Talk for Article "Fact check: John Bolton’s claim about Palestine"

Talk about this Article

  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    (A personal note of thanks to WikiTRIBUNE creator, Jimmy Wales, for keeping an eye on things and ensuring the “Talk” section remains robust, but focused on facts … not food fights.)

    Meanwhile, back in Gotham City …

    Have done more research on the kinds of arguments presented by both the “… it IS a state” and the “… it is NOT a state” international law experts, and hope to share this with WikiTRIBUNE colleagues soon.

    This whole issue is incredibly interesting — and complicated. Far more so than I first thought.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    Jessie Collins and Prodos,

    This is how I understand WT to work. Anyone can make suggestions for edits. They should provide evidence to back up their claims. If they disagree with a fact check, the burden is on them to provide counter evidence.

    I have done the leg work of researching the relevant international law and confirmed it with experts. You are welcome to do the same and if you can provide counter evidence then you are perfectly free to edit.

    As far as I know, there are two accepted theories of statehood within international law: The Constitutive theory and the Declarative. I have provided evidence that Palestine meets these.

    So for you to make the claim it doesn’t, it’s not enough to claim blanket denials. You have to show why >2/3 of states recognizing Palestine (at the UNGA) is not enough to meet the Constitutive theory.

    OR

    Why Palestine does not have a defined territory, a government or capacity to form relations with other countries thus not satisfying the Declarative..

    OR

    There is a third theory of statehood that trumps the other two and one in which Palestine does not meet the criteria so stipulated.

    You have failed to do any of this and yet you wish to change the rating of the fact check. This does not sound reasonable.

    Edited: 2018-10-23 17:47:42 By Deleted User + 51 Characters .. + 4% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      WT is suppose to be different. Every other fact check website is full of biased assumptions which fit the world view of the author.

      If you are claiming Palestine is a State, you can do so, but make the assumptions clear, and present the opposing view points, which so happen to be supported by half the G20 nations.

      However at this point I think you are toxic to this community with your repeated unprovoked character attacks. I honestly don’t think WikiTRIBUNE is the right platform for you.

      On the bright side, the way this talk page has played out is a good case study in the difficulty of running a collaborative news site, and I think a lot could be learned from it to help incorporate new features to help resolve conflict and bias.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Jessie, good points.

        I think it’s significant that the official website of the “Palestinian State” acknowledges that, notwithstanding its aspirations, it is not at present a sovereign state.

        https://www.nad.ps/en/our-position/security

        Two excerpts that illustrate this:

        // The Palestinnians have genuine and legitimate interest in establishing a Palestinian state that will be recognized, that acts as an independent state and is able to exercise its full rights and responsibilities as a sovereign nation.The Palestinian state needs also to be able to govern and exercise authority effectively, and maintian a responsible self-defence capability … //

        // Ending the Israeli occupation through full withdrawal from all Palestinian territory, airspace and territorial waters with no residual Israeli presence or control is a basic requirement for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state … //

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          You’ve literally quoted from a site that has “State of Palestine” as a title to argue that it is not a state. This is awesome.

        2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          From your own link:

          “The international community is obliged to ensure these rights are protected and realized by ending the Israeli occupation of the STATE of Palestine.” [emphasis mine]

          From the website’s banner:

          “STATE OF PALESTINE” [emphasis theirs]

          More evidence that facts do not matter but political bias is the motive.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            The DISCREPANCY between the website’s title — “State of Palestine” –and the statement I quoted from the website, which indicates that this entity, by its own statement, does not currently possess the sovereignty requisite for statehood is one of the many reasons why John Bolton (and others) refer to it as the “so-called State of Palestine”.

            The discrepancy is the point.

            i.e. The entity is referring to itself as a “state” when it’s not a state.

            It would be like someone calling themselves a “fact-checker” but not behaving like one.

            Such a person would become known as a “so-called fact-checker”.

            Edited: 2018-10-24 21:27:30 By Prodos Marinakis (talk | contribs) + 36 Characters .. + 5% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
              DU
              Deleted User

              There is no “discrepancy”. They clearly failed to update their website on that page. Prior to 2012, the official name for Palestine was the Occupied Palestinian Territories. But after they became a STATE, they are called State of Palestine as it says repeatedly all over the website. You’ve Cherry picked a few words from one page just as you’ve singled out other countries who’ve not yet recognized Palestine despite facts of law. This is not rational behavior.

      2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Greetings Jessie,

        Here is another reference on the Palestinian’s official website that seems to acknowledge its current lack of full sovereignty:

        Under the heading “6. Where does Oslo stand in 2018?” we read:

        // Almost 25 years after the Oslo Agreement was signed, and 19 years after the deadline for the Interim Period, Israel remains in full control of the land and the people of Palestine. //

        This is seen by the Palestinians as an unsatisfactory situation.

        Nevertheless, I read it as another confirmation that the Palestinians recognise they do not currently possess full sovereignty over either their population or their territory.

        I’m in the process of researching this further.

        I’ve also been reading papers by international law experts from both sides of the argument.

        i.e. Both those who argue that the Palestinians do meet the standards of statehood, and those who argue that they do not.

        Further details later.

        Best Wishes,

        Prodos

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I know I’m late to the game here. But I’ve read this article quite a few times, and although I’ve tried to like it, I can’t get past what I consider to be reportorial shortcomings.

