The Killing of Barel Hadarya Shmueli
The Killing of Barel Hadarya ShmueliScreenshot

Wikipedia editors will vote on whether to change the Hebrew Wikipedia page called "Nefilat Barel Shmueli" (Killing of Barel Hadarya Shmueli ).

This page was written on December 18, 2021. The page details the course of events that took place in August by the Gaza Strip border, and also contains details on the protest of soldiers that took place following the death of Barel Shmueli.

Shmueli was shot at close range during a Hamas-instigated riot at the Gaza border fence. After his death other soldiers protested their rights to defend themselves and open fire in retaliation.

About a week ago, the Wikipedia page was added to the list of pages that can be removed after a vote held for Wikipedia users.

"I do not see encyclopedic importance in this entry. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a memorial site," wrote user Gilgamesh announcing the opening of the poll. "This discrepancy is extremely important."

He said, "It is not possible to write about any soldier or civilian killed in this or that operation. Leaving this page is an injustice to all those who did not receive a page - unfortunately, there are tens of thousands killed in defense of the homeland or in terrorist activity. It does not matter if the prime minister called the family and the family was interviewed by the media. All of these are worthy of media coverage, but this has nothing to do with their importance. We have clear criteria for pages ​​about IDF casualties and we must adhere to them. Any deviation from them is a serious violation of the neutrality and wrongful preference of this or that person just because he was killed recently and that for some reason had more interest by the media in his death. There are a lot of people like this and we were able to resist the temptation not to dedicate a page to them. "

"The entry is not about Barel Shmueli," claimed the user "Magma", who was also one of the authors of the entry. "It is about a larger process created by his death. It is better to deal with the issue of a page whose importance has already been made clear, but it is not clear what is happening here in this vote."

The vote to delete the entry "Killing of Barel Hadarya Shmueli" will end tomorrow. According to Wikipedia policy, "only registered users with 30 days of experience and 100 edits in the main space or spaces adjacent to it during the 90 days prior to the start of voting are entitled to vote."

So far, 31 users have voted in favor of deleting the entry, and 21 users have voted to keep the entry.

Rabbi Aviad Gadot, director of combat, responded: "We recognize a trending and forceful attempt to silence the people who demand a fighting spirit and backing for the fighters. These are attempts to rewrite history and engineer the public awareness. The desire to delete from Wikipedia such a central and earth shattering event as the fall of the fighter Barel Shmueli should shock any Israeli and any human being. They will not silence the will of the fighter: to amend the opening fire regulations and return Jewish morality to the IDF and the "defense system."

The Im Tirtzu movement stated: "The engineering of public consciousness will not succeed. Today many understand that the instructions for opening fire must be changed to prevent further cases like this. The IDF itself also understands this and announced after the public protest that the opening fire regulations have been changed. We call on Wikipedia editors to leave their personal opinions aside and not tarnish Barel's memory in cheap politics."