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The Contender
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8 Points

The United States should NOT decrease foreign aid to Israel.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,578 times Debate No: 11760
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




Hello, I'd first like to say that this is my second debate on, and I am very open to constructive criticism and tips.

The topic states: The United States should NOT decrease foreign aid to Israel. I believe that this statement holds true, and feel obliged to defend my position. I will gladly welcome anybody willing to debate the issue. Again, I am on the affirmative side of the case.

I am looking forward to a fun and interesting debate.

*Just to clarify, there will be NO 1st round debate. Debate will begin in the second round, and there are four rounds.


Normally I don't like debate resolutions with imperatives like "should" or "ought", but I think the meaning implied is sufficiently understood that it won't be a problem.

My case is that the United States SHOULD decrease foreign aid to Israel. There is no specified amount of decrease, but for the sake of simplicity I will contend that the United States should cut off all foreign aid to Israel.

For future reference, it may have been clearer to phrase the resolution as "The United States should decrease foreign aid to Israel" and then take the Con side. Obviously when you are trying to take a position that the status quo should not be changed in a certain way, it becomes unusually difficult to phrase the resolution. Fortunately, it is easily understood in this case.

It will be interesting to see what direction this debate will go. There are no shortage of questions that are brought up by the resolution. I am eager to see my opponent's case.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge to this debate.

Again, I believe the United States should NOT decrease ALL foreign aid to Israel for many reasons.

First, Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East. As a mediator between the violent extremist groups and the various terrorist organizations that now control many governments in the Middle East, it is absolutely vital that the United States maintain a firm and healthy relationship with Israel.

Furthermore, Israel serves as one of the United States' only allies in the Middle East. Israel is the country through which the United States can conduct peace talks and negotiations with other countries in the area. Therefore, it is very important we make sure our relationship flourishes.

Next, I'd like to continue with my first point: democracy. As a fellow democratic nation, we ought to be promoting and defending Israel, rather than attacking it, blaming it, and decreasing our foreign aid to it. Israel has proven to be our MOST reliable ally in a very hostile area. Point blank, we NEED to support Israel to maintain sufficient relations in the Middle East.

The United States has been allies with Israel for at least 45 years. For us to suddenly decrease foreign aid to the ONLY democracy in the Middle East would be unjust and consequential for two reasons: First, it would make it seem as if the United States does not promote Democracy, and instead that it supports radical extremist groups that attempt to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth." Secondly, it would cause the other allies of the United States to question our loyalty toward them.

For example, the United States is allies with Egypt; we send them nearly $2 billion annually. But the disturbing part is, Egypt is not even a democracy. For starters, it does not have free elections. As a matter of fact, there was a nearly 10% voter turnout the past election. Furthermore, Egypt hosts a semi-authoritarian regime headed by "President" Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, who is not much of a "President" at all.

My point is, we simply do NOT believe in the principles that exist in these nations. Yet we still feed them billions of dollars in aid every year. My opponent proposes we decrease ALL foreign aid to Israel, the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, and a vital outlet to negotiations in the area.

For these reasons, I fundamentally disagree with my opponent, and believe that the United States should NOT decrease foreign aid to Israel.

I await my opponent's response.


I am going to open my argument with rebuttals and then move on to a few comments of my own.

1. I do not understand my opponent's comment, "As a mediator between the violent extremist groups and the various terrorist organizations that now control many governments in the Middle East, it is absolutely vital that the United States maintain a firm and healthy relationship with Israel." What is the mediator being referred to here? Israel does not act as a mediator between extremist groups and terrorist organizations, they do not even recognize its existence. The United States does not act as a mediator either since these organizations are obviously hostile to it. If anything, Israel creates a polarization in the Middle East between the diametric views of radical Islam and Zionists, driving each side to ever more radical positions.

2. The United States does not rely on Israel to maintain diplomatic channels in the Middle East. It has many allies, including Egypt and Turkey. In any case, Israel depends on the United States far more than the United States depends on Israel. In the United Nations, the US frequently supports Israel against overwhelming global opposition. Without the United States as an ally, Israel would face enormous global backlash.

3. I doubt that there is much confusion as to whether the US supports Middle Eastern terrorist organizations. This is no a question of whether the US is loyal to Israel, this is a question of what the US is willing to let Israel get away with. As I will elaborate on later, I think the US has allowed Israel to repeatedly overstep it's bounds and has used its influence to cover for Israeli crimes. If the US truly wishes to support justice and democracy than it will have to send a message to Israel that it will not stand for the violence that it is perpetuating.