    The first substantive section concludes Bolton’s statement that Palestine is not a state is false. This is based primarily on opinions by two experts. But the experts are not quoted, and the references (links) in the story do not stand for the proposition they are offered for. One link is to an expert’s resume, and the other is to another expert’s alleged membership in an international organization. The referenced material does not stand for the proposition that Bolton was “simply mistaken.”

    Also, the article is misleading inasmuch as it refers to the experts’ “unanimous” opinion. Unanimity of two? That feels like argument and probably has no place in a fact-checking article. Anyway, what makes their opinions more meaningful than Bolton’s?

    The next paragraph in the story just concludes that “Palestine meets all the criteria for statehood.” Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but the conclusory statement about Palestine’s borders, population, and government are the author’s opinion, not reported facts.

    And the discussion of passage of UN resolution 67/19 in 2012 is testimony to the fact that there is a difference of political opinion, not that Bolton’s statement was false.

    So what we have is a story that shows some people disagree with Bolton. (A consensus? The story doesn’t say so.) This story may be that two experts in international law disagree with Bolton, but is far from allowing a legitimate conclusion that Bolton made a false statement.

    I’m not saying the story should not be written, or as unworthy of publication. I do suggest the story needs to be rewritten, with better or at least amplified references, as a traditional piece – i.e., there is some expert disagreement with the Bolton statement. But as it is, it does not have sufficient underpinning to be able to say that Bolton’s statement was false.

    I’m sorry this discussion piece comes so late. I’m writing on the theory that this being a wiki the story is never done.

    Edited: 2018-10-19 20:31:07 By Steve Merican (talk | contribs) -34 Characters .. -1% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      Two of the experts I cited are named and because they gave very detailed explanations, I quoted them in full here in the comments instead of the article itself. See below.

      Two other experts wish to remain anonymous but both are professors of international law or political science (one at Oxford and the other at UCLA).

      I also gave links to international law so that the reader can verify themselves.

      I think the issue of international law is pretty straightforward due to the facts of Palestine’s population, politics and also matters of relevant international bodies. So if those have disagreements, it is their burden to prove otherwise. There will never be complete unanimity on anything. Even matters of settled scientific fact will have some outlier experts. This article is one that touches on a contentious political matter and I think many of those who are raising objections are doing so not because they have good reasons and are looking at things dispassionately but because of political bias.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        > many of those who are raising objections are doing so not because they have good reasons and are looking at things dispassionately but because of political bias.

        You are being biased here. You are injecting your opinion into this fact-check, and using 2/4 experts who agree with you to push a conclusion that is currently disputed by 10 of the most powerful nations in the world.

        Everyone commenting is saying there is not consensus, and that you should qualify the fact check outcome. This is politically-neutral. You are arguing for interpreting this fact check with specific highly-contentious assumptions.

        Here is your personal bias in play:

        > I think the issue of international law is pretty straightforward…

        It is not about your opinion. It is about the assumptions you are using to interpret the fact check.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Nan Chen writes:

          “… many of those who are raising objections are doing so … because of political bias.”

          Prove it, Nan Chen.

          Prove it like a fact-checker would prove it.

          Prove that people like Jessie and me are merely exercising “political bias”.

          Prove that we have not offered arguments and evidence. That we’ve merely made baseless assertions.

          Until you initiated this character-attack, everyone who was questioning your conclusions and methodology, and offering a different perspective, was doing so without attacking your character.

          So be a fact-checker and PROVE we are merely engaging in “political bias”.

          Or withdraw this unfair, uncalled-for character-attack.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
            DU
            Deleted User

            How about this. You prove that most, or at least a sizable minority of international legal experts disagree with my analysis. That’s the main issue. I think we know why you keep dodging it.

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

              Nan if you persist in these personal attacks, I will personally ban you from the site. I’ve warned you already.

              It’s one thing to disagree with other people’s arguments – it’s quite another thing to baselessly insult them.

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                DU
                Deleted User

                I see that you only choose to look at one side. You don’t even look at when the others called me “one sided” and biased. These are not “personal attacks”?

                Fine.

                Edited: 2018-10-25 18:21:47 By Deleted User + 13 Characters .. + 7% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          You are confusing the comments I made here with what’s included in the fact check. Yes, it’s my opinion that many who are objecting are doing so due to bias instead of having actual evidence. I think the comments speaks for themselves.

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Steve Merican wrote:

      “… the story needs to be rewritten … i.e., there is some expert disagreement with the Bolton statement. But as it is, it does not have sufficient underpinning to be able to say that Bolton’s statement was false.”

      I agree.

      The views of the 4 experts with whom Nan Chen has communicated — and who dispute the Bolton statement — should of course be noted.

      The article also needs to include genuine experts who interpret the matter of Palestinian statehood differently, based on the criteria of “customary international law” (and possibly based on other standards also).

      Jimmy Wales wrote: “Once Bolton invoked ‘customary international law’ then we are in the world of the Montevideo Convention, and he is saying that Palestine doesn’t meet the test there – which is not about recognition by other states. But it clearly does, since it has a territory, a population, and a governing authority.”

      Sorry, but it is not self-evident that Palestine “clearly does” meet the standards of Montevideo or “customary international law”.

      For instance, according to some non-biased experts the Palestinians can not claim to have “clearly defined territory” when they do not exercise sovereignty over the territory they claim is there’s.

      That they publish maps of what they claim is their territory that also include parts or all of Israel, further undermines the notion that they possess “clearly defined territory”.

      Nor can they claim to have a Montevideo standard of government when they possess treaties with Israel that they have not revoked and which significantly limit their capacity to engage in diplomacy, form an army, etc.

