Le polemiche attorno ad Haifa
La prossima Wikimania, l’assemblea mondiale dei wikimediani, si terrà ad Haifa dal 4 al 7 agosto 2011.
La scelta ha seguito un iter che si è consolidato negli anni: ci sono state delle candidature (quattro) tra le quali una giuria ha scelto la vincitrice; a tutti i candidati sono state fatte pubblicamente alcune domande, sia da parte della giuria che del pubblico. Qui quelle di Haifa.
Sebbene anche la Wikimania ad Alessandria d’Egitto avesse ricevuto delle critiche, non era nato alcun sito di protesta come succede invece ora.
- We will be delighted to have as high a participation as possible from the entire Middle East. This is really, really important to us, more than everything else. You can visit our website and see that most of it has already been translated into Arabic.
- Unfortunately, ME politics is often plagued by tactics such as banning and boycotting. No matter how good our intentions, I’m sorry to say there will be people there who will still abstain from coming to the conference for their own reasons, and there’s not too much we can do about it. If someone doesn’t want to come to Israel, well, then, we can only express our regret at his choice (which we think is misinformed). I wish they could all come here and change their minds about Israeli reality.
- Wikimedia is not about politics, Wikimedia Israel doesn’t represent the Israeli government (or any other political entity), and we’re trying to focus this on free knowledge and a way for people to meet and interact, not on politics.
- Wikimania 2011 will be held in Haifa, a city which is home to both Jews and Arabs. We’ll be promoting it (also) using bilingual posters and brochures, and will try to reach the very large population of Israeli-Arab students in Haifa’s academic institutions.
- Israeli Arabs can (of course!!) reach the conference like any other Israeli – they just need to get to the venue, on foot, by car, by train or by bus.
- Palestinians living in the West Bank enter Israel by the thousands every day. Yes, they need a permit for that. Obtaining that permit is a routine operation. Yes, some difficulties might come up there, we’ll use our contacts within Israeli authorities to try to facilitate this as much as possible, including issuing letters of invitation and contacting the authorities well in advance. In fact, Israel might be one of the easier destination for Palestinians to reach.
- Palestinians living in Gaza will have a harder time entering Israel. We’re looking at various possibilities to make this possible, should there be any real demand for this. One possibility is for them to enter Egypt via the border crossing in Rafah (which Egypt usually closes) and to reach Israel via Egypt.
- Having said that, we know of *no* Palestinian (or Israeli-Arab) Wikimedians, despite repeated attempts over the years to locate some. If someone knows any, please let us know!
- Citizens of other countries can fly into Israel or enter Israel through the open border crossings with Jordan and Egypt. Israel of course recognizes the passports of countries with which it has diplomatic relations, even only partial relations, such as Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algiers and others. Please refer to http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Visas.
- For some countries which do not recognize Israel like Syria, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, entry will be more difficult, but there have been sporadic entries from these countries in the past, and should any participant from these countries wish to attend Wikimania, we will do our utmost to assist. We have a letter of support from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and exceptions can always be made at border crossings if approved from on-high.
NB il grassetto è mio.