Talk:West Bank/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Is the very term "West Bank" POV?

The very existence of this page under this title is in violation of the principles of "Neutral point of view". Only pro-Arab people generally refer to this area as "the West Bank". Pro-Israel terminology is "Judea and Samaria". How to handle this I can't recommend.

In Britain, this area is generally (in fact, almost always) called the West Bank. The CIA, which few people would describe as "pro-Arab", calls it the West Bank. I think this has to be considered the neutral term in English. --Zundark, 2002 Jan 5
This is incorrect. Not only "pro-Arab" people refer to this territory as the West Bank. Many people who are pro-Israel nonetheless do not use the terms "Judea" and "Samaria", as these terms are often used by the right-wing nationalists; to them these names imply that every inch of land in this area is part of the Biblical land of Israel, and therefore can never be negotiated with. You statements reveals not only a disagreement with the Arab position (which I share), but a strong disagreement against Jews who are not sympathetic to the right-wing of the Israeli political spectrum. Not all Zionists (Jews or gentiles) support the Likud or other rightist parties. (I think they have some good points, but I am more to the left of their positions.) RK

Not everyone who is to your right is a "right-wing nationalist", though I am probably more sympathetic to Likud than you (though, as an American, I cannot vote for any Israeli party). I still think that "West Bank" cannot be termed a neutral term, even if "Judea-Samaria" is a "right-wing nationalist" term.

Perhaps we need an article on Middle East political terminology. Often the name of something carries a connotation. For example, the terms "gay rights" and "woman's right to choose" inherently connote positions of favoring certain legal rights for homosexual citizens and the legal right for a woman to have a voluntary abortion.

I think the Arab side has won a propaganda victory that will be exceedingly hard for Israel to reverse. Getting the US media to refer to Arab separatists in Israel as "Palestinians" is not really neutral, in my opinion. The term itself implies that only Arab residents of historical Palestine are its legitimate claimants, and that Jewish residents of Palestine are "non-Palestinian" and hence illegitmate "occupiers" of the land.

Without really neutral terminology, there is no way to discuss the situation without conceding points that must not be conceded.

My personal analysis of all statements by all sides leads me to believe that the various Arab power groups frankly intend to wipe out Israel altogether. I agree with the author of the "temporary measure" article (although I also agree with Larry that its title at least is not NPOV). The strategy of land for peace is one that must inevitably result in Israel losing all its land.

This is not to say that I consider one side "right" and the other "wrong." Although both I and my church are pro-Israel, neither I nor my church are anti-Arab or anti-Islamic. I respect Islam (the religion) and esteem Islamic culture.

I would like to see some sort of peaceful co-existence of Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. I do not have a formula to propose, however.

My only suggestion is that the religious leaders meet in good faith to work out the historical and theological issues, and that the politicians respect whatever agreement the religious leaders can work out. This may sound naive, but I am optimistic since East and West Germany managed to reconcile. Perhaps if North and South Korea can reconcile, peace in the Middle East will seem more attainable. -- Ed Poor

I think West Bank is a preferable term to "Judaea and Samaria", for three reasons:

  1. Most people are familiar with the term "West Bank", since that's the term the Western media uses. Few people, other than Jews and Israelis, know what "Judaea and Samaria" means. "West Bank" is the ordinary term in English for this place.
  2. People on both sides of the fence use the term "West Bank" since (as RK points out) you'll find some pro-Israel people using it. No one on the pro-Arab side will use the term "Judaea and Samaria".
  3. "West Bank" is a neutral geographical term -- the West Bank of the Jordan river. "Judaea and Samaria" is suggestive of Jewish/Israeli claims to the area.

More generally, I think an article on terminology would be useful. However, I think we need to use the normal terms for these things -- the terms most English-speakers will be expecting. Otherwise, we'll just confuse the reader. And as to terms such as "Palestinian", whatever its conontations, there really is no alternative that conveys the same meaning. -- SJK

I just wanted to add that I am pro-Israel, and I refer to land in question as the "West Bank". In my Jewish School, our Modern Zionism course also refers to it as the "West Bank". Thus, that term is not only used by pro-Arab people. However, there should be a note in the article stating that small minority of pro-Israeli(mostly ultra-orthodax) people refer to it as, "Judaea and Samaria".

I put in a lot of changes. While people seem to be paying lip service to NPOV, etc., what seems to be happening is that they are shuffling for territory so that they can give equal (if not more) space to their own opinions. How appropriate, given the subject matter.

On the other hand, whatever your views are, it is extremely important in such a contentious article to at least get the BASIC FACTS right. These include geography (the borders are clearcut!), history (the history belongs in Israel/Palestine prior to 1949, since the West Bank has such artificial boundaries based on an armistice agreement--if the agreement were signed the next day, the boundaries would have been different), nomenclature (Judea and Samaria do not equal the West Bank. They are names for geographical regions of which the West Bank is part. However, the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh is also Judea and Zichron Yaakov is also Samaria, while the Palestinian town of Jenin is part of the Jezreel Valley), etc. Only once the facts and definitions are accurate can we begin any discussion of politics, for whatever side. Danny

Was that Danny? Anyway, thanks for pointing out my errors. I hope you can fix the article without reverting: the section on Arab and Israeli views is okay, I trust. Ed Poor, Thursday, June 20, 2002
Don't be too trusting. It is such an oversimplification, that it is really not very valuable. You cannot pigeonhole the views in that way--what is Sharon's view, for example? He has agreed to the idea of a Palestinian state in principle and actually participated in a withdrawal from land (1982, he was Defense Minister, when Israel withdrew from the Sinai, and he commanded the soldiers that removed the settlers). Positions generally change based on current events. One day after a bombing, most people in Israel will refuse to even accept the notion of a Palestinian state. One day after a concilliatory speech by Arafat, 60% of Israelis will agree to divide Jerusalem. By the way, the same is true of Palestinians. In other words, the positions themselves are in flux, which is nowhere recognized in the article as it stands. Danny
Hmm... this isn't really related, but the only way in which Palestinians have been known to celebrate peace deals recently, is by freeing Hamas guys from jail. --Uriyan
No, it isn't really related ... or accurate either. The releases made upon reaching peace deals were by Israelis as part of the peace deals (or other arrangements). Arafat's supposed "revolving door policy" in prisons has nothing to do with peace deals with Israel.Danny
I actually meant the "cease fires" during the recent Intifada ("recently" = last 21 months). Of course, when Hammas guys are freed, a cease-fire turns into a situation when Israelis cease and Palestinians fire. --Uriyan

As for the Jordan River, the West Bank only occupies two-thirds of the Bank of the Jordan River running from the Sea of Galilee. The rest was part of Israel's border with Jordan since independence. The West Bank is also nowhere near the northern part of the Jordan River, above the Sea of Galilee. If anything, it formed part of the Israeli border with Syria till 1967.

I thank you both, Danny and Uriyan, for your attention to this article. Danny, might I persuade you to enumerate some of the more popular viewpoints on the region's disposition? You seem to have command of the specifics such as division of Jerusalem that I glossed over. (I note with pride that my Arab POV paragraph survived the last few revisions :-) Ed Poor, Thursday, June 20, 2002

Thanks for the map, DanKeshet. I'm looking at for a West Bank map that shows its borders. I'd like a map that shows the West Bank's border with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon & Israel proper -- plus any "natural geographic" boundaries such as rivers, lakes or mountain ranges. Ed Poor, Friday, June 21, 2002 Is the West Bank of 2002 the same as the large pink area between Israel, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea in [1]?

Yes, it is. But note that there's no "Israel" on the map. Those peace-loving Arabs... --Uriyan

--- As I noted in the article, the terms Judea and Samaria are primarily geographical: Samaria is less mountainous than Judah and of a slightly different geological composition. (I can go on and on about how this was reflected in the ancient history of the region due to resulting economic differences, populations, etc., but I will not at this point.) In fact, both terms also refer to territories that constituted part of pre-1967 Israel, such as the corrdidor leading to Jerusalem, the foothills surrounding Beit Guvrin, the southern Judean Desert (Judah), and the eastern strip of foothills along the coastal strip, including the town of Zichron Yaakov (Samaria). Of course, Israelis realize that the term "Judea and Samaria" refers to the West Bank, but the Hebrew equivalent of ha-Gadah ha-Ma'aravit is simply a translation of the English term, with no historical or geographical meaning prior to 1948. Even Israelis who support total withdrawal from the Territories would call the areas either Judea or Samaria, when referring to them historically or geographically--political exigencies aside, those are the Hebrew names for the region. Anecdotally, I remember watching the newscast in the early 1980s, when the Israeli government decided officially that the territories would be called Judea and Samaria in all official broadcasts (there was only one TV station at the time and four official radio stations). The snicker on the newscaster's face was obvious to everyone. The decision has since been ignored. Danny

the uncritical use of "diputed territories" is a violation of NPOV, since it follows the Israeli policy to veil the fact of occupation. it is a purely Israeli euphemism. --Elian

Thank you for responding so quickly (my version was up less than 2 hours). I will refrain from further edits until you have had a chance to see, comment on and fix any problems you see. --Ed Poor
I was present by chance ;-) I also reverted your move of "Palestinian refugee" as I consider the Arab superfluous. You should be aware that it is solely Israeli policy to avoid speaking of Palestinians ("there are no Palestinians" - Golda Meir) and instead use the general term Arabs. By using the term "Arab" or "Arab nationalist" for Palestinians, you already bowed to the Israeli position and don't write neutral anymore. --Elian

I guess this goes back to the question of terms: what is a "Palestinian"?

  • a member of a Middle-eastern ethnic group plainly distinct from other ethnic groups in the region (like "Kurd")
  • a member of a distinct "race" (?)
  • any Arab residing in what the ancient Romans called Palestine = "Palestinian Arab"
  • an arbitrarily designated group invented by Arab leaders to delegitimize Israel and prevent the creation of a Jewish homeland

Sorry to put it in such blunt terms, but I think that without a clear definition of "Palestinian" the pages elian, uri and ed have been working on will never meet the Wikipedia's standard of "neutral".

