01 January 2006

Kidnapping as a business venture

It looks like kidnapping of all alien life forms, starting with a lion cub and Arab-speaking parrots (see here) to foreign help workers, diplomats, observers, etc. is gradually becoming a burgeoning industry in the Gaza strip. Today another chap - Italian this time - got kidnapped. Obviously, the usual ransom demands will follow.

Each time a kidnapping happens, the Palestinian Authority and its various arms, including the military and law and order ones, get very busy looking for the perpetrators and their loot (or looking as if they really are doing this). The perps themselves are getting involved in the tortuous process of negotiations, bargaining, etc. Of course, some hands have to be greased, after all we are in the bakshish region here. All in all, the process is long, inefficient and the overhead costs are prohibitive.

Inspired by the success stories of the cellular phone companies, we are offering the kidnappers and PA to sit down and agree on the following 3-step process:

1. Each foreigner (F) entering the Gaza Strip receives a pre-paid voucher

2. Upon kidnapping, F passes to the kidnappers (K) the said voucher

3. K beat the F up (just a bit - to save face), let him go and present the voucher to the PA cashier

Of course, some rules have to be agreed upon. For example, not kidnapping the same alien more than once, equitable distribution of foreigners to all and sundry kidnapper, etc. But we believe that with the necessary amount of good will and a bit of haggling, it will be settled.

And there is no need to thank us, just get clipping!


The perps did not listen to our advice, and look what has happened:

"Palestinian security forces stormed a building where an Italian hostage was being held, freeing the man after a shootout with his kidnappers, Palestinian security officials said."