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Round 1. FredT V Jamuhn: Israel

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posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:02 AM
Debate 6

The topic for this debate is "Israel is a stabilising force in the Middle East."

FredT will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Jamuhn will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:35 AM
Ever since its official founding on May 14th, 1948, the State of Israel has been a source of stability in the Middle East. It helps promote regional stability in a myriad of ways.


Israel is currently the only democracy in the Middle East. It serves as a symbol of liberty and pluralism is a region that is marked by totalitarian rule and racial hatred. Indeed, similar to the United States, Isreal, has free elections, a free press, religious freedom, and protection for minorities in its society. Nowhere else in the Middle East are all these avalible in one country. This allows Isreal to show its neighbors the benifits of such a system. By leading the way to the eventual transformation of other Middle East states to a democracy, Israel is ensuring the stability of the region for years to come.

Basic rights - Israel's Declaration of Independence proclaims many of the same democratic principles that the United States adheres to, including, "complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex...(and) freedom of religion conscience, language, education and culture..."

Civil Liberties - Guaranteed in law, and guarded by numerous private organizations and citizen's action groups, which openly challenge and criticize the government.

Freedom of Religion - The Declaration of the Independence of the State of Israelguarantees freedom of religion to the entire population. Each religious community isfree, by law and in practice, to exercise its faith, to administer its own internal affairs, and to visit its holy sites.

Women's Rights - Unlike any other Middle Eastern nation, Israeli women are guaranteed equal rights and equal pay..

Independent Judiciary - In stark contrast to other Middle East nations, Israel has an independent judicial system, which protects the rights of individuals and operates under the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." (1)

Regional Strength

Founded with the state in 1948, the Isreali Defence Forces is among the most battle hardened, best trained, and best equipped military in the world. As a sovereign nation, Israel reserves the right to defend itself from internal and external threats as does any other nation. Already having fought 5 major wars since its founding, the IDF also serves to promote regonal stability in the Middle East. Its vast scope and strength serves as a counterweight to regimes such as Iran, Syria, and untill recently Iraq who sponsor state level terrorism and generaly have a destabilizing influence in the region. The IDF is tasked with maintaing peace agrements, providing security in the West ban and Gaza Strip, and fighting the war on terrorism both internal and externaly. From its position of military strength, Isreal is able to provide stability to the Middle East Region by providing a deterrence from state level aggression

One of the Worlds Experts On Fighting Terrorism

Ever since its founding Isreal has been under the unrelenting threat of terrorism. Because of necessity, Israel finds itself as an acknowledged expert in the field of terrorism. Its “CIA” the Mossad, is expert at infiltrating and gathering intelligence on terrorists and terrorist groups. These individuals and groups pose not only a direct threat to Israel, but to the stability of the region as a whole. By promoting an endless cycle of violence, these groups try to keep peace at bay. By developing comprehensive intelligence on these groups, Israel can target them for arrest or in extreme cases elimination. By eliminating these sources of violence, regional stability is promoted.

The intelligence also serves another purpose. By monitoring the activities of its neighbors, Israel can watch for the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These weapons pose one of the greatest threats to regional stability. Either by direct action or using the collective strength of governing bodies such as the UN, these programs are brought to light and dealt with in an appropriate manner. This eliminates the possibility that these weapons will be used in any regional conflict. Israel also aids other countries in the region by teaching its hard earned lessons in combating terrorism. This allows other nations to fight terrorism as well

Making Peace

Israel has attempted to make peace with its neighbors and continues to do so. As long as its security needs are met, Israel will extend the olive branch whenever possible. Nations such as Turkey and Egypt have accepted and negotiated a lasting peace. By continuing to try to co-exist with its neighbors, Israel promotes regional stability by reducing tensions if it can.

The future of the Middle East will depend on the region developing stability. Israel with its Democratic government, strong military presence, regional expertise on fighting terrorism, and attempting to forge ties and peace with its neighbors promotes and provides stability to the region.


posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:47 PM
I'd like to give a thanks to Kano for organizing the second Debate tournament, the judges for their time and patience, and to my opponent FredT.

Through this debate, I will show that Israel (a democracy in addition to Turkey) has not proved itself as a stabilizing force within the Middle East region. To understand what we are, in fact, debating, we must define a relative position for stabilization in the Middle East. Since we are talking of Israel, we must begin with the founding of Israel in addition to the present. I will show that since the original founding of a Jewish home in 1917, the tensions between Jews and Arabs have created a destabilization within the region.

Small piece of history
Since the Balfour Declaration in 1917, Jewish immigrants have been establishing homes in what was named Palestine by the Roman Empire. The Zionist movement arose to restore a Jewish homeland within the region, and displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees following World War II.

