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Analysis: This is an opportunity for Hizbollah

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Flotillas have become fashionable, because they have shown the way to make Israel bend. As the flotilla organisers see it, exploding buses make the world more sympathetic to Israel, connect Israel's enemies to terror, violence and blood, and unite Israelis behind the radical right.
A humanitarian flotilla does the opposite. Turkey, through the first flotilla, put itself at the forefront of the struggle against Israel, and its success sparked great jealousy in the Arab world and harsh criticism of the Arab failure to help Gaza. Hizbollah is now trying to fill the gap, showing that not only the Turks are worried about the Arabs. Sheikh Nasrallah was the hero of the Arab world following the Second Lebanon War.

His star has faded as his jihad against Israel stalled and as he sunk in the swamp of internal Lebanese politics. There is nothing like a successful flotilla to inflate Nasrallah's reputation again.

Dr Mordechai Kedar lectures at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Arabic Studies

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