I'm not going to revert any of your changes, Elian, since I value our working relationship more than the article. --Ed Poor

A palestinian is for me everyone who answers my question "inta meen wayn?" (where are you from?) with "Ana filasteeni" (I am Palestinian). I suppose some 100% of the people in Westbank and Gaza (excluding Israeli settlers) would answer thusly (or "ana filastiniyyeh" for women). Some 50% of the people in Jordan may answer similarly. about 8 million people over the world will say this, too and add "I am Palestinian refugee". Is this answer clear enough? --Elian

Elian is completely correct. I'll go further and say that it is quite objectionable to question the right of the Palestinians to define themselves, just as all other groups have the right to define themselves. (This doesn't concern the different issue of the historical meanings of the word, which is a research topic I will write about on Palestinian soon.) Ed, do you try to argue with other groups about who they should accept as members, such as Jews for example? The fact is that, today in 2003, everyone including Ed knows immediately what is meant whenever someone says "the Palestinians". If you don't like it, get over it. --Zero 08:42, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The page has recently been protected I'd like to ask, why? And furthermore, I would like to ask for an explanation from 81 and Viajero as to why you have deleted my edits without providing a reason. You have yet to give any reason, much less one showing why you think they are inaccurate, off topic or lacking in substance. Please do so before you revert them. Leumi 02:03, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Why do you remove the statement that "West Bank" excludes Gaza? The definition is wrong without that.
  • That Israeli maps often include WB&G in "Israel" is a plain fact and I've even seen examples on Israeli government web sites. Its relevance is also obvious.
  • I don't see any problem in mentioning that Jordan occupied the WB in 1948.
  • If the Saudi proposal is mentioned at all (doubtful for this page as it belongs elsewhere) it is not ok to put arguments for or against it. Leumi's addition there is totally unacceptable.
--Zero 08:42, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)
First, I did not put in the original argument against the Saudi proposal. I don't think it should be part of the page either, but I didn't touch it. Glad we agree there. Second, if we add that it refers to the area occupied by Jordan in 48, we don't need to include excludes the Gaza Strip. Second, I see no problem in including your second point within it. Lastly, if 81, I believe his name is Anon, would please stop reverting all my edits on the page, I would appreciate it. If he objects to specific parts if he would just point them out and focus on that, that would be preferable. Thankyou. Leumi 21:12, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'll just record the results of a search for "Cisjordan" in the Times (London) electronic archive, which includes the full text of that newspaper from 1785 to 1985. The word appears only 4 times in total. A 1939 article and a letter in 1948 refer to "Transjordan and Cis-Jordan Palestine". In that case "Cis-Jordan" not being used as a name but rather as a qualifier on the name "Palestine". In 1950 there is an op-ed piece that uses "Cis-Jordan" as a name, clearly referring to the whole region west of the Jordan River. In 1975 there is an article quoting Sadat in which he uses "cis-Jordan" as a name for the West Bank. That's all. By way of comparison, "Transjordan" appears 2263 times (starting in 1921) and "Palestine" appears 55927 times (starting in 1789). --Zero 08:50, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I would just like to add the Hebrew terms in Hebrew script to this article: הגדה המערבית and יו״ש Hippietrail 13:17, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Palestinian Refugees

Before you proceed to delete my entry again, perhaps you could specify what part of it in your opinion constitutes a POV, and prove that it has no factual basis. What part do you object to? That the majority are refugees, or that they fled voluntarily? Just because certain facts speak in Israel's favour in no way impairs their status as facts which can safely be included in a NPOV article. LoveOfFate 18:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Same reply as in Talk:Gaza Strip. Everyone knows that "voluntary" is an opinion and not a fact. Your opinions are of no interest here. --Zero 05:50, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A bit of rewriting

I rewrote the intro a bit. It's a sensitive issue, so I'm sure something about it will be controversial. I've tried to equally offend both sides though. =]

  • Moved Judea and Samaria and Cisjordan down a bit, as they're not very commonly used in English, especially compared to West Bank. They should be noted, but not many people are going to be expecting this article under one of those names and surprised by West Bank, which is pretty much the standard English name for the area.
  • Described the territory as the land west of the River Jordan annexed by Jordan in 1949. An alternate description is "the territory formerly part of Jordan captured by Israel in the 1967 war", but I like the 1949 explanation better because it's more definitional—the West Bank really came into being as an entity in 1949, with its western border defined by the cease-fire line.
  • Gave a bit of information on the dispute about whether East Jerusalem is in the West Bank or not. By the definition above, it is. Israel says it isn't. Most Arabs say it is. Most of the negotiations treat it de facto like it isn't, since the Jerusalem issue is negotiated separately from the rest of the West Bank.
  • Clarified (hopefully) some wording and such.

--Delirium 06:19, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC).

Palestine / فلسطین

The West Bank is supposed to be a large part of future free Palestine. UN dicided this in 1947, no government in the world recognizes the israeli occupation, and Israel it self has not anexed it. There should not be any doubt that the West Bank and Ghaza are palestinian territories, and will never be israeli. —, 18:29, Sep 12, 2004

Legal theories

IMHO the legal theory, why to use the term "occupied" is rather clear, and (AFAIK etc) the majority POV. But to let the reader learn more about other POVs, it should be pointed out under which legal theory, another status is claimed, and what this status is.

The term "disputed" doesn't clarify much, as it only implies, that there are more than one interpretations, but doesn't state the interpretations.

When doing (a very shallow) web search for sources, for example I stumbled about an argument that Israel is adminstrating these areas in place of the fallen Ottoman empire. If this is really claimed as a signifant POV, it should be mentioned.

Pjacobi 14:02, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I believe the wikipedia should reflect humanities perspective on the world not a pro-anyone view and the corresponding terminology. Delete all "West Bank" and similar disputed territory links and replace with "Disputed Territory". Using the term disputed territory has its own risks (maybe use UN recognition?). Give a lat long description (or topographical map) of the area and a description of the disputing parties and their impact on aboriginal populations, flora and fauna and that's it. Let the reader draw their own conclusions. Posting anything else is giving a mouthpiece for the disputing parties. History is written by it's survivors...

The Occupied Territories are known as the Occupied Territories because that is their legal status and the phrase used by the UN. The Israeli government is militarily occupying territory that is not within the internationally recognized borders of Israel - hence, "Occupied Territories". It is an Israeli propaganda tactic to refer to extraterritorial areas under Israeli military control as "disputed territories" so as to semantically minimize their militant aggression for Jewish settlement Lebensraum. Those who believe that Israel should annex additional Arab land prefer to regard the territories as "disputed" rather than "occupied" because "occupation" is legally temporary whereas "disputed" territories may someday be absorbed by Israeli expansion. Even the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 that the territories are held by Israel through "belligerent occupation". The term Occupied Territories is legitimate and correct in a legal sense of international law. "Disputed territory" is POV. Alberuni 20:34, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for clearing that up, Alberuni. If Israel uses the term disputed territories in a special sense, than the Arab-Israeli conflict series of articles should note this special usage. Also, the point of view of the UN should be given prominence, like:

  • According to the United Nations, the West Bank is an "occupied territory" under international law. The Israeli Supreme Court began using the term "belligerent occupation" in June 2004.
  • A gradually shrinking remnant of advocates continue to protest the designation "occupied territory" on the grounds that Israel seized the area from Jordan, which (Israel claims) had no right to them in the first place.

We should definitely mention the UN's point of view, along with other prominent parties who agree with it. After that, we have two choices: (A) mention other POV which disagrees with the UN; or (B) omit dissenting POV completely. --Uncle Ed 14:45, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Alberuni has not cleared anything up; rather, he has just stated his highly POV opinion, mixed with the typically inflammatory rhetoric of anti-Israel activitists, who lace their screeds with Nazi terminology in a propagandistic attempt to equate Israel with Nazi Germany. In fact the Disputed territories are not "Occupied territories" under International law, particularly the 4th Geneva convention, and most particularly since the Oslo accords. [2] Moreover United Nations General Assembly resolutions do not create International law. Alberuni's statements about the Israeli Supreme Court are also not relevant, since the Israeli Supreme Court does not decide Israeli policy, nor did it rule on the relevant issues. Here, in fact, is a position paper from the Israeli government on the topic: [3] Jayjg 04:35, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Can you, at this point, please answer my original question: If not occupied territories, what is the legal status of these terroritories. Of course disputed isn't an answer at all, as it only claims that there a different views about the legal status. --Pjacobi 10:35, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The legal status of them confusing and disputed, which is why "disputed" is the best term. There are a number of legal arguments essentially stating that Israel, under the 4th Geneva convertion, cannot be an occupying power in any of Palestine (though it could be so in, for example, Lebanon). There is a further complication that much of the territories are under Palestinian administrative rule. International law is itself a complicated thing, and there has been no "Supreme Court" decision on the ultimate legal status of the territories; in fact, it would be difficult to imagine a mechanism for this to happen. Ultimately borders are decided by legal treaties between sovereign nations, not by courts. Jayjg 14:43, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The territories are not considered merely "disputed" by anyone except those with the POV of militant Israelis who hope to annex more Arab land to the Jewish state. To the rest of the world, the territories are recognized as Occupied Territories because they are militarily occupied by Israel even though Israel has no legal claim to the land. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic to see the hypocrisy and self-serving mendacity of Zionists decrying the legitimacy of UN territorial dispute adjudication when it was the UN that created the modern state of Israel in the first place. Alberuni 15:26, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
International law doesn't agree with you, and the U.N. certainly did not create Israel; rather, the inhabitants of Israel created the country in an act of auto-emancipation. The U.N. took a vote, but did nothing at all to support the results of that vote, which only strengthens the point that G.A. resolutions are non-binding and non-enforcable. In addition, I find it difficult to reconcile your often reasonable article edits with your highly combative, propagandistic, and often insulting Talk: comments. Why not just deal with the issues themselves, instead of promoting your beliefs about the moral failings and political beliefs of the editors who disagree with you? Jayjg 16:06, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
"If the shoe fits, wear it." I don't seem to have as much difficulty as some people editing objectively and avoiding the injection of my personal POV into Wikipedia articles. Talk pages are the place to discuss the propagandistic biases of articles. Alberuni 16:24, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
This is not a shoe store or cobbler's shop. You have definitely gotten better at avoiding blatant POV, particularly compared to your earlier edits. Talk pages are indeed the place to discuss the propagandistic biases of articles, but not the place to discuss your beliefs about the moral failings and political beliefs of the editors who disagree with you. If you work in a collegial way on Wikipedia, including the Talk: pages, I think you'll find it much easier to create NPOV on the articles of concern to you. Jayjg 00:13, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You have not improved. Your edits reflect a narrow-minded, virulently Zionist POV. You are not amenable to NPOV edits that offend your Zionist sensibilities. You stalk my history of contributions looking to revert edits with which you disagree. Your tone is condescending and patronizing. Interacting with you is far and away the worst part of my Wikipedia experience to date. Alberuni 01:48, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Um, it's as if I hadn't said anything at all. I'll try again; please restrict comments to discussions of the article content. Thanks in advance. Jayjg 02:39, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
There is little point in discussing issues with a dishonest pro-Israeli propagandist. The reason why Israelis prefer "disputed" to "occupied" is well-known by anyone who has been following the issue [4]. Alberuni 02:50, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps, but you might profit from discussing things with me. Regardless, you should sign your comments. Jayjg 02:54, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I did sign my note and I left you an article to read. Sorry you missed it. Read more carefully next time. Here it is again. The reason why Israelis prefer "disputed" to "occupied" is well-known by anyone who has been following the issue [5]. Alberuni 03:02, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Ah, I see, you hightly indented one part of the comment, then spaced the other half all the way over to the left and placed it directly above other comments on the left. Very confusing for the reader. Jayjg 03:14, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
"Confusing"? Like the legal status of the Occupied Territories is "confusing and disputed" to you? It's always someone else's fault, isn't it? Try to keep up. Alberuni 03:25, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The legal status of the Disputed Territories is not at all confusing; they're clearly not Occupied under International Law. Jayjg 03:39, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Now you are disagreeing with yourself. "The legal status of them confusing and disputed, which is why "disputed" is the best term. Jayjg 14:43, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)" I'll just leave you two alone. Alberuni 04:11, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's not confusing to me, but to those who are unfamiliar with it, it is. Jayjg 04:40, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This article disagrees with your interpretations of international law Jayjg: [6] Why don't you address the issue instead of categorically regurgitating Zionist propaganda as if it was fact? By the way, when did you stop claiming that "there is no such thing as a Palestinian?" Are you able to keep up with this confusing comment? Alberuni 04:18, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Other articles disagree with that article. So what? I don't think your categorically regurgitating Palestinian propaganda as if it was fact is any more helpful. Nor are non-sequiturs. Jayjg 04:43, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I provided a source explaining why your interpretation of international law is invalid and why "Occupied Territories" is correct terminology. If you can't support your case and just throw your hands up in the air when faced with facts refuting your extremist position, why do you believe you should be able to dictate to everyone else how these articles are edited? Alberuni 05:40, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Legal theories (ctd)

