Jordanian Law Permits the Murder of Israelis
Jordanian soldier Ahmad Mussa Dakasma, the murderer of seven Israeli schoolgirls in Naharayim on March 13, 1997, was released from prison in March 2017 after serving only 20 years for the heinous massacre. Many Israelis well remember King Hussein kneeling during his visit to the families of the murdered.
If you thought the liberated murderer had repented, or at least come to regret his actions, you are wrong. Dakasma’s name has been in the headlines again in recent days after he wrote a series of posts inciting the murder of Jews and encouraging people to carry out attacks inside Israel.
On October 2, he posted this on Facebook: “Every time I’m sad I remember that I murdered a few Zionists [the Israeli girls], and then I feel calm and my conscience is quiet, and sadness leaves me.” The post was removed following many requests from Israelis. On the same day, he wrote in another post: “Anyone who calls for resistance and can enter Israeli territory even as a tourist — and does not carry out an attack against the Zionists — is just a talker.” This post has not been removed, despite complaints. In another post that was removed, the terrorist called for the murder of Israeli children on the grounds that when they grow up they will serve as security guards.
On October 5, Dakasma distributed a video in which he claimed, among other things, that although his Facebook account had been temporarily closed, he was not afraid and would continue to incite the murder of Israelis. He added that he is willing to kill more Israelis himself. The video is still on his Facebook page. In view of the harsh criticism Facebook has received of late, it is puzzling that its management does not remove this incitement to murder.
Following the uproar on social networks over Dakasma’s activity, the murderer told a Jordanian news website, Khaberni, that he was acting according to Jordanian law. He apparently based this assertion on an addition to the State Security Act of 2013 that was passed in the Jordanian parliament and the Senate. The addition removes from the definition of “terrorist” anyone who fights against the “Zionist occupation.” According to this section, activity against the “Zionist occupation” is not defined as a crime. As Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nusur explained, the occupation is a crime and the struggle against it is a right.
This law permits the murder of Jews and Israelis to go without punishment if it is proven to be part of the “struggle against the occupation.” This Jordanian policy bore fruit very quickly. On May 13, 2017, a Jordanian citizen carried out an attack in Jerusalem in which an Israeli policeman was stabbed and severely wounded. The terrorist was shot and killed. After the incident, the Jordanian government attacked Israel. Jordanian Information Minister Muhammad Muamni said, “The Israeli government, as the force responsible for the occupation, bears responsibility for the shooting of the Jordanian citizen.”
An ordinary Israeli citizen who is not exposed to the Arab media might wonder why there is tension between the two peoples. The hostility exists because Jordan plays a double game. On the one hand, it enjoys the fruits of peace, and on the other, it is quick to accuse, criticize, and otherwise target Israel. One example is the submission of a proposal to UNESCO in October 2016 to declare the Temple Mount and the Western Wall exclusively Islamic holy sites.
Israel should demand that Jordan immediately abolish the addition to the law and insist that the Jordanian authorities stop Dakasma from inciting further violence. The cold peace with Egypt became the model for peace relations between Israel and the Arab states. Israel erred in adopting this model, as it is characterized by the kind of rank hypocrisy that results in the empowerment of terrorists like Dakasma.
Dr. Edy Cohen is a researcher at the BESA Center and author of the book The Holocaust in the Eyes of Mahmoud Abbas (Hebrew). BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family. A Hebrew version of this article was published in Israel Hayom.