25 June 2007

Alan Johnston Crisis

The group claiming responsibility for abducting BBC Journalist Alan Johnston in Gaza over three months ago have released a video showing Johnston wearing what he says is an explosives vest. Johnston states in the video that that his captors plan to detonate if there is any move to free him by force. This is an extremely disturbing turn of events. I simply want to add my voice to those who are calling for retraint on all sides.


Text of latest Alan Johnston video:

"Captors tell me that very promising negotiations were ruined when the Hamas movement and the British government decided to press for a military solution to this kidnapping, and the situation is now very serious.

"As you can see, I've been dressed in what is an explosive belt, which the kidnappers say will be detonated if there is any attempt to storm this area. They say they're ready to turn the hideout into what they describe as a death zone if there is an attempt to free me by force.

"I do appeal to the Hamas movement and the British government not to resort to the tactics of force in an effort to end this. I would ask the BBC and anyone in Britain who wishes me well to support me in that appeal. It seems the answer is to return to negotiations, which, I am told, are very close to achieving a deal."


Blogger Stan B. said...

Hopefully, Mr. Johnston will be released alive and well ASAP. And what do we do then, breathe a collective sigh of relief until the next kidnapping or suicide bombing?

The insanity and brutality that has been imposed on the Middle East by outside forces will continue to breed these insane acts of absolute desperation. Cues should be taken from Northern Ireland, where honest negotiation involving the sharing of economic and political power has gradually yielded what decades of military intervention could not.

25 June, 2007 22:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked you about a month ago Jim, "what relevance does criticising Chistianity have for the constant and massive violence perpetrated from within Islam and for whenever the next atrocity occurs"?

And now its happened - albeit, that it was largely prevented: two massive bombs found in London just after the new Prime Minister took office, and a blazing car driven at a Scottish airport.

I repeat the quesion: what relevance does it have to criticise Christianity, as part of some kind of argument about religious equivalence?

stanco: there is no "insanity and brutality imposed on the Middle East by outside forces". What we are seeing, and we've been seeing it for over 50 years, is an Islamic
"insanity and brutality" where they do not accept the legitimate existence of their non-Muslim neighbour. ALL conflict, including territorial disuputes, stem from that one simple, hostile, unacceptable fact.

And I suggest Jim, if the question I presented to you has no effect on you this time, perhaps it might when the NEXT Muslim violence occurs. Or the next, or the next....

30 June, 2007 14:19  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Hello commentors ... I have removed alal the anati-semitic crap you've deposited here. Please refrain from such comment sin the future. Thanks.

Anon: Nice try! Ask Londoners who has planted more bombs in the city or in Britain over the past half century. The answer, my dear friend would be Christians trying to kill Christians - remember the IRA? In fact just this past year there was great rejoicing at the ability of the Catholics and Protestants to agree not to try to destroy one another. And neither Catholics nor Protestants are Muslim, at least last I checked! Indeed, the British security forces are so good at dealing with terrorists because they hed plenty of practice dealing with the Christian terrorists.

So, I guess thata is the answer to your question.

01 July, 2007 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, if you remove "anti-Semitism" from your blog, how do you justify leaving this anonymous coward's anti-Muslim garbage on your blog?

01 July, 2007 14:07  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Anon - I actually regularly remove the anti-Muslim rants too. In this thread we had someone ranting about Jews and calling others "Nazi." There is no answer to such ad hominem BS. (I have repeatedly asked commentors of various persuasions not to act out here and removed their remarks when they act badly.)

On the other hand it also is useful to answer anti-Islamic (or anti-anything) rants with straightforward retorts. In this instance, that is what I have done. It is a judgement call. And since it is my blog, I am using my judgement. My point is that Muslims have no monopoly on terrorist violence, which is condemnable regardless of who perpetrates it. Thanks.

01 July, 2007 18:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Johnston was freed by HAMAS!! Finally, a bit of good news! =) And a wonderful gesture by HAMAS to show that it has no beef with Europe. YAY!

03 July, 2007 21:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


03 July, 2007 22:12  

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