The Asymmetry Of Violence (Palestine Vs. The White Empire)

Why Israel has the right to ‘defend’ itself, and Palestine doesn’t


The orphans Israel made have grown up, and they’re not fucking around

Israel appeals to the made-up atrocities of October 7th to justify the real atrocities of October 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; November, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; and the 75 years before that. It’s wildly asymmetrical, like carpet bombing a concentration camp because the inmates dared break out. Which is exactly what happened.

There’s this strange logic that Israel has the right to self-defense (it doesn’t) while Palestine doesn’t (it does). To expand my parentheses, under international law Israel as an occupying power has no right to ‘self-defense’ against the people it is occupying. Meanwhile the Palestinians have every right to self-defense, including taking up arms. Unfortunately, international law itself is just a theoretical construct. We actually live under imperial rule most foul.

International What?

The (entirely theoretical) point of law is that it applies equally to everyone, which is obviously not what’s going on internationally. The International Criminal Court only prosecutes Africans and the US has a law on the books to invade the Hague if they’re ever held accountable.

This is what America calls the ‘rules-based order.’ Can anyone see these rules? No, fuck off. As Arnaud Bertrand says (citing this paper), rules-based order is a term “meaning a system outside of international law that essentially defends whatever the US judges is in its and its allies’ interests at any moment in time.” As the paper he cites (by John Dugard) goes on,

First, the United States is not a party to a number of important multilateral treaties that constitute an essential feature of international law… Second, the United States has placed interpretations on international law justifying the use of force and the violation of international humanitarian law that are controversial and contested… Third, the United States is unwilling to hold some states, such as Israel, accountable for violations of international law.



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at