Who is behind the 2nd Flotilla...
An assorted group of Islamists and post-modern leftists...
The second flotilla is coordinated by Muhammad Sawalha, a senior UK-based Muslim Brotherhood figure connected to Hamas. Many of the participating organizations can be directly linked with the Union of Good (UoG), a coalition of European charities affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which in 2008 was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury for transferring funds to Hamas. The UoG was initiated by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood on a global scale, shortly after the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000.
For the Brotherhood, two chief centers of organization can be clearly seen. On the European and global scene, the centrality of its UK-based activists is once again demonstrated, while in the Middle East, its Jordanian branch is noticeable.
Other main organizers include the anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement (ISM), as well as far-left socialists from Europe and the United States. Many of the flotilla's main organizers have stated that its prime aim is to create provocations and harm Israel's image.
Following Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, which ended in January 2009, a series of international conferences was held in Turkey to restructure the struggle against Israel. A conference in February 2009 featured 200 radical Islamist scholars who came to meet with senior Hamas officials to plot a new, "third jihadi front" (in addition to Pakistan and Iraq) centered on Gaza. The conference gave birth to the infamous, pro-Hamas Istanbul Declaration, which also provided justification for attacking foreign navies which might try to prevent arms smuggling to Gaza.
In general, the same organizers stand behind the second flotilla, with several changes. The most important may be the IHH decision not to send the Mavi Marmara, the ship which brought the first flotilla its publicity following violent clashes between IHH activists and the IDF in which nine Turks were killed. Rather than take a leading role, it appears that the IHH will settle this time for sending activists to sail on other ships.
Thus, the flotilla is far from being a peaceful, humanitarian effort to support the Palestinians in Gaza. It should instead be seen as a major, pro-Hamas effort to delegitimize Israel by a "red-green alliance" of leftists and Islamists.