The Instigator
Peleus
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Demosthenes
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points

Israel is justified in their invasion of Gaza

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,131 times Debate No: 6856
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (8)

 

Peleus

Con

Hello, my first debate here, so play nice.

I believe that Israel is not justified in their recent invasion of Gaza. My definition of justified is a reasonable response for the actions taken against it. A few reasons are as follows.

1. Israel's response is massively disproportionate to the actions taken against it. I am not saying that I have the answers for the middle east conflict, although I do believe that diplomacy is the only realistic solution. This can be most clearly outlined in the death toll on both sides. 14 Israelis were killed during the conflict period and approximately 1200 Palestinians were killed in response. [1] To me, this is not a justifiable, proportionate response to the actions take against it. At the silly extreme example, a country would not be excused for killing a nations entire population in response to an attack on one of their citizens in the name of self defence. There is a reasonable response level.

2. The civilian casualties are not justifiable simply because Hamas based operations amounts civilian area's. This is especially true in regards to large scale weapons (hellfire rockets, tank shells, etc) amongst civilian areas. An example I would give is a hostage situation in a school in the USA. Public opinion would in no way support police blowing up the whole classroom to kill a murderer holding children hostage inside, the same principle should apply and there shouldn't be support for firing a hellfire rocket, blowing up a whole building to kill a militant inside.

3. Overall Israel's attack left hundreds of thousands of people in a humanitarian crisis. [2] The Palestinian citizens did not have basic necessities such as running water. There can be no reasonable justification based on the response to the actions of Hamas that the entire Palestinian population has to undergo such hardship, let alone the day to day oppression they face in their lives.

As a result I believe that the Israeli invasion into Gaza was unjustified as was defined in the beginning of this argument.

Heading off logical counter-argument.

Israel has a right to defend itself.
Yes any sovereign nation has the right to defend it's population from attacks and aggression. However in this defence the onus is on the defending force to ensure that a reasonable level of response is enacted. For an example, if I threw a stuffed teddy bear at a police officer, he would be unjustified in shooting me. Yes he may arrest me and take action against me, but it must be proportional to the "crime" to be justified. Because Israel in no way was proportional or took into account the situation of the Palestinian people, they were unjustified in this invasion.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://english.aljazeera.net...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Demosthenes

Pro

Well since this is your first time here, welcome to Debate.org, and good luck.

My answer to your first point is that diplomacy is completely useless in this situation because the Palestinians have 0% interest living with the Israelis, and the Israelis have 0% interest in living with the Palestinians.

Israel is in a position where they can say, with reasonable evidence to support them, "We must do everything in our power to survive because all of the people in the part of the world we inhabit want us dead." As far as I am concerned, proportion is no longer relevant because Israel is fighting an enemy that has no qualms about killing civilians to win, so Israel can't either.

Now you mentioned how many Israelis died during the conflict period and how many Palestinians died as result. Don't blame Israel for bombing where the terrorists hide. Blame the terrorists for hiding in civilian populations. Also, they don't hide in random homes. They hide in homes loyal to them, making the people they hide with just as culpable as them. So don't act like they're just running into homes full of people daring Israel to bomb them.

You used the example of the police blowing up a school full of children to kill a murderer inside. This is a misleading example, because that's not what is happening. You quoted AL JAZEERA as evidence, I hope you realize how horribly biased that news network is. Israel could've killed 10 militants, and it would've said on Al Jazeera that Israel killed 10 freedom fighters and 68 innocent civilians. What is happening is exactly what I said above - they are hiding in buildings with families and groups loyal to, and allied with them, and when the bombs fall the allies of the militants die with them. I see no problem with this.

And then you said that Israel is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the aftermath. This is yet another fallacy. All Palestine has to do is throw the people who keep trying to start wars with Israel out, and this will all be over. Money will pour in from Europe and America (like it always does), and the country can be rebuilt. But they refuse. They buy int o the propaganda fed to them by Islamic fascists and keep allowing the terrorists to attack Israel and force Israel's hand, which is very heavy.

Palestinians have shot Israeli soldiers, blown up cafes FULL of innocent people, blown up buses FULL of innocent people, and launched rockets in apartment buildings killed dozens and wounding hundreds. Don't act like this is a one-sided conflict.
Debate Round No. 1
Peleus

Con

Thank you for your response.

"My answer to your first point is that diplomacy is completely useless in this situation because the Palestinians have 0% interest living with the Israelis, and the Israelis have 0% interest in living with the Palestinians."

Although there are huge problems on both sides of the conflict, I don't believe that mass genocide is the only option to solve the middle east conflict. Diplomacy is the only acceptable long term solution, which both parties will have to undertake.

