General Dani Yatom Plays PeaceMaker on TV

Israeli Channel 2 News ran a story about PeaceMaker yesterday. They do a very good job in presenting the game, portraying both perspectives. The intriguing part is when they let Dani Yatom, the Israeli general and former head of the Mossad, play PeaceMaker. As a response to a suicide bomb he commits a series of military actions starting with an apache strike, a military operation and a curfew. When he moves into diplomacy Yatom puts pressure on the Palestinians and demands anti-militants action. To make a long story short- he loses, the third intifada breaks out and he claims the game is “unrealistic”. We can only suggest a different course of action :)

7 thoughts on “General Dani Yatom Plays PeaceMaker on TV

  1. Well Duh of course he lost…a third intifida will happen not just in the game as a result to continued israeli agressions against the inocent Palestinians

  2. Is there any way you could direct readers to the video itself? I followed the link but can’t find the video because I can’t read Hebrew…

  3. The General’s decision was probably based on the consequences of Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. During the operation, Israeli forces did exactly what the General did in the game. In reality, however, the operation resulted in a sharp decline in the number of suicide bombing and effectively ended the Second Intifada. It appears that the game might be less than realistic in order to promote the idea of nonviolence?

  4. Wachtmeister-
    Thanks for your important comment. Following are a few short answers, although the issues you are raising are serious and meaningful and justify a deeper discussion:

    1. No need to guess, General Yatom’s decision was based on a suicide bomb in a Jerusalem bus which was the inciting incident in the game he played. Based on that first event he initiated a series of military measures and put political pressure on the Palestinian Authority. As an example, as a new Israeli PM, he did not try to build trust with his Palestinian partner or discuss the problem together. Please keep in mind that those were the first very days of his term in office.

    2. I will not argue if Defensive Shield ended the Second Intifada (or for that matter if the Second Intifada ended at all). In my mind this goes back to a whole different discussion of whether military actions can really be a long-term solution to the conflict or end the violence. My personal belief is that they cannot. Israel initiated numerous military operations against Palestinian militants: in the territories, in Jordan (1960’s), in Lebanon (1970-1980’s), in Europe and even in Tunisia. While some have led to a short-term decline in militant activity, it will be hard to argue that they ended the Palestinian resistance or solved the conflict.

    3. Realistic or not – I guess you could only judge by playing our game :) It is definitely easier to win the game than to solve the conflict in reality. We could create an almost-impossible-to-win game that takes 60 years (of game time) to solve. Our intention was different. We mainly wanted to present a new perspective and face you with the challenges of the “other side”.

    4. Lastly- the game presents security and military actions for a reason. It is not always the “wrong” course of action and based on the conditions and the other stakeholders it may be a wise choice to take them. The particular actions that Dani Yatom took would not necessarily lead to losing the game. It was more about the timing and the fact he did not counter balance them with any other diplomatic measure.

  5. @Asi:
    Thanks for your answer! I am definitely going to download the game, which seems to be the best within this genre since many years. I admit that my question was a little provocative. I only wanted to point out that there are cases where military action has indeed led to a short-term decrease in Palestinian militant activity.

  6. ^.^

    As a person who created the state of Israel-Palestine in a diplomacy game,when I look at the situation that I had against what happened in the real world, the biggest thing I see missing is trust. I realize that turst is a tall order with all of the fighting that has gone on before, but when I was presented with the opportunity to run things from 1948 forward, I founded a state that took both sides into consideration, and gave both sides a stake in the survival of the state.

    Ah well.

    I really enjoy PeaceMaker, although I am finding it hard to strike the right balance between peace initiatives and the proper use of force when militants on one side or the other disrupt things. I might look into just how much the other side reacts to these things…

    Great game! I’ve seen or heard at least two interviews about it, and was impressed each time.

    John B.