48 thoughts on “IDF Lies About Kuntar Murder Flow in Abundance – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Simple question from a simple man.
    Why ‘Israel murdered Samir Kuntar’
    AND ‘a Hezbollah militant involved with a terror attack that killed three Israeli civilians in 1979′

    1. @ Red: Read the post, simple man. Aviv Sela, after interrogating Kuntar believes his claim that Israeli security forces killed the father & daughter, not Kuntar. I didn’t say this, a former Shabak interrogator & psychologist did. Argue with him. Or do you know better than he?

  2. @Richard

    Dr. Zvi Sela (Zvi, not Aviv), also said, “He (Kuntar) told me then explicitly that he would not go back to terrorism, that he was too old to execute operations”
    This makes Kuntar a liar, or Sela a fool. Or both.

    1. @ First, we don’t know what Kuntar was doing when he was killed. We only know what the liars in Israel’s security apparatus claimed he was doing. But let’s assume he was involved in militancy of some sort. Why can’t we assume Kuntar meant what he said at the time he sooje to Seka, but later changed his mind? Oh, that’s right. He’s a lying scheming killer. And Israel has none of of those in its service, does it? Not to mention that Israel has just as many militants fighting on its behalf as Hezbollah does. They just wear different uniforms. Why do we honor Israelis wearing uniforms who kill far more children than Kuntar ever did; while Kuntar is a demon worthy of execution even after serving 29 years for his crimes.

      When serve as Shabak psychologist as many decades as he did you may call him a fool. Till then, not so much.

  3. Barbar, could you provide us with evidence of Kuntar being back into executing operations? Something more specific than the unidentified ‘highly reliable western sources’ please.

  4. “But unlike Israel, I strongly believe in the rule of law and that no state has the right to make these decisions outside of courts and the justice system”
    Presumably with this statement you oppose drone assassinations being performed by the US and its western allies. Is that so?

    1. @ yehuda: pls use Google to answer these sorts of questions before asking them, instead of making me repeat myself. I have written many blog posts & comments making clear I am opposed to ALL targeted assassinations.

  5. barbar black sheep, have you any lies?

    Surely there is enough uncertainty in this case for anyone to smell a rat? al-Kuntar signed a confession accepting responsibility for the deaths of the policeman and of Danny and Einat Haran, but only under interrogation (at a time when we know extreme pressure i.e. torture was regularly used.) He promptly retracted that confession at the trial when he explained that he had been beaten during detention. It required an anonymous witness to testify that he had shot Haran. The court file remained top secret for almost thirty years, and even when released to the press, it was then purged of two documents. Zvi Sela who served as Chief Intelligence Officer of the Israeli Prison Service, was fully familiar with the case and represents a very credible witness, clearly stated: “We turned Kuntar into God-knows-what – the murderer of Danny Haran and his daughter, Einat. The man who smashed in the girl’s head. That’s nonsense. A story. A fairy tale. He told me he didn’t do it and I believe him. I investigated the event… and in my opinion there is support for the fact that they were killed by fire from the Israeli rescue forces. You can accuse him all you like, but it was obviously the rescue forces that opened fire.”

    Look – you are winning the war, barbar: you do not have to fight every battle along the way, at the cost of revealing yourself as an unreasoning and fanatical naysayer. Your credibility would be enhanced if just now and again you could admit that there is legitimate uncertainty, rather than always leaping in with guns blazing (“This makes Kuntar a liar, or Sela a fool. Or both.”) Or perhaps it is you that is the liar, or the fool, or both.

  6. @Elisabeth

    “Barbar, could you provide us with evidence of Kuntar being back into executing operations? ”

    “Mr. Kuntar’s brother Bassam confirmed his death on Sunday without providing details. He called his brother a martyr, suggesting that he died in the context of a battle or military mission.”

    Military mission.

    “With pride we mourn the martyrdom of the leader Samir Kuntar, and we are honored to join families of martyrs,” Bassam Kuntar wrote on Facebook.

    That’s my evidence, Elisabeth. Now where’s your evidence that Kuntar wasn’t back to executing operations.