War has been constant surrounding Israel's presence within Palestine. Terrorism occurs like clock-work. Despite pending peace-proceedings, Israel has annexed additional land and continues to create controversy within the region.

Separation barrier
Israel is continuing the construction of a separation barrier in an attempt to promote security in the Middle East. It would be folly to think that history does not repeat itself. This separation barrier is twice as high as the Berlin wall at its maximum height and is projected to be 4 times as long upon completion. Another comparison is the travel restrictions upon Palestinians within Israel.

The tension surrounding the Berlin Wall led to division and disharmony. Much in the same way the wall between Israel and Palestine does so today. It promotes disunity among the people, it does not attempt to bring them together. How can stabilization occur among separated peoples? Unification brings stabilization, that is the only way it can occur.

The Arab countries feel that the land is being stolen from them. They have felt this way since 1917 and many continue to feel this way. Israel must show that this land is for Arabs as well, and the Arabs for Jews. This cannot happen through separation.

Disruptive Violence
The first major occurence of violence after 1917:

Led by Grand Mufti Haj Amin El-Husseini, they rioted repeatedly and later revolted, creating a history of enmity between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

Israel has occupied the West bank and Gaza Strip (about 2,200 square miles) since the 1967 6-day war, and has built settlements with a population of about 220,000, mostly in the West Bank.

The Oslo accords were supposed to have led to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but continued Israeli settlement and Palestinian violence and incitement degenerated into open conflict in September 2000.

Mainstream Palestinians demand a state in the West Bank and Gaza. Right wing Israelis are opposed to creating a state, because, they claim, it would be a base for terror groups. In final status negotiations, the Israeli government agreed to a demilitarized Palestinian state with limited control over its borders and resources - a "state minus." The Palestinians have won a commitment for a state from the UN, and from US President Bush.

Even today terrorism continues with the most recent double suicide-bombing attack. It is a vicious circle: terrorists continue to bomb for their lack of rights and Israel keeps denying a full-fledged state due to terrorists. Arabs and Jews have coexisted for thousands of years prior to 1917 yet now, there is separation.

Palestinian Education
The curriculum in Palestine schools is highly nationalistic, yet they are denied the full-fledged state. Part of the justification includes charges that the curriculum advocates war, which has proven to be false.[3] The Palestinians are a lost people with little hope for a stable full-fledged nation-state in the near future.

Palestine is the Middle East
The Arab League grew largely from the Israel-Palestine conflict:

Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, took advantage of the anti-imperialist feeling to become the leader of a Pan-Arab secular ideology movement, which tried to unite Arabs beyond the confines of the nation states, and to encourage a program of modernization and secularization. This program met opposition from Muslim traditionalists. Pan-Arabism declined after Nasser instigated the Six-Day War with Israel, which resulted in a disastrous Arab defeat.

Though the Israeli State is highly recognized and history has assured its legitimacy, the controversy still remains. The Israeli State as a concept promotes instability. The increasing amount of division between Israel and the rest of the Middle East promotes instability. The Middle East is united and until Israel extends the olive branch through negotiation rather than DEMAND, the instability will remain.


posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 01:14 PM
Thank you Jamuhn for your opening statement. I would to take the opportunity to address several issues that you have brought up.

Historical Perspectives

The Balflour agreement was just the first in a long series of steps that attempted to establish a Jewish State. However, despite the ever-present threat of annihilation Israel has made numerous attempt to wage Peace with its neighbors.

1973 Geneva Peace Accords (Boycotted by Syria)
1978 Camp David peace Accord
1983 Peace accord with Lebanon (Rejected by Syria)
1991 Madrid Conference
1993 Initial Peace Agreement with Jordan
1993 Olso Negotiations with PLO leads to Historic handshake later
1995 Oslo II Negotiations

Both Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan have made peace with the state of Israel. While progress has been slow, Israel is committed to continuing to try to negotiate a lasting peace.

The Security Fence Promotes Stability

The West Bank alone has seem more than 130 suicide bombers enter Israel and kill over 500 people.
The fence was built only after years of failed peace talks and the fact that the Palestinian Authority failed to meet their obligation to end terrorism.

These measures have already had a positive effect on the stability of the region. The number of Palestinian suicide attacks have gone down by almost 50% since the project has began. More to the point the number of successful attacks has declined by 71%. An added benefit is that the number of IDF forces required to maintain security in Palestine is drastically reduced This in turn lowers tension and eliminates many checkpoints and other travel restrictions. From its Initial plan Israel has reduced the planned length and increased the number of gates to allow more passage through it. Through this passive, Defensive only measure, Israel has added stability to the region.


