25 June 2003, 21:04
Here's a little background on how things work differently there...
ICEJ NEWS SERVICE FROM JERUSALEM
WEDNESDAY, 25 JUNE 2003
ICEJ NEWS - SPECIAL BACKGROUNDER
THE HIDDEN AGENDA BEHIND A 'HUDNA'
By: David Parsons
In late breaking news, Hamas and other Palestinian terror factions have
reportedly agreed to a three-month truce in their terror campaign against
Israel, based on the Arab/Islamic concept of a "hudna," an ancient tribal
custom that remains largely veiled to Western minds.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY: The militant Islamic terror faction Hamas has come under
increasing pressure from the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, the United States
and European Union in recent weeks to agree to a temporary ceasefire in the
armed intifada in order to allow for progress down the "road map" to
Israel has been reluctant to accede to such a move, saying it would merely
create a veneer of calm that would trigger demands for Israeli concessions,
while allowing the Palestinian terror militias a "breather" to regroup and
While Israel may accept such a limited truce for now, it prefers sticking to
the road map's express terms, which require as an all-important first step
that the PA "undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and
restrain" terrorists in order to eventually dismantle their infrastructure.
But new PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has sought to avoid at all costs a
"civil war" with the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah terror militias, and
instead has pleaded with them to back a temporary truce, or "hudna," a
radical departure from the roadmap.
The reticence of Israeli officials to accept a hudna is based on their
clearer understanding of its origins and implications in Middle East
culture, and the bitter experience of the failed Oslo process.
Simply stated, Muslims are allowed to enter into a "hudna" or temporary
ceasefire with a non-Muslim enemy and then break it at any time, once they
have gained enough strength to resume hostilities.
THE PROPHET'S PRECEDENT: When Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief
Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn on September
13, 1993, the international community hailed it as an historic breakthrough
towards peace. In the exchange of commitments under Oslo, Israel recognized
the PLO as a negotiating partner for reaching a permanent solution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while Arafat pledged to end terror and
violence and seek a resolution through peaceful means only.
But Arafat assured the Palestinian people and the greater Arab world the
very next morning, in an interview with Jordanian media, that what he had
signed in Washington was merely a "hudna" that could be abandoned at any
time. Thereafter, he consistently used that term in reference to Oslo
whenever addressing Arabic-speaking audiences, while in English he spoke of
the "peace of the brave."
In his secretly recorded 1994 speech in a Johannesburg mosque and elsewhere,
Arafat repeatedly belittled Oslo as a mere hudna, and cited the precedent
set by none other than Muhammed the Prophet to back his position.
Arafat explained how Muhammed had signed the truce of al-Hudaybiyah in 628
with the infidel tribes of Quraish in Medina at a time when he was not
strong enough to defeat them. The truce was to last for a term of just under
ten years, but within two years his army had grown and he broke the truce
and slaughtered the Quraish, eventually capturing Mecca and its lucrative
idol worship center.
Arafat even reminded Palestinians and all Muslims how Muhammad erased part
of his signature from the truce document (he did not want the words
"Messenger of Allah" to appear after his name), thus making it an expendable
ceasefire, or "hudna" in Arabic.
This was a seminal event in the founding of the religion that is well known
to Muslim faithful as a precedent permitting Islamic rulers to violate
accords they sign with infidels as soon as it becomes opportune. According
to this precept, Arabs view an enemy's readiness for peace as a weakness to
AN OLD TRIBAL CUSTOM: Actually, the concept of hudna has even older,
pre-Islamic origins in the Middle East, dating back to biblical times and
Arab tribal notions of honor and shame that remain in practice to this day,
as seen for instance in the "honor killings" of Muslim women for shaming
their families by not going through with arranged marriages.
In a typical case, if a member of one tribe or clan were to kill someone
from another tribe or clan, the deceased's relatives were duty bound to
restore their family honor by exacting revenge on the killer's family.
Otherwise, they brought a mark of shame upon themselves. But any revenge
attack then obligated a return attack, and so on.
This produced long running tribal feuds and vendettas and a custom developed
for breaking the cycle of tit-for-tat killings - called a "sulha."
A sulha was the last step of a reconciliation process for declaring an
inter-tribal feud finally over, and usually consisted of elders from the two
warring tribes sharing a big meal together to symbolize the end of the
We can see something of this millennia-old concept in the 23rd Psalm, where
King David says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my
enemies." In other words, the Lord makes my enemies to be reconciled and at
peace with me.
