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Does intelligent debate exist? Yes!
Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), Oxford-style debates live from New York City, are based on the highly successful debate program in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented 50 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues.
Since its inception in 2006, the goals have been to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views.
The series is based on the traditional Oxford-style debate format, with one side proposing and the other side opposing a sharply-framed motion. Before the debate begins, the audience registers their pre-debate opinion using an electronic voting system. These results are announced later in the program. Alternating between panels, each debater gives a 7-minute opening statement. After this segment concludes, the moderator opens the floor for questions from the audience and inter-panel challenges. This adversarial context is electric, adding drama and excitement. The debaters have one final opportunity to sway audience opinion through their 2-minute closing arguments. The audience delivers the final verdict by voting again whether they are for, against, or undecided on the proposition. The two sets of results are compared and the winner is determined by which team has swayed more audience members between the two votes.
WATCH HERE for a thought provoking debate on "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine as a Full Member State."
On December 18, 2011, the Washington Post ran the opinion piece What pro-Israel should mean written by J Street president, Jeremy Ben-Ami. It's worth a read. Here's a snippet and you can read the whole piece HERE.
"Advocates of strong U.S.-Israel relations have aimed for decades to keep Israel from being a divisive issue in American politics. Yet Israel is one of very few foreign policy issues already rating attention in the 2012 presidential election.
Republican candidates recently staked their claim to the “pro-Israel” mantle in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum. President Obama made his case on Friday to 6,000 Reform Jews gathered in Washington..." Read more.
Non-J Street information that may be of interest:
Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education is a unique network of integrated, bilingual schools for Arab and Jewish children in Israel. The award-winning schools are accredited and funded by the Israeli Ministry of Education. Hand in Hand students are taught by Jews and Arabs in both Hebrew and Arabic.
For more information, contact Robert Ozer at 512-913-3953.
You may also visit Hand in Hand.
I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch this video. I think it will leave you, as it left me, very hopeful, and motivated to work harder than ever to support their vision.
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