I wrote this question about Palestine-Israel conflict:


A moderator came and first of all deleted the phrase "the Jews" in the text without replacing it with any other phrase! (He/She accused me of "spread[ing] antisemitism", which is meaningless and simply subjective. What I wrote was just a fact, known by almost everybody, and supported by tremendous amount of evidence. I'm not an antisemitist, but I don't ignore their mistakes either.)

After an hour, he/she returned and deleted the question, claiming that

It doesn't seem like the author of the question will realize why their question is inappropriate and turn it into an answerable question, so I am shutting this down.

So he/she acted as a prophet!

This is the first time this is happening to me in any SE website. How can I be sure that he/she didn't act just according to his/her personal political feelings? As far as I know, usually people vote to close a question, and give enough time for an edit.

As you know, power without checks and balances can lead to corruption, and the moderators here are not an exception.

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    Please explain how a question that ends with "And how can the people of Israel live there without feeling shame? What is the difference of humans with wolves?" is appropriate for this site. – yannis Mod Sep 26 '19 at 9:07
  • @yannis, A "neutral" and "constructive" behavior by a moderator would be providing a link to the guidelines page and giving enough time for a review. I got involved in discussions in the comments. One hour wasn't enough time. Many of my questions have been closed on SE websites through votes. But as I said this is the first time any of them being deleted by a moderator. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 9:13
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    You have all the time you need. There's nothing stopping you from updating your question to conform with our standards. If you do, flag it for moderation attention so we can review your updates. As for links to the guidelines, there's one in the close message. – yannis Mod Sep 26 '19 at 9:22
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    No worries. But I should note that I do not see any obvious way of salvaging the question through editing. There might be something I'm missing, but I honestly don't see how we can get a neutral question that can be answered factually from it. – yannis Mod Sep 26 '19 at 9:27
  • @yannis. I'll first read the guidelines carefully. Maybe questions regarding ethical aspects of politics are not allowed here. If not, I'll ask whether Israel expansions and behavior toward Palestinians was/is in accordance to international law and human rights. I think a lot of political questions can be asked about that conflict. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 9:46
  • @yannis, Just I found that some questions have the tag "ethics". – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 9:52
  • @yannis, Could you show me the adjective "neutral" being used anywhere in the help center of this website? I see adjectives "objective" and "subjective" there. "Subjective" being defined as a claim that can't be backed up. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 9:58
  • Sure, see: What types of questions should I avoid asking?. "Constructive subjective questions ... have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone". I'm not entirely sure if the word "neutral" specifically is being used anywhere, but impartial is a synonym. Do also note that in the same article we very explicitly state that "If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here." – yannis Mod Sep 26 '19 at 10:02
  • @yannis, Okay. Thanks. I agree that claims must be backed up by facts. Is this the definition of being "impartial" here? – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 10:17

A moderator came and first of all deleted the phrase "the Jews" in the text without replacing it with any other phrase! (He/She accused me of "spread[ing] antisemitism", which is meaningless and simply subjective.

Let me explain why this was antisemitic.

You were criticizing actions of the government of Israel. There is nothing offensive about that per se (although criticizing a political entity does usually not make for a good, impartial question, but more about that later). No government should be immune to criticism. But you did so by calling them "the Jews". That's wrong for several reasons:

  1. Not all Jews in the world even live in Israel. There are between 15 and 20 million Jews in the world (depending on how you count) and barely 7 million of them live in Israel.
  2. Those Jews who do live in Israel do not all support any action of their government. The last election was a really close call.
  3. There are also non-Jewish voters in Israel who supported the current Israel government with their votes, so those are also partially responsible for the action of the Israeli government.

So if you conflate criticism of the government of Israel with criticism of "The Jews", you are being antisemitic because you are making all members of an ethnic group responsible for actions most of them have zero responsibility for. And this is a clear violation of the Code of Conduct section of No bigotry.

Now about the question itself.

In order for a question to be answerable on this website, it must be:

  • Phrased from a neutral point of view. That means it should not pass any judgment on any subject it is talking about.
  • Clear what exactly is being asked.
  • What is being asked must be reasonably scoped.
  • It must be possible to answer it subjectively without resorting to personal opinions and emotions.

Let's look at why this question fulfills neither of these points:

Why has the world allowed such a crime? And how can the people of Israel live there without feeling shame? What is the difference of humans with wolves?

This is clearly passing a judgment on the people of Israel and those parts of the world who support them. The Israel/Palestine conflict is not such a simple black and white affair. It is a complex issue. But you are already starting with a black and white presumption that one side is responsible for 100% of the violence.

It's not even clear what you are asking. "What is the difference of humans with wolves?" Wolves have fur, longer teeth, no arms, more legs and belong to the family of Canidae while humans are Primates. That's a biological question, not a political one. So what are you really asking here?

"Why does the world allow such a crime?" is not reasonably scoped. There are about 200 countries in the world. Some side with Israel, some side with Palestine, some have a "it depends" position and some try to stay neutral. They all have different reasons why they arrived at that position. We can not explain the exact reasoning of every single one.

What you are asking here are rhetorical questions which have the purpose to start an emotional discussion, not explain you facts. But politics stack exchange is not a discussion forum. As you can read on the article "What questions can I ask about here?":

Politics Stack Exchange is for objective questions about governments, policies and political processes.

It is not a place to advance opinions or debate, but rather for exchanging objective information about the policies, processes, and personalities that comprise the political arena.

What do we usually do with questions like this?

We usually try to fix the question by explaining the author what's wrong about it and work together with them to turn it into a question which is appropriate for this site. But you as the author showed zero interest in cooperating with that process. Instead of being open to criticism you simply denied any shortcomings of the question. I'm sorry, but if you approach the site with an attitude like that then we can not work with you. I therefore deleted the question.

How can you learn to post better questions in the future?

In order to find out how questions about the Israel/Palestine conflict are usually scoped and phrased, you might want to look at the top upvoted questions among that tag. I can also recommend the following resources. They are very helpful for understanding the Stack Exchange model:

  • As far as I know English, "Jews" means Jews in general, while "the Jews" means the group of Jews being considered in the context. I don't claim my English is perfect, but at least that is what I meant. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 11:11
  • I don't criticize only the actions of the government of Israel. A government, especially a democratic government, is based on its people. Personally, I don't allow myself to live in a place which is the homeland of some other people, now living in suffering. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 11:15
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    @apadana If you criticize the citizens of Israel instead of their government, then that would be bigotry against citizens of Israel. Still a Code of Conduct violation, just directed at a different subset of humanity. And still not an objectively answerable question. – Philipp Mod Sep 26 '19 at 11:21
  • I'm not really new at SE. As I said before, many of my questioned have been deemed as off-topic and then closed. But you deleted my question very fast, within one hour. Maybe you wanted to show your power. – user28298 Sep 26 '19 at 11:57

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