to consider. CJCurrie (talk) 23:31, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't like inviting ArcCom to create policy here, even if it made it through in a previous case. Nothing on a User's talk page could possibly be construed as propaganda, i.e. "a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people" as large numbers of people are unlikely to every see it in most cases. -- Kendrick7talk 23:48, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Take that back; the proposal in fact failed in your example case. -- Kendrick7talk 23:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
No reason why it can't be addressed again. The composition of the ArbCom has changed since the Macedonia case, and the freshmen may take a different view on this issue. -- ChrisO (talk) 02:45, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
That's fine, but if I can't quote my own national heroes, including a terrorist leader, a terrorist ideologue, and a terrorist financier, or display nationalist symbols, we're gonna have a problem, because I'm not giving my time to a project for free that would place such restrictions on my personal space; user pages are not corporate cubicles and I am not Wikipedia's chattel. -- Kendrick7talk 04:12, 11 January 2008 (UTC) An example of real propaganda would be those leaflets with pictures of such of men that the nice Palestinian woman who makes my coffee handed to me this morning; but I can't blame her -- she's only trying to make change in this world.
This is quite subjective, and quite unrelated to the dispute here. What differentiates "propaganda" from regular displays of ethnic national pride? I believe the current regulations on userpage use do enough already to allow the community to take action against disruptive userpage content, and so this item is not necessary. I might, however, be able to stand behind something a little broad (e.g. a general statement on diviseness and userpages). -- tariqabjotu 05:30, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose, I think the current system is fine. I appreciate the ability to 'scope out' the other editors and believe, like Kendrick7 there are various ways, within limits to convey who/what you are. If something comes up, we address it; as far as what I've seen in the realm of the I-P/ME conflicts the limits are set and addressed. Yes, it is subjective, but not unrelated. Whether it is ethnic/religious/nationalistic/political/etc pride or 'propaganda' depends on the side you reside. In short, it can be considered propaganda if that pride resides on the other side of one's ethnic/religious/nationalistic/political/etc town. In any case, you know it when you see it, and that is helpful because you have an idea of the neighborhood.
Come to think of it, I believe that I-P/ME editors should have a few more userboxes to choose from or maybe be required to declare if they get in 'difficulties', like now. These might constitute a sliding scale of choices with, say, the following boxes at extreme opposing ends: 'This user believes that Palestine does not exist and it is called Eretz Israel.' and 'This user believes that Israel doesnt exist and it is called Palestine.' (Or how about 'This user accepts/opposes UN 242' (Oslo Accords, etc)). For either of those extremes, there is little that can be done which seems good for the project except to document their limited view and stay away from disrupting other points of view (which is what I see) and be dealt with. It is likely that the range of boxes in the middle are for editors with whom other editors can collaborate. Peace. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 04:12, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems that its useful to let people display their biases on their user pages, as long as not patently offensive. I probably let people know too much about my interests, but it also keeps me aware of own emotional/intellectual COIs so I keep them under control.Carol Moore 16:46, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Neutral point of view[edit]

4) Wikipedia:Neutral point of view requires fair representation of all significant points of view regarding a subject. Information included in an article must be limited to verifiable information from reliable sources, with full consideration given to issues of undue weight. In the event of disputes over sources, editors are strongly encouraged to seek outside input via editors' noticeboards and other forums.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed, based on similar statements of principles to those enumerated in the Falun Gong and Free Republic cases. As in those cases, I've observed from watching some of the disputed articles that sourcing is one of the most frequently disputed issues: in particular, the use or attempted use of unrepresentative or disallowed sources such as fringe academics and blogs. These disputes tend to arise because some editors are either unclear about or simply disregard existing sourcing policies, giving undue prominence to minority views on both sides. It would be useful for the ArbCom to remind all editors of core sourcing policies and endorse independent sources of input, such as the reliable sources noticeboard. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:32, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Good, this is a key issue. Below, I drafted a proposal that focuses on the responsibilities of editors who have a strong POV. Thanks. HG | Talk 20:05, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Good, this is a key issue. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 04:51, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Excluding of WP:RS info bigger problem: in the two articles I've had most problems with, Jewish Lobby and Samson Option, the problem was that editors constantly came up with new and creative - or old and persistant - excuses for deleting material from extremely reliable sources if the info countered their POV definition of the phrase or made their favorite nation state look bad. In Jewish Lobby case, the mediators have imposed 1 revert per day only if discussed on talk page. This has helped drive away some possibly "tag team" editors but the most persistent editor just keeps doing it, though not as badly as before, referring usually to same talk entry, sometimes to short new ones, repeating same dubious excuse he's used for 2 years: WP:NEO and WP:OR, both issues, as well as NPOV, now being dealt with hopefully in mediation. So solutions to the EXCLUSION issue very important.Carol Moore 16:54, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Proposed findings of fact[edit]

Locus of the dispute[edit]

1) The primary locus of the dispute concerns articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also encompasses articles on topics related to Judaism and Islam in relation to a wider editing conflict between pro- and anti-Zionist editors, and pro- and anti-Islamic editors.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Like the conflict it reflects, this issue has nationalist, religious, and ethnic dimensions which transcend "normal" politics. In particular, our coverage of Islam- and Islamophobia-related articles is intensely problematic, and there is considerable overlap between these and IPConflict articles. I can't say whether the same is true for Judaism articles. I don't much edit those, not least because I dislike being called an antisemite (which I already am called, regularly, without the slightest shred of evidence or argument.) <eleland/talkedits> 00:06, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • To add: The majority of Islam articles are, of course, not involved; but for whatever reason, Wikipedia seems to have unusually extensive series of articles describing criticisms of Islam, critics of Islam, books by critics of Islam, negative aspects of Islam and Islamic history, negative aspects of prominent Muslims, etc... and these seem to be magnets for drama in the sense that ChrisO describes. <eleland/talkedits> 07:06, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Support - except that evidence of deep partisanship goes even deeper than this, appearing in biographies of anyone who criticises the religion in which they were brought up. Compare the treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali with Israel Shahak. PRtalk 09:51, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Not all of the articles being disputed are specifically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although that's certainly the main focus of the dispute. Articles such as Islam: What the West Needs to Know and New anti-semitism have also been the focus of intense disputes and edit wars involving many of the same editors. Since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to a large extent about competing religious fundamentalisms, this is probably only to be expected. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Chris, perhaps it would help to establish a metric to gauge whether an article is subject to the dispute. I would guess a large portion of Israel/Palestine project articles get caught in the dispute. On the other hand, while the dispute apparently does involve some Islam/Judaism articles (maybe add Islamofascism, Islam and antisemitism, Islamophobia), clearly the vast majority of Islam/Judaism articles are not involved. Do you have a way of gathering data (aka evidence) to identify which Islam/Judaism articles have been disputed by the Involved Parties named here? Thanks. HG | Talk 23:04, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Good question, though again I'm sure you could say that the vast majority of Israel/Palestine articles are likewise not being disputed; we're talking here about a minority of moderately to extremely controversial articles principally on political and historical topics. I'll have to have a think about how we can identify the individual articles that are being disputed. I certainly don't have visibility of them all and I've had no involvement in the vast majority of them, so I suspect we'll have to rely on the assistance of the involved parties to identify the articles that they see as being of particular concern. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:11, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Based on my limited experience, I'd start with those articles with many archives, those with a high degree of contested reverts and those tagged for NPOV, incompleteness, etc. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 05:17, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Object. The scope of this statement is too large. There are many articles on Islam that are undergoing serious issues, but are not (rightfully so) included in this dispute. Those articles, and the editors involved with them, will probably be at ArbCom soon enough, but for now, I don't believe we should suggest that this RfArb case was intended to help resolve the problems on those other articles as well. Additionally, I do not like the idea of identifying users as pro- and anti-Zionist, or pro- and anti-Islamic editors. In fact, I feel this dualism is at the core of the problem with these articles, and most articles that are the subject of heated disputes: an involved editor will often think his or her opponents all have serious bias issues and will therefore proceed to split people into different camps based on what he or she thinks their political or religious positions are. I am strongly against officially suggesting that these camps do in fact exist; people should be encouraged to assume to good faith (within reason of course) and not think everyone is either pro- or anti- something. -- tariqabjotu 05:42, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the Islam-related articles should not be included, for now, unless Israel/Palestine-specific (e.g. Hamas, Hezbullah); it is a whole new can of worms, and within the I-P context, it is a relatively new phenomenon. That is absolutely not to say that some of the listed I-P editors are innocent of disruption there, because there are real problems, but I agree with tariqabjotu, that their time will come. I will also note that I have not seen similar things happening on Judaism-related articles and personally believe that a proponent of one religion should not be editing 'anti-articles' in another religion due to a moral COI, or better yet a COG (Conflict of God).
I also do not like the idea of identifying users as pro- and anti-Zionist, but truely believe that is the way things are (at the extremes) amongst some Wikipedia editors. Zionism is one specific subject that must be included. It is, by it's original (and unfortunately continually changing) definition, the cause of the I-P conflict and continues (equally with it's anti-side) to perpetuate the conflict.
Simply stated, Zionism started as a dream to solve one problem, established itself as a movement (1897), was accepted for various (widely different) reasons (1917), grew, struggled, fought and won more that it's original (stated) objective (1948) and became admired in the process. But the Zionist victory caused another problem (stateless Palestinians), which simmers to this day and (at it's extreme) is denied to exist. Zionism realized it's headiest days in 1967 (and defended them in 1973) and in the process made the Palestinian problem more complete. Given that, world diplomacy also set the limits and bounds of what should be used as a basis for a solution (UN242, land for peace, recognized and secure borders, end to terrorism, etc); few of these have yet been met and those most immediately involved are the only ones who can meet them. Likud (militant) Revisionist Zionism gets freely and convincingly elected in 1977 and Zionist maximalists ascend the world stage, bringing Eretz Israel into common english language mass media. They remain to this day, while they continue to control all the other land and the other people. Wikipedia editors now define Zionism as 'an international political movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish People in [Eretz Israel]. Please, which Zionism is it? Is it the 1948 borders and Post-Zionism exists?- or is it the 1967 borders of Eretz Israel and opponents who disagree being either new antisemites, self-hating Jews or maybe Islamofascists. These neologisms largely exist only because the definition of Zionism is a moving target.
This is where Wikipedia should (and I believe, must) make some kind of administrative, and admittedly POV, pro-peace decision. Otherwise, Wikipedia is so NPOV that it can't/won't decide whether peace or the alternative is right or better. Peace. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 07:44, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi. I understand the good intentions behind your suggestion. however, this is precisely where this whole case can start to enter rocky waters. I understand the complexity of this. that's why, below, I suggested that our main goal here should be to find creative, resourceful and flexible ways to apply Wikipedia guidelines to achieve BALANCE, and to make sure that both sides in a dispute like this get some degree of coverage. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Anything labeled antisemitism or put in that category, especially WP:BLP where person is labeled antisemitic, and some minor incident made the focus or high point of their whole bio, should also be under the purview of this workshop too. Should Jewish Lobby have that big Antisemitism block if the majority of uses are non-antisemtic, for example?

Workshop also should consider whether Southern Povery Law Center and Anti-Defamation League and other such sources that raise money by trashing people are "reliable." Especially when they don't source their info very well and rely on anonymous sources and infiltrators, who themselves could have created some "evidence," for example by phony bigoted statements on message boards that they then quote as "evidence." Just because the US govt relies on these people as RS doesn't mean wikipedia has to if their information is not reliably sourced.

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Discretionary temporary article probation[edit]

1) At the discretion of uninvolved administrators, articles that are the subject of conflict may be placed on temporary article probation for a period of up to three months. Editors making disruptive edits may be banned from the named article and its talk page by any uninvolved administrator. Any editor that continues to edit in violation of such a ban may be blocked, for up to a year in the event of repeated violations. Articles placed on temporary article probation are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles#Articles placed on temporary probation. All blocks are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles#Log of blocks and bans.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Seems a bit overly convoluted; wouldn't simply allowing admins to ban editors from articles in the area of conflict have the same net effect? Kirill 00:15, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment - we need to go back a step. We appear to have an editor who has sock-puppeted abusively, and we appear to have evidence that a member of management is determined to defend him from exposure (or sanction - though ArbCom have not sought to protect him, as they could have done). Under these conditions, it seems premature to discuss what sanctions should be applied to lesser crimes, so much more difficult to judge. PRtalk 10:05, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. As far as I know this is a novel remedy, but it seems appropriate given the number of individual articles under dispute and the rapidly changing focus of the editing conflict(s). It would provide an alternative to protecting articles and forcing everyone to cease editing. A limited form of article probation could enable editing to continue in disputed articles while restricting disruptive behaviour. The underlying problem here is that disruptive conduct isn't being tackled effectively - imposing common standards of conduct for all editors of a disputed article would hold them all to the same standard. - ChrisO (talk) 00:10, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
(To Kirill) I think what I'm trying to get at here is that your discretionary sanctions proposal would target specific editors; this one (which I see as complementary, not a replacement for yours) would place explicit, up-front obligations on all editors involved with a disputed article. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:53, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Mmm, that strikes me as just extra verbiage. The full discretionary sanctions already authorize this, albeit not with that formal name; it would be perfectly legitimate for an admin to say that he'll ban anyone being disruptive from a particular article, exactly as would occur here. (Indeed, with the "any measures" clause, I can't think of any reasonable sanction—other than a ban longer than a year—which couldn't be justified by them.) Kirill 02:20, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, fair enough then. Thanks for the explanation. -- ChrisO (talk) 02:34, 11 January 2008(UTC)

This sounds good; but if there is some problem about admins or higher acting in questionable or biased manner, anyone should have right to put appropriate notice on top of talk of where people can go to report such behavior.Carol Moore 17:12, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Proposals by Kirill Lokshin[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) Wikipedia is a project to create a neutral encyclopedia. Use of the site for other purposes, such as advocacy or propaganda, furtherance of outside conflicts, publishing or promoting original research, and political or ideological struggle, is prohibited.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Support - but with caveats. Editors apparently breaching policy may actually be a) bringing to attention 'good' information from RSes, or b) answering questions. Not all editors practice the former, and few seem to do the latter. These two behaviors are not intended to be disruptive, nor will it help to treat them as such, even if some examples appears to fall under the restrictions. There is also some danger that this policy can/will be used to restrict the activities of legitimate (and previously tolerated, or even encouraged) single purpose accounts like this one. PRtalk 12:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I agree for the most part with PR, above, in his expression of some of the limitations and pitfalls in applying this policy on a blanket basis. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
You and I disagree rather a lot - but our mutual respect comes about because we tell each other what we think, not because we conceal things from each other. PRtalk 15:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Appreciate your positive words. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 16:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

That's a pretty standard WIKI statement, but the problem is most editors wouldn't bother to edit for free if they were not doing that to some extent. (And let's face it, most people who are for something may not dig deep enough to find the negative info. Vice versa the persons against it. So their mutual editing needed to give balanced article.) You can say you prohibit, but of course you can't or 2/3 the editors on anything the least controversial would drop out. Worse, good editors with minor biases who really could be NPOV may be scared off by that warning so only real partisans willing to break rules will post, and it's a constant job of reigning them in.

