“The U.S. and Israel are rogue states”

Arnauld Bertrand


Since the beginning, it’s been obvious that Gaza was in many ways a fight between International Law and the US’s “rules-based order”.

This whole episode around the UN resolution is a perfect illustration of this. There is no debate amongst international law scholars that resolutions by the UN Security Council that “demand” certain actions are binding (good explanation by a legal scholar here: verfassungsblog.de/why-todays-un-…). In fact resolutions by the council ARE international law, article 25 of the UN Charter clearly states: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”

Yet the US now argues that the “rule” is in fact different: “It’s a non-binding resolution, so there’s no impact at all on Israel”.

Where is this rule written, that somehow when the UNSC “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire”, it’s non-binding and “there’s no impact at all” on the warring party? Nowhere, that’s the beauty of the rules-based order: the rules are made-up in the moment to fit the interests of the U.S. and its henchmen, depending on the circumstances.

Had the very same resolution, with the exact same language, been adopted for a conflict that the U.S. actually wanted stopped, there’s no doubt they’d have argued the exact opposite: that it was binding and the hostilities had to cease immediately. Which goes to show that sometimes the Rules-Based Order does align with international law, when it’s in the US’s interests to do so.

In that sense, Israel’s genocide in Gaza is a great revealer because everything about it goes against international law: the mass killing of civilians, journalists, and humanitarian workers; the pre-existing occupation of Palestinian land; the wholesale destruction of Gaza: the hospitals, the mosques, the schools; the torture of prisoners; the deliberate starvation of the population, etc. So never before have we been able to see in such an obvious way the immense contrast between the rules-based order and international law.

And there’s no going back, the curtain was pulled: if they hadn’t noticed before, the world now knows for sure that the US (and Israel of course) is quite literally a rogue state, operating outside international laws and norms, and outside the most fundamental moral principles.

There’s no overstating how consequential this is for the integrity of international relations. By doing so, the US effectively destroys the world order it largely created after WW2 because it effectively tells everyone that the set of institutions, rules and norms that underpin it are meaningless. We’re effectively now in a world system where everyone realizes the police, the government, the basic set of beliefs, have become completely corrupted. This changes everything.

What comes next? I think there’s no coming back for the U.S. And I think they know this, maybe unconsciously, otherwise they would at least pretend to act for the better good of all. The fact they don’t, shows they’ve effectively abdicated ambitions to restore their hegemony: they’re now nakedly in it to milk the system for themselves, universal pretentions have gone.

Most countries however don’t want to live in an “eat or get eaten”/”might makes right” world, without rules or norms. So in time a new system will arise. The biggest unknowns being: can it arise without a major global war, who will lead the construction of its foundations and how can it be set up so that this time around it is fair for all and respected by all?


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Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
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One Response to “The U.S. and Israel are rogue states”

  1. Alina says:

    I agree with the conclusion of this article.
    All the so called ‘western and shared values’ with the apartheid state have been dismantled by the appalling behaviour of the U.S. government.
    This obnoxious double standard may open the doors for more wars to take place in the world and many more people may die as a result.
    Some people in some countries are watching the slaughter of others, meanwhile thinking that the conflict doesn’t affect them…until it does. Historically, every empire has its end.


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