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Wikipedians for Palestine: Further facts

Wikipedians for Palestine: Further facts

By Andre Oboler, a Zionism On The Web special, May 15 2008

The evidence that there was a secret pro-Palestinian group off Wikipedia has been presented here. In this article we examine actions surrounding a user who is a member of this group and a member of Wiki Project Palestine. We provide details of on Wikipedia recruitment tactics for the off Wikipedia group, and evidence of the use of Project Palestine to target articles and influence Wikipedia democracy.

Those on Wikipedia can judge if anything has been done wrong. The point here is to highlight how one person can use a collective with an agenda within the context of Wikipedia. Many commenting on the CAMERA case took a strong position against any form of political organisation. My reaction to this (as given in my Jerusalem Post article) is that it can't be avoided. Groups with a shared interest will work on the same articles, will get to know each other, will become friends and will tend to support each other when they feel they are being treated unfairly. This is the social element of Wikipedia. It can't be eliminated and it's not clear people would want it eliminated. Mean time it throws a hole in the concept of democracy in Wikipedia. How much someone's opinion counts is already related to who they are. The topic they are speaking on, and the make up of the group of people agreeing with each other (or disagreeing) also needs to be taken into account if opinions are to be considered fairly and in context.

Note on the evidence

Please note that hyperlinks etc have been stripped from all quotes. This is because the content at the links includes may change, and changing them in reference would be problematic. The (source) links will however always take you to an archived copy of the original of those that wish to check anything here themselves.

The evidence

One of the admins who was examining the CAMERA case posted this comment on the talk page of DieWeisseRose (source):

"Wikipedians for Palestine"
Hello. From past postings of yours [1], there is reason to believe you are or were a member of a google group "Wikipedians for Palestine". Since you have also been outspoken recently in your accusations against the pro-Israel "Isra-pedia" group [2], [3]),could I ask you to do the honest thing and provide the Arbcom or some trusted admins with access to the Palestine group archives, so we can get an assessment of what was going on there? Fut.Perf. 14:46, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
The first note [1] shows the group being announced to another Wikipedia user on their talk page (source). It says:
Wikipedians for Palestine
New Yahoo Group: Wikipedians for Palestine The group is described as "for Wikipedians working to combat anti-Palestinian and pro-Zionist bias in the English language version of Wikipedia." Please spread the word.--DieWeibeRose 08:09, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

The second shows this user making allegations of a larger conspiracy. Its interesting how this concern from an activist about activists criticizes the same sort of language they themselves employed in recruitment. The implication of a large conspiracy is worrying and designed to spread panic resulting in harsher penalties and a reduction in trust and good faith on Wikipedia (source). The comment linked to reads:

It's Not Just CAMERA In May 2007, the Hasbara Fellowships, a project of Aish International and the Israeli government

targeted Wikipedia:
Wikipedia is not an objective resource but rather an online encyclopedia that any one can edit. The result is a website that is in large part is controlled by 'intellectuals' who seek re-write the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These authors have systematically yet subtly rewritten key passages of thousands of Wikipedia entries to portray Israel in a negative light.

You have the opportunity to stop this dangerous trend! If you are interested in joining a team of Wikipedians to make sure Israel is presented fairly and accurately, please contact director@israelactivism.com for details!
There is no reason to believe that this hasbara/propaganda effort has ceased or that there aren't plenty of Hasbara Fellows--independent of the CAMERA operation but with the same goals and tactics--already in the ranks of Wikipedia's editors and administrators. --DieWeisseRose (talk) 23:15, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

At the third footnote we see this user using the notice board for Wiki Project Palestine to draw people in to the Wikipedia discussion about the investigation into CAMERA (this is where the link on the work here pointed) (source). The page linked to says:

April 24 Just to let you all know, the influence of alleged Zionist hasbara operatives in Wikipedia is currently under discussion here. I have added a section on the "Hasbara Fellowships" direct targetting of Wikipedia here. Also, it would be great if someone could bring some NPOV to United States Office of Antiboycott Compliance section of the Economic and political boycotts of Israel article. As it currently reads, the section could just as well be a Zionist hasbara scare piece. --DieWeisseRose (talk) 00:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

The following quote by this same user contains a message from someone they say is in Israel. The message (quoted) is racist. It is probably also a bluff. It seems to come from someone who is extremely upset at topics related to Judaism being used to promote a Palestinian perspective (source). what's really interesting abotu this is that it is the same text used in the e-mail to the Pro-Palestinian group (Right to Return Coalition) discussed here (evidence of secret Pro-Palestinian group).

