News and Commentary

Pro-Israel Group Launches Initiative Fighting Back Against Anti-Israel Wikipedia Editors
NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 6, 2019: An illustration shows the logo of the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia.
Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty Images

Last week, a pro-Israel group called The Israel Group launched an important campaign in the broader fight back against the anti-Israel hostility that pervades high-profile media and educational institutions.

The Israel Group, which describes itself as “a nonprofit that protects Israel in the diaspora by developing and launching initiatives to cripple the [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] (BDS) movement against at Israel” and features many powerful Jewish/pro-Israel individuals on the organization’s board of advisors, began rolling out its “Battle Against Wikipedia.” According to The Israel Group, Wikipedia is the fifth most trafficked website but is ranked number one in terms of both global online educational resources, more generally, and dissemination of anti-Israel propaganda, in particular. The Israel Group’s website describes the importance of the project:

For more than a decade, Wikipedia — the number one online educational resource globally — has allowed anonymous anti-Israel editors to falsely and negatively alter Israel’s factual history in Wikipedia articles pertaining to the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

A cabal of virulently anti-Israel anonymous editors is responsible for decimating virtually the entire pro-Israel editing community. Volunteer “administrators” (with lifetime positions), responsible for overseeing the editing process of Wikipedia, have not only allowed anti-Israel editors freedom to take over Wikipedia, they have participated by blocking and banning predominantly Jewish and pro-Israel editors. …

The Israel Group has been working for many years, under the radar, on a confidential initiative, Wiki-Israel, that combats Wikipedia’s antisemitic bias against Israel. The initiative includes a dedicated website that, among many other things, shows how anti-Israel editors smear Israel — both subtly and overtly — across hundreds of articles, and how the pro-Israel community can stop it.

While the formal launch of the project is not set to commence until January 2020, The Israel Group has teased the endeavor’s formal launch by already divulging the identities of what it has deemed to be the two most notorious anti-Israel editors on all of Wikipedia: Brendan McKay, a math scientist at the Australian National University (described by The Israel Group as “the unofficial leader of the entire cabal of anti-Israel Wikipedia editors”), and Peter Nicholas Dale, an Australian author born in 1950 (described by The Israel Group as “the most prolific and proficient” of the Wikipedia’s anti-Israel editors).

Reached for exclusive comment by The Daily Wire, Jack Saltzberg, The Israel Group’s founder and president, provided the following:

For more than a decade, there have been many articles and blog posts calling attention to Wikipedia’s clear bias against Israel. Generally these complaints vanish into the ether. Even worse, too many people insist, “Wikipedia is meaningless, nobody takes it seriously,” or “I never go to Wikipedia.” Both statements couldn’t be faultier. As Wikipedia itself states, “As the top online educational resource on the planet, with more links from search engines than any other site, Wikipedia is one of the most powerful platforms for the dissemination of knowledge.” Additionally, a majority of university students now use Wikipedia for background information.

The [BDS] campaigns waged against Israel have succeeded through the promulgation of lies, smears, and libels against Israel; and Wikipedia is the number one vehicle substantiating, reinforcing, and disseminating that false propaganda.

As an organization established for one reason — to help cripple the BDS movement — The Israel Group decided five years ago that stopping Wikipedia’s anti-Israel bias is the most important endeavor in the war against BDS. Subsequently, The Israel Group has, under the radar and confidentially, been researching and battling the anti-Semitism and anti-Israel radicalism inside Wikipedia’s pages related to the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

The Israel Group has identified the primary anti-Israel offenders who go to extremes and use an array of techniques to illegitimately silence and block pro-Israel editors.

They’ve spent more than a decade — both subtly and overtly — embedding anti-Israel rhetoric within nearly 1,000 Wikipedia articles. The Israel Group is the first to publicly expose the true identities of the two leading anti-Israel anonymous Wikipedia editors. …

When the Wiki-Israel initiative launches in January 2020, we will not only reveal the depth of the problem and its many challenging aspects, but we’ll also guide people who care about Israel on how they can become experienced editors capable of fighting back.

The Israel Group has also investigated other related subjects and groups that receive similar smears and libels — namely, Christians and conservatives. For many years, those on the Right, especially those who support Israel, have been well aware of Wikipedia’s bias against them. In 2020, the Wiki-Israel initiative will reveal innovative, original research quantifying and proving this bias beyond a reasonable doubt, exposing the methods and madness of the political activists who have hijacked the world’s most popular and largest encyclopedia.

Godspeed to a valiant and indispensable organization. Sunlight, as Justice Louis Brandeis once said, is oftentimes the best disinfectant.