Saturday, 20 August 2016

Winning a Debate with an Israel-Hater, by Michael Harris

This handbook is not aimed at those debating people who are strongly critical of Israeli policy, but at those who deny the right of the state of Israel to exist, a body of opinion that is alarmingly large. Harris offers strategies for challenging the arguments of those taking this extreme position.

Harris argues that those debating anti-Israelists to advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He suggests one should challenge the anti-Israelists as to whether they agree with a two-state solution, as it forces them to admit they are opposed to the existence of Israel. Harris challenges the idea of Israel being an apartheid state, pointing out the enormous differences between Israel and apartheid South Africa. He also points out that the anti-Israelists object to Israel being a Jewish state, while ignoring the many states that are officially Muslim.

There is a lot of humour in this book. I particularly liked his characterisation of the different sorts of Israel haters, such as aging hippies, Christian "peacemakers", Islamist youth and old school anti-semites. This was an informative and entertaining read.

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