  7. @Barbar
    If that is your evidence it sucks. Even kids shot on their way to school by the IDF, or blown to bits in Gaza are called ‘martyrs’. Here’s just one exapmle for you to learn something from, but you should have long known this if you claim to know anything about this conflict.

    Whoever put that sentence ‘suggesting that he died in the context of a battle or military mission’ in, is just as ignorant as you.

    Richard has condemned American drone assasinations countless times. He is consistent in his criticsm. You could learn something from him.

  8. @Elisabeth

    “Whoever put that sentence ‘suggesting that he died in the context of a battle or military mission’ in, is just as ignorant as you. ”

    Her name is Diaa Hadid, and she is a journalist for the New York Times.
    She is far more knowledgeable about the Arab world than I am.

  9. The “blatant lies” are what is written on this blog. Samir Kuntar may he rot in hell murdered 4 year old Einat Haran by hitting her head with his rifle butt. The pathology report showed that she died from a blow to the back of the head from a “blunt instrument such as a club or rifle butt” not a bullet. It also showed “brain matter from her skull on the rifle butt of Kuntar.”

    1. @ Reb Yankev: I’ve searched Google for the phrases you put in quotation marks. They are not found in an English search. You may be translating from Hebrew. If so, do as Elizabeth suggests & provide your source. If you are not translating from Hebrew then it appears you are either fabricating your quotation or deriving it from a source not crawled by Google.

  10. Samir Kuntar was a 16-year-old when he was captured by Israel in 1979. A teenager. He then spent 26 years in Israeli prison before being released in the Hezbollah prisoner exchange. To say that this man, upon his release, became a terrorist mastermind is a typical Israeli lie and a blatant insult to one’s intelligence. Kuntar was an open wound to Israeli national pride, and that was the only reason he was assassinated. The ensuing Hezbollah retaliation for this murder is an acceptable price for the Israeli assassins (the government and the military) because none of their kids will be harmed when and if Hezbollah decides to retaliate.

  11. Folks, this argument is really futile, since it is not really about Kuntar’s guilt or innocence of this or that crime. Its about whether you think extrajudicial killings (such as targeted assassinations of terrorists) are an acceptable means for states to employ in counter-terror strategy. Arguments about its effectiveness are another matter.
    Elisabeth has said that Richard’s position is that he is opposed to this method, not only by Israel. (Sorry but I did not do a search of the blog to verify this)
    It is philosophical/moral position, and one can argue about that. Arguing about whether Kuntar is guilty, or whether Israel has legitimate self-defense concerns, doesn’t really seem to matter.
    Was Bin Laden “murdered” by the US? Is killing on the battle field “murder”? The ethics codes in the UN have not kept up with technology and the modern modes of warfare such as asymmetric conflict involving non-state actors.
    Regarding information available to the public, I appreciate the desire for transparency, but I don’t think any modern state with a technocracy, including a modern army, can fully inform the citizens about every move that it makes. It cannot always reveal it’s intelligence sources or its methods. So Richards conjectures here which are based on phraseology from “leaked” information is just that– conjecture.

  12. Clear choice between “rot in hell” and “mentally unstable.” For specific murders a different retribution, it’s called being an apologist. In the year 1979, there was no stability on the norhern border of Israel. When will Israel’s leaders choose a path of reconciliation and peace towards Palestinians. Israel leads the way in acts of extrajudicial murders, and under previous US administrations, the CIA followed suit. Obama’s drone policy of assassinations has increase dramatically by numbers. It’s unlawful and has not achieved its goals anywhere on this planet. Terror is terror, whether by an individual of by the state. Some states operate with impunity, flaunting international law.

  13. @Barbar, I repeat: The term ‘martyr’ in itself does not signify anything. I have seen it used countless times for people killed in the conflict who were clearly not combatants, as I have shown you. Do you deny that?

  14. @Rabbi Y. L.
    Can you link to the report?
    On another note, Kuntar was 16 at the time of his crime and spent 30 years in jail. It is not as if he went scot-free. What punishment in this world would have satisfied you, apart from him rotting in hell?

