Why Israel Is a Rogue State (Gabriel Latner's Argument)
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Uploaded on Jan 30, 2011
The Cambridge Union Society held a debate on the motion that "Israel is a rogue state" on October 21st.
The Balfour Street blog describes what happened:
In the end, the proposition was defeated, but the event didn't proceed without an unusual twist. It seems one of the members of the side in favor of the proposition, a student who was apparently selected at random (or not at random), decided to argue the point from a decidedly pro-Israel perspective.
The debater, Gabriel Latner, gave a copy of his speech to Mondoweiss with the request that it not be edited. I am reproducing it here, only by adding paragraph spacing and slight grammatical corrections where it seemed appropriate. The square bracket comments were his, written afterwards:
"This is a war of ideals, and the other speakers here tonight are rightfully, idealists. I'm not. I'm a realist. I'm here to win. I have a single goal this evening -- to have at least a plurality of you walk out of the 'Aye' door. I face a singular challenge -- most, if not all, of you have already made up your minds.
This issue is too polarizing for the vast majority of you not to already have a set opinion. I'd be willing to bet that half of you strongly support the motion, and half of you strongly oppose it. I want to win, and we're destined for a tie. I'm tempted to do what my fellow speakers are going to do -- simply rehash every bad thing the Israeli government has ever done in an attempt to satisfy those of you who agree with them. And perhaps they'll even guilt one of you rare undecided into voting for the proposition, or more accurately, against Israel. It would be so easy to twist the meaning and significance of international 'laws' to make Israel look like a criminal state. But that's been done to death. It would be easier still to play to your sympathy, with personalised stories of Palestinian suffering. And they can give very eloquent speeches on those issues..."
Full text here:
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