Thread continued from Talk:West Bank/Archive 1.

For readability, I switched back to the far left. Jayjg, thanks for your attempt to answer - but you only state that the status is confusing and disputed. But that can only be the case, if there are different possibilities. Why is it so difficult to explicitely state these. Should I try some wild guesses and you answer yes and no. It's becoming silly, not very good for such a topic. Nevertheless.

Possible POVs:

  • The Westbank is a no-mans-land (like Antarctica or the Moon)
  • The Westbank is a part of Israel
  • The Westbank is a part of Lebanon
  • The Westbank is still a part of the Ottoman Empire

Pjacobi 16:16, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The West Bank is in an unusual legal situation; it was owned by the Ottoman Empire, which no longer exists. It was then controlled under a British and League of Nations mandate, both of which have expired. It was occupied and annexed by Jordan, but Jordan has since repudiated ownership. It is now controlled by Israel, but Israel has not annexed it. I wish things were simpler, and you could fit the West Bank into some other category, but this unique set of circumstances makes the West Bank a disputed territory under International Law. Jayjg 00:13, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I would delete the reference to west bank as 'disputed' territory. If I could find 'some people' that said you were a communist bastard, would you put this up and claim impartiality? thanks

  • The preceding paragraph was anonymously interspersed 24 July 2005 (9 months after the remark it is addressing and the response that follows). -- Jmabel | Talk 04:14, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
So it seems to me, that the West Bank is one (more precisely the last) part of the deceased entitity "Ottoman empire", whose dissolution is not yet completed. No existing country (as per UN definition) claims it to be an integral part of it, but a precursor to a possible future country (the Palestinian Authority) does. Israel does control the territory including its border control and does claim jurisdiction over all inhabitants, but grants citizen rights only to the jewish inhabitants.
IANAL and YMMV, but what about this summary?
Pjacobi 09:39, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
One existing country does claim at least parts of the West Bank are integral to it; Israel, which claims the area around Jerusalem, and has annexed them. Israel also grants citizenship rights to those Palestinians living in the annexed area. Other Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are citizens of the Palestinian Authority, which is not quite a country, but which is definitely a form of government. Jayjg 19:13, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

== Comment by a frequent Wikipedia user

NOTE: This article is horribly biased. One would not know, for instance, that there was an indigenous population in Palestine before, during, and after Ottomon rule; that according to Zionism's founder, Theodor Hertzl, Argentina was seriously considered as a possible homeland for the Jews; that from the late 19th century through to the 1940's, there was massive Jewish immigration to Palestine, and that immigration was opposed by the indigenous population and also by Britain; that as late as 1948, the year in which Israel was created as a state, the ratio of Arab to Jew in Palestine was more than 2 to 1; that some 800,000 Palestinians were kicked out of their homeland in 1948; and so on. The aim of this page should be to tell the truth, not give an obviously one-sided reading (i.e., Zionist reading) to an important issue.

NOTE THE NOTE ABOVE: Even if this article is biased, which I do doubt, the Jews are not some kind of immigrants of an area where the Palestinians are "supposed" to live. If you would be a bit more educated or not "biased", Jews lived in that area for a long long time, but of course you do not know that or just simply do not want to accept the fact. Sincerely, another frequent Wikipedia user

These topics are covered in a number of articles. The Argentina issue, for example, is mentioned in Zionism. "Truth" is often in the eye of the beholder; what you view as the "truth" might not be viewed by others as the "truth"; Wipikedia strives to present a neutral point of view instead.Jayjg 04:28, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

COMMENT: "Truth" is obviously not "in the eye of the beholder": it refers to what is and what has been. As I read your article, I saw absolutely no reference to the most important facts: namely, 1) that 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in 1948; that 2) Israel has been in violation of literally dozens of U.N. Resolutions going back 50 years, and has been condemned by even American allies; that 3) the rest of the world considers the West Bank to be occupied rather than disputed territory. The Israeli and Zionist points of view SHOULD be given, but not at the expense of the rest of the picture. Thank you.

Actually, truth is quite obviously in the eye of the beholder, since people can so rarely agree on what it is, yet all believe they have it. "What is and what has been" are facts, and even these are hotly disputed. The "facts" you refer to are very well referenced in many, many articles on Wikipedia; each article cannot be a recapitulation of the entire history of Zionism and Arab-Israeli conflict; rather, articles like this link to the relevant articles that discuss these issues. Jayjg | Talk 21:29, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

COMMENT: Truth most certainly is not "in the eye of the beholder." Truth is what is so about something. It may be difficult to discern or ascertain, and different people may disagree about what is true about something, but the truth is still the truth. Viewpoints may be divergent and many, but truth is one.

In this article on the West Bank there is no mention at all that Israel is in violation of countless U.N. Resolutions, and no mention of many similar (perhaps unpleasant) facts. It just simply isn't good enough to say that other articles allude to these facts. These facts should be stuck right in this article.

Well, whatever the truth is, it's not something Wikipedia can decide, or even tries to. Instead, Wikipedia attempts to present referenced POVs on an issue from different perspectives. As for the article, it's not about U.N. resolutions, or any of the other complaints you have about Israel that you think are so important to address. The issues you refer to are dealt with at length (not "alluded to") in the relevant articles, and by clicking on the copious links provided throughout this article you will easily find them. Jayjg | Talk 22:54, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

COMMENT: I'll be happy, when I have the time, to click on those other links and see what you mean by "dealt with at length." The line of yours above -- "any of the other complaints you have about Israel that you think are so important to address" -- is both hilarious and galling. It is not I who has "complaints" about Israel: it is the international community. It is the Palestinian people, who have lost their homes, their neighborhoods, their families, their heritage. (What do you think the phrase "right of return" refers to?) The fact is that Israel has violated over 100 U.N. Resolutions since 1955, and the rest of the world considers the West Bank occupied rather than disputed territory. Thanks.

Partisans on both sides have complaints; it is clear which side you fall on. Jayjg | Talk 04:09, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I see: this issue, like all others apparently, has "two sides," and these "sides" attract "partisans" like honey attracts bees. We never have to inconvenience ourselves with the question whether somebody is actually saying something that is true.
It's hard to imagine you could get people to agree on what is "true". Wikipedia doesn't even try; instead, it has a Wikipedia:NPOV policy which says that all significant views are presented in a neutral and factual manner. Jayjg (talk) 18:35, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Modest Opinion

Please, DO NOT try to justify the Israeli Government in every action that is involve. I consider this rather offending and clearly a violation of the main Purpuse of Wikipedia: a NEUTRAL and IMPARCIAL Enciclopedia. Messhermit 16:38, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Be that as it may, please examine the Wikipedia:NPOV policy before attempting any major edits to this or other articles. Jayjg (talk) 16:16, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Excuse me, may I know why did you revert the article that I modify?. I´m completely trying to make the article a compromise betwen those two factions rather than just stating what I believe. Messhermit
The article is not "my version", and I think your changes and deletions lack NPOV. Please bring your suggested changes here to be discussed first, and please focus on article content, not me. Jayjg (talk) 01:54, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you read carefully my changes, most of them do not contradict the previous statements, I´m just only making it more impartial. The other part, It may have sound offensive. I accept it and appologise. But I have read almost the entire TALK page and reach to the conclussion that your point of view is not impartial. Please, take just a few moments to read what I have write in the article and we can discuss each one of them in a polite and civilized way, rather than imposing each others articles in the page. the First Change that I made, I made it with the idea of shape the article, not to destroy it. Messhermit
One does not need to be NPOV on Talk: pages, but one does need to be so on article pages. Please do not confuse the two. I reviewed your edits, and felt they were indeed POV. Please bring your changes here first to discuss them, rather than inserting them in the article first. Jayjg (talk) 05:33, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Let me explain what did I mean with my modifications, wich are not vandalism (as somebody stated) but just an effort to create a more fair an balance article. Also, I stopped already to modify the page and try to reach a compromise in the TALK article.
The only mayor modifications that I believe that are important is the way of how the article has been writed. As you can see, I diveded the 1st paragraph in smaller sections in order to make it easier to read it.
In the 1st paragraph that appears "Judea and Samaria", I believe that the word "Anexation" is not the apropiated one, since fewer countries would not recognise this. That is the why I try to replaced it with the word "Nationalist", due to its biblical roots and Israeli pride.
Unforunately, the International Community does not recognize that name. And that is something that must be clearly stated in the article. I don´t understand why did you deleted that. Also, rater than Imperialism, I stated once again Nationalistic claims, wich I find less offensive for any Israeli.
In Status, Both sides have a exagerated POV, Israeli and Arab about the maps. That is why I deleted, since it does not contribute with the article at all. Also, at the beginning of the article, I stated "failed negotiations, long-term violence, and in some cases, war." becouse the term applied are to vague.
Instead of terrorism (wich, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflic is extremely controvertial) I stated violence, a more neutral term (since the Arab world claim that Israel is conducting "State Terrorism" and the Israeli claims that Palestinians are the Terrorist) wich is not endorsing or excusing any form of Terrorism but is more neutral.
Also, when Israel declare its independence from the British Mandate, It seized more territory that the UN assign for it, clearly in an attemp to defend itself from the arab armies but also one of the main factors of why the Palestinian State failed to materialize. I believa that that is a historic statement, and not something that I just invent.
As you can see, I have try to explain most of my modifications. I believe that a compromise can be reach in order to make a better article. Messhermit
I've carefully gone through all of your edits again, and I can't see any which actually add to the article. People recognize what the word annexation means, the maps are a fact, so is terrorism, and Israel's land has nothing to do with why an Arab state didn't materialize. I'm sorry, I just don't think the edits help the article at all. Jayjg (talk) 19:21, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
But Terrorism is not a fact in that specific case. Both sides can put examples that they percieve as "terrorist acts". Anyways, I think that Violence should be include (since not all the problems that are part of the West Bank are Terrorism) as a way to Neutralize the impact of Terrorism in the article. By Annexation, As I said, The International Community not even recognize Jerusalem or the Golan Heighs as part of Israel, so I think that is better stated as a "Nationalistic Aim": Israelies have that goal. The real problem is how they are going to achieve it. About the maps, I said it once and i said it again, it is not necesarely part of the main topic. About the Arab State, I believe that is right to stated that a part of the West Bank was seized during the Israel War of Independence, and that also contribute (with the Jordan Army invading what was left of the land) to explain why a government wasn´t created.

