Israel consists of several countries. One of those countries is the one in which an Olmert can compare the justified fury of Jewish villagers in Kiryat Arba who have been goaded by the local Arabs beyond endurance to a “pogrom.” In that country, Ha’aretz columnists, aided by Israelis who control the radio and television, can consistently and deliberately avoid all mention of the texts and tenets of Islam, and blithely describe a “peace” that they think can be established if, and only if, Israel continues to make tangible concessions, as it has been making to the Arabs and Muslims ever since the 1948-49 war, though every single resulting agreement or, if not agreement, then assurances by an Arab state — e.g., Nasser’s Egypt to the “international community” in order to get back the Sinai, has in one way or another ultimately been breached by the Arab side.
And those breaches have been so continuous, so systematic, and so blatant, that one might have thought that some people in the Israeli government, as well as some in the Foreign Ministry, and some in the Israeli media would have begun to ask if perhaps the problem was not with this or that country or leader with whom the treaties were contracted, but rather with some underlying theory concerning the observance of treaties in Islam — a theory that had little to do with the “Pacta Sunt Servanda” (treaties are to be obeyed) principles that underlie the Western understanding, and Western assumptions, about treaties.
And if those in Israel’s political and media elites had done what should have been the most obvious thing in the world, which is to say, if they had begun to study the law of war and peace in Islam, perhaps by beginning with Majid Khadduri’s book War and Peace In the Law of Islam, then the members of those elites — the Ha’aretz columnists, in all their baseless and smug self-assurance, and the political figures who meet with their approval, and the television wise men — would have had to recognize some uncomfortable truths. They would have had to come to grips with those truths, and would have had to come to formulate or support policies that were based not on the notion that Pacta Sunt Servanda would prevail, but on the truth: that no Arab Muslim state is ever going to reconcile itself to the existence of the Infidel nation-state of Israel, no matter what its size. They would have had to recognize also that Israeli policies for maintaining “peace” are futile. Such a “peace” is maintained right now by the threat of what the Israeli Defense Force can do to those who make war on Israel, and that is the only long-term “peace” that Israel can ever rely on. Israel must come to realize that it certainly cannot rely on a “peace” that depends on the Arab Muslims ignoring their own texts, tenets, attitudes, and their own insistence that the basis for their treaty-making with Infidels must remain the model of Muhammad’s treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D. at Hudaibiyya. After concluding that treaty for a period of ten years, Muhammad, that Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) and Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), soon found a pretext to breach it, and within 18 months did so. And he has been hailed for his cunning in deceiving the enemy — hailed in Muslim texts — ever since, and Muslims have no other model for treaty-making with Infidels, nor do they wish one.
One way that those who presume to inform and instruct us could and should promote greater clarity in discussions about the Arab Muslim war on Israel is to do the following: every time the word “peace” is written, instead let the phrase “peace treaty” appear. That will do a great deal. And if, every time that phrase “peace treaty” now appears, the phrase “truce treaty” were to be substituted instead, for it is indeed only a hudna, a “truce treaty,” that would make things even clearer. And isn’t clarity important? Isn’t an absence of confusion a good idea, whether one is buying a toaster, or betting the future existence of an entire state and an entire people, on the right understanding of things?