Digging in the heels is a defensive posture. Sticking a foot in one’s mouth is not. Trying to explain the National Union of Journalist‘s boycott, a spokesman inexplicably justified the kidnapping of Alan Johnston. Tim Gopsill told the Jerusalem Post:
Gopsill blamed the Palestinian economic situation for Johnston’s kidnapping. “Taking Alan Johnston [captive],” he said, “demonstrates the Palestinians’ desperate way of drawing attention to their problems.”
That might explain why the Post also reports:
Most British correspondents working in Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not members of the NUJ.
Meanwhile, Harry’s Place obtained a copy of the NUJ’s more official “explanation.” This snippet (emphasis added) suggests a nasty quid pro quo — sell out Israel for Johnston’s freedom:
The call for the boycott in part related it to the kidnap of Alan Johnston. The Palestinian journalists union has given huge support to the campaign for his release – holding demonstrations and strikes against the Palestinian authority to demand more action from them. We work closely with the Palestinian union through the International Federation of Journalists and the boycott call was a gesture of support for the Palestinian people – notably those suffering in the siege of Gaza, the community Alan Johnston has been so keen to help through his reporting.