The Society met on October 13 in the Copley Formal Lounge to consider the question Resolved: the United States Should Block Palestine’s United Nations Statehood Bid.
Mr. Stephen Taft spoke on the affirmation and Mr. Joshua Donovan spoke on the negation.
Mr. Taft began by offering historical context to the debate, and went on to argue that Palestine is not ready to join the U.N. and that its admission would degrade the concept of statehood. He then discussed the different groups in Palestine, and their relationship with Israel. Mr. Donovan first addressed common misconceptions that he thought would arise in debate. He then discussed the role of statehood and the United Nations in bringing about peace, arguing that both Israel and Palestine should be able to discuss their differences at the same table.
Ms. Wood began the floor debate by addressing the nebulous concept of statehood. Mr. Medina argued that definitions were not important in the discussion, and that if the Palestinians want a state, it is our duty to give them one. Ms. Green countered Mr. Medina’s argument stating that it isn’t an issue of principle, but rather a political one. She then addressed the “enormous consequences” of the United States abandoning Israel. Vice President Henderson proceeded to make a bold claim, that “the meek will not inherit the earth.” Harkening back to his brief time in Egypt, Mr. Rinaldi posited that we would commit the region to more chaos if we awarded Palestine statehood. Mr. Arber concluded floor debate by fervently statin that peace in the region will only come through unilateral negotiations.
Ms. Emma Green and Mr. Stephano Medina were chosen as the night’s best floor speakers by the keynoters.
The Society voted 32-23-5 to affirm the resolution.
Peter A. Prindiville