<CPOV> Can a settler be defined as human rights activist - a debate on the Hebrew Wikipedia makes it to the headlines of the Israeli press

nathaniel tkacz nathanieltkacz at gmail.com
Thu Mar 14 11:03:29 CET 2013

thanks a lot for sharing this dror.


On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Dror Kamir <dqamir at bezeqint.net> wrote:

>  Hello,
> Once again, a debate on the Hebrew Wikipedia makes it to the headlines of
> the Israeli press. This time, it is a debate over the article (in Hebrew)
> about Orit Strook (also spelled Struk and Struck).
> Ms. Strook has been recently elected to the Knesset (the Israeli
> parliament), and is now a prominent representative of the right-wing
> Zionist-religious party "The Jewish Home" (*Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi*). She is
> a settler from the Jewish community in Hebron (this community is considered
> the most hardline among the settler movement's communities.
> Owing to her new status, Strook's article now has the "Knesset Member
> template", which, among other details, mentions the person's occupation
> before s/he became an MP. In the case of Strook it is defined as "human
> rights activist". This is because she headed the "Human Rights Organization
> of Judea and Samaria", an Israeli NGO whose main activity is defending
> Israeli settlers and right-wing activists against (alleged) police violence
> and issuance of restraining orders by Israeli authorities. The title "human
> right activist" is rarely associated with activists of the settler
> movement, and more commonly used when referring to Israeli left-wing
> activists who defend Palestinians against Israeli authorities and act
> against the settlement activity in the West Bank. (Note - no political
> statement is intended here, I'm just describing the situation for those of
> you who are not acquainted with Israeli politics.)
> Some Israeli Wikipedians (at least one of them holds left-wing political
> views, to the best of my knowledge) challenged Orit Strook's definition as
> "human rights activist" arguing that her NGO defends only the human rights
> of settlers and ignores the human rights of Palestinians. According to the
> article's talkpage, a similar discussion has already been held in 2007,
> when someone suggested to add the category "human rights activists" to this
> article (the category is currently not there, just the mention in the
> template). These Wikipedians also said that this NGO's mission is
> inconsistent with the definition of "human rights" in the article about the
> subject on the Hebrew Wikipedia. One suggested alternative was writing that
> Strook was an "activist for settlers' rights" or just mentioning that she
> was "the head of the Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria". A
> response to this suggestion was "Another suggestion would be that you
> understand that human rights are not an innovation of the extreme left in
> Israel". Well, not all responses are sarcastic like this one, but this is
> the general idea in most of them.
> The debate is now reported on one of Israel's leading news websites -
> NRG-Maariv (the reporter is Arik Bender). According to this report, the
> issue was decided by a vote of 28 against 23 to retain the definition
> "human rights activist" in the article about Ms. Strook. I can add that the
> Hebrew Wikipedia very often resorts to polling in such circumstances. Back
> to NRG's report, it also says that certain Wikipedians sent questions to
> Ms. Strook, asking her whether she supported universal human rights,
> including Palestinians, and whether she defined herself as "human rights
> activist". According to the report, Strook sent back an elaborated reply
> and denied she was defending only the rights of Jews. She said she had also
> defended Arabs who had been sentenced to death by the Palestinian Authority
> for selling lands to Jews.
>    - The Report on NRG-Maariv (in Hebrew):
>    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/451/918.html?hp=1&cat=404&loc=9
>    - The article about Orit Strook on the Hebrew Wikipedia
>    http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%AA_%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A7
>     - The voting debate and process on the Hebrew Wikipedia (in Hebrew)
>    http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%95%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%93%D7%99%D7%94:%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%9E%D7%AA_%D7%A2%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%9D_%D7%91%D7%9E%D7%97%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%A7%D7%AA/:%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%AA_%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A7
>    - The debate on the article's talkpage (in Hebrew)
>    http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%97%D7%94:%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%AA_%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A7#.D7.9B.D7.A4.D7.99.D7.9C.D7.95.D7.AA_.D7.91.D7.AA.D7.91.D7.A0.D7.99.D7.AA
> I hope you find this interesting,
> Best,
> Dror K
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