Thursday, May 01, 2008

Arab Conception of a Truce
A meeting was just called in Cairo, Egypt with the Palestinian terrorists. They decided to call a truce with Israel, and Egypt will do the speaking.
The problem is that the concept of a truce with Arabs is not the same as with other people. We see it as meaning cease-fire which usually leads to peace talks. The word has a different meaning in Arabic. They use the word "hudna", which is nowhere like our truce. It is time-out period that they use to refresh and re-arm themselves. We have seen this happen more than 13 times already.
So my excitement has been abated. An example of this occurred in the beginnings of Islam. Muhammad in 628 AD had a 10 year truce or hudna with the Arabian tribe of Quraysh. His Islamic forces used this time to become stronger in the first few years, then attacked and defeated the unwaring tribe. They use this example to justify their actions as they are emulating Muhammad.
Arafat saw Oslo as a "temporary and tactical maneuver", not time to work at a permanent reconciliation between the Arabs and Israelis. That's why thousands paraded in Gaza with signs saying "We worship Allah by killing Jews."
In 2003 Collen Powell, US Secretary of State ended his trip to the Middle East thinking the Palestinian leaders would announce a hudna. Newspapers thought it was of major importance after seeing 33 months of violence.
Now Condoleeza Rice is to appear in the Middle East. This is when Egypt will probably announce the terrific "truce" the Palestinians are offering.
Israeli General Amos Gilad had said that this hudna is a threat to any kind of peace. The road map called for the Palestinians to "arrest, disrupt, and restrain" terror leaders. They are not to grant them an opportunity to regain their strength.
Colin Powell stated that he wanted the violence to be under control and to end, not by a cease-fire, but to go beyond that.
Unfortunately, most of the media do not understand the difference or have any any understanding of what this implies. Languages exemplify large differences in meaning. This is a big one.

Reference: New York Times
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