Norman Finkelstein vs Shlomo Ben Ami 3/6

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In Part One of the debate, former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami addresses the question of the origin of the "state of Israel" and how it came into being. Questions such as the transfer of the local population is discussed, and the revisionist narrative of what occurred is briefly juxtaposed against the traditional narrative. Shlomo Ben Ami, an influential member of the Rabin government, continues on to point out the lack of definition, or what he termed "destructive ambiguity" at Oslo, due to which a series of future breakdowns in the peace process became almost inevitable. In Part Two of the debate, Professor Norman Finkelstein discusses the Two-State settlement. He then goes on to discuss the Clinton Parameters of Camp David and judges them against the responsibilities of both sides to what is stipulated under International Law. In Part Three, Professor Norman Finkelstein discusses further International Law and the various key points of debate in the Two-State settlement solution. Shlomo Ben Ami continues to Camp David and the inherent problems in the Clinton Paramaters, peaking with his now famous statement: "If I were a Palestinian, I would have rejected Camp David as well." In Part Four of the discussion, Shlomo Ben Ami discusses the unsustainable political context within Israel that lead to their withdrawal from the Taba talks. Professor Norman Finkelstein goes on to address the question of Anti-Semitism in the US and the role that this factor plays in distorting the case for Palestine. In Part Five, Norman Finkelstein and Shlomo Ben Ami discuss the role of Terrorism and Torture, and the general question of Human Rights in the conflict. In the final part of the debate, Shlomo Ben Ami reflects on some of the issues surrounding American involvement in the Middle East and its violations of International Law and all Human Rights accords in its handling of "detainees" at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo facilities. He ends by stating his sole incentive for going for the Two-State Settlement in his remark: "When I say that we need to make concessions, it is not because I am concerned with the future of the Palestinians or because or because I am concerned with International Law; I want to say it very clearly. It is because I define myself as an ardent Zionist that thinks the best for the Jews in Israel is that we abandon the territories..."

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