In an appendix, Finkelstein carefully reviews the record of legal precedents, particularly concerning South Africa, to establish his conclusion that the occupation itself, not merely its implementation, "has become illegal under international law," an original and substantive contribution on its own.
The Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated places in the world. More than two-thirds of its inhabitants are refugees, and more than half are under eighteen years of age. Since 2004, Israel has launched eight devastating “operations” against Gaza’s largely defenseless population. Thousands have perished, and tens of thousands have been left homeless. In the meantime, Israel has subjected Gaza to a merciless illegal blockade.
What has befallen Gaza is a man-made humanitarian disaster.
Based on scores of human rights reports, Norman G. Finkelstein's new book presents a meticulously researched inquest into Gaza’s martyrdom. He shows that although Israel has justified its assaults in the name of self-defense, in fact these actions constituted flagrant violations of international law.
But Finkelstein also documents that the guardians of international law—from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to the UN Human Rights Council—ultimately failed Gaza. One of his most disturbing conclusions is that, after Judge Richard Goldstone's humiliating retraction of his UN report, human rights organizations succumbed to the Israeli juggernaut.
Finkelstein’s magnum opus is both a monument to Gaza’s martyrs and an act of resistance against the forgetfulness of history.