In recent years, the IDF and other Israeli government frameworks have recognized that the political theater of asymmetric conflicts has implications for military hard power responses to attacks and threats. NGO reports, accusations, and analyses couched in the language of international law and human rights are of central importance in this context. As noted, in Europe and elsewhere, NGO activities have led to some instances of limitations on military exports, lawfare cases targeting IDF officers and political leaders, and numerous boycott initiatives.
By the end of Operation Protective Edge in August 2014, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) claimed to have discovered and destroyed more than 30 tunnels spanning from beneath Gaza into Israeli territory. Hamas officials have praised these tunnels as an innovative approach to fighting an asymmetric war with a far more conventionally powerful Israel. The purpose of this case study is to examine the complexity of Hamas’ vast tunneling network by assessing the motivations behind the group’s decision to construct the network, to identify the factors that enabled Hamas to engage in such a complex engineering task, and to assess the level of effectiveness of the tunnel network both strategically and tactically against the IDF.
Recognition is vital for conflict resolution. This study was designed to learn more about the factors underlying the willingness to recognize the pain and suffering of the opponent in the asymmetrical protracted conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Data were collected through a public opinion survey conducted with a representative sample of Israeli-Jewish adults (N = 511). Perceptions of threat/distrust toward Palestinians and dehumanization of Palestinians each made a significant contribution to explaining Jewish-Israeli (un)willingness to recognize Palestinian pain and suffering (R2 = .36). Hawkishness made an added significant contribution to the overall explanatory power of the model (R2 = .38). Higher scores on the threat/distrust scale and the dehumanization scale, as well as higher hawkishness predicted decreased willingness to recognize Palestinian pain and suffering. The implications of our findings for understanding the role of recognition and of moral concern in conflict resolution are discussed.