Those New Iraqi Hostages Sure Have Some Interesting Friends...

You know those new hostages in Iraq? The ones whom the Washington Post describes as working for a "peace" group? You know, the one with lots of experience going into war zones?

The Chicago-based organization - supported by several Protestant denominations that believe Christianity forbids all war-making and violence - has sent activists into war zones, including Bosnia and Haiti, since the late 1980s. It has about 160 members around the world and about a dozen in Iraq.

Turns out they've got lots of experience in one particular war zone that the AP doesn't bother to mention:

The number of CPT missions in support of Palestinians has grown steadily, and now, consists of half the worldwide CPT activity in this period. Ten such visits are scheduled for 2005-06, including one in coordination with the United Church of Canada and one with a Franciscan group.

and it's earned them a pretty interesting set of friends:

On 30 November 2005 the National and Islamic Forces in Hebron held a press conference to ask for the release of four CPTers being held by an Iraqi armed group. They released a joint statement expressing their "sorrow at the kidnapping of four of the peace advocates from the CPT in Iraq."

The first speaker was Sheikh Najib Al Ja'abri, who hosted the press conference at the Ali Baka'a Mosque in the Haret e-Sheikh neighborhood of Hebron. He spoke of his warm sense of working together with CPTers over the years. The second speaker was Abdul 'Alim Dana of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, followed by Fahmi Shahin, Coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces in Hebron, representing the Palestine People's Party. (emphasis added -ed.)

To get that sort of friendship from the PFLP and their friends, you have to be a lot more helpful than just avoiding proselytizing.

Look, I hope they alll get back safely, although it's probably too much to expect that they'll have learned anything from the experience. After all, they're not anti-war; they're just on the other side.

War on Terrorism Washington Post Associated Press