Ask the Guardian why it chose photo depicting a ‘child-friendly’ child-killing terrorist (Update)

(See important update below)

On July 15th, 2008, CAMERA provided the following background on Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze terrorist, and member of the Palestine Liberation Front, before his release in a deal to get the remains of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser:

On April 22, 1979, Kuntar and three other terrorists traveled from Lebanon to Israel by sea, coming ashore in the Northern Israeli coastal city of Nahariya . According to Israeli sources and the personal account of Smadar Haran, the following events took place:

Having shot dead police officer Eliyahu Shahar, Kuntar and his accomplices headed for a nearby apartment block. Hearing the commotion outside, Danny and Smadar Haran scrambled to protect their daughters, Einat (age 4) and Yael (age 2), by hiding them from the terrorists. Smadar, Yael and one of their neighbors climbed into the small attic of the apartment, while Danny and Einat rushed to the front door in an attempt to reach safety in an underground shelter.

At that moment, Kuntar and his accomplices stormed the apartment and grabbed Danny and Einat. Upon hearing police approaching, the terrorists gave up searching the apartment for Smadar, Yael and their neighbor. Kuntar and the other terrorists then dragged Danny and Einat to the beach, where they shot Danny in front of 4-year-old Einat, so that it would be the last thing that she would see before being slaughtered herself.

After shooting Danny in the back, Kuntar dragged him into the sea and drowned him to make sure that he was dead. Kuntar then turned his attention to the young child. He repeatedly slammed his rifle butt into Einat’s skull, smashing her head against a rock.

Despite Kuntar’s initial denial of involvement in Einat’s gruesome murder, the pathologist’s report showed remnants of Einat’s brain tissue on Kuntar’s rifle butt.

Tragically, Smadar accidentally suffocated her 2-year-old daughter Yael in a desperate attempt to keep her quiet while hiding from Kuntar.
Two of the terrorists were killed by police, but Kuntar and one other terrorist, Ahmed al-Abras, were arrested and jailed for their crimes. In May 1985, Al-Abras was released as part of a prisoner exchange called the “Jibril deal”. Kuntar was convicted of kidnaping, attempted murder and murder. He was sentenced to five life sentences and a further 47 years in prison.

Left: Samir Kuntar. Right: Kuntar’s victims a week before they were killed:

After his release, Kuntar (who never expressed remorse for the attack) became a high-level figure for the terror group Hezbollah, responsible for building up their terror infrastructure in the Golan Heights, and in fact was recently placed on the US State Department list of designated terrorists.

It’s been widely reported that Kuntar was killed over the weekend in a presumed IDF airstrike around Damascus.

Here’s the photo Guardian editors chose to illustrate a story by Kate Shuttleworth on the death of Kuntar.

guardian on samir

Though the caption doesn’t note this, the photo of Kuntar with his arms around two children was taken shortly after his release in 2008.

We should note that the Guardian article itself does note how the four-year old Einat was brutally murdered, thus making editors’ decision to illustrate the story with a photo of a ‘child-friendly’ Kuntar especially curious.

We suggest emailing the Guardian’s readers’ editor to politely inquire about their decision to use this particular photo.

Or, you can simply retweet this:


UPDATE: The Guardian responded to UK Media Watch, informing us that they replaced the photo.

8 replies »

  1. The Guardian presents Quntar as the consummate family man, not the man who murdered a family.

    I am sure that most of its readers have been conditioned to the point where they are no longer shocked or aware of how disgusting that is.

  2. Friendly suggestion: If you’re going to say “Or you can retweet this,” put a direct link to the tweet. You didn’t do that. You posted a .jpg image of the tweet. So you’d be forcing people to go to Twitter, type in the account name of that person, and scroll until they find that tweet, and then retweet it.

    A thousand times more effective, if you want people to retweet something, is obviously to post a direct link right to the tweet.

    Supporter of yours! Saying this as a friend.

  3. Even with this change, you should tweet at @fshields asking her to examine the motivation of the photo editor who picked the friendliest photo of a Jew-killing terrorist he/she could find.