Book review of Ben White’s ‘Cracks in the wall: Beyond apartheid in Palestine/Israel’. First published in The New Arab on 21 May 2018:
It’s perhaps good timing that Ben White’s new book comes out in the same week as the upsetting events in Gaza. ‘Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel’ published by Pluto Press offers a reality check, and also a sign of optimism.
It contends that despite the de facto apartheid state that Palestine/Israel has become under a relentless occupation, there are several widening cracks where Israel would have traditionally found support.
White, a seasoned journalist and writer on Palestine who has spent time in the region, lays out where the fissures lie, while examining how they may have emerged in the first place. It makes for important and fascinating reading.
No longer bipartisan
One of White’s key points is that Israel and unwavering support for it, no longer enjoys bipartisan backing, particularly in the context of Israel/US relations.
Gone are the days that saw Republicans and Democrats alike defend Israel to the hilt. Some evidence of their support beginning to crumble occurred just before former US President Barack Obama left office, when he chose not to approve the exact terms and amount of military aid that Israel’s government were asking for and expecting.
What we can see here, is the departure of many liberals who would otherwise have staunchly supported Israel. This however, has inadvertently pushed it towards the far-right of the political spectrum instead, helping it gain support from a number of far-right groups across Europe. Nothing galvanised this more than Donald Trump’s election, which has proven fruitful for Israel.