Its History, and I guet that information from an American World History book.

By the way, a map of the Partition and how the territory evolved could be a interesting piece of information to the page. Messhermit

Judea and Samaria

Saying that "The Arab world and especially the Palestinians [emphasis mine] strongly object to the terms Judea and Samaria, the use of which they deem to reflect Israeli expansionist aims," is a bit of an understatement. Is there any international use of these terms other than by active supporters of Israeli expansionist aims? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:36, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

These are the standard terms used in Hebrew; one need not support alleged Israeli "expansionist aims" to use the terms. Jayjg (talk) 17:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
True enough, I'm sure, when writing in Hebrew. But in English? or any other language? Again, I asked about international use; outside of Israel, there is not a lot of non-liturgical use of Hebrew. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:40, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)
I think religious Jews and Christians often use the terms, whether or not they are supporters of alleged Israeli "expansionist aims". Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Judea and Samaria refer to the different tribes who lived there; Judea is where the tribe of Judah settled, Samaria where the Samaritans were (and still are); they have nothing to do with any expansionist or nationalist aims but are historical/biblical terms. (apparently anonymous, 16 May 2005)

If someone objects to any term which is used for these areas in question it is almost comical that the first Objection is not made about the term "The West Bank" since this implies Jordanian ownership of the territory which no one advocates, including the Jordanians. From my horribly bias and unintelligent viewpoint Judea and Samaria implies a more neutral historical perspective. I could see how one would disagree if coming from a secular persepective due to the terms biblical routes, but due to the fact that Muslim theology as well as Jewish Theology mutually accept this history it seems more neutral than any other term advocated in this message board- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverberg (approx 8 Oct 2005) Dicussion moved to 'Merging "Judea and Samaria" here' below.

The media universally refers to Judea and Samaria only as the "West Bank", despite the fact that Judea and Samaria are the correct English-language historical designations for those geographic portions of the Land of Israel, and despite the fact that these English-language historical designations were recognized and utilized by the international community as late as November 1947 (via the delimitation reference thereto in United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181, commonly known as the Palestine Partition Plan, in Part II thereof, entitled “Boundaries”, at Section A thereof, entitled “The Arab State”). However, when Transjordan (precursor to Jordan), illegally seized Judea and Samaria (and the eastern portion of Jerusalem) during its 1948 invasion of Israel, the media universally began treating Judea and Samaria as if they were inseparable and permanent parts of Jordan, rather than corpora separata temporarily under Arab military occupation. Only after Israel's reclamation of these lands in 1967 (during its repulsion of an attempt by Syria, Jordan and Egypt to invade and annihilate the Jewish State) did the media suddenly recognize (or remember) their geo-political distinctness -- but only as the "West Bank". -- Mark Rosenblit, December 19, 2005

For a Better article

Considering talk about West Bank is a tough task, personally i consider a better article can be done. i receintly have saw the changes on the article over throught the history and i think the version of messhermit is impartial. I must say this territory has not nobody seemed to care about until our days.
Some about history,

Arabs got their territory, and so on let the crusaders at least after the third crusade christian pilgrims were allowed to visit the city (Jerusalem), but talking about nowadays after world war two, this has become a main issue considering jews dont have motherland at all, so i think the concern of this article goes beyond of deleting parts. its about trying to get an impartial point of view. Sometimes there are people who actually dont check up their sources like wikipedia manual to write an article say. However i think everyone should keep this in mind the Wikipedia:Editing_policy a good reason to made good article which depicts an accurate description of events surrounding West Bank. Philosophers on ancient greece believed about perfection it is beyond maths or even wise people, people cant be wise at all in our days, but at least we can try to be polite and respect everyone contribution. HappyApple 15:13, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Most of what you are talking about is covered in other articles, like Palestine. The West Bank is a modern designation for a modern territory. Jayjg (talk) 19:36, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm deleting most of my previous talks in order to state more clear a NPOV and not mix them (or be confused) with personal attacks. In Fact, the improvements that were reverted are considered impartial and that contribute more to the article. I would like to see why they don't.Please. I urge you to reach a compromise in order to make a good article. Messhermit 16:38, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, I actually prefer if people don't mess with their Talk: comments, as it makes responses silly. Regardless, you may consider your edits impartial, but I don't. I'm certainly willing to compromise, though, and I'd like this article to be better. Why don't you bring your proposed changes to this Talk: page, say a paragraph at a time, and we'll go through them and NPOV them. Jayjg (talk) 17:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
However, in the links sections, I believe that the following entries:
  • Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan
  • Israeli West Bank barrier
  • Palestine
Should not be included in that part of the article, since this are part of a completely different topic. At least not in this sections. A reorganization of Links is needed. Why cant we create a especial section dedicated to the "Israeli Government" Links and another towards the different oppinions. Messhermit 16:38, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm fine with removing Palestine if you want, but what's wrong with the other "See also"s? They're specifically about the West Bank, or things in it? As for the Links, there is only one link from the Israeli government; why would you want to separate it from the other links in its own special section? Jayjg (talk) 17:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, Palestine is ok to remove it, since until the PLO can regain sovereign of its territory, is not relevant. However, the Israeli West Bank barrier is not an important contribution to the page. It is a totally diferent article that only add controversy over the status of the territory. The Ocupation of the ... article is clearly a POV, just by the fact that inside that article the name of Judea and Samaria is used for the territory. There is no article regarding the occupatio by Israel (and I believe is not appropiate too) of the West Bank, so I see no point in adding another controversial link to the page. Messhermit 19:27, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Since the article discusses occupation by Israel, it should link to previous occupations of the same territory. As for the barrier, I think it is related, and I think most would agree, but if you insist on removing it I won't object. Jayjg (talk) 03:39, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I think is more neutral. the Occupation by Israel of the West Bank is an ongoing event. About the Jordan one, I think that we should remove it in order to analize it separately from this one. About the Barrier, is better leaving of the main topic of discussion. What about the map? it could be arrange on the History of the territory. It is important to know how the territory evolved. Messhermit 17:05, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I see no reason why Jordan's occupation should be "analyzed separately". What other map are you proposing? Jayjg (talk) 17:35, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Jordan Annexation was widely recognize around the world (even the annexation of the Gaza Strip by Egipt was recognize too) but not the Israeli one. And I don't think that by adding that link we are making a more NPOV article. Jordan Anenexation (or occupation) must be analized separately on the article about Jordan history. About the map, I'm talking about the map of the UN Particion Plan, the one that stated about the status of Jerusalem as a separated international administered territory (sort of like the Free State of Danzing) and the proposed Jewish State and the Proposed Arab State. About that, that remainds me that the explanation about why the so call "Arab Stated" never materialize was becouse of the severe fighting betwen the Israeli military and the Jordan Army on CisJordania. That is something that should be stated in this article. Messhermit 17:48, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The Jordanian annexation was recognized by exactly two countries in the world, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. All other countries considered it illegal. As for the rest, the history of the West Bank is obviously relevant to the West Bank; the first 20 years of it's existence it was occupied and annexed by Jordan, you can't wipe that out of the history of this region. Jayjg (talk) 20:28, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm with Jayjg on at least one point here: the area has been known as the West Bank since 1948, and the scope of the article should correspond to that. Jordanian occupation is highly relevant, especially because of the continuation of the use of Jordanian law in the West Bank after 1967, and the belated (1988) dropping of Jordan's claim on the territory. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:22, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not discussing the name of the Article (It's better to call it "West Bank"), What I'm saying is that if Jordanian Occupation is stated, at least the name "Judea and Samaria" should not be used for that. What is your oppinion about the map that I propose, Jmabel? Messhermit 04:45, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Assuming the map is accurate (it looks to me like it is) my only problem is with the word "seized", which in a mutual combat is rather POV. If that one word is changed to "incorporated", no problem. There may be other possibile words I'm not thinking of... -- Jmabel | Talk 05:59, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
The word "incorporated" is IMO much more biased, I think the word "conquered" should be used, as that only implies the areas were taken in an armed conflict, which is the case. The word "seized" might by someone be interpreted in direction of stealing, while "incorporated" implies recognized legal annexation and is a word generally not used in this context. I feel conquered is the most neutral term, but Im open for other suggestions. --Cybbe 14:48, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
"Conquered" implies illegal armed seizure, so can hardly be seen as unbiased. The mirror image of "conquered" is "liberated", which I think you would hardly agree as neutral. "Incorporated" implies no legality whatsoever, but merely describes the action, and is obviously an unbiased, neutral term. Jayjg (talk) 17:19, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
To a neutral reader, conquered doesnt imply that this was an illegal seizure. From my dictionary (merriam webster): "1 : to gain or acquire by force of arms  : SUBJUGATE *conquer territory* 2 : to overcome by force of arms  : VANQUISH *conquered the enemy* 3 : to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition *conquered the mountain* 4 : to overcome by mental or moral power  : SURMOUNT *conquered her fear* intransitive verb  : to be victorious ñcon£quer£or \-k*r-*r\ noun " This obviously better describes what happened than "incorporated", and is not biased at all. Check your dictionary. --Cybbe 17:35, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
Did the U.S. revolutionary forces "conquer" the United States in 1776? I did check my dictionary, and found that WordNet ® 2.0 dictionary (© 2003 Princeton University) had as a definition for "conquer" take possession of by force, as after an invasion; "the invaders seized the land and property of the inhabitants". To the neutral reader "conquer" has certain implications you appear unwilling to admit. I also looked up "liberate" and found that it means To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control. This obviously matches what happened more closely, since the 6 invading Arab armies were foreign. Of course I looked at the dictionary definition for "incorporate", and found this definition: To unite (one thing) with something else already in existence and To cause to merge or combine together into a united whole, which also seem neutral, but given the foreign invading army aspect I think we should probably go with the more neutral "liberate". Jayjg (talk) 18:16, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You put more into conquer than what it is, a term which simply means "taken by force". Incorporated implies a peaceful nature to the process, which is outright wrong. And your interpretation of "liberate" assumes a POV. --Cybbe 18:36, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

