Jerusalem bus bombing FOR GALLERY 521 6.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner GPO)
Hebrew University Professor Robert Aumann knows a thing or two about strategy.
This Mathematician and Hebrew University Professor, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis, believes the “cards are stacked against Israel.”
“I think our situation is not improving,” said Aumann. “And to a large extent we have ourselves to blame for it.”
In an exclusive interview with Inside Israel, Aumann lamented Israel's standing in the international arena and what he called the erosion of the centrality of Israel among American Jews. He blamed a host of factors, ranging from Israeli leaders, a poor Israeli govt pr apparatus, an overly critical Israeli press and plain old, classical anti-Semitism.
The outspoken Aumann fled his native Germany in 1938 and immigrated to
Israel from the United States in 1956. He says disgraced AP reporter
Helen Thomas's recent call for Jews to return to Europe should serve as a
“I think we should be grateful to Helen Thomas, because she said out
loud what people are thinking,” said Aumann, “and we need to be aware of
Last week Aumann addressed an Israeli Knesset caucus on the
delegitimization of Israel. He is troubled by the international media's
recent indictment of the murdered Fogel Family of Itamar, as if being
settlers justified the march 11 murder of this family of five, as they
slept in their beds on the Jewish sabbath.
In a study filled with piles of books, an open talmud and volume by
Maimonides, Aumann has the countenance of of rabbinic sage. His slow,
carefully measured replies are punctuated by deep, angst-ridden sighs,
as if Israel's troubles weigh heavily on his 80 year-old shoulders.
He cites Israel's missteps negotiations with the Palestinians, and cites
what he calls the disaster of the 2005 expulsion of Israelis from Gaza
as playing into Palestinian hands in their quest for statehood.
Aumann says he does not advocate a so-called Greater Israel and
respects the rights of Arabs to live where they are living. But he
stresses that the Jewish State hurts its own position by overemphasizing
security and being drawn in to responding to the Arab narrative of 1967
while not emphasizing enough Israel's own historic presence in the land
prior to 1967 and 1948.
“Our right to all of Israel is based on our ancient history and our
modern history and our physical presence for well over a hundred years
in all parts of this area,” said Aumann. “As long as the Arabs have been
here, we have been here. If that is not the case – if we only came
here, so to speak, after 1948 when we were not allowed in the
territories....from the War of Independence only – then we don't have
any right at all. We are simply colonialists.”