Only In Israel

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Take back the Truth.

Any regular Internet user, has probably encountered a Wikipedia article atleast once in his life. Wikipedia is a free Internet encyclopedia, to which anyone can contribute, thus creating a global source of knowledge, which is constantly growing and developing. The rules are simple: anyone can contribute and write in an article, when the guiding concept is, that if something is wrong, there will obviously be more people to correct it, and eventually, the truth will prevail.
The problem is, that's not always the case. The last reminder of that was a US attorney found himself being blamed of the murder of Robert f. Kennedy.
Anyway, as this blog deals with the mideast crisis, I will try and center my claims regarding the values dealing with the Middle East.
In the "bigger" articles, such as "Israel" or "Zionist Movement" there are a big number of people correcting the deliberate lies some people post there. But the problem occurs in the smaller values, such as this one, in which I was personally involved in editing and correcting the article.
Apparently some Wikipedia administrator nicknamed Zero0000, who is apparently a completely deranged extremist, keeps correcting the page. The same user was involved in previous editing wars over articles such as "Rachel Corrie", "International Solidarity Movement", and has written many articles about Palestinian villages in which he asserts "massacres" have happened. The same Zero0000 even had his powers taken away for a short period, for abusing them against contributors to various Israeli-Palestinian conflict articles. Apparently he's on probation. If you're troubled by what you're about to hear, I urge you to complain to Wikipedia.
The article I'm dealing with is titled "List of Irgun attacks during the 1930s". The Irgun, also known as "Etzel", was a pre-state liberation movement led by Menachem Begin. The Irgun, like most other movements at the time had a clear and distinct policy of targeting military targets (British police and military) and infrastructure, Arab militias, and people who worked with the British government, which they viewed as collaborators and traitors. Under no condition has the Irgun targeted civilians, at any stage of its existence. You might accuse it of using excessive force, but never of targeting civilian installations.
Although many Israelis disagreed with their policies and political views (me included), few have contested the known fact that Irgun was not a terrorist organization, but rather a guerilla movement.
In the Wikipedia article, the Irgun is accused of planting bombs in Arab markets and busses, and randomly shooting at Arabs. This is freely based by the people who wrote the article on a book which they claim includes all these historical dates.
There's only one problem. The Irgun has a website.
As people proud of their past deeds, the Irgun was in no point ashamed of any of the actions they took before the establishment of Israel. Every single attack committed by the Irgun is well documented in the website, complete with original documents, responsibility claims and occasional even audio recordings. None of the attacks mentioned in the Wikipedia article are on that site.
Any user trying to add to the Wikipedia article any mention of the website not taking responsibility of the attacks, or the fact that the entire attribution is doubtful is repeatedly erased by the same moderator. Even trying to put a "This article is disputed" sign is quickly thwarted by the same Zero0000, the biased admin on probation.

Basically, the truth was stolen from the public, and the people who set the final way it'll be written in are the people who are more stubborn.
And this is where you, my readers, come in. I'm in the army most of the time, I can't check whether the article has been altered. I'm just one guy, but I'm sure that there are many more like me, people who care enough about the historical truth to fight for it. Don't let these lies continue, go to Wikipedia, and keep the truth published there . Do not vandalize their articles, it's not our way, but make sure that noone gets to edit the truth away.


  • There's an easy way to verify the facts. The website of the Tel-Aviv university holds a complete, easily searchable archive of Palestine Post. If there were attacks, mentions of them will be found in the newspaper.

    By Anonymous Womble, at 6:15 PM, February 04, 2006  

  • Wikipedia is notoriously left-leaning. Even though theoretically anyone can contribute, it usually takes a liberal perspective on issues. Observe a passage under the entry, "Unlawful Combatant":

    "The treatment of "unlawful combatants" by the U.S. falls considerably short of the standards required under international humanitarian law. There are strong indications the Bush Administration’s policy of classification and detention of persons designated as "unlawful enemy combatants" is based on a presumption that the Geneva Conventions and Constitutional safeguards are an obstacle in the pursuit of the ‘war on terror’."

    Sadly, Wikipedia being what it is, many people will accept this as truth. I've discussed this issue many times on other sites, but suffice to say, wikipedia's interpretation of "unlawful combatant" is not what you would call "unbiased".

    I will do my best to monitor their Irgun entry. History must be preserved.

    ADAN Lomberg, Jason

    By Blogger Jason Lomberg, at 11:06 PM, February 04, 2006  

  • OII,

    If as you say, they targeted "...Arab militias, and people who worked with the British government..." then that means they attacked civilians. They viewed themselves as freedom fighters and their opponents viewed them as terrorists. Despite my support for Israel, I won't take sides on that one. But just picture how you would feel about a Palestinian group which attacked "...Jewish militias, and people who worked with the Israeli government..."

    I agree that wikipedia has some problems, but I don't yet perceive an anti-Israel bias. I have no doubt that there are people who want to use it as propaganda, and various egomaniacs involved.

    Your view should be heard, at the very least in the discussion section behind the article, and most probably in the article itself.

    By Blogger brainhell, at 12:07 AM, February 05, 2006  

  • I think in this case it would be legitimate to have do the work for you. If information ist altered into disinformation then I'd consider it an act of wiki vandalism. So a bot to monitor the article's history is a fair response until the dispute with Zero0000 is settled.
    Also, when I click the link above, I see the usual disclaimer "The neutrality of this article is disputed." So you shouldn't worry about this too much.
    Kind regards

    By Anonymous dave, at 5:58 PM, February 06, 2006  

  • Thanks Dave, I appreciate it.

    Brainhell, I never suggested an anti-Israel bias in wikipedia. Just one of Zero0000 imposing his opinions of history on wikipedia, that's all.

    By Blogger OnlyInIsrael, at 12:41 AM, March 26, 2006  

  • BS"D

    Others might say that WP includes also deliberate lies written in the the other direction. In fact, traditional Judaism is always distorted (especially in the French and Italian sections) by vandals who know how to add deceitful information without being caught.

    By Anonymous Israel, at 4:32 PM, May 21, 2009  

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