« LA Times Corrects: Not a Wall, After All | Main | Israel's Prisoner Exchange - Suicidal? »

July 16, 2008

Washington Post reports too little about Kuntar

Washington Post Jerusalem Bureau Chief Griff Witte ("Israel to Free Prisoners, Swap with Hezbollah Involves Abducted Soldiers," June 30) failed to give readers the minimum sufficient information about a killer being released by Israel in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

The lead paragraph mentions a convicted murderer, a term that does not portray fully the nature of Samir Kuntar's crimes. Kuntar is not mentioned by name until the ninth paragraph, more than halfway through the article. Only then is his participation in a 1979 terrorist attack detailed; Kuntar and colleagues killed a policeman, stormed into an apartment building, captured and killed a young father, Danny Haran, in front of his four-year-old daughter, Einat, then smashed the girl's head with his rifle butt. Meanwhile, Haran’s wife accidentally smothered their two-year-old daughter as she tried to keep her quiet in their hiding place.

The Post omits the killing of the policeman, but reports that Kuntar was 16 at the time of the attack. The newspaper also omits that four months ago Kuntar wrote a letter to Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, assuring the Hezbollah leader that, at 46, he is ready to rejoin the war against Israelis.

The Post dispatch examines how the worst fears of families of the two soldiers kidnapped in 2006, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, may soon be confirmed, but adds that family members are glad the government accepted the deal. The report does mention that one at least Israeli politician,Yossi Beilin, believes Israel should release live prisoners only in exchange for live Israeli soldiers, and that the Shin Bet and Mossad intelligencence-security agencies both opposed the deal.

The case of Samir Kuntar was, for Israel, not that of a simple prisoner swap, but rather the freeing of a heinous and unrepetant murderer. It warranted more detail thanThe Post's June 30 coverage supplied. -- A.G.

Posted by ER at July 16, 2008 03:19 PM


Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)