Saturday, December 31, 2005

Kidnapped In Gaza: The Logic That is Not

Kate Burton and her parents were freed in Gaza early this morning and taken to Israel after an international effort to secure their release.

Debka is reporting that the significant part of that effort was a British payment of a large sum of money to the terrorist outfit - The Mujahadeen Brigades in this case, a heretofore unknown group - but since that was too hard a pill for the British to swallow directly, the PA fronted the cash to the outfit, which will later be repaid to them by the British.

If this is true, the best we can say is that at least they didn't release another terrorist, the way Merkel did earlier this week.

Pirate society, indeed. Not much has changed, in some respects, from the 16th century.

Of course, the exchange is reported to be a "gesture of goodwill" in the British papers.

Ms. Burton, by the way, is a fluent Arabic speaker, who began working with Palestinian refugees while she was studying at the LSE. And her parents supported her decision to work in Gaza - first for the UN, but lately as a fundraiser for the al-Mezan human rights center.

Meanwhile, apparently Ms. Burton was called on her cellphone by one of her mates while held captive and assured them that she knew where she was being held and was fine. To another friend who called she said, “She was in a room and she knew where she was. ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m OK’.” Uh huh. Kidnapped and okay.

Though now she is safely in the British Embassy in Israel, she is planning on returning to Gaza to visit next week.

Given this background, it's not hard to imagine what her politics are. Unless she does not conform at all to type, next we'll hear about her going back to work in Gaza and, following on that perhaps, a Muslim conversion. One wonders how soon she' ll turn up in Britain or Europe and start denouncing Israel, with her words given extra authority because of her "ordeal".

If she was that okay the whole time, and in the end, "the transfer of money" [assuming Debka was correct that that took place] was in accord with her political sympathies, I think a little suspicion is in order here. Perhaps I'm wrong. We'll see, though, in the future, by what she spouts off in public.

UPDATE 1: What do you know. It's already started:
Ms Burton also told the BBC Arabic service she and her parents had been held in Rafah, southern Gaza, but that she could not say a bad word about her captors, who always asked whether they needed anything.
Ah yes, her kidnappers. Sweet fellows all.

Moreover, checkout the kaffiyeh that she's wearing at her release. That tells a large part of the story right there, doesn't it.


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