Debate: Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism


Based in London, Intelligence Squared is a media information organisation, founded in 2002, that has since established itself as a leading global forum for live, agenda-setting debates that are conducted in traditional Oxford style. The organisation promotes global discussions that enable people to make informed decisions concerning vital global issues. Each debate follows the presentation of a motion. Audience members vote either for or against it, immediately following its presentation and then again at the end of the debate.

In 2020, Intelligence Squared held a debate on the motion that Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism‘.

Speaking for the motion:

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author who is presently a columnist for The Times of London.

Einat Wilf, a former Israeli politician who served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israeli military and Foreign Policy Adviser to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Speaking against the motion:

Ilan Pappé, a professor at the University of Exeter, formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa.

Mehdi Hassan, an award-winning British journalist, broadcaster, author and political commentator.

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Before the debate the vote was:

15% for

59% against

26% undecided

After the debate the vote was :

19% for

76% against

5% undecided

Listen and view:

Debate on the motion that Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism‘.


  1. No surprise there. Semitism is defined in the OED along the lines of a group of descendants of people inhabiting south-southwest Asia and north Africa, basically including everyone from Morocco to Iran. The overwhelming language of which is Arabic. Antisemitism is therefore, an artificial construct devoid of meaning other than in pseudoscience. In other words, antisemitism is a hoax, pure and simple. It exists in the tiny minds of bigots and fear mongers. Anti-zionism is of course, a horse of a different colour. It is opposition to the stated objectives of a small vocal group of Israelis wishing to extend the boundaries of Israel to include Palestinian land.

    • 5 minutes of Wikipedia also reveals that this woman is also an antivaxxer, a supporter of Andrew Wakefield, she is anti the scientific consensus on climate change, believes an egalitarian and non-competitive ethos in public education has led to a catastrophic fall in standards, she opposes civil unions and fertility treatments for non heterosexuals and opposes Irish independence. And much more, should you not already get the general picture.

      She describes her current views and positions as “sanity”.

        • It’s important and sensible to examine the source and motivations of opinions being offered, as opinions are not facts, but instead have been filtered through the mind and biases of the presenter.

          That unpleasant hag offered a gish gallop of opinion and falsehoods, I wished to examine where they might have originated, and to also see whether or not she was the spokesperson for some political group.

          That’s “so”. I hope you found the reasons educational.

          • No. It is important to examine or argue the opinion alone. Anything else is us adding our own biases to a given opinion. Nonetheless, what I am advocating is easier to say than to do. Best to always be aware of our own frailties, at the very least.


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