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Hanin Ghaddar

Samir Kuntar, enough with the arrogance

Shortly after his release from an Israeli prison, Samir Kuntar visited Syria in November 2008 and met with President Bashar al-Assad, who awarded him Syria’s highest medal, the Syrian Order of Merit. Kuntar also visited Druze communities in the Golan Heights. On the border with Israel, he expressed solidarity with the Druze community: “President Bashar al-Assad has promised me that he will help you,” he said. “I say to you, soon President Assad will fly the Syrian flag over the Golan.”
 
Of course, none of that happened. But Kuntar did not care. Exactly three years later, Kuntar told the Syrian people that he is ready to cut off the hands of any Syrian who dares challenge the Assad regime.

At the same time, the Syrian government and media are ignoring the return home last week of the only Syrian prisoner freed as part of a swap deal between Israel and Hamas, Weam Amasha.

Residents welcomed Amasha in the Golan Heights and refused to hold up photos of Assad. In a solidarity statement from his prison in Israel in May, Amasha voiced support for pro-democracy demonstrations in his homeland and went on a hunger strike to protest what he called a “massacre against unarmed Syrians” by the regime’s forces.

Kuntar wants to cut hands. Amasha wants to free Syria. Both were imprisoned in Israel, and both understand the meaning of freedom and dignity. But Kuntar preferred to turn a blind eye to the Assad regime’s killing of thousands of innocent civilians, including 267 children and babies, since the uprising began in March. He put his leader, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who is a close ally of Assad, above the murdered protesters, forgetting the true meaning of the word resistance and why he joined the effort back in the late 1970s.

The absurdity of protecting Assad is intolerable, especially since he has in essence admitted to the killing and torture of his people by accepting the recent Arab League initiative to end violence in Syria. If the regime was innocent and was just protecting itself from a conspiracy, it would have rejected all attempts at implicating it. However, Assad agreed to all the steps of the Arab League initiative, without any conditions. This is an indirect confession of his regime’s involvement in the violence. 

He accepted because it has become clear that there is no turning back—the protests will not end—and he wants to buy more time. Everyone can see it, except Samir Kuntar and the likes, who display an arrogance that masks logic or humanity. 

Of course no one expects Assad to implement the conditions of the Arab League initiative—that was made clear by yesterday’s killings and arrests of activists in Syria. If Assad fulfilled the required demands—that the regime withdraw tanks and troops from the streets, free political prisoners, accept Arab observers and foreign journalists, and open negotiations with the opposition within two weeks—there would be mass demonstrations all over Syria, including in Damascus and Aleppo. The opposition will not stop until the regime is toppled. That’s exactly why the initiative is doomed to fail.

The problem is that people like Kuntar do not understand that Assad is just buying time, and that he and his regime are too weak to refuse any initiative. They still look at the Syrian regime as a sacred entity because it supports the scared Resistance. Kuntar is the Syrian regime’s kind of hero, one that cuts hands and protects murderers.

After he was released, he rushed to Syria to get his medal, but did not mention the Lebanese who have been rotting in Syrian jails for decades or the Syrian political prisoners who have suffered much worse conditions than those he faced in Israeli prison.  For they are not heroes. They did not kill any Israelis. All other political activity is a conspiracy, and deserves death, torture and pain. All those calling for freedom in the Syrian streets do not make sense to people like Kuntar. All the Syrian children who died in the past eight months are just victims of a conspiracy and deserve no sympathy. All prisoners who are viciously tortured every day by the Syrian security forces are not human beings.

It is the same arrogance that divides people into the honorable ones who support the Resistance and the traitors who are against it. If you are not ready to sacrifice your freedom, dignity and future for the sake of the Resistance and your dictator, you do not deserve to live.

However, this arrogance cannot last on the new Arab street. In the face of the prevailing quest for dignity, it will lose. Samir Kuntar is today faced with Weam Amasha, who refused to meet with Assad upon his release because he understands that resisting the Israeli occupation in the Golan Heights does not contradict resisting one’s own dictator. Occupation and Dictatorship are two faces of the same coin.

Amasha gets it, but Kuntar is still arrogant.

Hanin Ghaddar is the managing editor of NOW Lebanon

  • ali daoud

    dear Emile, syria`s problem with the west is the fact that it is fighting israel, and you are mature enough to know that fighting doesn`t occur only through weapons, the struggle is obvious to the blind. any way, it seems you don`t give any importance to the high price syria paid during israel`s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, thousands of syrians have been victims in that invasion. add that, we are the ones who fought israel for the last 30 years, and we perfectly know who is our partner in that fight, syria and Iran and President Emile Lahoud. about the Christians, i know that Lebanon is not Lebanon without them, and that is what i am warning about, the situation in syria will dictate the future of the Christians in the whole region, if Assad falls then the Christians are doomed to flee the whole region, and if Bashar wins then the Christians will feel safe to remain in the region, however, in both scenarios those M14 Christian Ledaers are doomed to pay the price. VIVE SAYYED, VIV BASHA

