Talya Woolf

Atmospheric pressure

Headline on Times of Israel: Dozens of tanks seen approaching Khan Younis; rocket barrage fired at central Israel

Yalla. The ceasefire is over.

The illusion of calm is over though I’m not sure it ever really existed at all.

Hamas violated the truce by not providing a list of hostages by 7:00 a.m., did not return all the women and children, and fired rockets on Israel again (to which we responded, of course).

Photo credit: IDF

I don’t think Hamas ever planned to return everyone, I don’t think they have everyone, and I don’t think everyone is alive — my theory as to why they couldn’t drag this out any longer. Hamas took who they had and used them as bargaining chips for their hudna so they could rearm, strategize, and set traps.

Let me introduce you to the Muslim concept of hudna: According to Professor Mustafa Abu Sway, hudna, derived from hadana, is an agreement to stop a fight or a war for a limited period of time. A hudna is not permanent and does not imply a potential for stable peace in the far or near future.

He continued, “We must always bear in mind that the notion of war in Islam is jihad.” A hudna is a temporary treaty.

“The writings of Muslim theologians, ranging from those predating Imam Ibn Taymiyya to the most articulate ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 20th century, the late Sayyed Qutb; and from the historical fuqaha’ (theological scholars) to the contemporary al-Azhar and Qum scholars; show unanimous agreement that a peace treaty between Muslims and non-Muslims is a temporary period of time between wars. Although some of them have endorsed the peace treaty during the Sadat-Begin era, this endorsement still has not been generally accepted by most Islamic theologians, or, for that matter, by secular nationalistic groups in Egypt and the Arabic-speaking countries.

When the time of calmness (tahdi’a) or the time of hudna ends, war will resume because jihad is a constant process of being at war. The time of peace is for preparation for war, according to Darwazeh and other Arab-Muslim thinkers. The war continues until non-Muslims accept the rule of Islam and pay jizyah (a tribute), or endorse Islam by converting to it.

Read that again very slowly and very carefully. Those words came out of the mouth of Muslim scholars for hundreds of years, and it applies to all Muslims wherever they live. Not just here in Israel and with our neighbors.

We are the canary in the coalmine; we have been tweeting for decades and no one has heard us. Worse, everyone has ignored us, considering us an annoyance rather than a warning.

We’ve been living with these terror campaigns our entire lives. This is not an exaggeration. Generations have been atttacked, murdered, injured, affected since the start of the country 75 years ago. 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1987 (First Intifada)-1992, suicide bombings from 1989-2016, 1999/2000-2005 (Second Intifada). In January 2001, almost twenty-three years ago, Palestinians fired the first mortar shell at southern Israel, at Netzarim, and have never truly stopped.

2015 began the 91 months of terror (taking us up to April 2023), filled with incendiary kites and balloons, rocket attacks, knife attacks, IEDs, firebombs, shootings, vehicle rammings, bombs, molotov cocktails, and stone throwing.

In April 2023, in the north, more than 34 rockets were fired from Lebanon, with 25 intercepted and a minimum four landing in Israel. This was the largest escalation of violence at the Israel-Lebanon border since 2006.

In May 2023, 1,469 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel.

Then October 7, 2023.

I started writing this article on Friday morning, December 1. My husband was doing shmirut (guarding) in and around Netanya until 2:00pm. Despite the end of the ceasefire, the warnings on the radio, the reminders on how to work your mamad (safe room) door, and my husband’s reminder to be aware and alert to my surroundings, I had decided to get out and enjoy some fresh air and have a solo breakfast while writing.

I went to Ir Yamim mall – our big mall in the area. Ordered my quinoa salad, freshly squeezed beet/carrot juice, and a large cafe hafuch. I sat outside in partial sun and started typing. I tried relaxing.

Then one of the customers, a women with her mom, comes outside to the patio area, saying that someone was spotted as suspicious and possibly with a weapon. Another guest responded, everyone has weapons these days. She agreed, but they didn’t know whether to sit or leave, with their baby in the stroller. She went back inside. I elevated my status from ‘aware’ to ‘alert.’

A few long moments later, she came out again, still with the concern.

More long moments later, as I checked indoors through the glass and thought about exit strategies, she exited to say that it ended up being a couple Arabs in big puffy coats (it’s NOT cold today) coming to their workplace of McDonalds and everything seemed to be okay.

I sat outside just a little more.

The atmosphere was thick. It choked me. Then I left because I simply couldn’t sit there anymore.

Today is Monday, December 4 and I went in to the office today.
Fortunately there were no rockets.

Don’t worry – there’s always tomorrow.

*Article title – h/t to my good friend Corinna Menkes

About the Author
Talya Woolf is an eight-year Olah with four spirited children and a fantastic husband. She is a writer, American-licensed attorney, handgun instructor, amateur photographer, and artist. She is politically confusing, Modern Orthodox (though she doesn't dress the part), and ardent Zionist (ZFB). She enjoys spending time with family, friends, running, photography, and reading about highly contagious diseases and WWII.
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