Instigator / Pro

ONB: Israeli annexation of the west bank would most likely benefit palestinians in the long run


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

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Contender / Con

No semantics or dirty trick, this is a serious issue. BoP is shared.

Definition from Cambridge:
-Annex: to take possession of an area of land or a country and add it to a larger area, usually by force:
---In our case, it means to make the west bank a part of Israel and grant its inhabitants Israeli citizenship.
-Beneficial: helpful, useful, or good

West Bank, area of the former British-mandated (1920–47) territory of Palestine west of the Jordan River, claimed from 1949 to 1988 as part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan but occupied from 1967 by Israel. [Britannica]

Round 1
Thank you, CON.

RESOLUTION: ONB: Israeli annexation of the west bank would most likely benefit palestinians in the long run

My argument is simple:
  • P1: Palestinians would in the long run benefit from freedom, human rights, safety, stability, a good democracy and a healthy economy based on innovation instead of oil
  • P2: Israeli citizens enjoy theese goods
  • C: Palestinians would in the long run benefit from being Israeli citizens
The first premise is a truism, a statement to which nobody would disagree. The second, as I am about to show, is a fact backed by extensive evidence.

Freedom and rights
According to Britannica, not only is the the Arabic Human RIghts System worse than that of all other parts of the world, but its charters contain both attempts at promoting political goals as well as confirming that human rights are to be interpreted/overwritten by Shariah, Islamic law. Furthermore, the charter fails to protect basic freedoms.
At the same time, the charter does not prohibit cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishments, fails to extend rights to noncitizens in many areas, and authorizes restrictions on freedom of thought, conscience, and religion that exceed what is deemed permissible under international human rights law. [ibid]
The Palestinians cannot expect to have their basic freedoms and rights upheld if they are going to live in a typical Arab nation. Meanwhile, Israel is the freest place in the Middle east. Contrary to other countries of the Middle east, in Israel, "The law provides for freedom of religion, and the Government respects this right. In fact, each religious community has legal authority over its members in matters of marriage and divorce. They also control their own holy places in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country." [jewishvirtuallibrary]. Seing as religious freedom is the most important freedom in the still strongly religious Middle east, it is easy to see why Israel respecting this freedom is an essential and unique benefit for Israeli citizens. Moreover, Israel prohibits unlawfull arrest, allows for independent groups to inspect their prisons and ensures legal rights for everyone [ibid]. Most importantly though, Israel has one of the broadest anti-discrimination laws of any country [ibid]. 

Safety and stability
In the middle east there have been an increddible amount of wars and conflicts over the years, each of which is listed on wikipedia; and most of which being far more detrimental to normal citizens than any war Israel has been involved in. We even have an example of a land where Israel let go and let Arabs rule the land: the Gaza strip. The territory is now one of the worst places to live, and the conflict has not ended just because Israel let the Arabs rule themselves. The terrorist organization Hamas continues to shoot misiles towards Israel as you might know if you read the news; Israel fights back and thusly Hamas prevent Arab safety by continuing a conflict even after getting what they want.

Israel has won every war it has been involved in, and their military is one of the most formiddable forces in the world, having both a technological advantage and superior training compared to that of other nations in the middle east [nypost]. They are allies of the US and have nuklear capabilities, which are two factors ensuring the prolonged stability and safety of Israel from outer treaths. The Israeli Iron Dome system is among the best anti-misile system in the world and is able to intercept 90% of incomming short-range misiles [the-iron-dome]. Not only that, but Israeli bunkers and anti-terrorism agencies ensures that any threat to Israeli civilians posed by terrorists or other nations is mitigated. Stability wice, there has never been an armed coup in Israel, nor has there been attempts at forcefully keeping power. This stands in stark contrast to the constantly unstable arabic middle east. From arbitrary terrorist organizations like ISIS to Iran-funded groups to corrupt leaders to crazy dicators like Sadam Hussein, the middle east is unstable and few places if any at all can match the security and stability enjoyed by Israeli citizens. 


Well-functional democracy is not a descriptive word for any Arab state, and especially not the Palestinian authority that currently rules the west bank.
There have been no national elections in the West Bank and Gaza since 2006. President Mahmoud Abbas has remained in office despite the expiration of his four-year term in 2009. The Palestinian Legislative Council has not functioned since 2007, and in 2018 the Palestinian Authority dissolved the Constitutional Court. []
To the contrary, Israel is ranked as the 35th best democracy in the world, ranked above every single Arab/Muslim country in the world [democracymatrix]. The closest Arab countries in this regard are Tunisia (41th), Kuwait (101th) and Moroco (105th). Israel is far more democratic than any other country in the Middle east. 
The law provides citizens with the right to change peacefully their government, and citizens exercise this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage for adult citizens...Israel is a parliamentary democracy, with an active multiparty system representing a wide range of political views [ibid]
Arabs also have the right to vote, and there are several Arabs in their parlament and government. If the inhabitants of the west bank became Israeli citizens they would be able to affect the country and live in an open democracy just as anyone else. Thusly, living in a free and open democracy is a unique benefit of being an Israeli citizen in the middle east.

Economy and living conditions
First things first, the Arab world is very rich (though the average Arab lives a third-world life); however that is solely due to the immense amount of oil they can extract. Thus, the major pilar of Arab economy is neither sustainable nor green, and should be abolished as a part of the global struggle against climate change. The Israeli economy on the other hand is built on innovation in the digital, medical, green, scientific and aggricultural sectors. It is a world leading nation with regards to technology, and it is close to being the most economically free country in the world [statista]. There is even an enormous page on wikipedia that is simply a list of Israeli innovations [wikipedia]. They also heavily invest in green technology.
Israel has gained a worldwide reputation for its ability to turn barren desert into useful and arable land. []
Being a world leading economic power, with sustainable and free economy, Israel is surely the best place in the middle east to live long-term.

Israel's standard of living is significantly higher than all of the other countries in the region and equal to West European countries, and is comparable to that of other highly developed countries. Israel was ranked 19th on the 2016 UN Human Development Index, indicating "very high" development. It is considered a high-income country by the World Bank. Israel also has a very high life expectancy at birth." [wikipedia]
I usually don't quote wikipedia but this time I could not have said it better myself. Living in Israel would clearly be benefitial to everyone, and especially Palestinians.

Even if voters don't buy this, they still need to considder the current situation of palestinains. As they live today, ruled by un-democratic Arab leaders with political goals and controlled by Israeli military occupation; their land being stolen by illegal Israeli settlements; they certainly won't have a good time long-term. Logically speaking it would be absurd to claim that Israel treats inhabitants of occupied territories better than citizens. Palestinians will certainly be treated better by Israel after becomming citizens of the nation, rather than now when they are just living in occupied territories. Mind you, the problems Palestinians in the west bank face are not problems the Arabs in Israel face; thusly to assume that an annexation would not benefit Palestinians would be absurd.

  • P1: Palestinians would in the long run benefit from freedom, human rights, safety, stability, a good democracy and a healthy economy based on innovation instead of oil
  • P2: Israeli citizens enjoy theese goods
  • C: Palestinians would in the long run benefit from being Israeli citizens
The first premise is a truism, a statement to which nobody would disagree. The second is a fact backed by extensive evidence. The syllogism holds, and my BoP is fullfilled.

ONB: Israeli annexation of the west bank would most likely benefit palestinians in the long run

The resolution is evidently true, it is logically sound and nothing CON can say proves otherwise, unless he can disprove the evidence I provided; which I doubt he can do.

Good luck, CON!

Resolution: ONB: Israel annexation of the west bank would most likely benefit Palestinians in the long run. 
 Position: Con 

  Before I present my argument for Round  1, let me express my rebuttal for the argument by Pro in Round 1.  Pro argues that ``Palestinians will certainly be treated 
better by Israel after becoming citizens of the nation, rather than now when they are just living in occupied territories.``  Pro insists that the annexation will contribute to improving the life of Palestinians.  I strongly believe that the compromise between the leader of Israel and west bank which consists  mainly of Palestinians is urgently required to realize the annexation. However, this seems to be very difficult to materialize in the near future. 
I support the opinion raised by Thomas L. Eriedman.  He argues that ``what Bibi Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas and the various leaders of Hamas all have in common is that they have never, ever, ever been willing to risk their political careers or lives to forge the kind of hard compromise needed for a peace breakthrough 
in their war over the same piece of land.  So I am dubious, to say the least, about the prospects for peace. `` 1) 

My argument:  I believe many Palestinians are against the annexation of West Bank. They don`t expect benefits from it.  Rather they are afraid of being deprived      of their basic rights like freedom of expression, security, safety and religious tradition.  Therefore, I believe that they strongly hope that a Palestinian state will be 
established.   In particular, many Palestinians have hatred feelings toward the United States which has diplomatic relations with Israel. 

The first reason is that once military conflict happened, Israel have attacked Palestinians by using weapons made by American arms companies many times.
Second reason is that Palestinians expressed strong anger toward the decision by President Trump who decided  Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Jerusalem is the holy place for those believing in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  Many Palestinians regard his decision as the manifestation of conquest, oppression and domination by Israel.  His decision has been contributing to fueling conflicts and feud between Israel and Palestinians. 