    November 15, 2011

  • Emile

    @majd.. wakee up my friend i dont recall syria fought israeel, for the last 40 years they were the protector for the israelis in golan heights.. isarelis are bathing and having sun tan on tabraya lake, while lebanese are being driven from their homes and for 30 years out of the 40 years, the syrian guns are pointed to lebanese cities from atop the mountains.. grow up .. please.. if syria assad wanted to fight israel, it would have shown.. big difference between getting punched on the boxing ring and cheering from far away.. we are getting punched and assad is cheering..am not sure how true this csenario, either the baath party or the chaos.. by the way lebanon without christians is not lebanon my friend..

    November 15, 2011

  • ali daoud

    Emile, Vive al Assad because he is the only Arab Leader, all others are isarelis and americans, they never get united except against another arab state, Vive al Assad because he is our main partner in our struggle against israel, without al Assad, Father and Son, no Lebanese Resistance would have ever freed Lebanon or ever defeated israel in 2006, if al Assad didn`t help us, who in the whole arab world would have helped us against israel?!!!! NONE. all arabs are conspiring against all those resisting israel, why the issue has become HA and syria and Iran instead of israel`s occupation?!!!! again, today i support al assad like i never did, if he was toppled then i assure you that the whole region will get into a 100 year inner struggles, sunna vs Shia, arabs vs Kurds, arabs vs Persians, Christiand will have to leave the region for good, yalla, let`s call for international protection, let`s invite evil to our land. Vive Nasrallah, VIVE our hero Bashar al Assad who will never bow.

    November 13, 2011

  • Hassan Hajj Ali

    When Majd says pro-Israeli guys he's obviously referring to Rami Makhlouf Syrian President Bashar Assad's cousin and member his inner circle who admitted that the regime protects Israel's northern border with Syria.

    November 11, 2011

  • Sami

    Majd, let me rephrase it for you: Hizballah, Israel, and Syrian regime have the same effect on people lives, The real "moukawama" was the people of Lebanon. For every hizballah fighter that died, there was 100 civilians dead! If it was not for civilians, your "moukawama" would have vanished long time ago. Contrast this in Israel. For every 100 Israeli soldiers dead, there was one Israeli civilian dead! GOT IT?!!

    November 9, 2011

  • NN

    Majd... get a life.... think lebanese... and eat S*** :) ... and no matter what u do... everyone knows that hassouna and kantar are traitors who preferred the interest of other states over lebanon's interest (isn't that the definition of a traitor ? preferrring the interests of another state over urs) ... the question you should ask to know if one is a traitor or not is: would Hezbollah go to war if israel hits Iran? the answer is yea... even if lebanon gets destroyed...u know why majd??? its because people like hezbollah and kantar are traitors... even if Iran is removed from the map we shouldn't care... they watched us getting bombarded !!! .. so they can send a message ! wake up and smell the coffee :)

    November 9, 2011

  • Emile

    @majd. vive nasrallah , vive kuntar, fine may be in your eyes and little others they fought israel, i can not understand why vive assad, dont tell me he tried to free golan heights.. tell us how much you get per blog :))

    November 9, 2011

  • ali daoud

    all pro-israeli guys, Samir is a hero, Kuntar is a freedom fighter, he dared to attack inside israel long time before others did, he was willing to sacrifice his best age in order to tell the whole world that israel is an occupier, that israel is an apartheid state, and the honest Arabs will keep fighting. if you blame him cz he killed a family, well, don`t preach us here about something you never ceased to do, israel raised up complete villages of earth, israel smashed the squlls of thousands of children and still doing it, israel wiped out arab villages and changed their names, israel forbidded even its arab citizens from entering into their original villages and home towns, israel is an entity that deserves nothing but heroes such as Kuntar to teach its people a lesson which is, when you come and settle in others land, there should be a price to pay, those unwilling to pay have to leave ASAP. VIVE Kuntar, VIVE Nasrallah, VIVE al Assad.

    November 8, 2011

  • Emile

    @harris, well said,i can not believe lebanon went to war to free this creature, and lebanon took day off when he was freed. he came out with a phd from one of the most reputable universities in the world.. while the lebanese detainees in syrian jails are denied they ever existed. for you majd, you are one of the 2 , either you are ignorant or paid to write blogs.

    November 8, 2011

  • الى سالم

    So as per our fellow lebanese majd or mohd fawaz or whatever his name is, even if you molest an israeli kid you will be a hero in the eyes of the holly master hasan!! Well to be honest m not surprised because in one of the books of khomeini, child molesting is allowed in some cases and that's not a joke. Anyways, (un) majd, I'll quote Sami: Majd, don't you get it?! we see Israel and Hizballah and Syrian regime as all UGLY! UGLY IS UGLY NO MATTER WHO HE IS! we view these parties as gangs fighting each others. (...)