(Moving left). I put no more into "conquer" than the dictionary does; remember, you asked me to consult it? As for "incorporate", you put more into it than is found in the dictionary; it states nothing about the process being "peaceful". And my interpretation of "liberate" assumes no POV, unless you assume the POV that the Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian, etc. armies were not foreign - is that your position? Jayjg (talk) 18:49, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"Liberate" would, according to your dictionary, assume that the area was "set free". It certainly was not. - Mustafaa 04:31, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

By contrast, its definition of conquer - "take possession of by force" - is an exact and neutral description; the specific examples it gives are not relevant. - Mustafaa 04:33, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It was indeed "set free" from invading foreign armies. As for conquer, the example is given for a reason, which is the inherently non-neutral implication of the word. Jayjg (talk) 04:51, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You can't set someone else's land free by taking it for yourself; did the armies of Genghis Khan "liberate" Croatia from its Hungarian overlords? And the examples given prove only that "conquer" is sometimes used nonneutrally, not that it has any necessary implication of it. - Mustafaa
How about "captured"? Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Captured sounds fine to me. - Mustafaa 05:00, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'd have no problem with "captured", but why aren't the lands taken over by Jordan and Egypt similarly characterized? Didn't the 1947 UN partition plan anticipate a separate Arab state in the portion of Mandate Palestine not allocated to Israel? (I promise that I have no hidden agenda in asking this, and perhaps I have misunderstood the partition plan, I'm not expert.) -- Jmabel | Talk 05:26, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
In this article, at least, they are. The plethora of articles on this topic renders more general comments difficult. - Mustafaa 05:29, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Your understanding of the Partition Plan is correct. Jayjg (talk) 15:14, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Then the wordings in the post-'48 map (below) should be equivalent for Israel/Jordan/Egypt. I don't care too much what verb, but labeling Israel as "seizing" or "capturing" land, while the land taken by Jordan and Egypt is merely "Arab land" is clearly inappropriate. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:48, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
Well-spotted. "Seized" is definitely not neutral. - Mustafaa 23:58, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In the Demography section, it sounds as if Israelis on the West Bank live only in settlements. Would anyone object to noting that there are large populations of Israeli Arabs which dwell within the Palestinian Arab population centers? How about that Israeli Jews dwell within Palestinian Arab areas in both Jerusalem and Hebron (And though I doubt the relevance, it may be of interest that many mixed Palestinian Jewish/Arab families exist within the Palestinian Arab society). Another point which I'd like to raise for discussion is that the statement "[Israeli Settlers]...generally do not interact with the local Palestinian population as they form part of Israeli rather than Palestinian society" is not entirely true. Aside from the interaction which can be inferred from my comments above, neighboring Israeli and Palestinian settlements/towns often have economic relationships (almost all Israeli West Bank construction and services are provided by Palestinians), and mutual attendance at weddings etc. was very common, though I admit that such interaction has (temporarily?) dropped off recently due to the issues surrounding the Intifadeh. Tewfik 17:29, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

If you can cite a verifiable source, sure. But make sure you are not referring to Jerusalem Palestinians who live in places like Ramallah/Bethlehem, since they are not Israeli citizens and therefore are not "Israeli Arabs". Do you have evidence of significant numbers of Israeli Arabs choosing to live in the West Bank (for reasons other than their non-Israelis spouses not being allowed to live in Israel?) As for mixed Jewish/Arab families, if you have sources, that would be nice too, as it would be informative (I know of some myself but I can't include it as it would be my own original research). As for setter/local interactions, what you say may have been true before the intifadas, but apart from actual manual labor, there is probably very little interaction left. In fact, the route of the barrier is aimed to ensure that. Ramallite (talk) 17:45, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed map

This is the map that I'm proposing, by the way. It is edited, so it stated a NPOV. Messhermit 05:03, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Map of the UN Particion Plan

What does that map have to do with the West Bank? That's a map about the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Jayjg (talk) 06:34, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It shows how the territory achieve his present state. I believe that is important to show how was the proposed idea of a Plestinian state before the war. The WEst Bank has not change its boundaries since that war.

I don't see what the left panel adds; the right one, however, looks great for a history of the West Bank section. - Mustafaa 04:37, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's appropriate for the Arab-Israeli conflict article; it's not relevant here, since the "West Bank" did not exist until after the war was over and the armistice lines set. Jayjg (talk) 04:53, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The history section should, and does, start a couple of years earlier; there's no reason to cover the Ottomans or the early mandate, but every reason to clarify that, as the article says and this map illustrates, "A part of the pre-1948 Mandatory Palestine, the territories now known as West Bank were mostly part of the territory reserved by the 1947 Partition Plan (UN General Assembly Resolution 181) for an Arab state." In any case, the partition plan is of interest here as the first proposed territorial division in which the outlines of something approximating the "West Bank" can be seen. - Mustafaa 05:09, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I understand the need to provide the historical backround, and a map would definitley help illustrate this, but I could see how and evil zionist Jew would be angry at the word "seized" which appears in the right half of the proposed Map, I believe a more neutral word is both neccessary and possible to use, perhaps "Held" or even "Occupied" instead. Also a Map, illustrating the Jordanian occupation of the west bank is just as relevent if not more so to the actual article.-Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg


Messhermit has taken me to task for inconsistency for failing to pursue the issue of the use of the word "terrorism" in this article (per Wikipedia:Words to avoid), while objecting to its use at Alberto Fujimori. Quite frankly, I hadn't even noticed the use of the word in this article. Just to make matters clear: I do not think the use of the word "terrorism" in this article, without attribution of who has used the term, is useful. In particular, besides the first vague reference ("The West Bank has been the object of negotiation, terrorism, and war") the other two references refer to Palestinian "terrorism". No acknowledgment is made that some Israeli tactics (for example, bulldozing homes, beating people) might also be characterized that way. Further, it could easily be construed that all Palestinian resistance to Israel constitutes terrorism. The word "intifada" is not even present on this page. Also, there is not a single mention of violence or threat of violence by settlers. Given that, the introduction of the term "terrorism" seems quite out of place. How can one argue that discussion of "Palestinian terrorism" belongs on this page, but discussion of day-to-day violence does not?

Up until now, I literally have not written one word of this article. On the whole, I'd rather keep it that way; if someone else can address this, it would be appreciated. If not, I'm liable to attempt some edits along these lines myself. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:39, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)

Oddly enough, I can't find "terrorism" among the "words to avoid" in the Wikipedia:Words to avoid article; in fact, it actually uses the phrase "terrorist group" as a descriptor itself. Am I missing something? Jayjg (talk) 20:24, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Looks like User:Vacuum (who I don't know) removed it with a totally misleading edit comment. No idea if this was deliberate or accidental -- I'll presume the latter, I don't know this user. Clearly there was no consensus to remove it. I will restore. (I'll also have good look to see if other material was caught in the crossfire.) -- Jmabel | Talk 22:29, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)
OK, it probably wasn't a bad faith edit. The article had been duplicated in a bizarre way, basically inserted in the middle of itself. It looks to me like Vacuum simply didn't figure that out properly. Jayjg (talk) 22:48, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"During the 1950s, there was significant Palestinian refugee infiltration and terrorism through the Green Line" could perhaps be rephrased to "resistance and terrorism" or "aggression and terrorism" but i do not know the nature of the palestinian activity across the border well enough to tell whether using "resistance" would be an euphemism or not, so others with more knowledge of the activites in the 1950s would have to do that edit. I find it hard to believe that all activity across the border would be called terrorisme from a NPOV, but cant say I really know. I dont find the use in "maintenance of a military presence in the West Bank to reduce Palestinian terrorism ..." problematic, as that sentence is attributed to an Israeli POV. As for whether some reference should be made to accusations of terrorism commited by Israel and Israeli settlers, I dont really see how it should be written into this article. I do agree that some of the activities of armed, extremist settlers could amount to terrorism, but this is not necessarily the right article for such a discussion. I have no problem using the word terrorism when its applied correctly, but if it's used wrongfully to promote an agenda, another word should be chosen. --Cybbe 18:31, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)
Well, for example, "maintenance of a military presence in the West Bank to reduce Palestinian terrorism" could be rephrased as "maintenance of a military presence in the West Bank to reduce violent acts that the Israeli government and [whoever else we can cite accurately] characterize as Palestinian terrorism". -- Jmabel | Talk 18:39, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)

Actually, infiltration is the right words. Between 1952 and 1956, some 100,000 Palestinians moved into the West Bank from Jordan. Some of them were refugees from the previous war, some were people who moved there specifically to attack Israeli cities. (anon, 20 March 2005)

