Instigator / Con

THBT Palestine Should be Considered a State


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

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After 2 votes and with 9 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two weeks
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Contender / Pro

Con: Palestine should NOT be considered a state
Pro: Palestine should be considered a state

Burden of proof is shared

State: "A state is a polity under a system of governance with a monopoly on force. There is no undisputed definition of a state.[1][2] A widely used definition from the German sociologist Max Weber is that a "state" is a polity that maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, although other definitions are not uncommon.[3][4] A state is not synonymous with a government as stateless governments like the Iroquois Confederacy exist.[5]" -- Wikipedia

We will debate over which term of State is acceptable, and whether Palestine fits that definition.

Round 1
PRO has not defined Palestine, leaving the defining power to me. I will define Palestine using the official Britannica encyclopedi as my source:

 "Palestine, area of the eastern Mediterranean region, comprising parts of modern Israel and the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank . Both the geographic area designated by the name and the political status of it have changed over the course of some three millennia. The region (or at least a part of it) is also known as the Holy Land and is held sacred among Jews, Christians, and Muslims." [BRITANNICA]
Unfortunately for PRO, the resolution is a falsism no matter what definition of state one applies. Palestine is not a state, its simply a geographical area. Claiming that Palestine should be considdered a state is equally absurd as to claim that the middle east should be considdered a state, or that Europa should be considered a state. These types of claims amounts to categorical errors which don't hold any worth or intelectual value, and should be discarded as logical fallacies.

The resolution is a logical fallacy and thusly is not true. Palestine should not be considdered a state, as it simply isn't a state, its a politically divided geografical area.
Round 2
Benjamin has accidentally thought he is con and I am pro. It’s precisely because even the dictionary makes things unclear that this debate becomes political for the pro side. I’ll give him another chance.
I though when Undefeatable made this debate he made the mistake of using the geographical term "palestine" and claim it was a state. Now I know that he actually is CON, meaning the resolution was framed as a truism (as per my undisputed R1 logic). This puts me in a position where I have essentially disproved the PRO case with my own words. But knowing that Undefeatable is a fan of fair play, and we have a history of making compromises, I think it is safe to say that the "other chance" CON is refering to means that I get a new start --- meaning a new opportunity to define the term "Palestine". I am going to define "palestine" as the thing CON probably meant: State_of_Palestine. All information below comes from the last source.

The state of Palestine
  • Is officially recognized as a de jure state by the UN, 138 UN members and other entities
  • Is a member of the Arab league and other international arab bodies
  • Is recognized as sovereign by the UN, and been granted status of observational state (and its declaration of indepence has been recognized by the UN)
  • The name "the state of Palestine" has been accepted as the standard name for the entity withing the UN -- meaning the UN supports the statehood of palestine
  • It has a functional government with multiple branches, diplomatic relations with other nations, and even have foreign embasies
  • It also has its own Monetary Authority

The State of Palestine has a number of security forces, including a Civil Police Force, National Security Forces and Intelligencce Service, with the function of maintainging security and protecting Palestinian citizens and the Palestinian State." [ibid].
 I now ask voters, if the state of Palestine is recognized as a state by basically the entire world, has diplomatic relations with other states, is a member of organizations exclusively for states, has its own governing authorities and security forces (a monopoly on violence) and to top it of also has a functional government --- then how the heck can one deny its statehood? The answer is that one simply can't. 

OF COURSE PALESTINE SHOULD BE CONSIDDERED A STATE --- because it already is a state, and the world has accepted this fact. The resolution is proven true beyond reasonable doubt!
Round 3
On the surface Palestine looks like it is doing quite well, especially with international relationships, but since "State" has many different definitions, the question is whether the UN recognition upholds or not. As an article more well versed in politics argues, Con's arguments are all wrong.

Firstly, Palestine's control is ambiguous, and Israel's control is far more clear, negating the possibility of de facto control. To support this, the US Restatement of Law had said Palestine must be "under the control of its owngovernment". Due to the problems occurring, it's unclear that Palestine is its own rightful state. Secondly, Palestine does not have sovereign control over key areas of land such as West Bank and Gaza.

Despite Con's UN argument, the official standard is that "UN resolutions are only recommendationsand not binding law". Therefore, the recommendation or recognition is arbitrary and must fulfill the rules that are established. Palestine basically agreed that the problem isn't solved regarding borders, and so its statehood cannot be recognized. Combined with the poorly defined territory, Palestine being a "state" makes the political control and laws extremely difficult to determine clearly. Connected to the Israel power over the Palestine area, Palestine's lack of an actual standing force, economic and foreign relationship cooperation put the nail in the coffin. Because Palestine is dependent on Israel for the rule, it's hard to justify the recognition of Palestine state hood.  

Thirdly, to counter Con's representation that Palestine is doing swimmingly well, officially Palestine still can't conduct foreign relationships. As the article furthers, "the Council will not have powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreignrelations". Without the approval of Israel, Palestine is powerless in economics and in politics. Con says Palestine has power as a state, but it is merely an *Observer*, not a *Member*, and other organizations such as WHO and EU still refuse to incorporate Palestine. 

Finally, the recognition of Palestine as a state may lead to chaos and destabilization. It may be too early to predict the end of the Israel-Palestine crisis. If you look at this map, big countries such as US, Canada, France (and other European areas), Japan, etc. do not support Palestine as a state. The explanation is that "The United States would want to see the two-state solution come into fruition before conferring official recognition upon Palestine.". As you can see, even *if* Con was correct -- which he is not -- the political complications of the situations mean that it's too early to officially deem Palestine as a state.

