“From wherever you stood, the opposing side offered respectable, credible views. In today's fractured culture the evening struck a blow for civility.”

- The Huffington Post

More praise for IQ2 US

Post-Debate: Israel Can Live With A Nuclear Iran

By IQ2US Staff — January 18, 2013

Last Wednesday we kicked off our 2013 season with a debate arguing the motion "Israel Can Live With A Nuclear Iran."

The topic created sparks among debaters James Dobbins, Director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center, Reuven Pedatzur, senior military affairs analyst with Ha'aretz newspaper, Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Israel, and Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic.
At a post-debate dinner at Landmarc on Columbus Circle, Chris DeVito Director of Outreach for the Iranian reform organization, Iran180 noticed an electricty in the air: "The gravity of the issue certainly lends itself to a debate that's going to bring a lot of intensity. There was a real emotional resonance."

Over passed hors d'oeuvres, BuzzFeed Politics reporter Rosie Gray commended on the passion of the debaters: "I think this is the kind of issue where people have really engrained opinions."

"I think that the moderation was particularly well-done," said DeVito referencing several emotionally charged audience questions that the moderator, John Donvan had to diffuse.

BBC correspondent Bahman Kalbasi echoed this sentiment over dinner: "When a topic deals with issues of politics and identities, people are more passionate and harder to persuade."

 Photos below.


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The Daily Beast's Ali Gharib, BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray, BBC's Bahman Kalbasi

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Iran180's Chris DeVito, Ali Gharib

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John Donvan and Jeffrey Goldberg


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Robert Rosenkranz, Shmuel Bar, Revital Bar, and Bernard Groveman


  • Comment Link Chris OConnell Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:04 posted by Chris OConnell

    It was a good debate. Now I look forward to a future debate: "Iran Can Live With a Nuclear Israel." I won't hold my breath since I know we are NEVER allowed to view our actions the way an enemy sees them, even as we condemn those identical actions of the enemy.

  • Comment Link Peter Sunday, 27 January 2013 06:33 posted by Peter

    The biggest problem with this debate is that all the speakers simply assume the worthiness of maintaining the survival of Israel as (to use Jeffrey Goldberg's words) a "Jewish state" with a "Zionist regime". The speakers never even bother to make a positive case for it. Maybe not surprising, as all but one of them have served in the Israel Defense Forces -- and by the way it was a big mistake for the moderator to omit mentioning Goldberg's IDF service, which is pretty relevant here, especially when the moderator chose to mention the two Israeli speakers' military service. James Dobbins, the only non-IDF-vet speaker, does refer to the existence of an alternative point of view that the Iranians claim to hold, that everyone living in the territory controlled by the Israeli government should have equal rights, which would make it a "multi-ethnic state". But then the moderator (!) picks up on this and says that it amounts to the Iranians telling Israelis "we want you dead."

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