Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lebanese greet child murderer as hero

Left: Danny Haran and his daughters, Einat and Yael, one week before their death. Right: the murderer Samir Kuntar. Source: CAMERA.
The genocidal and evil nature of Islamism is most evident when non-Muslim children are deliberately murdered by Islamists. The best known act of this kind is of course the 2004 Beslan school massacre, but there are many others, targeting mostly Israeli Jewish children. Let's remember the 2001 Tel Aviv Dolphinarium disco bombing, the 2002 Petah Tikva ice cream parlour bombing, the 2002 kubbutz Metzer shooting of two brothers (aged 4 and 5) and their mother and the numerous attacks against Israeli school buses, one dating as early as 1970.
In 1979, a group of four Palestinian militants led by Samir Kuntar (Kantar, then 16) "entered Israel from Lebanon by boat... They arrived at the coastal town of Nahariya. The four killed a policeman who came across them... (Two of them) broke into the apartment of the Haran family... They took 31 year-old Danny Haran hostage along with his four year-old daughter, Einat. The mother, Smadar Haran, was able to hide... with her two year-old daughter Yael... Israeli witnesses claim Kuntar's group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where a shootout with Israeli policemen and soldiers erupted. Kuntar shot Danny at close range in the back, in front of his daughter, and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. Next, he smashed the head of 4 year-old Einat on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle... Kuntar denied killing the 4-year-old and said she was killed in the shootout... Kuntar asserted in court testimony, only published in 2008, that Israeli gunfire had killed Mr. Haran... and that he did not see what happened to Mr. Haran’s daughter... Smadar Haran... accidentally suffocated Yael to death while attempting to quiet her whimpering, which would have revealed their hideout" (source: Wikipedia).
Despite Kuntar's denial, his rifle butt was shown to have traces of Einat's brain tissue (source: CAMERA). He received five life sentences.
When in 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers , Mideast people believed from day 1 that the idea was to exchange them for Kuntar (source: e.g. Sandmonkey).
On July 16, the deal was done. The Israelis received from Hezbollah the two kidnap victims - in coffins, and delivered Kuntar - in good shape, together with four Hezbollah combatants captured during the 2006 war. The five militants "got a hero's welcome from tens of thousands of cheering Hezbollah supporters and kisses from the U.S.-backed prime minister... "Your return is a new victory," President Michel Suleiman told the freed men as he stood in combat fatigues supplied by Hezbollah" (source: Sam Ghattas from AP, via Yahoo! News).
Though common sense tells us that there must be something wrong in a culture that continuously produces genocidal murderers, you cannot automatically blame any community for the deeds of its members. You first have to show that the actions of these individuals find strong popular support. And here we have a problem with Arab societies: because free speech and other attributes of democracy are in short supply, it is difficult to find how people not belonging to the ruling gang feel and think. However, Lebanon is believed to be as close to democracy as it goes in the Arab world; and I find it unlikely that participants in the welcome rally were forced to attend it, except perhaps some women and children brought there by the heads of their families. So we have a rare opportunity to observe first-hand the Lebanese "street", i.e. public opinion. And what does our poll show? A child murderer is greeted by tens of thousands and condemned by an occasional anonymous blogger.
What is civilization? Thinking of the above described events, I am coming to the following ad hoc definition: Civilization is a frame of thinking that doesn't allow its members, under any circumstances, to regard the terms "child murderer" and "hero" as synonyms. Plus the economical, technological and military power needed to preserve this frame. Arabs are of course unhappy when other people regard them as uncivilized, but I wonder, how many of them are ready to pay the price for being civilized?
One of the oldest and most popular tools of peace propaganda is to assert that we needn't be hostile to our enemies because they are human like us. They love their children, too, sing lullabies to them as we do. One needs some courage and cynicism to ask, "Well, they may love their children, but does this guarantee that they will love, or even tolerate, our children? As if in reply, a Palestinian failed suicide bomber said, "I don't have anything against Israeli children, but I know there is a possibility that this Israeli child will grow up and come to kill my son or my neighbor's son. Therefore, I think he should be dead now."
Our enemies are human indeed, but if we remove the fragile frame of civilization, what does remain from the human? A Darwinian creature who will happily kill other people's children to make more space for his own progeny.


WEDA said...

peace on you...sorry for my bad language of chatting...and sorry i commenetd but i lost the line so's my commenet
really i think that wat u said abut samir may be factual...but really don't u know what's happening daily in palestine...don't you see how many children & women killed daily ..don't you see infants dying before they see the life even for one day...don't you see what israellian do in palesetine & what theu did in lebanon..sorry dear you wil say so you are muslims we are not killers ..i'll ask you a question.. what you will do if you see your son"if you have " is killed in front of you whata will you say??..& wat you'll do if the man killed your son came to your home & take it beside killing??
will you just say"hay you are a killer..give me my house??
i think you got the point that i mean really be sure that SAMIR is a real hero..becuse he hasn't lost his child yet.. or even married..but he see how 's his neighbours & relatives are suffering of daily killing& every thing he's just getting his land back..& saving his community...even if he's harming him do you think that any israelian can do that...i swear never hear any thing from one side...& about that israelian children...really you are kidding can you please count for me the parents killed badly in front of their children in palestine... you can't because as they say in english(un countable)..& even those arabian children have rights if you are talking about children rights...

any way never be angry with me i'm just clarifying the facts for you ..nice to read from you & you are welcomed in my blog...

Nizo said...

You're off Maya..

The fact that he was celebrated in Lebanon isn't something to be proud of but Kuntar killed in the name of Palestine, not Islam.

Kuntar is Druze, a community that most Islamists consider as heretical. Even the Hizbullah who extracted him from Israel is Shiite and considered heretical by most Sunni Islamists.

Maya M said...

Thank you both.
Weda, your comment deserves a serious reply. I intend to write a special post, unfortunately I am delaying due to shortage of time.
Nizo, you (and Weda) may quite be right that there is a lot of secular nationalism involved in these affairs. After I wrote this post, there was massive popular support expressed in Servia for Radovan Karadzic after his arrest. I even considered writing an update to the post to compare the two events. If you are right and there is more secular pan-Arab nationalism than religious fundamentalism in Lebanon, I'd be glad. Because, while nationalism can bring as much disaster as belief, it is generally easier to control or channel to something positive.