"proportion is no longer relevant because Israel is fighting an enemy that has no qualms about killing civilians to win, so Israel can't either."

Proportion is absolutely relevant, and key to the justification of the invasion action of Gaza. The fact that terrorists are attacking civilians in Israel does not give the justification to take reprisals against an entire Palestinian population in return. Just as (I'm not going to go to much into this) if an Iraqi terrorist attack an American citizen it does not give America the right to wipe out the entire Iraqi population. You have to concede that the vast majority are innocent of any crimes.

"They hide in homes loyal to them, making the people they hide with just as culpable as them."
Can you please provide any evidence to back up this statement? The Palestinian population often suffer when Hamas militants break in and commandeer their building to fight. This does not make them culpable for the actions of the militants. There are plenty of examples of people loosing children and family while these people also denounce Hamas. [1]

"This is a misleading example, because that's not what is happening"
Again can you please provide evidence for this statement. I have provided evidence that shows your statement to be false. Many of the people who have died are in no way allied to Hamas, simply bystanders caught in the conflict.

"You quoted AL JAZEERA as evidence"
Are you disputing the casualties involved in the conflict? I also provided links to two other sources. Your denouncing of Al Jazeera seems fairly irrelevant in this light.

"And then you said that Israel is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the aftermath. This is yet another fallacy. All Palestine has to do is throw the people who keep trying to start wars with Israel out, and this will all be over."
This is similar to saying in a war, if one side simply surrendered then then atrocities would never have happened, therefore the atrocities are the fault of the victim. This does not justify the actions of Israel and the humanitarian crisis they created.

"Don't act like this is a one-sided conflict."
I'm absolutely not acting like this is a one sided conflict, and I agree that it's a very difficult situation, with no clear answers on both sides. However we aren't debating the entire conflict, rather the actions of Israel in the specific invasion of Gaza.

My opponent has in no way demonstrated how the response from Israel was proportionate or reasonable, and as defined in the opening argument justifiable. He has tried to say that the Palestinian population is responsible for their own mess, and the blame should be attributed to them. I reject this statement because the Palestinian population on the whole is largely innocent, and shouldn't be subject to the humanitarian crisis and deaths as a result.

[1]-http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Demosthenes

Pro

I understand your point and your motivation - you want peace, you just don't like the color of the coin that will pay for it.

Diplomacy is not the solution here, victory is. Nowhere in my argument did I even hint at the word "genocide", and the activity in Gaza is nowhere near that level. Let's just get that out of the way, shall we?

Now you asked me for evidence that Hamas was hiding within the civilian population, and evidence that those people are not acting against it. Here it is:http://www.pbs.org...

Since obviously trying to sound TOO intelligent has led to me leaving several large holes in my argument, I'm going to go back to my normal vernacular.

Hamas is DARING Israel to bomb civilians to cause the exact outcry you are raising. They have left the IDF no choice. The Israeli military can't control or know instantly when Hamas operatives are leaving their hideouts, and therefore have no choice but to go after the terrorists WHERE THEY ARE. Israel is in the business of protecting Israelis, and Palestinians' lives are NO MORE VALUABLE than the lives of the Israeli civilians that have died in hundreds of rocket attacks and suicide attacks.

"I have provided evidence that shows your statement to be false. Many of the people who have died are in no way allied to Hamas, simply bystanders caught in the conflict." How can you prove this? You take them at their word? You are building the basis of your argument on the statements of a group of people who ELECTED A CRIMINAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION to power in their country. That makes them ALL allied to Hamas. That's not up for discussion. This country feeds Hamas, shelters Hamas, clothes Hamas, and JOINS Hamas. Please give me a better definition for allied.

You also mis-state my idea that the civilians of Gaza are in no way responsible for the things that have happened to them. Sorry, that's an out and out lie. Israel is DEFENDING ITSELF. Operatives of Hamas walk out of bunkers, launch rockets into Israel and go back into the bunkers. The civilians know where they are, and could rid themselves of this menace simply by running over to the nearest Israeli patrol and pointing to where the bunker is. That's not surrendering, that's helping stop the people WHO ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE.

"Are you disputing the casualties involved in the conflict?" Yes. Yes I am disputing the casualties in this conflict because Hamas has a historical tradition of inflating some numbers and deflating others. (http://www.haaretz.com...)

