Legal defense against terror

The SF Chronicle published a commentary by a legal expert who raises an aspect of the ICJ ruling that effects not only Israelis:

even if you are unconcerned about the lives of Israeli civilians, another portion of the opinion should be alarming to every American. Israel contended that the barrier was justified by its “inherent right to self- defense,” as permitted by the U.N. Charter and various Security Council resolutions. Sorry, said the court. The right of self-defense applies only “in the case of an armed attack by one state against another state,” which evidently excludes Palestinian terrorists. Thus, the court held that Israel’s assertion of self-defense “has no relevance in this case.” That same chilling logic would mean that the United States could not fully exercise the right of self-defense against al Qaeda terrorists, because they do not represent a “state” any more than Hamas does.

A similar position is held by Human Rights Watch, which regularly castigates Israel for anti-terror efforts, but never speaks out against Palestinian terrorism, since Hamas et al aren’t a state.