Professor Yisrael Aumann
Professor Yisrael AumannIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Nobel Prize winner Professor Yisrael Aumann is baffled by the decision to return to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. It is obvious that peace talks with PA Chairman Abbas are meaningless, he told Arutz Sheva.

“This whole matter of diplomatic negotiations is absurd. The whole Middle East is going up in flames, there’s chaos in Syria, Egypt, and Iraq – and the Americans are only worried about us,” he said.

“It’s clear as day that any agreement signed with [Abbas] isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” he argued. “Abbas cannot sign anything real. After all, as soon as we expelled the Jews from Gush Katif, Fatah was pushed out of Gaza, so his signature means nothing.”

Abbas’ PA currently has effective control only in Judea and Samaria, while Hamas controls Gaza. In addition, Abbas’ term in office expired in 2009.

Aumann expressed doubt that Israel and the PA would even reach the point of a signed agreement. “They are not willing anymore to make do with Ariel, Gush Etzion and Amona,” he warned. “They want Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, and there is no way that will happen, because Netanyahu will not give them Tel Aviv.”

History has proven this to be true, he added. “In 2000, Barak wanted to give them everything, including Jerusalem and the ‘right of return.’ They did not want to sign, because they are not interested.”

Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria only made things worse, he said. “When you demonstrate weakness, that invites further attacks,” he warned.

He compared it to encountering a black bear. “If you see a bear, the worst thing you can do is run. That’s the worst, because the bear will chase you and catch you… You also must not approach him, and definitely do not turn your back… You need to stop and look at him, that’s what I always do, and after a few minutes he leaves.”

“It’s the same way with people… Whenever Israel defeated its enemies – after the Six Day war, the Entebbe operation, the strike on the [Iraqi] reactor – everywhere on earth people told us, ‘Good for you.’ When we expelled Israelis in the Disengagement nobody told us ‘good for you,’” he concluded.

Professor Aumann won the prestigious Nobel Prize for his research in game theory. Among his notable research are findings regarding war and conflict, including the theory that overly simplistic attempts at peace can cause war, while credible threats of violence can prevent it. He has compared the Israel-Arab conflict to the "blackmailer's paradox" in game theory.