      Consider this item from Wikipedia:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montevideo_Convention#Customary_international_law

      “The European Union … follows the Montevideo Convention in its definition of a state … ”

      Yet, at present, almost all the countries of the EU decline to recognise Palestinian statehood — even while they wish to acquire full statehood.

      I think this is significant and a “fact-check” that leaves out such matters is mightily deficient.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
        DU
        Deleted User

        “The article also needs to include genuine experts who interpret the matter of Palestinian statehood differently, based on the criteria of “customary international law” (and possibly based on other standards also).”

        How about you contact them and post their direct quotes here? It’s easy to raise objections without having done any of the leg work and research.

        “Yet, at present, almost all the countries of the EU decline to recognise Palestinian statehood — even while they wish to acquire full statehood.”

        This is simply false. A minimal amount of research would have shown it to be the case.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Prodos: “… almost all the countries of the EU decline to recognise Palestinian statehood …”

          Nan Chen: “This is simply false.”

          Wikipedia: ….

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_the_State_of_Palestine

          “Palestine is NOT recognized as a state by Israel, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and MOST of the European Union, among others.”

          (My CAPS emphasis)

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
            DU
            Deleted User

            You’ve gone from “almost all” to most. 17/28 is most but not almost all. Also of the 17, most simply abstained rather than denied it was a state.

            But the most important issue is (which you keep dodging) why do you focus on Europe? Are European government’s views more important than the rest of the over one hundred states from other parts of the world? Do they not matter? What reasoning is this?

          2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Nan Chen wrote:

            // You’ve gone from “almost all” to most. 17/28 is most but not almost all. Also of the 17, most simply abstained rather than denied it was a state. //

            Then at least we can agree that most EU countries — as well as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand — do not currently recognise the statehood of the Palestinians.

            I propose that this fact be included in the article.

            // But the most important issue is (which you keep dodging) why do you focus on Europe? Are European government’s views more important than the rest of the over one hundred states from other parts of the world? Do they not matter? What reasoning is this? //

            There’s been no “dodging” by me. Nor any “political bias” by me. We can and should have this discussion — and all discussions — on WikiTribune without impugning or attacking the character of those who hold a different view or who are simply, honestly unconvinced by someone else’s conclusions.

            I respect the research you’ve done and the time and work you’ve put into this issue. I think it’s admirable.

            What I challenge is the conclusion.
            i.e. That the Bolton assertion is “false”.

            I challenge this conclusion because:

            There are in fact reputable experts and reputable nations who — based on the criteria of “customary international law’ — do not consider the Palestinians to have yet fulfilled the criteria of statehood.

            My own (non-expert) reading of the “customary international law” criteria, as well as my reading of BOTH those who argue for AND those who argue against the validity of the Palestinian’s statehood status makes me skeptical.

            What I mean is that the Bolton assertion seems to not be a clear-cut case of either “true” or “false”.

            Or put another way: To conclude that the Bolton assertion is “true” would be as problematic as to conclude that it is “false”.

            Regarding your question: “Are European government’s views more important than the rest of the over one hundred states from other parts of the world?”

            No.

            Nor are they less important.

            I value all people regardless of their race or nationality or ethnicity, and desire freedom, happiness, security, and prosperity for all people around the world.

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
              DU
              Deleted User

              The relevant questions are

              1. How many states does it take to recognize Palestine for statehood?

              2. How many do?

              Everything else you’ve said is clearly a fallacious attempt at distraction. No evidence. No matters of fact have been aduced. Just opinion. That’s all.

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                Nam Chen writes:

                // The relevant questions are

                // 1. How many states does it take to recognize Palestine for statehood?”

                Is that the key criteria for determining statehood used by the 4 experts you have communicated with?

                1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                  DU
                  Deleted User

                  4 is more than many fact checks by sites like politifact etc often use. You’ve supplied 0 experts and more importantly 0 publically available evidence. Just fallacious distraction and Cherry picked data such as the G20 (while erroneously making claims such as “almost all” do not recognize Palestine etc).

                  I’ve randomly selected experts I’ve found on Google scholar after using “Palestine” “statehood” and “international law” search words while you and Jessie Collins only look at the side that fits one version and providing zero new info. I’ve included info in the fact check already mention not all countries recognize it as a state. This is just caviling on your behalf.

                  Edited: 2018-10-24 20:19:08 By Deleted User + 38 Characters .. + 5% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    We can’t really have a quote from an “anonymous expert”. I’m not editing it out just yet, but neither do I think we can publish in the current state.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Just to add to this, the “anonymous expert” doesn’t seem to add anything of value that we didn’t already have.

      What we had before was an explanation based on the Montevideo convention of why there is a difference between one state recognizing another and the legal definition of whether there is a state in “customary international law”. Now we just have a bald assertion from an anonymous expert, rather than an explanation that can convince and educate the reader.

      I’ll wait a few minutes since it seems that Nan Chen is active now, but I’m definitely going to revert this change!

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
        DU
        Deleted User

        I am not sure what the protocol on using anonymous experts are so I’ll leave it to you or someone who is more familiar to edit the post.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          I put it back to the last version. I do like your idea of splitting it into separate claims rather than the way I wrote it as one claim that is true or false depending on what he meant. I have to run right now so I can’t do that, but I will tomorrow if I don’t get to it tonight – or you can. And after that I think we can publish…

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
            DU
            Deleted User
            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

              I followed this very interesting discussion and, gave the report a final look I think we can publish it now.

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                DU
                Deleted User

                OK, sounds good.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    I received a reply from John Dugard who is a professor of international law and was a member of the UN International Law Commission.

    https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/barristers/profile/john-dugard-sc

    He has given me permission to post his reply.

    “Palestine is a state recognised as such by 139 states..
    In 2012 it was recognised as non-member observer state by the UN General assembly.
    It will not be admitted to UN as a full member state because of US veto.
    It is a member of many institutions that restrict membership to states –
    such as UNESCO, the International Criminal Court, OPCW, Permanent Court of Arbitration .
    It is a party to many multilateral treaties, including all the multilateral human rights and humanitarian law treaties, reserved for states only.
    It meets the traditional requirements of statehood: Permanent population, territory, capacity to enter into relations with other states and effective government
    (although the Israeli occupation limits this effectiveness.)

    The recognition of states is essentially a political act. Although the evidence points in the direction of Palestine as a state, the USA, Israel and some other states refuse to accept it as such.
    Mr Bolton therefore accurately portrays the US position. But this is not accepted by most states.

    The issue of Palestinian statehood is likely to be raised by USA before International Court of Justice in Palestine’s application brought against USA over Jerusalem.”

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    “Bolton was wrong that Palestine does not have defined borders”

    According to your quote of Bolton, he didn’t say it doesn’t _have_ defined borders, he said it doesn’t _control_ defined borders.

    That is arguably correct. If the green line are the borders, if I’m not mistaken, they don’t actually control that border at all.

    Is there a reference or a view of international law that matches Bolton’s definition of controlling defined borders?

    That seems to me the real question.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      You’re right. He actually said it doesn’t control defined boundaries. However, that is not a criteria of statehood. Having a defined territory (I take this to be well defined borders) is one criterion however. I took him to mean this even though he didn’t say it.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Super interesting.

        I think it pretty clear that “controlling” ones own borders isn’t a criterion, while having “defined” borders is. After all, many states that no one denies are states (Ukraine is a contemporary example) have borders that they can’t control due to armed conflict. Indeed, that Ukraine is a state hasn’t seriously been questioned by anyone even as their defined territory has been redefined (by Russia) against their will.

        I’d be totally interested to read something quite technical, if anyone knows of anything, about the question of what is the received wisdom in terms of defining “defined territory”!

        Edited: 2018-10-11 16:33:32 By Jimmy Wales (talk | contribs) + 204 Characters .. + 45% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          I suspect that it’s the case with many, if not most large countries, that they do not fully control large parts of their borders. I know that China and India do not control large sections of the border they share and instead they have of “lines of actual control” which may be several kilometers behind the border. This is because they have disputed borders.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            I have no subject matter expertise here, but the situation with Palestinian boundaries seems to be qualitatively different than Ukraine, China, India, or even the US: the majority of the border is controlled and unquestioned, and disputes seem to be with one (or a few maybe) other states about each particular stretch of the border. Is that true?

      2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        That’s definitely a valid thing to do, but you should say so.

        “Even though Bolton clearly said it should control defined boundaries, we’ll just ignore the ‘control’ part because we don’t know what to do with it, and it would destroy our argument.”

        Or whatever you think is correct here.

        If indeed you claim that Palestine has both controlled borders (and a government the fulfills the normal functions of government), then it’s worth showing/exploring how exactly the borders as controlled by the government differ from the borders as defined (green line).

        I tried to look it up on (!) wikipedia but it wasn’t obvious after a few minutes of searching. Gotta get back to work 🙂

  7. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I think we are close to consensus, and I very nearly clicked ‘publish’ but as this one has involved a bit of back and forth, I just wanted to leave it for a few more hours to see if there are any further clarifications we should make before publishing.

    Of course, publishing isn’t the end of it – we can keep editing afterwards.

  8. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    > This claim is False as simply stated if we treat it as being without context.

    This smells of bias. “Without context” is simply implying another context. The “Fact check” section of the article should not being with “false”, it should begin with a fact check given the definition that is most relevant with respect to the context of the original statement.

    I agree with Mohamed Salih when he says “John Bolton was clearly stating the position of the U.S. government on this matter.”

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      Bolton: “It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood”

      That is the context. Then we have to ask, What does international law have to say?

      The US “recognition” is simply irrelevant because it does not get to make unilateral decisions on international law. As John Quigley pointed out below, that is based on relevant international institutions.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        > Bolton: “It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood”

        This should be mentioned in the article. The reader shouldn’t be expected to watch the video.

        The lead says:

        > John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor, said in a White House press briefing on October 3rd, that Palestine is “not a state now.” He was responding to a reporter who asked about his phrasing of calling Palestine a “so-called state”.

        Watching the video confirms that the full quote is: “not a state now. It does not meet the customary…”

        Edited: 2018-10-10 12:15:59 By Jessie Collins (talk | contribs) + 62 Characters .. + 12% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          I also found a Wikipedia article on “customary international law” too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customary_international_law

          It seems its not just a turn of speech. If the fact check is debating this, it should say something about what Customary International Law is.

          The crux of the question becomes: does the definition of statehood from the [Montevideo Convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montevideo_Convention) apply to Palestine.

          Edited: 2018-10-10 12:22:51 By Jessie Collins (talk | contribs) + 255 Characters .. + 92% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Thanks, Jessie, I’have made a quick stab at adding that context – you could do it too, of course – no one “owns” articles here.

