Talk:Jewish History, Jewish Religion

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"However its attack on totalitarianism and ethnocentrism would equally apply to this ideology."[edit]

Conch, why are you inserting the POV statement? Has some noted critic or citeable source suggested this? Or is it just your personal POV? If the latter, then it qualifies as original research, and has no place in Wikipedia. Jayjg (talk) 17:01, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Islamic Fundamentalists frequently appear in the UK media calling for the non-negotiable introduction of Sharia law, or making ethnocentric remarks about non-Muslims. Consequently this statement seems fair comment, though as you point out it might qualify as original research.
Many people who attack Shahak's work point to the fact that it frequently appears on anti-Semitic websites. This might be interpreted as the fallacy of association ('This book appears on anti-Semitic websites therefore this book is anti-Semitic') which would go against the principles of neutrality. In order to maintain these I need to explain why the book has been wrongly included on them. I'll try and work out a Wikipedia acceptable way of doing this.--Conch Shell 09:42, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've done this now. If you consider the statement These websites typically preface the book as an 'exposition of Judaism' while ignoring its attacks on racism and anti-Semitism a POV then please add this hyperlink from the word 'preface': http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jewhis.htm However, I'd rather you didn't. Conch Shell 12:01, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Which "attacks on racism and anti-Semitism" were you referring to? Jayjg (talk) 21:30, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

These appear throughout the book, such as in the section entitled 'Modem Anti-Semitism' in Chapter 4:

"Modern racism (of which anti-semitism is part) although caused by specific social conditions, becomes, when it gains strength, a force that in my opinion can only be described as demonic. After coming to power, and for its duration, I believe it defies analysis by any presently understood social theory ... and this applies to all racism in all societies."

The text (of which anti-semitism is part) is in the original. Shahak supports this claim of irrationality in a footnote where he describes how the extermination of Jews in death-camps peaked at a time when their slave labour was most needed to produce equipment for the German army.

The last line of the book also begins, "Although the struggle against anti-semitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease ..." Conch Shell 09:35, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)


RE: Numbered List[edit]

Was the numbered list put in the last paragraph for a specific reason? If not I'll replace it with ordinary text which is easier to read. Conch Shell 13:29, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've replaced it with bullets, which is easy to read and more common. Also, I've restored the actual quotes from Shahak's conclusion, which were more accurate than your statement, which seemed vague and hard to understand. Please be careful not to "summarize" Shahak's words into saying something different from what he actually said. Jayjg (talk) 17:08, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Just to clarify matters I summarised the lines,

In the last 40 years the number of non-Jews killed by Jews is by far greater than the number of the Jews killed by non-Jews. The extent of the persecution and discrimination against non-Jews inflicted by the 'Jewish state' with the support of organized diaspora Jews is also enormously greater than the suffering inflicted on Jews by regimes hostile to them. Although the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance

as

However Shahak also argues that this chauvinism has had other salient consequences during the late 20th century and so the fight against it could be of greater importance

However I have no objections to quoting him directly. I've just changed 'antisemitism' in the quote to 'anti-Semitism' so it's consistent with the rest of the article and Wikipedia. Conch Shell 09:22, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I changed it back because it was a direct quote; I don't think you should copyedit other people's work when directly quoting them, regardless of what our own preferred terminology is. Jayjg (talk) 16:38, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's a fair point. NB: I re-read the article from the start and the last sentence didn't seem to draw the article to a conclusion, so I re-worded it in a way that did. Conch Shell 14:03, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Of course it draws it to a conclusion. He says "Although the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance" Let's not try to whitewash Shahak's views; it is "Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism" that is the real issue in his view, antisemitism. Jayjg (talk) 01:57, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Near the end of Chapter 1 Shahak says, "I strongly believe that antisemitism and Jewish chauvinism can only be fought simultaneously," so I suspect he would veer towards 'equal'. Conch Shell 10:16, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You may be right, but it's best just to stick with exactly what he said rather than speculate. Jayjg (talk) 17:35, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Criticism of Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Werner Cohn[edit]

If anyone looks at this link The Jews are Bad! please note that it contains one or two important omissions. Cohn states:

''He [Shahak] also tells us (p. 34) that "both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands....On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God... but on the other he is worshiping Satan..."

but fails to include the remainder of the line

who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine daughter.

Cohn also states

I did take the trouble to question my orthodox rabbi nephew to find what might be behind such tall tales. He had no clue.

but fails to mention that, according to Shahak, this is a Kabbalistic teaching. I don't know whether it's correct but Cohn should have questioned a Kabbalist about it, not a Rabbi.

