Thursday, May 17, 2007
Well, Alan Johnston, the pro-Palestinian reporter for the BBC who has been held since March by those same lovely Palestinians, celebrated his birthday today, apparently with his head still attached to his shoulders.
Pity that that situation remains as it is. Because a headless Alan Johnston will no longer be able to blame Israel for his predicament.
BBC marks Alan Johnston birthday
A series of vigils has been held around the world to mark the 45th birthday of kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston.
The BBC, along with the UN and several international journalists' groups, have been holding vigils in Hong Kong, Iran, the West Bank and Moscow.
Mr Johnston was seized on 12 March in Gaza City on his way home from work.
The British government is in talks with an Islamic cleric detained in the UK who offered to help secure his release.
'Bin Laden ambassador'
The Islamic Observatory Centre, a London-based organisation, said it had received a letter from radical cleric Abu Qatada, saying he was ready to travel with a BBC delegation to Gaza and contact the captors.
"The government has been in discussion with Abu Qatada's lawyer to see if he would be willing to make a humanitarian appeal for Alan's safe release," a UK Foreign Office spokeswoman told the BBC News website.
"We regret that so far no such appeal has been made."
Mr Johnston's alleged kidnappers - a group calling itself Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) - have demanded Abu Qatada's release from Long Lartin Prison in Britain as a condition of the reporter's release.
Abu Qatada, who has been described as Osama Bin Laden's "spiritual ambassador in Europe", is awaiting deportation to Jordan after the British government accused him of raising funds for extremist groups and offering "religious legitimacy" to militants.
So, to gain Johnston's release, someone who is considered close to Usama bin Laden will be released from prison?
We think it better if those lovely Palestinians lop off Johnston's head and Abu Qatada remain right where he is. Releasing this Islamic scumbag is not the way to go. Besides, what does anyone gain but another pro-Palestinian reporter?