Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Coulda, Shoulda, Hudna

From The Eurabian Times:

In an editorial about the decision not to appoint Natan Sharansky to head the Jewish Agency, Ha'aretz demonstrates again the delusion of the Israeli left:

People with an extreme right-wing agenda, who are unwilling to tolerate any compromise with the Arab world and the Palestinian people in an effort to obtain peace agreements, figure prominently among Sharansky's supporters in the Jewish world.

Sharansky's point of departure is that as long as there is not real democracy in all the Arab states, there is no point in signing peace agreements with any of them. He does not even believe in the durability of those peace agreements that have already been signed, which have been in force for years.

Egypt is the logistical rear of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah.

But Sharansky, who was an admirable human rights activist in Soviet Russia and even sat in jail for nine years because of it, chose, after moving to Israel, to join the less tolerant wing of Israeli politics, to cultivate the feeling that the whole world is against us and to use anti-Semitism to justify a harsh, uncompromising policy toward the Arabs.

Matt, at the Eurabian Times, asks:

How does this differ from the anti-Semitic slur that Israel 'uses' the Holocaust to justify various policies?

Man, that's a good question, isn't it? I have another one, how is it that Israel is supposed to trust the peace agreements of countries who broadcast murderous anti-Semitic messages on their national TV networks?
Besides, the Arabic word for peace treaty is hudna. The definition of the word hudna contains within it the idea of temporality:
Hudna (هدنة) is an Arabic term meaning "truce" or "armistice" as well as "calm" or "quiet", coming from a verbal root meaning "calm". It is sometimes translated as "cease-fire".
Typically, this word also carries within it the idea that the "cease fire" is for the purpose of regrouping for future battle:

As U.S. Secretary of State Powell winds up his Mideast trip, Palestinian leaders appear on the verge of announcing a hudna.

The Associated Press declared that "the success of peacemaking may well hang on a legal concept dating to the birth of Islam: a hudna, or a truce of a fixed duration."
Would a hudna with Hamas really mark "the success of peacemaking," a "major breakthrough" toward a nonviolent future?

The answer lies in the historical meaning of the Muslim expression, Hamas' track record, and the terms of the road map itself.

Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, well-versed in their history: The prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

When Yassir Arafat infamously invoked Mohammad's hudna in 1994 to describe his own Oslo commitments "on the road to Jerusalem," the implication was clear. As Mideast expert Daniel Pipes explained, Arafat was asserting to his Islamic brethren that he will, "when his circumstances change for the better, take advantage of some technicality to tear up existing accords and launch a military assault on Israel." Indeed, this is precisely what occurred in Sept. 2000 when Arafat & Co. launched a terror assault upon Israeli citizens.
The Israeli's are no longer under any illusion that the concept of "peace treaty" or "cease fire" means anything more to the Palestinians than this word "hudna" meant to Mohammed.
That's why Ariel Sharon came out with this statement yesterday:
“Without offending the Arab world, it must be said that their agreements, declarations and speeches are not worth the paper they’re written on,” Sharon was quoted as saying by the Yediot Aharonot daily.

“Anyone who doesn’t live in the region cannot understand that the words which are offered have a limited guarantee. What really counts is acts and deeds,” he was also quoted as saying by public radio.
And that's why Condoleeza Rice was reported yesterday to have said that the "Palestinians must disarm the terrorists before we can go forward."