            As it turns out, the new information appears to be quite crucial to me and caused me to change my mind. Once Bolton invoked “customary international law” then we are in the world of the Montevideo Convention, and he is saying that Palestine doesn’t meet the test there – which is not about recognition by other states. But it clearly does, since it has a territory, a population, and a governing authority.

            Edited: 2018-10-10 12:47:14 By Jimmy Wales (talk | contribs) + 419 Characters .. + 315% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
              DU
              Deleted User

              I’ve spoken with one other expert and I will be adding her input in the check in a little while.

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                Great! I would imagine you’re happier with the article now in any event?

                1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                  DU
                  Deleted User

                  I’ve added another claim that I fact checked. The expert I talked to said that on the legal issue, Bolton is simply “mistaken”. But she also said there is a political issue that the US doesn’t recognize Palestine. This is true and I’be rated it in the fact check.

                  I think Bolton either conflated these two issues or fallacious thought the first claim follows from the second. I think we need to be very clear in the fact check that they are distinct.

                  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                    Yes, I think that’s the big advance we have here.

                    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                      There is too much debate in the international community to clearly say that the statement is false.

                      Consulting only two experts on such a highly-contested issue that “unanimously” agree with the original assertion appears biased.

                      Whether it is a state under customary international law is clearly open to interpretation of the language in the Montevideo Convention. Many cite that it does not fully satisfy the criteria.

                      Here is the relevant Wikipedia article on the contention: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_the_State_of_Palestine#Opinions_of_officials_and_legal_scholars

                      Prodos Marinakis makes some good points below too.

                    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                      Jessie Collins writes:

                      “There is too much debate in the international community to clearly say that the statement is false … Whether it is a state under customary international law is clearly open to interpretation of the language in the Montevideo Convention. Many cite that it does not fully satisfy the criteria.”

                      I agree.

                      A “fact check” of the Bolton assertion that “Palestine is not a state” needs to include …

                      – a reasonably full survey of the TYPES of arguments commonly used to argue for and against an entity’s statehood

                      – and a summary of the most authoritative arguments FOR & AGAINST the Bolton position as it relates to the Palestinian entity.

                      Rather than concluding that the assertion “Palestine is not a state” is “false” I would recommend a conclusion of: “contested” or “unresolved”.

                  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                    DU
                    Deleted User

                    Jessie Collins,

                    I actually consulted four international law experts (two wish to remain anonymous but are from prestigious US and UK institutions) and as far as the issue of international law is concerned, all of them seem to agree that the issue is straightforward and settled.

                    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                      There are also experts that disagree, but were obviously not contacted. So what is the relevance of the “X number of non-randomly selected experts less than a statistically significant sample size) unanimously agree”?

                      It has the appearance of bias.

                    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                      DU
                      Deleted User

                      Jessie Collins,

                      Another false statement from you. I used google scholar to find two experts and randomly selected two others from Oxford and UCLA’s international law programs.

                      If there were so many experts that disagree, it’s becoming more suspect that you haven’t supplied a single one to provide a critical viewpoint to my analysis. It should be very easy to do so if there were so many.

                      Why is that? It’s too obvious.

            2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

              ONE-SIDED & PREMATURE?

              Nan Chen has clearly made a good faith effort to speak with reputable experts.

              And the views of John Quigley and John Dugard are indeed expert opinions. But they are still opinions.

              Are there also expert opinions arguing AGAINST the proposition that Palestine meets the criteria to qualify as a state?

              Of course, there are. That’s why there are countries that do not recognise Palestine’s full statehood.

              Indeed, all the countries that do not recognise Palestinian full statehood – including the USA and Israel — are officially in favour of the Palestinians eventually attaining statehood – and some of them have spent time and resources to assist that process.

              A survey of those experts who are already known to argue that Palestine qualifies as a state is necessary and the “fact check” article has fulfilled this requirement.

              But a so-called “fact check” of John Bolton’s assertion also requires a survey of those qualified experts who hold the contrary view. i.e. Who agree with the Bolton view and explain why they agree with the Bolton view.

              Such credible experts who agree with the Bolton proposition may be more difficult to locate and access but leaving them out of the fact-checker’s research means a conclusion on the Bolton assertion cannot yet be reached.

              NOT-YET-A-STATE?

              While there is “politics” involved in key states not recognising a “Palestinian State” there is also “politics” involved in self-declaring as a “Palestinian State”.

              The United Nations — being a vast enterprise embracing many competing interests — is itself not immune from occasional “politics”.

              The nations which do NOT recognise the full statehood status of Palestine include most of the world’s most legally advanced nations.

              Here is a partial list:

              Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

              This is not a trivial point if one is conducting a “fact check”.

              Even more so if one is relying on “Customary International Law” which is highly influenced by the concept of Natural Law.

              In contrast, most of the nations that are listed as recognising a “Palestinian State” have a poor record for rule of law within their own nations, and many also have a dismal human rights record.

              That’s something that can itself be fact-checked and if true would not be out-of-place in the Bolton fact-check article.

              It would not be biased or non-objective to note the legal and human rights history and current status of the countries arguing both sides of the proposition – if there appear to be verifiably distinct qualities common to each side, AND if those qualities affect the credibility or reliability of their arguments or positions.

              For instance, what if a nation that implements the death penalty for changing one’s religion accuses a nation which protects freedom of conscience of censorship?

              I would also like to add that those countries that have prematurely recognised a “Palestinian State” are themselves in breach of international law – as may be the United Nations itself.

              CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW (CIL) CRITERIA?