  15. What about the testimony of the wife who hid among some rocks and accidentally smothered her other daughter to muffle her screams

  16. I think Kuntar was more than just “involved”…
    I think you can say that he killed a 4 your old girl. I doesn’t diminish the heinous Zionist crime.

    1. @ i have seen no more evidence that he personally killed her than I have that he didn’t. So is he responsible? Yes. Because he mounted the attack. But did he personally kill her as the narrative suggests? Unproven.

  17. @Rabbi Y. L.,
    Another queston for you, as you are so concerned about the very young suspects in the Duma arson case, who are older than Kuntar was, when he comitted his crime: Do you think 30 years in prison for burning to death a family of three would be enough, apart from them rotting in hell?
    I would be interested to hear your reaction.
    Or do you, in principle, refuse to answer questions from goyim like me?

  18. @Yehuda

    You wrote:

    “Its about whether you think extrajudicial killings (such as targeted assassinations of terrorists) are an acceptable means for states to employ …”

    ” … Herod slew so many men without his (Hyrcanus) giving him any command to do it, either by word of mouth, or by his letter, and this in contradiction to the law of the Jews; who therefore, in case he be not a king, but a private man, still ought to come to his trial, and answer it to him, and to the laws of his country, which do not permit any one to be killed till he hath been condemned in judgment.” Josephus – Jewish Wars – Book I Chapter 10

    And that was more than 2,000 years ago…

  19. For good measure I add:

    “for Herod, Antipater’s son, hath slain Hezekiah, and those that were with him, and hath thereby transgressed our law, which hath forbidden to slay any man, even though he were a wicked man, unless he had been first condemned to suffer death by the Sanhedrim yet hath he been so insolent as to do this, and that without any authority from thee.”

    Upon Hyrcanus hearing this, he complied with them. The mothers also of those that had been slain by Herod raised his indignation; for those women continued every day in the temple, persuading the king and the people that Herod might undergo a trial before the Sanhedrim for what he had done.”

    Josephus – Jewish Antiquities Book 14 Chapter 9

  20. With your position, I imagine that you understand that you put yourself way out there in terms of the far left of the political spectrum. There is a broad consensus, across the mainstream right and left, that this is an acceptable form of warfare against an external enemy (not a political enemy of course, as in your examples). In an era of 4th generation warfare, victory and defeat have changed meanings, and its not about conquering territory, armored battles in the open field, and surrender. Rather its about perception, psychological warfare, moral victories and pressure on decision makers. Terrorism is one of the tools in this arena, and for state actors, counter-terrorist measures.
    In this context it is usually not possible to arrest guerrilla activists, extradite them, and try them at home. Targeted assassinations are considered by most (admittedly by not all) as an effective method of damaging the operational capacity of these groups and demoralizing them. It is the modern equivalent (both tactically and morally) of killing on the battle field.

    1. I imagine that you understand that you put yourself way out there in terms of the far left

      No, I imagine no such thing. What I know (and not, “imagine”) is that you, a pro Israel apologist think of me as to the left of Attila the Hun. That’s not a statement of objective fact. It merely documents how far-right your own views are & says nothing about my own.

      There is a broad consensus, across the mainstream right and left, that this is an acceptable form of warfare against an external enemy

      First of all, there is no “mainstream left,” nor any other sort of left in Israel. By “mainstream left” you meant the “Jewish” left, which again exists in name only. But the third largest party in Knesset (not “mainstream” by your racist standards, but which should entitle it to be called mainstream) rejects outright this claim, this abomination called targeted murder. So there goes your claim on this one as well.

      Further, the Palestinians are not an external enemy. They are an internal enemy. Yet you assassinate them as well.

      its not about conquering territory

      NOnsense, Israel’s Occupation is almost solely about conquering, or “stealing” territory. Israeli periodic wars ensure that this theft of Palestinian lands is enforced & maintained.

      it is usually not possible to arrest guerrilla activists, extradite them, and try them at home.

