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The Contender
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The place for a Roma (Gypsy) homeland is in India and the place for a Jewish homeland is in Iraq.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,908 times Debate No: 8909
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (1)




Note: This is an amended version of a debate that was accepted and subsequently declined by a previous opponent.

Now to the argument:

In many respects, the histories of the Roma people (Gypsies) and the Jews are remarkably similar.

In the 5th Century the Roma people left Northwest India and travelled to Egypt (hence the origin of the term "Gypsy", a corruption of the word "Egyptian") from whence they subsequently settled all over the world, but many in Romania. (1)

Similarly, when the leader of a religious cult called Abraham left Babylon in circa 1800 BCE he led his devotees, who later to became known as "Jews", on a journey to Egypt. That began the process whereby his followers would also eventually settle all over the world. Though many left Egypt under the direction of Moses and settled in Palestine, which was then known as "Canaan" and part of which is now known as "Israel", the majority established themselves elsewhere. (2), (3), (4)

Since those times, being outsiders who were deeply distrusted due to their unwillingness to conform to local customs and laws, both the Roma and the Jews suffered from prejudice and persecution in their host countries. This hatred against both of these historically nomadic peoples culminated in the Holocaust when the Nazis murdered millions of Roma and Jews. (5)

After the Second World War the Zionists demanded a homeland for the Jewish Diaspora. Originally, Ethiopia and Uganda were considered but when the British gave up their mandate on Palestine this led the way for the creation of the state of Israel there. At that time, it is important to note, Jews only represented 11% of the total population. (6), (7), (8)

Coincidentally, the Roma population in Romania today is also estimated to be 11%, though there is no prospect of the Roma people gaining their own homeland there as the Jews did in Palestine. (8)

Ironically, given that the current Israeli government routinely describes Palestinian victims of their military aggression as "terrorists", the formation of the Jewish state was due in no small part to the actions of a Jewish terrorist organisation called Irgun, which believed that "only active retaliation would deter the Arabs and the British and only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state" and which later evolved into the Likud Party that has ruled most Israeli governments since 1977 . (10)

Since the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine, most Arabs in Israel have been forced off their land and out of their homes, creating millions of refugees in the process, and those Arabs that remain face institutional persecution at the hands of the Israeli government. Worse still, Arabs are not even safe in the refugee camps in Gaza and the illegally occupied West Bank as the Israeli's routinely bulldoze and bomb their makeshift houses, schools and hospitals and do not even allow in humanitarian aid. (11), (12), (13)

Many Western politicians may sympathise with the plight of Palestinian refugees but insist that it is necessary to "address the realities on the ground" and there can be no "right to return". However, this is to deny the refugees justice.

Imagine you and your family are sitting at the dining table enjoying your Sunday dinner (roast beef, creamed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and buttered vegetables all drenched in a rich, meaty gravy and washed down with a cheeky red wine with a fruity nose, citrus overtones, hints of honeysuckle and smooth, satisfying finish) when an armed man bursts in through the window and opens fire. Some of your family are shot but you manage to escape and raise the alarm.

When the police arrive they knock on the door and the armed man answers. He explains that he is a Pastafarian and that the Flying Spaghetti Monster promised your house to him in a dream and it is his religious duty to possess it and to live in it.

That would be a pretty outrageous defence of his actions, I think you would agree, but that is the type of argument Jewish people give for occupying Palestine. As Rabbi Eliezer Melamid explains:

"The commandment to settle the land of Israel requires that we conquer the land. It is thus written, ‘Possess the land and settle it, for I have given you the land in order that you take possession of it' (Numbers 33:53), and our sages explain the expression ‘possess' to imply the conquest and establishment of Israeli sovereignty in the land." (14)

It is the undue reverence accorded to Judeo-Christian beliefs in the West in general, and America in particular, that has enabled Jewish settlers to largely displace the native population in Palestine. By contrast, the Roma people have no such religious justification for establishing a homeland for themselves in Romania, which is one of the reasons why they do not enjoy even limited autonomy there.

That said, it would clearly be outrageous for the international community to allow the sort of mass ethnic cleansing, the wholesale theft of property and the systemic abuse of human rights that have taken place to create Jewish homeland in Israel to be repeated in Romania in order to create a homeland for the Roma people.

The relaity is that it is difficult to envisage Israel abandoning its stated aim to create a wholly Jewish state in Palestine and allowing Arabs to return to their homes and farms, or to imagine Western governments insisting they do so.

However, the Jewish and Roma peoples do have their own native homelands, in Iraq and India respectively, and although Jews and Roma should be made welcome in their host countries, including Palestine and Romania, and should be free from persecution there, the original habitants of those lands should not be subjugated as they currently are in Israel and the illegally occupied Palestinian Territories.

Thank you.