Israel has an internationally recognized right to defend herself from threats both internally and externally. While the violence is regrettable in all cases, Israel has made numerous attempts to aid in the establishment of a Palestinian state and continues to do so. The fact that this has been rejected several times by the PLO and others, Israel still persists in trying to make this possible while ensuring that its security needs are met. This persistence for peace has allowed peace with Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, and increased regional stability. As other countries make their peace, regional stability will be strengthened and ensured. Israel is working hard and will continue to work hard to end the “vicious cycle of violence” .

Palestinian Education and the Culture of Violence

At best the education Palestinians receive can be described as:

It cannot be described as a peace curriculum either (1)

At the worst are the Madrasahs or religious schools. Often associated with the training of the Taliban, these schools often preach violence and hatred towards unbelievers. The schools are funded by countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria. To understand the culture and endless cycle of violence we have to look back to the 13th century and an obscure cleric by the name of Ibn Taymiyah. Taymiyah felt that Islam needed purification at any cost:

“Death of the martyrs for the unification people in the cause of god and his word is the happiest, best, easiest, and most virtuous of death” (2)
It is this clerics teachings that the Wahhabis and the lesser known and even more radical Muslim Brotherhood preach at these schools. In this context, an endless cycle of violence is preached towards countries like Israel. Indeed most of the 911 hijackers were indoctrinated at these schools. But for the courage of leaders like Hussein and Sadat, and those of Israel stability in the area would not have been possible (Sadat payed for it with his life).

The Myth of Middle East Unity

The Middle East is far from united. Almost every country has either succumbed to religious fanaticism or is under active pressure. From Syria where the Alawites are in a constant battle with the Muslim Brotherhood for control (2) to Saudi Arabia where the kingdom is teetering on the edge of revolution, internal strife complicates things in the region. Despite this Israel has constantly extended the olive branch of peace to its neighbors. This is despite the ever present threat of annihilation.

Israel is committed to maintaining regional stability by pursuing further peace treaties. As the only democracy in the region with true freedom for its people Israel’s democracy promotes stability by providing an example of the benefits of a secular, free society. By maintaining security, Israel promotes regional stability by maintaining deterrence. By using the hard earned knowledge with terrorism, Israel is able to pinpoint and stop attacks. Thus the overall level of tension is reduced thus enhancing regional stability.

(2) "Sleeping With The Devil" by Baer, Robert, Crown Publishers, New York, 2003

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 08:14 PM
Thanks FredT, not to be a prude, but I want to correct you on your statements that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Turkey has been a democracy since 1982, and a republic before then, as well, they have been a member of NATO since 1952. Egypt is currently a republic.

Peace Accords
It takes two to tango.

1973 Geneva Accord - championed by the US and the UN to promote a cease-fire
1978 Camp David - championed by the US to promote full withdrawal of BOTH sides of troops from the Sinai
1983 NON-Peace Accord - negotiations championed by the US resulting from Israeli determination to destroy the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Lebanon. Lebanon eventually BACKED OUT of the deal.
1991 Madrid - sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union, but Israel refused to negotiate with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Did result in something lasting with Jordan.
Oslo Accords- championed by the Norwegians and resulted in nothing lasting due to the Al-Asqa Intifada. Only 26% of Israelis currently support the Accord.

Subsequent talks in 2000 deteriorated the legitimacy of the accords and resulted in the Al-Asqa Intifada.

All these negotiations were sponsored by countries outside of the Middle East and were not the result of Israel extending an olive branch. One could say that the US or Russia or Europe or even the UN are stabilizing forces, but clearly not Israel in these cases.

Figures on the Separation Barrier show NO sign of terrorism prevention in the short-term and will show none in the long-term


As this figure shows, terrorism within Israel has been constant despite the construction of the separation barrier. The one anomaly occurred over a year prior to the completion of phase 1 of construction of the separation barrier in July 2003. Since then, terrorism has been constant. From January 2004 to August 2004 (with 1/3 of the year still left) terrorist attacks have outnumbered totals from the years 1997-2000 combined.

How do we forecast long-term effects?
To start, the separation barrier expropriates Palestinian land and has blocked travel of Palestinians to other parts of their land. The UN in conjunction with the International Court of Law has already passed resolutions by a resounding 144-4 and 14-1, respectively, calling on Israel to tear down this barrier. The European Union has even called on Israel to remove the barrier.

Palestinians are restricted to travel to other parts of Palestine and some are enclosed by the wall on all sides. Farmers cannot reach their land which has been annexed for construction of the barrier. The economy continues to falter. Palestinians cannot reach services and goods in other parts of the land as well. Palestinians are virtually living in an open prison ground.