Conch Shell 09:12, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Orthodox Rabbis (particularly [Haredi]] and Sephardi ones) learn Kabbalah, along with other things. Most Kabbalists are Rabbis. And if this were a common understanding of the meaning of meal-related handwashing, any Rabbi would surely know it, regardless of their exposure to Kabbalah. Jayjg (talk) 17:10, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Quite possibly - but only quoting part of the sentence gives the false impression that Shahak claims Jews freely and ordinarily worship Satan. Conch Shell 08:51, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But that is exactly what he claims! Handwashing happens at every meal. Jayjg (talk) 15:15, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not freely or ordinarily because Jews wouldn't (allegedly) offer the ritual to Satan if he wasn't believed to pester the divine daughter. Conch Shell 08:28, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Jayjg (talk) 14:45, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Are you refering to the divine daughter? If so this is a Kabbalistic teaching (see above). Conch Shell 16:25, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Um, ok, in any event, Shahak clearly claims Jews "freely and ordinarily" worship Satan several times a day, regardless of Shahak's alleged reason for them doing so. Jayjg (talk) 16:35, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Only freely in the sense that money is 'freely' paid to extortionists and ordinarily in the sense of frequency, rather than core belief. I now see your objections to copyedits (in the 'RE: Numbered List' section). Conch Shell 07:59, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, I still don't get that from the full quote; Shahak seems quite clear that the Jews are worshipping Satan. Not that his claim makes sense from any perspective. Jayjg (talk) 16:56, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The full quote makes it clear that Shahak claims Jews offer Satan acts of worship as an act of appeasement not reverence. Conch Shell 13:24, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(de-indenting) Both the partial and full quotes make it clear that Shahak is claiming that Jews regularly and deliberately worship Satan, regardless of their motivation. Jayjg (talk) 05:22, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Shahak is simply stating what he believes to be the Kabbalistic interpretation of the hand-washing ritual. Conch Shell 08:18, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Uh huh. Well, his interpretations of all sorts of things about Judaism seem to differ radically from the beliefs and practices of those who actually practice the faith, and always to the detriment of Judaism. Perhaps it's just a coincidence. Jayjg (talk) 16:35, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In this case it's the (alleged) Kabbalistic intrpretation of the hand-washing ritual that differs from common Jewish belief. Also there does seem to be a wide variation in the beliefs and practices of Judaism, as Kohn acknowledges in his article. Conch Shell 10:09, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Common Jewish belief includes Kabbalistic intepretations; however, Shahak seems to invariably find interpretations that no-one else holds, or is even aware of. Jayjg (talk) 16:38, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From what I understand about Judaism it defines religious practice in detail but there is no definitive theological creed. Talmudic sages (eg Maimonides) have tried to formulate them but they're not widely known. Consequently when Shahak quotes these obscure writings he causes surprise. Conch Shell 11:42, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Maimonides' Principles of faith are certainly well known; it's in every traditional Jewish prayerbook, among other things. More relevant, Shahak seems to quote obscure or non-existent texts, which are not generally accepted as authoritative (if they are accepted at all) as if they were, in fact, normative Jewish belief. He does this consistently, and always in a way which attempts to make Judaism look bad. This is no accident. Jayjg (talk) 18:14, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately I'm in no position to defend Shahak on the accusation of quoting obscure Jewish texts as normative. However if you look at the last page of Jewish History, Jewish Religion you'll see that Shahak's criticism of Judaism isn't because of a personal grudge but because he believes its mores and customs are leading to discrimination against non-Jews in Israel, much more so than the discrimination that Jews outside Israel face from contemporary anti-Semitic regimes. Conch Shell 09:16, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think it is the veracity of Shahak's claims rather than his motivations that are in question here. Further, he makes the claim that he describes practices and beliefs that are generally present among the Jews - so backing his claims with obscure (not to mention imaginary) refereces does not really help. Michael Voytinsky
If that were true, he would have looked at what Jews actually teach and believe, rather than trying to comb through various works no-one even knows looking for "evidence" to support his thesis. A good researcher bases his hypothesis on the evidence, rather than looking for evidence to support his hypothesis. Jayjg (talk) 17:04, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Shahak started with observations of Jewish chauvinism and then developed a therory to explain it using his knowledge of Jewish history and Judaism. Conch Shell 13:38, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In your view; his "observations" are suspect (and have even been proven to be invented), and his "knowledge of Judaism" is of a Judaism that is unique to him. Whatever way you look at it, it's the approach of a polemicist, not a scientist. He certainly wouldn't have tried to develop theories of chemistry this way. Jayjg (talk) 17:23, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
RE: He certainly wouldn't have tried to develop theories of chemistry this way.
Social Science and historical research use differrent methodologies from natural science. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not that different; any credible historian knows the difference between research and polemics. Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Natural and Social science research methods are very different and the empiricist methodology you describe is problematic. Conch Shell 08:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not really; research and polemics really are different, even in the social sciences. Jayjg (talk) 15:35, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Political philosophy is predominantly based on polemics. Conch Shell 09:53, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
LOL! Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
RE: his "observations" are suspect (and have even been proven to be invented)
Do you mean the 'telephone incident' - if so this is alleged to be false. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Proven to be false. Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Proven by who? Conch Shell 08:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Read the linked paper. Shahak admitted he made the story up. Jayjg (talk) 15:42, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Cohn's paper is deliberately misleading and can't be relied on. Conch Shell 09:53, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not talking about Cohn's paper, which in any event has been shown to be dead-on accurate. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
RE: his "knowledge of Judaism" is of a Judaism that is unique to him
Shahak quotes (almost) all his sources. It would be interesting to find out why his critics (eg Mathis) refer to other texts on the same subject rather than these. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
He quotes the Talmud and then claims it is Jewish law, while also acknowledging that one must actually quote the codes of law to know what is actually Jewish law. Codes of law were developed precisely because the Talmud is not clear on what is law, what is merely debate or discussion, and what is opinion and speculation. That is the reason that others (unlike Shahak) refer to the relevant texts. BTW, what is Shahak's source for the handwashing=worshipping Satan claim? Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Could I bring your attenton to the first paragraph of Chapter 5:
