March 15, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 6829

Jordanian Journalist: Ahmad Al-Daqamseh Is Not A Hero And Should Apologize For His Actions

March 15, 2017
Jordan | Special Dispatch No. 6829

On March 12, 2017 Jordanian journalist Basel Al-Rafayeh published an article on his Facebook page and on the Jordanian website titled "The Deception of Heroism." Al-Rafayeh attacks those who present Ahmad Al-Daqamseh – who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls in the Island of Peace in 1997 and was released from prison this week – as a hero. He argues that the murder of young girls is a crime that flies in the face of moral values and is anything but heroic, since Israeli children are not the enemy. He hopes that Al-Daqamseh will be rehabilitated, will understand that his image as a hero is deceitful and will even express remorse for his actions so he can live with himself.

The following are excerpts from the article; following that is the MEMRI TV clip of similar statements that Al-Rafayeh made in a March 11 interview: [1]


Daqamseh welcomed by his family upon his release from prison (image:, March 12, 2017)

"Ahmad Al-Daqamseh's family deserves to have him back so he can sleep in his home, find a job, make a living, and live with his children. I hope it will end this way. In 1997, the man committed seven crimes by murdering seven Israeli girls who were on a field trip to the Al-Baqoura area, which Israel returned [to Jordan] as part of the peace accords. The [Jordanian] court decided to jail him for 20 years. He was spared an execution because a psychological evaluation determined that he had an 'antisocial personality' disorder.

"There is no heroism in the murder of children. I hope the popular enthusiasm, and [people] who believed [his claims] that the girls had mocked his prayers, will not deceive him [to see himself as a hero]. Since even if that did happen, military doctrine does not accept this, nor do the values and customs of manliness...

"Al-Daqamseh will return to his home, his family, and his village as a free man who served his sentence, rather than as a hero. It would be unjust of him to play the part of the hero, since he was an armed soldier who killed girls, while Israeli soldiers were in the range of his gun.

"Israel is a hostile racist entity whose jets have bombed many Palestinian children, and whose soldiers have killed Jordanian citizens such as the two martyrs – the judge Raed Zeiter [who was shot by an Israeli soldier at the Allenby border crossing in March 2014] and Saed Amro [who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in September 2016] – but this is not the way to act. Israeli children are not our enemies and we cannot be better than our enemy when we become more like him. Furthermore, none of us would agree to have their girls go on a field trip and have an armed soldier open fire on them. Moral values do not change.

"The deception of heroism is the worst thing Ahmad Al-Daqamseh is dealing with. He was young when he committed his seven crimes, and perhaps he has matured or recovered from his illness, and can now reexamine what happened 20 years ago. He now needs rehabilitation, far more than the false commotion and glory [that surrounds him]. There is no better advice to give him except to express remorse and to apologize. It might help him live with himself in peace and suffer fewer pangs of conscience."

It should be mentioned that Basel Al-Rafayeh made similar statements in an interview on a Jordanian radio show on March 11, 2017. He said that if Jordanians regard Daqamseh's actions as heroism this reflects a grave problem in their understanding of the concept and an even graver problem in their understanding of the conflict with the Israeli enemy. For a MEMRI TV clip of his statements, click on the player below:


[1],, March 12, 2017. On the celebrations upon Daqamseh's release, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 5941, Jordanian MPs Celebrate Release of "Hero" Ahmad Daqamseh, March 10, 2017. For anti-Israeli statements made by Daqamseh after his release, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 5938, Former Jordanian Soldier Ahmad Daqamseh, Murderer of Seven Israeli Schoolgirls, upon Release: Israelis Are "Human Garbage" That Must Be Removed "by Burning or Burying", March 10, 2017.


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