Or, it could be rephrased "maintenance of a military presence in the West Bank to reduce Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians", which is less awkward and clearer. Similarly, "there was significant Palestinian refugee infiltration and attacks on Israeli civilians through the Green Line" Jayjg (talk) 18:46, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The introduction of "Status" still has the word Terrorism, wich I believe that is not politically apropiate (at least not everything that is happening in the West Bank cannot be classified as Terrorism). Can it be stated in another way? what about Alarming increase of violence? Messhermit 11:38, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not everything that is happening in the West Bank can be classified as terrorism, but certainly some of it can. Jayjg (talk) 17:11, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Some mention of terrorism should be given, whether a "milder" term should be used "up front" is nothing I have too strong opinions on, however, the article should do it best at reflecting the situation; while terrorisme is certainly part of it, not all forms of violence are terrorism, children throwing rock at police/military etc. The label terrorism should be used on terror, not on all forms of violance as it has then moved from a precise definition into a political view. --Cybbe 21:00, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
That sounds like a strawman argument to me; I don't know of anyone who is labelling "children throwing rock at police/military" as terrorism. However, I think shooting a pregnant woman and her four young daughters at close range would count. Jayjg (talk) 21:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And shooting palestinian youngs playing soccer should count too. If Palestinians are exercising Terrorism, then Hard-Line Jewish Settlers should also be accused of terrorism against the Palestinians. If the word Terrorism is inevitable in the article, then it must be stated that in some occasions, both sides use it. Messhermit 21:47, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The article doesn't say which side is using it, so it's hard to see what your objection is. Jayjg (talk) 22:48, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The point was, using the term without explicitly stating what is terrorism and what is not, one gives the impression that all resistance and violence is terror, which it isn't. And as Messhermit made clear, there are acts commited on the Israeli side too that could be labeled terrorism. --Cybbe 18:56, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
"war" should cover that, don't you think? Jayjg (talk) 22:47, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ironic to say that the israeli side qualify most of Palestinian actions as "terrorism" then, and not of "War". Both sides have extremist (like the assassination of Rabin by a Jewish Zealot), and both sides are in some way responsable for what is happening. So the word Terrorism, if its used, must be stated that is used by both sides. Messhermit 03:45, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Messhermit here, but would prefer that we write in a manner where the narrative voice of the article does not accuse anyone of terrorism. It's inherently POV who is and is not a terrorist, so it should always be with a cited source as to who calls whom a "terrorist". -- Jmabel | Talk 06:48, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
What language would you prefer? Jayjg (talk) 16:28, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Jay, I don't have a lot of time right now, definitely not the time to really work out a concrete suggestion on this in the next few days. The word arises three times in the article. At least one raises a related issue that is suggestive:
  1. complete withdrawal from the West Bank in hopes of ending Arab attacks on Israel (sometimes called the "land for peace" position);
  2. maintenance of a military presence in the West Bank to reduce Palestinian terrorism by deterrence or by armed intervention, while relinquishing some degree of political control;…
What have we got here? The doves have "hopes of ending Arab attacks". The hawks [implicitly will] "reduce Palestinian terrorism". No "hopes" in the latter, you will notice, and no "reduce terrorism" in the former. The two are presumably trying to achieve the same goal. If there's no need to mention terror in one, then there is no need in the other. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:04, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)
Mmm... A simple sugestion: why don't we leave this article to talk about the West Bank properly? I mean, concentrating it only on the geography and non-political standars? the creation of a West Bank article under Israeli occupation can dela with the political problem, I believe. Messhermit 00:54, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
That would be fine with me, but wherever it is, my issue about asymmetry in how we handle the doves and hawks still stands. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:58, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
Is there precedent for separating articles this way? Jayjg (talk) 15:35, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
I think there is one: the page talking about the ocupation of the West Bank by Jordan. At least that article deal with the political and international implications that the jordanian annexation caused to this territory. Why not creating one that involves the currently israeli one?. Well, at least in my opinion, by dividing this article in the "West Bank" (geographicaly talking) and its political status (in both cases, Jordanian and Israeli), the page can be clear of any POV or wrongfull statement. Messhermit 17:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Recent Reverts

Some of my edits were reverted. I believe they shouldn't be, because:

  • The international consensus is to call settlements just that: settlements. Even the Israeli government calls them that. "Towns" is a POV that they are not disputed - they are.
    • In what way are they not towns? Jayjg (talk) 3 July 2005 09:22 (UTC)
      • Isn't it enough that by far the most common term is Israeli (not Jewish, should be changed) settlements? --John Z 3 July 2005 12:51 (UTC)
"Settlements" is the world's (and Wikipedia's) name for them, as Jayjg pointed out elsewhere. Besides, in what way are suicide bombers not human beings? But that's not the controversial part.Ramallite (talk) 3 July 2005 14:14 (UTC)
  • Actually, many Israelis believe in the two-state solution because of genuine desire for peace and /or the so called "demographic problem" (which is actually pretty racist but...). Wanting to pull out of the occupied territories just to stop attacks is not quite accurate in most situations, and is actually anti-Palestinian POV (they are all terrorists banter). Go to web sites such as or to see what I mean. Ramallite (talk) 3 July 2005 08:48 (UTC)
    • What prompted these movements? Jayjg (talk) 3 July 2005 09:22 (UTC)
      • I don't understand the question. How are the origins of Peace Now and Gush Shalom relevant? Ramallite's version is simply more accurate. (typo - be should be by) The other version suggests something false, that all Israeli supporters of 2 states consider the present conflict as solely characterized by Arab attacks on Israel, (excluding, say, their desire to end Israeli attacks on Arabs.) --John Z 3 July 2005 12:51 (UTC)
This one I'm sure on - the ones who want a two state solution are mostly pro-peace with for the desire not to be occupiers or to guarantee a Jewish majority. The ones who complain of "Arab Attacks" (almost forgot who occupies who for a moment) are the ones who advocate forceful retaliation, not running away! Ramallite (talk) 3 July 2005 14:14 (UTC)
Ramallite, I understand why you desire to express your point of view but your usage of qualitive statements about the racism desire to maintain the demographic balance is both superfluous and quite harmful to your argument. It clearly indicates your bias and presents the situation for ad hominid arguments from other equally biased people. So please, do not create controversy if it is useless to your argument, less this entire discussion reverts to counter-productive mud slinging- Khalid Constantine Al-Silverburg

Judea and Samaria

The article states that the names Judea and Samaria are bibical. They are bibical in the same sense that Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethehem, and others are bibical. The names were in common usage until Jordan invaded the area and re-named them as "West Bank of Jordan", now shortened to just "West Bank". The reason for the retention of "West Bank" usage is among those designed to delitgitimize any Jewish reference to them. Also, the use of the term "Cisjordan" is a transparent ploy to avoid using the terms "Israel" or "Palestine".

As to Palestinian rejecttion of Judea and Samaria as "expansionist aims", at the time of the partition, the new government of Israel accepted the truncated partition, the Muslims did not and launched aggressive war on the new state of Israel. Israel did NOT occupy the so-called West Bank until the Jordanian army invaded (or attempted to invade) Israel and were defeated. The presence of Israeli troops is due solely to the aggression by Jordan. Had this not happened, there would now be no Israeli presence in the "West Bank".

Jews have every right to be where they are and have for the most part accepted the partition. They were there before Islam and before Christianity. They have NEVER given up their claim to the land. Unfortunately, Jews are a small populaltion controlling none of the World's oil and very little of the land area. They also have little voice in the United Nations which supports the "professional refugees" of Palestinians and provides financial support for hate-dominated Palestinian schools where students are taught that the entire area between the River Jordan and the sea is theirs and that Jews have no rights at all. All Jews are to be killed and the country of Israel destroyed.

It is untrue as stated in the article that Israeli maps often show all Israeli-controlled territopry as "Israel"! I have never seen such a map anywhere. I remember being in Jerusalem after 1967 and seeing the signs, "come to Jordan and see Jerusalem". Those signs are long gone now.

Emil Schafer

The reason for the retention of "West Bank" usage is among those designed to delitgitimize any Jewish reference to them.
Source? Ramallite (talk) 11:42, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
The presence of Israeli troops is due solely to the aggression by Jordan. Had this not happened, there would now be no Israeli presence in the "West Bank".
In other words, I have to be caged in by a racial segregation barrier because of what a former occupying power did to the current occupying power? Ramallite (talk) 11:42, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
students are taught that the entire area between the River Jordan and the sea is theirs and that Jews have no rights at all. All Jews are to be killed and the country of Israel destroyed.
Absolute nonsense - I know these books, but I assume you don't even know Arabic - but if it makes you feel better claiming this just for purposes of dehumanization to justify continued subjugation, you're free to do so. Furthermore, there is no point to being "taught" to kill Israelis in schools when the Israelis are doing most of the killing outside the schools. Ramallite (talk) 11:42, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Mmmm... the opinion of Emil Schafer is (at least for me) really controvertial. Unless he can prove with facts some of the things that he has stated, I don't believe those are accurate arguments. . Messhermit 14:33, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

While the opinions expressed by Emil Schafer are clearly controversial, they are not neccassarily inaccurate, they do undoubtedly indicate a non neutral POV so obviously they have no place in the article, I do however found it equally unnessasary for user Ramallite to use personal attacks on Schafer in place of a proper rebuttal. I know we are all amateur Historians but let us at least act rational intelligent adults and at least pretend not to have any prejudices.- 01:00, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I do not intend to personally attack anybody, and I've been learning to be more and more patient since my first month on WP. However, I also take offense to this technique of "dehumanization" by describing patently false accusations that make certain people sound inhumane, and I will respond negatively to it regardless of whom it is directed against. I recently did so here. There have been many terrors throughout history that have come about through the process of dehumanization, which is desensitization of the general population to crimes or atrocities done by leaders against other people through the dissemination of lies. The Hutus referred to the Tutsis as "cockroaches" in order to desensitize people to the fact that they are actual human beings, for example. And there are much more abhorrent examples that most people have learned about in history books. I cannot help but take a stance against such opinions on talk pages, I presume most people would too. In the case of the Palestinian schoolbooks, it is a very noteworthy subject for me having grown up with them and having never seen whatever people claim they contain, and I can only view such claims as malicious at best, but I won't elaborate more. Ramallite (talk) 01:50, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Also in reference to the sopposed maps that show all territories in question as part of Israel proper, I am going to have to agree with Schafer and say that these maps do not exist other than perhaps a few fringe groups that print maps of Eretz Israel in the Internet. I have however seen official maps with both the Golan Heights and Jerusalem inside Israel proper, this is probably to be expected though due to the Knesset formally annexing those areas, which both have a solid Jewish Majority.- 01:07, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Not true at all. Firstly, only recently I have started seeing Israeli maps that even show the green line; Hardly any Israeli map indicates the status of the West Bank. Secondly, the Knesset did not formally annex the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, they only extended Israeli law to these territories. Thirdly, there is no Jewish majority in these territories -- in both territories, only 45% of the population is Jewish.--Doron 15:47, 8 October 2005 (UTC)


