Monday, October 25, 2010

Israeli Team Wins Debate On Israel At Historic Cambridge University Venue

An Israeli team experienced an unexpected victory in a debate at the UK's Cambridge University debating the proposition 'Israel is rogue state'.

Cambridge University's prestigious debate club was established in 1815 and has seen luminaries like Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama and Ronald Reagan debate the issues of the day. It's operated by Cambridge's Union Society, a major source of Britain's political elite.

This time it was Israel's turn. The debate's premise was that Israel is a rogue nation that does not obey international law.

To represent the State of Israel, its embassy sent Ran Gidor, the embassy's political adviser and a Cambridge graduate, and Shiraz Maher, a former radical Islamist who is now an enthusiastic supporter of Israel.

The opposition was represented by Free Gaza and Hamas advocate Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who recently visited Iran and converted to Islam. She was joined by Mark McDonald, who heads the Labor party's Friends of Palestine & Middle East Association. Both of them excoriated Israel to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd.

And then things changed, as a few students from the initially pro-Palestinian audience raised their own points during the discussion.

One of them mentioned that Israel gives political asylum to Darfur refugees, while Egypt shoots them as they try to infiltrate the border, and the fact that the Jewish State initiates it's own internal investigations over any alleged violations of international law. Israel's liberal policies on gay and woman's rights were also brought out.

Another turning point came when one student then pointed at Gidor and said, "Could you imagine China, Iran or even Britain sending a top diplomat to a discussion that defines Israel as a rogue state?"

The end result? After both sides concluded their arguments, the audience voted and the Israeli side won the debate as having the more persuasive arguments with 74% of the votes.

This is actually a bigger deal than it seems, since Cambridge is a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment and many of these students had likely never even had the opportunity to hear pro-Israel arguments before.

Israel's Ambassador to London Ron Prosor said Israel will continue to dispatch representatives to any event that attempts to tarnish Israel's reputation.

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1 comment:

louielouie said...

dispatch representatives to any event that attempts to tarnish Israel's reputation.

the oval office??????