Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy’s Israel correspondent, lets all know where his sympathies lie, with Samir Kuntar.
As Israel was getting ready to free Kuntar last Wednesday, the Lebanese militant told guards that he didn’t want to walk to freedom in a prison uniform.
When the Israeli guards refused, Kuntar said he told them to call off the deal.
“I’ve kept my dignity for 30 years,” Kuntar said he told his jailers, “I’m not going to give it up in the last half hour.”
The standoff lasted until the guards called their superiors, who eventually agreed to let Kuntar go free in civilian clothes.
Once free after nearly 30 years, Kuntar traded the civilian clothes for military fatigues and delivered a defiant threat to return to his militant mission.
Accepting a wife and an education and plenty of food from the evil Zionists for 30 years didn’t compromise his dignity? Why the hell did the authorities give in?
Though Israel recently released long-secret court records with eyewitness testimony and medical reports to support Kuntar’s conviction for shooting an Israeli dad in front of his daughter and then smashing the 4-year-old girl’s head with his rifle butt, Kuntar denies killing either one.
From his 1980 trial to to this day, Kuntar has said that the two were killed by Israeli bullets in a firefight as he tried to flee. Kuntar contends that he meant to take hostages in an attack that went awry.
“This was a military operation,” says Kuntar’s younger brother, Bassam, who led a long PR campaign to free Samir. “We have to accept the reality of what happened, but we will never accept that this operation was aimed at children.”
It wasn’t aimed at children? So why the hell did he take Einat Haran out to the beach? Come on. Nissenbaum, at least challenge the less plausible claims. And why not tell your audience that there was an eyewitness to the atrocities on the beach and that the evidence you link to, physically tied Kuntar to the murder of Einat. His fingerprints were on the rifle that had her brain tissue. (That also contradicts his claim that Danny and Einat Haran were killed by Israeli bullets.)
And for dessert, Nissinbaum let’s a Lebanese “political analyst” (actually Hezbollah mouthpiece from other articles I’ve seen by this woman)
Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Beirut-based political analyst and Hezbollah specialist, said people here simply don’t accept Israel’s version of events.
“I don’t think all Lebanese believe he actually killed the child,” she said.
For others, there is a certain callousness in their replies.
“How come they have the right to feel sad for one or three people when they killed thousands in the south,” said the woman in the market, who criticized Israel for bombing Lebanon during the 2006 war in a 34-day campaign that killed 1,200 Lebanese civilians.
So they don’t believe he killed Einat Haran, but they do believe that he killed a policeman and Danny Haran, don’t they? Isn’t there something offensive about a society that lionizes murderers?
Nissenbaum surely knows that 1200 Lebanese civilians weren’t killed in the war two years ago. At least half were members of Hezbollah. (Yes Hezbollah claims the number is less than 200. But do you really trust Hezbollah?) But that was a war in which Israeli civilians were targeted and killed. It’s not like Israel simply took civilians from their homes and killed them, the deaths occurred in the context of war. There is a difference.
Just what role Kuntar will play in the coming days, weeks and months isn’t clear.
For now, he is a potent symbol of Hezbollah’s ascendant power.
And he is a reminder of the emotionally-charged divisions that will make it difficult for Lebanon and Israel to make peace any time soon.
Nice equivalencing Nissenbaum. The fact that a terrorist organization, Hezbollah, which is a pawn of Iran, is now in control of Lebanon’s government is the reason that there will be no peace. Forget the “emotionally-charged divisions.” That’s poppycock. It’s the declaration of a man with no moral compass, incapable of judging right from wrong. It’s the declaration of someone who romanticizes terrorists and who incapable of objectivity.
Nissenbaum you are an f—ing bastard. Why the hell don’t you draw your salary from Nasrallah? After all you’re doing his work.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.