The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Israel is the major roadblock to peace, in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,067 times Debate No: 38721
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




The Israel/Palestine conflict is one of the most compelling issues in modern history. Despite decades of attempted peace initiatives, an argument can be made that things are as bad as ever.

Based on the "objective" evidence available (not strictly from Israeli or Palestinian sources), its clear that Israel is the major roadblock to peace.

Try and keep it civil, we all want the conflict to end in a prompt and just manner.


I will be arguing that Israel is not the only roadblock to peace, but the Palestinians, Arab countries, and Religious history has a lot to do with the conflict. My only credentials on this debate is that I did a high school research paper (10 pages long) on the conflict. I went in fully supporting Israel and came out hating the creation of Israel in the first place, and also hating the Arab reaction to the U.N. decision.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


"I will be arguing that Israel is not the only roadblock to peace" - Con

I'm not sure that's the proper Con position. My original position is that Israel is the MAJOR roadblock to peace, not the ONLY roadblock. I'll try to respond to a few points you made, and begin with a few of my own.

The creation of Israel isn't particularly relevant to today's peace process. Whether anyone likes it or not, Israel exists as an internationally recognized state. Furthermore, neither the Palestinian nor the Israeli position on the current peace-process, is affected by how/why Israel was created.

The same is essentially true for the Arab response to Israel's creation. We can debate over the merits of it all day, but it holds little bearing on the relevant positions of both parties today, both from a moral and legal standpoint.

My main argument is the following.

Nearly every year for the past 30 years, the UN has voted on a measure called, "Peaceful Resolution of the Palestine Question". The stipulations are as follows. FULL Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian lands, including the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, as well as a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee problem, based on the right of return.

In case anybody views these terms as controversial, consider the following. These terms are endorsed by every major Human Rights Organization on the planet, and the International Court of Justice (with two judges being self-described Jews).

The vote every year is basically the same. The whole world on one side favoring the Resolution (170 nations), and the United States and Israel on the other side, rejecting it (along with 3-4 small island nations looking for US aid money).

The OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) which represents all 56 Muslim/Arab nations, drafted an initiative that mirrored the UN plan, but went a step further, in offering to establish normal ties with Israel, once peace is achieved.

The radical but democratically elected Palestinian government of Hamas, has gone on record since 2007, as approving of a peace-deal based on the legal Pre-67 borders (the borders utilized in the UN/World-Court/OIC initiatives as well).

There seems to be a broad world consensus on what a "just peace" entails, and yet Israel (backed by the US), rejects these simple terms. Thus, I dub them the major roadblock to a peace settlement.


I agree that my wording is off. I will change my statement to "Israel and the Palestinians/Arab countries have equal parts to have been played in the conflict so far."

I disagree that the creation of Israel is irrelevant to today's peace making process. Understanding the history of Israel helps understand why each party is so against the other and why Israel is so afraid of the two state solution.

To begin, I would like to start with a brief history of Israel, starting just before WW1. I do this because it is the major problem of conflict now.

Just before World War One, Great Britain set out something called the Balfour Declaration. This Declaration pronounced England's support for a Jewish State in Israel, as the Zionist Congress had been begging for all these years. However, in the midst of WW1, England made another strange promise: It promised the Palestinians that if they helped in the war against the Ottoman Empire, they would receive their own country! This never happened and it angered the Palestinians.

By the time World war two came around, nobody had bothered with the Palestinian problem. England had gotten away with making its false promise because the League of Nations was not strong enough nor its members financially able to do anything about it. The Zionist Congress lamented that they did not have their own country but were not as sore about it as the Palestinians. They had paid in blood for that country but they had not received it.

After World War Two and the discovery of the Holocaust, the world knew that Israel needed to be created. They needed to be set apart due to the antisemitism that rocked Europe, despite the sympathy gained by the Holocaust. However, the Palestinians too wanted their own country, So England turned the problem over to the newly created U.N. The U.N., seeing the problem of both promises by England, and the need for a Jewish state. So they came up with the Two-State-Solution. This took the land that was to become Israel and split it in half, including the sacred city of Jerusalem. But what did they do to enforce this? The British Military forcibly removed Palestinians from their homes and sent them to the Palestinian half of the country, despite the fact that they had lived their for far longer than the British had controlled the land. While this step may have seemed to be a necessary component to the Two-State-Solution, it had disastrous effects.

Not only were the Palestinians enraged, but so were many Arab countries. So, the day after the first Israeli flag shown upon the land, 6 Arab nations attacked the infant nation. Fortunately, the Israelis were able to fend off the attack and secure their country, but they lost vast pieces of land to the enemy- the Two-State-Solution had just been shattered. As time went on, truck bombs, skirmishes, and harsh words were passed. In the late 1960's, the six day war occurs. Here the Egyptians began preparing to attack Israel and had blockaded the straight of Tiran. Israel preemptively attacks Egypt, overwhelming the Egyptian forces and taking large quantities of land. The war becomes regional and Israel defeats the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.

After this more and more battles are fought, another war in the 1970's proves Israel lives in fear of attack at all times. Palestinians continue attacking the Israelis with futile terrorists attacks.

Just to skip into the future now, it has been known that every time Israel makes a peace deal, it is taken advantage of. When the Gaza Strip was given to the Hamas, they used it as a place to shoot rockets into Israel! While Israel is also at fault for many things that have gone wrong in the past as well as inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, they have a reason for their actions. They live in fear of attack by their enemies and it seems that with every foot they give, they lose more lives.
Debate Round No. 2


Two main responses.

. There are quite a few historical inaccuracies in the summary you offered. I"ll deal with the most serious of those errors below.

