This recent question has been through a few edits (at the time of writing - I am hoping it gets some more).
The original title was "Is Israel's stray cat problem due to the British?"
I edited it to "Did British people introduce cats to Israel in the first half of the 20th Century?"
Then it was edited to "Are the British to blame for Israel's stray cat problem?"
I would like to acknowledge that my edit wasn't good enough, and hurt the question. My intentions were good - I was trying to make it answerable. But that doesn't change the result: a milquetoast question that no-one cared about the answer. I apologise. I would like to help make this question better again so we can reopen it.
I also thank the people (@mari-lou-a and @malper) who put the effort in to re-edit it. I am not content with the question yet, but being bold and trying to fix things is exactly what we want to see on the site.
So why aren't I happy yet? I have several concerns.
My main issue is it doesn't make any sense to assign blame to a single cause. It is calling for a single cause fallacy.
It isn't hard to find a dozen different propositions that are required to be true to have a large feral cat population.
- The abundance of food for feral cats is a cause (and that is an area which can be similarly broken down into several subcauses)
- The genetic ability of cats to have large litters is a cause.
- The lack of a population of feral wolves is a cause.
- The lack of a bounty being offered for cat tails is a cause.
- The lack of a systemic neutering process is a cause.
- Urbanization of human populations is a cause.
I have been trying to explain that there isn't going to be any serious evidence that blames "the British", because it is meaningless to do so.
Policies by the British-controlled government might have contributed to the problem [I have no position on this - I have zero knowledge about the Israeli feral cat situation.] but wholly assigning blame this way makes no sense.
Another aspect is that the claim is prejudiced. It wasn't the entire population of Britain that was involved in the actions of the cat importers, and it is inappropriate to bundle them all together. It is clear that not every Briton is to blame for the number of cats in Israel.
Some academics define the term "racism" to also require power, while other users of the term don't. I don't want to get into who had power in Israel, or which definition to use, so I am just avoiding the term.
This is not to say we don't have questions about racist claims, but if we can we should try to focus the question in this sense.
When I was originally editing the question, I wanted to bring it back to the quoted claim.
Ever since the British first brought cats over to Israel (then Palestine) in the first half of the 20th century to combat the rat problem, cats are a frequent sight on Israeli streets [...]
This is probably a bad example of the claim, and perhaps we can find better ones.
It wrongly suggests that the British were the first to bring cats to Israel, and led me astray when focussing on that aspect of the question.
It also doesn't say "The British are at fault", but merely that the timing of the existence of feral cats coincides with the import of cats. I think the implicit claim (that the feral cats come from the British cats) is pretty strong, but if we are going to find better notability claims, it would be nice if it were explicit.
How can we repair this question to make it match a notable claim that can be meaningfully answered with empirical evidence? (Alternatively: Are my concerns misplaced? Should it be re-opened as is?)