The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The United States Should Stop Giving Military Aid to Israel

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,527 times Debate No: 48168
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




dit731 will argue that the United States should stop giving military aid to Israel, and con will argue that military aid should continue being sent. First round is accept, second is opening argument, third is rebuttals, fourth is rebuttal/conclusion.



I'm very new to debate in general, but I think this will be interesting. I would much rather have debated Aff, so going Neg on this topic will be quite interesting; see what I can come up with.

I'm sorry if I prove a poor opponent. Good luck to you!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting and good luck!

Let me define a term just for clarity:
ter-ror-ism - the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

The United States has long held an unofficial policy of not negotiating (which implies not sponsoring) terrorism. However, the Israeli Defense Forces can and should be considered terrorists under the this given definition above, as Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank are not justified. By providing millions of dollars (specifically, $3.1 billion baseline per ten years plus billions more of discretionary spending) [1] to Israel for the military - a military that has used weapons that are made and paid for by the United States -, the United States is effectively sponsoring terrorism.

Now, Israel claims that its attacks in these aforementioned areas are acts of self defense. Self-defense, as determined by Article 51 of the UN Charter, applies when the facts of violence alone justify the act, leaving "no choice of means and no moment for deliberation" to otherwise change the outcome of of the situation at hand in order to protect the boundaries and interests of the country in question. [2] This is not the case here whatsoever. Since September 29, 2000, 1,104 Israelis were killed by extremist Islamist factions such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO while 6,836 Palestinian civilians were killed by the highly organized and praised Israeli military. [3] A significant portion of these numbers came during Israel's Operation Cast Lead (The Gaza War), in which 1,417 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces, while a mere 13 Israelis (civilian and military) were killed, 4 from friendly fire. [4] Israel is using the advanced weaponry given by the United States to root out extremist leaders, often through the use of destructive firebombs. As expected, civilian casualties soar when these tactics are used. Intentions are not good enough to justify Israel's actions - the results must be heavily weighed as well.

It is true that the United States is heavily reliant on Mossad (Israel's intelligence service) for information pertaining to the Middle East, but supplying Israel with arms is not the method to repay the price of this intelligence. Israel needs to take significant steps in its relationship with Iran (where many of these extremist groups are based) in order to gain some ground in a legitimate manner, but the whole issue of nuclear power comes into play here; I will address this later.

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Sorry, I've been super busy lately and I don't have much time so I won't a great case but I don't want to forfeit a round:

Con accepts the BoP. This round should be judged on a cost-benefit analysis; that is, whichever points still stand at the end of this round should be weighed against each other to determine the winner.

CI. Morally Correct

Democracy is the foundation upon which America has been built upon; thus it is natural that we support one of the most democratic countries in the world. US-Israel relationships go back to the core of oppression; they are both nations that have been based on forming a society with fundamental democratic ideals from a religiously oppressed people. It is morally essential that we stick up for our allies that have fought hard and created a thriving, democratic government for themselves when they are being threatened by neighboring Muslim groups in other Middle Eastern countries. If we do not help Israel hold its own against neighboring countries, w

In addition, sending aid to Israel has been the precedent for decades. Suddenly withdrawing our aid to Israel would weaken our relationship with Israel, and potentially break ties between us.

CII. Advances US Strategic Interests

The Israeli military is one of the most powerful in the world, to the point where they have independently developed nuclear weapons- far above other countries. Having a stable, democratic, and most importantly powerful ally in the Middle East is a huge benefit to the US for strategic reasons. If we do not help Israel hold its own against neighboring countries, we would lose an extremely valuable stronghold ally in the Middle Eastern region. Our aid and strong support for Israel deters nearby countries from, for instance, "blowing Israel off the face of the earth", as said by Ayatollah Komenei. Removing that aid would jeopardize all of our strategic influence in Israel given the loss of a powerful ally in the Middle East. Additionally, Israel is indebted to us due to the flow of aid, and will readily support us in the event of an attack on the US or something similar.

CIII. Advances US economic interests

Aid to Israel has long been advancing economic interests. As we give Israel aid, they are more prone to invest in American industries. Israel buys weapons from the US and helps us out economically too; we are not merely losing the money that we put into Israel. In fact, we get most of it back through US treasury bonds.

Sorry that was short but I am running out of time and my computer froze earlier so thus I urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 2


I am quite busy as well, so my round 3 will be brief as well. Thanks to Con for the argument.

I will first address Con's grounds for Israeli support.

C1. Morally Correct

Purely using the fact that Israel and the United States are both democratic countries is not a justification for support, just as liberals blindly funding other liberal groups just because of the tag of "liberal" (and the same for conservatives). It is true that both nations rose out of oppression of both the religious and political kind, but neither country is in that situation any more - in fact, they are now the oppressors (see the United States is Afghanistan and Iraq and Israel in Lebanon, Iran, and the Gaza Strip). And while Israel has formed a democracy that its own people thrive under, the military decisions made by the leaders of the IDF and IAF create harsh conditions for the civilians living around such a country. Israel is more than "holding out" against these Islamic extremists. The terrorist groups are nowhere close to as organized as Israel's military is, and unlike these rebelling factions, the Israeli military has the capability (which it has used in the past) to wipe out terror leaders, often taking out many civilians in the process.

