Response to Wikipedia "Criticisms" of the JIDF

A lot has been happening on the Wikipedia article about the JIDF, mostly by two anti-JIDF/Israel Wikipedia editors named "John Nagle" and "Peter Cohen." One can read more about them and other problematic Wikipedia editors here.

Unfortunately, the narrative of the JIDF story has been twisted around to make it appear that we sprung up from some "flame war" on Facebook, although all sources about us explain how we began to become more public, not as a result of some flame war, but after groups went up which celebrated the Mercaz HaRav massacre. In other words, the entire "Facebook intervention" section does not tell our story in the proper order.

Furthermore, the following was added to a section entitled "Criticisms":

In October 2008, the German newspaper the Franfurter Allgemein Zeitung (FAZ) published an article on "Antisemitism 2.0" and the JIDF featuring material from an email interview with the JIDF's spokesman "David". Most of the article contains similar material to that found in other articles on the subjects. However, the final section entitled "From warriors against online-hate to anti-Islamism"contains some criticism of the JIDF. The FAZ notes that the JIDF is not apolitical and that members have campaigned against "land for peace." Further, the article calls the JIDF "self-styled fighters against online hate [who link to] a dubious site called from their own homepage". The article reports that the site's name is "pure sarcasm" and describes its polemic against Islam and Muhammad. FAZ also notes that "David" himself has compared an Arab who celebrated the Mercaz HaRav massacre to a pig.

Little other criticism of the JIDF has been published in the mainstream press. However, Ha'aretz has reported an Internet campaign against the JIDF "accusing it of being a Mossad proxy." Haaretz notes that Facebook groups with the same names and similar content to deleted groups have appeared, albeit with substantially reduced membership from originals. One of the people who campaigned for Facebook to allow the relaunch of the "Israel is not a country" group told Haaretz that their success was "the first victory against the JIDF."

  1. The first two sentences of the criticism is commentary from "Peter Cohen" based upon his own POV and biased interpretation of article, as well as a wish for there to be more criticism about the JIDF, just as he wishes for there to be more criticism against those concerned with Antisemitism 2.0 in general
  2. We do not feel the FAZ gave an accurate portrayal of website, and we feel it is entirely inappropriate that the JIDF should be criticized due to the FAZ's misinterpretation of one site which we link to, especially as we link to many other sites which are far less controversial.
  3. We cannot confirm that "David" or any representative of the JIDF made the remarks as quoted in the piece, as they were never confirmed with us before they were published
  4. We are unsure how appropriate it is for Wikipedia to be taking quotes from non-notable entities with regard to what they feel is their "first victory against the JIDF" and how that can be considered "criticism" against the JIDF, or why it is relevant
  5. We noticed that the link to our JIDF Guide to Wikipedia/List of Heavily Biased Anti-Israel Wikipedia Editors was removed by Peter Cohen. However, the piece about us in Ha'aretz makes a direct reference to it and we feel it is appropriate to be in the Wikipedia article about us and that people on the list should not be the ones making the decision as it is quite obviously a non-neutral, biased one.
  6. "Peter Cohen" incorrectly claims, "I notice that they and their represenatives have now said that the three articles from which I've recently sourced information (the ''Jewish Chronicle'', ''FAZ'' and ''Haartetz'' pieces) have all got it wrong." This is untrue. The only piece one of our activists had major qualms with was with the JC (see #7). That piece is about that activist, and not about the JIDF. We had a few minor issues with the piece from the FAZ (as noted above), and thanked Mr. Hartman directly for what we consider to be one of the most comprehensive articles about the JIDF in Ha'aretz. Besides, if we thought all these sources "got it all wrong" as "Mr. Cohen" suggests, why would we link to all of them?
  7. "Peter Cohen" is also determined to place inaccurate information about the JIDF and a founding member, stating (with typo): "Wikipedia is abotu verifiability not truth." He adds flawed information from an article which was not even about the JIDF, but about an activist who helped establish it (who we believe is still in the process of contesting the article in question.) We are fairly certain Mr. Cohen is breaking Wikipedia BLP rules, as he adds this misinformation and continues to act, not in an effort to improve the Wikipedia project, but in an effort to defame the JIDF and do things he wrongly thinks will upset us (or in this case, put our lives in danger).
Unfortunately, it seems some pro-JIDFer's went in there to try to help the situation, but were quickly booted for "sockpuppetry" and now the article is "protected" so only well-established editors can work on it. We feel this is probably the most accurate/fair version of the Wikipedia article of our organization to date. Unfortunately, it seems most pro-Israel editors are too afraid to go near the article about us, as they will certainly face dire consequences from the majority of editors and admins on Wikipedia, who are overwhelmingly leftist, anti-Israel, antisemitic, and especially, anti-JIDF.

Of course, the article about us is only the tip of the iceberg, even though it appears to be one the most controversial I-P related article on Wikipedia (according to I-P Battleground stats), there are many issues with regard to the portrayal of Jewish people, Israel, Islam, terrorist groups, etc.

Because of the many issues on Wikipedia, we fully intend to continue and step up our efforts of training people how to get involved there. If you encounter any antisemitism, extreme anti-Israel bias, abuse of power from admins, or ArbCom, or any problems on Wikipedia in general, please let us know.

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