(1) (Please search the encyclopedia for "Roma (people)")


The Jewish people and the Roma may share similarities and as my opponent says, have a history that shows certain parallels, but that does not in any way dictate where they should call home. My opponent has made the mistake of deciding that a homeland is where a people are said to have originated. A homeland does not have to be an area of origin, but instead can be a place of settlement in the past or even a place of spiritual connection, as Israel has become for the Jews. Because this debate has two separate issues, I will address them as such.

First, I argue that Israel is not only the most fitting homeland for today's Jewish nation, is also the most logical.
Israel represents the land that the Torah, the holy book of Judaism, states was promised to Abraham and his descendents by Adonai, the Jewish God. Because of this, the Israeli's feel a spiritual connection to the ancient land of Canaan, now current day Israel. This spiritual connection makes Israel the Jewish homeland, not Iraq as my opponent says is the area of origin.
I will admit that the creation of Israel was not perfect, but after the tumult of the Holocaust, it was more important to find a safe haven for the Jews that it was to find a perfect solution, which did not exist anyway. Although WWII ended, the Jews were persecuted as before. Signing a treaty will not end anti-Semitic propaganda that had been given to the German people as often as water. A Jewish state was needed and it needed the power to protect its people, hence the establishment of Israel in part of what was the British mandate Palestine. The Jews did not and do not actively destroy Palestinian homes. Of course there are exceptions to moral behavior, but that is not unique to Israel. Every nation in the world has criminals and it is part of a state's duty to condemn and punish these criminals, which Israel is doing to the best of its ability. But Palestine has continued to instigate fights with Israel and Israel is in a different position than any other country in the world.
Unlike the US, Israel is surrounded by hostile nations that will jump on any weakness and attempt to destroy it as a state. Mahmoud Achmandinijad has stated that Israel is the Great Satan and he wishes to wipe Israel off the map. In the face off all of this hostility, Israel must protect a strong military front to deter enemy military action.
Another point to make is that much of the "victims" of Israeli aggression that my opponent claim as unfair ARE members of recognized terrorist groups. The UN has acknowledged the existence of Hamas and other terrorist groups within Palestine. Israel, along with many other Western nations, recognize the threat terrorism represents and deals with it as necessary. I am not condoning random acts of violence upon Palestinian civilians, but I am arguing that the Israeli government knows more than the average citizen and can much better recognize terrorists that an outside source, namely my opponent.
A final contention I would like to bring up is the fact that there is that Iraq is not a logical place for Israeli settlement. Right now, Iraq already has three religious factions fighting each other and the US in an attempt to gain control. It is unstable, unsafe, and not a place to throw in a fourth religious group. Israel has already been settled. The Jewish people have recognized it as a homeland and have created their institutions and government upon the soil of Israel. An entire nation cannot be told to get up and move because a bit of historical analysis shows their four thousand year old mathematical reckoning was off by a few hundred miles. Iraq is a nation of Islam, and throwing in an entire Jewish people would make matters worse, not better.
Moving on to the next part of the debate: the Roma.
The Roma are similar, but not exact to the Jews in only a few ways. First, they were persecuted in the Holocaust. Second, they were forced from their area of origin. And for the purposes of this debate, those are the only two important similarities.
The Roma, although not persecuted nearly as heavily as the Jews, have been subject to discrimination. Unfortunately, so has almost every minority group in the world. The Holocaust also persecuted homosexuals, but they were not given their own homeland. What set the Jews apart was the magnitude of the discrimination, the inability to hide their identities due to religious observances, and the fear that another Holocaust would occur if a Jewish state was not founded. The Roma, however unfortunate and terrible it is that they were persecuted, cannot be given a piece of India as a homeland. The Roma are spread out and dispersed in more areas than the Jews were and have not created a strong enough baselayer to uphold and protect a homeland AT THIS TIME. I wish to stress that I am not saying the Romani do not deserve better treatment, but simply that a Romani homeland in India at this time is not logical. There are not enough Roma to found an entire state, or not enough that would enter such a state. If the time comes when the Romani step forward as a group to ask for a piece of land to call their state and such a place is found in an agreeable spot, then it is logical to create a Romani homeland. But at the current time, it seems that the humanitarians and human rights activists of the world must work from within the current Roma areas to help stop discrimination and better the suffering of the Romani.
Debate Round No. 1


To begin, I should like to welcome my opponent to and thank him for posting such a courteous and well-versed rebuttal.

Now, to address my opponent's first argument: that is; that Israel should be a homeland for Jews because it was promised to them by their god as detailed in their scriptures. I agree that this is the case but since not 100% of the world's population, or even 1% of it, recognise the Torah as "God's Word" its assertion that the Jews are the "Chosen People" and that the area currently occupied by Israel is their "Promised Land" is clearly not universally accepted. Furthermore, as I stated in Round 1, only 11% of the population of that area were Jewish when Israel was created in 1948.

