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July 20, 2008

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Todd

Interesting reporting, Dion, way to bother making the trip. Isn't it telling that you are the first to visit Kuntar, despite the miles of poisonous column inches dedicated to the man in the corporate press in North America? Though I have to say, your epithet "beefy killer" might be the best dismissive I have heard, outdoing the cheapest of throwaways. Maybe it was your editor, so I won't assume. But I trust henceforth that McClatchey will refer to Ehud Barak as "beefy killer" and at least consider the phrase in Sharon's obit or comeback piece.

But I digress, I meant to say it was sad you totally miss the point about why Lebanon's everyman and his young son - who has lived through a savage bombing and has seen more than any war jock could dream of already in his young life - would be proud of a Palestinian/Lebanese fighter who was a dignified and important leader of resistance to occupation and dispossesion despite being in a cage for three decades. These folks have lost everything, more than once, and while there are complicating factors, the one constant is that Israel is overwhelmingly responsible.

Tell us why that is important to a society that is devastated by protracted war and occupation and imprisonment at the hands of Israel.

Even if the worst of the exaggerations about Kuntar were true, the reason one would fete him is not for this single act in dirty war, but for a lifetime of resistance under the most difficult circumstance - namely, in an enemy cage. Kuntar organized from inside the prisons and was a key figure in the lives of hundreds, if not many thousands of prisoners. In Palestinian and Lebanese political culture Israel's cages are the "university" for generation after generation. Hundreds of thousands imprisoned, everyone impacted.

Kids in Lebanon don't fetishize Kuntar's killing any more than Israelis do the hunter-killer exploits of Barak, Livni, Sharon, Rabin, Yaalon, Begin, Shamir, on and on. You would never suggest that little Jewish children swoon in the presence of Sharon because of his Qibya child killing, would you?

Rob

Who pays your salary, bubba? Nasrullah?

I'd say be ashamed of yourself, but I doubt you have the capacity.

Brad Brzezinski

Your statement that 1,200 civilians were killed is highly disputable.

A feature of the war was that the western media essentially got their numbers from Hizb'allah. Post war Lebanese-government stats seemed no more credible. Seeing as Israel went to pains to warn people of attacks, it is likely that cited numbers are simply part of the propaganda that our media unquestioningly accepts.

Para

Vile. Just vile.

BillyDinPVD

Kept his dignity for 30 years? The man smashed a four year-old girl's head with a rifle butt! If that's human dignity, we're screwed.

The Wizard

great! Maybe next this vile pig can party with Hitler or bin Laden

Jimmy

For the media-industrial complex, the world is a movie and terrorists have the James Dean role.
As for Kuntar's hero status in his Druze village, how many residents would dare say otherwise?
Btw, the "dismissive" (though accurate) "beefy killer" is more than compensated by the gratuitously soothing image of a village in the "cool pine mountains," not to mention the Goebbelesque triumphalism of the introduction.
Bias in the media is not the problem, the laughable pretense of objectivity is.

huerfano

Kuntar is a murderous thug. He fits right in with the rest of the murderous thugs in Hesbollah. May he rot in hell with his compatriots.

interestinconundrum

This "man" killed a 4 year old girl, up close, on purpose, with a rifle butt.
No cause in the world can justify that fact, no cause in the world.
May he receive his just reward here on Earth.

Bruno Mitchell

Isn't that cute, you made a new friend who can protect you when bullies pick on you in the school yard. Seriously, enjoy your new job as Devils Advocate.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

dion

Checkpoint Jerusalem was written by Dion Nissenbaum, who covered the Middle East as Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers from 2005 to 2009.

Nissenbaum is now McClatchy's bureau chief in Kabul, covering south Asia with an emphasis on Afghanistan. See his new blog at Checkpoint Kabul.

Feel free to send a story suggestion. Read his stories at news.mcclatchy.com.

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