You are here

‘Two wrongs do not make a right’

Mar 16,2014 - Last updated at Mar 16,2014

Ahmed Daqamseh was a Jordanian soldier entrusted with protecting Jordan’s borders from dangerous intruders. When he decided to use his weapon to attack and murder schoolgirls from across the border, he broke his pledge to his country as a soldier. He also reneged and defaulted on his pledge to this nation to safeguard our borders and he murdered defenceless unarmed children.

To set the record straight and to avoid any mix up, Ahmed Daqamseh is no Raed Zuaiter.

And to take this a step further, and to be even more transparent, Daqamseh is no national hero.

Zuaiter, on the other hand, was a civilian, a law-abiding and peaceful Jordanian judge who was murdered by heavily armed Israeli soldiers in an environment where the latter had the upper hand, exactly as Daqamseh did when he shot young girls on a school trip on the other side of the river.

Both Daqamseh and the Israeli soldiers operated from political and ideological frustration and complete inability to control their hate and anger and, much more importantly, they targeted unarmed civilian victims.

Both Daqamseh and those (so far nameless) Israeli soldiers operated outside acceptable military discipline and both deserve punishment for cold, calculated and inhumane murder.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

The fact that Zuaiter was murdered in cold blood does not automatically translate into the government of Jordan forgiving Daqamseh for breaking his honour code as a soldier and for murdering children in cold blood.

If Daqamseh had murdered seven Jordanian girls on a school trip because they made funny faces at him, would our Parliament today be demanding that he be released from prison a hero?

Are we saying that murder is acceptable when we do not like the nationality of the victim?

Why didn’t he shoot at soldiers from across the border?

Do we honestly believe that murdering young girls is a heroic act that we need to rally the country behind?

Having said that, however, it is important for Jordan to recognise that our “mutually beneficial” relationship with Israel must be based on respect for our leadership — which I believe has existed for many decades — but also for our people.

The value system that we are advocating on our side of the river — respect for human life and dignity — must be upheld as a value system by Israel in its dealings with Jordanians (regardless of their origin).

And I believe this by no means is only Jordan’s requirement of Israel.

The murder of Zuaiter in such cold blood — and the whole theatrical production by the Israeli military to try and exonerate his murderer through unbelievable and clearly fabricated stories — showcases how Israel has gone too far in its xenophobic dealings with all non-Jews, to the point that the state is now willing to lie to maintain its racism and its violence against Palestinians, Arabs and their supporters.

This particular incident gained international exposure because of Jordan’s respected standing in the world. Yet on a daily basis, there are dozens of incidents where Israeli soldiers cross the line of what are internationally acceptable standards of behaviour with impunity and tacit state support, sanction and approval.

They demean, abuse, push, shove, denigrate, swear, imprison, maim and murder on daily basis, yet they turn their civilised face to the rest of the world, pretending that they espouse Western democratic values.

This incident may serve to uncover some of the two-faced policies of the current Israeli leadership and hopefully open the international community’s eyes to its complete disdain for the humanity of others.

If Israel wants to live in peace among us, it must get off its high horse and begin behaving like a responsible state and even a responsible occupier.

Jordan would do well to take the necessary steps to remind it of that responsibility, take concrete steps to safeguard its citizens as they visit a “neighbouring country” and preserve our dignity at all times.

Jordan must demand international pressure on Israel to ensure that steps are put in place to guarantee that Israel abides by international standards in providing safe passage (physically and morally) at all border entry points into Israel and hopefully also at the hundreds of checkpoints it has erected between itself and the occupied Palestinian territories.

As for Daqamseh, Jordanians must recognise that his release from prison is not a national demand or priority and that his crime is no different from that committed by the murderers of Zuaiter.

Considering the fact that he also appears unrepentant, and in fact is quite proud of his crime, the government would set a dangerous precedent if it yielded to pressure to release him under the current environment and without guarantees that the demands for his release would not send a message to him — and to his supporters, as well as the youth watching and learning from this incident — that his act was neither heroic nor acceptable in any way. 

[email protected]

up
182 users have voted.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.