As I have shown with my figures, terrorism is at a constant and has even increased compared to previous years. On another note, more terrorists have been caught by Israeli authorities than any other year. While this may show that security is working, when taken in conjunction with the steady flow of terrorism in Israel, this figure shows that Palestinians and other terrorists in general have become increasingly hostile since the construction of the barrier. The barrier will not unite, only enrage.

If there's is a culture of violence, how is Israel helping?
The answer is, they are not. The separation barrier is only the latest of notable events to incite hatred among SOME Arabs.

According to the Middle East Policy Council, as of May 18, 2004, over 3867 people have been killed as a result of the conflict since September 29, 2000. 892 Israelis (non-combatant civilians and IDF troops) have been killed by Palestinian militants or suicide bombers, and 2975 Palestinian civilians (all Palestinians except suicide bombers and Israeli assassination targets) have been killed by Israeli military forces or Israeli civilians.

Israel is not promoting peace by killing civilians.

Mossad doesn't help

In 1973, Mossad murdered Ahmad Bouchikhi, an innocent Arab waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, who had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of the Black September, a Palestinian guerrilla organization, which was responsible for the Munich Massacre.

Despite peace negotiations with Jordan, Mossad has angered Jordan many times by assasinating people within its borders. Not to mention Israel has continually angered many countries outside of the Middle East by obtaining false passports from the countries.

Israel has done nothing to promote peace in the Middle East. They are attempting to fight fire with fire. The Middle East is united in the Islam and Muslim culture, respecting their traditions above all else. Countless Arab countries have rallied around the cause of Palestine. Instead of working with Palestine and the rest of the Middle East, Israel demands of them.


posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 06:06 AM
Thanks go out to Jamuhn for pointing out my leaving out of Turkey as an Islamic Democracy.

As Jamuhn has pointed out it does take two to Tango. However, as I have pointed out in previous posts, Israel is often the one left without a dance partner. Israel has always been willing to negotiate for peace. The fact that many of the peace accords were sponsored by other countries can be explained: Most of these countries do not have so much as an embassy from which to initiate contact. Much like the United States has to talk to Iran through intermediaries, so must Israel.

Israel has even put its own security at risk to try to secure peace:

After losing the 1999 election, Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed reports that he had engaged in secret talks with Syrian President Hafez Assad to withdraw from the Golan and maintain a strategic early-warning station on Mount Hermon. Publicly, Assad continued to insist on a total withdrawal with no compromises(1)

The state of Israel has repeatedly attempted to make numerous concessions only to be rebuffed by the PLO or other Middle East states.

The Separation Barrier Promotes Security and Stability

The state of Israel has the fundamental right to protect itself from terrorist attacks.

Every community in our country has a fundamental right to be free from fear. Each and every (one) has the right to feel secure in their home, to feel safe in the cities, towns and rural areas. People should not fear the night. They must be able to travel to work, to school and other places without danger. But these rights are being denied to many by criminals who do not hesitate to use violence to achieve their goals. (2)

These words were spoken by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and define the wall for what it is: and Instrument for peace, stability and security.

Furthermore, the fence is a temporary security measure. It can always be moved as needed. Recently, Israel removed 12 miles of the fence to ease Palestinian daily life, and Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to reroute 20 more miles of the fence for that same purpose. In addition, more gates have been added to allow farmers access to their crops.
Security fences are legitimate methods of defense. In fact despite condemning the Israeli fence, the UN has recently announced plans to surround their headquarters with a security fence.

Jamuhn has argued that the fence only serves to inflame tension and perpetuate a vicious cycle of violence.

During the 34 months from the beginning of the violence in September 2000 until the construction of the first continuous segment of the security fence at the end of July 2003, Samaria-based terrorists carried out 73 attacks in which 293 Israelis were killed and 1950 wounded. In the 11 months between the erection of the first segment at the beginning of August 2003 and the end of June 2004, only three attacks were successful, and all three occurred in the first half of 2003. Since construction of the fence began, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%. The number of Israelis murdered and wounded has decreased by more than 70% and 85%, respectively, after erection of the fence. The success of the anti-terrorist fence in Samaria means that the launching point for terrorists has been moved to Judea, where there is not yet a continuous fence.(1)

The Middle East Is NOT United

The Palestinian problem is but one of many ethnic, religious and nationalistic feuds plaguing the Middle East. While Jamuhn is correct that Islam is the prevailing religion of the region, but internal differences make for centuries of hostility, and unity is a far fetched idea. If the nations of the Middle East were truly united in their stand against Israel, they would have overrun the tiny country by sheer volume of numbers.

The Mossad

While the accidental killing of a civilian is regrettable, the simple fact as the United States found on 911, the best method of combating terrorism is stopping them before they can attack. The Mossad has targeted legitimate terrorists and prevented untold numbers of attacks, by preventing them from striking. The intelligence they gather helps out both internally and the other nations involved with the war on terrorism.

