Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gaza Game Theory

You've probably seen the claim against Israel that goes like this:

Stop whining you Jews.  After all, no one is really dying 
from those Hamas rockets.

And some anti-Zionist sites have tables to show it's (relatively) true.

Here's a better presentation of the phenomenon by someone who has a bit of a moral backbone (and intelligence):

It’s the moral equivalence which is so devastating. When Egypt this week proposed its ceasefire in Gaza, a BBC presenter asked whether both sides would now conclude that there was no point carrying on with the war. From the start, restraint has been urged on both sides — as if more than 1,100 rocket attacks on Israel in three weeks had the same weight as trying to stop this onslaught once and for all.

Israel has been bombing Gaza solely to stop Hamas and its associates from trying to kill Israeli citizens. But for many in the West, the driving necessity is not to stop Hamas but to stop Israel.

Moral equivalence morphs instantly into moral bankruptcy. People have looked at the casualty count — around 200 Palestinians killed at the time of writing, while only a handful of Israelis have been injured or killed — and decided that this proves Israel is a monstrous aggressor.

I decided to apply the paradigm of a Game Theory analysis to this.

Normally, Game Theory is defined so:

 "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers".

But I think that the operative word here should be Game.

What do I mean?


Think of a game.

Born in America, I immediately thought of baseball.   So, my Gaza Game Theory goes like this:

In baseball, you play nine innings in a regular game.  The object is that one team tries to score while keeping the other team to less runs scored.  In some cases, a very good pitcher, like Cy Young, can throw a perfect, scoreless, hitless game.

What's a pefect game?

A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. Thus, the pitcher (or pitchers) cannot allow any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or any opposing player to reach base safely for any other reason: in short, "27 up, 27 down"

Now, the score in the end will be 0 for one of the teams.  But it doesn't mean they didn't play. They tried, but lost.  Each man got to face the pitcher, several times, but did not hit the ball safely or reach first base.  I'm sure there are parallels in every sport.

In Gaza, if they are not killing Jews, then the supporters of Hamas claim that the game is unfair.

Listen guys: you played, you tried your best, but you lost.

You lost.

So retire and get off the field.


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