Alan Johnston

johnston203_gaza_bbc.jpgBBC journalist Alan Johnston is still missing 16 days after being abducted in Gaza. A tragedy for the BBC and for Alan’s family (he’s from near Dollar in Scotland — just a few miles from my own home town). Yet again however, we see that the Palestinian people’s own worst enemy is themselves . . .

Alan Johnston’s reports were widely seen by all — BBC execs, Palestinians and not a few Israelis — as a model of impartiality and sensitivity in this war-torn region. So why kidnap him? It doesn’t make sense but then again not a lot does in Gaza. The same insane rationalising that says it’s ok to walk into a Tel Aviv pizza parlour with a bomb belt is the same type of misanthropy that says a white westerner has no place in an Arab land.

I’ll bet my bottom dollar the Palestinian leadership knows who took Alan and where he is and if they know that getting public opinion on their side is all part of the battle in today’s media-driven world, then they’ll see he’s not only released but that the kidnappers are punished – on this last point I’m not hopeful.

I predict and hope Alan will be released unharmed but standby for some very, very feeble excuses from the Palestinian government as to the motives. The kidnappers will melt away into nowhere to be forgotten . . . until of course the next journalist disappears.

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