A Guardian review has praised an antisemitic book by French writer Sylvain Cypel.
The review (“The State of Israel vs The Jews review: fierce indictment of a rightward lurch”), written by US commentator Charles Kaiser, argues that Cypel’s attack on Israel has credibility because, though now ‘disillusioned with Zionism, he previously lived in Israel for 12 years and served in the army, and because his sources are mostly Israeli.
Yet, it turns out, based on our review, that the Israeli sources are mostly Haaretz journalists, such as Gideon Levy and Amira Haas, and anti-Zionist NGOs like Breaking the Silence.
Kaiser proceeds to legitmise Cypel’s argument that Israel as a “racist, bullying little superpower”, and quoting directly from the book, writes:
In a long section about the Jewish diaspora, Cypel points out that Israel’s lurch to the right has produced a growing gap with the liberal traditions of American Jews in the Reform movement. No one has written more powerfully on this subject than Daniel Boyarin, a scholar of the Talmud at Berkeley who has described the piercing pain of watching the Jewish tradition “disintegrating before my eyes”.
“It has been said by many Christians that Christianity died at Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobidor,” Boyarin wrote. “I fear – God forbid – that my Judaism may be dying at Nablus, Dheisheh, Betein or El Khalil.”
Cypel says those words were “considered blasphemous” when they were written, in 2006.
The comparison between ‘Christianity dying in Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobidor‘ and ‘Judaism dying in Nablus, Dheisheh, Betein or El Khalil”, in addition to being morally obscene and completely ahistorical, is a clear example of “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”, deemed antisemitic by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. Further, the EHRC report on antisemitism in the Labour Party singled out “comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany” as an example of antisemitism (page 31).