In the event of a fourth war over Gaza, Finkelstein’s book will be an invaluable resource. It is short, clearly written, thoroughly researched, and devastating in its critique of the Israeli state’s “self defense” narrative and the apologists who excuse the inexcusable. Above all, Finkelstein underlines the crucial point, to be remembered if and when violence resumes: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring. The real question is, ‘Does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation?’ The answer is no.”

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