cover image The State of Israel vs. the Jews

The State of Israel vs. the Jews

Sylvain Cypel, trans. from the French by William Rodarmor. Other Press, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-635420-97-5

Journalist and self-described anti-Zionist Cypel (Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse) delivers an impassioned if one-sided critique of Israel’s “rightward drift” since the 1967 Six-Day War that resulted in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Cypel details acts of violence committed against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and civilians, describes the discriminatory treatment of non-Jewish citizens by the Israeli government, and notes that technologies developed by Israeli cybersurveillance firms were used by Saudi Arabia to track journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was assassinated in 2018. Cypel argues that these and other “appalling” actions by modern-day Israel (“a racist, bullying little superpower”) conflict with the tenets of Judaism and have led “to a widening political and cultural gap between Israeli and American Jewish life.” But he barely mentions previous attempts by the Israeli government to trade land for peace, and downplays anti-Israeli rhetoric and actions by Iran and other countries in the Middle East. Readers looking for a more balanced and incisive treatment of this subject would be better served by Daniel Gordis’s We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel. (Sept.)