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Hooray for Alan Johnston

Hooray for Alan Johnston, released after 4 months held hostage by a rebel Palestinian group.

I was worried for a while that there wasn't much point holding out hope. But then when Hamas regained strength in Gaza and seemed to be working to try and get him freed, it occurred to me that Hamas had quite strong motives for trying to achieve this. For one they could really benefit from being in the good books of the West, which cut funding to them when they were democratically elected to run Palestine. This sort of action shows that they're more than just a "terrorist organsation", however that's defined. Also, having taken control of Gaza they want to show they have some kind of control over what's going on there. On the radio this morning it also seems that various Hamas leaders had genuine moral motivations to free Alan Johnston because they respected his position as one of the only people willing to stay in Palestine and report from it, which is very encouraging. So, very good news...

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