Nathan Thrall’s recounting of the events leading up to the current war in Gaza for the London Review of Books should be must-reading for anyone who wants to understand what is going on. It cuts through the propaganda from all sides and gets down to the nitty-gritty.

When all of this violence is over, someone is going to have to govern Gaza, and that government is going to need to be able to raise the revenue somehow to pay its functionaries. The economy of Gaza cannot be strangled forever. It can’t remain totally isolated in perpetuity.

For these reasons, Israel will have to accept something less than total victory.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at