Bar-Ilan’s BESA Center regularly publishes Perspectives Papers, which provide analysis from research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

In this analysis by Prof. Jonathan Rynhold and Dr. Toby Greene, the authors discuss the pressing need for Israel to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to restore and maintain international legitimacy for its military actions against Hamas. They argue that while Hamas is primarily to blame for the civilian suffering, international perception tends to hold Israel accountable as well. This situation complicates Israel’s strategic operations, especially in areas like Rafah, where civilian concentration is high and humanitarian conditions are dire.

Rynhold and Greene suggest that Israel must proactively engage with U.S.-led peace proposals and aim for broader regional peace, including a credible path towards a two-state solution. This strategy, they argue, would not only alleviate the humanitarian crisis but also enhance Israel’s international standing and support for its counterterrorism objectives.

The authors emphasize the need for Israel to balance military objectives with humanitarian concerns to maintain support from key allies like the United States and mitigate the long-term reputational risks associated with the ongoing conflict. They propose that Israel’s adherence to a coherent humanitarian strategy and a political vision that includes the potential for Palestinian statehood might shift diplomatic pressures and help in normalizing relations with Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Click here if you would like to read the full article.

Click here to download the research paper.