. The main question I have though, is so what? Is your premise that since Israel "feels" threatened, it should be able to flout international law, and the entire world"s verdict? If you"ll permit a strained analogy, Nazi Germany attempted to legitimize its destruction of the Jews, because its society "felt" threatened by the Jewish people.

"Feelings" are irrelevant. Morality and the rule of law are what counts, and in these areas, the official Israeli position has not a leg to stand on.

To the historical inaccuracies.

Your position is that the 1948 war was instigated by British troops, moving native Palestinians to the "Palestine" side of the UN partition. This is false.

The war of 1948 was caused by Israeli troops going through the Palestinian side of the partition, carrying out mass executions, expulsions, and then burning the houses so they couldn"t return. This led to 700,000 Palestinians fleeing their homeland, at which point the Arab armies attacked Israel.

You were fairly accurate on the 1967 war, although we need to make clear, that Egypt mobilizing its forces and enforcing a weak blockade on its territory, aren"t real acts of war, while Israel"s preemptive strike that started the conflict is. Not to mention the stolen land Israel then acquired, which it then proceeded to cleanse of Muslims/Christians, to make way for Jewish only settlements.

The other major war was the 1973 war. Israel refused negotiations with the UN and Egypt over recovery of stolen Egyptian land, so Egypt attacked Israel. The two sides eventually reached a peace that lasts to this day, but ONLY after Israel relinquished the Egyptian land it occupied.

Israel never "gave" Gaza to Hamas. They removed settlements, but kept in place the illegal blockade that strangled the economy, and military roads/check points. A ceasefire was brokered by Egypt in 2008, although neither side fully adhered to it. However, the relative calm was broken when Israel launched a strike killing 6 Hamas members in Gaza. At THAT point, Hamas began the rocket-fire in earnest.

So this is what we have. Israel"s "fear" of attack is not only illogical, but completely false. THEY are the party that instigated nearly every hostility since 1947. They know how to achieve peace, as they achieved it with Egypt. It requires giving back occupied land. However, Israel refuses point-blank to adhere to this international standard, and thus, we have no peace.

Before questioning the source material, make an effort to read the link below.


I will agree that I made some historical errors there, but I stand by my my idea of the fear of attack leads to hostility.

We must remember that Israel is not the only one at fault in any war. Just like in any car accident, it takes two faults to make the accident happen. With each war, both Israel and its enemies have been at fault. Israel has treated its non-jew occupants with little to no humanity in mind. However, they are not the only ones. Palestinians often carry out terrorist attacks on the Israeli civilians. The Hamas (a terrorist organisation according to the U.S. and the legitimate government of the Gaza Strip to the Arab world) have repeatedly launched attacks on Israel and they have responded in kind.

In any case, all the hostility over the years has led to terrible war crimes by both sides. The harsh words, constant attacks, and seemingly imminent annihilation (both the Israelis and the Palestinians believe this) has fostered fear of the other party. Israel sees the Two-state-solution as a strategic disaster. The country would lose all of its hard fought land (despite the illegal occupation of it) and more and more attacks would become impossible to stop. A two-state-solution, while making sense, would require trust that neither party has for each other.

However, Pro is right. Israel is A major stumbling block to peace. There are others that are just as formidable, but it appears that the nation with the largest most powerful army has not pursued peace as it should. Even if the terrorist attacks continue until the end of time, Israel should know enough to understand that it has to be the better man and step up to the negotiations. If they could put aside their old differences with each other, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict would be over.

In debates like these, I mainly come to learn more about the subject and see if my perception of the events is the reality. This debate has proven that this is a good tool for doing so. I will look further into the history of the Israel/Palestinian conflict just so that I will not be so ignorant of the subject in the future.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Airmax just taught me that I could right much higher quality RFDs.
Posted by CRAZ4SWAN 3 years ago
CRAZ4SWAN here this guy ISHMAHIL BLAGROVE at Speakers' Corner Hyde Park in London talking about politices and stuff like that...
Posted by airmax1227 3 years ago
I'm not exactly sure how to judge this debate since not much of a debate actually occurred. The BOP here is on Pro whose major argument was initially in the form of the Arab peace initiative, and while this has always been a non-starter for Israel for various reasons that should be apparent, it's used to make the argument, that Pro did, for the sake of painting Israel as attempting to avoid/block peace. In such Pro provides an argument that may affirm the resolution, and one in which Con never attempts to rebut. Instead Con offers a brief history lesson that wasn't necessarily pertinent to this debate (unless he tied it together to make specific claims about the broader situation, but he never did. Con does a decent job of providing some context though). At this point, following R2, Pro's position stands that X is a Palestinian, or more broadly, Arab/world attempt at establishing peace that Israel is avoiding. Con didn't reply and this argument therefore remains uncontested. While Pro offers some justification for his position in R2 countering the resolution, it doesn't stand in the face of an argument (whether accurate or not) that portrays Israel as stated in the resolution.

Pro continued to assert the resolution in R3 with various claims (in reference to war in '67 "Egypt mobilizing its forces and enforcing a weak blockade on its territory, aren"t real acts of war". - just to point out, In fact closing the straits of Tiran is an act of war) that again went uncontested by Con. Furthermore, it seems that in R3 Con in fact conceded the debate essentially saying that Pro's resolution was affirmed. Con does make a decent attempt in R3 once again to point to the context and clarify that there is blame to go around, but with several of Pros claims uncontested at this point, it isn't enough to negate the resolution.

Therefore Pro does enough in this debate to carry his BOP and get argument points.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Weiler 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree completely with con, however, Pro made much better arguments.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.