Dar Al Hudna

by Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz

A recent CNN/ORC International poll (November 19th) revealed that 57% of Americans said Israel’s military campaign in Gaza was justified, while 25% said it wasn’t. 74% of Republicans said the action was justified, compared with 59% of independents and 41% of Democrats. These stats sadly demonsrate the reality of the American view of things. No doubt, as expressed by our President at the outset of the current conflict in Gaza, most Americans understood and supported Israel’s fundamental right to protect its territory and citizenry. Non-Jewish friends of mine were e-mailing me expressing their absolute support for Israel. They expected Israel to move in and clean up the situation as quickly as possible onve and for all. They reminded me that a few stray bombs into Turkey from Syria got a quick response.

However, as has happened so many times in the past, as the number of dead Arab “innocent civilians” mounts - remember a number of years ago Gazans democraticially elected Hamas as their political leadership, rejecting Fatah (PLO) Abbas’ party – and in comparison few Israeli citizens are murdered by the Hamas attack, as Israel responds in “measured” ways, the inevitable sense that powerful Israel is bullying the Arabs comes to the fore. The reality of Israel pulling out of Gaza is mitigated by the numbers of Arab deaths. Even FOX News, which is totally in the tank for Israel, regularly provides the stats on the deaths of Arabs vs Israelis.

Israel never seems to understand the American mind set. Americans understand the rightness of Israel’s position yet are motivated by the deaths of supposed innocent civilians in Gaza. Our Secretary of State pressured Israel into a truce to the chagrin of a majority of Israelis. What else is new?

The truce will be, in the mindset of Hamas and all deeply believing Muslims who see the world through the words of the Koran and Islamic tradition, based upon the concept of Dar al Hudna – Arabic: دار الهدنة “house of calm”: the land of nonbelievers currently under a truce, which is a respite between wars. A truce is bought by tribute or agreement. If the harbis, inividuals who refuse to live in accordance with their dhimitude, break the conditions for the truce, hostilities are resumed. Furthermore, only treaties that conform to Islamic prescriptions are valid; if these conditions are not fulfilled, the treaty is worthless.

It is obvious that any truce or treaty with Israel is not legitimate for Hamas or believing Muslims as Dhimis, in this instance Jews, can never have sovereignty in Dar Al Islam – the Middle East, as per Muslim traditional belief. This is a fact of life when dealing with Hamas and need I say it – its father protector Iran. If one refuses to understand the enemy – a terrible flaw in American foreign policy in the Middle East and, I believe a flaw in Israel’s PR efforts in America and the world – the results are always tragic.

Israel fails when it does not accept the reality that its REAL support comes from the Ribbono Shel Olam. I fear this is the reality coming to pass once again.

Perhaps we should send Mike Hackabee to Israel to preach a little religion to our Israeli leadership about the destiny of Israel and the importance of bitachon – Faith in the protection given us by the Shomer Yisrael, Alm‑ghty G‑d.