As my previous posts have concluded, Israel promotes stability through a variety of means. From being one of the Democracies in the Middle East, to its deterrence of aggression through strength. As I have shown, the separation barrier has reduced the number of attacks which in turn reduces tension and promotes stability. Israel will continue to use all assets to protect its citizens and reduce the terror threat. And as always, it is willing to negotiate a lasting peace with its neighbors.



posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 12:34 AM
Thanks FredT

Once again, not to be a prude, but Israel is also not the only secular government within the Middle East. Other secular governments include Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon.

Since Israel cannot even maintain peace around its own borders, how can you expect them to be effective in stabilizing other parts of the region? As you pointed out, both parties in Syria and Israel were negotiating in such peace process, which after all bore no fruit due to conflicting ideas of what the peace treaty would entail.

Peace between the Middle East and Israel is far from becoming a reality.

From the Palestine National Charter:

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not tactics. The Palestinian Arab people affirms its absolute resolution and abiding determination to pursue the armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution, to liberate its homeland and return to it to maintain its right to a natural life in it, and to exercise its right of self-­determination in it and sovereignty over it.

Syria's call for peace rejected
In 2002, Syria proposed a treaty with Israel asking for full withdrawal from occupied territories in exchange for recognizing the Israeli state. Israel rejected this plan. [2]

The Separation Barrier shows no signs of prevention in OVERALL terrorism
The figures FredT produced merely show terrorism within the context of Judea and Samaria and do not take into account overall terrorism in Israel nor the month of August 2004, and tries to compare 1/2 a year to 1 year. The month of August 2004 alone doubles the figures showed in the graph. As well, the quote underneath contradicts the graph!

While the Palestinians are still upset over the Israeli pre-emptive strike in 1967, Israel continues to inflame them more:

Qalqiliya, a city with approximately 41,000 residents and the district center, will be hermetically sealed by the Wall, a looming concrete obstruction, eight meters (24 feet) high, with watch towers, electric fencing, and a military patrol. Qalqilya once had a dynamic market, serving over 85,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel; now 70% of the residents suffer from unemployment as business has plummeted without customers. Noha Nazal, a resident of Qalqilya, explains that Israel's caging of the city "has brought families under incredible stress. We are trapped without employment, health services, or higher education. Also, the Wall and [Israeli] closures have cut off family relations..."

Ask Nelson Mandela what he thinks of the Berlin Wall or the Separation Barrier, and I bet his tune changes.

You're right, the Middle East is not united (except in ideology), and IS not stable.
I refer you to the Arab League. The Arab League started with 7 founders in 1945 PRIOR to the Israeli WAR of independence but grew mostly afterwards by 15 (9 after Israel's pre-emptive strike). The members include: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Mauritania, Somalia, Palestine, Djibouti, Comoros. [4] The Arab League promotes Arab ideologies and explicitly excludes Israel. They also are conflicted over events not involving Israel. The Arab League was conflicted over the Iraq invasion of Kuwait 12-10. They were also conflicted over the Iran-Iraq war.

The Arab League was united when it barred Egypt from the League after Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel.

It is quite dissimilar from some other organizations such as European Union, because it has not achieved any significant degree of regional integration and the organization itself has no direct relations with the citizens of its member states.

A few examples of specific countries in their plight against Israel
The same Syrian President you claim was engaging in peace with Israel:

“Palestine is not only a part of our Arab homeland, but a basic part of southern Syria.”
— Syrian President Hafez Assad

Iraq as well has tried to provoke Israel when it sent scud missiles at Israel during the Gulf War. Most recently, Iran and Israel relations are tense as they exchange threats with each other.

If Israel can't even create a stable state for themselves, how can we expect them to help at all in stabilizing the Middle East as a whole?
While terrorist attacks remain constant in Israel, the state itself is concerned only with stabilizing its own country. Their continuous efforts, while with good intention, have only backfired and created even more problems. As the Mossad continues to carry out illegal operations in countries, they only serve to inflame their own allies. Israel has not helped out at all when comparing the stability of the Middle East from the Ottoman Empire to World War II to the 1967 Israel pre-emptive strike to present.

1. nant_commentary.html

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 07:52 AM
Thank you Jamuhn for your reply. I do want to point out that I never claimed that Israel was the only secular society, I said:

Israel’s democracy promotes stability by providing an example of the benefits of a secular, free society.

Israel Promotes Stability Through Peace

Israel has maintained peace and stability around its borders and will continue to meet its security needs. While you have lamented the lack of a peace agreement, I must point out that even the historic Camp David agreements did not happen overnight. Simply because historic peace agreements do not occur like clockwork do not make them unattainable. Given the state of Israel’s persistence in such matters, it will only be a matter of time.

