amazing_hamas_chutzpah.jpgWe are all very happy that Alan Johnston is free. After being freed he was taken to the home of Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. “The BBC reporter was handed over to officials of the Hamas administration in the early hours of Wednesday morning,” reports the BBC and he later appeared beside Hamas leader and “thanked everyone who had worked for his release.” He describes the terror and fear that he felt in a short interview.

It’s true that the kidnappings – I covered 27 of them here, almost all of them were over in about 12 days.

I knew that there was one very dangerous group. I knew about them, and I was always afraid of them. They struck first last August, and I was worried that they might get me one day, and they indeed did.

The kidnappers seemed very comfortable and very secure in their operation

Across the Palestinian spectrum politically there was condemnation of the kidnapping and calls for my release and so on.

[Hamas leader Ismail] Haniya from the outset was very clear in his view.

I remember him saying that I was guest of the Palestinian people, and it wasn’t right what was happening, and he was very solid from the beginning in going against the kidnappers and working to free me.

I have to say, though, that the kidnappers seemed very comfortable and very secure in their operation – until a couple of weeks ago when it became clear that Hamas would be in charge of the security situation on their own here, and after that the kidnappers were much more nervous and began to realise – and I began to feel that perhaps, if I was lucky, the end was coming.

And what about Gilad Shalit who is being held by HAMAS in the Gaza strip? The duplicitous Haniyeh posing with the former captive just hours after his release is utterly atrocious. Placing on him a flag and kisses is disgusting. Does Hamas have no shame? Apparently not.

And what about Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev being held by Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon?

And to paraphrase Dennis Leary, Where’s the BBC now? Where are all the rallies for those unjustly kidnapped? Where are the behind the scene negotiations for the Jews release? Where’s the BBC now? I’ll tell you where they are. They are covering Jihad in their own backyard.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • “Does Hamas have no shame?”

    That has to be the most rhetorical question ever asked.

  • TM, you’d asked before about Hamas and its relation to other groups:

    “Hamas used the Doghmush gunmen as contract killers against Fatah (in the murder of Mousa Arafat), for the launching of Qassam rockets against Israel while declaring it was adhering to a cease-fire and, of course, for the abduction of Gilad Shalit.”

    the whole article is worth a read.

  • xisnotx, I’m sceptical that this is true. When you come down to it, every Palestinian militant or terrorist is on a payroll. So they were on Hamas’s payroll. That makes them Hamas. Now that somebody needs to isolate Hamas from a BBC reporter’s kidnapping, and maybe buy some diplomatic cache from the event, we suddenly have this entire drama about a “clan” that needed convincing and how they weren’t really Hamas, etc.

    Here’s the sniff test: if Hamas could take Fatah out in 6 days, why would any group think it wouldn’t be squashed by Hamas very rapidly? Well, I’d be on the phone to the Hamas leadership pretty damn quick if it were my “clan.”

    On the other hand, if I headed a group that used to work together with Hamas as a sub-group so that, as we’ve discussed before, Hamas could distance itself from attacks that it instigated or wanted to happen, then chances are that I wouldn’t kidnap a British reporter without Hamas’s say-so. After all, they might not use me again if they needed me for contract attacks. They would, in fact, very possibly consider me an enemy and if they were as strong as it appears, I’d be very careful not to cross them.

    Also, who benefits from a reporter’s kidnapping where the terms are millions of dollars and Islamic leaders in British jails? Does a small clan that does sub-contract work for Hamas thinks it needs to release a cleric from British prison? Does it think that it would keep the money without giving a serious cut to their bosses at Hamas? OR, is it very likely and possible that Hamas wanted this kidnapping in order to exert pressure on the British and neutralize them diplomatically to a certain degree while bringing them to the table for talks at a time when Hamas was being boycotted by everybody? If they set themselves up as the “only” group that could get the British reporter released, they’d also be the only available address and the British would never let a prominent citizen rot away.

  • as far as the sniff test goes, I doubt the Dogumsh knew in advance Hamas could take out Fatah so easily. Another thing, when they saw Hamas was serious about the amnesty it granted to Fatah rivals, they realized they could give up Johnston w/out being killed.

    I agree it’s right to be skeptical. the lines are blurry, alliances shift.