No Dial Tone
It didn't take long. In fact, it didn't take any time at all. Reactions to the rumored death of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston are already rolling in. ITN correspondent Alan Hart says in his blog:
There is a case for saying (repeat a case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Israel. It would not be the first time that Israeli agents had dressed as Arabs to make a hit.
If Alan Johnston is dead, it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much and allow its reporters (Frank Gardner and Jeremy Bowen are second to none) to make a full, thorough and honest investigation.
Melanie Phillips, for one, is totally unsurprised by the unvarying reaction of British journalism to anything, even the death of one of their own.
Those who might have doubted that the British media is in general institutionally incapable of reporting the truth about Israel might note the weekend’s remarkable vote by the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israel.
The reason given for the NUJ's boycott is the "slaughter of civilians by Israeli troops in Gaza and the IDF’s [Israeli Defense Forces] continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah." No mention of Johnson by the NUJ of course, and probably none until Frank Gardner finishes investigating whether or not the BBC correspondent was kidnapped by the Jews. Phillips continues:
Incredibly, it appears not to realise that Israel is no longer occupying Gaza. It withdrew in 2005, with members of the NUJ actually reporting that seismic event. There is no ‘slaughter of civilians’ in Gaza by Israeli troops. The slaughter that is going on in Gaza — including the recent murder of small Palestinian children by Palestinian gunmen as part of the vicious intra-Palestinian gang warfare that is going on — is by Palestinians on Palestinians. Not to mention also the rockets being fired into Israel almost daily from Gaza, and the tunnelling and huge military build-up going on there in preparation for a redoubled — and definitely ‘pre-planned’ — assault yet again upon Israel.
Even more remarkably, given yesterday’s deeply distressing (although as yet unconfirmed) report that the kidnapped BBC correspondent in Gaza Alan Johnston has been murdered by Palestinians, the NUJ did not see fit even to discuss the fate of their colleague at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.
Possibly the real news here is not Johnston's reported death (which one hopes is not true) but the media reaction to it. Even after Daniel Pearl's beheading. Even after Frank Gardner was shot in Saudi Arabia while pleading "I'm a Muslim! I'm a Muslim!". Even after Robert Fisk was beaten within an inch of his life by his "friends" in Afghanistan. And even supposing that another tragedy has taken place, the reaction among journalists will be denial. It can't be true that their friends want to kill them. There must be some mistake. Surely Israel must be behind it. The Jew, that's it. The Jew. Just like the Jew was behind 9/11.
No it can't be true that they've completely misidentified the good and bad guys or else their little tidy journalistic world will fall apart and they will realize they have been living a lie; or worse, have been taken for for fools. Let's hope Alan Johnston is still alive, that he can be returned to his loved ones. Anyone who has him should realize there is no propaganda point to killing him; not by Palestine, not by al-Qaeda not by Israel. His death sends no message. People have long ago made up their minds about everything there is to choose from in the Middle East and are waiting, depending on their inclination, for a new Caliphate, the Madhi or the Mothership to arrive. Communication has long been at an end. The wire has been cut for years. Whoever has him should send Johnston home.