Therefore, taking those situations into consideration two- state solution is urgently expected and hoped for between Israel and Palestinian. 
Tzipi Livni who is a former minister of foreign affairs for Israel argues that ``the idea of two states for two peoples serves Israel`s interest because each state would separately answer the national aspirations of the Jewish people and the Palestinians. This solution should bring an end to the conflict, an outcome that justifies the compromises and risks involved.`` 2)    But ``unfortunately, negotiations to this end have stalled. Peace is not around the corner. Speaking frankly, 
I was the Israeli chief negotiator for the past two rounds of negotiations, and we were unable to reach an agreement.`` 3) 

Regarding the annexation, Israel is against it. Livni argues that ``annexation would eventually jeopardize the nature of Israel as a Jewish democratic state  as it was defined in the declaration of independence of the state of Israel, written in full consensus by the political leaders at the time.``4) 

 From above arguments we can say that two- state solution and annexation do not pave the way for bringing peace and benefits between Israel and Palestinian.
However, at least I believe that two-state solution is better than annexation. The reason is that national and Indigeous identity are preserved in the two-state solution. 

      Sources:  1)` How Biden can seriously bring peace`,  The New York Times International Edition, May 25,2021
                          2), 3), 4) ` Why Israel`s annexation of parts of the West Bank would be a historic Mistake`  

Round 2
Hey! Not so fast, hold on a second. CON has misinterpreted the resolution. We are not analysing the legality, morality, justification or plausibility of a Israeli annexation, CON is going completely off topic. We are discussing the benefits of annexation, which CON has yet to even touch on. A two state solution potentially being more beneficial don't disprove the resolution, and neither does CON's appeal to opinion. Sure, annexation is a controversial topic and many want it to never happen --- however, we are not discussing whether or not annexation will likely happen, but whether or not it will benefit Palestinians in the long run. Thusly, CON's argument (backed by a non-scholastic source, an unlinked news article), does not actually support his case. 

CON seems concerned about "peace", yet forgets the effects of not annexing an area. Take the Gaza strip, the piece of Palestinian land Israel retreated from and left alone. It now being ruled by Hamas ("Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan and the United States have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization."[1]), the area is not "at peace" with Israel. Rather, Hamas and Israel still fight, sending rockets at each other and essentially continuing the conflict. The Gaza strip is one of the worst places to live in the middle east [britannica]. Furthermore, much of the problems its inhabitants face stem specifically from the fact that they don't live in Israel.
In politically stable times, as much as one-tenth of the Palestinian population travels daily to Israel (where they are not allowed to stay overnight) to work in menial jobs. Political tension and outbreaks of violence often led Israeli authorities to close the border for extended periods, putting many Palestinians out of work. [ibid]
These problems inhabitants of Gaza are facing would most likely also be faced by the palestinians living in the west bank, meaning in the abscence of Israeli annexation, palestinians live worse lives than other arabs. On the other hand, it is a fact CON has not denied, that in the long run an Israeli annexation will bring Palestinians more economic freedom and prosperity, political stability, human rights protection and safety; even better living standards in addition to political and religious freedom. Israeli annexation would mean palestinains will live better lives than most arabs, as opposed to the current situation of palestinains livign worse lives than most arabs. In the middle east, all of these economic, political and wellfare benefits are uniquely found in Israel.

My argument stands!

I must challenge the problems raised by Pro in Round 2. They are that ``whether or not annexation will likely happen, but whether or not it will benefit  Palestinians in the long run.``   I believe that the most important thing is that compromise and dialog between Israel and Palestinian concerning the annexation 
must be carried out. This is the pre-condition to make the annexation possible and successful.   If it succeeded, Israel annexation of the West Bank would bring  economic prosperity, political stability and human rights protection on the life of many Palestinians. 
However, unfortunately I believe that the annexation is difficult to materialize in the near future. We must pay attention to the fact that many Palestinians have the 
hatred feelings toward Jewish people. This is likely to disappear so soon from their heart. 

Diana Buttu, who is a lawyer and former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization, argues that ``the truth is that the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish majority of the country have never coexisted. We Palestinians living in Israel `sub- exist`,  living under a system of discrimination and racism with laws that enshrine our second -class status and with policies that ensure we are never equals.  This is not by accident but by design. The violence 
against Palestinians in Israel , with the backing of the Israeli state, that we witnessed in the past few weeks was only to be expected .`` 1) 
And Buttu says that ``indeed, our mere existence nettles Israel`s ruling elites, who insist on preserving the Jewishness of the state.`` 2)  

Here, I look at the situation of West Bank.  ``Jericho is in the heart of the Jordan Valley, a large area of the occupied West Bank that runs along Jordon`s border
and was captured by Israelis in the Six-Day War in 1967.  The majority of the West Bank , around 60%, is made up of land under full Israeli security and 
administrative jurisdiction.  But Jericho itself, along with around 18% of the West Bank, is technically under Palestinian administration. 
Israel`s annexation plan could change all that.  The Jordon Valley could officially become part of Israeli sovereign territory.  Jericho itself is likely to remain  under 
Palestinian administrative control.  But residents are concerned that there might be more restrictions and that access to other parts of the West Bank will become 
even more difficult.`` 3)  

Many Palestinian people will be compelled to make an oppressed and stressful life every day by the annexation. Therefore, they will reject and protest the annexation presented by Israel very strongly. 
From above arguments I believe that Israel annexation of the West Bank would not most likely benefit Palestinians in the long run.  

        Sources:  1), 2) `Coexistence in Israel is just a myth`,    The New York Times International Edition, May 27,2021.
                            3) `Israel plans to annex West Bank territories ` 
Round 3
CON claims that Arabs "sub-exist" in Israel, with no evidence beyond a quote from Diana Buttu, a spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This organization has in its charter of political end goals "the complete elimination of Israeli sovereignty in Palestine and the destruction of the State of Israel" [britannica]. The organization fought guerilla wars against Israel and collaborated with the armies of Arab nations seeking to defeat Israel and remove it from the map [ibid]. After 1967, the organization came under controll of Fatah, an extreme millitant organization whose members assasinated a Jordanian official and were responsible for the terrorist attack on 11 Israeli olympics athletes in Munchen [ibid]. The organization can justifiably be classified as a terrorist organization, whose current "negotiations" with Israel is solely a result of lacking Arab support for military destruction of Israel.

In November 2012, Buttu said that conflict between the Palestinians and Israel would not end until Israel "completely withdraw from the West Bank and from the Gaza Strip [1]
CON's source, Diana Buttu, apparently supports this organization (PLO) and demands that Israel fully withdraws from all occupied territories (which, as can be seen with Gaza, leads to terrorists assuming leadership and the conflict with Israel once again becomming militant). Diana Buttu was born in Canada and lives in the USA. With no experience of growing up as an arab in Israel, having a clear anti-Israeli agenda to the point of making demands of Israel that contradict all logic, and supporting an organization which fights Israel whilst doing nothing to help Palestinians [ibid], Diana Buttu is not a reliable source. She has nothing to say about "Arabs living in Israel" worth listening to.

She says that "Arabs in Israel sub-exist", without any justification whatsoever. Arabs in Israel are protected by one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the world. They enjoy freedoms and rights few to none Arab countries could provide. They also have a huge voice in Israel that they just need to become comfortable using. Remember that Arabs are already a huge minority in Israel with considerable political power, with representatives in the parlament as well as government. An annexation would introduce some 2+ million new citizen of Israel, the majority of which being Arabs, thusly making the Arab minority bigger in numbers; which in a free and open democrazy like Israel means an annexation will give Arabs more power in the nation. Furthermore, it will be giving the arabs in the west bank the option to vote for their leaders as opposed to now, when their PLO/PA leaders refuse to hold new elections and instead disband institutions for justice and democracy. Whatever "sub-existence" Arabs in Israel face (not saying this is even a thing), is clearly superior to the fundamentally flawed Arab leadership currently ruling Gaza and the west bank.

If Israel annexes the west bank, then peace is achieved, as the terrorist organization PLO and its millitant branch Fattah would no longer be in charge of the west bank through the corrupt undemocratic PA. Arab support for militant actions against Israel has diminished over the years due to Israels military power, their alliance with the US and technological/economical contributions to the middle east --- as well as Israel and the arab nations having a common enemy in Iran, the aggressive soon-to-be nuklear power. The only arab entities still fighting Israel on a military level are terrorist organizations sponsored by Iran, such as Hamas which rules the gaza strip. If the west bank is given automony like the gaza strip was, surely Iran will step in and new terrorist organizations seize power; fighting Israel while indirectly hurting the arabs who live in the west bank.

If Israel annexes the west bank on the other hand, then the influence of Iran and terrorist organizations on the west bank will diminish, and the conflict will draw to an end as the palestinians finaly get to experience true freedom and human rights protection, choose their own leaders, visit their holy places and believe in whatever they want. Sure, many Palestinians might have "hatred feelings" towards Israel, and as a result fear they will get treated badly by Israel, yet when that turns out not to be the case (because Israel is a secular, free democracy) these problems will fade away (as PRO has admitted they will), and peace is finaly achieved.

Arabs in Israel enjoy some of the best economic, political and religious freedom in the world. They have better jobs with better sallaries than most arabs worldwide. They live in peace and prosperity, protected from outside threat by a non-corrupt millitary, and they live in a free democracy in which abuse of power and dangerous political instability are literally abscent. The most advanced and effective military on Earth protects them from external dangers, and the counter-terrorist efforts by Israel actually works: it effectively prevents or intercepts most attempted suicide bombings, and more. Arabs in Israel have basic human freedom, such as the freedom to disagree with Islam and Judaism, or being gay without fear, or protest against governmental policies. These freedoms are uniquely western, and Israel is the most western country in the middle east, and is actually the only country in the region with adequate women rights. CON seems to agree with PRO that Israel is the best place in the middle east to live long-term.

If it succeeded, Israel annexation of the West Bank would bring  economic prosperity, political stability and human rights protection on the life of many Palestinians.
CON is here conceeding that Israeli annexation will benefit palestinians long-term as long as it is successfull.  

With my argument for the insurmountable long-term benefits of being Israeli citizens being uncontested and actually aggreed upon by CON; and with no arguments presenting long-term disadvantages of being Israeli citizens;  the balance tips overwhelmingly in favour of Israeli annexation benefitting Palestinians in the long run! The resolution stands logically, and is supported by massive evidence. Therefore, VOTE PRO!

Thank you, CON, for an interesting discussion. I wish you all luck going forward in life.
Before presenting my arguments for Round 3, I try to show the rebuttal concerning the argument raised by Pro in Round 3.  
Pro argues that ``sure, many Palestinians might have `hatred feelings`towards Israel , and as a result fear they will get treated badly by Israel, get when that turns 
out not to be the case (because Israel is a secular, free democracy) these problems will fade away(as Pro has admitted they will), and peace is finally achieved.``
Pro has a very optimistic view on the annexation of West Bank by Israel.   I believe that the most important thing is that the compromise, mutual understanding and 
mutual respect between Israel and Palestinians must be established. However, unfortunately I believe that hatred feelings among Palestinians toward Israel will not fade away so soon. The deep cause dates back to the days after World War Second.  Since that time the oppression, domination and discrimination toward Palestinians by Israel have been continuing till present day. 

Diana Buttu argues that ``Palestinian citizens make up about 20 percent of the Israel`s  population. We are those who survived the `nakba`, the ethnic cleansing 
of Palestine in 1948, when more than 75 percent of the Palestinian population was expelled from their homes to make way for Jewish immigrants during the founding of Israel.`` 1)   She continues to argue that ``young Jews are more radicalized than their parents, with polls showing that they do not want to live next to
Palestinians and support revoking our citizenship.``2)  
Furthermore, we must pay much attention to what Buttu has to say about the difficulty of the annexation of West Bank. 
She argues that ``I am often asked why the negotiations process failed. It is easy to point to the rise of right-wing Israel government, poor leadership or weak or uninterested U.S. presidents. But the real reason for failure lie beyond these factors.  It is because the parties should not have started negotiating in the first place.
To demand that Palestinians - living under Israeli military rule- negotiate with their occupier and oppressor is akin to demanding that a hostage negotiate with their hostage taker. It is repugnant that the world demands that Palestinians negotiate their freedom, while Israel continues to steal Palestinian land.``3) 

Anshel Pfeffer, the Israel correspondent for The Economist, argues that ``after 12 years of Mr.Netanyahu, there is no real pressure on Israel to end the blockade of 
Gaza or the military occupation of the West Bank.  For some supporters of Mr. Netanyahu`s ouster, the idea that this government will remain stable by maintaining Mr. Netanyahu`s legacy of a never-ending occupation and inequality for millions of Palestinians will be unbearable.``4)  

The important thing is that racism and oppression toward Palestinians by Israel make it very hard to realize peaceful, meaningful and fruitful annexation of West 
Bank in the near future.   With the emergence of coalition government in Israel in June, 2021, Palestinians might have expected the realization of the annexation.
However, from above arguments I believe that having hope and expectation toward the annexation is very difficult for them.  Rather they will not accept the idea of the annexation presented by Israel.  

    Sources: 1),2) ``Coexistence in Israel is just a myth``,  The New York Times International Edition, May 27, 2021
                       3) ``I advised the Palestinian negotiating team. It was a mistake to have negotiated with Israel at all ``,
                       4) ``This is still Benjamin Netanyahu`s Israel ``,  The New York Times International Edition, June 21, 2021  

    I thank you Pro for presenting the opportunity to think about the problems facing Israel and Palestine.