              Jimmy Wales writes:

              “… Once Bolton invoked “customary international law” then we are in the world of the Montevideo Convention, and he is saying that Palestine doesn’t meet the test there – which is not about recognition by other states. But it clearly does, since it has a territory, a population, and a governing authority.”

              I’ve also examined the Montevideo Convention and the CIL criteria. Yet, I conclude that Palestine clearly does NOT meet the conditions of full statehood.

              For instance …

              Palestine does not have sovereign title over the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. This runs counter to the “defined territory” criteria.

              If the Palestinian Authority produces literature that shows Palestine extending into Israeli territory and even literature that does not show Israel at all, then the Palestinian entity does not have a “defined territory”.

              At least 12 of the countries which are reported to recognise a “Palestinian State” do so based on a pre-1967 border, thereby indicating that there is not currently a “defined territory”. Ironically, by recognising Palestine as a state but doing so based on non-existent borders, those countries have neutralised one of the key criteria of Montevideo.

              The governance of the Palestinian territories is in a highly unstable state with a history of violent clashes and contesting territorial (and other) claims between Hamas and Fatah.
              What is the law of the land that governs the Palestinian territories? What is the status of Palestinian Law? It’s very difficult to pin down and seems contradictory and inconsistent. It might therefore not meet Montevideo’s “government” criteria.

              Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority has, over the years, signed several accords with Israel. If these have not been revoked and are still in force, then we find that Palestine is unable to act independent of foreign governments since Israel maintains overarching authority over many of its key activities.

              Therefore, it seems that Palestine does not currently possess a Montevideo-compatible form of government.

              CONCLUSION

              Claiming that Bolton’s assertion is “false” is premature.
              I propose that this be changed pending further research.

              I welcome comments and criticism.

              Edited: 2018-10-18 08:22:54 By Prodos Marinakis (talk | contribs) + 10 Characters .. + 0% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                DU
                Deleted User

                I’m sure there will always be some experts who disagree. Much as there will always be some experts even in “settled” scientific matters who will always disagree with established facts such as evolution and anthropogenic global warming (<2% of current climate scientists). The ideal of unanimity among experts is too high a standard. There cannot be a business of fact checking if such a high standard is set.

                "Palestine does not have sovereign title over the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. This runs counter to the “defined territory” criteria."

                From what the experts have said to me, the "defined territory" criterion is met by the 67 borders. They need not have complete "sovereign title" over that territory. It merely needs to be defined. That is the strict wording of the Montevideo Convention.

                "The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states."

                Palestine meets these criteria.

                Also I do not believe that the current status between The Palestinian Authority government and Hamas is one of "violent clashes". They have had a unity government since 2014.

        2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          It’s always a good idea to get context and look at primary sources in fact checking. That’s why I included the video.

  9. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    I asked John Quigley who is a professor of law at Moritz College of Law and an expert on international human rights law for his input. He gave me permission to post his email to me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._Quigley

    Here’s his reply:

    “I am not able to organize a consensus view among specialists. What I can tell you is that the relevant international institutions have said that Palestine is a state. The key one is the UN General Assembly, Res. 67/19 of 29 November 2012. The ICJ is likely to consider that resolution definitive, as did the International Criminal Court, which in light of Res. 67/19 said that Palestine is a state. To date, the issue of Palestine being a state has not come before the ICJ. But it will take Res. 67/19 as definitive, as an expression of the international community that Palestine is a state. As well, the ICJ will look at the actions of the UN Secretary General when Palestine has sent him notifications that it is acceding to multilateral treaties, as Palestine has done with regard to quite a few multilateral treaties in the past few years. The Secretary General has accepted those notifications. Such notifications are valid only if the entity submitting them is a state. The Secretary General has a legal department behind him, so that means it is on board with the proposition that Palestine is a state.”

    I will email some other experts to get their input and post them in the comments if they reply.

  10. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Chen: I will answer to your comment here since there is a tech issue and I can’t comment on your comment.

    I would say fact checking is not about checking ” opinions” it’s a bout checking “verifiable and empirical claims” as per WT – FC guideline , John Bolton was clearly stating the position of the U.S. government on this matter.

    We can surely fact check the information he provided such when he said clearly this is a position taken since 1988 by both democrats and republicans. so we can fact check this date, but by no means we fact check the political position of the U.S. or any other country.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      Whether it’s a state or not is not an opinion but a legal fact in international law. Just as whether the US is a state or Russia or Jamaica etc.

      Can you supply evidence that this isn’t a legal issue of fact but of opinion? I’d be happy to change my views if you can show statehood is a matter of mere personal opinion.

      Edited: 2018-10-06 23:29:19 By Deleted User + 10 Characters .. + 3% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      Also notice that Bolton did not say “I think…” or “The US position is…”

      He said “It’s not a state.” Then he provided criteria of statehood which he claims it doesn’t meet. This is tacit agreement that it’s not a matter if personal opinion but of legal fact. He was wrong but he expressed a legal factual claim.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        As you’ll see from my further edits, I am coming around to your perspective. The key for me was his invocation of the phrase “customary international law” and Jessie Collins supplying the link to the Montevideo convention entry in Wikipedia.

      2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        He is right to say that it doesn’t meet the criteria of statehood under the Montevideo convention, because there is a lot of room for interpretation of the language of the criteria.

        In fact, under all the following country’s interpretations of the language, they do not recognize it as a state:

        Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

        So if you are to make a certain “true” or “false”, you need to state your assumptions.

        “Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 137 (71%) have recognised the State of Palestine as of 3 August 2018.”

