Maccabee's Wars

A venting rage against the ills of our society with some hopeful observations.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rationalism -- Understanding of Conflict and Cooperation Through Game-Theory Analysis

Looking a the latest map of Israel, printed by Mapah, I saw that Gaza was now completely colored in a shade of brown indicating that it was all under Palestinian authority.

Unsurprising as this may be, I did notice many of the names of settlements listed on their approximate locations without streets and written in very small print. Next to the small print was, in parentheses, the word Harus spelled Hay Reish Vav Samech.

I wasn’t familiar with this word. After checking a dictionary, I saw the definition as broken or destroyed.

Why couldn’t they write Churban or Shavur, openly. Better yet, why couldn’t they use a better definition – expelled or abandoned.

Where’s the rationality?

Prof. Robert Auman who received the Noble Prize in Economics spoke of rationality at the One Israel Fund Dinner last Wednesday night.

He said the actions of homicide bombers are more rational than those of the Israeli government. The definition of rational is one consistent with attaining a goal; consistent with, or based on, or using reason. The Palestinians are then rational because their goal is for Israel to give up. Israel politicians, such as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speak of being tired of fighting, tired of everything; unless his goal is to give up and accommodate the Palestinians, there is no rationality on the part of the Israeli leadership.

When you are in a mine full of toxic gases or climbing Mt. Everest and freezing out in the cold, the last thing you do is to say you’re tired and that you need a rest. If you decide to take a rest at that point, it most likely will be your last.

Maybe the word Harus was appropriate after all. We are broken and destroyed. But not dead yet. Let’s hope we find the will to be rational; to find the will to live.