Whenever the Mainstream Media reports what they call news about Israel they always find a way to distort the history. And today as they tell the story of Eldad Regev and Udi Goldwasser coming home they have taken the opportunity to trounce on their memories as well as those of Danny Haran and his two young children, Einat and Yael who were brutally murdered by the “pardoned” terrorist Samir Kuntar.
The NY Times describes Kuntar as an Israeli Captive, rather than a ruthless terrorist that shot a father and child, then used the butt of his rifle to smash the brains of a little 4 year old. The IHT calls him a commando, like he was some kind of elite Green Beret instead of the cowardly child killer that he is. The LA Times changed the chronology of Regev and Goldwasser’s kidnapping in order to skew the story. And people wonder why newspaper circulation in big cities is down!
Read more below:
|Problems in Some Media of Israel-Hezbollah ExchangeThe prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel involving Samir Kuntar is currently underway, and is accompanied by heavy media coverage of the actual deal as well as related events. Not all of the mainstream coverage is accurate. For instance, an International Herald Tribune feature on Samir Kuntar by Craig S. Smith falsely labels the convicted killer of 4-year-old Einat Haran a “commando”:
On April 22, 1979, Kuntar led a band of teenage commandos to the sleepy coastal town, intent on taking hostages to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
“Commando” is a word applied to elite, special operations military forces. Connotations of bravery and even rescue of hostages — as opposed to the taking of hostages and the brutal murder of children — are implied. One who kidnaps and murders children for political aims is a “terrorist,” not a “commando.” (The New York Times version of this same article does not include this description of Kuntar.) In another International Herald Tribune article which appeared also in the New York Times, Dina Kraft incorrectly reported: “in Israel, where the captured reservists, Mr. Goldwasser and Mr. Regev, both university students, have been declared dead.” In fact, while they were widely presumed dead, the formal process to declare them dead, involving the Israel Defense Forces chief rabbi, had been halted. Also, repeating an earlier uncorrected falsehood, the Los Angeles Times‘s Richard Boudreaux falsely reported the chronology of events surrounding the capture of Israeli reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev:
The war two summers ago started with a cross-border raid by Hezbollah aimed at seizing soldiers to bargain for the release of Kuntar, who was serving multiple life sentences, and other Lebanese prisoners.
But the fighting did not “escalate” with Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel (or an Israeli attack on Lebanon, for that matter.) The fighting started with Hezbollah rocket attacks, which were ongoing during the cross-border raid. As the Los Angeles Times’ own Laura King and Vita Bekker report July 13, 2006:
Under cover of rocket and shell fire at northern Israeli hamlets and border army posts, the guerillas sprayed gunfire at two armored Israeli jeeps patrolling the frontier. It was at the site of that attack, which left three soldiers dead, that two Israelis were captured, Israeli news reports said.
Likewise, the New York Times reported at the time:
The Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah surprised Israel with a bold daylight assault across the border on Wednesday [July 12]…. The fighting on the Lebanese border erupted around 9 a.m., when Hezbollah attacked several Israeli towns with rocket fire, wounding several civilians, the Israeli military said. But that attack was a diversion for the main operation, several miles to the east, where Hezbollah militants fired antitank missiles at two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, the military said. Of the seven soldiers in the two jeeps, three were killed, two wounded and two abducted, the military said. (Clashes Spread to Lebanon as Hezbollah Raids Israel, July 13, 2006)
National Public Radio made the same error in August 2007, and responsibly corrected with the following on-air correction Aug. 23, 2007 :
In a recent story we stated that last year’s conflict between Israel and Hezbollah erupted when Hezbollah launched a cross border raid and captured two Israeli soldiers. We then said that Israel unleashed air strikes and sent troops and tanks across the border. And Hezbollah retaliated by firing Katyusha rockets into Israel. In fact, Hezbollah launched an initial round of Katyushas at the time of its cross border raid. The katyusha attacks escalated and expanded to most parts of northern Israel after the Israeli air strikes began.
How to Whitewash a Terrorist
The New York Times also published an article by Craig Smith headlined “Hero’s Welcome Expected in Lebanon for Captive of Israel“. The headline thus transfers the focus of the wrongdoing from Kuntar onto Israel, with Kuntar instantly transformed from a brutal terrorist/murderer into a “captive of Israel.” His vicious, cold-blooded attack is introduced mildly as a “raid [that] went horribly wrong.” Danny Haran whom Kuntar shot in the back and drowned, and his daughter Einat whom Kuntar bludgeoned to death in a gruesome manner are no longer the victims of a brutal terrorist but merely “among” five people left dead in a botched raid. After a long account of Kuntar’s sad childhood and deprivation, with a quote about how he was “deeply affected by the deaths he witnessed” after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Smith eventually does get around to mentioning the details of the attack and the eyewitness testimony that negates Kuntar’s claim of innocence, but only after setting the stage with an explanation/validation of why Lebanese view Kuntar as their hero.