        However, almost all of the G20 nations do not recognize it as a state, hence their interpretation of the language is different.

        So if this was a “legal fact”, but one that almost all of the top economies in the world don’t recognize, it really starts to call into question what the relevance of “legal facts” are.

        Edited: 2018-10-18 14:06:31 By Jessie Collins (talk | contribs) + 49 Characters .. + 4% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        Edited: 2018-10-18 14:06:33 By Jessie Collins (talk | contribs) + 2 Characters .. + 0% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          “However, almost all of the G20 nations do not recognize it as a state, hence their interpretation of the language is different.”

          I’m not sure why the G20 has anymore weight to their views than any other group of countries. Since the G20 is merely the 20 largest economies. Are you suggesting that larger economies have more say regarding matters of law than countries with smaller economies?

          Also your claim is not correct. Of the G20, 9 recognize Palestine as a state. The EU is a special case because it is not just one country so it’s really 9/19 that do, 10 do not. 10 is not “almost all” of the G20.

          Additionally, of the 10 which do not, only Canada and the US voted against it in the vote for Res. 67/19. So it’s really 9 which voted to recognize Palestine as a state, two voted against, and 8 abstentions.

          Within international law, it takes a supermajority (2/3) for the recognition of statehood in the Constitutive Theory of statehood. Palestine meets this. We do not need a complete unanimous vote. Such total agreement is extremely rare in just about anything.

          If you think that 2/3 is too low but complete unanimity is too high, what number of states do you believe ought to recognize Palestine as a state to meet this criterion?

          As for the Montevideo Convention, it simply states:

          “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

          I’m not sure which is these you think Palestine does not possess. They certainly have a permanent population. As pointed out above they also have a defined territory, government and have formed relations with other states.

          I don’t know what the arguments against them having met these might be. Maybe at one time prior to 2012, you may make a case that Palestine did not meet some or most of those criteria, but today I think it does and the burden of proof should be put on those who deny it to provide compelling evidence that it does not.

          Edited: 2018-10-19 00:21:36 By Deleted User + 25 Characters .. + 1% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

          Edited: 2018-10-19 00:23:17 By Deleted User 0 Characters .. 0% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

          Edited: 2018-10-19 00:29:04 By Deleted User + 173 Characters .. + 8% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            > Are you suggesting that larger economies have more say regarding matters of law than countries with smaller economies?

            Yes. The law is only as good as it can be enforced. The large military powers (and economic powers) of the world are not going to have their interpretations of the law overridden by the smaller powers. The UN is not a world government.

            > …almost all of the G20 nations do not recognize it as a state,

            I withdraw this statement – it is not accurate. But the point I am making here is about enforcement. If there is a split between powerful nations, its not as if a majority decision of the UN will make these nations change their minds.

            > If you think that 2/3 is too low but complete unanimity is too high, what number of states do you believe ought to recognize Palestine as a state to meet this criterion?

            The UN is not like a normal legal system. If a great number of the most powerful and developed economies reject something, then it cannot be enforced. In contrast, in the US, if 49% of representatives vote against a law, everyone in the country still needs to abide by it or face punishment.

            If you want to say Palestine is a state, you can do so, but it should be qualified with the assumptions and the definition that you are choosing.

            A fact checking website is similar to the UN. If people reject the assumptions being made, they will lose trust in it, and not give it any credence.

            I believe WikiTRIBUNE should keep its assumptions broad when checking facts.

            > I’m not sure which is these you think Palestine does not possess.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/world/middleeast/q-and-a-on-palestinian-statehood.html

            Here is a great, middle of the road article Q&A article from NYTimes. There is contention in the criteria, but more so, it is not my opinion that should matter, it is the Security Council as the NYTimes article suggests, and the opinions of powerful world nations.

            > but today I think it does and the burden of proof should be put on those who deny it to provide compelling evidence that it does not.

            Those who deny it = 10 of the G20 nations. Each of these nations wants there to be a progress and a solution where they can recognize it as a state.

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
              DU
              Deleted User

              “The UN is not like a normal legal system. If a great number of the most powerful and developed economies reject something, then it cannot be enforced. ”

              Even if this were true (and it’s false), the enforcement of a law is a separate issue from the law itself. Most rapes go unpunished and even the perps are never even arrested. Does that mean rape is legal? That would be ridiculous to say so. Also it’s false to say a “great number” of major states reject Palestine. There is a kind of chauvinism in that. The only major power to reject it is the US. Many of the others you pointed out simply abstained from making decision.

              China, India, Russia, and many of the most populous countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America do. These countries are where most of the people live in the world but do they not matter or is your opinion focused only on Europe or other “powerful” countries? And has it ever struck you that the reason why some countries refuse is because they are pressured by the US?

              Edited: 2018-10-25 09:02:52 By Deleted User + 26 Characters .. + 2% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                > the enforcement of a law is a separate issue from the law itself

                If a jury disagrees that someone was raped, were they raped? Legally no. Maybe they actually were if it is because of a lack of evidence, and if new evidence comes to light, the decision will be reversed. Or maybe their personal interpretation of how rape is legally defined didn’t match the juries, or didn’t match legal precedent.

                A court is the only place that can make decisions on the legality of matters. And once a decision is made, there is precedent set. And then there is a punishment or enforcement.

                So if the US government brought a case to the International Court of Justice, and relied on an argument that “Palestine is not a state” to argue something, the court would have to adjudicate on whether Palestine is a state in the context of the matter being discussed.

