July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston finally freed!

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2118035,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=11

johnston20b.jpgI think we can all say alhamdulilah and celebrate the release of Alan Johnston. Hamas delivered on its promise and it'd be nice if the British Prime Minister or at least the FO would deliver a thank-you to Hamas. I don't think Fatah could have reached the same conclusion.

The Guardian: Speaking to BBC News 24 after his release, Mr Johnston said: "It's the most fantastic thing to be free."

He described his 16 weeks of captivity as "appalling".

"It became almost hard to imagine normal life again," he said. "Now it really is over and it is indescribably good to be out."

If you remember Alan Johnston from previous photos/videos, he was never what you'd call fat but he had a well-built appearence. If you look at his release photos he's clearly lost a lot of weight. It will be interesting to hear about what he went through.

"We have been able to close this chapter which has harmed the image of our people greatly. The efforts by Hamas have produced the freedom of Alan Johnston," Mr Meshaal told the Reuters agency by telephone from Syria.

Hamas is rightly claiming this event a diplomatic/security victory for itself. And I'm absolutely delighted that Mr. Johnston is still alive. I'd love to hear how he feels about Hamas' role in the affair.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. David Miliband said, “I fully acknowledge the crucial role [Hamas] have played in securing this happy outcome.” The PM’s spokesman said something similar. Note no actual “thanks”; yesterday he said cooperation with Hamas “can be discussed”. Positive but cautious.

    04 Jul 2007, 23:03

  2. Several delightful quotes from the Hamas Charter:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (preamble)

    “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” (Article 7)

    “initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.” (Article 13)

    By all accounts it seems that Hamas played a significant role in securing the release of Mr Johnston; this should be acknowledged. Just because it is a PR coup for them, I accept that one should not automatically be suspicious of their motives. But does this mean cooperation should be discussed? Surely the only viable solution to the conflict is some sort of 2 state solution – how can you possibly expect this solution to be ‘discussed’ when one side fundamentally does not recognise the right of the other side to exist? And talk of obliterating them? When they talk of how any iniatives are ‘an exercise in futility’? How exactly can such an organisation be negotiated with?

    13 Jul 2007, 10:10

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