At a special event Wednesday, Nobel Prize winner Professor Yisrael Aumann told students at Bar Ilan University that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “making many mistakes” in his policies towards the Palestinian Authority, Iran, and in dealing with foreign pressure to withdraw from areas of Judea and Samaria.
Aumann was speaking at the University’s Student Union sponsored by Project Yuvalim, a new initiative meant to broaden the discussion of Zionist issues on campuses throughout Israel. Headed by activist Yigal Brand, the Project is sponsored by Zionist Council of Israel, a part of the World Zionist Organization.
“Concessions and ‘gestures’ do not bring peace,” Aumann said. We need to understand that if we do not have a right to Hevron, Gush Etzion, or Ariel, we do not have a right to Tel Aviv,” Aumann said.
“We are all ‘Palestinians’,” he said, referring to the fact that until relatively recently, the term “Palestinian” referred not to a particular nation, but to those living in the geographical area that was termed by world powers as “Palestine”.
“Before we try to convince our enemies that the land belongs to us, we must convinced ourselves that this land is holy for us as well. I do not say that as a right-wing supporter of full settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” the Nobel laureate said, but from a purely geopolitical point of view.
“The only chance for peace is not to choose the path of concessions – that only leads to war,” Aumann said. “If we were playing soccer, we would look at the best teams in the world in order to learn the best strategies.” In the same way, he said, Israel should look at the powers that managed to keep the peace the longest – with the ancient Romans the most relevant example. “Look at the Roman Empire,” he said. “They managed to keep the peace for 238 years, by preparing for and being ready to fight in wars.”