THAILAND - Israeli Debate Team Wins 3rd World Championship

Arno Froese

An Israeli debate team has won the World Universities Debate Championship for the third time. The contest took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

The winning duo, Hadar Goldberg and Maya Saveliev of the Open University Debate Team, made history as the first Israeli team of women to win the competition. They defeated 750 contestants from around the world in the English Second Language (ESL) category.

The competition took place throughout the last week of 2019. It had a varied array of subjects for the nine debate rounds that the team went through, including gender, democracy, ethics, geopolitics and law.

Numerous Israeli debaters, some of whom have won European and world championships, competed this year in the parallel judges’ panel competition and also judged in the final stages of the competition, a privilege only 10% of judges receive. Eight Israelis were judges in the final stages of the competition, not including those judging in the final debates of each category.

Israel has been on a roll over the past few years in the debate world. Three Israeli teams (out of four teams in each debate round) reached the finals in the European Debate Championship this past year, and Israeli teams won in both the EPL and ESL categories in 2018.

An Israeli high-school team won the European High School Debate Championship in 2018., 8 January 2020

Arno's commentary

Israel has a tremendous advantage because of the plurality of languages. The country is made up of immigrants from virtually around the world. While Hebrew is the official language, many other languages are used daily.

Here we are reminded of the new countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., who received millions upon millions of immigrants, which contributed to the success of these nations. The United States had another advantage, namely the climate—very European-like, thus making it “home” for many the central and northern European nationals. In contrast, the Spanish and Portuguese favored a similar home-country climate; thus, they conquered Central and South America.

Of course, Israel is different, and not to be compared with any other nation in the world. This is self-evident by their super success. As days and years go by, with some 7 million Jews still living in the Diaspora, the country is destined to be even more successful than in our days.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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