The real issue is are they abusing the various WIKI guidelines? So I think it should be changed here -- and at Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not to say something like Wikipedia is a project to create a neutral encyclopedia. Please try to suppress any biases and edit with a neutral point of view, balancing all sides of any issue. Use of the site, and especially abuse of WP:Policies_and_guidelines for for other purposes, ETC.Carol Moore 17:25, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Decorum[edit]

2) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other users; to approach even difficult situations in a dignified fashion and with a constructive and collaborative outlook; and to avoid acting in a manner that brings the project into disrepute. Unseemly conduct, such as personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, trolling, harassment, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, is prohibited.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Right on!Carol Moore 17:27, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Editorial process[edit]

3) Wikipedia works by building consensus. This is done through the use of polite discussion—involving the wider community, if necessary—and dispute resolution, rather than through disruptive editing. Editors are each responsible for noticing when a debate is escalating into an edit war, and for helping the debate move to better approaches by discussing their differences rationally. Edit-warring, whether by reversion or otherwise, is prohibited; this is so even when the disputed content is clearly problematic, with only a few exceptions.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
I believe this is one of the core issues if not the core issue. It seems to me that, in these complex disputes, it is depressingly easy for a relatively small number of editors to "freeze" articles in their current state by combining reverts, often accompanied with requests to seek consensus on the talk page, with filibustering tactics such as vaguely specified objections, "changing the goalposts" so that there is always another objection after the first one is addressed, etc. <eleland/talkedits> 00:09, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment - we appear to have evidence that some editors have trashed this consensual process, up to and including refusal to accept the opinion of the wider community. Under these circumstances, discussions of edit and revert-warring (while very important, concerning highly disruptive behaviors) looks like moving the deck-chairs. PRtalk 10:14, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Questions. I agree that this is a core problem. Would you consider expanding your proposal, of clarifying its relevance, to two recurrent problems in I-P consensus-building? (a) Consensus need not depend on agreement by every user. It is disruptive when 1 or 2 users engage in discussions as if their disagreement should block a developing consensus. (b) Consensus should be grounded on WP policy, reliable sources, and (as you say) rational discussion. It is problematic when users zealously oppose/promote edits based on their personal views, and/or when they decline/fail to provide sources and reasons for their views. It's my impression that a few experienced users, on both sides, engage in (a) and (b) far too often. Thanks. HG | Talk 17:44, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Dispute resolution[edit]

4) Users should not respond to inappropriate behavior in kind, or engage in sustained editorial conflict or unbridled criticism across different forums. Editors who have genuine grievances against others are expected to avail themselves of the dispute resolution mechanism.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment - it is vital that dispute resolution processes prove capable of dealing with serious disruption. This ArbCom arose as a result of "a genuine grievance" against one particular editor. If this is forgotten, the confidence of the community will be seriously damaged. PRtalk 10:18, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
It would be nice if it was easier to figure out where to go in cases of repeated personal attacks, including off-wiki, which I have had in two other areas at different times and searched around for guidance. Even going to WP:harassment right now couldn't quite figure out what to do or where to go. And if person upset it's even harder to figure out.Carol Moore 17:34, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Proposed findings of fact[edit]

Area of conflict[edit]

1) The disputes presented in this case, while focusing specifically on issues related to Palestinian-Israeli conflict, are part of a broader set of conflicts prevalent over the entire range of articles concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict (see, in particular, Allegations of apartheid, PalestineRemembered, Deir Yassin massacre, Israel-Lebanon, Israeli apartheid, Zeq, and Yuber). Many of these conflicts are grounded in matters external to Wikipedia, including long-standing historical, ideological, religious, and ethnic disputes in the region. The area of conflict in this case shall therefore be considered to be the entire set of Arab-Israeli conflict-related articles, broadly interpreted.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed; needs links to all the old arbitration cases. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I would revise "Many of these conflicts .." to say "Deep-seated and long-standing real world conflicts between the peoples of Palestine and Israel have been transfered to Wikipedia". The "broadly interpreted" is definitely needed; one gets the impression the chronic edit-warriors follow each other about to try to see what the other side is doing. Sam Blacketer (talk) 00:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Most, if not all, of the warring behavior comes from editors who edit the same and usual area; anything related to the Israeli-Arab confict in general. I am not sure about users involved here being disruptive in the Iraq War related articles. I am not sure either if defining the scope explicitely would be a good idea to stop the warring behavior. We are not monitoring or judging articles but users' bahavior. My idea is to have something like "the set of articles where they misused their editing privileges" as a scope definition. I therefore see no need to specify and define a particular scope. Please refer to this case for more details.
Response to User:HG... This kind of resolutions can probably work here as well. We can tweak some details to reflect the particularities of this case. We've got extraordinary results as an outcome. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:17, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Great job HG. In fact the Sri Lanka result didn't come from mediation alone. Some tough admin actions were taken before that could took shape. If involved editors here like the idea then we can work it out. A resolution and an implementation. I'd personally support such process and would like to hear the ArbCom members' opinion. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:10, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
I'm not sure this is sufficient. The dispute is certainly focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but articles related to Islam and Judaism such as Islam: What the West Needs to Know and New antisemitism have also been the focus of intense disputes and edit wars involving many of the same editors. The issue, broadly speaking, seems to be a clash between pro- and anti-Zionist editors plus pro- and anti-Islamic editors (obviously these are overlapping categories). We shouldn't draw the net too narrowly - if topic or article bans are required, they won't be effective if they're limited only to Israeli-Palestinian articles. The arbitration needs to look at the wider picture. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:49, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd think that "broadly interpreted" would cover this, but I'm not opposed to expanding the area further if necessary. Kirill 22:53, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Might I suggest amending the first sentence in your proposal to "concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict and controversial issues relating to Judaism and Islam"? I think that would probably cover it. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:58, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I might be able to support Kirill's wording, but I would object to ChrisO's suggestion of tacking on Judaism and Islam to the statement. The two religions and the Arab-Israeli conflict (or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) are two separate issues: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a land dispute with (dare I say unnecessary) religious overtones. The topics of Judaism and Islam go far beyond this conflict and although those tend to be areas of high contention as well, they should not be lumped into here, except insofar as they relate to the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -- tariqabjotu 05:51, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Question on handling the Area (or ChrisO's Locus). How might the Area of remedies be implemented in practice? Would it be based on an existing set of Categories or WikiProjects? If so, couldn't reasonable folks just selectively tag any contested articles to indicate that they fall within the Area? HG | Talk 22:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
See #Model after WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation, related to Fayssal's suggestion among. However, let's keep in mind that the Sri Lanka result came out of a mediation, not an imposed ArbCom decision. How might Arbcom shape such a reconciliation agreement or conditions, Fayssal? HG | Talk 13:28, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you've got to describe it as: concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, or highly debated issues regarding Islam, Judaism or antisemitism Carol Moore 17:39, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Discretionary sanctions[edit]

1) Any uninvolved administrator may, on their own discretion, impose sanctions on any editor working in the area of conflict if that editor fails to adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, the expected standards of behavior, or the normal editorial process. The sanctions imposed may include blocks of up to one year in length; bans from editing any page or set of pages within the area of conflict; restrictions on reverts; or any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project. Prior to any sanctions being imposed, the editor in question shall be given a warning with a link to this decision.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
My initial thought is that we need to work up a better, clearer cut and possibly more restrictive interpretation of who is an "uninvolved administrator" for such a broad case. Sam Blacketer (talk) 00:12, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
A little draconian, no? I don't see how opening the doors to unilateral admin action, based on vague and overbroad standards, will lead to less drama. How has this worked in the past, on other conflicts? <eleland/talkedits> 00:12, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
There's some discussion of this just below. Kirill 00:13, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - threats of bans (or 1RR) at individual articles would encourage a proper discussion of what behavior is unacceptable. This kind of evidence based working is urgently needed, and would (eventually) help contribute to evidence based editing, the whole purpose of the project. But - "uninvolved admins" prepared to act in this area will be impossible to find. This proposal would encourage drive-by actions that would make the problems of this topic (see my evidence) even more prevalent. This ArbCom is a golden opportunity to take one step only - the sanctioning of editors proved (to some reasonable standard) to have acted in ways incompatible with the project. Any solution that lowers the standard of proof needed for "action" will not protect the scholarly editors that the project needs. PRtalk 12:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I don't think this is too draconian; there is a swath of articles that see persistent problems, and there needs to be some way to come down on editors who spell trouble for them. Although I'm not fond of the vagueness in the above proposal, I feel the door for swift admin action in this arena should be open. -- tariqabjotu 05:54, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Given that there have been cases where some administrators appear to exercise their discretion to cancel sanctions placed on even problematical editors with a long history of warring, I think one should be very careful about 'discretionary powers'. In the case here, discretion looks like the exercise of a personal favour after private communications took place between the offender and the discretionary administrator he sought out to review his case. Worse still, the abuse of discretion, once noted, admittedly irritably, led to the same administrator reviewing negatively my request to be unblocked when, as the record subsequently shows, the original block was the result of careless review and, as a second administrator admitted, an incorrect application of sanctions. That this can occur is one strong reason for considering procedures in Wiki Israel/Palestinian topics so loose that participation is futile, since here the review process itself can at times be a charade, feinting at neutral arbitration when discretion based on personal sympathy or contacts, not visible since off the record, can overthrow sanctions for proven misbehaviour to favour one party against another, whatever the formal rules say Nishidani (talk) 11:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
This proposal isn't too draconian. The problem is so entrenched and intractible that severe measures such as this one may be necessary. One question...some of the editors involved in this dispute are admins so how can a block on them by another admin be enforced under this proposal? Cla68 (talk) 07:04, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Just make sure talk page makes editors aware of what admin abuse policies are and where to go if they believe admin abuses policies.Carol Moore 17:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Appeal of discretionary sanctions[edit]

2) Discretionary sanctions imposed under the provisions of this decision may be appealed to the imposing administrator, the administrators' noticeboard, or the Committee. Administrators are cautioned not to reverse such sanctions without familiarizing themselves with the full facts of the matter and engaging in extensive discussion and consensus-building at the administrators' noticeboard or another suitable on-wiki venue. The Committee will consider appropriate remedies including suspension or revocation of adminship in the event of violations.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Kirill, if you don't mind, I have a few questions. (#1) Would you explain why you are recommending discretionary sanctions rather than an approach based on the probation of articles? (#2) Only one other area ( sanction of Macedonia)), currently has discretionary sanctions. How well has is it working there? (#3) Perhaps this is too broad a question, but I'm wondering whether there's been any evaluation of the success of general sanctions, either the 15 areas currently sanctioned or past cases? Thanks muchly. HG | Talk 22:46, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  1. The probation-based approach tends to be both limited in application (as it cannot deal with problematic behavior that occurs away from article pages—in project space, for example) and not particularly flexible (as it only allows for outright bans from articles, not more subtle remedies such as revert or civility parole); while it performs amiably in calming disputes involving a small number of related editors and articles, I do not think it is of practical value when the dispute is larger, or when it is motivated largely by outside conflicts.
  2. Based on the feedback I've received, the Macedonia sanctions have been the most effective of the "problem area" sanctions we've tried (compare Armenia-Azerbaijan 2 and Digwuren).
  3. We are currently reviewing the various sanctions in place; expect some motions in the near future. But that's not really related to this case. Kirill 22:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I can give some more detailed info on #2, since I'm closely involved in patrolling Macedonia-related articles. Bear in mind that the case was only decided just over a month ago, so the post-arbitration regime is still in its early days. A small number of users have been given 24 hour blocks for vandalism, 3RR etc. The only person discretionarily sanctioned so far has been User:Ireland101, who was put on revert parole on 31 December 2007 for edit-warring across multiple articles. There haven't really been any big controversies since the end of arbitration, but there's been a steady drizzle of drive-by vandalism and POV editing (almost entirely from the Greek side, regrettably) coming from newly registered users and anonymous IPs. So far it's working pretty well - keep your fingers crossed... -- ChrisO (talk) 22:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Working group[edit]

3) The Committee shall convene a working group, composed of experienced Wikipedians in good standing, and task it with developing a comprehensive set of recommendations for resolving the pervasive problem of intractable disputes centered around national, ethnic, and cultural areas of conflict. The membership and structure of the group shall be subject to the approval of the Committee. The working group shall be free to develop recommendations of any form, including those requiring Committee action and those requiring community adoption of new or changed polcies, at its discretion. The group shall present its recommendations to the Committee no later than six months from the date of its formation.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed, based on the ideas of HG above and of Irpen in some previous cases. The current approach of wide-open sanctions may not necessarily be the best one in the long term, but the Committee can't solve this on its own. Kirill 19:40, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
This is interesting. I'm curious to see how this would work out. -- tariqabjotu 20:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, let me be clear direct about this: I think this is a very good idea and perhaps even a necessity, to resolve issues not just here, but in other highly contentious areas (such as the recurring Armenia-Azerbaijan issue). I'd be very interested in seeing what this committee might produce and implement. -- tariqabjotu 20:24, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This is a good idea. howeverm, i suggest it be formed as a sub-group of the Mediation Cabal, or some other means through the mediation process, as a better foundation for it. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 17:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
This is a good idea, wherever it is. When is an important question also. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 06:02, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Since the gestation is unknown, I make this pre-natal proposal.
Proposed: We must remember that the first pillar lede says written for the benefit of its readers; many seem to have forgotten that (except those who have noted the often poor quality of I-P articles) and we are now talking specifically about editors. While I see NPOV as the ‘prime directive’, I sadly note that we are discussing how to get there while already at the dead end of that pillar (i.e. dispute resolution). Since I am not on the hot seat, and more concerned about reader benefit and maintaining editability rather than editor sanction, I’ll make a suggestion on the general 'article' side of this workshop. I believe developing a non-locked article protection scheme/status can be of benefit. We seem to have lost the forest for the trees (that one is red?). It might also provide a way around some admin conumdrums, set some limits and bounds on editor behavior and be applicable in other disputes.
There might be a way forward with a POV fork. This might seem to be a defeat, of sorts, for true NPOV-purists, but it could also deal with NPOV gamers who regularly play with it in I-P articles. I read the ‘spirit’ of NPOV policy as being able to write a readable neutral article. The current protection scheme stops all article progress, even when there is progress on talk pages. I note and agree with PR’s complaint on NPOV here [1]. I suggest this because I’ve somewhat been through it and this diff [2] summarizes it reasonably well.
This proposal includes a NPOV fork within a single article, not two different articles, or say, a type of article built upon a fork. So is it a POV fork violation?. It will likely need to have a limited lifespan (and unfortunately may mean more work), include a new tag for the benefit of readers, one for editors or maybe a block of tags along with some special rules and a new article construction. I’m proposing this for new and/or edit-warred articles.
The ‘reader tag’ might say ‘This article covers a controversial subject in which NPOV-consensus has been/is difficult to develop. This article is currently under construction, and requires a prescribed format. Sorry for the inconvenience.'
A suggested format might be an ‘I-side’ views section, followed by a parallel (or closely comparable) ‘P-side’ views section (or vice versa), followed by a ‘so what is the result’ section trying to piece it all together. In a perfect world this third section might be a ctrl-C away from the stable article, with the first two sections being archived or specific new articles, in and of themselves. (I don't know squat about any programming needed to achieve this three-part configuration; it may need more tabs or even two articles (one for the first two parts and one for the third. I am a computer user, not an abuser (i.e.programmer)).
The ‘editor tag’ might say ‘If you generally agree with the first section and can contribute positively, you are invited to participate, otherwise stay away. If you generally agree with the second section and can contribute positively, you are invited to participate, otherwise stay away. If you can understand or agree with parallel points in both of the first two sections, you are invited, and indeed encouraged, to participate positively in the third section.
The rules will include ‘NPOV is required, take your best shot if you really want it in the third section’. Admins should have quick and absolute sanctions for disruption within this special format; basically, if it happens, Wiki takes it’s ball and sends them home. Guidelines might include one or two article mentor(s)/admin(s).
I see some distinct advantages in this type of scheme. With a number of editors on one (say, nationalistic) POVside, planning discussions and disputes will be public (as much as they are now and that is worrying) but somewhat POV-internal (a smaller, tighter set of 'us vs them'). It provides an opportunity to deal with many specific 'WP:whatevers' listed farther down this page within a group where the level or rhetorical violence should be lessened. With a limited timeframe, time will be spent populating the first two sections with (hopefully) less warring and rhetorical ethnic cleansing, knowing all the time that their presentation will have to pass a higher level of muster in the third section/final article. I can see the more moderate, POV-internal editors on both sides rising to the surface and flowing to the third section, and the more zealous (Israel/Palestine doesn't exist) ones sinking to individual sentences. Another advantage is that on any number of I-P subjects it takes several sentences or paragraphs to develop a cogent thought and have a subject gel. That is almost impossible for some articles now, where every other sentence starts with 'however' and they have become incomprehensible. Lastly and unusually, it provides the possibility of a look within the broader I-side and the broader P-side, where work is required to generate the final article. I note that there are very few articles of this type in Wikidepia (that I have been able to find); this is where articles, education and understanding are needed. I admit that this can be considered a POVwar peace proposal or whatever; admins and others can take that where they may. I’m thunk-out, and with the greatest respect for NPOV and reasonable editors, I release this trial baloon to see if it flies. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 08:08, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi,. I appreciate your idea. this does sound interesting. howver, i do se some problems with it. anyone at all can claim they agree with something, and then try to change the meaning. and they mioght be sincere in doing so; there are many valid ways to approach any particular subject. Also, anyone who is new to Wikipedia would not be subject to the understandings here, so it seems that inevitably the intent of this might be changed. thanks though. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:14, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement[edit]

Logging of sanctions[edit]

1) All sanctions imposed under the provisions of this decision are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles#Log of blocks and bans.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill 22:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposals by User:Sm8900[edit]

Proposed principles; Wikipedia must be NPOV; however, there is no such thing as pure objectivity[edit]

1)All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing fairly and, as much as possible, without bias all significant views (that have been published by reliable sources). Neutral point of view is a fundamental Wikipedia principle. NPOV is absolute and non-negotiable. This is non-negotiable and expected on all articles, and of all article editors.

However, Wikipedia articles also need to avoid Systemic bias. They must also sometimes recognize that there is no such thing as objectivity; therefore, it is sometimes worthwhile to be willing to learn how to write for the enemy, in order to allow an opposing factual claim into the article even if one may disagree completely with that claim.

:Comment by Arbitrators:[edit]
Comment by parties:
Oppose the motion as presented With the greatest respect to Steve, Sm8900, the above is regularly used to obstruct productive editors, claiming that a work in progress doesn't abide by policy. It's a good (indeed core) policy as far as it goes, but if we're to have a proposal on it, then we need to emphasize it is meant to apply to "stable" articles, not those under construction. PRtalk 11:56, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok. i want to make sure i'm hearing your important points correctly. your points are valid, and that's precisely why i mentioned this principle in the first place; in order to mention, right in the next paragraph, some of the reservations which should exist in regard to its use. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:11, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
With the greatest respect, I can only endorse what User:Nishidani has told you below. Virtually every Palestinian and Arab source is ruthlessly expunged by (often unkind) reference to WP:EXTREME. I'm constantly being told what sources I cannot use (despite never having attempted to use them). I'm even told words I cannot use (repeatedly happened just yesterday!). Non-supporters of Israel edit under enormous restrictions already, and abusive references to the NPOV policy, sadly, are just another one. PRtalk 13:00, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Would it surprise you to learn that those of us who seek to prevent Wikipedia from being an anti-Israel attack site believe that exactly the reverse is true? The fact is that the anti-Israel viewpoint is constantly being pushed into articles by many editors, and it is almost impossible to maintain a balance. As one tiny example, over the past few days there has been an effort by some editors to make sure that the intro for Palestinian right of return does not even acknowledge that Israel exists. Apparently the Palestinians want to "return" to someplace called the British Mandate of Palestine. I always thought that mandate had ceased to exist in 1948 and that there was now a state named Israel in part of that territory. But apparently that idea is considered "POV" now. 6SJ7 (talk) 17:24, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
As someone who has been active at Palestinian right of return in recent days, I can only state that my assessment of this situation is quite different from 6SJ7's. I intervened on this page on 11 January, in order to revise what I considered to be an inappropriate introduction. In so doing, I attempted to remove partisan language from both "sides" of the broader dispute, specifically (i) an assertion that the "right of return" is simply a political demand ([3]) and (ii) the rather politically-charged description of Mandate Palestine as a "homeland" for the Palestinian people ([4]). It was not my conscious intent to remove any and all references to the modern state of Israel from the introduction; in fact, I've returned such a reference in light of SJ's comments here.
It may also be worth noting that User:Leifern, with whom I've often had a difficult relationship on Israel-Palestine articles, has engaged with my edits in a collaborative manner on this occasion ([5]). This may be premature optimism, but I'd like to think of this exchange as a harbinger of greater collegiality rather than as a perpetuation of existing disputes. CJCurrie (talk) 06:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
CJCurrie, I did not mention you, nor were your edits the only ones I was talking about. You did, in fact, remove the reference to "what is now Israel" on at least one occasion, although now that I have called attention to this issue, you did re-insert a sort-of reference to Israel. (I still do find it kind of strange that you would refer to the territory as the "former British Mandate of Palestine" with Israel as an alternate name, but that is not the main point here.) However, Ceedjee's comments at Talk:Palestinian right of return#The lead do directly question whether Palestinians wish to return to "Israel". I don't see how that question can be asked without ignoring the fact that Israel is there. My whole point here is that some editors (including, on this page, PR and Nishidani) have tried to portray the "pro-Israeli" viewpoint as having some sort of advantage on Wikipedia, and I am just saying that there are two sides to this story. In fact, I believe the reality is just the opposite. As for your expressed wish for "greater collegiality rather than as a perpetuation of existing disputes, as I said elsewhere, that is a laudable goal. Maybe you ought to talk to, for example, Tiamut, who recently made a long post on the evidence page which, to say the least, can serve only to perpetuate existing disputes. 6SJ7 (talk) 20:20, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
What was wrong with my post? You (and others) are more than welcome to express what you feel is wrong with it at User talk:Tiamut/Evidence. I'm just trying to describe the problem as best I see it, though I'm sure others have different ideas as to what (or who) is (being) problematic. I focused on the actions and actors who I feel impede the ability of others to add to and improve Wikipedia. Is there something uncivil about that? Or is it the openness of the process? Or my adding and reverting? I got cold-feet about posting it because I don't think it fully summarizes the problem as I see it. But if there is something specifically offensive about it, please let me know. Tiamut 20:33, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Remarks by others on discussions here[edit]

(Re Tiamut and 6SJ7, above) One way for an ArbCom case to go down in flames is for parties to start arguing over their comments at the ArbCom itself. This is going to get contentious; that's the point here. so for anyone seeking collegiality, I suggest we not make an actual issue over the issues themselves which others raise here at ArbCom. Otherwise, we'll never move ahead. this is ArbCom after all, so raising disputes is exactly what we should expect here. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

This is a response to both Steve and Tiamut. I'm just trying to figure out what this case is really about. Some have suggested that it is about the future rather than the past, but if that is true, what is the function of the evidence posted by such editors as Tiamut? (I mentioned her evidence only as an example, mainly because it included a variety of editors rather than just one.) Or maybe this is a "regular" arbitration case after all, in which the main purpose is to sanction individual editors, in which case the evidence goes flying back and forth. I don't know. In the absence of "official" guidance from the ArbCom, I guess we'll all find out together, but along the way, I suspect a lot of people are going to waste a lot of time researching and writing things that do not affect the outcome of the case. 6SJ7 (talk) 22:30, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi. thanks for your question. in response, i would say that my understanding is that this case is quite definitely about the past. the reason is that ArbCom does not exist to set policy or to lay down new rules for dispute resolution or content. It exists to address (and possibly sanction) user conduct, and to examine any instance of editor misconduct or disruptive editing, pure and simple. that's my understanding. of course, we can all try to draw positive lessons here. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:[edit]
Proposed. One of the problems with articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that we have here two diametrically-opposed viewpoints, each with frequently their own versions of historical fact, and legality. Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to write something which is absolutely neutral in the most traditional sense, since there is no genuinely neutral account. One of the best ways to achieve true consensus here is to recognize that there are two communities here, and two valid viewpoints, each with its own heartfelt concerns and genuine sensitivities.
Proponents of Palestinian views may frequently need to cite sources which in a Western political context might be seen as overly leftist, or revisionist. Similarly, proponents of Israeli views may sometimes need to cite sources which might be seen as somewhat dogmatic within a Western context. Neither side's sources should be always accepted unconditionally.
However, one of the ways to find true consensus and a positive resolution is to accept that the views of each community deserve some degree of coverage, and not to wrangle endlessly because one source or another appears to clearly have a certain opinionated political approach or an opinionated approach to history. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 22:35, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Discussion of historical outlook[edit]
That is, I'm afraid Steve, Sm8900, deeply problematical. Most of the literature I, for one, used to ensure a just representation of the 'Palestinian' record comes from Israeli or Jewish historians, writers and journalists, not from Palestinians. And it is precisely many of these sources which were bitterly contested or challenged by pro-Zionist editors. Your remark implies that we are dealing, in editing from the reliable literature, with two national outlooks, respectively Israeli and Palestinian. Not so. Cite sources such as Noam Chomsky, Joel Beinin, Norman Finkelstein, Baruch Kimmerling, Benny Morris, Israel Shahak, Ilan Pappé, Ian Lustick, Alfred Lilienthal, Norton Mezvinsky, Yehoshafat Harkabi, Nathan J. Brown, Uriel Tal, Tony Judt, Maxime Rodinson, Felicia Langer, Simha Flapan, Raul Hilberg, Avi Shlaim, Idith Zertal. Israel Finkelstein, Shlomo Ben-Ami Hillel Cohen, Yakov Rabkin, Livia Rokach, Lenni Brenner, and journalists such as Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, to name but a few and one, as often as not, suffers a challenge over RS or pretextual wikilawyering of the kind: Shahak is not a professional historian hence not RS (days then pass in argument as to why this disqualifies him, while it does not disqualify the unqualified historian Walter Laqueur,) etc.
The systemic bias which I think is the root problem, not addressed here, is distinct from a 'national conflict' (Macedonia, Croat-Serb Wiki etc.) because, distinctively, we are dealing with an occupying power, exercising military, legal, cultural and economic preponderance of power over an occupied people (ICJ ruling 2004), the former splendidly represented by an abundance of editors, the latter having less than a handful. The discursive interests of Palestinians are substantially represented by stand-ins, either by Jewish/Israeli or Western scholars and writers, on which 'pro-Palestinian editors then draw for most of their material. It is not therefore a matter of a conflict of two valid national perspectives, as much as an internal cognitive rift within Jewish/Israeli intellectual debates (reflecting the post-Babylonian rift between universalism and nationalism in the Jewish tradition, much written about by Arnold Toynbee and others), and Western debates, on the area. One needs quite creative methods to iron out the peculiar difficulties this situation generates.Nishidani (talk) 20:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh my gosh. My comment relates exactly to the concerns which you expressed. I don't see any need for a contentious atmosphere between us. My friend, i NEVER said that there was anything wrong with any sources which Palestinians attempt to use. I never said they rely too heavily on Palestinian sources. you're putting words in my mouth. ALL I said is that we need to show more flexibility and more tolerance in allowing Palestinian editors to use sources whom they feel represent their point of view more fairly. And you thought I was actually trying to be more contentious here. that's a little bit amazing.
People, we need to try to start learning how to take each other's thoughts a little more at face value, giving each other a little more benefit of the doubt, start assuming good faith a little more, and start trying to HEAR each other more, rather than only hearing what we THINK the other person said. let's try to all do that a little more, ok? I'll start trying to do that too. Thank you. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:14, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Dear Steve, Sm8900. No desire to be contentious at all. In order to avoid cluttering up this deliberative forum with potentially distractive material that may not be germane to its formal concerns, I have replied to you on my talk page here.
The above is a meaty mouthful on which I’d like to chew and savor; thank you everyone for providing it potluck, and I hope it is somewhat satisfying. NPOV is absolute, period. Both sides work for it and Wikipedia demands it from us.
As far as the three involved ‘parties’ above are concerned, I agree with all, for the most part. We would not be here if either side could 'write for the enemy'. There is also the systematic bias problem, which is felt strongly by both sides; but from my life experience (post-’48) is felt quite differently on the two sides, and I will try to show the difference within that I-P conflict period. I am, however, neither ‘I’ or ‘P’ or even ‘J’ or ‘M’ and therefore it may be poorly stated and is incomplete.
The P-side sees systematic bias as ‘stateless and why’ in relation to the I-side specifically and in relation to the modern world view of self-determination/human rights; they see it as why are they generally resticted to Nishidani’s list of sources above, and PR’s ‘edit under enormous restrictions already’, etc, etc. The I-side sees it as, why are they held to a ‘higher’ or ‘double’ standard; they see is as why are they victims of terrorism; they see it as 6SJ7’s Wiki as ‘being an anti-Israel attack site’; they (may) see it as antisemitic, where in this specific (I-P) case, it generally isnt (and largely can’t be, based on the definition of the root noun), or new antisemitism, and they note that these ‘anti’ feelings and sources seem to be growing over recent years, etc, etc.
That said, and now I’m entering difficult ground, I see (as Americentric, not typically American) the following. I see ‘systematic bias’ as not-much-changed for the P-side, except that prospects have improved (to quote a fervent I-side editor ‘in the last 40 years the Palestinian Arabs have become smarter’ … and I’ll stop with that snippet) and note, from my bias, they have actually gotten ‘something’, but not much; and they blew a chance to get more in the Gaza withdrawal (but..). I have also seen (my bias) things which can rightfully be interpreted as ‘deterioration’ for the I-side position; but I feel that this deterioration is closely related to specific events/facts and reactions to them over the period, and not as a result of any conspiracy or any specific (nefarious) anti-Israeli bias. The honest bias is fairness, equality, human rights, and yes, a general world-wide wish for peace in an area where everybody is somehow connected but only Is and Ps (some Js and Ms) have to specifically live/deal with. As far as the ‘higher’ standard is concerned, you might have a point, but you also have a state and with that, you are officially held to a higher standard than a non-state.
The specific events to which I refer, start with 1967 and holding the line in ’73, (at which time the legitimate (Arab-Israeli) military option was lost) and it started to be more terroristic and specifically I-P. Jump to ’77, Likud’s election, and the new government’s public (official?) statements that their Israel is Eretz Israel, proven by Begin’s half-implementation of Camp David (?). 1982 Lebanon (‘Abu Nidal, Abu Schmidal…’) was a much bigger year than what Wiki says (I watched and saw what happened even if I can’t RS it, yet); for the first time, live coverage of a ME war was shown on US TV, and it was terrible; Peace Now was born, organizes huge demonstrations and the Jewish soul publically challenges the Israeli gov’t; and significantly, the American mass media starts to challenge the (then) knee-jerk reaction to add ‘terrorist’ after every use of ‘Palestinian’. 1987, the Ps ask the PLO ‘what have you done for us recently’, start to throw stones and get bullets in return; 1993 actually started to see progress. Enough, my point is that much of the deterioration that you see and fear is to some extent self-inflicted, and based on facts that outsiders have seen.
Another reason for growing perceived systematic bias toward the I-side is, again and specifically, self-inflicted. Honestly, however, the I-side should really be proud of this one; its the New Historians. I believe it is Steve’s reference to ‘revisionist’ sources. My read on this is that, it hurts, it revises what you and the world were taught/told and it more accurately tells the P-side of the story, which they have never revised. I also note that it tends to be true (accession of new data, rather than just the derogatory inference), but is still loudly debated; the volume of the debate (my read) is directly related to it’s truth and the degree of hurt it produces.
Another more recent cause for changes in systematic bias on both sides, but in opposite directions, is the development of the Web, freer access to info that was always out there (but minimally published/circulated); it goes hand-in-hand with a lesser influence of/reliance on traditional publishing/media. It has allowed WRMEA, EI CAMERA, Hasbara et.al. to go from paper to electrons. The last one in this set is Wikipedia itself and what it is supposed to be. I will also delicately state that Judaism was also the first Wiki project; it worked well, hard and fast but also appears to have covered its 'political' side that deals with the I-P conflict. There is likely some catch-up and repair work to be done for a better implementation of NPOV (my read).
Lastly (dessert), is Steve’s ‘factual claims in the article with which one may disagree completely’. I’d like to break it apart a bit and say ‘facts’ (the facts, Mam, just the facts); because as soon as these become ‘factual claims’, other things come into it and we rarely get just facts. But anyway, there are facts, black and white, indisputable, in your face, facts. There is nothing anyone can do with these except deal with them (but there a few editors who choose to deal with them by denial only), and dealing with them is our job as editors. How we deal/have dealt with them is why we are all specifically here. Like it or not, there are two (or more) sides to the truth; the I-P conflict is big, but we are not blind and it aint an elephant. We must be able to see and construct the whole picture; like it or not, what Wikipedia is supposed to be is a fair telling of both/all sides and building understanding of them. I hope we can peace it together, so to speak. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 17:29, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Again to avoid clutter, I have, CasualObserver'48 , made a reflection on your remarks here Nishidani (talk) 19:45, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi CasualObservr48! You make some excellent points. welcome to the potluck. you are welcome here; try some of the hummus and knishes! :-) good to hear your thoughts. For my response I would basically refer you to Nishidani's response. his remarks typify the Palestinian views far better than I could ever describe them. Basically though, the gist is that the Palestinians have never allowed themselves to accept Israel's existence, pure and simple. Nishidani's response makes that clear, as he refers to Israel as having been imposed by the British. Well, we know all that is the views of the Palestinians. We know that is their rationale for everything else which has happened.
And by the way, this is from an editor who spoke about the need for objective facts. In fact, I find Nishidani to be an articulate and thoughtful editor, but his post is just too enlightening to pass up. The "factual" context to which the Palestinians attribute all later events is the unjustified existence of Israel pure and simple. While meanwhile, I-side editors (great term, BTW) attribute everything to the Palestinians non-recognition of Israel.
As long as Palestinians view Israel as a historical wrong which they must struggle against, there will continue to be articles into which they swoop, saying "whoa, whoa everyone, stop everything. you need to know the vast wrongs perpetuated here," instead of "hmm, let me explain some of the factors at work here on the Arab side."
While on the other hand, as long as I-side editors keep viewing this as the result of the world trying to gloss over terrorist crimes, they will keep swooping into articles, saying "whoa, whoa, why speak about the grievance of the anti-Israel crowd, when they are really terroristic, deceitful, and undermining any chance of peaceful co-existence."
All of which may be true, but we still have a job here, to let readers to know the genuine and valid concerns existing on both sides, and the fact that in the middle of both extremes, there are genuine human factors to be described and told. however as long as the people touting objectivity are saying "let me tell you objectively how Israel is totally wrong and the anti-imperialists [meaning anti-Israel] forces are totally right," we're unlikely to make much progress here. Thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way, thanks for your excellent post. My reply above still does not seem like an adequate response to your excellent points, but I did want to respond to the more prominent ones. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

'his remarks typify the Palestinian views far better than I could ever describe them. Basically though, the gist is that the Palestinians have never allowed themselves to accept Israel's existence, pure and simple. Nishidani's response makes that clear, as he refers to Israel as having been imposed by the British.'

Pray do not distort my ideas. I cannot recognize myself in this paraphrase. I do not speak for Palestinians. I have no edited in wiki to speak for Palestinians, nor myself, but simply to add material from academic or quality journalistic or research institute articles bearing on several dozen pages. If you believe personally that Palestinians to a man don't 'allow themselves' to accept Israel's existence (news to me, but then live and learn), then, in logic, you must ask yourself how you would react to a hypothetical statement of the kind: 'the Israelis have never allowed themselves to accept the existence of a Palestinian state.' Were someone to pose this latter statement before my attention for comment, I would reply: 'which Israelis are you referring to? (2) Wouldn't it be more neutral to say, 'Israel has yet to allow the existence of a Palestinian state'? etc.etc. I believe your confusion here is based on the idea that Palestinians should be collectively obliged to underwrite what they perceive to be an Israeli/Zionist account of Israel's foundation, and you confuse what would be a rational reluctance by the vanquished to underwrite the victor's narrative of their defeat as a refusal to recognize the obvious fact that the state itself does exist, indeed clutters up every minute of their hardscrabble lives in the territories. Nishidani (talk) 17:14, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

'I find Nishidani to be an articulate and thoughtful editor, but his post is just too enlightening to pass up. The "factual" context to which the Palestinians attribute all later events is the unjustified existence of Israel pure and simple. While meanwhile, I-side editors (great term, BTW) attribute everything to the Palestinians non-recognition of Israel.

Note that you oppose 'Palestinian' views to those espoused by I-side editors. I took some pain to remark that the distinction is useless. The history of the area is largely a construct of historians and scholars whose views cannot be associated in a reductive manner with national affiliations. Some of the best work illuminating how the historical record might look from a non-Zionist perspective or even 'Palestinian' angle has been done by Israeli and Jewish intellectuals. To confuse this with Palestinian attitudes (whatever that amounts to) is to confuse two levels of discourse, and muddle things. When I studied classical Greek, we were brought to read the newer school of research which no longer subscribed to the old eurocentric model (already present in Aeschylus' The Persians contrasting a triumphant but humble Greece to the hubris-infatuated arrogance and 'oriental' pomp and despotic tendencies of Greece's great adversary). We we taught in short to read Greek narratives imaginatively, through Persian eyes, to try to understand how the vanquished might have narrated or seen the same events. This double focus is by now, many decades later, standard in serious academic historiography, anthropology, sociology.
No one in his right mind questions Israel's existence. What modern research is doing is to reexamine the master Zionist narrative, highly influential abroad, and still with strong traces in the serious literature, from the relatively suppressed perspective of those at whose cost Israel as a state was founded. Wiki articles should neither reflect a Zionist master narrative nor its mirror opposite: but simply be up to date with the best of contemporary scholarship, which looks at the archives and to hell with the consequences for reputations, images or POV perspectives. This is not an 'existential threat' to Israel. It is merely cleaning up a rather shoddy nationalist version of history, much as both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks for schools have had to be cleaned up. Most of the editors whose work I consider disruptive know nothing of these scholarly books (Jaakobou did not know who Sir Martin Gilbert was, and thought he was an anti-Zionist type: Zeq doesn't know who Walter Laqueur is - how many days of argument really must one spend to enlighten people too lazy to check before they argue with you?), but trawl the net for 'ammo, clipped from the usual incendiary sources of partisan spin.Nishidani (talk) 17:57, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
your comments are extremely insightful and helpful, as usual. I'm going to try to think about these, and perhaps discuss later. thanks for adding all these ideas. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:04, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Findings of fact; Many editors on both sides are good-faith, even when they seem partisan by some standards[edit]

2) Many editors who are most prominent in various disputes within this area are actually writing in good-faith, even when it appears they are actually being overly contentious or partisan, by conventional standards.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support - it is easy to forget this - but articles in the I-P conflict area are no worse than anywhere else in this respect, so let's not allow ourselve to be diverted. This ArbCom arose over user-conduct issues, the very kind of thing that the Committee can deal with rather easily. When the accusations (well backed by evidence) move from tendentious editing to outright cheating, then some significant improvements to the operation of the project becomes relatively (even ridiculously) simple. PRtalk 08:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Many editors from either viewpoint really do write in good-faith, trying to portray facts as they see it.
Many Palestinian-area editors really do not sit down to write thinking "Let me make Israel look bad." They really are thinking, "Let me reveal the truth about how Israel has mistreated Palestinians, curtailed their rights, and misused Palestinian resources, and distorted the historical facts."
Many Israel-area editors really do not sit down to write thinking "Let me make Palestinians look bad." They are really thinking, "let me reveal the truth about how Palestinians engage in continuing incitement, and in concealed support for terrorist groups, and in constantly providing material support for terrorist activities."
Both groups really seek to lay out the historical facts as they see it. this should not be seen as a partisan act, but rather an attempt to provide new little-known facts. Similarly, both groups seek to rely on historians and analysts with an unconventional viewpoint, one which seeks lesser-known views of history. Each should be given a chance to present its views of the facts, and its sources, based on the truth as each genuinely sees it from a good-faith perspective. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:48, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies[edit]

Israel-affiliated editors can use official documents where possible[edit]

Comments by Arbitrators.
Comments by Parties.
Comments by Others.
Proposed. Israel-affiliated editors can use official documents where possible, by using official Israel websites. This will help to satisfy WP:NOTABLE, and avoid WP:FRINGE. The ISraeli MFA has apparently assembled a huge collection of documents and position papers. We should probably try to utilize this more. Let's stop trying to wring out the Full Coverage section at yahoo.com, and op-eds at jpost.com, just to support the most basic points of Israeli positions, ok? :-) (although I do consider those sources valid.) Official government documents satisfy WP:NOTABLE by definition in these issues; government sources are well-established because they are the "establishment,". so to speak. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 17:44, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose This is a content issue. -- Kendrick7talk 17:56, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
you're right: i think i meant this more as a suggestion for others here. I don't wish to dictate future editors' conduct, especially good-faith editors whom i probably agree with. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Admins and mediators should be flexible on guidelines in some ways, due to context[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

1) Admins and mediators should be flexible on certain guidelines in specific ways, due to context of disputes. Admins, mediators, and other potential leaders, as well as editors should be advised to show flexibility on specific key guidelines, such as WP:SOURCES, WP:UNDUE, WP:FRINGE, WP:EXTREME, and perhaps other guidelines which may be relevant to emrging disputes on these issues, if they impede the underlying goal of providing balance between two diametrically-opposed viewpoints or versions of a particular event or set of events.

Comment by Arbitrators:
I am very much against being at all flexible on any of those key editing principles because of prolonged content disputes. If anything we need to be much more strict on them. Sam Blacketer (talk) 00:14, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Oppose - per User:Sam Blacketer. The I-P conflict topic is well-served by excellent sources (far better than any other nationalist-haunted area). There is a major problem with propaganda sources, many of them infused with blatant historical fabrications (and hate) - but we have the example of Holocaust Denial to teach us how to recognise (and firmly reject) such unpleasant and unwanted material. A reminder - the I-P conflict area is currently operating under a virtual blanket ban on Palestinian sources (some of it unjustified, smacking more of racism than anything else). Applying similar strict standards to non-Palestinian material will not be difficult. PRtalk 09:14, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
(Response). Um, Palestine Remembered, i think you just defended my suggestion, even as you opposed it. You said "there is a virtual blanket ban on Palestinian sources." If that's the case, then isn't that a good reason to adopt my proposal, since the guidelines as currently applied are preventing Palestnian sources from being used at all?
Would it surprise you if I said that i somewhat agree with you? I'm not saying I'm suddenly a partisan for the Palerstinians. but all this wrangling over fair sources is causing all this edit-warring and keepuing the discussion on an inane level. Additionally, it is causing a lot of I-side editors to get called up on disruption.
What made you think my proposal disagrees with your concerns? Is it because I'm an I-side editor? So now hopefully you will see another dimension to all this. thanks.--Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Proposed. because of the above points, admins and mediators, as well as anyone else likely to play some role in dispute resolution on these issues, should to be advised to show some flexibility on some specific guidelines, in some specific ways, in light of these issues.
Specifically, they should be advised to show some flexibility on WP:SOURCES, and perhaps WP:UNDUE, and perhaps some other guidelines, when applied to sources used by either side, and they should be told to be flexible on the notability of some sources, in order to pay attention to the additional consideration of making sure that each community has had some legitimate chance to put its thoughts on the table. they should realize that there are two genuinely disparate views of different realities here in regards to almost all issues, and they should not immediately act to exclude one side or the other, just because one specific source seems motivated by what at first might seem like an ideological slant. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:54, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm objecting to this. The proposed statement is too vague and almost seems like allusion to a MedCom case I'm mediating now (whose disputants are not, by the way, involved in this case). I'm not appreciative of that allusion. -- tariqabjotu 15:22, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Ok. I am not alluding to anything here. yes I know everyone here will think I'm alluding to something. i know everyone here will think i am using veiled code words to refer to a hidden idea. you are our first customer. :-) thanks. To continue, the only thing I am referring to is an ongoing general area of dysfunctionality and contention, with misconduct by editors on both sides, and which carries some implications for general Wikipedia dynamics, and which could benefit from some deep discussion of the underlying thoughts and dynamics.
Ok, that's my reply. All kidding aside, hope that adequately answers your very valid concerns. Now (all kidding resumed), who's next? anyone else want to scrutinize my words for what they feel is a direct or veiled allusion to some drawn-out dispute they were involved in? come on in, all takers welcomed. :-) come in and put your feet up. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:42, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, did some more poking around. the case which you're mediating is a significant and complex one. what's wrong with alluding to it, in order to glean some information and lessons which can serve to enlighten anyone who might deal with similar issues and disputes in the future? thanks for your comments, by the way. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 16:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't appreciate the sarcastic remarks. Please don't lump me into everyone and please don't pretend this is the first time you've heard of this mediation case; you have commented on it before. Additionally, your proposal specifically mentions mediators, not just admins, so... yeah... I'm not convinced. -- tariqabjotu 19:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
ok, let's say I was referring indirectly to your mediation. what difference does it make? anything relevant or valid seems like it is ok to bring up here, if it can help us address these issues.. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:03, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Let's try to avoid making denigrating comments here, ok? your comments seem unreasonable. i didn't say a single thing which was sarcastic. why do you feel a need to come here and state what I can and cannot comment on? I tried to be senstive to your feelings, you took my courtesy and threw it in my face. your response seems unreasonable and uincalled for. Please do not comment on my motive or the motives of any editor. We're supposed to assume good faith here. Your comments are inappropriate, unwarranted, and overly personal. However, i hope for positive relations with you. ok, the truth is I don't care hugely how positive my relations are with everyone else here (though I do care somewhat). however, you need to start learning a secret I've stumbled onto; courtesy makes me feel better, whether it is well-received or not. your remarks to me are starting to seem incourteous. i look forward to achieveing better and more positive dynamics in our future communications. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 23:42, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This fails on its face because it does not specify which key guidelines are covered. I suspect that a better-written proposal would also fail; we are not going to relax or ignore standards of notability, reliable sources, NPOV, or anything else. If a group of editors can't agree on the notability of a person or event, they should seek outside help through the DR process (RFC, third opinion, mediation). If they can't agree and they get nasty about it, the solution is not to lower the standard to moot the argument but rather to ban those editors from the topic and see if a different group of editors can come to a civilized agreement. Thatcher 18:01, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
much of what you say is valid. (I have made some revisions based on your comments.) however, sorry, BANNING the editors? that's your solution? sorry, this is preceisely the kind of welll-meaning thinking which leads to problems. We can't ban all the good-faith editors invovled in good faith disputes. And no, a different group of editors is not likely to come to a civilized agreement, if others have greatly failed to do so.
why shouldn't a good-faith palestinian editor occasionally bring in a left-wing historian in order to give credence to their claim that israel has dispossessed the Palestinian people? Why shouldn't a good-faith Israeli editor occasionally bring a right-wing historian to give credence to their claim that Palestinianns have consistently supported terrorists on a wide-scale? your answer does not seem to leave much room for positive resolution to disputes on these issues.
Also, we are currently in a discussion phase. I would gently request that, in discussing genral well-intentioned suggestions for solving long-term disputes, that we not initially use terms like "fail". Did you ever hear of keeping moderation in the tone and atmosphere here? I would suggest humbly that we try to do so. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:09, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
further discussion of guidelines[edit]
Banned from the article or topic. That is the purpose of broad discretionary sanctions that are likely to be enacted here. And your assumption that I would oppose "left-wing historian in order to give credence to their claim that israel has dispossessed the Palestinian people" or vice versa is not founded either in what I wrote above or in any Wikipedia policy. The Neutral point of view policy contemplates including multiple viewpoints, and the reliable source policy does not require that sources be neutral (is there such a thing in any field?) but rather that the best sources are people who are widely recognized as experts, and whose views are published (in the case of historians) in peer reviewed academic literature. I'm sure you could find some professors in Category:Universities and colleges in the Palestinian territories and Category:Universities and colleges in Israel to cover both sides of your example. What would not be tolerated is an editor who insists that one or the other view not be represented at all, or who puts so many barriers to inclusion (unreasonable demands for sources, adding weasel words, repeated removing of sourced material) that it becomes clear his real intent is to obstruct presentation of that view. That's when an article or topic ban or 1RR limit would come into play under the broad discretionary sanctions. Thatcher 18:24, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
thanks for your helpful reply. by the way, I didn't mean that YOU would oppose any leftist or rightist historian; i meant this is precisely the kind of issue which often turns into a major dispute. anyway, i will try to read the rest of your very thoughtful and helpful response, and reply more later, (if necessary). thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Thatcher. Steve, I think you're being a bit too kind here. They're not all mere "good-faith" editors involved in "good-faith" disputes; some of them have contributed to disputes in a manner that can only be described as disruptive. We shouldn't be bending the rules to accommodate them; we should be setting restrictions (including perhaps lengthy blocks or bans) against specific editors that continuously cause trouble. Contrary to popular belief, there are people out there who can contribute to articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without cooking up a firestorm. The troublemakers in this field should not be able to ruin things for those other people.
And, yes, I too believe this will fail (for vagueness); there's nothing wrong with using that word. From your comments here, I think you're bending over backwards here to not hurt anyone's feelings. I'm at least happy you're not being incivil, but one does not have to handle these proceedings with kiddy gloves to be speaking in an acceptable tone. -- tariqabjotu 20:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Alright, let me let you in on a little secret; I'm a process guy. My interest is facilitating a process which will be just and equitable for all. for this reason, I am not actually emotionally attached to any one editor or any one side here. it's very flattering that you think I'm so emotionally invested here that my neutrality my desire to help to work for a bit more fairness and some balance stems from some feeling of altruism or benevolence towards several people or perhaps all editors in general. however, the reverse is true. I do enjoy the intellectual stimulation of Wikipedia, and the chance to join in building a great positive resource. However, because I (hopefully) don’t let myself get emotionally invested, I’m (hopefully) able to avoid getting caught up in any conflict, or one side or the other. If you reread all my comments carefully, you're realize that everything--from my friendly comments to my instance of courtesy--might be someone trying to make peace, but it is also consistent with merely trying to maintain a positive role in the process, and maintaining proper and correct relations with all concerned.
With that said, the parties are the ones claiming that they are editing only in the manner that is the most just and equitable for all concerned. So they are the ones who need to prove that their editing consistently meets all these standards, without the intervention of any higher authorities or processes. I’m merely looking at the existing process, as it actually is now, and suggesting that we need to come up with something better, and simply a few ways to do so. (So the fear or non-fear of hurting someone's feelings, is not a factor here for me, in most ways.) thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 23:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me, I was under the impression we'd been told that this ArbCom is not going to sanction anyone,[6] for which reason I'm not putting forwards any evidence. Are you saying that evidence of quite serious disruptive editing should be entered into the record, and measures will be taken to stop these individuals concerned from carrying on as they've been doing? PRtalk 21:19, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why you're asking me; I'm not on ArbCom. I personally, however, believe that editor-specific sanctions should be applied for those who are shown to have been the most disruptive. I don't think any of the comments you referenced in your Evidence comment excludes the idea that that could still occur, although I could be wrong about that. -- tariqabjotu 21:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
PR, your question is more appropriate for one of the talk pages. It seems to me that the Arbitrators who have spoken on the matter (2 or 3, certainly not a majority) want to impose broad topical sanctions and have them be enforced against users in the future only. As a long-time observer of the Arbitration process I suggest that the committee may consider evidence and individual sanctions against the worst offenders, assuming you can make a good case and that there really are offenders who are worse than most in this dispute. Thatcher 23:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
User:Thatcher - thankyou very much for your encouragement to go ahead and present evidence at the relevant page. I trust that the new ArbCom is willing and able to deal with the very serious problems I believe have been identified. PRtalk 20:33, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This proposal assumes that the problem lies primarily with Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. I would submit that the policies are fundamentally sound; these problems stem from users who continuously disregard them (on both sides), and more fundamentally from a failure of whatever authority exists on Wikipedia to even feebly enforce policy on these articles. You can't expect policies to work if the penalty for ignoring them repeatedly and blatantly is an admonition or a rapidly-reversed block. That sort of example takes root very quickly. It's not so much that if we throw out this group of editors a different group will do better. The point is that if we actually provide positive reinforcement to editors who behave, and actual negative reinforcement to those who repeatedly and predictably don't, then the atmosphere may improve. Of course, it may not, but it's an experiment worth trying. MastCell Talk 23:56, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm similarily convinced that Wikipedia's guidelines and policies are fundamentally sound. However, the situation has been allowed to deteriorate alarmingly, there appear to be editors who encourage others to trample policies. Naturally, I cannot be absolutely sure that my challenge on this occasion was justified, but I note that nobody tried to set the record straight. Most worryingly, I discover that, even at ANI, other editors will attempt to laugh off this very serious allegation. It is certainly time that the ArbCom showed it's teeth towards cheats. PRtalk 20:33, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Mastcell, you make a good point. However, in response, i would remind you of a little-known fact: Wikipedia is a collaborative, open source encyclopedia which ANYONE can edit. :-) i trust you see my point. Yes, you're right, some of these policies have been violated by some disruptive editors. However, one premise here is that the community itself can come up with fair policies and implementation mechanisms. If these policies are consistently broken by editors who make widespread constructive edits, then perhaps we need to to take afresh look at how these policies have been formulated, impelemented and enforced. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement[edit]

Proposals by Malik Shabazz[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

3RR is not an entitlement[edit]

1) The three-revert rule does not convey an entitlement to revert three times each day.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Probably other remedies would involve a 1RR restriction so this principle makes a lot of sense. Even if there'd be no 1RR restriction administratrs should be firm about that and users should understand it. No excuses. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Definitely. -- tariqabjotu 05:56, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Tag-team editing[edit]

2) Editors who evade the letter of 3RR through the use of tag-team editing are engaging in disruptive editing and may be violating the principle of the 3RR rule.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Oppose - this is a highly dangerous proposal (despite the fact that my only 3RR was set up in this fashion). Examine the content issues bracketed by the diff here - I'm pretty sure there is cheating, deliberate obstruction. But it's not from "the majority". PRtalk 20:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, I agree. -- tariqabjotu 05:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that tag-team editing is a problem. I've seen it done by both "sides" of the dispute and would encourage uninvolved admins, and perhaps ArbCom, to be responsive to this problem. Perhaps the relation to 3RR needs to be clarified or expanded? Thanks. HG | Talk 16:30, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


User:HG. By posting the following, I don't mean to lay a formal complaint about the editors involved. I have exempted myself generally from recourse to arbitration procedures because I was taught as a child it is a form of whingeing, and improper. However, in looking through these pages, I was reminded of an instance which I long suspected as being emblematic, underscoring the problems, of which tag-team editing is just one, which lead to loss of temper because the procedures are all formal, when content calls by administrators with a firm understanding of academic criteria for writing articles, neutral but commonsensical, would remove much of the frustration editors on both sides feel. That doesn't bother me so much as the deeper issue - can administrators judge what measures are to be taken simply by looking at the log and ignoring the content dispute? I was drawn (no excuse) into edit-warring because I adduced three (two eminently) reputable historians (Walter Laqueur, Benny Morris and Lenni Brenner)whose content was disliked by the main editor, User:Zeq who had three days earlier suffered a suspension. He returned to find me editing what many believe he regards as 'his page', and appears to have called on another editor to help him out in countering my appearance there to edit it. I had been asked by a pro-Israeli editor, Alithien, frustrated by his own failure to remove a prejudicial reading of Amin al-Husayni's early career, to see if I could look in on the page and help fix it. I made a long review, polishing up poor grammar, correcting spelling and adding materials I was familiar with on the subject. This appears to have galvanized User:Zeq, who, after his suspension was lifted, called, unless I am mistaken, User:Armon to help him block me.
Sequence: (1)Zeq, on Arbcom probation, was blocked for further abuses on October 22 for 24 hourshere
(2) Alithien asks me to look at the al-Husayni page to see if I can help on October 22 ('If you have time, could you take care about Amin al-Husseini, because, he will soon become a virulent antisemite') here. I know nothing of User:Zeq, or the page history.
(3) I proceed to edit the page forthwith from October 22 here
(4) User:Zeq after some days denounces me as ‘anti-Semitic’ here, while accepting the many improvements in link-fixing, spelling. grammar etc., is irritated by my content additions, which we discuss on the talk page. I had difficulty, and admittedly impatience, because he did not appear to understand English sufficiently. In one case, in response to a query he made, I withheld detailed information he requested (based on a misreading of what I was saying) because possible third-parties, anti-semites, might use the details I could have produced to buttress their prejudices.
(5) Tag-team request. Very early on October 26 Zeq asks User:Armon in New Zealand, long invisible on the page, to email him here. Quickly afterwards User:Armon begins to edit vigorously against my content contributions, often wikilawyering.
E.g.(7)User:Armon eliminates Walter Laqueur and Lenni Brenner
(8)User:Armon Eliminating Benny Morris
(9) I was thus drawn against the two into a 3RR violation denounced by Zeqhere
I my record is smirched by entrapment, while simply endeavouring to get quality historians, not tabloid sources or propaganda broadsheets favoured by Zeq, into this Wiki article. I get punished for adding 3 historians, and Zeq and Armon plug away without notable additions to the page, because they appear to know far more about the politics of wiki-editing than someone like myself. If humoured by the ironies, and my naivity at the time, it certainly hinted to me nonetheless that I, for one, perhaps am wasting my time on Wikipedia, if this is the way it works. Most troublesome articles could be written by one of any number of experienced hands in a few days: here they are written and unwritten by dozens for years, without noticeable quality. What T.S. Eliot would call a mug's game (without the poetry) in short.
An administrator applying the sanction will look at the log, and judge the abuse without tedious regard for circumstances. The sequence above gives one merely my impression of what was going on, and what dragged me into insisting that proper evidence be respected or restored, against recalcitrant erasures by what I regarded to be two tag-teamed posters. Administrators are not omniscient, but they often appear in their judgements to be like Joyce's god of creation, paring their fingernails on high after handing down formal judgements that ignore the dynamic substance of a dispute.
My own fault here lay in not keeping a weather eye on the clock (I believe that when I did edit Wiki probity of the material was the only thing that counted, little else, an oversight on formalism), and, allowed myself to be prepossessed by the problem, as I saw it, of irrational indeed censorious, POV-motivated removal of material. Of all ironies, this occurred while I was, at the same, strengthening the material on Amin's pro-Nazi links.
Privately, I wondered how is one to edit when one's interlocutor seems to suffer from WP:OWN; when here, as many have argued, he is sufficiently unfamiliar with English usage to misread my own caution against anti-semitism as an accusation that he is antisemitic, when indeed I knew he was an Israeli whose family suffered eviction from the antisemitic milieu of Iraq; and thirdly, how can one fix badly mauled highly POV pages (I have myself added substantial documentation there on Amin's Nazi connections) when one finds impeccably sourced material, that nuances Amin's early anti-Zionism as in part related, in turn, to provocations by Zionist extremists likeZe'ev Jabotinsky's Betar etc, held hostage by recalcitrant editors who refuse to recognize that a Walter Laqueur, or a Benny Morris, (let us leave Lenni Brenner out for simplicity) do not need to be justified as WP:RS. Of course one can argue through the various arbitration courts a long-winded case for days on just this nugatory point (if the point is won, no doubt a dozen more will follow in such an atmsphere), but, I thought, there must be some ground for having area-competent administrators on call to simple stop this kind of cunctatorial practice, or judgements made in patent (if not indeed blatant) ignorance, somply by an editor making a quick call, i.e. Laqueur, Brenner and Morris material stet. I can understand squabbles about tabloid sources, but not, as here, objections to books published by major publishing houses. To ask deeply committed editors to be civil under the provocations of uncomprehending, time-consuming objections, bide their time, argue for weeks, take out lengthy arbitration, on what are ABC issues resolvable at a glance is, I think, an impediment to serious work on this area of Wiki. Academics shouldn't pull rank, of course, God forbid. But editors without a minimal grasp of basic academic or juridical principles of evidence should not be given unbridled rein to whoah up virtually anything the former adduce simply because, not having done thermselves the required homework, they are unfamiliar with it, and entertain ungrounded POV suspicions. I don't ask you to take sides, but simply to meditate on the broader issue this raises. Regards Nishidani (talk) 16:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Setting an example for others[edit]

3) Administrators and other editors who have been placed in positions of trust by the community are expected to set an example for other editors by their behavior.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support One of the most puzzling things to me as a newby was the extraordinarily tendentious editing of (a small number) of admins known to be in good standing. When this is combined with total refusal to explain policies, a bad taste is left. PRtalk 11:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
This might be true, but I don't believe this is relevant to the case. -- tariqabjotu 05:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
err, sorry, i feel it is relevant. if admins engage in certain controversial actions, it only heightens the contentious mood. People need to feel that there some credible figures who can be considered fair, authoritative, and truly neutral, and truly conscientious. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:13, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Blocking[edit]

1) Any uninvolved administrator may, at her or his discretion, block any editor who engages in disruptive editing regardless of whether 3RR has been violated, especially if an editor appears to be gaming the system.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Blocking[edit]

2) Any uninvolved administrator may, at her or his discretion, block any editor who engages in disruptive editing regardless of whether 3RR has been violated, especially if an editor appears to be gaming the system through the use of tag-team editing.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

De-adminship[edit]

3) ArbCom will consider removing from her or his position any administrator or other editor who has been placed in a position of trust who engages in edit warring.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Oppose - 3RR cases are tricky to arbitrate, and (very largely) only catch inexperienced editors. If integrity is to play a bigger part (and partisanship a smaller part) in the editing of admins etc, then put all admins on 1RR. PRtalk 09:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC) (Please contact me).
Comment by others:
Proposed. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 23:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this is relevant to the case. Additionally, I believe the edit-warring has to get very, very bad for edit-warring alone to lead to de-adminship. Edit wars don't involve admin tools, so it would be difficult to say that the tools are being revoked because of abuse. -- tariqabjotu 06:00, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I think she;'s saying that admins ought to have some small conscientiousness which would lead them to always want to play a positive role, not often walk a fine line between contentiousness and outright edit-warring (as some do; I'm not saying that's a practice which you are referring to here). --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 00:26, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Which admins have been doing anything that resembles edit warring in this case? Ryan Postlethwaite 14:11, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


Proposals by HG[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

Conflicts of interest[edit]

1a) Conflicts of interest can be a serious hindrance to the production of a neutral encyclopedia. Users with a potential conflict-of-interest should follow COI guidelines. By the same token, accusations or undue questioning of COI are contrary to good conduct (WP:AGF), uncivil and disruptive. (COI in this matter may include doing paid or volunteer editing, or guidance on Wikipedia editing, for an NGO or governmental group.)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Oppose - Conflict of Interest is tricky to determine and adjudicate on fairly in all "nationalist" topics. However, this issue cannot be self-policed, nor can it be disappeared from TalkPages. Nor can we tolerate ambushing inexperienced editors over concerns they express. Not trying to make policy, but it is absolutely right and proper that, if editors are suspected of having a personal interest they should be questioned about it. Repeated questioning on TalkPages may be tolerable if they refuse to answer, subject only to privacy issues. Subjects of these requests should pro-actively take the matter to the CoI board if they feel uncomfortable. PRtalk 09:55, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed, in response to COI-related concerns and innuendos. HG | Talk 19:38, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with everything exception the parenthetic piece beginning with "(COI...)". -- tariqabjotu 20:45, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Tariqabjotu, thanks for your reply. What's the nature of your concern with the parenthetical? Would such situations not be potential conflicts of interest? Thanks. HG | Talk 22:00, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't like how the proposal condemns undue questioning of COI, but then proceeds to have that parenthetical piece, which, to me, sounds like it's indicting someone for that conflict of interest. I think the point is taken sufficiently without that part. -- tariqabjotu 22:04, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's intended just to clarify the meaning of COI. Nonetheless, I've separated out and moved below the part that you find objectionable. Thanks. HG | Talk 22:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

1b) Conflicts of interest in this matter may include doing paid or volunteer editing, or guidance on Wikipedia editing, for an NGO or governmental group.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed by HG, moved as separate item. Note objection stated by Tariqabjotu above. HG | Talk 22:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Evaluation of disputes and remedies[edit]

2) (2a)Remedies that are not monitored are more difficult to evaluate. (2b) Remedies without clear deliverables (e.g., quantifiable or easily judged results) are more difficult to evaluate. (2c) The more visible and transparent a dispute, the more likely that uninvolved and involved parties will make progress toward resolution.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposed findings of fact[edit]

No individual Conflicts-of-interest known[edit]

1) Prior to arbitration, no involved parties have made any self-disclosures about conflicts-of-interest relevant to this dispute. Prior to arbitration, no reliable sources demonstrate that any specific user, including any involved party, has a conflict-of-interest relevant to this dispute.

Comment by Arbitrators:
We don't ask users to tell us about 'their' potential COI, if there are any. If we find out that they violate or disrespect WP:COI than any admin can take the appropriate action. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:33, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Reply to HG... No, in fact i am neither agreeing nor disagreeing about the facticities. but it is just not the job of the ArbCom i believe to ask people about such things. We can only encourage parties to do so. If there are any violations you'd like the ArbCom to know about then that would be another matter. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 14:40, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Even if it's not ArbCom's job to ask, certainly you'd agree that if COI editing were known, it may well be germane to the case?... Yes, definitely it may well be germane. The ArbCom would definitely look at COI violations' evidences in case there are any. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 17:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Oppose - we have a highly unsatisfactory solution, wherein we currently expect CoI issues to be self-policed. This expectation is further undermined by an atmosphere of denial. I've been unable to get answers from Jaakobou (who is, after all, the primary subject of this ArbCom) on abusive sock-puppetry, on abusive editing against the community and on his (claimed) willingness to abide by consensus. Under these circumstances, we need to develop procedures more robust, not entrench policies that look increasingly discredited. PRtalk 11:08, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
But PR, the statement above is a statement of fact, not a policy. See? Thanks. HG | Talk 13:48, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Fayssal, thanks for your reply. I agree with what you wrote -- but are you disagreeing with the facticity of the statement? Thanks. HG | Talk 18:14, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Fayssal, thanks again. I've revised the wording of this fact. I'm simply pointing out that no COI of an individual is known to be relevant to this case. (There is some info about COI-editing being promoted, but no individual users are named.) Even if it's not ArbCom's job to ask, certainly you'd agree that if COI editing were known, it may well be germane to the case? Thanks. HG | Talk 17:02, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Mechanisms to track and measure disputes[edit]

2) While Wikipedia has mechanisms in place to track and measure vandalism, ArbCom would benefit from better mechanisms to track and measure the level, intensity and character of disputes, at least for the disputes covered by this arbitration.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
See proposed monitoring remedy below. Thanks. HG | Talk 19:16, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Ongoing monitoring of disputed articles[edit]

1) To enable ArbCom to evaluate the disputed topic area, ArbCom endorses the development of better mechanisms to monitor and measure disputes in articles covered by this arbitration.

Draft idea (1a). ArbCom asks uninvolved parties to set up a working group to observe user conduct related to the articles covered by this arbitration. This working group will exercise no new authorities. This working group may promote dispute resolution or recommend remedies through existing channels. The working group is asked to report its observations to ArbCom periodically. ArbCom will aim to provide an ArbCom member as a liaison or member of the working group.
Draft idea (1b). ArbCom endorses the development of a page (in Wikipedia mainspace) that tracks and tabulates data on the level, intensity, and character of disputes covered by this arbitration. For instance, this tracking page might identify articles by protection level, dispute resolution efforts, 3RRs and blocks, revert levels, etc. The page may be dynamically generated, in part, while allowing input by observers.
Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
These are both very interesting and potentially useful proposals. I feel that I-P articles could greatly benefit from increased monitoring by a dedicated group of individuals, particularly since it is a complicated subject (which takes time, patience and follow-up to deal with, both in the real and wiki worlds). I think both a and b would work very well together, with b serving as a useful tool for the group described in a. (Dear HG. You ask, I deliver.) Tiamut 19:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. I welcome suggestions about the proposal and the 2 specific draft ideas. Thanks very much. HG | Talk 19:16, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
This sounds good. Is this similar to kirill's idea stated above, for a Working group? In that section, i replied that i do see a lot of value to this idea, but I would suggest that maybe it could occur through MedCab, as they can gather some volunteers and editors who might be neutral, and can add their effort to mediating disputes neutrally. i look forward to discussing a variety of ways that this diea might be reviewed and tried out. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:36, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
As proposed above, this group would be "tasked" esp to monitor the topic area. Secondarily, it could promote DR and help invite positive input into the area by uninvolved admins, less POV editors, etc. So, while I like Kirill's proposal, his would have a broader scope and be tasked only to generate recommendations. HG | Talk 21:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
This monitoring group could function within or through something like Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration (see Fayssal's comment above and esp Sumo's proposal, below). Note, though, that the monitoring group probably shouldn't have an open membership, but rather ArbCom should probably appoint at least the initial members (who could then solicit and review member applications) and request specific deliverables. Thanks. HG | Talk 13:45, 16 January 2008 (UTC) For a work-in-progress toward (1b), see this unofficial monitoring report on I-P editing battleground statistics. Input welcome. Thanks. HG | Talk 11:48, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Terms for required mentorship[edit]

2) In this remedy, ArbCom sets forth parameters for the mentoring of involved parties. Required mentoring should be guided by a written agreement of the mentor(s), the user and (an admin or an ArbCom clerk). The agreement should have written and well-defined goals, including some easily measured or evaluated deliverables (e.g., reduce or eliminate contested reverts). Mentorship should run for a specified time (e.g., six months) and then be evaluated by uninvolved parties. Mentoring should measurably improve the user's role in the editorial process (see Kirill's principle, above). While mentoring may provide post facto review of edits, if editing continues to be problematic then proposed edits should be reviewed by the mentor in advance. If any involved party arranges mentoring voluntarily, that mentoring would be subject to the same terms as required mentoring.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. To the best of my knowledge, this remedy would apply to PR (currently subject to required mentoring) and to Jaakobou (pursuant to the last clause). I believe that part of the problem with PR's mentoring experience is due to the lack of clearly-articulated parameters from the community. With more clarity from ArbCom, perhaps Required Mentoring will be a viable remedy. Suggestions and friendly amendments welcome. Thanks for your consideration. HG | Talk 19:16, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I declare a CoI in this discussion - but I can tell you my mentoring was working extremely well. More on your TalkPage.[7] PRtalk 20:52, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think mentoring works, so I'm going to have to object to this. I would prefer something with a bit more teeth. -- tariqabjotu 20:47, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
If so, then two questions. Should PR's mentorship be discontinued? Why couldn't we put "more teeth" into the mentorship arrangement itself? HG | Talk 01:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Editors are responsible for neutrality[edit]

3) Whenever an editor has a strong point-of-view (POV) about a topic, the editor needs to be especially sure to edit articles from within Wikipedia's neutral, encyclopedic framework. Toward this end: (a) The editor should be familiar with the difference between WP policy on mainstream, significant minority, and fringe POVs. (b) Alone or in collaboration, editors should use reliable sources to gauge where their own point-of-view stands among other viewpoints. (c) Editors should strive to describe all significant viewpoints fairly and accurately, exercising particular care with any POV they oppose. (d) Editors should not persistently seek to give undue weight to their own point-of-view, or to unduly diminish the weight afforded opposing viewpoints. If an editor cannot or will not adjust to these expectations for an article, it is the editors responsibility to refrain from working on the article. It is the responsibility of system operators (admins) to ensure that editors be prevented from editing an article or topic if they cannot or will not contribute from within a neutral, encyclopedic framework.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support wholeheartedly. pedro gonnet - talk - 17.01.2008 07:23
Comment by others:
Proposed. Related to other proposals (eg Kirill on editorial process) -- here with focus on responsibilities of editors and admins. HG | Talk 14:01, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Support, especially (c) and (d). --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 17:57, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Support, especially (c) and (d), and Talk:Palestinian_people is a prime, topical example in /Evidence. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 05:42, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by Tariqabjotu[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

Wikipedia is not a battleground[edit]

1) Wikipedia is not a battleground, and to ensure this remains the case, all editors, especially those who edit in contentious areas, are expected to assume good faith and refrain from suggesting other editors are for or against certain viewpoints based on religion, nationality, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. Additionally, editors are expected to refrain from suggesting ulterior motives for others' edits.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

(nothing else new)

Proposed findings of fact[edit]

Jaakobou[edit]

1) Jaakobou (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has a history of disruptive editing, primarily though edit-warring ([8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19]).

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Hi. Maybe better to separate the finding from the evidence, which can be placed at /Evidence. Thanks. HG | Talk 00:46, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. See Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Armenia-Azerbaijan#Azerbaijani (the inspiration for many of the things I proposed), and other similar findings on that page. If the format of such findings has changed, an arbitrator is free to remove the material. However, I have already presented evidence on the /Evidence page, as you can tell by browsing that page. -- tariqabjotu 03:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

(nothing else new)

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Jaakobou banned[edit]

1) Jaakobou (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is banned from Wikipedia for a period of six months.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Believe it or not, I have nothing personal against Jaakobou (well, other than being dragged into his ArbCom when it had nothing to do with me, of course).
And I have no problem with him mending his ways and becoming a regular editor. However, I think it's premature of us to discuss any program of improvement while the allegations of sock-puppetry are still outstanding.
So I think Jaakobou should deny ever using sock-puppets (or deny ever using them abusively, anyway). I don't see how we can move on to the next stage until he has done so. PRtalk 21:58, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I am wary of having anyone banned, including Jaakobou. Jayjg has a point when he says Jaakobou is merely one of the less "sophisticated" partisans on WP. Edit-warring is the symptom, not the problem. The core problem is in fact to be found on Israel-Palestine talk pages, where one finds a culture of bad faith, chronic filibuster, and deliberate manipulation of core policies. Editors centrally responsible for this culture are not only not singled out like Jaakobou, they have been left out of this Arbcom case entirely (in one case actively edit-warred out).--G-Dett (talk) 05:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, although probably not intentional, it makes it appear that Jaakobou is being used as a scapegoat doesn't it? Especially since not all of the involved editors are being allowed to be named as parties. Cla68 (talk) 07:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with G-Dett's analysis. Jaakobou has been disruptive, yes, but a look at his block log (more like UNblock log) shows that the community has in turn been incredibly lenient. We should wait and see how he behaves after the community makes it clear that his past behavior will no longer fly. <eleland/talkedits> 14:53, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Jaakobou topic banned[edit]

1a) Jaakobou (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is banned from all articles (and associated talk pages) under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories) for a period of six months.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Tiamut placed on revert parole[edit]

2) Tiamut (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. She is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, she is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Tiamut placed on topic revert parole[edit]

2a) Tiamut (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, she is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


Eleland placed on revert parole[edit]

3) Eleland (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Eleland placed on topic revert parole[edit]

3a) Eleland (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Pedro Gonnet placed on revert parole[edit]

4) Pedro Gonnet (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Pedro Gonnet placed on topic revert parole[edit]

4a) Pedro Gonnet (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

CJCurrie placed on revert parole[edit]

5) CJCurrie (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
I should first acknowledge that I have, in fact, been responsible for participating in edit wars on articles pertaining to the Israel-Palestine conflict. While I believe there were some mitigating factors involved, I will nonetheless offer an apology for my actions. I should not have allowed myself to be dragged into this process, and will take special effort to avoid such occurrences in the future (regardless of how this particular ArbComm finding is resolved).
That having been said, I believe the proposed remedy (both for myself and for others named in this section) is both selective and unduly severe.
It is selective because virtually every major participant in the broader dispute relating to Israel-Palestine articles has engaged in edit warring at one time or another. Singling out a limited number of participants for punishment, based on recent conflicts on a select number of articles, seems arbitrary.
It is unduly severe because the proposed remedy is not limited to articles in the Israel-Palestine dispute, but applies to all Wikipedia articles across the board. While some editors named in this section are exclusively focused on I-P articles, others are not. I fear this punishment will be disproportionate, if applied to all areas of Wikipedia.
It would still not be my first choice, but I would be more able to see the merits of this proposal if its scope were restricted to the areas under discussion in this particular RfA. CJCurrie (talk) 00:02, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Given the concern about being selective, maybe you could indicate the criteria you/we might use to assign revert parole. Thanks. HG | Talk 00:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I'm not certain that any criteria would or could be completely effective. The number of articles involved in this dispute is staggering, and the number of edit wars (and edit warriors) no less so. Focusing on a select number of recent disputes creates the possibility of selective prosecution, and does nothing to resolve the larger problems on these pages.
Under the circumstances, I think a more viable approach would be to i) issue a general topic amnesty (or, if that seems too lenient, a formal reprimand for certain editors), and ii) impose strict conditions for all future editing on articles having to do with the I-P conflict, in a manner roughly akin to Tariq's second remedy proposed below. (I recognize that some readers may find this self-serving. I would beg to differ. The problems on these pages are structural, and not simply the result of a few "bad apples" on either side.)
In any event, my primary concern with this proposed sanction is that it would be applied to the whole of Wikipedia, not simply to the I-P articles. I would be far more willing to accept punitive sanction without complaint if it were limited to the areas under discussion. CJCurrie (talk) 01:18, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd first like to refer you to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Armenia-Azerbaijan, which for the most part served as the basis of my proposals here. I recognized that topic-specific bans might be "better" (if that's the right word to use), but I found the topic bans (a) harder to pinpoint, and more susceptible to rules-lawyering and (b) unused in the Armenia-Azerbaijan. However, I'll draft something up and put that up in a second.
As for the selectivity, let's take a look at the involved parties in this case:
  • Ryan Postlethwaite (talk · contribs): Not added; he's just the initiating party and is clearly uninvolved with this issue.
  • PalestineRemembered (talk · contribs): Not added; I'm unsure about this one, but he seems to be under mentorship already. He can always be added at a later date, per my second proposed form of enforcement.
  • Tiamut (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • Eleland (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • Pedro Gonnet (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • ThuranX (talk · contribs): I'm not sure why he's a party in this case in the first place.
  • Suladna (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • CJCurrie (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • RolandR (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • Chesdovi (talk · contribs): Not added; I see this user is involved in articles related to Israel-Palestine, but a quick glance through his contribution history shows nothing especially disruptive in the form of edit-warring, in my opinion.
  • Armon (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • G-Dett (talk · contribs): Added; contribution history shows frequent edit-warring in this subject area.
  • Itzse (talk · contribs): Not added; I don't see much in the form of disruptive edit-warring. This user recently has just been editing talk pages almost exclusively.
  • Tewfik (talk · contribs): Not added; I see Tewfik was involved in an edit war in mid-December, when he was last online, but other then that, I don't see prolonged edit-warring. Additionally, I found working with him at the Israel and Jerusalem articles rather managable. -- tariqabjotu 03:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
By way of a response: my comments about selectivity were meant to address the large number of editors who have edit-warred on this subject, but were not named to the RfA at all. I've always regarded Ryan's list as fairly arbitrary, and while I appreciate your willingness to consider each name on a case-by-case basis, I think there's a larger problem to be considered here. The "list of offenders" is much larger than the names mentioned above. As I've said before, the problems on these pages are systemic, and virtually every major participant has engaged in edit warring at one time or another. CJCurrie (talk) 04:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of that, but I can't name people who aren't parties in this case. That's why I proposed the second form of enforcement. -- tariqabjotu 05:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Response: (i) I realize that the particulars of this case could create a challenge for the ArbComm. I believe it's widely acknowledged that the parties named in this RfA are not the only parties responsible for edit warring on Israel-Palestine articles; my view is that creating a full list would be an extremely difficult task, given the sheer number of articles and editors involved. I've recommended a topic amnesty or lesser punishment for some editors (such as an official reprimand) to prevent the appearance of a selective prosecution, and I'd like to think that I would have done the same were I not a party to the case; (ii) I welcome the latter proposal, and I hope that it will be enforced regardless of any individual sanctions; (iii) to the particulars of my own case, I should note that I've been a Wikipedia editor in good standing since mid-2004, and that my record to this point has been clean. I've offered an apology, and I hope this will be taken into account by those reviewing the matter. CJCurrie (talk) 05:18, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I see this as unwarranted. CJ's main focus is elsewhere (Canadian politics), and his interventions on I/P pages are generally judicious, selective, and patiently and exhaustively justified in talk-page posts. The recent spat at Pallywood – where the issue at stake was both trivial and debatable – was an aberration.--G-Dett (talk) 06:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
CJCurrie placed on topic revert parole[edit]