However, because of the unwieldy complexity of the legal disputations recorded in the Talmud, more manageable codifications of talmudic laws became necessary and were indeed compiled by successive generations of rabbinical scholars. Some of these have acquired great authority and are in general use. For this reasons we shall refer for the most part to such compilations (and their most reputable commentaries) rather than directly to the Talmud. It is however correct to assume that the compilation referred to reproduces faithfully the meaning of the talmudic text and the additions made by later scholars on the basis of that meaning. Conch Shell 08:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Exactly; so why does he so often refer to the Talmud, rather than the later legal codes? Jayjg (talk) 15:42, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
He predominantly does refer to the legal codes. Conch Shell 09:53, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not in the examples that have been raised here. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I dont know the source of the 'handwashing=worshipping Satan' claim but if it had been fabricated Immanuel Jakobovitz would have mentioned it in his criticism of the book, it would be more in keeping with allegations of 'a modern blood libel' than allegations regarding the Sabbath. Conch Shell 08:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense. Jakobovitz didn't respond to the book, but to various claims made about Jewish law years before Shahak wrote the book. And "blood libel" is about killing Christians (or letting them die), not about Satan worship. Jayjg (talk) 15:47, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
True - but I thought Christians were suppossedly killed as part of some Satanic ritual.
They are? That's a stretch. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Alot of JHJR is concerned with the Judaism of the Talmudic sages, whose views are still held by fringe groups today. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is? How do you know this? Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel - when I get the chance I'll create a page for this, Conch Shell 10:18, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Shahak argues that the religious-right has a disproportionately large effect on Israeli politics, which is why he concentrates on them. Howewever JHJR also mentions the notion of redeemed and unredeemed land, which is a mainstream belief. Earlier this year the Jewish Chronicle ran a story on how the JNF were trying to stop the ILA from selling land to non-Jews, so his views are still pertinent. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Only if you can show they have an origin in the sources Shahak claims they do. And since the founders and administrators of the JNF were socialists and atheists who rejected the Talmud and Judaism, you'd have to be at best a polemicist, and at worst an anti-Semite to insist there was a link. Jayjg (talk) 04:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The Jewish National Fund is not a secular organisation. Please refrain from insinuations of anti-Semitism, personal abuse is not tolerated on Wikipedia. Conch Shell 08:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The Jewish National Fund absolutely is a secular organisation, and always has been; I guess I should have added "or completely ignorant of the JNF's history and organization" to the list of possibilities. Jayjg (talk) 15:33, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If the JNF's motivations are secular then why do they try to prevent land from being sold to non-Jews? Would they object to land being sold to the same people if they formally converted to Judaism first? Conch Shell 09:53, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure how that's relevant. The JNF was and is a secular Jewish organization set up for the purpose of purchasing land for Jews in Palestine, later Israel. At the time is was created religious Jews were generally non-Zionist or anti-Zionist, so the JNF's organization and support base was almost completely from secular Zionist Jews. It currently owns about 12.5% of the land of Israel, which it leases and improves. Its mandate has not changed. It is an ethnic organization based on a notion of secular nationalism; it has nothing to do with Judaism. It would make much more sense if you refrained from commenting on various parts of Jewish law (e.g. what kosher means) or Jewish history (e.g. the ideology of the Jewish National Fund) until you had spent more time studying both, and from more credible and less polemic sources than Shahak. Jayjg (talk) 15:30, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Kosher is often used to mean clean, as the link to the Messianic Jewish website I provided showed. I accept that this was not the original meaning of the word, though this wasn't relevant to the arguement (one person not being allowed to eat food because it had been touched by another causing offence). Your knowledge of Jewish history is also lacking (RE: the Ukranian Jews did not oppress other Ukranians on the anti-Semitism talk page), though at least I've now put you right on that point. If you are willing to answer these questions:
If the JNF's motivations are secular then why do they try to prevent land from being sold to non-Jews? Would they object to land being sold to the same people if they formally converted to Judaism first?
then please do. Conch Shell 08:17, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Kosher is only used to mean "clean" by people who are ignorant of its meaning; a great place to go for ignorance about Jewish concepts is a Messianic Jewish website. The original and current and only meaning of the word is "fit". As for your questions, the first makes no sense; if a Kurdish organization purchased and held land on behalf of Kurds, you wouldn't assume that its motives were religious. As for the second, why on earth would I even bother to speculate about that? Read up on the history of the JNF. Jayjg (talk) 17:46, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Kurds aren't a religious group. Conch Shell 15:01, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Exactly; they're an ethnic group, like Jews. Jayjg (talk) 19:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Who aren't a religious group? Conch Shell 08:05, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What does your question mean? Jayjg (talk) 15:20, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Removing indentation
I'm trying to establish whether the JNF's motivations are religious or secular. It doesn't really matter as secular ethnic discrimination is as least as bad as religious. The JNF don't only try to prevent land they own being leased to non-Jews, they also try and prevent 'abandonded' Arab land from being leased as well. Conch Shell 09:32, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The JNF is a secular ethnic organization, not a religious organization. Jayjg (talk) 06:40, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Whose racist policies are opposed by the Israeli government. Conch Shell 08:30, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So which one is basing its actions on the Jewish religion? Jayjg (talk) 21:28, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You tell me. However I suspect that if non-Jews formally converted to Judaism then the JNF would have no objections to land being leased to them. Conch Shell 07:49, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
According to Shahak they both are, yet they are trying to achieve opposite goals; not surprising, given the inherent silliness of Shahak's thesis. In any event, conversion is the method by which one joins the Jewish people - it's quite similar to the naturalization process by which becomes an American citizen. Jayjg (talk) 21:54, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Where does Shahak say that the Israeli government leasing land to non-Jews is basing its actions on Jewish law, please? Conch Shell 07:51, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's you who made that argument above. Remember? Shahak argues that the religious-right has a disproportionately large effect on Israeli politics, which is why he concentrates on them. Howewever JHJR also mentions the notion of redeemed and unredeemed land, which is a mainstream belief. Earlier this year the Jewish Chronicle ran a story on how the JNF were trying to stop the ILA from selling land to non-Jews, so his views are still pertinent. Conch Shell 08:55, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC) Jayjg (talk) 00:23, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That just says the ILA wanted to lease land to non-Jews, not that its actions were based on Jewish law. If the JNF's weren't then they were based on racism. Conch Shell 07:50, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
They can't be based on racism, since Jews and Palestinians are racially quite close to each other (though Jews are certainly more diverse racially). They were based on nationalism. Jayjg (talk) 08:04, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Enough said. Conch Shell 15:56, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Revision 04 May 2005[edit]

1) Removed 'verbatim' - same reasons as on Shahak's page, also Radio Islam only reproduce excerpts of the book (it would be interesting to see what they've omitted).
2) Removed reference to 'Islamic fundamentalist websites', I was under the impression that Radio Islam was one of these. Are there any that actually quote the book?.
3) Added Mezvinsky's criticisms.
4) Changed reference section to 2002 edition.
Conch Shell 08:51, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

7 April 2005

1) I've changed Popularity to Usage as this is a more neutral term. Shahak's work is also popular amongst liberals and the left, only mentioning racist groups may give the wrong impression.

2) I haven't intentionally being putting special symbols in the text, I assume they're inserted when the edit is saved because of keyboard or browser differences. I'll see if there is anyway to avoid this. Conch Shell 08:19, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Is Critics' Religion Relevant?[edit]

In the article, Werner Cohn is described as a "Jewish professor". Is his religion really relevant here? Michael Voytinsky 00:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

It's relevant in that it shows Cohn isn't an anti-Semite, unlike others who have copy-edited Shahak's work. Conch Shell 09:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
His criticism of Shahak suggests that the is not anti-semite. But I do not see how him being Jewish shows that he is not - after all, Chomsky and Shahak himself have been accused for anti-semitism, and they are Jewish. In any case, is Cohn's putative anti-semitism relevant to this article? Michael Voytinsky 13:52, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

IP edits about "spitting" etc.[edit]

Why is that specific part of JHJR important? Please review WP:NPOV. Also, please review WP:NOR; you can't make up your own arguments to support Shahak's claims (or refute them, for that matter). Jayjg (talk) 00:57, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Have you read JHJR? -- DLH 66.82.9.80 01:45, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Why would that be relevant? Please answer the question. Jayjg (talk) 01:48, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Because I would think that if you had read JHHR, it would be obvious why "spitting, etc." is an important part of JHJR, and I would think that if you had not read JHJR, you perhaps should not be asking me why I think those allegations are an important part of JHJR. So let me return your question to you, since you have read the book: why is that specific part of JHJR not important? -- DLH 66.82.9.80 02:14, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Sensational claims aren't important; the underlying thesis is. Jayjg (talk) 02:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

And when the underlying thesis is that sensational aspects of Jewish tradition are part cause of antisemitism, then are not sensational claims important? Please answer the question. -- DLH 66.82.9.82 04:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg, you might have missed my question above in all the back-and-forth and delay. -- DLH 66.82.9.92 05:46, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

"Severe POV"[edit]

All right, I'm a little bit pissed off right now.

I tried to put an addition at the Israel Shahak article, indicating a few of the surprising claims about Judaism that Shahak made in Jewish History, Jewish Religion. And then someone questioned my statement that Shahak's claims were disputed by other Jews and by Jewish organizations, and then deleted my paragraph because it was about the book and not about the dispute about the book, or something like that, and then deleted a link I put at that article about the book because it was about the book and not about Shahak (although two other links that are about the book and not about Shahak remain at that article in spite of my attempt to delete them in order to maintain the "not about the book" policy that had been forced on me; still waiting for an explanation of that nonsense).

At the Shahak article now, there is a section called "Jewish History, Jewish Religion dispute" that discusses one particular dispute from the book, including some comments from a resource of questionable authority Gil Student that an incident that Israel Shahak had reported probably had not happened, that it was clearly contrary to Jewish practice, etc.

So, okay: I look around to see what I can find about disputes on Shahak's claims, and don't find anything I think I can cite beyond what's already in the Shahak article, still thinking I'd restore my paragraph with a citation. And instead I find a comment in Haaretz supporting one of Shahak's odd claims, and even something on Jewish Mail Digest describing an incident with parallels to the dispute discussed in the Shahak article, one that suggested there might really have been something to Shahak's story.

And it is pointed out to me that there is a separate article on the book: this article. So I start putting my paragraph in this article, and someone deletes it, flippantly, as far as I can tell. And I move links on the book from the Shahak article to here (although two are restored, as noted above). And back at the Shahak article, I add a note on the Jewish Mail Digest comment that seemed relevant to all the insistence that Shahak must have been making things up, and this is deleted by someone who apparently has decided to delete everything I do there. And I'm warned (by this same person) that I'm close to violating the "3RR rule."

So I decide to stick everything into this article. And then someone deletes it and calls it "Severe POV." And now I'm pretty pissed off. Yes, there is probably balancing information that could be added to this article; that information is largely present at the Shahak article, where I originally intended to put my paragraph.

Anyway, here is the paragraph I tried to put here, followed by the notes I had on it:

Jewish History, Jewish Religion contains many allegations of anti-Gentilism in Jewish tradition, including that "a Jew should not violate the Sabbath in order to save the life of a Gentile;" that "it became customary to spit (usually three times) upon seeing a church or a crucifix" in European Jewish communities; that there is "a series of rules forbidding any expression of praise for Gentiles or for their deeds, except where such praise implies an even greater praise of Jews and things Jewish;" and many others. Many of these accusations are strongly disputed,[citation needed] although some have an apparent basis in fact.
Another incident suggesting Jewish indifference to the lives of non-Jews is given at Mail-Jewish Digest Mailing List vol. 7 num. 87.
"Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross." "Armenian archbishop quizzed over spat with yeshiva student," Haaretz

Now, I feel pretty strongly that any article on Jewish History, Jewish Religion is not very good if it does not at least mention the long litany of specific accusations Shahak makes about "traditional Jewish attitudes" (I think that's basically the phrasing he uses), and not just the very vague and obscure references to "totalitarian religion" and "religious chauvinism" that are now in the article. No need to accept everything Shahak wrote, but right now, the article doesn't reveal very much of what Shahak wrote. I think my paragraph at least partly corrects this shortcoming.

As to the notes, I think they really are pretty alarming, but they are also awfully reputable. I've been looking for reasonable disputes of Shahak's claims, but haven't found many outside of that are already in the Shahak article. Obviously, this is a lop-sided dispute: Shahak's detractors are somewhat stuck having to make negative proof arguments, while any incident apparently supporting Shahak's claims would stand out. There are some more doctinal claims that Shahak made in JHJR, however, that I think should be easier to refute; I'm thinking in particular of something he claimed about a dualistic God in Kabbala, although it has been a while since I read it.

