<CPOV> Wikipedia's handling of the Middle East conflict reaches the press - caution, a very Israeli POV
dqamir at bezeqint.net
Sun May 16 19:06:26 CEST 2010
You might be interested in this article, published on the Israeli
English-language daily "The Jerusalem Post".
I know who the "veteran Wikipedia editor from the center of the country"
is, but I'll let you guess. A similar but more balanced report, on the
same subject, was published on Friday in the Israeli Hebrew-language
daily "Maariv", and was part of a serious of polemic articles about the
Nakba Day, commemorated by Palestinians annually on May 15.
Naturally, Israeli reporters see pro-Palestinian editing as a problem.
Naturally, it is not necessarily so, it depends on the reliability of
the information and they way it is presented. In the Maariv report, it
was much clearer that Wikipedia is not the villain, but rather a tool
that can be used for better and for worse, depending on the people who
use it and their intentions. This report is less clear about this point,
and might seem like an Israeli onslaught on Wikipedia. I have some
inside information, and it seems to me that this is more of the editor's
approach than the reporter's. I was also told that this report was
considered especially interesting by the editors and they placed it on
the front page of the print edition (there is a low demand to
English-language newspapers in my neighborhood, but I might go downtown
later to buy a copy).
The Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper "Haaretz" also published a report
about politics and Wikipedia on its weekend edition this Friday.
Apparently there were legal threats on the Hebrew Wikipedia editors
because they described the new "Im Tirtzu" political movement as "right
wing". The movement insists it is non-aligned, although its most
prominent actions so far are campaigns against Israeli left-wing
organizations. Haaretz report say the movement has tried several times
to upload its own version about itself to the Hebrew Wikipedia, but
these versions were deleted because their were deemed too promotional.
Currently, after the legal threats, the most veteran editor on he-wp
decided to delete the article altogether. Haaretz asked for "Im Tirtzu"
reaction, and received... errr... how to call it? A childish response.
"We are waiting for Wikipedia to define the New Israel Fund (a left-wing
organization that was at the center of "Im Tirtzu" recent campaign, DK)
as an extremist leftist movement that undermines the existence of Israel
as a Jewish state and engaged in bringing IDF officers before foreign
courts as war criminals. We are sure that the Fund would protest against
such definition, but they could present nothing to refute it".
Wikimedia Israel received the honor to host 2011 Wikimania in Haifa, so
if you find all this political exchange of fists interesting, you could
come next year for the live show :-) In the meantime, I'm adding a link
to the Wikipedia-Academy Tel Aviv's schedule, just to give you an idea
about the extent of academic interest in Wikipedia on the Mediterranean
south-eastern shore: http://www.wikimedia.org.il/Wiki_Academy_2010
Take care all,
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