5a) CJCurrie (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Jaakobou placed on revert parole[edit]

6) Jaakobou (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. Note that this would run concurrently with my first proposed remedy, if that were to pass as well. Thus, Jaakobou would be banned for six months (or however long the final ban is) and then placed on revert parole for the remainder of the year. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Jaakobou placed on topic revert parole[edit]

6a) Jaakobou (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Suladna placed on revert parole[edit]

7) Suladna (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Who? No relevant evidence presented. -- Kendrick7talk 01:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Suladna placed on topic revert parole[edit]

7a) Suladna (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (S)he is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, (s)he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

RolandR placed on revert parole[edit]

8) RolandR (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I cannot see any evidence that this editor has been edit or revert-warring - or indeed recently come into conflict with anyone. I never recall seeing him edit-warring, and the only conflict I've ever noticed he's been involved in was harassment of him by User:Jaakobou (which I recall exploded into Jaakobou similarly harassing two admins and maybe? being blocked). What little I do know about him is that he's a real-world character who has been (and I think is still being), extensively harassed by unknown people with vandalism of articles and TalkPages (I assume them to be supporters of Israel who hate the JewsAgainstZionism group). When I see him being added to this ArbCom and threatened with sanctions for no obvious reason I wonder whether the problem is inside or outside Wikipedia. I think it would help clear the atmosphere and immeasurably improve the dignity of this ArbCom to delete his name (and likely do the same for many of the other editors on this list). PRtalk 20:05, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
No. I heard you all the first, second, and third times, and the answer is still no. I am not removing any names from this list. If the ArbCom doesn't vote on this or pass this, fine, but if you're saying I should remove this -- just a mere proposal -- based on a comment from someone who (a) clearly hasn't even looked at RolandR's contribution history and (b) insinuates conspiracy at every turn, the answer is emphatically no. -- tariqabjotu 23:14, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
RolandR placed on topic revert parole[edit]

8a) RolandR (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Armon placed on revert parole[edit]

9) Armon (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Armon placed on topic revert parole[edit]

9a) Armon (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

G-Dett placed on revert parole[edit]

10) G-Dett (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism. Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
I am fine with this in practice (though puzzled by the selectivity in principle). I have always been active on talk pages, and have recently ceased edit-warring altogether. Since most substantive edits on I/P pages result in a revert, my ratio of talk-page posts to content posts is about 25 or 50 to 1, most of these restricted to elaborating the obvious.--G-Dett (talk) 06:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
G-Dett placed on topic revert parole[edit]

10a) G-Dett (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is placed on standard revert parole for one year on articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is limited to one revert per page per week, excepting obvious vandalism, on all articles under Category:Arab-Israeli conflict, Category:Israeli people, and Category:Palestinian people (and their subcategories). Further, he is required to discuss any content reversions on the page's talk page.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
How is this different from 10)?--G-Dett (talk) 06:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 03:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement[edit]

Enforcement by blocks[edit]

1) Violations of paroles imposed on parties of this case shall be enforced by brief blocks of up to a week in the event of repeat violations. After three blocks, the maximum block period shall increase to six months. Blocks and bans are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles#Log of blocks and bans.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Applicability to all disruptive editors[edit]

2) The remedies of revert limitations -- namely the limitation of one revert per week -- shall apply to any editor who edits articles which relate to Israel-Palestine, and related conflicts, in an aggressive manner marked by prolonged edit warring. Before any penalty is applied, a warning placed on the editor's user talk page by an administrator shall serve as notice to the user that these remedies apply to them. Appeals of applied restrictions can be made via Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. -- tariqabjotu 23:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by Tiamut[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

The deletion of sourced and attributed material must be preceded by discussion[edit]

1) Material that is sourced and attributed should not be summarily deleted without discussion. If there are concerns regarding the reliability of a source or the relevance of sourced material to an article, editors should open discussion on the talk page raising specific concerns and seek consensus before removing the material in question. The repeated deletion of relevant, sourced and attributed material is considered vandalism.

Addition in response to Pedro Gonnet's concerns:

If the issue with the material concerns its reliability, and discussions on the talk page fail to produce consensus, editors should make a request for third opinions at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. If that fails, or the the issue is unrelated to reliability, other dispute resolution options should be pursued. Tiamut 18:42, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed One way to lessen the tendency toward edit-warring is to insist that adequately sourced material not be deleted from articles without requisite discussion. Showing more respect toward one another's contributions and underlining the need for discussion will go a long way toward lessening the tendency towards reverts. Tiamut 12:51, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Strong Support - it is this conduct, more than any other, which drives literate, productive and diligent editors from the project. It is no surprise that Tiamut finds this factor the most aggravating of all. PRtalk 14:58, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Support This is indeed one of the major issues. This solution, however, goes both ways and I suspect after such a ruling we would have problems with people inserting material with dubious/bogus sources (e.g. Schechtman, CAMERA, FrontPage Magazine, etc...) and blocking the ensuing discussion on the reliability of the source to keep it in there, as has already happened many times, e.g. on Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus. This rule, if strictly enforced, should be accompanied by some kind of framework for ending discussions. This second part is, in my opinion, also the second-biggest problem with which we should deal here. pedro gonnet - talk - 14.01.2008 15:14
I hate bad sources too. We should reference articles speaking of "Palestinian Duplicity" the same day we reference articles speaking of "Jewish Duplicity". The RfC backed us - so why is User:Jaakobou still edit-warring CAMERA into articles, and telling newbies it's acceptable? PRtalk 16:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support If material is well-sourced, but one side feel it is overly negative or biased, the answer is to add well-sourced material which lays out the other side of the argument; the answer is not to repeatedly remove materials which address the concerns of one side or the other. Removal of one side's material, and continual effort to portray one side or the other as being "slanted" or "biased" is what gets us into so many edit wars which do nothing to help the articles.
if we were instead each adding material which could provide balance, we would eventually be arriving at positive resolutions, no matter how complex, in many of the currently-disputed articles. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:08, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Yet again, we agree. But I worry the ArbCom don't know what appalling souces get rammed into I-P conflict articles. We quote Joseph Schechtman in that article saying "Until ... May 15, 1948, no quarter whatsoever had ever been given to a Jew who fell into Arab hands." I'm confident (and User:GHcool has never denied) that that clip, alone, is worse than anything ever seen from David Irving. While illiterates stalk our articles, the I-P conflict articles, and the conduct surrounding them, will disgrace us. This is a problem we can fix - but only when the ArbCom protects scholars like User:Tiamut. And also User:Nishidani, recently hounded from the project when his patience and good-nature was trashed. PRtalk 16:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Huh? are you calling GHcool illiterate? he doesn't seem illiterate to me. (big theatrical grimace here.) huh? I get one chance for my own hyperbole now. I'll keep that orange game card till i need it (for my side). thanks. :-)
All kidding aside, this is what they mean when they tell us to find common ground with reliable editors. Since GHcool has consistently edited, it's not really helpful to imply he is a substandard editor. Furthemore, I don't really see any problem with Schectman. he is one valid source among pro-Israel scholars. What exactly so wrong with implying that Israelis who fel into Arab hands before May 1948 received pretty bad treatment? My comment related mainly to including a wider range of sources. I haven;'t taken much position on who to exclude. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk)
Right, as long as (A) secondary sources exist that show Mr. Schechtman's opinion is notable (per WP:SOAP) and (B) the article says "according to Joseph Schechtman" Arabs were on a non-stop Jew killing spree for kicks (or however you want to gloss his opinion) it's OK. If that is not actually true (and I imagine it is at best unlikely) then find someone else with an opposing view. That's how things should be done. -- Kendrick7talk 18:21, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't come here for an argument (not least because my neck is on the block with the ax held above it). User:Tiamut knows that building articles is extremely difficult because edit-warriors (few of whom have been included in this ArbCom) perform WP:IDONTLIKEIT constantly, and admins don't protect scholars like her. That's why I've urged support of her motion.
However, Tiamut may not be aware that even as real scholarship is ruthlessly expunged from her examples in the moment of their creation, propaganda nastiness worse (I think) than anything from David Irving is inserted into articles. I've mentioned Schechtman as an extreme example of the appalling sources we're regularily using in articles. I was reminding Steve of the existence of this rubbish, and the fact that, eventually, we have to take it all out again. PRtalk 21:20, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
sorry, right now, Schectman seems to me to be a valid source. If you have objections to him, the way to express them is by adding sources to the article which refute, and which reveal the degree of debate on his assertions. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I invite Steve (or almost anyone) to mediation on Schechtman. I re-invite him to do some "writing for the enemy" with me. PRtalk 10:32, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The Accusation: "We quote Joseph Schechtman in that article saying "Until ... May 15, 1948, no quarter whatsoever had ever been given to a Jew who fell into Arab hands." I'm confident (and User:GHcool has never denied) that that clip, alone, is worse than anything ever seen from David Irving." - PalestineRemembered.[20] 16:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC).
The Reality: In 2007, The Guardian reported that the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving said, "The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune, but that is the short version A-Z. Between A-Z there are then 24 other characters in intervening steps."[21] This is incomparably worse than anything I am aware that Israeli historian Joseph Schechtman ever said. --GHcool (talk) 00:18, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Presumably he means where Irving is used a source for a wikipedia article, not just everything he's ever said. -- Kendrick7talk 18:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Based on PalestineRemembered's record of favorable comparisons of David Irving to respected, reliable Israeli historians, I'm inclined to disagree with your interpretation of PalestineRemembered's words, Kendrick7. --GHcool (talk) 21:57, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I guess it depends on how you measure credibility. At least Irving wasn't a participant in the events he write his histories about unlike Joseph Schechtman or for that matter Zvi Elpeleg. It's one thing to say that the victors write history. It's another when it's the exact same people -- one time Zionist leaders -- who want to be considered impartial academics and beyond reproach when they flip some internal switch and go into "historian" mode. Irving might have few screws loose, but at least he doesn't have a vested interest in the version of history he espouses, AFAIK. -- Kendrick7talk 22:28, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
@User:GHcoolThe highly questionable (if not "totally discredited") "historical writings" of David Irving are an excellent benchmark against which to measure such cheats and hate-mongerers as Schechtman. Here's something two Holocaust Survivors taught their son (the context is slightly different, but the point is exactly the same) "we should always compare. ... 'Do not compare' is the mantra of moral blackmailers." PRtalk 23:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
@Kendrick7, the point is not that Schechtman is a biased historian (which I do not deny). The point is that PalestineRemembered specifically claimed that David Irving has never said anything as bad as anything Schechtman ever said, which we all seem to agree is not true. PalestineRemembered is wrong again when he posted today that Irving is "not 'totally discredited.'" --GHcool (talk) 23:44, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
As HG is anxious to cut off our mikes here, I'll spare all involved a detailed analysis from the Catechism to determine who is as morally bad as who: I'll briefly suggest calumny and detraction may outrank the sin of omission, although that last one doesn't quite fit Irving's problem anyway. But that's just my moral calculus. And Irving does actually seem to get credit as a historian on some topics from some individuals, as even his wikipedia article reflects (which I'm surprised at, as I would expect that bio to have been "Khazarbombed"[22] repeatedly). -- Kendrick7talk 01:05, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment on principle as drafted. I do think it's a fair assumption that you shouldn't simply delete text if another editor took the trouble to put in a source. (Is that what you mean by "sourced material" -- that the source is already given in the article? Otherwise, you'd say verifiable, right?) Still, there may be reasons for deletion that you didn't mention. I'm especially thinking you could add undue weight as plausible grounds for deletion. Or weak choice of source, compared to alternatives, etc. Or editorial reasons (e.g., redundancy). I would also recommend omitting the sentence about vandalism. Also, one question that arises is whether Edit Summaries are considered discussion (for purposes of this principle). It certainly could be, given the WP:BRD (bold-revert-discuss) approach. It's the repeated editing after the revert that becomes problematic. (So: sometimes a bold deletion is acceptable, esp w/a reason in the edit summary, but hold fire if reverted.) Thanks. BTW, I think it's a terrific idea to develop a principle that focuses on the disputed text/material, not only on editors or articles etc. Sincerely, HG | Talk 23:15, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Support. We're having a major dispute over deletions of sourced material over at Jewish lobby right now. Editors have deleted quotes cited to The Economist, The Forward, The London Review of Books, and the chief lobbyist for AIPAC quoted in the New Jersey Jewish News, typically claiming "original research". Armon (talk · contribs) (named in this arbitration) and Jayjg (talk · contribs) (not named in this arbitration) are the main offenders. If all we get out of this arbitration is that deletion of properly sourced material without consensus is vandalism, and that decision is actually enforced, that will be enough to start to resolve the problem. --John Nagle (talk) 03:36, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Support. This idea is excellent because it will motivate people to source their edit and most of the editwarring are due to unsourced material that refers to personal mind or perception. Second, it will stop editwarring and force the discussion once the pov is sourced. Really excellent and not a content issue. Ceedjee (talk) 22:24, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Support. I also think it would be a good requirement for all of these articles as long as there are no BLP issues. Pocopocopocopoco (talk) 02:22, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact[edit]

Blankings of sourced and attributed material leads to edit-warring[edit]

1) Many editors have engaged in the blanking of sourced material without engaging in sufficient or substantive discussion which has led to edit-warring (See: User:Tiamut/Evidence for examples.)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposed remedies[edit]

A warning and then article or topic bans for editors who continue to blank material without substantive discussion[edit]

