The blurring of terrorist-activists and civilians that characterizes 21st century warfare took on a new dimension in the violent confrontation between the "Free Gaza Flotilla" and the Israeli Navy last week. Ostensibly, the hundreds of passengers on a ship carrying a large Turkish flag were "peace activists" on a "humanitarian" mission to bring aid to Palestinians "trapped behind the Israeli blockade." But this moral façade hid a strategy of engaging Israel in a bloody confrontation to exploit the "halo effect" (automatically granted to groups claiming moral missions) and to reinforce the image of Israelis as "war criminals."
Despite all the misreporting, Gaza is not starving as Israel allows tons of food, drugs and humanitarian aid to reach Gaza every day. The entirely legal naval blockade is designed to prevent arms, primarily from Iran, from reaching the terrorists in Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005. The flotilla's aim was not to feed ordinary Palestinians, but to help Hamas break the embargo so that it can bring in weapons.
The "Free Gaza" group is a potent example of how the new alliance between radical-left Western groups and Jihadists is waging this new war. In 2001, 1,500 organizations, both Islamic and Western, participated in the NGO Forum of the United Nations Durban Conference on Racism. They declared Israel to be "a racist, apartheid state" and "a crime against humanity," while calling on the "international community to impose a policy of complete and total isolation." To advance this hate agenda, Israel's enemies would use terror attacks to provoke an inevitable response, and then strip away the context to highlight allegations of "war crimes."
The approach was implemented in the 2002 Jenin massacre myth, when Palestinian lies alleging Israeli atrocities were reported by the mainstream media and NGOs as facts