The Almagor terror victims organization called on the government and the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Thursday to reject the comments made by MK Shaul Mofaz, who called for the release of terrorists in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Almagor Chairman Meir Indor said that “Mofaz’s criticism of the government during his lecture to students in northern Israel is nothing but a show of populism and hypocrisy, since he once let the Druze soldier Medhat Youssef bleed to death in Shechem and did not rescue him so as not to anger the Arab forces besieging the compound.”
Neither side is giving in, following praise by Jordan’s new justice minister for the murderer of seven Israeli girls and calls for his release from prison.
On Monday, with the Arab world celebrating the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s government in Egypt, Jordan’s new Minister of Justice said that the Jordanian soldier serving a life sentence for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997 was a “hero.”
The murderer had defended his septuple murder by saying that the girls mocked him as he prayed.
Hussein Mujalli, who was named minister last week and who represented the murderer in court, said, “I support the demonstrators’ demand to free Ahmad Dakamseh. He’s a hero. He does not deserve prison.” He also said that Israel is a “hostile state [and] a terrorist state.” Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel, in 1994, released a statement saying that Mujalli’s remarks do not represent its official position.
The Almagor Terror Victims Association sent a letter to the Jordanian Ambassador in Israel, asking him to meet with representatives of the bereaved families. Chairman Meir Indor said that the letter also asked for a meeting with King Abdullah, “expressing the hope that he would show the same noble spirit that his father, King Hussein, showed when he paid condolence calls to the girls’ families in Beit Shemesh.”
The latest to condemn Mujalli was the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), which announced, “Mujalli’s cold-hearted comments, in which he glorified a heinous terrorist act carried out by a murderer, were absolutely shocking. Ahmad Dakamseh’s senseless act of violence targeted innocent children and cut their lives short in one tragic and horrifying moment.” NCYI President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky called upon the Jordanian government to remove Mujalli from his position in light of his comments.
Arab Lawyer Defends Murderer: “He Was Distressed”
MEMRI (the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute) has publicized a clip from Lebanon’s Al Jadid/New TV from April ’09, when Dakamseh was hunger-striking. A lawyer is shown calmly explaining that Dakamseh is considered to be a hero, and that he had done “the most basic thing he could have done.”
“We are proud of him as a soldier of this country,” the lawyer said. “What he did was the very least a soldier can do to defend his religion and country.” He lectured that the girls had made a mockery of “Muhammad, Islam, and of Dakamseh himself,” and had acted “in an immoral manner,” and that “all this generated strong provocation, which is legally called extreme emotional distress. When someone under extreme emotional distress kills a person, this serves as grounds for a pardon or a mitigated sentence. We are talking about a state – an entity – occupying Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian lands, and Palestine in its entirety. On this occupied land, the [girls] did inappropriate things. The most basic thing he could have done, in defense of his country, his honor as a soldier, and his religion, [smiling in emphasis of the obvious nature of his logic] was to open fire as a natural response.”
Israel’s “cold peace” with Jordan got a little colder Monday, as Jordan’s Justice Minister, Hussein Mjali, joined demonstrators outside his own office who were demanding the release of an imprisoned terrorist who killed seven Israeli teenage girls in 1997 – and as a result, Israel is up in arms.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that it saw the declaration by Mjali as “a serious matter. We are shocked and disgusted at the reports in the Jordanian press on Mjali’s comments concerning the Naharayim murderer,” the statement said, adding that they were especially shocking, “as they come from the minister responsible for law and justice.”
The murderer Mjali and the demonstrators were seeking to free is Ahmed Daqamseh, who was a soldier in the Jordanian army when he opened fire on a group of students who were visiting the “peace island” of Naharayim on March 13, 1997. The students, 7th and 8th grade girls from the religious Amit school in Beit Shemesh, were on a class trip. Naharayim is located right on the Jordanian border, and Daqamseh opened fire on the girls from the Jordanian side. He killed seven of the students, and wounded six others. Daqamseh was sentenced by a Jordanian military court to life in prison – with defense lawyers claiming that he was “mentally wounded” and could not be held directly responsible for his actions.
As it turns out, Mjali was one of the attorneys who had defended Daqamseh. “I’m committed to be here with you as his lawyer,” Mjali told the protestors, who consider Daqamseh a “hero,” as does Mjali. Speaking to AFP, Mjali said “I support the demonstrators’ demand to free Ahmad Dakamseh. He’s a hero. He does not deserve prison. If a Jewish person killed Arabs, his country would have built a statue for him instead of imprisonment.” He added that as far as he was concerned, the case was not over, and that he would continue to defend the murderer.
A report said that Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, Daniel Nevo, had demanded that the Jordanian government issue a condemnation of the statement, but Jordanian officials would only say that Mjali did not represent the government.
In a statement, the Almagor terror victims organization Monday night demanded that the Foreign Ministry haul in the Jordanian ambassador to Israel for a clarification of his government’s position. Almagor also urged the Justice Ministry to sue Jordan in the International Court in the Hague for aiding and abetting war crimes, by not taking stronger action against Daqamseh.