So what sort of process allows a small minority to dictate over of the vast majority? I'll tell you: the type of minority with enormous financial and political support from the world's richest nation – the United States. Israel simply wouldn't exist today without the billions of dollars the American taxpayer donates to the Jewish State every year. This seems bizarre since this process is patently anti-democratic and the concept of democracy has always been central to American politics, both at home and abroad.

My opponent's argued that Jewish people needed a "safe haven" after the war as they continued to be persecuted against. The very same thing can be said for gypsies. By the way, my opponent mentioned "anti-Semitism" which, incidentally, is a misnomer with reference to Jews as both Arabs and Hebrew Jews are Semites, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense given that the Jews' native homeland is Iraq. Please excuse these Semitic semantics, by the way!

I do agree with my opponent's point that Iraq is unstable, but so is Israel and while Iraq is moving towards peace and stability, Israel is moving in the other direction, and has been for over 60 years. Furthermore, if the Jews relocated to Iraq they would be setting up home in a country with a clean sheet. Also, Iraq is a far, far larger country than Israel so there should be no need to displace any locals.

This solution would have the added advantage of freeing the Jewish people from the threat of "terrorist attacks" from groups such as Hamas, who disgracefully target innocent Israeli citizens, and as a result lose the moral high ground a resistance movement would normally have in an occupied country.

Moving on to my opponent's second argument, he wrote:

"The Roma, although not persecuted nearly as heavily as the Jews, have been subject to discrimination."

I am not sure there has ever been any scientific comparison made but the Roma have always faced prejudice, and
continue to suffer to this day, although there are many Jewish media barons, the Roma are grossly underrepresented in television and print so their persecution often goes unreported.

When the Roma do get a mention, it is rarely favourable. For example, not so long ago, Britain's biggest selling humorous magazine: 'Viz'; published a cartoon strip entitled "The Thieving Gypsy B*stards" in which a Roma family were depicted as robbers and burglars breaking into people homes and stealing their posessions.

I know it was supposed to be funny but can you imagine a top-selling magazine daring to publish a similar cartoon strip entitled "The Swindling Yiddo B*stards" in which a Jewish family were depicted as fund managers using Ponzi schemes to con unsuspecting investors out of billions of dollars? I don't think so.

My opponent then went on to state that "The Jews did not and do not actively destroy Palestinian homes."

Sadly, this statement is factually incorrect. The Jews destroyed Palestinian homes in their hundreds of thousands to create their "homeland". After the Second World War the Zionist terrorist organizations such as Irgun expelled by force over 800,000 Muslim and Christian Palestinians.

Furthermore, this invasion and destruction of Palestinian property continues today, not by Jewish extremists but by the Israeli government. This criminal activity has, of course, been roundly condemned by such respected, independent authorities as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

However, with the backing of the successive American governments the Israelis can dismiss any criticism and although President Obama has sought to negotiate a two state settlement to resolve the issue, his hands are tied by the powerful Jewish lobby in America and Israel knows that. As Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a recent interview:

"The Obama Administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to. Believe me, America accepts all our decisions."

Indeed, rather than make any apology for these crimes against humanity the Israelis boast and even joke about it, as illustrated by this cartoon published by the Israeli National News.

My opponent argues that it would not be practical to relocate either Jews or Roma to Iraq or India and, in this, he may well be right, we cannot turn the clock back and right the wrongs of history. However, this does not prevent us from doing more to prevent both the Roma and Jewish diasporas from suffering any further oppression and, at the same time, ensure that the Israelis compensate Palestinians for their losses, allow them to return to their land and extend the same rights and privileges that are accorded to Jewish citizens of Israel.

Thank you.


Juvenal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Arguments extended.


Juvenal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
Phew! That took a while! That's my longest debate yet by far.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
No problem, I understand the mistake. If you still want to debate though, be my guest. XD
Posted by Juvenal 8 years ago
Oh I understand. Thank you for the clarification Brian. I am sorry for the harsh words volkov
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago

Thanks for an intelligent and eloquent rebuttal and welcome to this site.

B/t/w, Volkov was referring to my previous opponent, not you. He posted a load of gibberish and the site moderator removed it so I was able to resubmit the debate.
Posted by Juvenal 8 years ago
IF you are saying that I can't debate I would be happy to debate you volkov. Let's just find An agreeable topic.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
When Aric took this debate before - the comment is redundant now.
Posted by Xer 8 years ago
Volkov.. who are talking about?
Posted by ccstate4peat 8 years ago
I think he's fine
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Such a good debate was wasted on someone who can't make a proper argument. Shame.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
No, that's Brian-washed!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Renzzy 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:70