Hezbollah demand to release child killer for soldiers shows need for terrorist death penalty
July 19, 2006
Aftermath of a terrorist shooting
By Beila Rabinowitz, special to PipeLineNews.org
July 20, 2006 - Philadelphia, PA - PipeLineNews - In a recent speech broadcast by Al-Jazeera, the head of Hezbollah - Hassan Nasrallah - praised the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and declared, "This is a day of loyalty to Samir Kuntar and the rest of the Lebanese prisoners in Israel...A promise has been kept"
Nasrallah added that it would be an "illusion" if Israel thought a military campaign could win the release of the soldiers and that the prisoners would not be returned except through "indirect negotiations and a trade."
Nasrallah however appeared to backtrack when he stated in an address late last week that "the battle today is no longer a battle over prisoners or the exchange of prisoners."
Although Hezbollah's goals may have shifted, make no doubt that Israel has gone to war over the hostages taken in Lebanon and Gaza. As Dr. Daniel Pipes observed in "Israel's Unnecessary War."
"...the Gaza and Lebanon operations are focused not on defeating the enemy but on winning the release of one or two soldiers - a strange war goal, one perhaps unprecedented in the history of warfare..."
Nasrallah's prominent mentioning of Samir Kuntar as one of the prisoners which Hezbollah hopes to receive in trade for the Israeli hostages provides an opportunity to examine both the reason for his present confinement as well as the nature of Hezbollah's terror war against Israeli civilians.
The following in the words of Smadar Haran, the wife and mother of Kuntar's victims:
"Abu Abbas, the former head of a Palestinian terrorist group who was captured in Iraq on April 15, is infamous for masterminding the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. But there are probably few who remember why Abbas' terrorists held the ship and its 400-plus passengers hostage for two days. It was to gain the release of a Lebanese terrorist named Samir Kuntar, who is locked up in an Israeli prison for life. Kuntar's name is all but unknown to the world. But I know it well. Because almost a quarter of a century ago, Kuntar murdered my family.
The monstrous nature of Kuntar's individual act - integral in the terror war that Hezbollah is carrying out against innocents - should punctuate any discussion regarding Israel's decision to crush the group.
Recognizing that Kuntar represents the essential nature of Islamist terror also demonstrates the absolute folly of the prisoner exchanges that Israel has engaged in the past:
1. The exchanges are always lopsided, one or a few Israelis for hundreds, sometimes more than a thousand terrorists and terror suspects who are then swiftly cycled back into the fight. In 1985 as Reuters points out, the Israeli government "swapped more than 1,100 Palestinians for three missing soldiers. Seven hundred Arabs were allowed to stay in the occupied territories and many later became leaders of the Palestinian uprising that erupted in 1987."
Israel's lack of a death penalty has allowed the Palestinian Authority to deify Kuntar. His picture has been repeatedly shown of PA television as he was proclaimed a "model warrior...brave...[a] leader...[and] head [of the prisoners..]"
In an August 15th, 2004 television broadcast, PA Minister of Prisoners Hisham Abdul Raze, defined Kuntar as the leader of the prisoners.
"The torch of freedom [that] was lifted by our heroic prisoners and headed by the great warrior Samir Kuntar... our thanks to you."
On August 24th of the same year, prominent PA television broadcaster Muhammad Alba told his audience, "A thousand blessings to the warrior Samir Kuntar [the audience claps] and to his family in Lebanon and to this hero who was sentenced to 576 years [in prison]. This is the evil, and this is Israeli democracy."
On August 18th, 2004, PA TV termed the murder of the father and girl as an act of bravery: "He was sentenced to 542 years in prison for committing the brave Nahariya action in Palestine [note how the Israeli city of Nahariya is defined as Palestine.]
On the same day, Arab demonstrators supporting a prisoner hunger strike singled out Kuntar as a model to be followed: "We bless the family members of Samir Kuntar, we are with you. He is your son but he is also our son, the son of Palestine. We ask of Allah, that there will be 100 more Samir Kuntars, 1,000 more Samir Kuntars, 1,000,000 more Samir Kuntars, that do and act for the Palestinian issue." The speech was broadcast on PA television - Militant Islam Monitor
The jailing of Samir Kuntar has haunted the world for three decades and is costing countless lives, there is only one solution. The death penalty - for convicted terrorists.
Failure to execute the Samir Kuntar's of the world only produces more terrorism and bloodshed. That Samir Kuntar lives while Smadar Haran, the Klinghoffers, and the bereaved families in Israel are burying their dead is an affront to civilization. A terrorist who murders others forfeits their humanity. They cannot be permitted to remain in our midst.
We are reminded of the ancient Midrash, "He who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate."