The Jerusalem Post mistakenly reported that a “cease-fire” was achieved with Hamas (“Shaky cease-fire after Gaza sniper kills IDF soldier,” July 22).

The paper’s use of the term “cease-fire” is a misinterpretation of the terms in Arabic that the Palestinian Arab leaders use when they when they refer to a temporary halt in fighting: hudna, tahadia and hudaybiyyah, all of which mean continued war after a respite for rearmament.

  • Hudna connotes only a tactical pause intended for rearmament in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces. The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a “temporary treaty” that can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam. Ahudna cannot last for more than 10 years.
  • Tahadia is a temporary halt in hostile activity that can be violated at any time
  • Hudaybiyyah is an understanding that there will be no fighting for 10 years named for the “treaty of Hudaybiyyah” in 628 AD.
    The Islamic Encyclopedia mentions the hudaybia treaty as the “ultimate hudna.”

Hudna, tahadia and hudaybiyyah – the only options on the table with Hamas – do not compare to the mu’ahada treaty of peace that Egypt signed with Israel in 1979, or the mu’ahada treaty of peace that Jordan signed with Israel in 1994.

Bottom line: hudna, tahadia and hudaybiyyah do not connote a “cease-fire.”

A real “cease-fire” recalls the cease-fire armistice agreement that marked the last moment of World War I on November 11, 1918, paving the way to the Versailles peace treaty and the genesis of the League of Nations.


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.