Here's where the cost-benefit analysis comes in. If we withdraw aid to Israel, we would have billions of dollars free to re-invest into the global economy, perhaps even using some for humanitarian aid to set up shelters for those affected by Israel's actions while halting our sponsorship of Israeli military violence. Israel is more than capable of defending against any attacks, even without American military aid and weapons (some of which Israel has convinced the United States to remove records of in order to provide Israel with a clean slate of untraceable weaponry, often used in Mossad's undercover assassinations). While Israel is an asset to American intelligence, the United States has been significantly increasing recon in the Middle East independently of Israel. Soon, the United States will not have to rely on Israel for information and will be able to get it directly.

CII. Advances US Strategic Interests

The United States is not in need of any sort of military support. Unless the United States takes some crazy drastic measure to undermine Israeli power by transferring aid to terrorist groups and bombing Israel, Israel will support the United States regardless. The United States has conducted surveillance in Israel for years (as has Israel in the United States), but this spying has not created any tension. There is no valid reason to believe that Israel would suddenly turn against the United States if military aid were pulled. And as for strategic interests, see my comment referring to the expansion of U.S. Middle East programs mentioned above.

CIII. Advances US Economic Interests

Your statements regarding Israel investing in American industries is less true than you think. According to Jeremy M. Sharp of the Congressional Research Service [1], Israel uses loopholes in the military aid agreement to buy arms from Israeli manufacturers instead of American ones to boost its own economy. It also influenced passage of H.R. 938 (S. 462), a bill that exempted Israel from obtaining permission from the United States to sell American-made technology and weaponry to third-party dealers, giving Israel extreme leeway with the aid given to it. Essentially, Israel can use American money to buy Israeli weapons, and the technology actually bought from the United States can be resold and spread around the world without the United States' consent. American business is not benefitting from this as much as one would like to think.

Here, I will begin a new sub-argument.

The aid sent to Israel is often used for terror purposes rather than defense. Mossad, in order to stop Iran from developing nuclear technology, has consistently assassinated high-profile nuclear physicists. (Don't get me wrong - I believe that Iran should not develop nuclear technology as well, but this is a criticism of Israeli methods.) Tactical preventative assassinations are rampant in Israeli forces, according to Edward H. Kaplan of Yale, Alex Mintz of Texas A&M, and Shaul Mishal of Tel Aviv University [2]. Since this has not been extremely effective, Israel's tactic seems to be scaring other scientists from working on Iran's program by attacking physicists unrelated to the nuclear program, like Tehran University's Masoud Ali Mohammadi. [3]
In fact, these killings have gotten so out of hand that the United States itself is criticizing Israel's assassinations (but, of course, isn't acting on these criticisms at all) [4]. But the study by the three men in source 2 have found that preemptive arrests, rather than assassinations, have kept Israel safer, as assassinations have spurred more anti-Israeli violence in the months following a killing. Israel's government is smart; they undoubtedly know of these studies. But the fact that they refuse to change their behavior after knowing this shows a tendency to violence, which is why the United States should stop supporting Israel financially and facilitating its actions even further.

A theory first suggested by Kirsten E. Schulze of Indiana University [5] shows that Israel isn't quite in conscious control of its military actions. The study suggests that Israel's leaders are victims of a "groupthink," in which each member is more concerned with creating harmony within the leadership environment than with the consequences of their actions; this causes them to shut out all alternative solutions and stick to the one that pleases the id the most (essentially peer pressure at a highly meta level). The direct effect of this is shown in Israel's long list of assassinations, collateral damage, and morally ambiguous tactics, supporting the straightforward, internally united actions of the Israeli government. The United States should not be funding a country that goes forward so blindly with such disregard to foreign human life and should immediately withdraw aid from Israel.

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Aff forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


As Con forfeited the last round, I urge voters to give conduct points to Pro.

I would like to add on to my analysis of Kirsten E. Schulze's research at Indiana University that I mentioned in the previous round (please see that round for citations). After reading more of her paper, I found that perhaps even more relevant to the discussion of Israel"s military morality is Schulze"s finding that "symptoms of groupthink range from the illusion of invulnerability, the belief in the inherent morality of the group...and direct pressure on dissenters," (218). This cuts straight to the heart of the disagreement over Israel"s military morality. Its leaders only argue that military actions are justified because they have subconsciously backed themselves into a corner (due to the effects of a groupthink) and have no other way to go. This "illusion of invulnerability" can be roughly translated into a "military superiority complex," which also explains why Israel will take actions that the international community has advised it against and carry out exercises in civilian areas. No doubt, Israel does have safety and defense arguments to justify its military actions, but in the light of this new view, it seems that it is using this argument to hide another, less valid and more controversial one: that Israel uses excessive military action simply due to peer pressure.

In conclusion, the United States should end military support of Israel for the main purpose of not sponsoring the violence that Israel's military factions conduct. The concerns about Israel's safety, fracturing alliances, and economic ties, as brought up by my opponent, are unfounded for the reasons I have stated previously.

I would like to thank my opponent for providing a great debate. I wish you luck in all your future arguments!


My sincerest apologies for forfeiting last round, I was extremely caught up in other business and plus when I saw your rebuttal I knew I was going to need a decent chunk of time to do mine. As such I must concede the round since it is not my place to rebut in the summary. Great arguments by Pro, by the way. Very nicely done. I hope that if I see you, or in general anyone else, I will be able to more effectively and more consistently post arguments.

Any tips for my 1NC in general?
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Dilara 6 years ago
Israel's goverment is run by criminals. They demolish Palestinian homes, build illegal settlements and illegal occupy an entire people. I'm glad dit731 won
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Dakota-Hiltzman 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm leaving conduct neutral since Con came back in his final round and forfeited formally.

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