The Alan Johnston affair proves that Hamas has mastered the art of manipulation no less than has Fatah Chairman Abbas. Hamas has turned the Johnston crisis into a major public relations coup. It is now being portrayed as the saviors of the Gaza Strip — the protectors of law and order.
Hamas was so effective that even English MP”s have fallen for the charade, hook, line and sinker. “Freed BBC reporter thanks Abbas,” from the BBC:
Meanwhile a group of UK MPs called for international engagement with Hamas.
Twenty MPs from all parties signed a motion in the House of Commons calling for a new relationship with the group following its role in securing the journalist’s release.
It is interesting to note that the US State Department hasn’t picked up on this. “U.S.: no immediate change of attitude toward Hamas,” from Xinhua:
The United States said on Thursday that Hamas’ role in releasing of BBC reporter Alan Johnston will not change the world’s opinion of the Islamic militant group.
“I don’t think the world views Hamas any differently as a result of this,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said of the release of Johnston who was kidnapped in Gaza in March.
Hamas has gone to great lengths to explain its interest in seeing Alan Johnston go free. It has nothing to do with any policy change. It has nothing to do with giving up terror. It has everything to do with public perception. It has everything to do with continuing its murderous ways. Hamas is not shy. Here is its explanation of why it was so bent on seeing Johnston go free.
In “Sacked Hamas PM denies Johnston’s captors get $5 mln” from Xinhua, we read this from Hamas strongman and former Prime Minister Haneya:
“I can confirm that there was no transaction or bargaining. The release of Johnston was unconditioned. We don’t disperse political rewards, we just want a shining image of our people, Hamas and the government,” said Haneya.
And in “‘Syria pushed Hamas to free Johnston,'” in the Jerusalem Post, we read this from Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri:
“We hope that the international community will end its boycott of Hamas and realize that they made a mistake when they refused to accept the democratic choice of the Palestinians when they voted for us. Today we proved to the world that we respect the freedom of the media and that we won’t allow anyone to harm a foreigner who visits us.”
It’s all about public relations. And based on the response from the English PM’s, the ploy seems to be working at least with some people.
However, the most shameful display was reserved for Alan Johnston himself.
“BBC reporter’s freedom ‘really staged for movie,'” by Aaron Klein for WND:
Johnston thanked Haniyeh and said Hamas saved his life.
At a news conference in Jerusalem, Johnston again credited Hamas with saving his life.
“I’m pretty sure that if Hamas hadn’t come in and turned the heat on, I’d still be in that room,” Johnston said.
“Hamas has a huge law and order agenda,” he said.
Although Hamas is considered a terror group by most Western governments, Johnston said, Hamas “is better at keeping law and order than many would agree. And God knows Gaza needs law and order.”
Johnston has, like his BBC bosses, sold himself out to the Jihadists. He wasn’t even given the cheap polyester suit that his brave countrymen were honored with upon the conclusion of their embarrassing episode in Iran. Johnston played the role of political pawn to a tee. He embarrassed himself and his country.
In “Hamas won the propaganda war this week” in the TimesOnline, Gerard Baker sums it up.
How do you like your jihadi? Is yours the avenging physician sort; self-immolating practitioner of weird medicine outside nightclubs and airport terminals who hopes to take hundreds of innocents with him on his journey to Paradise?
Or do you prefer the voice of sweet reason, the heroic freedom fighter turned politician, who magnanimously leaps into a hostage drama and helps to free your innocent journalist from his captors?
Not difficult, is it?
We”ve had an exercise in good-cop, bad-cop with our Islamist friends in the past week. In London and Glasgow, the nutters — the scale of their murderous ambition matched only by their ineptitude with a car a mobile phone and a tankful of petrol — tried the explosive, take-no-prisoners approach to persuading the West to do their bidding Over in Gaza, they”re a bit more sophisticated. They”ve figured out that, at least when it comes to Europeans rather than Israelis, the direct approach is less effective than the power of high-profile good deeds. Hamas prefers the take-prisoners-and-then-generously-let-them-go approach.
Read it all.
Crossposted from The American Israeli Patriot.