This scathing indictment probes Israel’s soul as much as the substance of its treatment of the Palestinians…Cypel’s book…is an impassioned, often perceptive challenge to the Israeli consensus.
…of interest to students of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"In this survey of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (translated anonymously from the French), Cypel, an editor at Le Monde who spent twelve years in Israel, writes with the ardor of a believer and the critical eye of a distant observer, producing a nuanced assault on the blindness and inertia that have afflicted both sides. Cypel is a harsh critic of the failures of Palestinian leadership—he excoriates the “Oriental despot” Arafat and the “impotent” regime he built—but believes that Israel needs to be saved from its own incipient brutalization. This process, which he carefully documents, is marked by a “cult of force,” a denial of history, an obsession with security at the expense of human rights, and a shocking willingness to discuss, publicly, the forcible cleansing of Palestinians from Israeli territory. These are symptoms of occupation, Cypel argues, and they can be cured only by its end."
Sylvain Cypel’s careful study of political discourse…if read as widely as [it] should be…would make a serious contribution to changing mass consciousness about the nature of the [Israeli/Palestinian] struggle and how we should respond.
For Sylvain Cypel, the wall [dividing Israel and Palestine] is much more than a physical barrier. It is a tangible manifestation of the mental walls that Israelis and Palestinians have built over the past sixty years. With the passion of an investigative journalist and the patience of a historian, Cypel describes how a culture of denial has strangled both societies.