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People ask why Israelis do not trust the Arabs across the river. Maybe this has something to do with it.

Jordan king urged to pardon killer of Israeli schoolgirls
(AFP)

20 July 2008
AMMAN - King Abdullah II was urged on Sunday to pardon a Jordanian soldier who is serving a life sentence for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997.

"After around 12 years in prison, Ahmad Dakamseh deserves your majesty's special pardon," a group of 70 Islamists, unionists, lawyers, human rights activists and former officials said in a signed letter to the king.

In March 1997, Dakamseh fired an automatic weapon at a group of Israeli schoolgirls as they visited Baqura, a scenic peninsula on the Jordan River near the Israeli border, killing seven and wounded five others as well as a teacher.

The attack came almost three years after Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty, only the second between an Arab country and the Jewish state.

"Following the recent release of Arab prisoners, we hope to see Dakamseh free again," they said, referring to Israel's prisoner swap with Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group last week.

Israel handed over its last five Lebanese prisoners, including convicted murderer Samir Kantar, and the bodies of 199 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who were captured in July 2006, sparking a devastating 34-day war in Lebanon.

The signatories Islamic Action Front secretary general Zaki Bani Rsheid, former prime minister and intelligence department director Ahmad Obeidat, Jordan Bar Association head Saleh Armouti, and Hani Dahleh, president of the Arab Human Rights Organisation.

"The current political stage requires a policy that would make people happy and ease their socio-economic and political pressures. Pardoning Dakamseh will have a great effect on people," the letter said.

The motives of Dakamseh, who was 30 at the time and a married father of three, were never clear. The then King Hussein cut short a visit to Europe and rushed home where he condemned the attack and later travelled to Israel to offer his condolences to the families of the slain schoolgirls.


It is interesting that the Arab Human Rights Organization president is a prominent signer... what about the rights of Israelis?

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Yeah spot on Hiba. If people are just intrested in polemic then they are wasting their time. This is not platform for preaching to the converted or starting provoactive discussion that cause ill will. People should be honest though about how they feel and people should accept this this might well not be kind.
Tell me Seth what have you achieved with this discussion? Right now my impression is that you don't give a shit.
I feel that people on this forum only see things from the Palestinian side of things. Why were all of Kuntar's years in jail not enough? THIS VIDEO is reason why. It seems that most of the 'peacemakers' here only care about victimizing the Arab side of the story and make Israelis look terrible. You make many posts crying about having trouble crossing through checkpoints, meanwhile not a single discussion has been made about a man with a bulldozer terrorizing the streets of Jerusalem. When Hamas claimed Israel killed a family in Gaza, everyone here was up in arms yet when it was found out they lied about it, I did not find people redacting their statements, maybe I missed it because I do not have the time to be here always. What have I achieved in this post? If anything proven the point to myself that the people on here will allow apologies for a premeditated murder of Israeli school girls.
Donna,
I totally agree. Thank you for sharing that story. I'm sorry he said such things to you. I know the feeling of people you know and love saying things like that. Always remember that the way you chose is the really courageous one.

yours,
Noa
There are some levels of thinking when both Palestinians and Israelis view the other side as non humans, so it becomes a treason to defend the life of a person of neither sides... that’s so sad and that’s why I am working hard here because I am a human being and I want the whole world to realize it and because all of us here are the same and we can prove it.
Palestinian side of things is as bad as Israel side of things

we should integrate this two views to one, other wise we end up with a border where baby of one side is not equal to a aby in the other side.

