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Guidelines for discussion of Israeli/Palestinian affairs

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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-03 11:37 AM
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Guidelines for discussion of Israeli/Palestinian affairs

Welcome to the Democratic Underground Israeli/Palestinian Affairs discussion forum. As you know, this is where you may discuss issues surrounding the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. These can be very emotional issues for many. In order to facilitate rational discourse, we have found it wise to implement a few guidelines to supplement the general DU rules for discussing I/P issues that one will not find elsewhere on the website.

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the following guidelines. Offending threads will be locked or pulled. Offending posts may be deleted. Those who repeatedly violate these guidelines may be banned. If you are in doubt, please Private Message the forum moderators.

Who is Welcome In the I/P Forum, who is not:

  • We welcome progressives of all stripes and specifically note the I/P forum has many progressives whose affinity lie on opposite ends of the I/P debate. Do not assume that because someone is Pro-Israeli or Pro-Palestinian they are not progressive. A good rule of thumb for those who will do well are those who are actively seeking a peaceful and respectful settlement and are genuinely interested in a rational discourse of events in the I/P conflict.
  • If you feel great affinity to groups who are promoting hate in the Middle East such as Kahane, or Hamas; feel there is a Jewish conspiracy governing US foreign policy or control of the media; or believe supporters of Islam or Palestinian Nationalism are terrorists, then you are probably likely to be banned.

Concerning the overall nature of the post:

  • Do not embed graphics or photographs of any kind into your messages. Maps or statistical graphs are okay.
  • Do not put anything in your signature line that has any relation to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
  • Do not start a Poll in the I/P forum.
  • Do not start a new thread on a topic that has already been covered. Duplicates will be locked or deleted.

Proper subject matter:

New Threads

  • New threads must be based on a recently-published news item or op-ed piece. They may not be based on editorial cartoons or photographs. Citations and references should include a link to the original source. Exceptions will be allowed if, based on prior approval, the moderators feel a thread is appropriate.
  • All threads must be based on material originally published no more than 3 weeks ago. The "clock" does not restart if an article is republished. Exceptions will be allowed, if based on prior approval, the moderators feel a thread is appropriate.
  • The subject heading for threads must contain the title of the source article. The only exception is when you must shorten long titles or to make the subject of the article more clear.
  • Editorializations and comments are to be saved for the Message body and must be separate and distinct from the text of the article.


  • Do not selectively quote articles with the intent to change the original meaning.
  • Do not discuss the truthfulness and/or stupidity of various religions. Do not assume you know what someone believes simply because they practice a certain religion.
  • Do not make over-sweeping or stereotypical generalizations of any group or individual. This includes making statements, either overtly or subtly, which are Anti-Semitic or Anti-Muslim.
  • Please stay on topic. Do not jump into an unrelated discussion and introduce a barely-relevant tangent in order to bring up your pet issue.


  • To re-emphasize, the general DU rules rules still apply for expected civility and behavior.
  • Do not publicly accuse someone of being a conservative. If you feel such a comment is warranted, you may do so privately using the "Alert" button.
  • Do not publicly accuse anyone of anti-Semitism, racism, or any bigoted bias. If you feel such a comment is warranted, you may do so privately using the "Alert" button.
  • Inflammatory material that adds nothing to the debate is likely to be locked or deleted.
  • Do not post accusations of anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, personal attacks, plagerism, duplicate threads or any other rules violation. This includes claims against yourself or other people. Such posts add nothing to the discussion and often create more problems than the original rules violation. Use the "Alert" button instead, the moderators will deal with the post as soon as they are able.

A note on sources:

  • Please use discretion when referencing obviously biased or factually questionable material. Vanity websites are generally not as credible as the New York Times, the Washington Post or the UK Guardian and are likely to be locked. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself is the author readily identifiable and likely to be cited by the mainline world press or encountered in an alternate format (mass-published book, academic journal, newspaper article, radio or TV show).
  • Please avoid posting "information" from overtly racist websites. A good, but not exhaustive, guide is Franklin's Hate Directory (
  • Posting from, or is specifically not allowed.

Proper use of certain words:

  • Please exercise extreme caution and sensitivity when using the words "anti-Semitism" or "Zionism." There is a wide range of opinion on the meaning of these words. If you must use them, please make sure your intended meaning is clear.
  • Do not use the term "Zionist" to mean "Jew" or "Israeli." Do not use the term "Jew" to mean "Israeli".
  • Do not call Palestinians "terrorists" unless you are actually talking about people who blow up cafes or busses filled with civilians.
  • Do not compare Middle East regional leaders and parties to Hitler or the Nazis. Use of these terms is considered inflammatory and should be avoided.
  • Do not call other members of this message board "terror apologist," "Palestinian apologist," "Israeli apologist," "Nazi," "Fascist," "Sharonist," "Likudist", etc.

Our goal is to provide a forum where issues concerning Israel and Palestine may be discussed openly but intelligently in an atmosphere of mutual respect for opposing sides. Please help us towards this end. If you have any questions, please contact the board monitors or the site administrators.

Thank you

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