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Would My Flotilla to Khodorkovsky Be Shot?

Israeli defense forces intercepted a flotilla with humanitarian aid headed for blockaded Gaza, killing at least nine people and causing an international scandal. The activists knew long in advance that their flotilla would be intercepted. In fact, that is how they planned it from the start.

Now I have a question.

Consider former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a man whom I believe the authorities imprisoned unjustly. What would happen if I announced that on a certain day I would crawl into Khodorkovsky’s prison cell to deliver humanitarian aid — and then I actually did it? I would be shot, of course.

What would have been my motivation for breaking into prison? To deliver humanitarian aid? Of course not. I would have done it to provoke an attack and, if I were lucky, to be shot in the process.

If the goal of the flotilla was to deliver humanitarian aid, why didn’t the organizers agree to dock in the Israeli port of Ashdod, which was offered for that purpose? For that matter, why didn’t they dock in Egypt, a sympathetic Arab country that shares a border with Gaza? I’ll tell you why: Egypt didn’t want them, either.

The goal of the activists was not to deliver aid to the people of Gaza but to rack up dead bodies. From the standpoint of the organizers, the ideal ending would have been if the Israeli navy had sunk the entire flotilla.

There is a very good reason why Israel is blockading Gaza. The territory is governed by Hamas, which has the professed goal of destroying Israel and is recognized by some Western governments as a terrorist organization. If activists had wanted to send a flotilla to Osama bin Laden carrying “humanitarian aid” of suspect content, would the authorities be obliged to let it pass unchecked?

Unfortunately, in Gaza we are dealing not only with militants but with a bloodthirsty strategy that long ago abandoned the goal of achieving the maximum possible number of enemy dead. Now Hamas strives to maximize the number of their own women and children killed as human shields in order to win support from the gullible element of world opinion.

The old method was simple: Palestinian militants lobbed missiles into Israeli territory. The new tactic is for militants to place a rocket launcher on the roof of one of their own schools — or better yet, a kindergarten. If the missile finds its target, then, God willing, two Israelis will die. But if all goes well, the Israeli missile fired in retaliation will give the militants the bodies of 10 innocent children to display to reporters.

The organizers of the flotilla are cut from the same cloth. Would it ever enter your head to feel sorry for a man who bypassed airport security, forced his way onto an airplane and then cried “Executioners!” while shooting at the police sent to apprehend him?

But even that is not the most shocking aspect of the flotilla incident. There were 700 people aboard that flotilla. Of course, many were supporters of Hamas. But there were also Europeans. In a world where terrorists destroy the World Trade Center and bomb the London metro — and where Hamas is dead-set on destroying Israel — it is amazing how many idiots can be found who are ready to defend anyone who whines, “The world owes me.”

And this is the scariest part: The flotilla was essentially designed to exploit the misplaced sympathies of gullible rights activists. The militants have mastered a new strategy, and the myopic do-gooders of the world are their willing pawns.

Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio.

See also:

Russian Jews’ Missed Opportunity

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