Assassination in Israel, 17 October 2001

On Wednesday October 17, 2001 An Israeli minister was shot dead in a Jerusalem hotel today by a suspected Palestinian gunman, prompting fresh fears for the shaky truce between Palestinians and Israelis that was agreed only three weeks ago. The Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine immediately claimed responsibility for murder of the far-right tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'evi.

I received a prediction from Joseph Menahem, who hosts an egg in Beer Sheva, Israel. He said, "It created a big emotional reaction here." Joseph provided the needed information, and we agreed that the formal prediction would be for the single Israeli egg, and that we would do explorations to include the whole network response.

Note added June 26 2004: For consistency, since this is the only instance of a single egg being specified, we have decided to use the standard full-network specification for the re-analysis being done by Peter Bancel in 2004. This changes the result somewhat, to a stronger outcome.

Joseph wrote: "The local time in Israel is 2 hours ahead of GMT. The assassination occurred on the 17th at about 7:00 a.m. I think the first major news came out at 8:00 a.m. -- at least I heard it the first time. The final and formal announcement about the minister's death came at 10:00 a.m.

"The second major related event in my opinion is the funeral which took place on the next day and which was broadcast live on the T.V. and radio from the morning till late afternoon. Huge number of crowd came to visit the coffin on the parliament yard from 9:00 a.m. (18th) till about 12:00, where also some significant speeches took place and then on the cemetary his son called directly to the prime minister who attended there to do what he has to do (interpreted as a call for revenge - 4:00-5:30 p.m.)."

Joseph specified deviations in data from the egg he hosts. The formal prediction was for a deviation in the local egg's data beginning at 07:00 and continuing to 10:00 (05:00 to 08:00 GMT). We specified the standard analysis (but for one egg). In addition we have an exploratory analysis (which is exactly like the usual standard analysis) of the full network reaction to the assassination events. We plan an exploratory analysis of the funeral event, from 07:00 to 10:00 on the 18th (not yet available).

The formal analysis shows a positive trend, with Chisquare 10919 on 10800 df, for p = 0.209.

Assassination in Israel, 17 October 2001

The full database analysis of all eggs also shows a positive trend, with Chisquare 11038 on 10800 df, and p = 0.053. This would be considered marginally significant if the full network response had been an a priori prediction. The comparison with the single egg response is interesting in the context of the question of location. No single case can answer it, but this analysis and comparison lends an increment ot the perspective that distance does not matter, and that all eggs around the world may respond to an event anywhere in the world. But, again, there are other cases with the opposite implication, so we have more to learn.

Assassination in Israel, 17 October 2001

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