Quo Vadis Annapolis?!

Ynet (Hebrew edition only), November 13, 2007

US and Israeli policy makers are premising the Annapolis Conference on foundations that have led to a series of bloody collapses in Oslo, Cairo, Hebron, Wye, Sharm el-Sheikh, Camp David 2 and the “Disengagement.” They assume that Abu Mazen has adopted a mentality of peace, thus granting yet another victory to the simplistic world of delusions over Mideast’s complex reality.

The late Professor Majid Khadduri, from Johns Hopkins University’, considered the world’s leading authority on Arab definitions of peace and war, noted that Arabs view peace as a tactical means for achieving their strategic objective – defeating the enemy. Peace constitutes a necessary, but temporary, break in the ongoing war against the enemy and/or infidel.

Khadduri’s monumental book, “War and Peace in the Law of Islam,” clarifies the meaning of the intriguing 1,400-year sequence – since the 7th century - of wars, terrorism, and the violent violation of agreements, alliances, and treaties among Arabs, among Muslims, and between Arabs and non-Arabs.

According to Prof. Khadduri, “If a catastrophe had befallen the Muslims, (they) might come to terms with the enemy…provided that the Muslims should resume the Jihad after the expiration of the treaty…Defeated Muslims always maintained that their battle with the enemy would be resumed, however long they had to wait for the second round…(pp. 134-136)… If the [leader] entered into treaty arrangements which provided terms he was incapable of fulfilling, the treaty was regarded as void… By their very nature, treaties must be of temporary duration, for the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but warlike…(pp. 220-221)…The Prophet Muhammad has set the classic example by concluding a [628 A.D.] treaty with the Makkans, known as the Hudayabiya Treaty (whereby) a peace treaty with the enemy is a valid instrument if it serves Muslim interests…the Prophet and his successors, however, always reserved their right to repudiate any treaty or arrangement which they considered as harmful to Islam…Muslim authorities might come to terms with (the enemy), provided it was only for a temporary period…a temporary peace with the enemy is not inconsistent with Islam’s interests…(pp.203-212).”

The determination of the architects of Annapolis to defy Prof. Khadduri’s findings, resembles mathematicians and physicists, who would act in contrast with Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravitation.

On the other hand, Abu Mazen’s school textbooks, religious clerics and official TV, radio and newspapers resonate with Khadduri’s theories day and night. They preach for the “liberation” of Jerusalem, the Galilee, Haifa, Jaffa, Ashdod, and the Negev, the destruction of the Jewish State, glorification of homicide bombers and Jihad. Abu Mazin’s hate-education system lends credence to a major conclusion from Professor Khadduri’s book: The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not over the size - but about the existence - of the Jewish State, which is located in a region defined by Muslims as “The Abode of Islam.”

Prof. Khadduri adds that “Thus, the Jihad, reflecting the normal war relations existing between Muslims and non-Muslims… was a product of a warlike people… Islam could not abolish the warlike character of the Arabs who were constantly at war with each other; it indeed reaffirmed the war basis of inter-group relationship by institutionalizing war…transforming [inter-Muslim] war into a holy war designed to be ceaselessly declared against those who failed to become Muslims… The short intervals which are not war…are periods of peace (pp. 53-54).” “In practice, however, the Jihad underwent certain changes in its meaning to suit the changing circumstances of life… This change, as a matter of fact, did not imply abandonment of the Jihad duty; it only meant the entry of the obligation into a period of suspension – it assumed a dormant status, from which the [leader] may revive it at any time he deems necessary… There is no [permanent] compromise with non-believers (pp. 64-65).” 

The Annapolis Conference is premised on the notions of “Land-For-Peace” and the “Two State Solution,” which constitute a timeout that would enable the Arab side to improve its positions in this constant war – just a phase in realizing Jihad’s objectives.

The continued disregard to Prof. Khadduri’s teachings – which are consistent with the Palestinian track record of the last 14 years since Oslo – adrenalizes the veins of Israel’s enemies, radicalizes Arab expectations and demands, pours oil instead of water on the terror fire, exacerbates Middle East turbulence, brings Israel closer to an all-out war under worse conditions, causes a setback to US-Israel relations, minimizes the chance of peace, thus undermining vital US national security interests.

This is not the way to advance peace!