Politico to go: Only a hudna


Hudna is an Arabic term meaning a temporary "truce" or "armistice" as well as "quiet", coming from a verbal root meaning "calm." It is sometimes translated as "cease-fire." Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists; 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.

In a May 5th interview with the MAAN News Agency (an independent Palestinian news service) Hamas party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said that the party was willing to recognize a Palestinian State in some or all of "Palestine" but would never recognize Israel.

“If only Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are considered citizens of a Palestinian state,” he continued, “what will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora?"

At the same time, the Hamas leader confirmed the decision reached with Fatah to maintain the truce with Israel, calling the move "part of the resistance, not a cancellation," and noting that "truce is not peace."

Az-Zahhar isn't saying anything new or radical; the concept of hudna has been used often by Palestinian forces. In 1994, Arafat gave a talk at a mosque while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. Journalist, Bruce Whitfield recorded his remarks. As described by Middle East expert Daniel Pipes.

“The moment was an optimistic one for the Arab-Israeli peace process, Arafat having just six days earlier returned triumphantly to Gaza; it was widely thought that the conflict was winding down. In this context, Arafat's bellicose talk in Johannesburg about a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem," had a major impact on Israelis, beginning a process of disillusionment that has hardly abated in the intervening years.”

Later on in his speech Arafat compared his “peace” with Israel to Muhammad’s Hudna with the Quraysh in Mecca:

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