JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli officials have identified many of the protestors who took part in the Gaza freedom flotilla as Islamic radicals.
Some see Monday's bloody confrontation less as a botched Israeli commando raid, but one more attempt to destroy the Jewish State.
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum and an expert on radical Islam, talked about the struggle between Islam and the West on The 700 Club. Click play to watch, following this report.
The flotilla protestors declared the army of Mohammed was coming, hoped for martyrdom and some even prepared their wills, begging the question - was the freedom flotilla a humanitarian mission or a radical Islamic plot?
"This is an effort to delegitimize the state of Israel and deny it its fundamental rights," said Dore Gold, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations.
"What Israel engaged in was a legal blockade of a terrorist entity," Gold continued. "Blockades are used by the British, by the U.S., by many countries who are engaged in war. And Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is at war with the state of Israel, calls for its destruction; launches Iranian rockets at our civilians."
The way Israel conducted Monday's raid will be debated for years by Israel and others. But some believe a larger question transcends the military tactics. They see this as a battle between radical Islam and the West.
"The time has come to tell those who live near and far that this battle is not just about the Middle East," explained Dr. Mordechai Keder, with Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-IIan University. "Rather, it is a fight for the face of this world."
"At this time," he said, "Israel is located at a frontal outpost, in the huge struggle against the Islamic forces that threaten to take over the world and subjugate it to their green flag."
A War for World's Future
Israel may be on the front lines, but the U.S. is right behind.
Case in point -- New York City's Times Square bombing attempt was the latest narrow escape by the U.S. from a potentially devastating terror attack.
And some observers warn radical Muslims are using a less visible, more subtle and possibly more dangerous tactic than blatant terror.
They warn some Muslims are using the West's own system to infiltrate its way of life. Such Muslims are trying to introduce Islamic Sharia law into western court systems, banks and its educational system, in effect, to bring in Islamic law by stealth.
But whether it's by stealth or by terror, Israel and the West are facing a challenge to their way of life not seen since the Middle Ages.
Some feel how Israel and the West respond to this challenge may well determine the future of western civilization.