Here’s What An Actual ‘Book Ban’ Looks Like, And Liberals Love It

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Gage Klipper Contributor
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Author Abigail Shrier launched the Hebrew edition of her best-selling book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” in Israel over the weekend. The Israeli Left mobilized everything it could to shut down the book as well as Shrier herself.

In the book, Shrier challenges some of the most dubious orthodoxies of the transgender craze currently sweeping the West. She is particularly interested in why child transitioners are now primarily young girls when historically they were young boys. Her common sense finding — that it is likely a result of social contagion brought about by a popular culture and medical establishment that glorifies transgenderism — predictably enraged the Left, which has sought to cancel the book since its U.S. release in 2020.

This type of “book banning” rarely makes headlines in the corporate press. However, Americans have become highly familiar with so-called conservative “book bans” in recent months.

While once the term evoked historical phenomena such as Stalinist purges or Nazi book burnings, the corporate press has added it back to the contemporary lexicon. Their purpose in doing so appears primarily to attack Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his effort to take books on transgender ideology out of grade school classrooms. Despite being a wildly disingenuous attack — Florida is engaged in content curation, not censorship — it serves a political purpose. (RELATED: Curation Or Censorship?: Debunking The Left’s ‘Book Ban’ Narrative)

The historical connotation of “book banning” associates the practice with evil regimes that generations of Americans defined themselves against. By accusing conservatives of the practice, the Left aims to draw a moral equivalence between its political enemies —anyone who does not conform to the latest fad in gender ideology — and those regimes.

Politically inactive Independents, or people who have not yet learned to take what the press has to say with a grain of salt, hear the term and are understandably turned off by its inherent un-American legacy.

However, conservative efforts to keep sexually lewd and scientifically dubious content out of classrooms and school libraries are not “book banning” in the traditional sense. Rather, it is part of a wholly legitimate process to curate appropriate content for what America’s future generation of leaders should imbibe. Any parent who wishes to teach their child the glories of transgender ideology is free to go down to the near Barnes & Noble in Florida and pick up a vast array of books on the topic.

A true book ban, however, is a whole-of-society approach to preventing a book, — or more importantly, the ideas it contains — from being disseminated anywhere in the public sphere. (RELATED: The Media’s Latest ‘Book Ban’ Story Appears To Be Completely Unfounded)

This is exactly what happened in Israel over the weekend. Despite their incessant consternation over conservative “book bans,” the Left was thrilled at the largely successful effort to shut down Shrier’s book launch in Tel Aviv.

The Jerusalem Post — a centrist publication in Israel — detailed how a coalition of corporations, NGOs, and transgender activists teamed up to “shut down” what Shrier had to say.

Mirroring what Target has done in the U.S., Israel’s largest bookstore chain, Steimtatzsky, refused to stock the book after pressure from activists. Tzomet Sfarim, the second largest bookseller, limited book’s distribution outside the Tel Aviv metro area. Together, the two chains make up 80 percent of the book market in the country.

Nevertheless, Shrier was set to speak at the launch event in Tel Aviv Sunday evening. The event was cancelled twice by venues that did not want to be associated with Shrier. Shrier and her publisher ultimately settled for a third, much smaller venue, that required turning away one hundred ticket holders.

One of the events responded to pressure from a transgender youth group named “Anti-Transphobic Demonstration,” whose leader bragged to the Post that “following inquiries to the place…it canceled the event (which is totally a victory as far as we’re concerned)!” (RELATED: Banned Book List Contains Books That Aren’t Banned)

While the group claimed to be a grassroots organization, they referred the Post reporter to the NGO Ma’avarim when pressed about any adult involvement. Ma’avarim is a transgender advocacy group “working together with legislators, policymakers, the media, and agents of change.” They receive support from corporations like Microsoft as well as Israeli government agencies like the Ministry of Health.

The youth group also helped organize a protest outside the eventual venue. Trans activists chanting out front far exceeded the number of people actually in attendance at the event, according to the left-wing Israeli publication, Haaretz.

For its part, Haaretz, a rough Israeli equivalent to the New York Times, reified this message in a hit piece released immediately after the event. It derided Shrier’s ideas as thoroughly “refuted” by the experts, and included quotes from activists characterizing the book as an “attempt to murder trans people.” It mocked her “small” venue and foreign crowd, to characterize the event as something Israelis universally oppose — a “manufactured outrage” by American right-wingers.

The piece even went so far as to put scare quotes around Shrier’s rightful use of the word “biological women” to describe, well… biological women.

The Israeli Left showed what it means to cancel a book in the West today. As always, the goal is to delegitimize dissent in every way possible and manufacture a facade of unity from above.

The old-school Left used to be skeptical when all the most powerful actors in society teamed up in pursuit of the same goal. Now, they not only cheer it but actively foster it to their ends.