Sunday, January 29, 2006

What's In A Truce?

This CNN story starts out with some sense of optimism:
A leader of Hamas, the militant group that last week became the controlling force in Palestinian politics, laid out a series of conditions Sunday that he said could lead to years of co-existence alongside Israel.
However, once you get past that opening, the real story starts to be revealed:
Mahmoud al-Zahar, the top Hamas official in Gaza, told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that a "long-term hudna or long-term truce" is possible. He would not commit to negotiating with Israel and would not say whether recognizing Israel's existence is a long-term possibility.
After a few more paragraphs we get to this important nugget:
A "hudna," historically, has referred to a long pause in hostilities, during which armies prepared for later battles.
Remember that "truce" that Osama bin Laden offered in his last audio tape?

But asked about Hamas' call for Israel's destruction, Zahar would not say whether that remains the goal. "We are not speaking about the future, we are speaking now," he said.
Now the picture becomes more clear. In plain English, Hamas, an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, will consider a truce which will hold until the time when it feels that it is capable of accomplishing its goal.

Another thing: the mainstream media has a tendency to focus on Hamas' terrorist roots, while paying little attention to its Islamist foundation.

Here's what you get if you read all the way to the end of the CNN story:
News reports have said Hamas plans to establish separate schools for boys and girls in the Palestinian territories and implement stricter Islamic law. Asked whether he plans a theocracy instead of a secular government, Zahar responded, "Do you think the secular system is ... serving any nation?"

A secular system "allows homosexuality, allows corruption, allows the spread of the loss of natural immunity like AIDS," he said.