The quoted comments by Assad are well taken but note that incendiary comments are often made for public consumption. Indeed not long after the attempt I quoted, another was made by the new Israeli leader Ehud Barak. (1)

The 1967 War was a justified preemption for self defense. Funny how the 1973 Yom Kippur war is not mentioned? Yet Israel has put that behind it as well. I was unable to find any information on the link you provided about the 2002 Syrian Peace plan. The Saudi’s did propose a peace plan during that time frame.

In regards to your quoted chapter of the Palestine National Charter signed in 1968:

1993: Chairman of the PLO Arafat declares in a letter to the Israeli Premier Minister Rabin that the principles of the Charter that denies the right of existence for Israel, are "inoperative and no longer valid" (2)

The Separation Barrier Promotes Stability

I beg to differ on your interpretation of the graph and the quote. Both show a decrease in the amount of terrorism. In regards to the effects on the Palestinians, the Israeli Foreign Minister has this to say:

And finally, we are keenly aware of the impact of the fence on the lives of Palestinians. We have no wish to damage Palestinian quality of life. That is why we are constantly reviewing the humanitarian arrangements and the routing of the fence, and have already introduced changes. We are committed to continuing to review all aspect of the fence, to find the most effective and humane way of protecting lives without causing unnecessary hardship to the Palestinian population. (3)

While your quote on the plight of Qalqiliya paints a bleak picture, your quote left out a few facts:

Nowhere in the article is it noted that numerous terrorists from Qalqiliya have committed mass casualty attacks in Israel. In the past two years, the former Palestinian “hub” has dispatched no fewer than six suicide bombers, Israel considers Qalqiliya be such a hotbed of terrorism, that it has indeed, in a rare security measure, enclosed the town with the barrier, providing access through checkpoints. (4)

Yes it would be interesting to see what Nelson Mandela would have to say about the separation barrier. Such barriers are common in South Africa and serve the same purpose as the Israeli one: To prevent attacks and have a stabilizing effect.

Because the Arab Nations Cannot Unite Does Not Mean Stability is Impossible

Simply because nations are divided does not mean peace and stability cannot occur. During the Iraq war, the US and EU were and continue to be severely divided, yet stability exists. This too is possible in the Middle East. Israel has made peace with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Qatar is also showing a interest in improving relations as well. During the Gulf War Iraq attempted to unite the Arab world against Israel and did not succeed. The Iran issue is a new development but signs are diplomacy may be working.

Israel is a Stable State

Despite the terrorist attacks they have maintained the stability of their nation. This also has a positive effect on the stability of the region as a whole. Its strong military serves as a deterrent to hostilities. Its intelligence services provide vital data to prevent terrorist acts. I would like to point out that the intelligence activities the Mossad performs is no different that those of the CIA or the KGB, or any other Middle East country. Israel serves as an example of showing how a democratic secular country can flourish.

You cannot compare the stability of the Ottoman Empire which nearly covered the whole of the Middle East. Nor can you compare the early years of the establishment of Israel. Since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, there has been the conflict in Lebanon and the ongoing Gaza issue. Compare that with the United States: Grenada, Panama, Gulf War, Bosnia, Gulf War II. In fact since the 1967 there have decidedly less major conflicts in the region. Israel has indeed provided a stabilizing force.


(2) http...://

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 02:43 PM
Thanks FredT, I was just trying to make a point that Israel isn't the only secular society; I know you didn't say that per se, but some might not be aware of the other secular countries. And, in fact, Israel still has ongoing problems with secular countries, most notably, Palestine.

Israel can't even stabilize its own country
Israel tries to bring stabilization in its own country through military strikes as well as peace. And I say again, if Israel is having a hard time stabilizing its own country, how is Israel a stabilizing force in the Middle East as a whole? The answer, they aren't. The historic Camp David agreement in 2000 bore no fruit, both sides differing on what the peace agreement would entail and even resulted in an Intifada. The persistence you speak of is bringing peace to its own country, what country doesn't want that? But when we think of the stabilization of the Middle East as a whole, Israel has had no effect whatsoever.

The 1967 War was justified in the minds of Israelis and has only served to inflame the Middle East even more. You want another example of an Israel pre-emptive strike? I refer you to the 1982 Lebanon War when Israel attacked Lebanon.

The invasion was widely criticized both in and outside Israel, especially after the Sabra and Shatila massacre and ultimately led to the death of 20,000 Lebanese.

If you look in my link again FredT, you will find information on the 2002 Syrian peace plan that was rejected by Israel. If you can't find it, try Ctrl+F or let the judges find it.

Your quote from 1993 is outdated, here is an internal memo on the parts you speak of.