The first step in this reconciliation process was a hudna, an agreement to
cease any revenge attacks for a certain time period until a more permanent
sulha can be achieved. An interim step was called an "attwah," a non-time
bound or long-term ceasefire on the way to the full resolution of
One party initiated the process by asking for the hudna, something akin to
the Western concept of suing for peace. But by doing so, that party was
deemed to be admitting fault for starting the feud.
On two occasions in recent years, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
demonstrated his awareness of this aspect of Arab tradition and stopped
other Israeli leaders from accepting invites to address the Palestinian
legislature in Ramallah to express a desire for peace and request a
ceasefire. Sharon knew the Palestinians would interpret this as Israel's
admission that it started the current intifada.
With the rise of Islam, the hudna-to-sulha process was altered in that these
were still valid agreements as between Muslim parties, but the Koran removes
any duty on the part of Muslims to keep their word with infidels. For Hamas
and even the PA, that means any agreement with Israel - whether a temporary
ceasefire or a permanent status agreement - may be discarded at any time.
While on the subject, it is interesting to note that Yasser Arafat comes
from the prominent al-Husseini clan in Arab east Jerusalem, which has had a
long-running feud with the rival Nashashibi clan. Reliable biographical
sources attest that this in-fighting forced Arafat's parents to flee to
Egypt in the 1930s, before he was born, thus making him a refugee of
inter-Arab violence and not "Zionist aggression."
On a final note, most media have adopted the mantra that Israel and the
Palestinians are locked in a "cycle of violence," suggesting that both sides
are avenging the latest attack on them with a revenge attack, leading to the
next attack and so on.
This unfairly draws a moral equivalence between Palestinian suicide bombings
that deliberately target civilians and Israel's surgical strikes on "ticking
time bombs" to prevent even more carnage.
While there does seem to be a "pattern" to the violence, there is no revenge
"cycle" at play in the armed intifada. Israel does not adhere to the tribal
ways of the Arab/Muslim world, but Western concepts of contract law,
self-defense, justice and peace.
ICEJ NEWS SERVICE provides news and comment on Middle East affairs, compiled
by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Feel free
to publish/broadcast, with attribution.
Editor: David Parsons
Subscribe/unsubscribe at www.icej.org
Interesting article Sweetbriar. Thanks.
26 June 2003, 01:12
Very very interesting article Sweetbriar, it gives a really clear understanding of what's going on here, thank you.
With regards to the 'hudna', checkt his out:
"Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed on a draft cease-fire for three months, in which they will cease attacks both in Israel and the territories.
But the groups have not yet given the Palestinian Authority their formal approval,
apparently because the PA wants to defer the official announcement until the arrival
of U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice this weekend.
The PA has wanted to achieve the cease-fire - also known as an Islamic hudna - before
closing a deal with Israel in which the Palestinians will accept security responsibility for Gaza and Bethlehem, and possibly another West Bank town.
A leak about the cease-fire's acceptance forced Abdel Aziz Rantisi, considered the most hardline of the Hamas leaders, to deny that an agreement had been struck, but all the other spokesmen for Hamas in Gaza confirmed that there was an agreement, limited to three months. ..."
26 June 2003, 04:49
This three months "hudna" won't work at all. The terrorist organizations will rearm and regroup themselves and if the IDF does something about them, the media will bash them like always with kind of slogans like "They destroyed the chances for peace" and similar bullshit. So the will rearm and regroup and the whole thing will start again. Abu Mazen won't do a shit against terrorist organizations because he is, to use the words of Sharon "Chicken without feathers".
Anyway nothing new down there and there won't be a change until the same people run the show. Yes it is Abu Mazen that is a PM but Arafat is still pulls all the strings. So the best thing to do is to say FUCK "hudna" and that should be said by the USA and Israel, because we know EU and UN won't say shit, not to mention that Hamas political wing is not even banned in the EU and not to mention that way Hamas raises it's funds for his actions or at least to teach children to hate...
Great way to fight terror indeed:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
27 June 2003, 20:22
A hudna in Islam is generally a temporary ceasefire which can be ended when one side feels strong enough to do so. A popular and current joke reflects the typical Israeli approach to the hudna:
Q. How do you say, "Hold on a minute, stop shooting while I reload my automatic rifle!" in Arabic?
30 June 2003, 18:48
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
And the unders win!
its not renegades anymore: ALL your prisoners belong to us (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/314691.html)
I have one thing to say...
1 September 2003, 21:27
Originally posted by Hoepoe
I have one thing to say...
Hell, that map has even missed off Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Somalia (which I think is part of the Arab League?).
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