                And at this point we would have a legal answer to this question which would allow us to make a strong case that Palestine is or isn’t a state according to international law. But before this is tested in court, you cannot say whether it is or isn’t without bringing in your own assumptions.

                > chauvinism…Africa, Asia, and Latin America

                Why are there no African or Latin American nations as permanent members of the UN Security Council? Why do only China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States get to be there?

                You need to stop thinking about this fact-check with a world view of how you think the world ought to be. You can write an opinion piece or a discussion article.

                The world is not a nice happy democracy where everyone’s voice is equal. And imagining that it is, is counter productive to making the world more equitable.

                1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
                  DU
                  Deleted User

                  In US, it usually requires unanimous jury to convict in criminal trials. But if only one decides not guilty, then you don’t have a conviction. Sometimes in civil cases you don’t need unanimous vote. Just 8/10 or some number. So let’s say 9 out of 10 decides guilty in a civil case. That’s guilty under the law. So it would be fallacious to point to the one decenter and say that that one vote decides the law. That individual doesn’t get to make the law. This is the type of cherry picking going on here.

                  But your analogy is not accurate. A better analogy is with Congress. Congress almost never unanimously agree on a vote for law. Say a law/bill requires a 2/3 vote to pass. If it gets 70% it passes and becomes law. Those who break the law can’t say “well, some members of Congress disagreed so it’s not illegal”. That would be massively dumb argument and no lawyer would make it in the defence. I can’t imagine someone arguing that owning a slave is legal because some members in Congress once voted against making it illegal.

                  Also you overlooked one major country that is a UN security council permenant member and is in Asia: China. That’s in Asia. Parts of Russia are in Asia as well. The reason those 5 are permanent members? They founded the UN and had the most to contribute during its beginning. France and GB are relatively small countries in size and population and there are countries with larger economies, population and military outside Europe that’s not on the permanent SC. And there are others that are on the rotating SC that are non European countries.

                  More importantly, it was the GA that voted and passed on res. 67/19 recognizing Palestinian statehood.

                  Edited: 2018-10-25 18:16:20 By Deleted User + 165 Characters .. + 10% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

  11. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I just want to make sure I understood this fact checking report, If John bolton is claiming that the U.S. is not recognizing Palestine as a state then his claim is TRUE even rest of the countries are against this opinion.

    In other words, there is a context for the claim ” Palestine is not a state” and we should consider this context. what do you think?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      It’s not up to individuals to determine statehood or even particular countries. Statehood, as far as I know, depends on international recognition and UN recognition. Since Palestine meets both of these it is a state. There are some who don’t think it meets statehood because the Palestinian Authority doesn’t control all of Palestine or that it has disputed borders or that it is not peaceful. But under these criteria, many other established states such as the US, Israel, etc would also not be states. All these countries have disputed borders, do not fully control all of their claimed territories, and have a violent history towards other countries.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Mohamed is 100% correct, and I have updated the conclusion to state the context.

        Nan, it is absolutely wrong to rate statements in an out of context manner. When the US National Security Advisor speaks in an official capacity, he is clearly stating the official position of the United States. In that context, it is true that “Palestine is not a State – according to US official policy.”

        If Bolton denied the UN recognition, or recognitions by other countries, then that would properly earn a false rating. But stating US policy in a direct and forceful way isn’t untrue – unless you evade the context.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          Huge disagreement here. He explicitly mentioned international law and objective criteria of statehood. I think this is an issue where personal biases can be very resilient to evidence. I’ve watched the video segment several times very carefully and though he mentioned US recognition, he is saying that the US is right but the international institutions are wrong. But the US does not get to make unilateral decisions on international law. It’s the decision of those institutions based on certain processes.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            The point is, he makes the context very clear. His meaning is clear. He is stating the official US position. He is not stating any actual falsehoods.

            A falsehood would be “and all international organizations agree with me”. A falsehood is not “they say that, but they are wrong to do so”. Wrong in this context does not mean wrong about a factual matter, but wrong about a moral or ethical matter. That they are incorrect to do so, mistaken to do so, wrong to do so.

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
              DU
              Deleted User

              His first statement is “[Palestine] is not a state”. That was what was rated. I did not rate “The US does not recognize Palestine”. That is true while the former is false. The former statement is a statement of law. As he stated, “It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood”

              That’s very explicit. International law is also very explicit on this per UNGA Res. 67/19 claiming it is a state.

              Edited: 2018-10-09 14:44:29 By Deleted User + 37 Characters .. + 9% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

        2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
          DU
          Deleted User

          Also I’m curious why you decided to change this based on context (while I disagree with your interpretation of that context) yet on the recent Trump fact check, you changed the rating by ignoring the context (i.e., the rest of the sentence in Trump’s statement about African American unemployment saying that he was responsible for it).

          Edited: 2018-10-09 12:23:12 By Deleted User + 6 Characters .. + 1% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            If you’d like to talk about that one separately, we should do it on that talk page.

            But in short, you picked out specific factual claims, which were true, and rated them false. That was wrong of you to do.

            As to whether there is an implied or stated additional factual claim (I think there wasn’t quite) that Trump is responsible for it, that’s a worthy question for further discussion. What I’d recommend as a position we can both agree with is: he got the specific facts on the unemployment rate right, but to the extent that he was trying to take credit for it, he’s wrong as it was part of a longterm trend.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to collaborate on our developing articles:

WikiTribune Open menu Close Search Like Back Next Open menu Close menu Play video RSS Feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Youtube Connect with us on Linkedin Connect with us on Discord Email us