Dr Beres initiates his discussion with this: "Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd." Yet again, a plainly desperate government in Jerusalem is preparing to sacrifice Israel's self-respect and its security in a single grotesque "gesture."
Although the prime minister's "Open Letter" of explanation seeks to justify the impending terrorist release as a sorely lamentable but still necessary condition for future "peace talks" with the Palestinians, it is perfectly obvious that no such talks could produce meaningful results.
A core element of this longstanding international law he says, is the rule of Nullum crimen sine poena, or "No crime without a punishment." This principle was reaffirmed at the post-War Nuremberg Trials (1945-46). It remains a fully conspicuous part of all national legal systems. Dr Beres hypothesis then deals with this very question in relation to the dealings of the Palestinians with Israel.
Can there ever be a level of trust whereby such history can be put aside. The same question is asked of the Balkan States yet they have somehow managed to keep in respect to their national borders, but at least they are borders, not a shared hegemony.
Way back in 2011 I wrote about such issues but within slightly different contexts. It is possible to be a friend after a bitter betrayal. (au.christiantoday.com)
That article quoted the Sydney Morning Herald journalist Daniel Flitton who asked this same question relating to the then former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the then Treasurer Wayne Swan. When Julia Gillard replaced Mr Rudd as Prime Minister and made Mr Swan her deputy, it was Mr Swan as Treasurer under Mr Rudd who helped devise the mining tax that many consider instrumental in his downfall.
Many have commented of a similar unhappy relationship between former Labor Prime Minister's Bob Hawke and his successor, Paul Keating who deposed him in a party-room coup. There are similarly affected relationships within business, the corporate world, sport, the arts, entertainment, the media and within churches. It even happens in family disagreements.
The question remains
So the question remains, is it possible to be a friend after one of the parties considers they have been bitterly betrayed by a friend? Certainly the contextualisation of the claim of a 'bitter betrayal' is the critical element, as it infers one party was in a key position and supported by that friend, only to find subsequently they had been undermined by that same friend.
The emotional toll, often including stress and anxiety, experienced by the one toppled is exaggerated when it is perceived that deliberate lies and half truths have been part of the coup.
Jesus knows better than anyone about bitter betrayal. One of his trusted friends for three years betrayed Him, leading to His to death. Jesus' response on the Cross is helpful to all people who have been betrayed. He said "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
The answer to bitter betrayal is total forgiveness which encompasses and forgets the cause of the incident philosophically; otherwise bitterness can turn to resentment and can do that person great emotional harm. Matthew 18 verse 21 details this scenario. The reason the word 'philosophically' was added above, is that practical issues need to be considered.
Take for example a business relationship that goes sour as a result of someone fiddling the books. Legal issues have to be served in the first instance which involves the courts and that is out of the hands of the partner deceived.
The second issue is that the partner, who was unjustly financially harmed - should be wise enough not to enter into business with that person again. This sort of scenario applies equally across all situations. The law of the land engages in it (that has nothing to do with whether the other party forgives or not), and the second, is that Proverbs warns not to jump back into the fire. If you get your fingers burnt on the hot stove, you know not to put your fingers there again.
Yet, the person can still offer total forgiveness. The two things are quite different, one functions at a corporate level, the other is a personal decision to let go of the baggage associated with the deceit, yet at the same time, here is corporate accountability and the subsequent lack of trust others will offer to the one/s who deceived.
The real punishment is that of being seen by others as someone who is untrustworthy. And herein lies the original drama put by Dr Beres above.
The book 'God on Monday' by Simon Phipps on UK Industrial Chaplaincy spoke of a company manager and a Union official who were both Christians and came to what they both reasoned was an equitable agreement on the log of claims. What happened next is what happens in so many of these situations. Both the manager's board and the Union members rejected the proposals. Lack of trust was the real issue.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html