I also see here the people who only see the Palestinian victimization, and the people who do not see Palestinians at all. If any of us think that in this battle of words one side will win and the other side be convince he/she is not supporting change and Peace.
Yes, Neri,
"we should integrate this two views to one" is exactly the answer.
That integrated view is the ideology of human rights.
Which needs to be taught equally and equally well on both sides.
To get past the battle of words.
well, i think this is a challenge to the list. it is a sad point, and not surprising to erupt after another attack that goes into the heart of israeli life. yes, seth, i do think most of us see the outrages against the palestinians to be on balance more consistent and institutionalized. on balance, the quantity of their pain is often covered up, at least by the israeli and american media. the Arab media had immediately the video of the Jewish soldier beating and shooting a bound man at close range, but it was nowhere to be found in the United States as far as i could tell. certainly not with respectable exposure. and now the soldier has been released. but no, for the record, i do not agree with releasing the man from prison in jordan. i made that clear. frankly, you are overreacting to what some have said with which you strongly disagree. I share your pain and outrage at being attacked. On balance, most peaceniks feel that the Israeli leadership had the power many times in the past to stop these mad cycles of violence by a determined effort to create a palestinian state. I just got back from a meeting with many influential Saudis all of whom are quite committed to a two-state solution. they told me that in 2002 when Saudi got the Arab League to offer a peace plan to Israel they thought this was so revolutionary, and so much what Jews and Israelis had claimed they were waiting for for fifty years, that Peres would fly in that night and address the Arab League conference. They actually waited until midnight for him to come through the door; eyewitnesses told me that this is how deeply committed they were to recognition of israel and full peace at that moment.
Israel has to this day not responded to an offer from twenty two Arab states. So, yes, we suffer for both sides' victims. But the media in Israel and the U.S. already speaks up for the Jewish victims, not so much for the Arab victims. and, yes, on balance, we tend to wonder what has happened to the Jewish/Israeli official seriousness about peace. this disappointment tends to skew all analysis and apologize too much for palestinian crimes. and you are angry at that skewing, and i understand that anger. but you are wrong to generalize about it. marcgopin.com
Seth,

OK. NON of us here released Kuntar or will have anything to do with releasing your second man.

We are here in order to try and make peace between people. It seems to me that you are always attacking in order to defend. well, relax.

what can make you happy ? Shooting, killing, army games, 007 games. Please let us know so we can adjust our terminology to your better understanding.

We are more into the arts of human well being and not arts of wars. Can we get you closer to us?

Most of us here, did not carry a gun before, you did. We can help you to make peace with yourself. Join us and you will feel much better.

Adeeb
Israelis are generally seen by the world as the oppressors not the oppressed, so to ask for equal rights for Israelis as long as that impression is valid--well, it won't fly Orvel.

Only if Israel does a major PR change to it's image can Israel ever expect any sympathy from the rest of the world. Sad but true.

Also, Moslems, unlike Jews, have a tendency to support their own people, at least publicly, while Jews constant air their dirty linnen in public, another thing that tends to make people convinced that they are part of the "dark side" of the force.

In the end it is all about perception. How can Jews expect others to like and sympathise with them when they air their own self hate publicly? The arabs (moslems) for the most part support their own people, even their terrorists and are careful to keep criticism of their terrorist acts very low key...it looks like they understand PR a lot better than the Israelis do.
Hi Juile I disagree with what you have written. I don’t think either Jews or Muslims can be described in such broad terms. You say ‘Moslems, unlike Jews, have a tendency to support their own people’ well that is not true when it come to Shia-Sunni relations, we only need to look at the sectarian violence in Iraq to observe that or the murder of Muslims in Darfur by Sudanese militias. Perhaps the best example is the civil war in Afghanistan after the Soviet retreat. Yes, there are ideas of solidarity in the Muslim faith but the facts speak for them selves, the primary victims of Muslim violence are other Muslims.

I think it is too much of a generalization to say ‘Jews constant air their dirty linnen in public’. Yes, there are elements of truth in stereotypes but let’s remember people are individuals. We Welsh have a reputation for being born hell-raisers – Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton, Manic Street Preacher etc. and there is much truth in that but then there is Danny Abse who is quite the opposite and Jewish. I don’t think he fits the description that you have given.

What I totally agree with you is that it is all about perception but to a large degree that is people seeing what they want to see. I think it is futile to try and force people into a different mode of thinking. It is better to look for common ground and to isolate differences rather than force some intellectual conversion.

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