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."
The Daily Beast's Ali Gharib, BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray, BBC's Bahman Kalbasi
Iran180's Chris DeVito, Ali Gharib
John Donvan and Jeffrey Goldberg
Robert Rosenkranz, Shmuel Bar, Revital Bar, and Bernard Groveman