Cypel, Sylvain

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Cypel, Sylvain


Education: Holds B.A. degrees in sociology, contemporary history, and international relations, including degree from the University of Jerusalem.


Home—Paris, France.


Le Matin de Paris, Paris, France, Middle East editor, 1978-85; freelance journalist for France 2 public television network and Libération, 1986-88; Les Echos, Paris, deputy editor, 1989-90; Mensuel, Paris, deputy editor, 1990-91; Courrier International, Paris, editor-in-chief, 1993-98; Le Monde, Paris, from deputy editor to editor-in-chief, 1998—.


Twenty-third Francisco Cerecedo Journalism Prize, Association of European Journalists, 2006, for Les Emmurés.


(Compiler, with Sylvie Kauffmann and Laurent Greilsamer) Staline: Une barbarie moderne, Le Monde (Paris, France), 2004.

Les Emmurés: La société israélienne dans l'impasse, Découverte (Paris, France), 2005, translation published as Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse, Other Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Le Monde, Courrier International, Les Echos, Mensuel, Le Matin de Paris, and Libération. Walled has been translated into several other languages, including Spanish.


Sylvain Cypel is a journalist and editor who has worked for a variety of publications, primarily based in Paris, France. In 1998 he took a position at the renowned newspaper Le Monde, first as a deputy senior editor covering primarily the Middle East and eventually advancing to the role of editor-in-chief. Prior to joining Le Monde, Cypel served as editor-in-chief for Courrier International and as a deputy editor for both Les Echos and Mensuel. As a freelance journalist, Cypel has contributed to a number of publications over the years, such as Le Matin de Paris, for which he has written regularly, and Libération, and he was a correspondent for France 2, the French television network. For twelve years, Cypel was based in Israel, giving him a unique insight into the political and social landscape of that country. He is also broadly educated, having earned undergraduate degrees in sociology, contemporary history, and international relations, and studying at several institutions, including the University of Jerusalem, where he earned his most recent degree.

Cypel is also the author of Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse, which was first released in France in 2005 and which won the Francisco Cerecedo Journalism Prize from the Association of European Journalists. He mined his time spent in Israel, as well as his years covering the Middle East, in order to offer readers an inside look at the social structure within the country that has resulted from the ongoing political strife. Cypel addresses issues stemming from the initial creation of the country in 1948; he then leads the reader up to the present, paying particular attention to the war in 1967 and the territorial negotiations in the 1990s. He explains why, in his view, the unrest between Israel and Palestine is destined to continue. Elizabeth R. Hayford remarked in Library Journal: "This is a rich and valuable study, but it does require readers to have a basic knowledge of modern Arab-Israeli relations." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews commented that "Cypel, like everyone else, comes up short when it comes to offering answers." The writer added that Cypel is "better at describing large-scale trends within Israeli society, including ever-increasing Americanization." A Publishers Weekly contributor stated that the work is "heavy going—contentious, rambling, repetitive and full of dense psychologizing," but concluded that it offers the Israelis "an impassioned, often perceptive challenge."



California Bookwatch, July, 2007, review of Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2007, review of Walled.

Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Elizabeth R. Hayford, review of Walled, p. 106.

New Yorker, August 13, 2007, review of Walled, p. 80.

Publishers Weekly, April 2, 2007, review of Walled, p. 50.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2007, review of Walled.

Tikkun, May 1, 2007, review of Walled, p. 81.


Editors Blog, (June 1, 2004), "A New World Order? At Least a New Front Page at Le Monde."

ForeWord Magazine, (January 7, 2008), Aimee Sabo, review of Walled.

San Francisco Chronicle Online, (July 1, 2007), Rayyan al-Shawaf, "Fervent Plea for Fresh Start in Israel's Palestinian Policy."

Washington Times Online, (June 3, 2007), Martin Sieff, review of Walled.