Wikipedia Editing Courses Launched By Pro-Israeli Cause Groups

Rachel Shabi writes in the Guardian:
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Since the earliest days of the worldwide web, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has seen its rhetorical counterpart fought out on the talkboards and chatrooms of the internet.

Now two Israeli groups seeking to gain the upper hand in the online debate have launched a course in “Zionist editing” for Wikipedia, the online reference site.

Yesha Council, representing the Jewish settler movement, and the rightwing Israel Sheli (My I srael) movement, ran their first workshop this week in Jerusalem, teaching participants how to rewrite and revise some of the most hotly disputed pages of the online reference site.

“We don’t want to change Wikipedia or turn it into a propaganda arm,” says Naftali Bennett, director of the Yesha Council. “We just want to show the other side. People think that Israelis are mean, evil people who only want to hurt Arabs all day.”

Wikipedia is one of the world’s most popular websites, and its 16m entries are open for anyone to edit, rewrite or even erase. The problem, according to Ayelet Shaked of Israel Sheli, is that online, pro-Israeli activists are vastly outnumbered by pro-Palestinian voices. “We don’t want to give this arena to the other side,” she said. “But we are so few and they are so many. People in the US and Europe never hear about Israel’s side, with all the correct arguments and explanations.”

Read More: Guardian

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    More accurately, what they mean by 'their side', is to very blatantly turn wikipedia into yet another propaganda arm bleating opinion and glossing over unfortunate or inconvenient facts.

    I support the right of Israel to exist…but there are Zionists and there are Zionists. Believing in a homeland to dwell in and defend is one thing…but cult like psychosis isn't limited just to non-Semitic peoples…and there are branches of Zionists who are unhappy if anything other than 'their side' is permitted to exist in print or online. That is where I differ from them…Israel, like any state, and Jewish people, like all other peoples, are capable of fouling up, making unjust decisions, falling prey to state propaganda, and doing wrong. Claiming otherwise, about any nation or people, is fiction and borders on infantile fantasism.

    When Israel is the wronged and aggrieved party, they have my support…but when the fringe of fanatics at the helm of its government suborn fraud, deceit and murder…well, they take the consequences for it just like anyone else. Wikipedias answer to them should be succinct, direct and forthright: state propaganda is just as unwelcome from Israeli zealots as it is from Iranian, Palestinian, North Korean or American zealots. Take your revisionism and shove it in your bigoted buttholes.

  • guest51

    People who propagandize in the form of rewriting history amazes me. How do they sleep at nights?

    How far do you think it would go if the people here in the United States begin to claim that the real reason for the American Revolution is so that only the rich and powerful can rule and the rest must be subjects rather than citizens?

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      Actually, judging by the progress of the Tea Party…they've gotten pretty damned far with it. Of course I'm judging on actual causes they oppose/support rather than rhetoric…so that skews things a bit, but the point holds.

    • APR

      “History” = “his story.”

  • davidgerard

    As if the articles in question aren't some of the most-watched on the encyclopedia! Wikipedia will barely notice.

    http://davidgerard.co.uk/notes/2010/08/20/we-wi

  • 5by5

    Pfft. Yeah, 'cause nobody is hearing the rightwing Zionists point of view. I mean, it's not like they have well-funded lobbyists or anything. They just have AIPAC to which every weenie in Washington bends over forwards for at the drop of a yamika… oh wait.

    Seriously, it's the Liberal Jewish perspective that never gets heard (in America anyways). And hello, it rightwing Zionist want to stop being thought of as such colossal douches, perhaps they should stop doing crap like bulldozing Palestinian homes, or bombing the Gaza Strip flat, then blockading medical supplies and food, and reconstruction materials from getting in, or bombing the length and breadth of Lebanon (their chief economic competitor in the region) just because two of their goober soldiers wandered into another country and were CORRECTLY taken into custody.

    I have 100% sympathy for the Jewish people after WWII and understand the need for them to have a homeland, but far too many in the Zionist movement have let that natural and understandable desire morph into an irrationalism that has turn them into the kind of wacknuts they once were the victims of. Like an abused child who grows up to lash out at his own child, they need to find healthier ways to deal with this. The Palestinians have every much right to an autonomous (and contiguous) home, and because Jerusalem belongs to the world, it should be shared as such.

    And as for the other side, suicide bombings just make you look like just as big a douche. Stop that shit.

    • A Bad Joke

      The Israelis continue to trot out the spector of the Nazis, and butchering the Palestinians. I wonder how many they've killed? When will the west tolerate this?

      Probably forever.