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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Israeli Nobel Prize winner doubts country's long term existence

Say what you will about Robert Aumann, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics last year; he's a straight shooter. In a speech on Sunday at the College of Judea and Samaria, which is located in Ariel, Aumann said that he doubts whether Israel can continue to exist in the long term.
"Too many Jews don't understand why they are here," said Aumann, who moved from the United States to Israel in the 1950s and helped found the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an interdisciplinary research body that focuses on game theory.

"If we don't understand why we are here, and that we are not America or just a place in which to live, we will not survive," he said in a speech at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel on Sunday. "The desire to live like all the nations will sustain us maybe another 50 years, if we are still here."

...

In addition, said Aumann, last summer's disengagement from the Gaza Strip was a "tactical and ethical mistake" that gave the Palestinians the wrong message and was another factor leading to this summer's Lebanon war.

"Looking at the other side is an important element of game theory," he said. "The Arabs' understanding in the wake of the expulsion was that they had succeeded, and that they have to continue on the same path. The expulsion, therefore, brought about the launching of Qassams on Israel and the abduction of the soldiers. The expulsion transmitted the message that we can be moved even from Tel Aviv, and not just from Gush Katif."

"Last summer we set back peace and understanding with our neighbors by at least 10 years," said Aumann. "After the expulsion, no words will convince them that we intend to stay here forever."
In the part that I skipped, Aumann - who won his prize for his use of game theory - says that we are too sensitive to casualties on both our side and the enemy's side. I don't agree with him regarding our side. I think that we should be sensitive to our own casualties. For each family that God forbid suffers a loss, it is a life-changing event. On the other hand, I believe we are too sensitive to enemy casualties, and as a result, we are causing more casualties to our own side. Read the whole thing.

1 Comments:

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

I read the distinguished professors words and think, unlike he does (in Mathematical models) in terms of historical processes.

Israel is a young country, as countries go - still experiencing a kind of adolescence. With adolescence comes a period of "Identity Crisis" and a "Rebellion" to established traditions. Once weathered, there is every liklihood that the vast majority of the People of Israel who live in the Land of Israel will clarify their collective identity and with that clarity their reason for living in this place at this time!

In retrospect historians will explain why this process was a natural possibly inevitable result of all kinds of factors. Simple Jews will understand that the 'hand' of HaShem was always with us! Moreover ALL the trials and tribulations were an intentional part of the process!

We have nothing to fear except fear itself, and like my children teach me time after time, An eternal People are not afraid of a long journey!

 

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