Now I need to make one last point, because you obviously don't understand the scale of this issue. You want to hold this debate to JUST THIS conflict. I'm sorry, but that is impossible. Conflicts like this one cannot be evaluated and debated on a case by case basis because every conflict just builds the hatred. Israel is attacked, goes into Gaza or another area of Palestine, tries to clean it up, and leaves. Hamas allows them to leave, and starts shooting once they're gone. This happens over and over and over again, and there is NO END IN SIGHT unless the people of Palestine decide to do something about it. It is the duty of the Palestinians to get their country under control, and to elect INTELLIGENT, DIPLOMATIC leaders not terrorists with an itchy trigger finger.
Debate Round No. 2
Peleus

Con

"Diplomacy is not the solution here, victory is. Nowhere in my argument did I even hint at the word "genocide", and the activity in Gaza is nowhere near that level. Let's just get that out of the way, shall we?"

Let's look at the picture you're portraying. You are trying to suggest that all the Palestinian people are as guilty as each other (which I'll come to in a moment). You're also suggesting that diplomacy is useless, and conflict and "victory" is the only solution. You've also said that because the Palestinian people are allied with Hamas, it's fine by you that they get killed. I ask you then, if this is the case, where does your solution end apart from the entire destruction of the Palestinian people? That's when you are talking genocide.

"Now you asked me for evidence that Hamas was hiding within the civilian population, and evidence that those people are not acting against it."

No, I asked you for evidence that the people are allied with Hamas, and actively supporting it. Proximity to the militants isn't being allied with them. If a man runs into your house with a gun, it doesn't mean you support him because you didn't run away out of fear of being shot, and let's face it, it's ridiculous to say you do.

"The Israeli military can't control or know instantly when Hamas operatives are leaving their hideouts, and therefore have no choice but to go after the terrorists WHERE THEY ARE."

I said in my opening statement Israel absolutely do have the right to defend themselves, I am not, and never have argued this fact. What I do argue is that Israel in responding have the onus of defending with reasonable response, which if it was reasonable, would justify the invasion of Gaza. In no way has Israel responded with a balanced measure, and you are yet to provide any evidence that they have.

"Israel is in the business of protecting Israelis, and Palestinians' lives are NO MORE VALUABLE than the lives of the Israeli civilians that have died in hundreds of rocket attacks and suicide attacks."

I agree completely, and this is actually one of the centre points of my argument. Palestinian lives are worth no more than Israelis by any stretch, but on the opposite side they aren't worth any less either. One of the main criticism's is the massive loss of life within the Palestinian population in retaliation for the amount of Israelis killed. It's very hard to balance and trade lives with lives, however I can't see how 14 vs 1200 in response is justifiable in any way.

"ELECTED A CRIMINAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION to power in their country. That makes them ALL allied to Hamas. That's not up for discussion."

Firstly, unfortunately it is up for discussion, this is a debate after all. That's very similar to me saying that a republican is guilty of supporting Barrack Obama in the recent election, and he should die because of what Obama believes. Silly isn't it? Because some of the population supports Hamas doesn't mean that they are all guilty and should be tarred with the same brush. This also doesn't mean that even if they did vote for Hamas in an election that it excuses their death in any way. A civilian population should not be slaughtered because of their political voting, and it's quite horrible to see someone say otherwise. Every Palestinian is not a militant, and you cannot justify their death simply because of where they were born. Are you really going to suggest children that perished in the conflict were actively supporting militants?

"You also mis-state my idea that the civilians of Gaza are in no way responsible for the things that have happened to them. Sorry, that's an out and out lie."

Please, let's keep accusation of lying to a minimum. You seem to believe that a civilian population not supporting the "enemy" or opposing force makes them responsible for whatever happens to them. In other words, if a village got bombed in Vietnam for not supporting American troops, that would be ok? It would in reality be called a war crime. The civilian population in a conflict is, and should be treated as a neutral force. By all means if you catch someone actively aiding the enemy then deal with them, however that's not what has happened in Gaza. There have been women and children killed, and you have yet to provide any evidence they were aiding Hamas at the time.

"Yes I am disputing the casualties in this conflict because Hamas has a historical tradition of inflating some numbers and deflating others."

Yet you don't provide any figures of your own? What's your alternative figure then? Even the Israeli defence force claims between 1100-1200 people were killed.

"You want to hold this debate to JUST THIS conflict."

Yes, because that was the premise of the debate, and I'm challenging you to justify this action of Israel, which at the moment my opponent has been unable to do.

There have been several key issues that my opponent has failed to adequately address.