Anyway, after what I think is a lot of nonsense that I've gone through to post this paragraph, I am kind of annoyed at it being characterized as "Severe POV." -- DLH 66.82.9.80 01:41, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The Israel Shahak article discusses one famous allegation and controversy that long predates the JHJR book. Maillists are not reliable sources, and the last two sentences of your proposed insertion are pure original research. Again, please read the policy. Now, keeping in mind WP:NPOV, why do you think the "spitting" is an important facet of Shahak's thesis? It appears far more sensational than significant to me. Jayjg (talk) 01:50, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Then it would seem that the section of the Shahak article is poorly named. Perhaps your energies would have been better spent correcting that error than in wantonly deleting things. My insertion had only two sentences; are you just trying to insult it entirely without seeming to do so, or did you not read it? Also, is a record of an eyewitness account a reliable source? Please answer the question. And spitting, etc., is an important facet of Shahak's thesis because it is sensational: his thesis is that antisemitism is in part a response to Jewish slights and insults to non-Jews, which anyone who had read JHJR ought to know very well. And in getting a response, sensationalism is is what matters more than substance, although you will no doubt characterize that as my original research, right? -- DLH 66.82.9.80 02:26, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Your insertion had four sentences. The first was sensationalist and used a neologism used almost exclusively by antisemites. The second was pure original research, and came with a built-in request for citation. The third and fourth were also original research, intended to bolster Shahak's claim. Whether or not something is a reliable source depends one who is saying it and where it was published; stuff from bulletin boards is almost never a reliable source. Wikipedia prefers substance over sensationalism. I've fixed the title in the Shahak article. Jayjg (talk) 02:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
You might count my insertion as two sentences and two notes, as I did, or you can count it as four sentences, as you apparently did. However, you have made a lot of mischaracterizations here. The first sentence, by either of our reckonings, was a pretty plain vanilla recitation of some of the claims made by Shahak in JHJR; if it was sensationalist, it is only because JHJR is sensationalist, which would make it accurate. Do you deny its accuracy? Do you assert that it picked and chose from the many claims Shahak made in a prejudicial way? What exactly do you assert about this collection of quotations from the book?
The second sentence, by either of our reckonings, contained a request for citation that someone (you?) put at the Shahak article, and that I maintained out of respect for the person who requested it, although I took out that the disputes come from Jewish sources because I was unable to find a citation for that other than what was covered elsewhere in the Shahak article section. The second part of it is, I think, an unremarkable and accurate reflection of the two notes. Why do you think it is "pure original research?"
The third sentence by your reckoning, or the first note by my reckoning, was again intended more for the Shahak article where I originally intended the paragraph to go, where it served to contradict the Gil Student-derived assertion "questioning whether there was any actual rationale for the alleged actions in the first place." Gil Student's blog claims that there are all kinds of obligations to save a non-Jewish life even on the Sabbath, and someone (actually, someone kind of notable, I think: a professor of neurology) on a Mail server gives a direct account of an instance in which he was told that it was "exaggerated" to save the life of an Arab, Sabbath or not. Is it improper, when one marginal source makes a claim, to provide another marginal source contradicting the claim? Is it original research? I tend to think that the note belongs more properly with the "L'Affaire Shahak" section, wherever that ends up, to dispel the notion that a particular blogger is the final word on halakhic questions. As to whether that particular entry to that particular Mail server is reliable, I tend to think that it is for the purpose of the citation: the Mail server addresses serious questions of religion; its participants are quite serious about it; and it is doubtful that any of them, including the author of the comment in question, wrote with the intent to mislead. Dr. Berman notes that the incident "achieved a certain amount of notoriety," so it might even be possible to get an independent verification of that part of his recounting. Do you think that the recounting is likely false? Please answer the question.
The fourth sentence by your reckoning, or the second note by my reckoning, is not even my sentence: it is a direct quote from the article cited. Did you read the article? And, it is an almost perfect verification of the sensational claim that Shahak made. Do you deny this? How is it original research to put substance into a sensational claim? I was looking, frankly, for a source that contradicted Shahak when I found this; should I ignore a reliable source that almost perfectly verifies the claim when I find it? What do you think I should do in this case? Keep on looking for a source that contradicts Shahak, though I would know that it was unreliable if I found it? Leave the claim looking like it was incredible, when in fact it is apparently very credible? Is there some obligation to keep a Wikipedia article dishonest?
I think the Shahak article section might better be called, "L'Affaire Shahak," with quotes, as Jakobovits called it. Either that or "Controversy over obligation to save non-Jewish life on the Sabbath," without quotes, which probably makes clear why I mentioned "L'Affaire Shahak" first. "Telephone/ambulance controversy" misses the main point of the controversy as well as the fact that it was a significant matter in Shahak's life in that it basically accused him of very public lying. "Telephone/ambulance controversy" makes it sound like a 911 call that went bad. But thank you for making the change that you made. If you're of the mood, I think including Jakovits' phrase, "in true Protocols style", in the article is unnecessarily prejudicial. If it were in an article on Jakovits, or on his article in particular, yes it would be appropriate to reflect the sensationalism of the article. But because it is in an article on Shahak, I think it more appropriate to reflect only the sober facts of the piece.
-- DLH 66.82.9.82 03:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • You might count my insertion as two sentences and two notes, as I did. Got it.
  • The second sentence, by either of our reckonings, contained a request for citation that someone (you?) put at the Shahak article I don't think I put it there.
  • The second part of it is, I think, an unremarkable and accurate reflection of the two notes. Why do you think it is "pure original research" Because the notes themselves are pure original research. You must read the original research policy, which forbids original research that introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source. You've have tried to find other sources which, you think, agree with Shahak's thesis, and then used them to bolster your argument that Shahak was correct. You cannot do this; you must find reliable sources which say "However, Shahak was correct about this, because of X,Y and Z" or something like that. It is going to be very, very difficult for you to edit here if you don't read and understand Wikipedia's "No Original Research" policy. A secondary issue is that one of the sources you used was some unknown guy writing to a maillist and saying "A friend of a friend told me something, is that true?" You will also find it veru, very difficult to edit here if you don't read and understand Wikipedia's verifiability policy.
  • Gil Student's blog claims that there are all kinds of obligations to save a non-Jewish life even on the Sabbath. Gil Student's article was published on the aishdas.org website, not on his "blog". It's quite clear from the article about Student that his blog is here. If you use misleading and pejorative terminology, it's going to be hard to assume good faith.
  • I think the Shahak article section might better be called, "L'Affaire Shahak," with quotes, as Jakobovits called it. Fine, not worth arguing over.
  • If you're of the mood, I think including Jakovits' phrase, "in true Protocols style", in the article is unnecessarily prejudicial. The fact that such a notable individual would use such a strong and evocative phrase to describe Shahak's allegations is notable. Jayjg (talk) 03:22, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

