Aumann defended against leftist call to strip him of Nobel

Veteran diplomat Moshe Aumann has come to the defense of his younger brother Nobel Prize laureate Robert J. Aumann, whom certain left-wing elements are seeking to disqualify from the Nobel awards. The left-wing elements have circulated a petition in Israel and abroad calling for Aumann to be disqualified on the grounds that he favors Israel's occupation of the territories and the oppression of the Palestinian people. The older Aumann, who was at Beit Hanassi on Sunday to present a copy of his book Conflict and Connection: The Jewish-Christian-Israel Triangle to President Moshe Katsav, told The Jerusalem Post that criticism of his brother was "totally unjustified" because game theory for which Robert Aumann was chosen for the Nobel Prize "has many applications in many spheres, including the political sphere." If his brother was asked a question on whether his game theory that offers explanations about strategic decision making could be applied to the territories, and he wanted to answer honestly, said the senior Aumann, he would have to answer "Yes, it can be applied and this is how." As for his own area of specialization, ever since he served as Israel's consul-general to the mid-Atlantic states and minister counselor to the Churches in Washington from 1987-90, Aumann has focused on relations between Jews and Christians. In researching his book that was published in English by Gefen two years ago, Aumann who was a member of the Israel foreign service for 35 years, came across documents reflecting revolutionary policies of which neither mainstream Christians nor Jews were aware. The presentation of the book to Katsav was timely, as the president will be paying an official visit to the Vatican in mid-November. Impressed by the material in the book, Katsav said that he would like to present a copy to Pope Benedictus XVI. Aumann was pleasantly surprised to discover how knowledgeable Katsav is on developments in the Catholic and Protestant Churches and the impact of those developments on Jewish-Christian relations.