Palestinians try to kidnap NY Times reporter

This was buried at the very end of a long NY Times report from Jerusalem bureau chief James Bennet:

In a highly unusual incident, at least three Palestinian men attempted to kidnap this reporter here Wednesday night. The reporter, who had identified himself at Al Najar hospital as an American, was speaking on a cellular telephone in the street in front of the hospital when a stranger approached offering a handshake, a smile and the word, “Welcome.”

When the reporter took his hand, the stranger and another man grabbed him and attempted to shove him into an aging Mercedes sedan that pulled up, its rear door open. A struggle and cries for help brought Palestinian police officers at the hospital running, and after a further struggle, the men jumped in the car and disappeared.

Anger at Americans has been building here for three years over the Bush administration’s perceived tilt toward Israel, the occupation of Iraq and, most recently, images of prisoner abuse in Iraq. An American might also be considered valuable for use in bargaining with Israel.

Why does Bennet immediately try to rationalize his own attempted kidnapping? Reminds us an awful lot of Newsweek’s Joshua Hammer, who was also kidnapped in Gaza, then became strangely sympathetic toward his own captors. And Robert Fisk’s affection for his Afghani assailants. Detect a pattern?

And wasn’t this worthy of alot more attention than it received?! A separate story, at least?

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