I saw 2 or 3 questions about "visiting Israel and Palestine". I commented that Palestine is not a country and added a link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states . In addition to a list of countries (which does not include "Palestine"), there is also a section on the international criteria of inclusion, which states:

possess[es] the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states

which should make it clear why "Palestine" is not included (to anyone aware of the facts).

One could argue that "Palestine" refers to a region and not a country and thus would be legitimate, but then it makes no sense to refer to "Israel and Palestine" because the region of Palestine includes all the territory of the country of Israel.

So my question here is: why were my comments deleted?

Hopefully this question will not get deleted!

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    While I see where you're coming from and have no intention of getting into an Israel/Palestine debate - nobody has won that argument in thousands of years, I would offer up that some people do view it as a state - in fact, from Wiki: "The State of Palestine is recognized today by approximately two-thirds of the world's countries, although this status is not recognized by the United Nations, Israel and major Western nations such as the United States." So it's understandable that someone from that two-thirds may refer to Israel and Palestine as separate countries/regions. – Mark Mayo Dec 1 '11 at 4:40
  • Interesting that even on meta I get 7 down-votes for this question... I wonder if that would happen if my orientation was pro-Palestinian – JoelFan Dec 1 '11 at 17:26
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    @JoelFan You are politicizing something that isn't. I'd guess that the downvotes are not for your "orientation" but because you are making an issue out of nothing. Just leave it alone and let someone say "Travel to Israel and Palestine" if they want to. – Nicole Dec 1 '11 at 20:12
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    @JoelFan As pointed out elsewhere, voting works differently on meta: meta.travel.stackexchange.com/faq#vote-differences – Ankur Banerjee Dec 1 '11 at 23:38
  • If Palestine is a country: What are its borders? What is its national currency? What is its capital? On what day was the country established? What country controlled its territory prior to that date and in what manner was that control ceded? What color is its passport? What is its army called and who is its commander? What legislative body and which executive is responsible for the laws that are enforced in all its territory? – JoelFan Dec 2 '11 at 13:34
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    I think your comments became rude and not-constructive. – VMAtm Dec 3 '11 at 15:18
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    @JoelFan none of those questions matter. That's why you are having such a frustrating time for this argument. No one is concerned about the politics here, and if someone calls it a "country", infer their meaning as "a place to visit" and move on. – Nicole Dec 3 '11 at 17:02
  • I had several more questions but @VMAtm took it upon himself to delete them. There was nothing rude about them. The point is that Palestine does not fit the definition of a "country" that most people, international law experts included, would expect. It has no borders, was never established, no passport, no citizenship, no army, no full sovereignty of any territory, etc. – JoelFan Dec 4 '11 at 19:17
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    @JoelFan - see Renesis's comment above - as we've pointed out before, many countries DO recognize Palestine as a country. You may not, and you're entitled to that view, but since many, many countries do - we have to respect other people's views and entitle them to call it a country. Heck, I've heard people call Antarctica a country, it's not technically accurate (in my opinion) but you understand what they mean. – Mark Mayo Dec 4 '11 at 19:35
  • @JoelFan Your other questions were deleted because of flags from other users, who thought that your comments are not-constructive. – VMAtm Dec 4 '11 at 22:19
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    @JoelFan If Pakistan and India are countries, what are their borders in the Kashmir region? If Liechtenstein is a country, what is its national currency, what is its army called and who is its commander? If Switzerland is a country, what is its capital? If England is a country, on what day was it established, which country controlled the territory prior to English kings, which was the first king and how was the previous country’s control ceded? – Jan Sep 5 '16 at 0:55
  • Note that I don’t want to take sides in the ‘is Palestine a country?’ debate, just point out that all your questions but one are meaningless. (The final question is that on legislative and executive powers which is present in the theory of statehood.) – Jan Sep 5 '16 at 0:56

Do you have a suggestion for a rephrase of that question? How would you call the non-palestine part of Israel?

I wouldn't make such a big issue out of it. The vague boundaries in the definition of countries, makes traveling for some people fun. It provides room to gain points when counting countries is important to you.

The examples are many. When people talk about Holland, they don't talk about the province holland, but about the Netherlands. The same can be said for the UK and England. When you are not from the UK, often the UK is referred to by England. The French have their France metropolitan and les DOM-TOM (departments & territories). Technically Guadeloupe is France, but nobody will label questions about the french islands as France (except me, but I am an odd nerd). I also have quite some difficulty to explain the Dutch Caribbean.

I guess that being vague in your choice of wording and the ability to adapt your definitions give you the power to have great travel experiences


You haven't indicated which question this was on, so I'm assuming you're referring to your comment on:

Tel Aviv a good base to see Israel & Palestine?

