IDEA Youth Forum 2010
The IDEA Youth Forum 2010 is currently being held in Zeeland, Netherlands. The Karl Popper Debate Championship segment of the multi day even has already ended with Lithuania beating the United Kingdom for the crown. Steven Rajavinothan emerged as the best speaker of the competition whilst representing the United Kingdom in the Grand Finals. Representing Lithuania were Julija Ravaityte, Dovile Venskutonyte and Lukas Gelezauskas.
The most worrying development however was the reported refusal by the Palestine Team to debate Team Israel.
The debate, where Uganda’s Ham Ahimbisibwe was to judge, aborted after the Palestinian captain, Nour Hamayel, told the audience that they (Palestinians) could not debate people who oppress” them back home.” “We cannot pretend that all is well. We are treated as lesser humans in West Bank and Gaza. It will look principally wrong for us to debate Israel, which oppresses us,” she told Daily Monitor. “We shall be sending the wrong message to the international community if we debate them; that all is well.”
Quite simply, debate is not the place to make a political statement. Indeed, it is the place where arguments and logical discussion should be held and heard. If a discussion cannot be held, then how will conflicts and problems ever be solved? Perhaps like WSDC, other tournaments should make it a rule and of basic courtesy to debate any assigned opponent.