1) Any editor who deletes sourced and attributed material from I-P related articles without engaging in substantive discussion will first receive a warning. Should they persist in deletions without discussion, they should be article or topic-banned, depending on the degree and scope of the violation.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed This is proposed to lessen the tendency toward edit-warring by identifying one activity that contributes to the warring and attempting to nip it in the bud by insisting on discussion. I also believe that this echoes our guidelines on WP:RS and WP:V, but that we should underline its applicability to I-P articles, given the tendency towards the deletion of sourced material without adequate discussion. Tiamut 12:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - the specific problem you're thinking of is indeed serious - however, your solution only holds open the door to an even more serious problem, which is bad sources. You do a huge amount of constructive work building articles on basically non-contentious subjects (one of them was Naeim Giladi, which I started and you proceeded to take over and finish!). So naturally your problem is obstruction of good new work. I'm much more aware of existing articles based on sources that, in many cases, are appalling. Your solution threatens to prevent me from editing out the likes of Joseph Schechtman, published expert on ethnic cleansing - and then practitioner, propagandist and denialist of it.
Somewhere along the line, we all have to come to grips with the problem of deciding who are good sources in the I-P conflict area, and who are not good sources. Even without your solution becoming policy, I very much fear that there are smarter versions of User:Jaakobou around who will fight tooth and nail to keep these bad sources in. These editors have mysteriously not been included in this ArbCom. PRtalk 17:18, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support. The former principle is very good. To be viable, it requires sanction againts those who would not respect this. Only by its existence this principle will refrain people from editwarring and deleting sourced material. More, it can hardly be used in practice because it doesn't give the precise sanction and could be a matter of long discussion among sysops. So it is a very good disuasive tool that don't have much practical consequences. Ceedjee (talk) 22:27, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement[edit]

Oversight committee of uninvolved admins responsible for enforcement[edit]

1) The proposed remedy can be enforced by the oversight committee of uninvolved admins that is being proposed to deal with the enforcement of remedies adopted by the Arbcomm. Editors who have given a warning to those editors doing the blanking, can submit diffs of continued blanking to the oversight committee, who will evaluate the situation and determine the appropriate sanction.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed Tiamut 12:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - until the very serious problem of personal nastiness aimed at "witnesses" in procedures is dealt with, this proposal risks an over-sight committee wholly acceptable to those who accuse others of anti-semitism. See here - User:Jayjg repeats this behavior again in the last few days, no matter how absurd (or indeed, discredited) are his accusations. PRtalk 10:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I agree that it's important for us to find ways to get uninvolved admins more active in turning the I-P battle into a more collaborative working environment. I'm not sure whether we need a standing committee or, perhaps, other mechanisms/incentives to ensure that admins are monitoring the topic area, implementing remedies, and otherwise making themselves available. I'd like to see uninvolved admins take a more hands on role, w/o requiring editors to submit diffs etc. like an AN page. HG | Talk 18:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC) ps Tiamut, any response to my idea of a monitoring effort, above? Thanks. HG | Talk 19:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
not required. If former 2 statements are voted, this one is not needed. Any complain can be post on the sysop's boards and they will discuss "potential sanctions". The threat alone should refrain people from not respecting former principles. Ceedjee (talk) 22:29, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by Crotalus horridus[edit]

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Revert limitation on articles[edit]

1) All Wikipedia editors, whether or not named in this Arbitration case, are limited to one revert per week on articles related to the Palestine-Israel conflict. The only exception is in cases of blatant vandalism or WP:BLP violations.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
This is a very interesting proposal and does address the issues raised by CJCurrie and G-Dett with regard to the selectivity of TariqAbjotu's proposal. My only concern (with both proposals) is that it may stall article development and result in slow motion edit wars, carried out over many weeks. However, if combined with some of the other proposals above, it might just work. Tiamut 17:20, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The idea is that, deprived of the ability to simply revert, editors would have to discuss the issues and reach consensus on the talk pages. 3RR alone doesn't really work when you've got several different people on each side who are each willing to continue fighting, and article protection hinders the ability to get anything done at all. *** Crotalus *** 17:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
No opinion yet, but this is far better than any blanket restriction on an arbitrary list of editors. <eleland/talkedits> 18:20, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. This is an alternative to Tariqabjotu's remedies, and rests on the same findings of fact. I think this is optimal because it does not require singling out any specific editors. The fundamental problem isn't with any one person, and the remedies need to reflect that. This is less punitive and probably will be more effective. *** Crotalus *** 17:03, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't mind this for historical articles, but I don't know if I'd want 1RR applied to articles which could reasonably be considered current events, like if a third intifada broke out or something. -- Kendrick7talk 18:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi. I'm wondering if there's an underlying principle here -- are you suggesting that the whole BRD approach should not apply to this topic area? It's possible; and certainly I can see that experienced editors (like the involved parties) should realize when their "Bold" edits need to be discussed in Talk beforehand. However, aren't there editors who do and can use BRD properly in this topic area? Are you implying that we have no way of differentiating between proper and improper use of reverts, or we can't tell which editors need to be put on parole? Anyway, maybe you'd consider a revision. How about asking uninvolved admins to place editors on revert parole after egregious or repeated misuse of reverts? HG | Talk 18:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
This is interesting and I'm sure this will work, but I'm uneasy about what amounts to collective punishment. The quibbles about selectivity are, frankly, baseless. I did not choose editors by throwing names down a flight of stairs and seeing which ones landed at the bottom; I chose all of the editors based on disruption through prolonged edit warring. Let's not punish everyone because a few people, many of whom are named here, have demonstrated an unwillingness to edit these articles in a manner necessary on a collaborative project like Wikipedia. And let's not pretend it's wrong for anyone here to have sanctions levied against him or her because other names might be missing from this RfArb. From this vantage point, I'm seeing excuses -- it's not just me; it's also X, Y, Z; I shouldn't take responsibility for my actions until X, Y, and Z (and perhaps even unrelated editors A, B, and C) are held responsible. I might be sympathetic to complaints about the lengths of my proposed remedies, but the complaints about selectivity aren't sitting well with me, especially when something like the above is the alternative. -- tariqabjotu 19:58, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the "quibbles about selectivity" are quite as you describe them; that is, they don't amount to editors refusing to take responsibility or feeling personally affronted. It's that we want to see a solution that reflects a fuller and more credible diagnosis of the problem, so that this RfArb has a chance of altering the course of things in a positive way. Now, of course there's something astonishing about an analysis of the Middle East wars on Wikipedia that identifies CJ as a problem editor while exempting Tewfik and Jayjg (!), or that finds three problem editors on the "pro-Palestinian" side for every one on the "pro-Israel" side, but imbalance of this kind is a relatively minor thing. The much larger diagnostic problem is there is far too much focus here on sporadic edit-warring in article space, and not enough on the breakdown in the consensus-building process as a whole. The root cause here is a talk-page discourse crippled by strategic obstructionism and Orwellian distortion. Anyone who has had her patiently elaborated objections to an image – along with the patiently elaborated objections of sixteen other editors in the space of a single week, not to mention dozens of other editors in the talk archives – dismissed out of hand on the grounds that the image enjoys a "longstanding consensus," will know what I mean by Orwellian distortion. As will anyone who's been told with a straight face that this document does not contain information about "attacks on civilians," or that in an article about the Second intifada it would be a violation of WP:NOR/WP:SYN to cite statistics from both charts in this document. Deliberate flim-flam like this is by no means a rare thing on the talk pages of these articles; it's a daily occurrence, which sporadically results in the edit wars you've observed. It is time to address the core problem, awkward as it may be to do that.--G-Dett (talk) 22:12, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

...finds three problem editors on the "pro-Palestinian" side for every one on the "pro-Israel" side...

Is that what you think I did? See who supports what side in disputes? I know you may have tried to head this discussion off at the pass by conceding that the imbalance is a minor thing, but you opened this door. Your statement above is precisely the kind of comment and rhetoric I see routinely that led me to proposed my first principle ("Wikipedia is not a battleground"). It seems inevery discussion, there's always got to be someone saying oh they're pro-Palestinian/Israeli; they're ganging up on us. Oh c'mon: do you realize how childish that sounds? Stop acting like two posses on a playground fighting over who gets to use the basketball court; get over your differences, stop pointing out other people's differences when they're completely irrelevant, and just write a damn article. In case you haven't realized, although I have done significant work on Israel and Jerusalem (which actually appear to be outside the locus of this dispute), I couldn't care less about Israelis and Palestinians and what they may or may not want. A bit a disclosure here: I think disputes related to ethnicity or religion or nationality are on the face outright petty and a complete waste of time, money, life, and energy -- at all ends -- especially when they last as long as this conflict has. If you all have a problem with me being here, fine; I have better things to do. But quit treading on who I have and have not omitted and the demographics of said editors. I get it already. If you disagree, go ahead and make a statement, but why don't you, in addition, propose something else or present some evidence. Most of the things on this page are not going to be passed by ArbCom, or perhaps even brought up for a vote by them. It's the workshop, a place for us to brainstorm ideas. Perhaps you might think of something I or no else has thought of and you might get some support. I don't like this proposal here, but at least Crotalus horridus didn't make a big deal about the fact that certain editors, some of whom are not even parties to this case, are missing.
We're not here to continue debating the merits of your perspective in content disputes, as presented in everything following your sentence beginning with "The root cause here...", except insofar as it relates to evidence. If you have evidence, present it at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles/Evidence. If you have some proposals here, open your own section. If you want to talk about the fact that certain editors are missing from this case, I have no interest in hearing about it. Quit hounding me. -- tariqabjotu 23:04, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
All very well; note that I didn't refer to the role of ethnicity or religion or nationality or 'demographics' in any of this.--G-Dett (talk) 01:04, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Article probation[edit]

2) All articles related to the Palestine-Israel conflict are placed on probation.

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Comment by others:
Proposed. *** Crotalus *** 17:03, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
So that's everything in Category:Israeli-Palestinian conflict and sub-categories, right? -- Kendrick7talk 18:33, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I can agree to this. -- tariqabjotu 21:57, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement[edit]

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Proposals by User:Pedro Gonnet[edit]

Proposed Principles[edit]

Particular attention to WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE[edit]

1) All articles referring to complex and controversial issues must pay particular attention to WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed: One of the major problems here is that extreme, discredited and/or fringe views (hence WP:FRINGE) are allowed to be inserted prominently (hence WP:UNDUE) in articles relating to controversial issues. Examples in this particular case are the term "disputed territories" in the intro to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, referring to Gilad Shalit as a "hostage" in the intro of that article, referring to discredited theories of why the Palestinians left (i.e. they were all mentally ill) in the lead of Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus and featuring that theory prominently in the article, the constant prominent re-insertion of conspiracy theories in the Mohammed Al-Dura article, whole sections of defamatory WP:FRINGE-theories in Saeb Erekat, etc...
These WP:FRINGE-theories can of course always be countered and defused with well-sourced material, but there is a clear tendency to "teach the controversy" before teaching any of the substance at all. All extreme, discredited and/or fringe theories, if WP:NOTABLE, deserve a short mention in a subsection at the end of an article -- at best.pedro gonnet - talk - 15.01.2008 08:29
Strong Support - this is a problem in many (perhaps most) articles of this topic. PRtalk 17:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Oppose. I see this proposal as problematic. I feel that every single issue mentioned here is something to be resolved at the article talk page, not necessarily to be decided with a broad brush here at ArbCom. Would oppose if there were some way to pin down the meaning of this proposal. gosh, thanks so much for identifying all those pro-Israel views as "fringe."
I still feel that there are two sides to the issue of wording in the Gilad Shalit article, as there are with every single other issue which you raised. I sincerely hope know you are not trying to circumvent discussion of these issues; so I'm not sure of the practical effects of this. Oh, and by the way, thanks for bringing up Gilad Shalit to make a procedural point. I didn't know you felt that all of us here are so wrong. sorry.
I think it is slightly unhelpful to portray the clearly widely-held beliefs of pro-Israel editors as being categorically "extreme" or "fringe." I'm not sure if that was actually your intention, but I think it's good for all of us to be reminded to occasionaly tread carefully in such areas. thanks.--Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 17:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Please see my proposal above re #Neutral point of view, which is both specific and based on past precedent in previous arbitration cases where sources have been heavily disputed. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem is more with "significant minority" views, with often have some backing in the 2ry literature, than with "fringe" views. Anyway, like ChrisO, I also suggested a proposal: #Editors are responsible for neutrality. Thanks. HG | Talk 20:02, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The proposal is vague because it's a principle. I used the term WP:FRINGE because there is no WP:Significant minority (i.e. no wiki-link or policy), not to denigrate anybody's view. I'm dead serious regarding the WP:UNDUE issues though... Placement of "significant minority" views in the lead or filling more than half the article is one of the major problems in this area. pedro gonnet - talk - 16.01.2008 08:19
right in wp:policy but unmanageable. From my point of view, Pappe's analysis are a fringe theory. I am ready to argue this in a whole book. I am sure you and others would not agree. That principle is not manageable bec. it is a content issue. Ceedjee (talk) 22:31, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:DR is for solving and not perpetuating disputes[edit]

2) Dispute resolution is a way of solving a dispute, not perpetuating it. WP:DR must supply mechanisms to end disputes in a timely manner.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed: One of the recurring problems is the use of WP:DR mechanisms to effectively block an article. WP:RfCs drag-on forever, when a compromise is reached, the initiating editors ignore it, talk around it, or, as User:Eleland elegantly said farther up, continuously "changing the goalposts". The principles of WP:DR are good when used in good-faith content disputes, yet extremely weak when used as an offensive weapon in an edit-war. pedro gonnet - talk - 15.01.2008 08:29
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Proposed findings of fact[edit]

Jaakobou[edit]

1) User:Jaakobou is a tendentious and disruptive editor who persistently engages in edit-warring and refuses to participate constructively in dispute resolution.

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Proposed: As per User:Tariqabjotu's finding of fact and the evidence (which I am still working on and should be presented soon). pedro gonnet - talk - 15.01.2008 08:29
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Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Jaakobou topic-banned[edit]

1) User:Jaakobou is indefinitely banned from editing any article relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Proposed: Anybody remember User:Zeq? His case was very similar to that of User:Jaakobou and as a result he was indefinitely banned from the articles he disrupted. pedro gonnet - talk - 15.01.2008 08:30
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Special WP:DR-mechanism[edit]

2) A special form of dispute resolution, in the form of a special mediation cabal or other directed process should be established to avoid stale and/or unproductive WP:DRs.

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Comment by parties:
Proposed: I actually have no idea how this would look like in practice, but there has to be a way of enforcing some kind of neutral (solomonic?) and quick resolution on all or most content disputes in the articles related to the [[Israeli-Palestinian conflict]. This would take most of the fun out of starting pointless/fruitless/endless discussions simply to block articles. This would be, of course, somewhat labour-intensive for those dealing with the disputes, but the pay-back would be less disruptive and tendentious editing. pedro gonnet - talk - 15.01.2008 08:29
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Proposals by User:Sumoeagle179[edit]

Proposed remedies[edit]

Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Model after WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation[edit]

1) Related to Kirill's suggestion of a committee to handle ethnic disputes, I suggest following the set up at Wikipedia:WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation. Also see their talk page for how they handle disputes. It's good to have at least two neutral admins, one good at mediation and keeping things calm and one willing to do necessary blocks. Sumoeagle179 (talk) 21:26, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
A good step forward. Please have a look at this for more details. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:00, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Support as submitter
Looks very good. Could you replace 'Template' with a title, e.g., "Bipartisan collaboration project" ? Thanks. HG | Talk 00:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC) Renamed by our clerk, thanks! HG | Talk
These are fine ideas. But the WikiProject can be set up by ourselves. To illustrate what you have recommended, here is a new Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration. Perhaps some folks will join. However, here's the rub: What aspects of an ArbCom decision would shape such a collaborative project? As you probably know, the Sri Lanka effort was accomplished through mediation among the involved parties (during an AN/I), not via ArbCom. Thanks. HG | Talk 13:24, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

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Proposed enforcement[edit]

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Analysis of evidence[edit]

Place here items of evidence (with diffs) and detailed analysis

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General discussion[edit]

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