Continuing the Jewish tradition: Israeli students win World Debating Championship

July 15, 2021 by TPS
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Gil Peled and Assaf Hanani, students from the Tel Aviv University Debate Club, won the prestigious World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) Wednesday night after beating students from the best universities in the world, including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and more.

Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine. Credit: Courtesy.

There was also representation in the competition from countries with which Israel has no official direct contacts, such as Syria, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Established in 1981, the WUDC is the world’s largest debating tournament and one of the largest annual international student events.

The final stage dealt with a debate on the question – “Should governments plan their policies for the long term or focus on the current generation”.

The Israeli students excelled in convincing the judges and their answers scored the most points, earning them the title of world champions in the English as a Second Language category.

The South Korean city of Gwandong hosted the 2021 online edition, which was attended by more than 1,000 male and female students, representing about 250 universities and 45 countries.

The competition opened on Tuesday last week and has been running for nine days online.

Peled and Hanani said at the end of the competition that “It was great fun and a real sense of pride.”

“By the way, the position we presented in the final debate was that governments should focus on long-term policy,” they said

The Tel Aviv University Debate Club recorded another achievement at the World Championships, when Dan Lahav, a graduate student in bioinformatics, became the first Israeli to serve as the competition’s professional director.


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