The one matter over which I disagree with you is your interpretation of original research, which I will start another section on. I like your treatment of Jakobovits' phrase, which keeps it without seeming to take it up, as the earlier inclusion of it did. -- DLH 66.82.9.92 05:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

(copied from above)

  • The second part of it is, I think, an unremarkable and accurate reflection of the two notes. Why do you think it is "pure original research" Because the notes themselves are pure original research. You must read the original research policy, which forbids original research that introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source. You've have tried to find other sources which, you think, agree with Shahak's thesis, and then used them to bolster your argument that Shahak was correct. You cannot do this; you must find reliable sources which say "However, Shahak was correct about this, because of X,Y and Z" or something like that. It is going to be very, very difficult for you to edit here if you don't read and understand Wikipedia's "No Original Research" policy. A secondary issue is that one of the sources you used was some unknown guy writing to a maillist and saying "A friend of a friend told me something, is that true?" You will also find it veru, very difficult to edit here if you don't read and understand Wikipedia's verifiability policy.
Jayjg (talk) 03:22, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I very strongly object to your attributing to me the argument that Shahak was correct. This is not my argument at all. I frankly think that some of Shahak's claims are either false or are so marginal that for him to have brought them up at all is misleading. However, when we have, as at the Shahak article, two separate claims that Shahak completely fabricated a very sensational event ("in true Protocols style," according to one), along with comments that he is accused of "distorting the normative meaning of Jewish texts, and misrepresenting Jewish belief and law;" an accusation that he was a "disturbed mind who made a career out of recycling Nazi propaganda about Jews and Judaism;" that he "regaled his audience with a stream of outrageous libels, ludicrous fabrications, and transparent hoaxes;" etc., I think it is imperative as a matter not only of balance but also of common decency to at least see what there is in what Shahak says is true and others say is false. I was never out to demonstrate that Shahak was correct; I was, however, very definitely out to see that a smearing of the man was not promoted without seeing if it was justified. If that's a crime, then I am guilty of it, and proudly so.

Anyway, I've read the original research policy that you directed me to. However, I think you have misinterpreted it. In particular, I'd like to draw your attention to the following sentence from the policy: "However, research that consists of collecting and organizing information from existing primary and/or secondary sources is, of course, strongly encouraged."

You characterize the two notes I'd added as "pure original research." As a reminder, here are the two notes:

Another incident suggesting Jewish indifference to the lives of non-Jews is given at Mail-Jewish Digest Mailing List vol. 7 num. 87.
"Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross." "Armenian archbishop quizzed over spat with yeshiva student," Haaretz

I will address the second note first, because it seems much more clear cut. The sentence, "Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross," is taken directly from the linked article from Haaretz, a respected newspaper. You might say that the reference I made to the sentence, "... some (of the accusations) have an apparent basis in fact," is original research on my part (although I would strongly disagree with you on that as well), but the sentence itself is a statement by a Haaretz reporter of his perception, as vetted and published by Haaretz. I had nothing to do with it. If you meant to say that my reference to the note was original research, we can debate that, but so far you have only said that the notes themselves are pure original research, which I have to say is completely wrong regarding the Haaretz note.

The first note is certainly more problematic. Clearly, a mail server is not an ideal source, mainly because there is no editorial oversight. However, for this matter, I think the Jewish Digest post passes a lot of the reliability hurdles. That's certainly something that people can reasonably disagree about, and I'd like to get other people's input on it.

Beyond that, however, the reason I think it belongs (moreso in the Israel Shahak article than in this one) is that the Shahak article relays Gil Student claim that Shahak must have fabricated the event because Judaism forbids the sort of discrimination that Shahak claims to have witnessed. However, an independent eye-witness account of an almost exactly equivalent discrimination indicates, if it is believed, that Student was wrong: the highest level physics in the world proving that bumblebees cannot fly is trumped by a single flying bumblebee.

Ultimately, people have to decide for themselves whether they think the Mail-Jewish Digest post^ is a hoax, or that its author was fabricating the events he claimed, or that it's the real deal but a severely isolated event, or whatever. But I think we ought to be very wary about, in essence, taking that decision away from people by not providing the information to begin with. If it was from a sloppy site, or if it was from a site that was likely biased to provide such an account, or if the comment was jumped upon by others at the site as being ridiculous, or any number of other things, it might be reasonable to ignore it. But I don't see, off-hand, anything obviously suggesting that the account is anything other than what it seems to be.

I was not, I admit, happy with my wording in the note, but that can be amended.

^ - For other readers, here is the comment from the Mail-Jewish Digest:

From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 93 04:51:24 -0400
Subject: RE: Piku'aH nefesh.
Years ago I was involved in an attempt to resuscitate an Arab who
drowned (unsuccessful). At the time, the event achieved a certain
amount of notoriety.
I was approached by a Talmud Hacham who knew I was a physician [I
usually do not work at that profession] who told me, "There is no reason
to kill an Arab but to go out of your way to save his life? That is
mugzam [exaggerated]."
Does a Jew have an obligation to attempt to save the life of non-Jew?
Does a Jewish physican (I have the Rambam, a man who earned his living
as a physician to Arabs, in mind specifically.) have a special
obligation? Or only a terutz?
__Bob Werman
<rwerman@...>
Jerusalem

Obviously, this is not exactly as you have characterized it, Jayjg: the person who wrote it is not unknown, and he relates two events that he claims he was part of. The only relevant fact not disclosed is who the Talmud authority who approached him was, but I think the main relevance of it is that whoever it was, Werman regarded him as a Talmud authority: if we believe that Werman is credible then the only real question is whether Werman was off-base in regarding this person as a "Talmud Hacham."