4. The US has absolutely no history of supporting nations on the basis that they are democratic. There are no shortage of examples in Chile, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Iraq (formerly), Turkey, and as my opponent mentioned Egypt in which the US supports authoritarian governments simply out of political opportunism. The point my opponent has made about Egypt seems to hurt, rather than help, his case. The US obviously does not care about what nations it's supporting as long as it is politically opportune. In the Middle East during the Cold War, the US had no qualms with supporting the destruction of a popular revolution in Iran and allowing the government to fall to Muslim extremists. There is no risk of "making it seem like the US does not support Democracy", the US very clearly does not support democracy already. If the US stopped supporting Israel, it would send a message that the US will use it's influence to force positive behavior rather than turning a blind eye to crimes that it could easily prevent.

Now on to my own comments:

1. Israel uses its extremely powerful military against the Middle East, especially the people of Palestine, in ways that are unnecessarily aggressive and brutal and unnecessary for self defense. Examples of this go on and on, but to name a few:

The use of white phosphorous, a terrible chemical weapon, against Palestinians in Gaza.
The killings of Palestinian civilians in Operation Cast Lead.
The killing of Gaza civilians by drone-launched precision missiles.
The demolition of the homes of people in Bedouin villages.
Numerous incidents of violence and attack against Palestinian women and girls by Israeli troops.
Indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Lebanon.

The US obviously cannot support any of these actions, yet it continues to give Israel foreign aid. This aid is used to build the military forces which carry out these crimes. In any case, Israel's military is already powerful enough to deal with any Middle Eastern threat. Israel is a nuclear state with it's own classes of attack helicopters and battle tanks, luxuries that aren't afforded even to many First World European countries. The US should not support Israel's already powerful military, which is used to carry out these crimes.

2. Cutting foreign aid and support will force Israel to seek a peaceful settlement with Palestine. The Israel-Palestine conflict has been consistently a one-way affair in which Israel is gaining more and more ground. The continued abuses by Israeli and inequity of negotiations only make it easier for terrorist cells to recruit more members as the outrage in Palestine and the rest of the Middle East builds. The US needs to put its foot down and force Israel to use its considerable power to find a peaceful solution, not a solution in which Israel gets everything and Palestine gets nothing. That solution will be far from peaceful.

3. The US's image in the Middle East would be increased greatly if it ceased unilaterally supporting Israel without concern for the interests of Arab people. Unfortunately, people in the Middle East tend to view the US as an enemy of democracy that has more concern for its economic interests in the Middle East than the well being of the indigenous people. This point of view no doubt dates back to the actions of the US in Iran and Iraq prior to the 1990's. If the US showed that it was willing to be fair to the people of the Middle East by putting Israel and Palestine on more equal diplomatic footing, this would greatly increase it's image. By improving it's public image in the Middle East, the US would hurt terrorist groups that rely on intense hatred and disillusionment to recruit volunteers.

If the US wants to people of the Middle East to believe that it is willing to work in their interests, it's about time it started working in their interests. That's not to say the US should support Palestine, which has committed no shortage of crimes as well, but it should but the too groups on equal footing. The US needs to start using its resources to improve social and political problems in the Middle East instead of exploiting it for political and economic gain. By taking this course of action, it can strip terrorists of what few rational arguments the have and give the common man of the Middle East a reason to support the US.

George Bush frequently claimed that the motivations of terrorists was a hatred of democracy, freedom, and peace. For some of the most diabolical leaders of these organizations, this may be true. But few humans truly hate democracy, freedom, and peace. It is the fact that the US tends to ignore these things when making its foreign policy decisions that makes it so easy for terrorists to recruit. The people of Palestine are being deprived of democracy, freedom, and peace, and that is what leads to terrorism. People the world over love freedom, democracy, and peace, but when these things are taken away some will turn to all sorts of evil in retaliation.

I think that will be all for now.


Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky
Propaganda and the Public Mind, by Noam Chomsky
Debate Round No. 2


Confucius forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the round. All arguments are extended to this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Confucius forfeited this round.


My opponent has again forfeited. The fact that he set the time limit to only 24 hours instead of the usual 72 may have contributed to this problem.

As my arguments went unquestioned, they can only be considered the superior arguments. No attempt was ever made at refuting them.

For the future, I urge Confucius to set longer time limits on debates. What could have been a good debate unfortunately turned into a forfeit. I suspect that this could easily have been avoided if the time limit were set longer.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Vote Summary:

Conduct: Me - Confucius forfeited two rounds
Grammar: Tied - both had fairly few errors
Arguments: Me - No rebuttals were offered by Confucius
Sources: Tied - both had a comparable number of similar sources
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
Maybe so, lastrequest, but I still don't agree with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Israel does seem to be the most stable state in the Middle East, but how about giving the Palestinians a sovereign state as well where they can't be suppressed?
Posted by lastrequest691 6 years ago
If there was no Israel then Middle East would be a chaos.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
I don't agree with Pro but am in the middle of a crisis caused by the volcano in Iceland at the moment (see my entry in the Misc. Forums).

If it is still here when the dust settles (no pun intended) I'll definitely take it on though.
Posted by rougeagent21 6 years ago
Agree with PRO, I don't feel like playing Devil's advocate today :P
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Awed 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
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