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Nohad Lahat and Wikipedia's Israel Bias

Posted:
2016-02-10
Tags:
politics israel palestine wikipedia

People may think that Wikipedia is a factual and accurate source of information when it comes to most subjects. But when it comes to any article related to Israel or Palestine it is not. It is tainted by years of work by pundits and zealots injecting their own biases into articles. The number of pro-Israel pundits and zealots who have time to sit twelve hours editing Wikipedia outnumbers the pro-Palestine ones by at least 5:1 and the result is very slanted coverage of some topics.

Most of the time, the bias is not noticable by the general public because most people don't have the detailed knowledge required to see it. But it is there, I can assure you. For one example, take a look at the Wikipedia page for Israeli MMA figher Noad Lahat.

Noad Lahat's infobox

Note that the box says that Noad Lahat was born June 8th, 1984 in Alfei Menashe, Israel. What's wrong with that? Let's locate Alfei Menashe on Google Maps:

Location of Alfei Menashe

Here is another map of its location:

As you can see, it is located a few kilometers southeast of Qalqiliya in the West Bank. In other words, it is not located in Israel at all! So why does Wikipedia continue to feature this incorrect and easily fixable error (just change "Alfei Menashe, Israel" to "Alfei Menashe, West Bank")?

The reason is the ongoing normalization of the occupation. The fact that a few hundred thousand Israelis live on occupied territory outside of Israel is to be played down. We are supposed to think that the border between Israel and the West Bank is fuzzy and not well-defined. If someone is trespassing on someone elses land, but that land doesn't have any defined borders, is it really trespassing?