- He has failed to explain how the deaths of 1200 (figure disputed, with what I'm not sure) people is a reasonable response to the 14 Israelis killed in the conflict.
- He has failed to explain why hundreds of thousands of people in a civilian population (not militants) should be put in a humanitarian crisis for the actions of militants within the population.
- He has tried to blame the Palestinian population for their own suffering, claiming that as a civilian population it's their own fault for not driving out a militant base in their population. Unfortunately as in any war, he doesn't realise that the mass killing of civilians for this reason is not justifiable, and often constitutes a war crime.
- He has failed to show that the onus isn't on Israel to ensure that civilians are not killed in the conflict, simply saying it's their own fault if they do.
- He has in no way "justified" the invasion into Gaza as defined in the opening argument of the debate, relying on claims such as the majority were actively supporting Hamas at the time (including women and children) and as such deserved to die, without providing any proof of this fact.

As a result, I think clearly my core arguments still hold, having no proof to the contrary, and you should vote con.

I thank my opponent for the debate.
Demosthenes

Pro

"You're also suggesting that diplomacy is useless, and conflict and "victory" is the only solution. You've also said that because the Palestinian people are allied with Hamas, it's fine by you that they get killed. I ask you then, if this is the case, where does your solution end apart from the entire destruction of the Palestinian people?"

My end is when the Palestinian people decide that they are tired of letting an extreme minority explain the world to them and MAKE THE EFFORT to take control of their country away from terrorists and cowards. Hamas is responsible for the deaths of every single civilian in this conflict, not Israel. Why? The same reason we in America arrest the person who coerces another into murdering someone else. Hamas is responsible because THEY STARTED THE ENTIRE CONFLICT. Any deaths that come after the actions of Hamas to provoke Israel YET AGAIN are laid squarely at Hamas' feet. That's what you've been missing the entire debate. If Israel doesn't respond with just as much resolve as the terrorists, they are vulnerable to exploitation.

"...evidence that the people are allied with Hamas, and actively supporting it. Proximity to the militants isn't being allied with them. If a man runs into your house with a gun, it doesn't mean you support him because you didn't run away out of fear of being shot, and let's face it, it's ridiculous to say you do..."

No you're right, not running out of your house after someone runs in with a gun isn't supporting him. But an operation like Hamas doesn't run by itself. You have YET to answer my point that if the Palestinians wanted to, they could provide pinpoint locations on probably ever bunker and safehouse in Gaza. But they don't. Why? Why, pray tell, would they not want these people (that they supposedly do not support) to be found and destroyed? Because they do support them. They say they don't support them only after something bad happens to individual families. The VAST majority of people DO support Hamas, and I can prove it with one statistic. more than 60% of the seats in the Palestinian legislature belong to Hamas or Hamas-allied groups. They would only vote for Hamas because they support Hamas and what it stands for.

"What I do argue is that Israel in responding have the onus of defending with reasonable response, which if it was reasonable, would justify the invasion of Gaza. In no way has Israel responded with a balanced measure..."

Israel responded in a very reasonable way. They used precision tactical strikes against buildings and areas KNOWN to contain large numbers of Hamas operatives, and used ground forces to clean up. There is nothing more reasonable. They didn't carpet bomb the major cities of Gaza, they didn't run into the capital city and overthrow the government, they merely tried to remove those people and weapons that were obstacles to peace. There is a difference between balanced measures and balanced RESULTS. If Israel's security personnel can avoid getting killed, where do you get the gall to criticize them? If Israel can keep their people alive, who are you to criticize that? The Palestinian government apparently is incapable of keeping their people from starting wars, and the blame once again falls straight back on Palestine. Israel is not wantonly bombing various neighborhoods in Gaza, they are bombing where the terrorists are.

" Every Palestinian is not a militant, and you cannot justify their death simply because of where they were born. Are you really going to suggest children that perished in the conflict were actively supporting militants?"

Children dying is always a tragedy, but in this case it is unavoidable. Israel cannot accomplish its goals with appropriate concern for the safety of its personnel if they have to actively surround, breach and clear every building there are operatives in. Otherwise, Hamas would simply blow the building off the face of the earth and blame an Israeli air strike and hundreds of Israeli personnel would die ALONG WITH THE CHILDREN YOU SO BADLY WANT TO PROTECT. If the Palestinians want the children to stop dying, THEN THEY SHOULDN'T ALLOW HAMAS TO BUILD BUNKERS AND SAFEHOUSES NEAR CHILDREN. Is that so complex? Obviously Hamas has no trouble getting guns and money, maybe the people of Palestine need to take a hint and start their own movement. Otherwise, they have no place to complain, because if Israel doesn't act, it is Israeli children who will die.

Two things - I never accused you of lying. If you choose to take it that way, that's your problem. But I never accuse anyone of lying, because this is politics and the words are synonymous.

