Prof. Aumann
Prof. Aumann Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

Professor Robert J. "Yisrael" Aumann, the Israeli who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis, thinks Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not working game-theory to Israel's advantage. Professor Aumann is an Orthodox Jew who immigrated to Israel from the United States in 1956.

Speaking to INN TV's Yoni Kempinski about Prime Minister Netanyahu's 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria, Professor Aumann said "I think it's a very, very bad idea."

Professor Aumann went on to say he does not believe anyone – Jew or Arab – should be expelled from his home.  He also said he is not opposed to making certain concessions to the Arabs if concessions are also given by them to Israel.

However, he felt strongly that the building freeze is not an instance of appropriate diplomacy. "It's not only immoral, it's stupid!" Aumann said.  "It's stupid… because it says to the Arabs, 'you can continue to be intransigent and we will make one gesture, one capitulation after another.' We're giving the wrong signal."

"Just as Chamberlain gave the wrong signal to Hitler in Munich and Chamberlain brought about the Second World War – not Hitler, but Chamberlain brought about the Second World War, made it possible by his capitulation to Hitler in Munich – by sending a signal of weakness, we are encouraging intransigence and in fact, war, on the part of the Arabs.  It's simply stupid," Aumann said.

He strongly chastised Israel for making unilateral moves in 2005 which were harmful to Jews and were not met with simultaneous moves towards peace from the Arabs.  He called the Disengagement from the Jewish cities of Gush Katif in Gaza "immoral" and "criminal", and accused the Supreme Court of hypocrisy in allowing the program to take place, when it would "never have allowed, and rightly so, to expel even a few Arab famlies from their homes."