Guardian review praises antisemitic book

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).

However, that wasn’t the only Nazi analogy used by the Cypel.
In chapter 3, titled “What’s your blood?“, he compares Israelis who believe in their country’s legal claim to all of Judea and Samaria to the Nazi idea of Lebensraum, an idea which drove the Nazis’ territorial expansionism and it’s racial policy.
In chapter 4, titled “This Country Belongs to the White Man: An emerging idea: racial purity“, Cypel suggests that some elements of Zionism arguably draw upon Nazi racial science.
In that same chapter, he claims of an increasing embrace by Israelis of “white supremacy”.  And, in chapter 8, titled “I am exhausted by Israel: A schism in Judaism“, he’s even more explicit, writing that “Israel is embracing an exacerbated racist attitude with policies that borrow from the worst tendencies of white supremacy”.
The State of Israel vs. The Jews: Table of Contents
Cypel’s venom isn’t limited to morally obscene comparisons of Israel and Zionism to white supremacy and Nazi Germany.
In chapter 10, titled “No, No, you can’t quote me on that: the blindness of French Jews“, he takes aim at French Jews, and the leading Jewish organisation in France, CRIF, whose agenda he claims is controlled by Jerusalem.  Ignoring the fact that up to half of all hate crimes in France are antisemitic, he accuses Jews of creating a ghetto for themselves, as if they were under siege, of rejecting the French ideal of fraternité and of harbouring disturbing Islamophobic attitudes – ignoring that Muslims are far more likely to hold antisemitic views than most French people.
Cypel also attacks American Jews who emigrated to Israel, claiming, in chapter 4, that many left the US because they were “repelled by American diversity and integration with Blacks”.
These are just a few examples of the lies, venom and calumnies in the book legitmised and praised by the Guardian – 300 plus pages that read like an antisemitic manifesto, a book for those seeking to affirm their malign obsession with Israel and Jews.
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  1. says: Richard Turnbull

    I find myself always thinking about the devastating refutations of exactly this kind of review, article, or opinion piece in the Guardian, every single time I am on there to read their excellent coverage of the environment or something else, and the pop-ups appear soliciting a donation.
    Again, an argument I have raised before on here: the fact that the Guardian is quite capable of fine news coverage, and other excellent forms of journalism, only serves to starkly contrast their inveterate biases against Jews and Israel, despite all of their lame protestations to the contrary over the years!
    The G will never get a penny more from me until their disgraceful, embarrassing, antisemitic tripe, with its dangerous promotion of potentially lethal consequences, is no longer evident.
    That day cannot come soon enough.

  2. Whenever Jews defend themselves robustly – as Israel does both on and within and beyond its borders – this seems to get up the noses of the Israel haters; as though we do not have the right to do this, and should not reply to the almost daily cowardly attacks of Arab terrorists. We have lived in Israel for 4,500 years and the Arab invasion of the 7th century – after we had inhabited the Land of Israel for 3,000 years – by the ancestors of the Palestinians, stole it from us and condemned us to pogrom and Holocaust. Now we are back and are never leaving . All the evidence in this book comes from one-sided anti-Zionists and is a disgrace to any fair-minded discussion of the conflict. I look forward to the demise of the Guardian for the racism against Jews that it incites

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