      Horse manure. You mean it’s more convenient to kill “terrorists” than it is to do it the old-fashioned way. Wanted terrorists can certainly be apprehended in scores of ways. But just as Israel prefers to kill its own soldiers than bargain for their release after their capture; Israel much prefers the tidier method of exterminating enemies rather than bringing them to trial & prison. There is absolutely no evidence that Israel or the U.S. could not capture many of the most wanted militants. Do you forget that Israel tracked Eichmann for a decade or more before striking. It did not kill him when it did. It kidnapped him & brought him to Israel for trial. That would never happen today. Israel would simply put a bullet between the eyes & be done with it. Or as in the case of al Mabouh, it would be slightly more subtle & poison him to death & leave little trace.

      Targeted assassinations are considered by most (admittedly by not all) as an effective method of damaging the operational capacity of these groups and demoralizing them

      You think Hezbollah is demoralized by Kuntar’s murder?? Really? This is manna from heaven for them. They will have a line of hundreds of children banging down the door to become him in a decade or so. You haven’t damaged anything except your own credibility by violating international law. Speaking of which, such murders are crimes under said law, and not “considered by most” to be acceptable.

      It is the modern equivalent (both tactically and morally) of killing on the battle field.

      No, it is the modern–and ancient equivalent of murder. Those laws and customs haven’t changed despite all your efforts to eviscerate them.

      So I’m invoking a comment rule here regarding you: commenters who defend the killing of human beings violate the comment rules. So this will be your last comment defending such murders if you wish to remain.

    1. @ Barbar: Diaa Hadid wrote her last piece for Electronic Intifada in 2003: nearly 13 yrs ago! She hasn’t written for a progressive publication for many, many years. I’ve followed her reporting when she worked for AP & now the NYT, over a number of years. She may consider herself progressive based on past laurels. But if she ever was she is no longer. She serves a similar role to Khaled abu Toameh who writes for JPost. She is an Arabic name writing pro-Israel copy. That’s very useful for the MSM. They cover their asses and lots of ethnic bases as well.

  21. @Richard

    “But did he personally kill her as the narrative suggests? Unproven.”

    There is a photograph available on the internet of Samir Kuntar’s weapon with brain matter spattered on it. It was a trial exhibit.
    Would you like me to post the photo?

  22. Margot Wallstrøm, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, remarked recently in parliament on the extra-judicial character of Israeli killings, and the disproportionality of these.

    This inflamed Netanyahu. He rang Stefan Lofven, the Swedish Prime Minister, to say that he found Wallstrøm’s remarks “scandalous” – what did she expect that Israelis would freely offer their necks to be killed etc.

    I wonder what Lofven said to his wife at night. “I had that Israeli nutcase on the line …”

    Wallstrøm’s remarks were, of course, right on target. She might, among other things, have thought of a case commented on by Uri Avnery:

    “The story is well known: two sisters, 14 and 16 years old, have decided to attack Israelis. The clip, taken by a security camera, shows one of them, clad in traditional Arab garb, jumping around on the sidewalk, brandishing a pair of scissors.
    The whole thing looks almost like a dance. She is jumping around aimlessly, waving the scissors, threatening no one in particular. Then a soldier aims a pistol at her and shoots her. He runs to the girl and kills her while she is lying helplessly on the ground. The other girl is grievously wounded.

    Officially, of course, soldiers and others are allowed to kill only when their own lives or the lives of others are in direct and immediate danger. According to the laws of war, as well as Israeli law, it is a crime to kill enemies when they are wounded, handcuffed or otherwise unable to endanger lives.
    Yet almost all Arab perpetrators – including the wounded and the captured – are shot on the spot. How is this to be explained?
    Most frequently, the facts are simply denied. But with the proliferation of security cameras, this becomes more and more impossible.
    An argument often used is that a soldier has no time to think. He has to act quickly. A battlefield is no courtroom. A soldier often acts instinctively.
    Yes and no. Very often indeed there is no time to think. He who shoots first stays alive. A soldier has the right – indeed, the duty – to defend his life. When in doubt, he should act. No one needs to tell me that. I have been there.
    But there are situations when there is no doubt at all. If a handcuffed prisoner is shot, it is clearly a crime. To shoot a wounded enemy, lying helplessly on the ground, like the girl with the scissors, is disgusting.
    These are clearcut cases. If the Minister of Police (now called Minister for Interior Security) says in the Knesset that the girl-killer had no time to think – he lies.”