    November 7, 2011

  • Jamal

    Sadly the brainwashing of some people is so complete that one only needs to say they are anti Israel for them to become saints no other criteria is needed, for example the cosmopolitan terrorist St Carlos the Jackal and when he was lobbing his Scuds at Israeli St Saddam Hussein.

    November 7, 2011

  • harris

    This man who claims falsely to be a fighter, he is no more than a traitor along with his master nasralla and the syrian regime. this man got his degree while he was in prison, and look at him (...) He was happy and comfortable in Israel. I hope he serves sometime in the syrian or Iranian or Hz jail to see how would he look, that's if he stays a life. And for those who called him a hero. Hero of what! what did he do to make him a hero. (...)

    November 6, 2011

  • Sami

    Majd, don't you get it?! we see Israel and Hizballah and Syrian regime as all UGLY! UGLY IS UGLY NO MATTER WHO HE IS! we view these parties as gangs fighting each others.

    November 6, 2011

  • alsidani

    kuntar a hero !!! he smashed the skull of a 4 year old girl he is a coward instead fighting soldiers he fight little girls !!!!! that's the truth!!!!

    November 6, 2011

  • Jacob

    to see Sami Kuntar as a hero, it is very strange to me. What did this hero do, he sneaked into Israel, went into a private house killed the familly and smashed a young girl´s head. Is this heroisme? never. If someone like Hezbollah views him as a hero of the socalled resistance. So these people are by no means better. They are the same ... like Sami Kuntar!!!

    November 5, 2011

  • Ali Harajli

    Everyone knows that Samir Kuntar was member of the PLF and was captured outside Lebanon. He was not defending Lebanon against any occupiers he could not even find a Lebanese group to support he preferred a Palestinian one. He obviously prefers Palestine to Lebanon the Israelis did him a favor bt making him live on the soil of Palestine. Majd aka mohammad fawaz aka sami as usual can't tell the truth from fantasy he sees saints everywhere, next time he pricks his finger installing a muffler he will call the bleeding a stigmata.

    November 5, 2011

  • ali daoud

    Hanin Ghaddar, your harsh attaqck against the Lebanese hero al Kuntar for the sole reason he supported al Assad is so unpatriotic, so unhuman, and so hateful. it has nothing to do with all the cute slogans you imply to preach, you hate anybody who supports al assad even if he was a saint or a hero or a freedom fighter who gave up his best years in order to defend his country against the ugly israeli occupier. ....

    November 5, 2011

  • Emile

    hanin, why you waste your time and people's time to talk about this ... . this ... was jailed when he was 17 years old lost boy, he came out from jail with so called phd degree, he had even a tv in his cell .. can he elaborate to us this ... where are the lebanese jailed in syrian jails..i dont understand the ignorance of some people.. lebanon went into to war to free this ... ..he should have been left to ... in ... .

    November 5, 2011

  • shawki

    I am a Druze and very proud of it, and I can tell you for a fact, the majority of us Druze think very negatively of this guy and do not consider him one of us. He's a Hezbollah/Asaad guy, and he has nothing to do with Druze. He should be ashamed for taking the stands he has, God will never forgive anyone who stands with those that kill children. I can't believe we went to war for the release of this person, the Druze would be better with him in jail where he's not embarrassing us like that.

    November 5, 2011

  • kamal

    Thank you Hanin...cant find the word to thank you for addressing this topic. We thought that 25 years in prison could have taught that arrogant ... something...clearly he is a slave to his ... masters..

    November 5, 2011

  • Frank

    Excellent comparison between two conflicting ideologies personified by Kuntar and Amasha. Great article and conclusion " Occupation and Dictatorship are two faces of the same coin." Enough with the Hypocrisy already!

    November 4, 2011

  • Elyse Abi Saab

    Hi Hanin, How very true.. You are more and more feeling distant and unrelated to Ur other fellow Lebanese..They have no respect for those of us who suffered from Syrian occupation..

    November 4, 2011

  • Abou Ali

    Look at Samir Kuntar delivering a speech! What a joke, what a pity! ... this ... is acting in the name of Lebanon! What a shame...

    November 4, 2011

  • From a Syrian to Hanin Ghaddar

    Hanin, What a well written and well thought out article. I couldn't agree with you more than anyone who suffered in Syrian jails should be awarded and received in Lebanon as heros. They are not less patriotic, on the contrary, they have proven to the world that they are even braver than the hand chopper because the Syrian Regime makes Israel look like disney characters. Anyone who stands up to this barbarian regime in Damascus is a hero in our eyes. ...

    November 4, 2011

  • SELIM ABUKHDEIR

    they should strip this ... from his lebanese nationality .. he is the shame for all of us !!! he is a ...

    November 4, 2011

  • Joseph Younes

    and for this ... ... lebanon went to war???

    November 4, 2011