-- DLH 66.82.9.92 05:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

The primary issue is that of original research, which I beg you to read. You are bringing sources which have nothing to do with Shahak's claims, and trying to apply them to bolster Shahak's claims that at least some of the practices he claims really do exist. The sources you have brought do not mention Shahak, refer to the phone incident, refer to his book, etc. The second issue is that a "Bob Werman" on a maillist who claims an incident and a conversation happened to him is not a reliable source regardless. WP:RS is very clear: Posts to bulletin boards, Usenet, and wikis, or messages left on blogs, should not be used as sources. If you would read the policy pages I keep linking to, we wouldn't need to have these conversations again and again. Jayjg (talk) 18:21, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

As noted above, I have read the policy; perhaps you would do well to refresh your memory of it. You seem to have some curious interpretations of this policy. You wrote, "You are bringing sources which have nothing to do with Shahak's claims." Is it seriously your opinion that a Haaretz article that directly states that, "Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross," has "nothing to do" with Shahak's claim that "it became customary to spit (usually three times) upon seeing a church or a crucifix?" I really need an answer to that question before I continue any discussion with you. -- DLH 66.82.9.92 18:51, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Does the Ha'aretz article mention Shahak? Is it about him, or his book? Jayjg (talk) 18:57, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

You did not answer my question. Please do so, and we can continue discussing other matters afterward. -- DLH 66.82.9.92 19:37, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't really have to answer leading questions; you're trying to use sources unrelated to Shahak to bolster Shahak's argument, which is original research. Jayjg (talk) 00:14, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

See, before you said that the sources had nothing to do with Shahak's claims, and now you are saying that they have nothing to do with Shahak. Can I take this to mean that you are abandoning your prior claim that the sources should not be admitted because they have nothing to do with Shahak's claims (which they clearly do), and now you are claiming that they should not be admitted because they have nothing to do with Shahak? I'm not trying to play "gotcha" here, and if you decide at any time that whatever position you stated before was not well-articulated, you should just say so and try to make a more clear statement of your position. I don't think our task here is to jump on typos or grammatical errors or marginal inconsistencies in order to "win" an argument; our task is to agree upon a reasonable standard for including things in the article, and to consistently apply it. Frankly, if you were to declare, "Gosh, I've decided that my entire argument up to now has been flawed. But I still think the material you want should be excluded, and here's why ...," that would be fine with me. But I think that both of us need to stand firmly on whatever positions we believe in, and let them take the brunt of whatever criticism is directed at them. If we both do a reasonable job of this, and abandon positions only when they have been shown to have an unacceptable short-coming, then we should eventually be left either with positions that withstand criticism only, or with a very clear understanding of the exact nature of our insurmountable disagreements.

But I think this requires that, when an apparent inconsistency or absurd result of a particular standard is pointed out, the response should either be, "no, I don't think that's a problem because ...," or, "You're right, and the standard as I stated it should not be adopted. I think instead the standard should be ..." I don't think there is any reason that this has to be done impolitely, but it does need to be done directly rather than indirectly.

Anyway, this is all related to you responding-to-but-not-answering my question to you a couple comments ago. What was the need? You might better have said, "I realize that I wrote that your sources have nothing to do with Shahak's claim, but what I meant was that they do not refer directly to Shahak." And then we could have moved on without rancor. It may be that ultimately we have differences of opinion that we cannot reconcile, but I think that we can, in good will and honesty, at least come to understand exactly what those differences are, and realize whenever there are issues where they come into play, there is no point in us arguing over them.

-- DLH 66.82.9.74 02:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

"Spit on the ground as a sign of disgust"[edit]

Jayjg, I've copied a question (and background) from earlier that may have gotten buried, in the hope that you will answer it. -- DLH 66.82.9.58 01:26, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Sensational claims aren't important; the underlying thesis is. Jayjg (talk) 02:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

And when the underlying thesis is that sensational aspects of Jewish tradition are part cause of antisemitism, then are not sensational claims important? Please answer the question. -- DLH 66.82.9.82 04:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Added section on claims about Judaism[edit]

In the absence of any response from Jayjg or anyone else for a few days, I have restored and expanded references to Shahak's claims about Judaism, which is a very central aspect of the book (contributing its title, for example). This is only a beginning, and I encourage others to improve upon it, and particularly to flesh out the condemnation of Shahak over these matters. But, please, unless you want to argue that Shahak's sensational claims about Judaism do not merit inclusion in the article, do not recklessly remove the section. It is true that Shahak made all these claims; whether they are misleading and Shahak was a knave for having made them may also be true, but it does not change the fact that he made the claims. Thanks. -- DLH 66.82.9.92 16:34, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

To begin with, when did Ari Alexander become "at least one independent and critical authority" on Judaism, and what does his "noting" that "the texts that Shahak cites are real," have to do with them being accurately quoted or interpreted? Please try to summarize what reliable sources consider to be the main points of his thesis, rather than inserting what you consider to be the most salacious tidbits, and constructing arguments in favor of those views. Keep in mind WP:NOR and WP:NPOV#Undue weight: "Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. Just as giving undue weight to a viewpoint is not neutral, so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements." 02:09, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd guess that Ari Alexander became independent of Israel Shahak when he was born, and that he became a critical authority on Judaism when MyJewishLearning.com included an article he wrote about Shahak's views on their website, although maybe pseudonymous wikipedia editor Jayjg considers himself more suited to decide who authorities on Judaism are than MyJewishLearning.com; perhaps it's an issue you should take up with them. -- DLH 66.82.9.62 03:48, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Who is Ari Alexander? What makes him an "independent authority"? What are his credentials? You made a claim, back it up. What are "MyJewishLearning.com"'s credentials? Jayjg (talk) 03:54, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"MyJewishLearning.com" describes itself as

