Back in 2011, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak cautioned about an imminent “diplomatic-political storm” brewing against Israel if the conflict with the Palestinians remained unresolved, especially as peace talks stumbled and revolutions shook the Middle East.

To Israeli foreign policy experts, this looming storm now appears more imminent than ever.

The International Court of Justice, an entity under the United Nations, instructed Israel to halt its military operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, adding to the mounting diplomatic and legal actions taken against Israel, eroding its global standing.

This ruling coincided with the International Criminal Court’s prosecutors calling for the arrest of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister, a move backed by some longstanding Israeli allies, including France.

These developments followed the joint recognition of Palestine as a state by three European nations the same week, along with widespread protests on American university campuses against Israel’s Gaza offensive, as well as decisions by Turkey to halt trade with Israel and by Belize, Bolivia, and Colombia to sever diplomatic relations.

Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul general in New York, remarked, “While not reaching the levels of isolation seen in North Korea, Belarus, or Myanmar, Israel is undoubtedly facing isolation, putting immense pressure on the country.”

The recent decision by the International Court of Justice may not yield immediate consequences: Israel has a month to demonstrate compliance with the order. Additionally, the I.C.J. lacks enforcement mechanisms. While the United Nations Security Council could potentially issue a resolution, the U.S., Israel’s staunch ally, holds a veto power on the council, shielding Israel.

Aggregately, the actions against Israel signal a decline in its international standing and a reduction in American influence, noted Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s ex-ambassador to Washington, emphasizing how the U.S. is finding it harder to shield its primary Middle Eastern ally from global scrutiny.

“There is a shift in the dynamics of global politics,” stated Mr. Rabinovich.

“Other countries are moving towards outmaneuvering the U.S.,” he continued, adding, “They realize that they may not sway the U.N., but they can leverage international courts where the U.S. holds less sway.”

Amid these circumstances, the U.S. and other traditional allies of Israel like Germany have adopted a more critical stance towards the Israeli government, despite attempts to shield it from external criticism.

While in earlier weeks President Biden reassured Israel with “You are not alone,” recent months have seen him express growing concerns over Israel’s actions in Gaza, dubbing some strategies as “misguided” and some behaviors as “deplorable.”

Pausing a weapons shipment to Israel further underscores the U.S.’s opposition to Israel’s plans in Rafah’s urban area.

Germany’s position has subtly shifted, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz questioning the costs of Israel’s objectives during a visit to Tel Aviv in March.

Despite this, Israel may continue its actions given the continued financial and military support from the U.S., exemplified by Congress approving an additional $15 billion in military aid to Israel in April.

For Mr. Biden, any further measures against Israel will risk political consequences. While a tougher stance might appease the left-wing base, it could also enable Republicans to portray themselves as stronger allies of Israel, evident in Speaker Mike Johnson’s intent to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a speech in Congress.

Locally, the international censure against the Israeli government could serve to bolster Mr. Netanyahu, with dissenting ministers uniting in response to recent court rulings.

Criticism from foreign entities also allows Mr. Netanyahu to portray himself as the defender of Israel, reinforcing his fading domestic support, as highlighted by Mr. Pinkas, the ex-diplomat.

“These actions bolster his narrative of global opposition against Israel, with him standing firm,” remarked Mr. Pinkas.

However, critics of Mr. Netanyahu argue that Israel’s standing might be higher had he not squandered the international goodwill following the Hamas attack on Israel last October.

Israel’s conduct during the conflict, especially divisive statements from government officials advocating for permanent control over Gaza or extreme measures like the use of atomic weapons, has further fueled international backlash. Instances of Israeli civilians obstructing aid missions and pillaging supplies have not helped the cause.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s opposition leader, criticized the court’s ruling, arguing that Israel was merely defending itself against Gaza’s terrorism. However, he also highlighted that a more composed government approach could have averted such outcomes.

Israel’s isolation extends to cultural and academic realms, with calls to boycott Israeli artists and universities gaining traction.

Recently, universities in Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, and Spain have terminated ties with Israeli counterparts, citing Israel’s actions in Gaza as undermining democratic principles central to all academic institutions.

In a show of protest, thousands of artists signed a petition urging the organizers of the prestigious Venice Biennale to exclude Israel from the event.

Despite efforts to defuse tensions by the Israeli team at the Biennale, opposition persisted, with artists marching through the festival site chanting in solidarity with Palestine.

Reporting by Johnatan Reiss from Tel Aviv and Jonathan Rosen from Jerusalem.