Melanie Phillips, a Daily Mail columnist; Shlomo Ben-Ami, Former Israel Foreign Minister; and Raphael Israeli, Professor of Islamic, Middle Eastern, and Chinese history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem spoke against the motion.
Intelligence Squared is London's leading forum for live debate, holding regular debates on the crucial issues of the day and inviting the leading intellectual and political lights on the given subject to participate in them. The format of the debates is modelled on the one employed at the Oxford and Cambridge university Unions: a challenging, sharply defined motion; a team of speakers to propose the motion and a like number to oppose it; and a moderator to keep the speakers and the audience in order and force everyone to stick to the issues. After the main speeches and before summation, contributions are asked from the floor: audience participation is a key feature of the occasion, providing a rare opportunity for the public to voice their opinions and to challenge those of the speakers. A vote is taken before the debate begins and then again at the end so as to give a measure, often a very dramatic one, of the extent to which the audience has been swayed by the oratory and arguments of the speakers in the course of the evening.
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The ambiguous terms of this debate meant that there was some confusion between the debaters about the actual topic. One side paints anti-zionism as anti-sematism, and the other demands that these are different positions. So the debate consists largely of the two sides taking past each other. On the other hand, one of the pro-zionists is pretty funny.
If you enjoy being convinced of the opposite point of view every 15 minutes, then this audio is for you. The panelists (three Jews on each side) are articulate and convincing (except Mr. Israeli).
I've been an audible subscriber for some time now. This is the darnedest debate I have yet to hear on Audible. The expert witnesses were impressive enough but who chose this audience that ultimately voted on the question at hand? What were the parameters that made up the selection of this audience? Essentially, the question was, "Is Israel a criminal enterprise or not?" The majority voted that "yes" indeed Israel is a criminal enterprise. It does not deserve to exist. Again, who chose this audience?
The contents and the depth of this debate were of a great value. Recommended for any intellectual reader that wants to go beyond the news and propaganda
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