Tim Sebastian’s hard question: Is the occupation destroying Israel?


The New Arab Debates (NAD) was launched in 2011 at a time of tremendous upheaval in the Middle East. Following its success in several Arab capitals, the debates are branching out: One was held in Istanbul in March, and on Thursday, they land in Jerusalem.

Award-winning British broadcaster Tim Sebastian, first host of the BBC’s flagship interview programme “HARDtalk,” will moderate a debate on the motion: “The Occupation is Destroying Israel.” The debate will pit Uri Zaki, a Meretz member and former Director of B’Tselem USA, against Dani Dayan, the former Chairman of the Yesha Council representing Jewish settlers in the West Bank. At the end of the event, to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the audience votes on the motion. The debate will be televised on the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and its partner networks across the globe.

Why this motion, and why bring the New Arab Debates to Israel at all? Tim Sebastian sat down with TLV1 host Ilene Prusher to talk about asking hard questions. An equally hard question: Where to bring the show next, in a Middle East with few capitals open to robust and fair debate?

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