Hence the premise, "should be recognized as a state" -- not "Palestine is a state". Notice the hidden implications of the title. 
Thank you, CON.

I can't help but notice how CON'S argument rellies upon the Israeli/Palestinian controversy in claiming that "the state of Palestine" (its name having recognition from the UN) isn't a state. He asserts that since Israel occupies some of its territory and therefore enforces its influence over it, that Palestine is not a state. However, that argument assumes states need to literally be totally independent and sovereign, devopid of foreign military and political  influence. I would like to challenge that assumption.

  •  political organization of society, or, more narrowly, the institutions of government.
  • (Britannica)
  • A country or its government
  • A part of a country with its own government
  • A country with its own government
  • The government of a country
  • (Cambridge)
From these definitions, one can see that STATE refers to a government and/or its country. A government is defined by Cambridge as the system to controll society. While complete international recognition and absolute sovereignty are certainly traits associated with most States, it cannot be called a nessecity (look at Taiwan or various Russian vassals in Europe, especially in Ukraine). 

That said, the very debate regarding what statehood means means no other definition of state that CON could bring up is more official or scholastic. State as a country with government stands as debate definition.


1. Control

CON claims that Palestinian control is ambiguous. Claiming they lack "a real standing force". He forgot to mention the extensive security and defence duties of Palestine, ignoring all of their armed forces such as police. While it is true that the much more powerfull Israeli army has a prescence in the region, the Oslo accords which Israel signed ensures Palestinian monopoly on violence in their assigned territories. More importantly, CON does not mention how the Israeli army is obligated to support and co-operate with Palestinian forces (1). In fact, the Israeli army training the Palestinian forces clearly shows us that Israel respects "the state of Palestine"'s sovereignty and right to national security.

2. Area

Gaza is not under the sovereign control of Israel, or any other non-palestinian state for that matter. Gaza is under the control of Palestine. The west bank, though being partly occupied by Israeli forces, is also controlled by Palestine. Palestinian law and monetary systems are In place. The Palestinian government is in charge, using its different branches to excert national control and uphold law and order. 

3. Recognition 

Some big states are waiting to recognise Palestine. This however has mostly political reasons, seeing as USA is close allies with Israel, and even moved the embassy to Jerusalem despite intense international opposition. It is easy to explain away this refusal to recognise Palestine. The US and its "followers" simply want Israel to get the most value of its occupation before a final solution is made. This also explains why Palestine only has observer status in the UN, because huge powerhouses has interest in it not being considered a state despite deserving to be.

Recall that "THE STATE OF PALESTINE" has got both its name, sovereignty and declaration of independence recognized by the UN and other organizations. CON attempts to pull this fact under the mug by saying that the UN only recommended recognising Palestine. Well then let me turn this argument by CON in my favour.

The UN recommend considering Palestine a state. My position therefore has support from the UN, whilst CON'S position is undermined. Basically, the UN agrees that Palestine SHOULD be considdered a state, even if it haven't done so yet.

4. Foreign relations

Having embasies in most countries as well as participating in organizations for states only is clearly a sign of being a state capable of foreign relations. Since CON never denied this, I am confused as to how he can claim Palestine has no foreign relations. His source's statement, and CON'S single quote, is too vague to disprove my clear R2 evidence. Extend arguments, especially the fact that Palestine has embasies in foreign countries.

5. Governance

Israel of course keeps Palestine in check, using its military might to ensure they keep some kind of veto right. However, states like Afganistan, Syria and Iraq were still states while being occupied and controlled by foreign powers. Merely foreign restrictions don't mean a government is not a Palestine cannot be denied statehood merely because of an agreed upon partial occupation by Israel.

Quite the contrary. In the Oslo accords, Palestine is given clear right and domain of governance (ibid). Their official and democratically elected government is in charge of the country, and all branches of government collectively perform all the functions of government. So, in fact, Palestine is doing "swimmingly well", and is not drowning as CON claims.


1. Palestine is a state

By the Brittanica and Cambridge definitions, Palestine is a state as it is both a country and a government. We ought to uphold the truth, in our case, the truth is that Palestine IS a state. In short, we should consider Palestine a state because refusing to do so means we continue deceiving ourselves and others. 

2. We must not reject them anymore

The Palestinian people have suffered incredibly. From the birth of Israel unto today, violent conflict and political oppression has plagued the Palestinian people (whose fault is not important). From terrible humanitarian crises to international rejection of Palestinian hopes and patriotism, the world has hurt them in so many ways. By rejecting the statehood of Palestine, we continue crushing their dreams and working against their needs and hopes. We should consider Palestine a state, not only because it obviously is, but also out of compassion and respect for Palestinian people.

3. The two state solution needs our support

Especially since the entire Jerusalem was declared capital of Israel, and Donald Trump moved the US embassy to there, it is becoming apparent that Palestine is being overrun in the border making process. Israel backed by its allies basically takes what it wants of land. Combined with the illegal Israeli settlements, this policy by Israel undermines the Palestinian side of the negotiation table. The problem is, if we don't considder Palestine a state, then we silently agree that Israel can ignore it or treat it as a less worthy part. If we want the two state solution to be implemented fairly, the two sides must be considdered equals, and Palestine must be considdered a state.

Extend all R2 arguments.

Palestine should be considdered a state.

Round 4
I extend my rebuttals, arguments and logical evidence.