The first thing to remember when viewing the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is the Islamic concept of “hudna.” RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELLER (is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence) describes the rule for making “hudna” (or truce) as follows:
If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him Peace) made a truce with Quraysh for that long, as it related by Abu Dawud. It is not permissible to stipulate longer than that, save by means of new truces, each of which does not exceed ten years. (from CATASTROPHIC FAILURE by Stephen Coughlin)
In the eyes of Islam, the purpose of a truce is to give the Muslims time to rearm and grow stronger. That is one of many reasons I am not impressed with the current truce.
The Center for Security Policy posted an article today which mentions some other problems with the truce. One of the main unresolved issues is the right of Jews to go to the Temple Mount. This issue has the potential to unravel the Jordan-Israeli peace treaty.
The article reports:
The fact is, since the rioting escalated to the Temple Mount surrounding the Muslim holiday of Laylat al -Qadr two weeks ago, the Israeli government barred any Jew from setting foot on the Temple Mount since May 5. It did so as a temporary tactical move to calm unnecessary tensions. However, the war is now over, which means in the coming days, Israel will have to make a decision as to whether it will lift that ban. If it does lift the ban, Jews will again be able to go to the Temple Mount, at which point Hamas will ensure that there will be violence so that it maintains and emphasizes its control of events. Israel will either have to lift that ban and a Jew will go to the mount. That event will represent an immediate escalation and Jordan will be unable to take a neutral position given the col de sac into which it has rhetorically maneuvered itself. The resulting violence which Hamas will instigate now that it has such immense currency on the Palestinian street will not only threaten the survival of the Palestinian Authority, but it could even reverberate enough to destabilize the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan.
The article concludes:
In short, Hamas has positioned itself in a win-win position over all its enemies, presenting the world with the final verdict in this 12-day war and positioning itself to gut Judaism and threaten both Jordan and the PA.
We will see shortly whether Israel lifts the prohibition and a Jew ascends the Mount. If so, then we have a crisis in which Jordan, because of its imprudent intervention, will be forced to react with such intensity that it may cause the peace treaty to falter materially. If on the hand the ban is not immediately lifted, then Hamas has successfully changed the status quo to ban Jews, leaving Jordan and Abu Mazen fatally weak.
This ceasefire is fraught with great peril, and the President should be careful not to attach too much of his or the United States’ reputation and stature to it. It may indeed turn out to be a historical turning point, but not a positive one.
The current ceasefire in Israel is as much of a minefield as the war. We need to step very carefully. Unfortunately, I am not convinced we have leadership that knows how to do that.