The article is about the West Bank, and included in that is different names for it. It's not about names for other territories. Jayjg (talk) 05:35, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Exactly, those who live here (the majority Palestinians) call it "falastin", while our cousins (as they are generally referred to in slang) call it "yehuda ve shomron". Why aren't both acknowledged? Also, you claimed redundancy as one reason for removing "occupied territories", did you see the paragraph further down entitled "Political Terminology"? Ramallite (talk) 05:42, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Do the Palestinians refer to the West Bank alone as "falastin"? Or does that term encompass a rather larger area? As for the section below, it's obviously a POV relic of an earlier editor, which needs to be made more accurate as well. Jayjg (talk) 07:01, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, depends on context - the official apparatus (newspapers, etc) refers to the West Bank as the "al-aradi al-falastiniyah", or the "Palestinian Lands" to differentiate between the West Bank (and Gaza) and Israel proper. It is referred to as "Falastin" when discussing political or cultural events, such as "the first of it's kind in Palestine" or "being screened in Palestine for the first time", which is irrelevant to Israel proper because such slogans would not apply there (i.e. it would have happened in Israel before). "West Bank" is less commonly used unless there is a specific reason to single it out from Gaza. That bottom paragraph is mostly about Israeli and Jewish references, with one sentence at the end that discusses Palestinian objections. As such, the way this article stands now is highly unneutral, and in fact is not even a compromise edit because it almost completely ignores the majority population of the territory and is written from an anti-Palestinian presence point of view. It will need to be fixed. Ramallite (talk) 14:46, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
It certainly seems to me that we could use most of what Ramallite just wrote, here and/or at Definitions of Palestine and Palestinian. The fact that Palestinian media rarely single out the West Bank from Gaza is, itself, interesting. Ramallite, when Palestinian media need to refer to the West Bank in particular, what do they call it? -- Jmabel | Talk 18:27, July 17, 2005 (UTC)
As I understand it, then, there is a specific term for West Bank, though it's more rarely used? If you want to start that paragraph with the terms that Palestinians specifically use for the West Bank, then terms Israelis use, I think that would be great. Jayjg (talk) 03:08, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that the West Bank is "rarely" singled out, but it is "usually" not mentioned in favor of "al-aradi al-falastiniyah" as that is the normal term used for the occupied territories. In fact, "Gaza Strip" is more commonly singled out in the press just because it's smaller and a lot of events happen there (especially these days). But as far as the West Bank is concerned, most references to specific locations are usually "the Nablus district" or "the Hebron area", etc. The term "West Bank" is used more when citing a foreign source, for example, "Ariel Sharon promised to dismantle four settlements in the northern West Bank". It's all depending on context, and usually the context from our point of view is "Palestinian territories" rather than "the West Bank". When the West Bank needs to be specified, it is called in Arabic "Al-Difa Al-Gharbiyah", literally, "the West Bank", or sometime "Al-difa" (the Bank) alone for short. This is similar to Israeli press, where, for example, they refer to the "governor of the Judea and Samaria region" or to "demonstrations erupted today in Judea and Samaria", but when citing a different context, will say, for example, "Elections are scheduled next week for the Palestinian local councils in villages in the southern West Bank".
But this is all immaterial and starts to get very confusing. I don't think we should be citing all of this in the article. The problem with the article is that it is clearly written from a one-sided POV. Specifically, it is POV for what it omits, rather than what it includes, and it fails to acknowledge the Palestinians as having any critical role or presence in the territory, save for some obscure sentences. This is a typical pattern where writers sympathetic to the stronger power in a conflict will conveniently omit certain details, whereas those sympathetic to the oppressed will insist on adding certain details. Ramallite (talk) 20:05, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Very true, and this pattern extends to most Wikipedia articles on the topic (see also WP:CSB.) As a West Banker, I rather think you are in an unmatched position to fix it here, and you have already proved your writing skills; I look forward to seeing the result! As to Jayjg: "liberated territories" is non-notable to the point of approaching a neologism, while the mention of the normal Western terminology for the two areas belongs naturally after the discussion of how they got that way. - Mustafaa 22:41, 17 July 2005 (UTC)


There are hundreds of Internet sources that say the same thing we do -- that the UK and Pakistan were the only countries to recognize the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank (and that the UK excluded Jerusalem). I've not been able to find any discussion of why Pakistan did so (Britain was bound by treaty to do so.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:21, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure User John Z has stated that it's not clear that Pakistan did so. I'll notify him. Jayjg (talk) 03:25, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Hokay. Chaim Herzog asserted this to have been the case on the floor of the UN in 1975 [7] for what it's worth. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:14, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree that there are many, many sources that say this. But no one seems to know why - nobody has a Pakistani statement or a reference to one. I saw on the net several years ago an article written by a Pakistani diplomat stating that he could not find any source for this, and disputing the truth of it. (Another interesting trivia sidelight - perhaps it even has some obscure relation :-) - the Foreign Minister of Pakistan at (around) that time was a formerly Jewish survivor of Hitler's camps that had converted to Islam (This I do recall a source for - Tariq Ali's Clash of Fundamentalisms) I remember reading something just a couple of weeks ago (might have been somewhere in The Arab-Israeli Conflict J.N. Moore a compendium of international law articles on the conflict) that gave pretty old but conflicting sources, perhaps the actual source(s) of the story - not primary ones though - one indicating that Iraq , one indicating that Pakistan had recognized the annexation - but seeming to express a bit of doubt on either. Iraq makes more sense to me, as both Jordan and Iraq were ruled by Hashemite relatives at the time. There are Knesset debates at on the Jordanian action. Although it is subtitled "Only Great Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation of the West Bank." in , there is no mention of Pakistan or any other country but the UK recognizing the annexation in the debate.
Just did a bit of googling, couldn't find the old article but found this: Beyond the Veil: Israel-Pakistan Relations by P. R. Kumaraswamy from the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. From the first paragraph of the intro, page 8: "Pakistan is often accused of being the only country apart from the United Kingdom to have recognized Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank in 1950. Even though there is no historical evidence to support this assertion,..."3 referring to "3. A serious and pioneering refutation of this allegation can be found in Sanford R. Silverburg, “Pakistan and the West Bank: A research note”, Middle Eastern Studies, vol.19, no.2, April 1983, pp.261-263. The allegation, however, persists." So the article should probably state something like "although very many sources state that Pakistan ..., this is apparently false", referring to these sources. --John Z 14:25, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Good stuff! It explains why I couldn't find anything actually documenting Pakistan's alleged recognition. I wonder now (surprise!) why this particular piece of common knowledge is out there. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:13, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. Why would anyone make something like this up? I would like to know how a nefarious scheme could be based on this useless piece of misinformation. There's an amazing amount of such errors, lies and propaganda creeping into even honest histories of the conflict, but this one is a head-scratcher.--John Z 21:18, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Can't find a single item on Arabic Google about Pakistan recognizing Jordan's annexation. Ramallite (talk) 22:25, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

WEST BANK Perspective

Everyone is saying alot about the West Bank. I want to make a very simple point about what is commonly referred to as "Palestinian Land". The Gaza Strip was under egyptian control until it was lost to Israel in the 67 war. The west bank was under jordanian control until lost to Israel as well. This isn't an issue of eye of the beholder truth, those are facts. The most recent controllers of these two land areas before Israel were egypt and Jordan. So, it seems the calls for a Palestinian State on "Palestinian Land" conveniently started when Israel came into possession of these lands. Does anyone disagree with this? WOuld someone like to cite for me the calls for a Palestinian State when these lands were controlled by their respective Arab states? Were these Arab states advocating for Statehood for Palestinians when they controlled the land? We all know the answer is "no". None of this should really impact where the world goes from here on in. The present situation and the best remedy should be the only consideration. I would only ask that there be accuracy in reporting who controls (or controlled) what land. Palestinians never controlled anything, they only lived on the land, and if living on land constitutes ownership then I would like to stake my claim of "ownership" on the Island of Manhattan. Everyone lieks to quote international law and UN resolutions and say Israel violated them, but when the argument is made that Palestinians never legally owned ANY land that is called "zionist" and "racist".

If you look into a lot of the historical documentation, until the initial Intifadeh of the 80's Palestinians enjoyed some of the greatest freedoms under Israeli rule than they ever did in any Arab state. Lets look at some other facts...While any Palestinians death is horrible, Israel has killed far less Palestinians than in other Arab states the Palestinians have lived in. For instance, in Jordan in 1970 when 5000 - 10000 Palestinians were slaughtered. See the daily telegraph for citation Then there was the mistreatment of Palestinians during the 3 month marshall law period in Kuwait following the Iraqi withdrawal. But despite this, the world only seems to care when a Palestinian dies at the hand of a Jew. I find that curious.

My only desire is to point out the hypocrisy of many of the posts regarding this issue. No one gave a damn about Palestinians till it involved Israel. And attempting to misinform about the land issue to support your cause is disingenuous and dishonest and i urge wikipedia to maintain their long-standing credibility and continue to present information based on citable and documented sourcing.

