As we hear rumors of a "peace agreement" (Leaders Conclude Late-Night Talks Amid Rumors Of Imminent Cease-Fire) there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost, lets recall that there has never been a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the surrounding enemies since 1948. That alone is worth considering.
But more importantly we have to remember the concept of the "hudna" and what it means.
The two articles below describe this scenario:
The "hudna" that Muslims make with non-Muslims can never be more than temporary, and is entered into only because the Muslim side feels it is too weak to conduct open warfare, and would benefit from a respite from open hostilities. Alternatively, a Muslim polity may enter into a hudna with non-Muslims if it has a reasonable expectation that those non-Muslims will soon adopt Islam.
If the hudna is undertaken in order to give the Muslims time to gather their strength, then the Muslim side is then not merely allowed, but required, whenever it feels strong enough, to re-engage in open hostilities. And of course all during the period of the "hudna" it may conduct whatever operations not involving combat that it is capable of, including economic boycotts, diplomatic offensives, and suchlike -- which is exactly what all Muslim states do engage in to weaken Israel, whether or not they are still in an official state of war, or have signed, as have Egypt and Jordan, so-called "peace treaties."
This is not imagined. This is not a fabrication. This can be found by looking in any text of Muslim Law of War and Peace. It can be found, for example, by looking at Majid Khadduri's authoritative text War and Peace in Islam. Fouad Ajami is the "Majid Khadduri Professor." Yet Fouad Ajami has perhaps never understood, never cared to investigate, the Law of War and Peace in Islam about which Majid Khadduri (and a thousand others) wrote.
Why doesn’t Ajami do that? Why doesn’t someone -- anyone -- in the entire American government bring all this to the attention of those who have spent their lives so fruitlessly trying to engage in this "peace process" (unless they were indifferent or even hostile to Israel, as Brzezinski and Carter and William Odom and Scowcroft and James Baker all so clearly were and are)?
As for Hamas, they have proven time and again their commitment to a tactical hudna — replenishing their strength during the quiet periods, then returning with increased deadliness. As recently documented by The Washington Institute, Hamas agreed to no less than ten ceasefires in the past ten years, and after every single one returned freshly armed for terror. Hundreds of Israeli citizens have paid for these hudnas with their lives
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.
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.
GAZA CITY — The top leader of Hamas dared Israel on Monday to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes on the besiegedPalestinian enclave, including a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets. A volley of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel included one that hit a vacant school.
Speaking at a news conference in Cairo, where the diplomatic efforts were under way, the Hamas leader,Khaled Meshal, suggested that the Israeli infantry mobilization on the border with Gaza was a bluff on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
“If you wanted to launch it, you would have done it,” Mr. Meshal told reporters. He accused Israel of using the invasion threat as an attempt to “dictate its own terms and force us into silence.”
At this point it is hard to predict exactly what will happen. However if any peace agreement is agreed upon, I will be watching for the following sequence of events to occur:
- Some kind of peace agreement to be made (as led by U.S. pressure).
- One of the conditions of this agreement will be that no missiles are to be launched from Gaza into any Israeli land. Not a single one. If this happens, then a ground 'invasion' will begin immediately.
- Within 3-4 weeks of this new agreement at least one missile will land in Israel.
- Israel would then launch a ground war into Gaza in response to the missile launch.
Of course the scenario described above requires a lot of speculation, but one also most consider - how many times have we seen this scenario play out (with the exception of the last item)?
But this time the hudna will play out in a very different manner. Israel now has PM Netanyahu in charge - as backed by Mr Liberman, and their resolve is unlike any Israeli leaders in recent history. Additionally, the threats that Israel now face are vastly different than at any time in recent history - due to a combination of the 'Arab spring', chemical weapons, Iran's clout and nuclear ambitions, the growing Turkey-Russia-Iran alliance, Hezbollah's arsenal, the Syrian uprisings, Hamas/Hezbollah stockpile of missiles, U.S. fading support for Israel, etc.)
In fact, the way things have been going in the Middle East recently, if any sort of agreement is ironed out, there may not even be enough time for the ink to get dry before conflict ignites all over again.