Geraldo! 520 STATIONS IN 120 MARKETS I did not buy the picture post cards the eleven-year-old Bedouin girl was selling; she wouldn't take the Israeli shekels I had offered although they were worth more than the dollars she wanted.
Our stalemate went unresolved. I was visiting Jordan's Petra, and the girl's refusal reminded me of a question I'd been asked on my first trip to Petra, a question I had dismissed too quickly perhaps. An adventurous American tourist who had visited the Bamiyan Buddhas just before the Taliban destroyed them [please see: Afghanistan Taliban Muslims destroying Bamiyan Buddha Statues ...Read More: http://sinhalabuddhist.com/2011/09/palliyak/ The main Buddha in the Bamiyan valley, 240 kilometers northwest of the Afghan capital, Kabul,...www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYYBlPWYb7Y], had asked me why I had traveled into Jordan after I'd told her about visiting Israel and my Jewish roots.
"Weren't you afraid?" she asked. "Since you're Jewish..."
At that time, years ago, I wasn't. However, on my second trip, 18 months ago, I'd noticed changes. Determined to revisit Petra [please see: Petra - The Official Website of The Jordan Tourism Board The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed race have nothing in common with modern civilization, and ask nothing of it except to be appreciated at ...www.visitjordan.com/ Default.aspx?tabid=63], I found that the price of the tour had doubled. However, instead of the busload-sized group of my first trip, this one lacked one person of filling an Econo van. At Petra, there seemed to be a surplus of camels and donkeys; most were resting. On my first trip, all of them and their Bedouin owners had been too busy to chat. On the second trip, our group was bombarded with discounted prices; they begged us to ride.
The only thing that stopped their solicitations was our response that we only had Israeli money. That wouldn't do. Even the children of the camel drivers had learned that lesson.
At that time, I hadn't realized what an ominous premonition that was. I do now, now that King Abdullah's rule in Jordan is being seriously threatened by Palestinians there. Reports claim that American troops are in Jordan to prevent his overthrow.
That's especially important in light of another report that missilies have been fired from Sinai into Israel. In addition to those projectiles, more than 100 Hamas rockets have been sent into Israel in the past 24 hours.
But the world seems focused on Hamas. Despite their incessant attacks, they are clamoring for a ceasefire...but only if Israel agrees to certain conditions!
Israel probably won't. Predicatably, world opinion will turn against Israel if they don't agree to halt their counter attack on Gaza, especially as the Palestinian dath toll climbs.
Many of you may demand the same of Israel. You may want the stronger Israelis to stop beating up the hapless Gazans, the underdogs, the victims.
If so, you'd be wrong.
With just one word, I can tell you why. That word is hudna. [please see: The Hudna or temporary peace: the value of Arab Truces We are not the Tribe of Quraysh ... "What is being touted as a 'cease-fire' is something called a 'hudna.' A hudna [also known as a hudibiyya or khudaibiya] is a ...www.omdurman.org/hudna.html]
If you'd been listening to the Geraldo Rivera Show at 77 WABC about noon, you would have heard that word, hudna, used on his show.
A caller to his program explained that neither Hamas nor Arafat have ever wanted peace with the Jews of Israel. Rather than peace, they sought a truce. They did that because that's what Mohammad did whenever he saw that his army could not defeat its enemy. Instead of fighting a losing battle, he sought a truce, a hudna. Usually, it lasted for no more than ten years or until the time Mohammad's army had grown strong enough to break the hudna and attack their foe. Arafat and Hamas, Israel's Muslim antagonists, have been and are doing the very same thing.
Geraldo listened, then asked astutely, "Does this that the wars will never end?"
"Yes," the caller replied. "When Arafat told you that he regretted not accepting Clinton's peace offer, that was a ruse."
With that, the program ended.
I felt like writing a thank you note to Geraldo Rivera for his willingness to listen and understand. There was one other reason.
I was the caller.
B. Koplen 11/21/12
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