19 December 2013
YouTube Video of Daniel Kahneman’s Talk (Hebrew), Watch the video »
NIF recently hosted a high profile event in Tel Aviv featuring Nobel Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Professor Daniel Kahneman, who is a member of the NIF International Council. During the talk, which was moderated by leading Israeli media personality Kobi Meidan, Kahneman applied the cognitive psychological tools in which he specializes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"The man who says that if we compromise then the other side might moderate sounds less convincing – there's no doubt about that," explained Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics. "In our suspicious culture it sounds more intelligent, masculine and mature [not to have] faith in the other side. There is an advantage to suspiciousness."
"If we look differently at the conflict, at the negotiations and at the other side, it's important to note that we are inclined to attribute to them too many fixed qualities, to reduce our potential to influence their behavior, and likewise we have a tendency to give them less faith than is needed."
Kahenman also dealt with the question of what needs to happen for the situation to improve: "There needs to be a leadership that will need to overcome a lot of opposition in order to come to a deal, to give the people faith that there's a reason to carry out concessions and that there's a chance for a better life and to overcome the natural suspicions. For this we need leadership."
Over 300 people attended the event, while hundreds of people watched live via Facebook. Strong media coverage helped ensure that a wide audience of Israelis had an opportunity to learn about NIF's vital work.