Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Israel (Robert) J. Aumann, of the Center for the Study of Rationality at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, spoke last week at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s premier counter-terrorism and security gathering.
In his speech Professor Aumann addressed the Iranian threat, but moved on to address what he says poses an even more serious threat to the Jewish nation: post-Zionism.
He said that what he perceives as the greatest threat to Israel is not Iran, terrorist groups or any other external sources, but it comes from within. “We have met the enemy, and it is us,” he said.
Professor Aumann expressed the fact that he makes his living from game theory and that the name of the game in game theory is motivation.
“The name of the game in game theory is motivation, incentives. Earlier, we discussed the motivations of those standing on the opposite side. Motivating ourselves is the most important thing, and the thing we are losing the most. Without motivation, we will not endure. What are we doing here? Why are we here? What are we aspiring to here? We are here because we are Jewish, we are Zionist, because of our ancient bond to this land; we aspire to realize our 2,000-year-old hope of becoming a free nation in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem. Without this profound understanding, we will not endure. We will simply no longer be here; post-Zionism will finish us off.”
Professor Aumann went on to say that “Roadmaps, capitulation, gestures, disengagements, convergences, deportations, and so forth do not bring peace. On the contrary, they bring war, just as we saw last summer. These things send a clear signal to our 'cousins' [the Arabs -ed.] that we are tired, that we no longer have spiritual strength, that we have no time, that we are calling for a time-out. They only whet their appetites. It only encourages them to pressure us more, to demand more, and not to give up on anything. These things stem from simple theoretical considerations and also from straight thinking. But it's not just theory: it has been proven and re-proven in the field over thousands of years. I returned today from a trip to India, where we heard about historical stories that illustrate the same. Capitulations bring about war; determination and readiness bring about peace.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we must tell our 'cousins' that we are staying here. We are not moving. We have time, we have patience, we have stamina. Understand this and internalize it. And we must not simply say it to our cousins but feel it within ourselves. This and only this will bring peace. We can really live in peace and unity and cooperation with our cousins. But only after they understand and internalize that the Zionist state will be here forever.”