The text of the Palestinian National Covenant remains as it was and no changes whatsoever were made to it. This has caused it to be frozen, not annulled. The drafting of the new National Covenant will take into account the extent of Israeli fulfillment of its previous and coming obligations... evil and corrupt acts are expected from the Israeli side... The fact that the PNC did not hold a special session to make changes and amendments in the text of the National Covenant at this stage... was done to defend the new Covenant from being influenced by the current Israeli dictatorship.

The Separation Barrier hasn't changed OVERALL terrorism within Israel and especially not in the Middle East as a whole.
Once again FredT, if you want a better picture, you will need to look at overall terrorism and conflict within Israel, not just Samaria and Judea.


As you can see, terrorism has significantly increased over the decades. The separation barrier has not alleviated the constant amount of terrorism, and, in addition, terrorist attempts have increased significantly. Then, when we look at the fact that the focus of terrorism has shifted to US activities in the Middle East, we see terrorism in the Middle East has become higher than ever.

The separation barrier blocks the residents of Qalqiliya from its own country, the barrier is obviously more than about terrorism! 55% of the farmland in Qalqiliya has been appropriated by Israel for building the separation barrier. 40,000 acres of Palestinian land have been taken. [4]

The walls in South Africa you speak of are apartheid barriers. Only a few remain today to separate the poorer citizens from the richer ones.

The question is not whether someday stability might be possible, but whether or not Israel is helping with the stability of the Middle East as a whole
First off, the Mossad have angered many of Israel's own allies for carrying out illegal terror operations.

Secondly, we must compare the stability of the Middle East throughout the years; fore, we must define a relative position to define what has become stable. The Ottoman Empire enjoyed a relative stability lasting over 800 years! Then, we look throughout the years, and see that war has become constant, and more frequent during the establishment of the Israel state. Since the Israel War of Independence there have been 5 major wars and 2 Intifadas, most recently an Intifada in 2000 (after Camp David), which still lasts today.

As well, there has been the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq-Kuwait War, 2 US-Iraq Wars, Sudanese genocides, and other forms of mass murder. Where has Israel been? Battling external as well as internal conflict. Israeli citizens differ greatly on the creation of a Palestine state, the separation barrier, and the millions of displaced Palestinian refugees. Not to mention, their is admitted corruption within the Israel government, and a greatly disliked President. Once again, if Israel can't stabilize its own country, we can't say Israel is a stabilizing force in the Middle East in general.


posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 01:29 AM
I would like to thank Jamuhn for his efforts as well as those judging, and the members of ATS that have followed the thread throughout the debate.

Very few topics can stir debate like the Middle East and Israel’s role in it. Since the discovery of oil, the Middle East has been a large focus of the industrialized world. Given this context, the proposition that Israel is a stabilizing force in the region is true.

The supporting evidence that I put forth in my opening statement still rings true and I feel I have been able to substantiate these claims.


Israel is currently is one of a few democracies in the Middle East. Much like other democracies, Israel has free elections, a free press, religious freedom, and protection for minorities. In a region that is marked by totalitarian rule, racial and religious extremism, It stands out as a beacon of liberty and pluralism. By leading the way in this area, Israel is showing her neighbors the benefits of democracy. This may eventually result in the transformation of other Middle East states to democracy. Because of the inherently stability of Democracies, Israel is ensuring the stability of the region for years to come.

Regional Strength

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is among the most battle hardened, best trained, and best equipped military in the world. Its vast scope and strength serves as a counterweight to regimes such as Iran, Syria, and until recently Iraq who sponsor state level terrorism and generally have a destabilizing influence in the region. Israel is able to provide stability to the Middle East Region by providing a deterrence from state level aggression

One of the Worlds Experts On Fighting Terrorism

Ever since its founding Israel has been under the unrelenting threat of terrorism. Because of necessity, Israel finds itself as an acknowledged expert in the field of terrorism. The Mossad, is expert at infiltrating and gathering intelligence on terrorist groups. These groups pose not only a direct threat to Israel, but to the stability of the region as a whole. By developing intelligence on these groups and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Israel can target them for arrest or in extreme cases elimination. In the case of WMD, Israel can use the collective strength of the UN to curb their spread and prevent their use. By eliminating these sources of violence, regional stability is promoted.

Waging Peace

Israel has attempted to make peace with its neighbors and continues to do so. The peace process is an often laborious one with many stops and starts. Despite this, Israel has been able to negotiate peace with once bitter enemies like Egypt and Jordan. Other nations like Turkey live in peace with Israel and some like Qatar are in the beginning stages. As long as its security needs are met, Israel will extend the olive branch whenever possible. By continuing to try to co-exist with its neighbors, Israel promotes regional stability by reducing tensions if it can.

