Hamas and Hizbullah, groups that have long battled Israel with violent tactics, have begun to embrace civil disobedience, protest marches, lawsuits and boycotts - tactics they once dismissed.
"The Gaza flotilla has done more for Gaza than 10,000 rockets," said Aziz Dweik, a Hamas leader in the West Bank.
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on supporters to participate in the next flotilla bound for Gaza. Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a member of the Hizbullah politburo in Beirut, said it was the first time Nasrallah had publicly embraced such tactics against Israel. "We saw that this kind of resistance has driven the Israelis into a big plight," he said.
A senior Israeli foreign ministry official said Israel recognizes "changes in the tactical thinking of Hamas and other resistance movements." The official said the groups are no less committed to Israel's destruction, but have simply concluded they are more likely to defeat Israel by encouraging its international isolation instead of through military force.
"People who are provoking violence are using peaceful protest as a cover," said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.
(Wall Street Journal)