The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Fool Me Twice

It’s really a very small Christmas story, but it represents, I think, a much larger truth.

A few weeks ago the Hamas-lead Palestinian government promised, with great fanfare, to fund the $50,000 expense required to decorate Manger Square in Bethlehem. It’s important to note that Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is controlled by the Palestinians and that the donation was intended to quell fears by Christians that the city would be too dangerous for a pilgrimage on Xmas day. The money was never sent.

The Palestinians made a promise, not to Israel but to other Palestinian Christian merchants, and then broke it. I suppose one could argue that governments break promises all the time or that the "oppressed" Palis are just too poor to help.

I draw a different conclusion. It’s about promises made and promises kept. The Palis make promises of all kinds and invariably, each is abrogated. Since the most recent cease-fire (a promise) with Israel, 51 Palestinian rocket attacks have occurred. Surprised? Broken promises by the Palis are so common the MSM doesn’t even bother reporting them (there is of course, another interpretation for why the MSM hasn’t reported this, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt).

We negotiate to extract promises, but what do we do when an adversary looks us in the eye and promises some action, only to disregard it within days? We ask for more promises, which follow and are then discarded. Over and over again.

Remember the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Shame on all of us.