My question asking why Israel's reaction to Amnesty International's accusation of aparthied has been 'hysterical', as reported by Haaretz , was closed by a moderator @Phillip as merely being 'personal opinion'.

On further questioning, it turned out this was, allegedly, because I was soliciting personal opinion.

However, two possibilities present themselves as answers (and I'm sure that there are more):

  • the international reputation of Amnesty International

  • the cumulative impact of three reports in around a year. I mention the other two reports.

Hence why was this question closed? I can only assume that the moderator @Phillip is pro-Israeli and such partisan behavilur is not appropriate for a moderator on a highly controversial issue such as the Isael-Palestine conflict.


3 Answers 3


I believe that

  • the question in its current state is correctly closed as opinion-based; and
  • the question is salvageable, i.e. it can be edited to be non-opinion-based and thus reopened.
  • the second bullet point is not inevitable upon edit.

Currently opinion-based

Right now, the question consists of the assertion that X and Y said C, S reacted in no particular manner, then Z also said C upon which S reacted 'hysterically' as stated by N.

The way it is written, the question might refer to a single source document by N which may or may not outline the reasons why S reacted in this way, may or may not include quoted material of people who said 'hysterical', may or may not be asserting that by itself. The point is: we have basically no idea what is being referred to and the question as it currently stands is inviting people to provide their own opinions on the entire process.


According to the comments left here and on the question as well as the details included in the meta-question, it seems you are referring to a specific article by N, a news website. The first and most important step would be to have that source linked in the question to establish a baseline.

The next question is, who is actually saying 'hysterical' (in itself a loaded word). Is it source N? Is N quoting P, Q or R who are using that word? That is a very important factoid.

Only if we know all of the above, we may be able to answer which direct statements or actions caused the label to be applied to S and only by having means of comparison will we be able to discuss it.

I do see the potential of editing and rephrasing the question in a way that makes it not opinion-based but answerable based on sources available to the public.

Editing the question does not guarantee that it will be on-topic afterwards

In this specific case, it depends a lot on how the edits are made and what phrasing ends up in the edited version of the question. It might be that after including links to the relevant articles and quoting the relevant portions the question remains opinion-based, or maybe it becomes one of speculation (i.e. cannot be answered by sources available to the public). It will all depend on the final spin you intend to give your question post-edit.

Addendum lifted from the comment thread:

I object to editing my post when the fault in question is not mine but for moderator Phillip to rectify. Its obvious he is pro-Israel and this is why he closed the question. The kerfuffle over the source, the wording is merely to distract from the key issue. I want an apology from Phillip, and my post reinstated. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing wrong with it. – Your comment

Unfortunately, neither Meta nor the main site is a good place for you to hash out your personal, apparently one-sided problem with one of the diamond moderators. The general gist of all answers here is that your post was not good as is and was rightfully closed as opinion-based. This answer and others have suggested improvements that would make your post a good, on-topic question but you refuse to do so. That this is a majority opinion is reflected by the reopen review stats which were 3–0 in favour of leaving the question closed, stating that the original close reasons were not resolved.

Note that other questions of yours on the topic of Israel did go through a reopen review successfully or were not closed in a close vote review and were subsequently highly upvoted. 1, 2.

Repeating the same claim over and over will not make it true.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JJJ Mod
    Feb 8, 2022 at 19:31

Your question is bad because:

  • You don't cite sources. You leave any would-be answerer to find what exactly "Haaretz" said themselves, even though by answering your question they are presumably doing you a favor.
  • The text of your question doesn't fairly report what the source says. The source is paywalled, but its headline is "Analysis | Israel’s Hysterical Response to Amnesty’s ‘Apartheid’ Report". So the source isn't saying "Israel's response is hysterical", but rather "In the author's opinion, Israel's response is hysterical". There is a crucial difference.
  • Since the source is an analysis article, the answer as to why the author thinks Israel's response is hysterical ought to be within it. In other words, you'd be able to answer the question if you read the article. Why are you asking on SE? What do you expect people to say anyway, when the answer is in the article?
  • The only honest reason I can think of for why you are asking instead of reading the article yourself is that you don't have access to it (it is paywalled after all), and are asking for someone who has access to summarize it to you. But that's not what your question says.
  • Finally, your comments give off the feeling that your question is actually a push question masquerading as something else. In other words, the aim of the question is actually to get people to read the article and see why Israel's actions are hysterical.

I don't think the question is opinion based, but as written it is very low-quality, and could be closed for any number of reasons:

  • Too basic (if the answer you are looking for really is in the article)
  • Unclear what you are asking (if the answer you are looking for isn't in the article, then you don't explain why the article's reasons don't explain why they think Israel's reaction is hysterical)
  • As a push question (see #5 in the above list)

I've closed the question because the way it is currently written it can only be answered with personal opinions.

