Officials’ debate questions the validity of two-state solution

Questions on the potential of implementing a two-state solution for the Palestinian cause were the focus of the 15th debate of the Birzeit University Student Debate Forum, held on April 5, 2017 under the supervision of The Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department.

The pro team represented by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Yasser Arafat Foundation Nasser Al Qudwa, built his arguments on two theoretical options; the first one is on adopting the United Nations General Assembly resolution (181) that called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.

The second choice, according to Al Qudwa, will be for the benefit of one party and it cannot be attained peacefully. “If the Palestinians want to regain their lands, with no existence to Israelis, they need to end the Israeli colonization, or Israelis will end the conflict by confiscating what is left of the Palestinian land.”

“A one-state solution cannot be implemented within the current context. What is more realistic is a two-state solution, which seems as compulsory option that we need to go through.” He pointed out to the existence of the Palestinian state, based on the historical and international legitimacy.

Zaidan talked about the Israeli’s systematic policies since the late 1800’s to expand and control the historical Palestine. “A two state solution cannot be attained because “Israel” will never approve to be side to side to Palestinians. Negotiations to Israeli’s are only a way to gain time and maintain the status-quo, and it does not aim to find a permeant fair solution.”

The debate was facilitated by the Acting Chairperson at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies Huda Awad.

At the end of the debate, and after listening to the questions and interventions of the audience, the jury, which is comprised of the Journalist Walid Omari, the Director of the Ph.D program in Social Sciences Liza Taraki, and the Acting Director of the Institute of Law Jamil Salem, announced that the pro team got 64.2% of the audience votes, versus 35.8% giving to the opposing team.

The Debate Forum was founded in 2008 by a group of university students to promote research, debate and dialogue, based on logic, rationality, respect for other’s opinion and recognition of other's right to freedom of expression. This debate was part of a series of debates aiming to promote intellectual pluralism and argument as two vital conditions for human thought, and the embodiment of freedom of opinion and practice of democracy.