Yitzhaq Hayut-man

Disarming the Iranian Bomb Game

Dr Yitzḥaq Ḥayut-Man.  Short article about designing a game for disarming the Bomb + additions, illustrations and references.


Dr Yitzḥaq Ḥayut-Man

Many people are sorely concerned what will happen in the next few weeks: Will Israel initiate an attack on Iran, or, alternatively, if we forego the bombing, could we develop within the two years that remain something that would neutralize the Iranian bomb, or the possibility of it being used?

I saw on YouTube a video clip about beautiful Israeli youth who broadcast Love to the Iranian people. The clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7agK8MIJ3T0) has already gained over 380-thousand entries. Is there really a reason to seek cultural solutions to the glaring hate between Iran and Israel? Can we make the bombs blow up from laughter on their way? We are now just after the Olympic Games, which carry the flag of competitions within international cooperation, and there have been Cultural Olympics since 2004. Can we produce a game that would neutralize the hatred?

Here is an idea for example:

At the top of the screen is shown a missile advancing to its target. It is possible to stop the missile, or to set it back by opening “gates” of agreements and of understandings. The aim is to try and stop the missile, or otherwise it explodes, retaliation missiles automatically are sent and everybody loses.

Duration of the game: 90 minutes (like a soccer game) from the setting of the 12-person table.

On the screen there is shown the game board as a Round Table, divided to a quasi-hexagonal grid, similar to the matrix at the Futallah Mosque in Isfahan, the pride of the Shi’ites.

Twelve participants select each an avatar – a character out of twelve archetypal roles that represent different aspects of the Israeli (Jewish)-Iranian (Shi’a) conflict [Jewish (Isaiah?) and Shiite (the hidden Imam?) prophets, the Messiah-King Cyrus, Khomeini and Ben Gurion (or alternatively Begin), as well as representatives of the relevant Moslem and Jewish sects – from the (anti Zionist) Neture Karta, to Rav Kook to the secular elite]. They are equipped with twelve knowledge-bases that contain selection of statements for the use of the character. The statements are diverse and contain several perspectives, including insular world views or potentially capable of accepting the other.

A posting of a statement entails response. The response might be completely contradictory = blocking the position of the participant who made the statement; or it may have an opening for discussion = a gate for further discussion.

The participant who responded, or the one next (anti-clockwise) may also select another place on the board to post his/her statement, and again there is the possibility to contradict and block or to open.

The game has an overall common interest. In spite of the temptation to choose exclusive statements and contradicting responses, the choice of such a strategy would fail all the players.

The expectation s that after a few rounds that end in a blowup, players would develop curiosity to try and prevent the blowup, namely: to build understandings.

With a tenth of the programming effort required to build spy-worms and disseminate them to computers in Iran, it is possible to build an extremely attractive and smart net game  that will gain viral dissemination around the world – also in Iran itself. It is specifically the mounting tension and fear on both side that will grow the desire to participate in the game. There is also no reason for the programming to be conducted in secrecy; on the contrary, much of such an effort could be done by volunteers – perhaps you the reader?

Some prior ideas for similar games at theHOPE: http://www.global-report.com/thehope/c14-redemptive-games-for-yeru-shalem


 Additional Resources of Illustrations, technical details and Bibliography (mere beginnings):

* The Game board – the ceiling of the Isfahan Luftallah Mosque (Below Left) and its inspiration in the Dome of the Rock (Right):


* Some similarities between Shi’ites and Jews:

Iran and Israel demonize each other, but it is possible to examine why the Iranians hate us so much. It seems to derive mainly from political reasons of the Shi’a, in response to their Suni rivals who blame the Shi’a that they are actually Jews.

In fact, the Shi’a are closer to Judaism than are the Suna. Thus for example, the Shi’ites (and not the Sunis) have their own “Day of Attonment” (Yom Kippur) on the tenth of the first month. In it the major sight is actually not the self-lacerating of the men but the White Horse that waits for the Messiah (Imam Mahdi). Of all Moslems, the Shi’aare those for whom the major interest is of the future (with the return of the hidden Imam). In principle, theoretically there is a place, even if meagre, for reconciliation, and this passage must be explored.

* Marking Agreements, Disagreements and Misunderstandings – and constructing and assembling Understandings.


 * Some References:

Henry Corbin: “The Man of Light in  Iranian Sufism”. Omega Publications 1994.
Vali Nasr: “The Shia Revival – How Conflicts within Islam will shape the Future”. Norton, 2006.
Gordon Pask: “Conversation Cognition and Learning”, Elsevier 1975.
Sivan Emmanuel: “Radical Islam, Medieval Theology and Modern Politics”. Yale U.. Press 1985.
Sivan E. Elmod G, & Appelby S. “Strong Religion – Modern Religious fanatisism, Judaism, Christianity, ISlam, Hinduism”.
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