In which you stated:

To visit Palestine, you will have to wait until it exists as a country (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states)

according to the log:

"deleted by owner 5 hours ago"

and you would be the owner of this. If a moderator deletes it, it will usually indicate as such. If this is the comment and you wish me to undelete it, let me know and I'll do so. If it's not, please indicate which question it was on and I'll go have a look.

As an aside, why would they have to wait until it's a country to visit it? South Sudan wasn't officially a country until July, but you could visit it before then. Kosovo isn't recognised by the UN as a country, and neither is Western Sahara, but that doesn't stop people visiting it.

  • No, I'm not talking about that... I deleted the question and turned it into a comment... then the comment got deleted. I also put the same comment on 2 or 3 similar questions and they also got deleted. I'm not saying they shouldn't visit... I'm just saying they shouldn't use terminology that suggests it's a country... I would suggest "Israel and the Palestinian areas" if they have to make a distinction. – JoelFan Dec 1 '11 at 4:49
  • could you indicate which questions? I've had a quick check of a couple but haven't seen them. – Mark Mayo Dec 1 '11 at 4:56
  • can see them on travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2782/… and travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1509/…, but obviously they're not deleted there. At no point did the questioner say that it WAS a country, though, so they do seem a bit unnecessary. And as I pointed out in my comment on your question above, 2/3 of the world DO recognise them as a separate state, although I realise you may be in the 1/3 that holds a different view. – Mark Mayo Dec 1 '11 at 4:59
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    Ah, found it. @Joel-Spolsky took care of your one comment, and presumably missed the other two I mention above. I can't speak for him, but I'd be assuming it's because the comments do not aid the questioner in their search for information, which is what this site is trying to achieve... – Mark Mayo Dec 1 '11 at 5:15
  • Do those countries also recognize such "countries" as Kurdistan, Basque, Tibet and countless other non-countries? No, which proves that their only motivation is political. Palestine does not have sovereignty, especially of all the territory they claim. – JoelFan Dec 1 '11 at 5:30
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    @JoelFan: I think you should refrain from politicizing discussions which are solely oriented towards giving relevant travelling information. This is not a political science site, and such discussions are (for me, personally) actively harmful and off-topic -- Travel-SE is all about tolerance and multiculturalism. If you don't like how people call Palestina, I suggest you ignore such questions in the future instead of trying to start a debate that is not going to help anyone. – mindcorrosive Dec 1 '11 at 6:04
  • All those places you mentioned (South Sudan, Kosovo, etc.) were parts of other countries before they became independent. I don't see the point you're trying to make. – JoelFan Dec 4 '11 at 19:22
  • Why is it that only I am criticized for "politicizing", while the original questioner uses a politically charged term for a region when other more neutral terms are readily available and much more often used in the media and other writing. I can't recall ever hearing or reading a media account that referred to "Palestine" as the venue for any newsworthy event. – JoelFan Dec 4 '11 at 19:23
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    Actually we've had to remove several comments this week from various people that were "politicizing". And while perhaps you've not read any, others certainly have eg: taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1773642. – Mark Mayo Dec 4 '11 at 19:31

What are you trying to achieve?
Can you suggest the right title for that question?

If not, just stop - you looks like some crazy man trying to stop the rain.

People know what there are geografic region called Palestine and people don't know how to get there, and they have more questions about it. How must they call this region?

Just try to understand point of view of other people.
IMHO, your actions are weird and useless.

  • They can use the well-known geographic terms "West Bank" (or alternatively "Judea and Samaria") and "Gaza Strip" or even "Palestinian areas". By using the term "Palestine" they are using a politically charged and geographically inaccurate term. If they are doing so intentionally, then I'm puzzled why all the negativity directed toward me is not directed toward the questioner instead. If they are doing so out of ignorance, because they really think there's a country called Palestine, then I don't see what's so out of place about educating them about their mistake. – JoelFan Dec 4 '11 at 19:07
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    As we've pointed out several times, which you seem to be ignoring, many countries recognise the country of Palestine (eg taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1773642). Some don't, so you're entitled to that view, but we will defend the view of those who do, and they're entitled to ask questions that infer Palestine is a country. – Mark Mayo Dec 4 '11 at 19:37
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    And as for the negativity, it's not towards you - it's towards the 'making an issue of nothing' - people are on here to ask and answer travel questions, not engage in a political debate which some might argue hasn't been resolved in centuries by expert debaters, so certainly isn't getting resolved here. – Mark Mayo Dec 4 '11 at 19:39

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