The following account is almost unbearably sad. And yet, it is a story of strength and courage and a life that would not be defeated.
All nations have their important or tragic days seared into the national consciousness. April 22, 1979 is one of those days for Israelis
In the early morning hours of that day, Samir Kuntar, then 16 years of age, landed on a beach in Israel with three other members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The four men killed a policeman and then broke into an apartment. The events that ensued are tragic beyond all measure. They kidnapped a young Israeli man- Danny Haran, and his four year old son. They took them to a nearby beach and killed Mr. Haran in front of his son. Kuntar then killed the four year old boy by smashing his skull against a rock with the butt of his rifle.
While the terrorists were in the apartment, Samadar Hadan, the wife of Danny and mother of two young children, hid with her daughter. She accidentally smothered the two year old to death while trying to keep her quiet.
Samir Kuntar was captured and tried and convicted for murder and has remained in an Israeli prison ever since. He is a hero to Palestinian terrorists, and it is believed the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985 was done to secure his release.
Now Israel has released Kuntar in exchange for the bodies of two dead Israeli soldiers being held by Hezbollah. Hezbollah carried out a 2006 raid into Israel kidnapping two Israeli soldiers just to trade them for Kuntar.
Kuntar was released Wednesday night and celebrated as a hero in Syria, all while the blood of a two year old and four year old child and their father, still drips from his hands. Like Macbeth, he is dammed to carry those blood spots through eternity. No amount of washing and no cheering crowds will wipe those stains from a soul dammed to eternal hell for his acts on this earth.
Here is the story of survival and courage: Samadar Hadan, the lone survivor of this brutal and senseless attack, eventually remarried and raised two daughters. She lives near the parents of one of the captured and now dead Israeli soldiers. When asked how she felt about Kuntar’s release, as recently reported in the NY Times, (the title to the post is linked to the article) this is what she had to say:
“Samir Kuntar is not my private prisoner, and we live in a country where there is a framework for making decisions,” she said, echoing what she wrote in a letter to the prime minister and the cabinet ahead of their decision to proceed with the deal. “I asked them not to think about my personal pain and to make decisions according to the interests of the state.”
Kuntar and Hezbollah are cowards. Killers of little children. And yet, they have lost a battle they can never win. Samadar Hadan has won. She survived and lived her life. Hadan’s existence, her new family, her two daughters, all prove that despite Kuntar's release, he and Hezbollah have failed and can never ever win. Not when facing the strength and courage of Samadar Hadan.
Now if a bomb were mistakenly to fall on Kuntar’s head as he passed over the border to Syria, that would not be a bad thing either.