The extremely useful term "useful idiots" was originally coined to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. But there is no reason it cannot be applied to so-called activists who wish to break the blockade, which is an increasingly untenable exercise that Israel, bit by bit, is loosening. That's a good thing. But if Israel is expected to release its grip on Gaza, it's entitled to a bit of reciprocity -- at the very least the release of the hostage Gilad Shalit, who was captured not in Gaza but on the Israel side of the border. He has been held for four years now and has never once been visited by an outsider. How about maybe one ship in the approaching flotilla just for him?
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is the editor in chief of The Atlantic
and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror