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Debating Against BDS—And Winning

 

When I was invited to debate in favor of the motion "Is BDS Wrong?" at the Oxford Union, I fully expected to lose the vote of the 250 or so students and faculty who are members of the oldest debate society in the world. "Israel always loses at Oxford," I was warned by colleagues who had debated other Israel-related issues. Nonetheless, I decided to participate, hoping to change some minds.

 

I proposed as my opponent Omar Barghouti, the Qatari-born, Israeli-educated, co-founder and spokesperson of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, but he refused to debate me. The Union then selected Noura Erekat, a Palestinian-American human rights attorney, who has been a vocal supporter of BDS.

 

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