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On Thursday a possibly last, straggling member of the abortive flotilla, a French yacht called the Dignity, set sail—against all odds—for Gaza. Its dignity was soon compromised when, trying to refuel in Crete, the Greek coast guard detained it. The yacht had all of eight passengers on board.
For Israelis the flotilla’s failure has been an encouraging spectacle. On the diplomatic front, Israel successfully got the points across that: there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza; anyone who wants to provide supplies to it can do so through Israeli and Egyptian land routes; and the “second flotilla” was simply a malign provocation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it “neither necessary or useful”; Britain, France, and the Netherlands issued travel advisories against it; Greece, Cyprus, and even Turkey worked to restrain it.
Regarding Israel’s naval arms embargo of Gaza, the Middle East Quartet—consisting of the U.S., the EU, the UN, and Russia and by no means necessarily understanding of Israel’s challenges—went so far as to cite Israel’s “legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded.” The Quartet also called for an end to the “deplorable five-year detention of Gilad Shalit,” whose terrible plight is not exactly high on the list of the purportedly humanitarian flotillistas.
And on the legal front, Israel’s independent Shurat Hadin legal center waged a valiant and successful campaign, deterring insurance companies from underwriting what was clearly a leftist-jihadist, Hamas-supporting venture.
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