MyJewishLearning.com is a trans-denominational website of Jewish information and education geared toward learners of all ages and educational backgrounds. As the central Internet site for learning about Judaism, it is designed to be:

* Content rich and pedagogically sound--to invite and facilitate site visitors' engagement in ever-deeper levels of learning. * Relevant to adult audiences of diverse backgrounds and learning objectives--from novice learners, who know little about Judaism, to experienced learners, who know a great deal but want to learn much more. * Accurate, well written, and visually engaging. * Representative of the wide range of trans-denominational perspectives within Judaism. * Compatible with a broad range of user experiences--from self-guided browsing and learning, to site-assisted browsing and learning. MyJewishLearning.com

Ari Alexander is a former Marshall scholar with a M.Ph. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford who co-founded an organization that

"seeks to build an international community of Muslim and Jewish youth that celebrates their religious identities. Through an engaging project involving a photographic exploration of Jewish and Muslim communities around the world, and honest, unflinching online dialogue, participants form a network of advocates and ambassadors for ground-breaking Muslim-Jewish relations in six continents."

Children of Abraham

Am I seriously to believe that on the basis of your questioning of my citing of Ari Alexander as "an independent and critical authority," you deleted several paragraphs that I added, most of them consisting mainly of direct quotes from Jewish History, Jewish Religion, with the obnoxious and offensive comment "bye bye OR?" Please, please tell me that's not true, Jayjg. Or if it is, please, please tell me that you are just willfully and knowingly pushing propaganda. Please tell me this, Jayjg, because I'd hate to think that your parents raised you so poorly that you cannot see what an ass this makes you. -- DLH 66.82.9.90 04:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

How "MyJewishLearning.com" describes itself is of no concern for us when evaluating its quality as WP:RS.

"I added, most of them consisting mainly of direct quotes from Jewish History, Jewish Religion": We don't copy substantial parts of articles: we link to them, pertinence provided. --tickle me 12:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It may interest you to learn, Elmo, that Jewish History, Jewish Religion is a book, and that in fact it is the book that this article is about. Do we not have pertinent excerpts from controversial books in the articles about them? How odd and unuseful, if that is the case. -- DLH 66.82.9.56 05:06, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
At the time Ari Alexander wrote the article he was "stud[ying] the Middle East at Oxford University". Studying the Middle East, or even having a Master's degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, does not make you "an independent and critical authority" on Judaism, and this is characteristic of the problems with your edit. To begin with, it quotes the most salacious of Shahak's claims, rather than summarizing the substance of his arguments. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a supermarket tabloid. In addition, it makes all sorts of unsourced claims, such as
  • These claims have brought condemnation of Shahak from many Jewish authorities and organizations, and they have been taken up by anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian groups as evidence of a cultural contempt on the part of Jews and the State of Israel against non-Jews and
  • A particularly contentious series of Shahak's claims about Jewish law regard the obligation of Jews to save the lives of non-Jews.
That's all your personal opinion, i.e. original research, you have nothing whatsoever to back it up. In addition, you falsely characterize critics of Shahak as "Jewish authorities and organizations", a nice bit of poisoning the well, and falsely claim that one person who disagrees with them is "an independent and critical authority". Moreover, you misrepresent what that person actually says; he doesn't just say "the texts Shahak cites are real", but rather "the texts that Shahak cites are real (though Shahak's sporadic use of footnotes makes it difficult to check all of them). Oftentimes, the interpretation of these texts is debatable and their prominence in Judaism negligible." In addition, you still insist on inserting original research to bolster Shahak's claims: This claim is actually supported by a more recent newspaper article from Israel, which notes, "Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross." It has been explained to you again and again that inserting your own arguments to support something you like is original research; the Ha'aretz article makes no mention whatsoever of Shahak, nor does it claim to support his claims. Finally, you end with yet another original research defense of Shahak: Shahak himself repeatedly notes that what he is addressing is "classical Judaism," etc. The entire paragraph violates a whole series of Wikipedia policies, which have been explained to you ad nauseam, yet you persist in inserting them anyway. And the icing on the cake are the uncivil personal attacks in your comments, which egregiously violate yet more policies. All in all, at this point I see no reason to view your further edits as anything but bad-faith trolling. Jayjg (talk) 15:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"To begin with, it quotes the most salacious of Shahak's claims, rather than summarizing the substance of his arguments."

And what do most of Shahak's critics, including Cohn, the ADL, CAMERA, Edward Alexander, Andrew Mathis, Solomon Socrates, and Ron Strom, focus on? It is, in fact, the most salacious of Shahak's claims, and not his thesis about chauvinism and evolution of cultures, and how Israel has not gone through the second. These salacious claims are what make the book notable; you could probably find an entire shelf of books about problems with Israeli society at a decent library, and most of them never got a look at beyond a few very tightly closed academic circles. If Shahak had written a book devoid of salacious claims with the thesis that Israeli society is infected by chauvinism, this article wouldn't exist, and hardly anyone would have heard of Israel Shahak. I'm sure you know that's true, which makes your efforts to censor the notable aspects of Shahak's book a sabotage of the normal purpose of an encyclopedia, which is to convey relevant knowledge. You are acting, once again, as a propagandist, purely and simply. I hope you're at least compensated for debasing yourself so. -- DLH 66.82.9.56 05:33, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Knock off the personal attacks, please; they don't bolster your argument. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:51, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
And do you have any opinion on the civility of "bye bye, OR" as an edit comment in reverting someone else's work? It might bolster the effect of your comment to me if you did. -- DLH 66.82.9.56 06:07, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
What's incivil about saying bye-bye to original research? Even so, it hardly compares to the direct personal attacks you've been making. Please desist. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 07:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying how seriously I should take any criticisms you make of me. -- DLH 69.19.14.32 14:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)