I suggest you all read Michael Oren's book "6 days of War"... and before you start whining about biases please flip to the back of the book and view the Works cited section. This individual is fluent in multiple languages and was able to review old soviet documents and has interviews with former egyptian officials as well. It is thorough and comprehensive. Best of luck to the Israeli's and Palestinians and may the withdrawal from Gaza spark a lasting peace.

okay. Ramallite (talk) 18:25, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

No, Jordan wasn't calling for a Palestinian state on the land it controlled, it was nearly in a civil war trying to prevent one: the Palestinian aspiration for such a state was already strong. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:21, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

Merging "Judea and Samaria" here

Judea has its own article; so does Samaria. I don't see the requirement for a separate article on "Judea and Samaria" - the use of the joint term to describe the West Bank could as well be put under the West Bank article.Dooley 00:49, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Which is why I've proposed that the two articles be merged here. Does anyone object to merging?--Pharos 01:03, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The unusual number of Kahanists on this enyclopedia will definitely object. I don't recommend going through with it.Heraclius 01:05, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. If you look at Judea and Samaria, it says "this page is mostly for disambiguation", which is silly to have, because it's just about an alternate name. There is nothing that could be in that article that shouldn't be in this one.--Pharos 01:31, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what he means either, and he's said it more than once. Heraclius, what is an "unusual number of Kahanists", and how many are the on this encyclopedia? Jayjg (talk) 03:32, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Jayjg, I'm referring to the editors who advocate the expulsion of all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. It is those same people who would oppose any merge of Judea and Samaria with this article, as they have their own ideas about what Judea and Samaria is. I'm saying there's an unusual number because they are a minority among Jews in the real world; yet here they are over-represented and their egregious POV is actually accomodated at times! I think you do know what I mean, but I won't comment any more on this.Heraclius 04:02, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I actually won't care that much. Guy Montag 02:46, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it should be merged into this one. It's an article in its own right, and it explains why some people use those terms rather than West Bank. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:37, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
Why people use different terms should be (and is to a significant extent) discussed at this article. We shouldn't have a different article for every alternate name of something, even when different names can reflect different points of view.--Pharos 23:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
If these terms were hardly ever used, I'd agree, but they're used by millions of people all over the world (though particularly in Israel), either in English or Hebrew, so it's a significant-minority usage, and politically important. The issue of which part of that area will end up with what name is undecided, and while it's important to stress that the majority view is that it's currently called the West Bank, the significant-minority view shouldn't be absorbed into the other title, in my view. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:40, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
Naming issues aren't unique to this situation, but apply to practically every part of the world. For example, most Koreans call the body of water whose article we have at Sea of Japan the "East Sea". It's not that the usage of "Judea and Samaria" is minor, but that we should have only one article about the region, to include details about all views. I don't think we should separate out the information under a different title; you should be able to learn everything under one roof, so to speak.--Pharos 23:53, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
It is a matter of official Israeli policy that "Judea and Samaria" and "the West Bank" denote the same piece of land. This was in the side-letters of the Camp David accords, afaik no changes since. John Z 00:22, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Look, Slim, is there anything that you think should be in a Judea and Samaria article that doesn't belong in the West Bank article? If not, I can't see how separate articles can be justified.--Pharos 23:42, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
More or less what's there at the moment. I think it's analagous to Israeli West Bank barrier and Apartheid Wall. There are particular reasons for the use of the minority term, and the article explains them. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:25, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
Well, Tomer requested that Israeli West Bank barrier and Apartheid Wall be merged, and you agreed, as I agree, and will post to that effect there shortly. As far as I can see, you're not naming a single fact from Judea and Samaria that doesn't belong in this article. There is just no reasonable purpose given for two articles.--Pharos 00:50, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I was persuaded there was a good reason for having both Israeli West Bank barrier and Apartheid Wall and I can see the same holds true here. viz. that there are distinct motivations for the use of both terms, and both are used by millions of people. I'm not sure I understand the argument in favor of merging. My reasoning with Apartheid Wall was that it's a perjorative term and therefore shouldn't be given its own page, but that's not the case with Judea and Samaria. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:06, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
Merge, per me and Pharos. [can I say that? :-p] Tomer TALK 01:24, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
Merge, I think. Slim, what's lost with merge and redirect, as long as both names are discussed? This is, for example, exactly what we do with cities that have been known by different names, such as Bombay/Mumbai or Danzig/Gdansk. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:00, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see this earlier. If I'm the only one to oppose a merge, then I won't try to stand in its way any longer. SlimVirgin (talk) 11:42, September 11, 2005 (UTC)

Removing merge tag since no discussion on topic for 3 months and no consensus obtained. Doright 03:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Merging "Palestinian territories" here

I'm against. "Palestinian territories" refers to a political issue and West Bank refers to a geographical region that is part of the "Palestinian territories" according to one interpretation. I think the West Bank warrants an article of its own.--Doron 10:38, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm against it also. Brian Tvedt 11:57, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I also think it is a strange idea. From and Israeli standpoint, from and Arabic standpoint, and from a neutral standpoint it doesn't make sense. I could see why they would want to merge the article with Judea and Samaria but with Palestinian territories is silly.- 01:28, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
This article and the one about the Gaza Strip should be merged with the Palestinian Territories one.

Disagree/against. Nothing has changed in the geo-political status quo that would necissitate a change on wikipedia. Israel still controls the area of the 'West Bank'/Judea and Samaria, and it has not (yet) retreated or even officially expressed, through a knesset vote, a desire to retreat from this area. I don't think the discussion is relevant until at least, some sort of consistant declaration is made. --Shuki 22:04, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


To User:, I want to clarify why I reverted your edits:

  • Please read the Original research policy page. I do not dispute that "Palestine" was used in the Roman era. What I dispute is that if I were to ask a typical Israeli why they object to "Palestine", that I would get the response that you wrote. Retorting that the Palestinian claim is "more dubious" is not valid, because Palestinian objections to "Judea and Samaria" are nationalistic, whereas I doubt the Israeli explanation involves a history lesson, it is probably just as nationalistic. I say "probably" because I have found no source over the internet that states that Israelis object to the term "Palestine" because it was a Roman era name. Could you please provide a source that says so? Until then, I have removed both the Palestinian reason and the Israeli reason.
  • I didn't write the part about the highways, but noticed it after you edited it. You are claiming something different from what I'm saying: I say that some highways are closed to Palestinians, you are saying all are open with the proper permit. You used original research for your route 5, and I could also use original research to tell you that if I drive south-west from Ramallah, I come to a settler bypass road on which I cannot drive on and have to turn back. So we'll have to find sources for our claims other than our original research, which is not allowed, and I have now attached sources to my edits.

Ramallite (talk) 17:22, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

(Concurring with this first point...) We keep having this recurring claim that the Romans were the first to use the name Palestine, but isn't related to "Philistine", a name far predating the Roman Empire? In any case, one would do well to remember that 100 years ago, Jews including Zionists quite happily used the term "Palestine" for the region. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:51, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
no claim was made that the Romans were the first to use the term. However, the Philistine ("Plishtim" - stemming from the Hebrew word for invaders, since the Philistine were greek people who invaded this mostly semite region) lived in present day Gaza strip, while the Israelites lived in the mountanious areas.

it was the British, not the Jews, who reffered to it as Palestine, during the ages, the Jews have always called it either "Eretz Hakodesh" (holy land), Tzion (Zion) or Eretz Israel (the land of Israel). furthermore, even during the British mandate, the Jewish agency insisted that the British attached the phrase hebrew writing "Eretz Israel" to the English name "Palestine" on formal documents, including British mandate currency and postage stamps.

I don't know who wrote the preceding unsigned comment, you might want to look at this article from the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906) for an unquestionably Jewish perspective from a time when the issue was not yet so fraught. You will notice that, while their version of the history up to that time intersects yours, it disagrees in quite a few particulars. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:34, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Original research on why Jews object to the name "Palestine"


On the other hand, many Israelis strongly object to the term "Palestine", as historicaly, this is the term that Emperor Hadrian coined for the Judea province after the failed Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire in 135 AD in order to eradicate all trace of Jewish existance and self governance in the region [8] [9] [10].

The sources only show that Romans once ruled the area and persecuted Jews. They give no support at all for the contention that Jews object to the name "Palestine" for that reason. Brian Tvedt 11:17, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Nineteen hundred years from the present, I wonder if the Greeks will object to the renaming of their land to "New-Turkey" or vice versa. 05:55, 9 December 2005 (UTC)MO.


1. out of the arab Universities in the west bank, the 2 most prominent ate Bethlehem, which is a memeber of the catholic church organization (and partially financed by the Vatican), and Bir Zeit, in which the Hamas wins the student elections regularly. I am not sure what the situation is in other Universities, but I don't think that it is right to say that the Universities are secular. 2. when people are acting violently, such as throwing rocks, it is no longer a domenstarion, but rather a riot. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 16 Oct 2005.

Education levels since 1967

An editor added a section under "Higher education" stating that the number of Palestinians in the West Bank who had attained an education above 13 years stood at 1% in 1970 and 14% in 1986. I am going to remove this quote and replace it with another more general statement for the following reasons:

  • 1- The source is in Hebrew, and there is no English language verification of this claim
  • 2- According to the Hebrew source, these figures include both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and since the Strip was a lot poorer than the West Bank, the statistics may be inaccurate.
  • 3- Most importantly, the quoted source (to the best of my knowledge) does not clarify how the statistics were done or who their poll-taker was. The reason this is important is because the source refers to Palestinians in the West Bank and not Palestinians from the West Bank. During Jordanian rule, all seekers of higher education had to go abroad for their degrees, and a significant percentage of them (if not the majority) stayed outside for work to be able to send money home. When Israel captured the area in 1967, almost everybody who was from the West Bank but was abroad (for study or work) lost their residency rights and were unable to return, which meant that a significant portion of educated West Bank Palestinians would not be considered by Israel as "West Bankers" in 1970. If the 1% figure is true, it is a forced reset of the counter to zero as many students and educated people were abroad and stayed abroad after 1967.

Ramallite (talk) 15:14, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I think reasons 2 and 3 fully justify your claim, but reason 1 is irrelevant. Foreign-language sources are generally acceptable, though of course when an equivalent English-language source is available it should be used. - Jmabel | Talk 06:06, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


Cybbe, with a little more effort you would have found 74,800 Google hits, so you cannot claim the term is not in use. I assure you that it is sometimes used in Israel by extreme right-wingers.--Doron 23:23, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Sure, but "sometimes used" isn't particularly useful. A more relevant search is this one, for "liberated judea" or "liberated samaria"; that gets 224 hits. Most of the usages in your search seem to be of the form, "When Israel liberated..."; actually referring to it as "liberated XXX" seems vanishingly rare, especially in comparison to the rest of the adjectives used in that sentence ("occupied" and "disputed"). --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:40, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, come to think of it, calling them "liberated territories" is somewhat archaic, I believe it was more prevalent among right-wing circles a couple of decades ago, closer to the time when they were "liberated", now they mostly call them Judea and Samaria. The Hebrew article on Judea, Samaria and Gaza includes this term. If you feel strongly about removing it, I won't object.--Doron 23:57, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

I took out the pesky word. Didn't mean to step on your toes, but I did check Israeli right wing media sources:, , . They use the term "Disputed territories", or simply "Yesha". Rearden Metal 00:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly one way or another; I'm just gathering and presenting information. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Re: Israeli right wing media sources - while the former and certainly the latter would qualify, the Jerusalem Post <> would not qualify according to either their own or the right-wing's definition. Tewfik 02:59, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Merging articles

The West Bank and Gaza Strip articles should be merged and the WB and GS should be treated as one territorial unit as agreed in Oslo II. In addition, the are both linked because the are Palestinian territories and should be treated as a country (not a soverign state) because they are the current home for the Palestinians.

The territory is treated together (quite inadequately, I will admit) at Palestinian Territories. There is also space for individual coverage of the two areas of which it is composed. Palmiro | Talk 15:57, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Palmiro. This is like saying we shouldn't have an article on Texas because we have one on the United States. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)