Prof. Yisrael Aumann of Hebrew University won this past year's Nobel Prize in Economics, for "enhancing our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." He spoke Saturday night at the opening session of the prestigious Sixth Annual Herzliya Conference.

Many of the thousands of people expelled from Gush Katif and northern Shomron are still in hotels, he noted, "even now, a half-year after the expulsion, without the most basic conditions. Most of them are not yet in permanent housing, or even in reasonable temporary housing. There is no work, the children are in despair, and there have been some suicide attempts. Many families, and maybe even most, have not seen a red cent in compensation money, and those who have received are spending it on daily food."

A report released earlier this month by the Gush Katif-L'maan Acheinu Task Force stated that more than half the families had received nothing at all of the promised compensation. The remaining families received an average of 50,000 shekels (just over $10,000), and only some 5% received the entire compensation payment. Those living in pre-fab housing, known as caravilot, are paying monthly rent of $450 - totally using up their advance payment within two years.

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"We're not talking about enemies or lawbreakers," Prof. Aumann said, "but rather productive people who built a glorious settlement enterprise, and whose lives have now been destroyed - and yet everyone just ignores it. The entire media and everyone else; no one hears a word about it, no one relates to it, everyone ignores it. I, for one, will not be silent, and I am not silent."

A religious Jew who grew up in New York City and currently resides in Jerusalem, Prof. Aumann won the prestigious prize together with Prof. Thomas C. Schelling of the University of Maryland. The two established game theory as the dominant approach towards understanding conflict and cooperation between countries, individuals and organizations.

"I don’t know how the treatment [of the expellees] affects our national resilience," Prof. Aumann said, "and I'm not talking about the expulsion itself - but just about the treatment of those who were expelled. It's not clear whether this is being done purposely to show a message that Zionism is not worth it and [people] might as well stop engaging in it as quickly as possible - or just out of criminal negligence. And I don't know which is worse."

The professor criticized the way in which Israel relates to the Oslo Accords:

"The wretched Oslo Agreement includes a clause in which the Palestinian Authority agrees to stop the unbridled incitement in their schools against Israel and the Jews... This clause has never been carried out, and the incitement gets worse and worse each year... It's much worse than various terrorist attacks or Kassam rockets, because these children who learn in school that the State of Israel must be wiped off the map will soon be grown adults."

Prof. Aumann said that Israel's mad pursuit of peace is precisely that which is pushing it further away:

"The Arabs always said they have time, and that they can wait 10, 20 or 50 years until we disappear. But our problem is that we don't have time; we're rushing. We want 'peace now,' and so we go and destroy beautiful blossoming productive communities. We destroy the lives of tens of thousands of people on the altar of 'we have to do something.' The very act of running crazedly after the longed-for peace is precisely that which distances it from us."

See also this article for findings of the Task Force's report and related government measures, and this one on the educational crisis caused by the expulsion.

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