  23. The most pressing questions are not being answered. Does the government handle hostages situations effectively? How does the government try suspects, and is it an open and fair process? Finally, in what way does the intention to go to war corrupt the understanding and beliefs about threats the society faces? Haaretz writes that “In September 1979, a year and a half after the IDF’s Litani Operation [in south Lebanon], Weizman concluded a discussion on the objectives of the war, defining them as “breaking up the terrorist groups in southern Lebanon and the coastal areas.” (1)

    I think these are more important than who in fact was responsible. That said, I think it would be doing a disservice to the cause of the independence and anti-war movements to create a conspiracy theory. The last thing we should do is discredit ourselves by becoming myopic. I’m unconvinced by the testimony of the psychologist, although I don’t think the story being told about Kuntar/Qintar is a neutural one. Part of his motivation is to sell a book, which he plugged in the interview. Should we listen to Bill O’Reilly or Samantha Power with as much reverence? Much of his evidence seems to come down to “He told me and I believe him.” But everyone in jail is innocent, and truly believes it. In my opinion, to deny your own crime is a sign of humanity, that your conscience cannot handle accusing itself. A true psychopath would not care to deny it.
    In its last large offensive on Gaza, Israel obliterated entire families. Israeli propaganda is well-served to have this crime projected onto a foreigner. If one were to sink as low as the IDF’s knee-jerk defenders, one could even argue Kuntar was using the daughter as a human shield.
    Similar motivated reasoning is almost certainly involved in the standard version of the events, and its mirror image. However, at the time, everything was being suppressed as a matter of principle, not just this case. (1) Referencing the time period “there was a plethora of books, speeches and articles made by those involved in the war, as well as analysts and critics, but “not a single one was based on sensitive, classified information.” According to Norman Finkelstein, Israel’s image was hurt severely by these wars. The hoax “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters published was in 1984 “after Israel invaded Lebanon and suffered its first public relations debacle” (Beyond Chutzpah, p90)

    Rather than an explicit coverup, it’s also likely that simply a matter of policy to conceal as much as possible, regardless. In this way, one can still see why the standard version of events could hurt Israel’s image and thus hurt any attempt to plan a new war. The standard version goes that Kuntar attacked a family, and after dispatching with a daughter’s protector, went on to lustfully attack the defenseless child. Part of this is corroborated by Kuntar’s alleged (though suspect) confession upon his arrest. “Immediately following his capture, when his remand was extended, Kuntar confessed that he had bludgeoned Einat to death with the butt of his rifle. Later, however, when testifying in court, Kuntar denied the charges.” But a forensic account found brain matter from the child was on the butt of the rifle. (2) However, what motivated him to hurt the poor girl was not a premeditated genocidal attack to separate the father from the daughter to claim a captive. While still denying the murder “According to the terrorist, Danny Haran insisted on holding on to his daughter, and had he not done that, they would have only taken him to Lebanon.” (3)

    While not taking either his own or his captor’s testimony at face value, this is the most plausible picture I think that can be painted. It may not be as sexy as uncovering an immense fraud (which takes serious scholarly work) but to assume that the facts will always fall into our lap in a neat package plants a false overconfidence, and distracts from the work needed to be done to change official policy. Again, it’s mistaken to fall into the trap of speculating on events and lionizing a young man simply for being upset with society as much as we are. This version I put forth could be wrong. Who knows? What matters is what we can do about it and what we are prepared to do that it doesn’t happen again.

    (1) http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.588972?date=1450603804830
    (2 https://web.archive.org/web/20151117112111/http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Terrorism/Palestinian/Pages/The%20Kuntar%20File%20Exposed%20-%20Yediot%20Aharonot%2014-Jul-2008.aspx
    (3) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3569961,00.html

  24. That picture is from the pathologist’s report, which was not released for publication, making it a picture without context.
    One person’s testimony was withheld as well.

    By the way, did you know Israel did an hour long revenge bombing on a Palestinian refugee camp the day after the attack, killing three people?

  25. @Richard, my comment was originally intended in response to Arie (as you know there is a technical problem which doesn’t allow replying to specific comments). I am not supporting murder. In my comments I was speaking in general principles, and I was not referring only to Israel but to the tactics of the US and its allies. I haven’t heard too much criticism from the democrats of Obama’s policy on the issue which was being discussed.
    I think for the most part bringing “facts” from links is counterproductive, since there is no agreed upon standard here between the opposing sides as to what or who is a reliable source. Everybody has an ax to grind. So you end up with quote mining and link wars. So in your posts you will inevitably gather mountains of facts confirming your notions. Arie or Elizabeth will quote excerpts from Haaretz writers, which have their well-known bias, to which I could shoot back with links to sites which would immediately be dismiss as right wing propaganda.
    I do not question the mental health of you or your other guests. I imagine that Arie and Elisabeth are quite sane and well adjusted people. I am referring to the moral foundation theory (advocated by respected researchers in the field) in which there are important psychological insights into why people take the moral stances they do
    For one explanation see this : http://www.moralfoundations.org/
    I think this goes a long way explaining the positions advocated by the various visitors here. There are no secrets here, we’re all being exposed to the same news, the same information.

  26. @Yehuda

    I have the impression that you want to be able to endorse occupation, land theft, sabotaging people’s daily lives, violating their rights etc. and still feel good about yourself. Well I can’t see how the moral foundations theory you refer to will help you there. The theory states that different people, different cultures etc. might have different hierarchies of values. These values are however not necessarily mutually exclusive and the theory does not imply moral relativism. The foundation you seem to prefer is loyalty, loyalty to one’s country, or rather to certain groups in one’s country. But endorsing this value does not justify ignoring a more central one, viz. the notion of “harm”.

    Jonathan Haidt, Jesse Graham and Pete Ditto, who provide a more extensive explication of the theory, indicate that the notion of harm. including psychological harm, injustice, and violations of rights” (things that are central in the Israeli treatment of Palestinians AB) might be central in the morality of all cultures:

    “Harm, broadly construed to include psychological harm, injustice, and violations of rights, may be important in the morality of all cultures …

    all foundations are not equally central, important, or frequent in the lives of Americans, even conservative Americans. Harm is probably more central or frequent, followed by fairness.”


  27. h/t NRC Rotterdamse Courant

    Have you heard about the Dutch “infiltrator”in Israel? His name is Yishai Menuhin, an Israeli working for the human rights organization Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.With Dutch money he protects “terrorists” against interrogation by Shin Bet. That’s why his organization should be considered unlawful.

    This is the position of the ultra-national organisation Im Tirtzu, in a video film that went viral on the Internet in Israel. Except for Menuhin, there were three other leaders of human rights organizations accused of assistance to “terrorists” with support from a foreign government.

  28. Now Tzipi Hotovely has threatened that Sweden might be excluded from efforts to revive the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.


    What efforts?

  29. @Arie– regarding the basis of morality you raise good questions and this could be a serious discussion but it is too far off topic, I don’t think Richard would allow it.

  30. From recent Terrorist Designation of Samir Kuntar by the US Bureau of Public Affairs –
    “Since Kuntar’s return, he has also played an operational role, with the assistance of Iran and Syria, in building up Hizballah’s terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights”

    Obviously Mr. Sela was completely led on by Kuntar.

  31. @Arik

    Military Alliance Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Syria fighting dozens of Wahhabist funded terror groups. UN buffer zone has been under attack by Jabhat al-Nusra, allied to IDF forces commanding the Golan Heights. IAF attack targeted a civilian housing complex in Damascus suburb Jaramana, occupied by Druze and Christian families. Until proved otherwise, the assassination was a revenge killing by the state of Israel.

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