Israel’s most serious challenge
Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Israel (Robert) J. Aumann addressed the Herzliya Conference last week. Speaking after Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert, Aumann said that post-Zionism "will be the end of us."
Prof. Aumann, of
the Center for the Study of Rationality at Jerusalem¹s Hebrew University, began his address by addressing the Iranian threat,
but shifted his focus midway to what he said poses an even more serious threat to the Jewish nation: post-Zionism.
outlined the threat of Iranian nuclear attack, and the greater threat of Iranian proliferation of nuclear weapons among Islamic
terror groups, Aumann continued:
³And now a few words about a third threat, which is perhaps the greatest
of all. It does not come from Iran, nor from terrorist groups, nor from any external source. It comes from within us. We have
met the enemy, and it is us.¹ Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, your humble servant makes his living from game theory - among
other things, very serious games: games of life and death and of existence and annihilation.
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.²
The Nobel Prize Laureate, who was an outspoken
opponent of the Disengagement, then addressed the prime minister: ³About half a year ago in Petra, Jordan, the prime minister
said that we are tired. He was right. He was elected by the nation, and he expresses the sentiments of the nation. We are
like a mountain-climber that gets caught in a snowstorm; the night falls, he is cold and tired, and he wants to sleep. If
he falls asleep, he will freeze to death. We are in terminal danger because we are tired. I will allow myself to say a few
unpopular, unfashionable words: our panicked lunging for peace is working against us. It brings us farther away from peace,
and endangers our very existence. I think it was Churchill who said, If you want peace, prepare for war.¹ The preparation
includes material preparation, a fantastic army, effective tools of war, but above all, we are talking about spiritual preparation,
about spiritual readiness to go to war.
³Roadmaps, 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.
³Ladies 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. Thank you very much.²