"There have been women and children killed, and you have yet to provide any evidence they were aiding Hamas at the time."

This is semantics, pure and simple. You are using the lives of human beings simply to attack Israel. If they were men it should make no difference. Hamas tries to use these people as human shields, which basically forces Israel to take the unpopular route and take the chance to kill them in order to kill Hamas' manpower. In war there are casualties, and these people bet on the wrong horse when they elected Hamas into power AND ALLOWED THEM TO END THE CEASE-FIRE. They should've marched in the streets, rioted in front of the government, DONE SOMETHING. Instead they went about their daily lives and were forced to pay a terrible price for their lack of action.

You would like us to believe, as intelligent, thinking people, these three things:

1. Israel was the aggressor in this conflict, and all lives lost therefore fall at the feet of the IDF.

This is a HUGE fallacy, and is insulting to anyone with a brain. Israel is DEFENDING ITSELF the only way it can, attacking where the enemy is. You would prefer that Israel not act at all, and that Israeli civilians were killed because that way Palestinians live. Because that's what would happen, and you know it. If Israel doesn't defend itself, EVERYONE dies.
There is no middle ground. Israel can't attack Hamas without harming civilians, pure and simple. YOU SHOULD HAVE REALIZED A LONG TIME AGO THAT HAMAS WANTS IT THIS WAY.

2. The Palestinians are not responsible for the acts committed by their popularly elected government.

What?? And Americans aren't responsible for the actions of Former President Bush? That's ridiculous. The people are responsible for the actions of their leaders in a freely elected government. Or do you believe that we, as Americans, are not responsible for the actions of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? WE ELECTED THEM, SO WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. WE GAVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THE DECISIONS THEY DID, and therefore that makes US culpable for their mistakes.

3. My opponent has failed to address the point that the Palestinians can solve this problem with NO OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE.

This is the crowning point. The Palestinians can end this ENTIRE conflict once and for all, now that they are in charge of their own destiny. Throw Hamas out, outlaw their radical beliefs, and re-sign the truce with Israel. Anyone who says otherwise is subsidizing cowardice.

I will now sum up my argument, which I believe is the more responsible, the more realistic, and the more intelligent.

Israel has been painted as the bad guy because we like to believe that every enemy will march forward in line and uniform to fight their wars. Sadly, we know it is not true. If Hamas hides in the civilian population, and Israel doesn't act, then Hamas will simply hide PERMANENTLY in the civilian population and just keep attacking Israel, leading to the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians instead of Palestinian ones and the conflict endures. Allowing Israel to strike back has the chance to end the conflict, something Hamas can never do. You must vote PRO because otherwise you are laying the blame at the feet of the victim, not the agressor.

I thank my opponent for the spiri
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Peleus 8 years ago
Peleus
I'm from Australia so I can't vote at all.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
fair. good for you, i respect that.
Posted by Demosthenes 8 years ago
Demosthenes
I gave him the point in most reliable sources because he had the most reliable sources.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
are you guys not voting for yourselves? Demosthenes should have at least 14 points, if he voted for himself
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
ya i guess so lol
Posted by Peleus 8 years ago
Peleus
No, I did not. This is simply my way of foot noting my sources to back up my argument.

Thanks in a way though, makes it sound like it's relatively professional though lol.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
Peleus:
Did you just copy your entire argument from a website somewhere? It has the [1] numbers, and makes it look like you stole someone's argument :(
Posted by Peleus 8 years ago
Peleus
No problem, flagged for them to be removed by customer service.
Posted by Demosthenes 8 years ago
Demosthenes
I'm not sure the comment area is the best place for the "oops I forgot to add it to my statements" type stuff. I've never done it, so I don't know for sure.
Posted by Peleus 8 years ago
Peleus
Thirdly, the US population did not rise up against their government enough to overthrow them and stop their attacks on Al'Qeda, therefore again making them clearly supporting and allied with the US government.

As I said, I of course know that you don't think that this is acceptable, but you can clearly see where some of the logic you are using can be false. The mum and dad driving visiting the empire state building may not hate the US government enough that they would actively spy for Al'Qeda, but by no means does this mean they are a legitimate target. They may also not agree with the US military actions in other countries, even attended peace marches and anti-war rallies, but because they haven't tried to revolt doesn't make them legitimate targets. Civilians do not make legitimate targets under any circumstances.
Again, I apologise if this continuing a debate so to speak is out of line, if it is let me know and I'll report the comments and try and get them taken down or something for you.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Lime what? Counter!
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Reasons for voting decision: I found pro made some inaccurate statments and genrealizations
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Vote Placed by Demosthenes 8 years ago
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