Archive for the ‘Emilio Morenatti’ Category

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Kidnapping is Terrorism

October 24, 2006

I’m not talking about kidnapping for the sake of kidnapping (not that that’s right either). I mean kidnapping as a means to get money or to settle personal disputes with local authorities authorities.

Today’s kidnapping (and subsequent release) of AP photographer Emilio Morenatti in Gaza today ended well, as (thankfully) have previous kidnappings.

Palestinian militants in Gaza have frequently kidnapped foreign journalists and aid workers in the past two years, usually seeking money or to settle personal disputes with Palestinian authorities.

What I don’t understand here is why. Why kidnap the people who are trying to help you? I can “understand” the kidnapping of an enemy (though in our case it usually results in murder). But why and aid worker or a journalist?

A previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility. Its demand for the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States raised fears that foreign extremists, perhaps al-Qaida, had infiltrated Gaza.

Palestinian security officials, however, said the name was a front for local militants.

Either way, this is not the way to gain sympathy. Alienating those who want to help isn’t the way to go. Even the Palestinian government knows that – that’s why they condemn these acts.

It’s time the people face up to the government they have elected and allow them to do their job. Otherwise, anarchy will prevail, and no type of peace will be possible.

CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) Executive Director Joel Simon said today in response, “We’re dismayed that journalists have become pawns of Palestinian groups seeking to exploit them for political purposes. These blatant attacks on journalists will have a chilling effect on their ability to do their work and will ultimately deprive the world of information about this critically important story.” 

If you don’t like what your government is doing, elect a different one. Or run yourself. Just take into consideration that terrorising those who are on your side isn’t quite the way to go.