As you know, Politics Stack Exchange is not a place for personal opinions. It is not a platform to judge if the reaction of some government on some accusation is really "hysterical", and neither is it a place to speculate on why they reacted the way they did.

If you would like to read peoples opinions on some article on some news website, then I recommend to read the comments on the article itself or what people on social media comment on the article.

  • As I've pointed out already there are objective criteria by which my question can be answered. It can ve objrctively assesed whether Amnesty International's reputation is more significant than either B'TSalem or Human Roghts Watch. It can also be objectively assessed that it is the cumaltive impact, after all it is the third such report published in a year. And whilst similar accusations have been brought for some time by Palestinian based pro-Palestine organisations such as al-Haq or Adalah, these are respected international organisations that aren't parochially nationalist and so their ... Feb 8, 2022 at 9:03
  • ... are going to habe a greater impact. Your allegation that my question can only be answered by 'petsonal opinion' does not hold water. I can only assume that you hold a pro-Israel position and as I have already said above, such a partisan position is inappropriate in a moderator when the contentious issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict comes up. Please reinstate my post. Feb 8, 2022 at 9:06
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    @MoziburUllah If you assume that the only reason why one would close your question is that the person got to be "pro Israel", then the logical conclusion would be that your question is clearly "anti Israel". And as you should know by now, questions on this website should be neutral. So when your question is "anti-whoever", then it is off-topic per se. And no, I am not partisan anti Israel. I am partisan anti opinion.
    – Philipp Mod
    Feb 8, 2022 at 9:17
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    @MoziburUllah What kind of not opinion-based answers would you expect to read on such a question?
    – Philipp Mod
    Feb 8, 2022 at 9:25
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    @MoziburUllah - Have you thought about editing the question to (a) state the actual question more clearly ("Why has Israel's reaction to the Amnesty Internation Report been more severe than in previous cases?") and to (b) include a link to the article that you are using to back up your assertion that it is more severe? I imagine that would notably improve the reception, and you would still get answers. I feel like a lot of your questions have a "Did you know this?" quality about them, but in this case, a handful of minor edits would make it clearly objectively answerable.
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 9:57
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    Considering that HRW has more funding and (in recent years) a larger international media presence than Amnesty International, it is indeed a pertinent question as to why their report would make less of an impact (if that is indeed what happened).
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 9:59
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    @MoziburUllah - Whether Phillip is motivated by bias or not, I don't think it make sense to ask a question written in such a manner as to specifically inform people about some interesting thing that you read more than seek answers (which is something that you do a lot, I feel) and then say that it is fine as is. Do you think that my suggested changes would make your question worse? They are only in accordance with what you have been saying in the comments.
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:04
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    @MoziburUllah - It would make a difference insofar as the question would be reopened and upvoted. Which, if you want answers—or even want to write an answer or for someone else to write an answer that agrees with your analysis of the situation—would presumably be helpful. As for providing links, that is very useful for heading off downvotes and helping readers understand the question.
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:11
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    And to be honest, I do think that my framing is notably clearer and comes off as less likely to solicit opinion-based answers from the outset. Particularly because the title right now almost reads like your statement rather Ha'aretz's. People could ask all kinds of push questions like that: e.g., "Why is Biden 'senile'*?" (*according to insert right wing conspiracy website here).
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:14
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    I have nothing to apologize for.
    – Philipp Mod
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:25
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    Well, I think the changes are more than cosmetic. I am guessing that you agree with the assessment of the situation that Ha'aretz has made. Which, OK, lots of people do, even if they would not use the same 19th century gendered medical analogy as the newspaper. But then the question seems to be explicitly written in large part to express that opinion, which makes it look more like a push question than an honest quest for answers—even if that is not what you intended.
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:25
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    You talk about how people are closing questions on a knee-jerk basis to avoid any discussion of the Israel-Palestine issue–and that is undoubtedly true in at least some (many?) cases! However, I don't think that is a blanket absolution from writing questions in a way that is not easily misinterpreted as just a statement on an issue.
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:29
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    Asking for a reference to the article under discussion is utterly unobjectionable and would be common practice on most Stack Exchange sites: providing a reference in the original question would be expected here or on other soc sci/humanities SEs. Yet the OP reacts as though they are being personally attacked and says it's too much trouble to provide a reference. This suggests bad faith, even if (as others have mentioned) it could be converted into a reasonable question with references and neutral language. People asking questions have the responsibility to help others to provide answers.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 8, 2022 at 10:47
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    @Bobson No, the question still got too many issues which need to be resolved before it can be reopened. For details, check out the "TODO"s I added to the question. Also note that the community can already decide to reopen the question by voting to reopen.
    – Philipp Mod
    Feb 9, 2022 at 13:27
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    @Philipp - I do not envy you your job. Thank you for the effort you put in.
    – Bobson
    Feb 10, 2022 at 17:54

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