Norman Finkelstein's logic
The name of the action in Gaza is The Great March of RETURN. The demonstrators are not just protesting the blockade, which Finkelstein rightly condemns as a flagrant violation of international law. They are also asserting their right to return to the land in Israel from which they or their forebears were expelled in 1947-1949 or subsequently. The right of return is a key provision of UNGA resolution 194, which was incorporated into UNGA resolution 273 admitting Israel to the UN. Denying Palestinians' (including most Gazans') right of return is thus also a violation of international law.
Finkelstein demurs, and that's probably why he doesn't mention the right of return in his post. In his condemnation of the BDS "cult," whose principles include the right of return, he contends that there's an "overwhelming international consensus" that Israel has a right to exist (as a specifically Jewish state), effectively nullifying the right of return. According to this logic, couldn't Israel be said to be legitimately protecting its borders from Palestinian infiltrators, as Israeli hasbara indefatigably asserts? If so, while Israel would still be guilty of using grossly excessive force (as Sari Bashi's HRW report charges), it would at least be using that force for a legitimate purpose.
Of course both Finkelstein and the overwhelming international consensus of MW readers are outraged at Israel's massive ongoing crime against humanity in Gaza--a crime that Finkelstein has so thoroughly documented in his latest book and elsewhere. Israel's assault on the Great March of Return must surely be seen as of a piece with this seven-decade criminal enterprise, and that would remain true even if Israel had limited itself to tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and skunk water. I'm arguing simply that by denying the Palestinian right of return, Finkelstein is not entitled to the same level of outrage as most of the rest of us.
I fervently hope that Finkelstein will change his mind about Israel's "right" to exist as a Jewish ethnocracy. That's a long shot, of course. He's a stubborn guy. The sumud we so admire in him can be an impediment to recognizing and rectifying errors in judgment.