By not acting against Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians, the U.K., U.S. and European Union are failing an obligation in international law spelled out in a 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice.
Israel does have the right of self-defence, but only in precisely the same way other countries do. In fact, the only unique factor about Israel here is that it is the only country to have been found by the International Court of Justice specifically to have abused and exceeded the concept of right of self-defence, in its treatment of the Palestinians.
In 2004 the International Court of Justice, in an advisory opinion to the U.N. General Assembly, ruled illegal Israel’s construction of its great Wall, which is a fundamental part of the Israeli apartheid system. The court considered Israel’s argument of self-defence and ruled that this did not justify the numerous breaches of international law represented by the Wall:
“While Israel has the right, and indeed the duty to respond to the numerous and deadly acts of violence directed against its civilian population, in order to protect the life of its citizens,