"WE PROMISE"
The unsigned missive below from Talk:Jack_Abramoff is courtesy of 62.0.170.46 (talk contribs) .
Get this through your FAT, THICK, OBTUSE JEW HATING SCULLS. Any reference to Jews, Jewish schools, Israel, Yarmulkas, SANDY F--KING KOFAX, anything of the HEBRIAC, MOSIAC, JUDIAC PERSUASSION!! will be removed. GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This Shabbos I was able to get tens of volunteers to monitor this site, who in turn will get tens more. If we have to WE WILL HIRE HACKERS TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM. We promise you. This is going to get worse. There is no compromise on this issue. Jack Abramoff commited crimes. You want to lynch the man. Even though much of the material that you have written is taken out of context and some of it is plain conjecture. What can we do, There is no way we can make human beings out of you people. You're goyim. It's Gods problem. But blatant references to ANYTHING Jewish is ours. And we will do everything possible to see that the references are removed.
Is this the work of a Jewish racist or an anti-Jewish racist posing as a Jew? Who knows?--DieWeibeRose 11:27, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Apparently, our friend is in Tel Aviv, Israel[1].--DieWeibeRose 11:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Finally, on the Project Palastine page, there is an advert placed by this user for the yahoo group "Wikipedians for Palestine". One response suggests that this may not be the right approach. It also suggests any organising should be done publically. The user making the comment also comments on the CAMERA case. Were they drawn their by the comment posted on the projects notice board? In anycase it is up to Wikipedia to decide how much organising is acceptable. (source)

Please consider joining the Wikipedians for Palestine Yahoo Group. The group is described as "for Wikipedians working to combat anti-Palestinian and pro-Zionist bias in the English language version of Wikipedia."--DieWeibeRose 00:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like a good idea, but I am not sure if it is a good idea to become cabalish, even though it is clear others do it. It reflects poorly on their character IMHO and I'd rather just do any coordination out in the open. --Abnn 00:38, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Your word choice seems kind of ironic as Wikipedia says, "The term cabal derives from Kabbalah (a word that has numerous spelling variations), the mystical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture, and originally meant either an occult doctrine or a secret." --DieWeibeRose 07:56, 20 May 2007 (UTC)




The Electronic Intifada, CAMERA, Wikipedia incident

The following articles are all related to this topic

Introduction: the Wikipedia, Electronic Intifada and CAMERA story  
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, May 14 2008

In April the online Palestinian advocacy group Electronic Intifada released a story stating that CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) a pro-Israel media monitoring group was attempting to take over wikipedia. This collection of articles reveals Electronic Intifada's use and manipulation of Wikipedia to attack CAMERA, promote their content and "point of view" and use the administrative process at wikipedia to first ban members of CAMERA and then increase some of these bans so they become perminent. While Electronic Intifada present CAMERA's actions as a new and serrious threat to Wikipedia, research shows that Palestinian advocates have been using the same tactics for years unchecked.

Electronic Intifada's Manipulation  
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, May 14 2008

Electronic Intifada wrote the story, boasted publically to a member of CAMERA's Wikipedia group, then sought to have CAMERA listed as an unreliable source. This was probably the extent of damage Electronic Intifada originally planned, however events soon moved forward as Wikipedia administrators started to react to the story. Electronic Intifada nurtured the fears of Wikipedia administrators and sought to work with some in order to impose penalties on members of CAMERA.

Evidence of the secret Palestinian group  
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, May 14 2008

The penalties imposed on members of the CAMERA group were harsh in part because it was argued that this was a new threat to Wikipedia and an example needed to be made. The feeling was that recruiting people from within grass roots advocacy organisations, enlisting experienced editors to help, and having the discussions outside of wikipedia could all contribute in a way that went against the nature of wikipedia. This was naive. Our research shows past attenpts, by Palestinian advocates, some of whom commented and pushed for sanctions in the CAMERA case, that meet all of these criteria. The admins considering the case found some of this information too, their attempts to investigate did the equivalent of starting the shredding machines.

Back Story on Wiki Project Palestine  
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, May 15 2008

This article explains how I first became concerned about Wiki Project Palestine.

Wikipedians for Palestine: Further facts  
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, May 15 2008

The evidence that there was a secret pro-Palestinian group off Wikipedia has been presented here. In this article we examine actions surrounding a user who is a member of this group and a member of Wiki Project Palestine. We provide details of on Wikipedia recruitment tactics for the off Wikipedia group, and evidence of the use of Project Palestine to target articles and influence Wikipedia democracy.

Exposed - Anti-Israeli Subversion on Wikipedia  
By Andre Oboler & Honest Reporting staff, Honest Reporting, May 14 2008

A special report from Honest Reporting, co-authored by Zionism On The Web's Dr Andre Oboler examins the issue in depth.

Wiki-Warfare: Battle for the on-line encyclopedia  
By Andre Oboler, Jerusalem Post, May 13 2008

The issue of warfare on Wikipedia is introduced, along with the role of Palestinian activists in manipulating Wikipedia

MidEast Wars hits Wikipedia  
By Tamar Snyder, The Jewish Week, May 14 2008

Tamar Snyder gives additional background, citing the Honest Reporting special report and interviewing key commentators including Zionism On The Web's Dr Andre Oboler.






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