"Israel has the right to defend itself" I wish I had a dime every time I heard a head of State, diplomat a politician, or a Member of Congress utter these words. I probably would have enough money to buy to buy a Cold Stone Treat for two.
Jokes aside, those words are always used to help Israel get away with Murder and destruction. It is like when things are clear and Israel has violated international and humanitarian laws, it is then when you hear those words "Israel has the right to defend itself". For average person unfamiliar with the complexity of the situation in the Middle East, this sound rather and honest and an assuring statement! But for people familiar with the conflict, this sounds insulting.
"Israel has the right to defend itself" sure against stateless terrorists. How about the terrorist who operate on behalf of a state? There are plenty of them, just ask the European nations who ban most Israeli generals from their entering their countries.
"Israel has the right to defend itself" At least to me, it sounds like saying "the mugger has to defend himself against the paper spray" no one would defend the mugger or would they?
"Israel has the right to defend itself" sounds like a man who raped an exotic dancer and then turned to say, she provoked me, she asked for it. Was the dancer provoking the guy, some see the revealing outfits she is wearing and say YES! (I disagree) Was the criminal able to ignore the dancer? Maybe not. Does the dancer in this example deserve to be violated? NO and NO. "You do not say the rapist has the right to defend himself or do you?"
In the same way, Israel might not be able to ignore rocket launchers in Gaza, but you punish them, not punish and only them, not punish all of the population. So the next time I hear a public figure say "Israel has the right to defend itself" I would ask them if they would defend rapists and criminals because they were "provoked" to commit the violation.
Where the law of proportionality goes? After all you do not bring an AK to a knife fight, or do you?