Microsoft tells clients Russian group hacked into emails, Bloomberg News reports

Wikipedia defends decision to declare Anti-Defamation League an unreliable source on Israel-Palestine

LONDON: Wikipedia has defended its decision to classify the Anti-Defamation League as an unreliable source on Israel’s war on the Palestinians.

The controversy erupted earlier this month when the editors of Wikipedia, one of the world’s most visited websites, deemed the ADL to be “generally unreliable on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The ADL criticized the decision, accusing Wikipedia of “depriving the Jewish community of its right to defend itself against hate directed at our community.”

“As joint leadership organizations, we express our concern and dismay at Wikipedia’s attack on ADL’s reliability on anti-Semitism and other issues of central concern to the Jewish community,” the ADL said.

The letter was signed by more than 40 Jewish organizations, including the American Friends of Likud, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Zionist Movement.

In the letter to Wikipedia’s parent company, the Wikimedia Foundation, the ADL called for an immediate investigation into “this decision and the motivation behind it.” It argued that Wikipedia’s decision could be used “as a cover for the perpetuation of anti-Semitism”, putting “the entire community at risk”.

However, the Wikimedia Foundation issued a statement Wednesday supporting its editors’ decision and the volunteer-led processes that “ensure that neutral and reliable information is available to all.”

“This independent relationship is crucial to ensuring that Wikipedia remains neutral and free from institutional bias. The foundation does not and does not intervene in decisions made by the community regarding the classification of a source,” the statement said.

It explained that the decision to classify the ADL as “generally unsafe” followed a two-month open discussion involving 120 volunteers. The discussion and results that led to the decision remain publicly available.

The Wikimedia Foundation also emphasized that “contrary to what several media outlets have incorrectly implied,” the ADL “remains a generally trusted source on Wikipedia. However, this was outside the subject of the Israel/Palestine conflict,” and the body could be cited in other areas, such as the definition of anti-Semitism, albeit “with some considerations.”

The ADL has faced intense scrutiny since the start of Israel’s most recent war for its rigid definition of anti-Semitism, leading to criticism of the organization’s decision to classify demonstrations with “anti-Zionist slogans and chants” as anti-Semitic.

The 100-year-old organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, has been accused of spreading conspiracy theories and falsely comparing protest movements in American colleges to representatives of Iran.

Leave a Comment