There will be more flotillas. Many. The stance of the government of Israel and their sole supporter of substance, the USA, that the blockade needs to be sustained by any means, legal or not, will be assailed, as more young people and notable civil rights figures from more countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia seek to participate in the next flotillas.
Both sides will be better prepared next time. The MV Rachel Corrie may have been refitted so that it is un-jamable, so that when it is assaulted, everything that happens in real time, gets out in real time until it is intentionally shut down or destroyed. However, there is no visual evidence, similar to the real-time video link that emanated from the Mavi Marmara. Will the Israelis upgrade their ECM and EW suites to the point they can shut down live blog web sites and twitterers at will?
I had hoped, earlier this week, that the confrontation between the MV Rachel Corrie might become the most important anti-battle in the eastern Med in 70 years. It isn't going to happen. Today - Friday - although there is conflicting information, it appears the freighter, with a small number of prominent Palestinian rights activists aboard, may be getting close to the area the Israelis have described as an "exclusion zone." There are also reports that a Turkish corvette is stationed off the Gaza coast.
Whatever happens to the MV Rachel Corrie, either today or over the weekend, there will be a third flotilla, and a fourth and a fifth. Each will probably be larger. As they are confronted, more unions around the world will boycott ships with Israeli goods. More campuses will vote to boycott Israeli products, academics and other ties. More pension funds will discuss divestment. More journalists will finally wake up and see Israel for its growing similarities to late 1970s South Africa.
The Israeli military forces may have one so-called tactical victory after another in the battles of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th flotillas (and so on?), but they are doomed to suffer a very large strategic defeat.
image - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, poses alongside the cargo ship MV Rachel Corrie (AP Photo/Niall Carson-pa, file)