Thank You

posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 12:51 PM
Thanks FredT, the judges, and ATS.

Israel's Instability
A democracy does not equal stability. Israel remains an instable country always under threat from the larger Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Terrorism within Israel has significantly increased; in the last 10 years, terrorism in Israel increased by over 450% over the previous decade! [1]

Israel also faces constant criticism from Western countries. Since Israel's establishment, they have received 120 NEGATIVE UN resolutions and security council vetoes. [2] Some of the reasons for resolutions include: Israel's deportation of Palestinians, violating human rights, violating Geneva Conventions, and seizing Palestinian land. The most recent resolution in May of 2004 calls for the establishment of a sovereign Palestine country, which Israel still refuses to recognize. As well, Israel is prevented from joining its geographic region in the UN, the Asian section, because they refuse to allow them to join them.

Even within the government of Israel, there is widespread difference. In August of 2004, Gaza Strip settlements prompted Sharon:

The debate in the Likud party has also been fuelled by a series of personal and party rivalries. "Unfortunately there is a group within the party that has been plotting against the government since its establishment," Mr. Sharon told the convention earlier.

The prime minister, who, more than anyone, has made the right a force in Israel, was rejected by the party he helped create. He can continue to govern but without the moral authority to do anything but manage the country.

Israel is not even united in its view of the Palestinian- and Arab-Israeli conflicts!

There is a difference between a Peace Treaty and being allied
Though Israel has peace with Egypt and Jordan, both are part of the Arab League, which continues to denounce Israel's separation barrier calling it a form of apartheid and citing major human rights violations. As well, we have never seen a Middle East country that has peace with Israel actively aid them. We still see many, many Jordanian and Egyptian terrorists taking an active role in terrorism against Israel and the West. Turkey, another ally, became a western-oriented, secular republic in 1923 and never once aided Israel during the 5 wars.

Israel doesn't send troops to aid in stabilizing Middle East countries, and doesn't aid in the terrorism throughout the Middle East.

Israel constantly has a tough time stabilizing its own country from external as well as internal forces. Israel has consistently declined sending troops to the Iraq War and wars not relating to Israel. Israel has shown through its actions that she is not capable of playing any sort of role in stabilizing the Middle East as a whole. Israel is solely concerned with preventing the annihilation of their country. Israel does not have the ideology, the manpower, nor the technology to do anything but attempt to stabilize their country, which they are losing.

The facts speak for themselves. Israel is not a stabilizing force in the Middle East.

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posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 06:26 PM
Top job, I'll take this batch of gingerbread judges out of the oven and set them to work.

posted on Sep, 8 2004 @ 01:57 AM
The tasty, golden judges have passed their delicious judgement, the results are in, and the winner of this debate is Jamuhn by a margin of 6-2. Well done to both of you and we hope to see FredT again in future tournaments.

Judges Comments:

A hearty round of applause for both of these participants. This was a great match-up on a very tough topic. It was almost a shame to have to choose a winner!

My vote goes to FredT. I felt he had the stronger position and presented the facts very well.

This was an even up debate as the participants got bogged down on the internal Israeli/Palastinian conflict, I was hoping for a much wider debate about the presence or absence of Israel and the effect on the region as a whole which seems more to the point of the debate subject.

It came down to the last few posts when Jamuhn made the most convincing point in the form of a question;

"If Israel can't even create a stable state for themselves, how can we expect them to help at all in stabilizing the Middle East as a whole?"

Keeping in mind the narrow topic and being as objective as possible on a very controversial subject I have to declare Jamuhn the winner.

Great job all around, as usual with the debates, but my vote is going for Jamuhn. I found Jamuhn more convincing and the posts seemed to be better researched.

Excellent debate by both parties, both should be proud. This was a very tough one to pick but I'm going to side with Jamuhn as his arguments seemed to pull me in more, a very good debating style.

It was the hardest one yet, both presented many sources and well thoughtout replies. After reading it two times, I had to determine that FredT was the winner. He showed alot of evidence that his side was right, and his evidence damned alot of Jamuhn's. Jamuhn did a great job and I nearly picked him as the winner, but reading it again FredT had the better defence.

I liked this debate quite a bit. As the debate was about Israel being a stabilizing force in the Middle East, and not a securer Israel, I believe Jamuhn better addressed this topic. Piece of advice for future debates, when providing links, please do so to specific pages, just to the websites home page doesn't provide the info needed.

A well structured and thought out debate. Both made good points, but I'm placing my vote with Jamuhn, as I felt that he made a better argument. I'd like to thank both fighters for a great history lesson; I learned some things I didn't know before about that region.

Best of luck to Jamuhn in round 2.

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