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Among other things, Steve Centanni had this to say upon his release yesterday at the love-in with the Hamas leader and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister:

I just hope this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover this story because the Palestinian people are very beautiful, kind-hearted, loving people who the world need to know more about and so do not be discouraged. Come and tell the story. It’s a wonderful story. I’m just happy to be here. Thanks for all your support.

Olaf Wiig spoke to the same effect. Addressing his audience, Wiig said:

That would be a great tragedy for the people of Palestine and especially for the people of Gaza. Your story doesn’t get very well told because it is difficult to work here and anything that — any little discouragement — an incident like this could give a network an excuse not to be here and that would be a great tragedy for the people of Gaza.

Centanni, Wiig et al. apparently then crossed over to safety — into Israel, of course. I can’t find any comment in the newspapers or elsewhere on the statements made by Centanni and Wiig upon their release. Omri Ceren decries today’s New York Times story stating that Centanni and Wiig were released “unharmed.” Ceren comments:

You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death – being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people – literally millions – have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States – they don’t think having to give up your religion is harmful. We are beyond certain that if Muslim prisoners at Gitmo were forced to convert away from Islam as a condition of their release, the New York Times would not be putting the phrase “released unharmed” into their lede.

Not to mention, of course, that apostasy from Islam is, well, disfavored among the faithful. As for the “beautiful people” of Gaza, Khaled Abu Toameh reports in the Jerusalem Post on the the observation of a PA spokesman: “Gaza caught in anarchy and thuggery.” And Michael J. Totten reports from southern Israel, near Gaza, on the activities of a few of “the beautiful people”: “Eyeless in Gaza.”

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