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September 5, 2017 1:41 pm

Deconstructing the Anti-Israel Book ‘State of Terror’

avatar by David Collier and Jonathan Hoffman


An anti-Israel display (illustrative). Photo: Facebook.

Before post-modernism, there were facts. But things have changed — nowhere so much as in the history surrounding Israel’s conflict with its neighbors.

The latest addition to this genre comes from Thomas Suarez, an American violinist and expert on antique maps. Last year, he published a book called State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel. His effort to rewrite history were Herculean: Seven years of work, five of them reading 430 files in the UK’s National Archives, resulting in 680 endnotes, and 124 entries in the bibliography.

This diligence enabled Suarez to find some nuggets of history undiscovered by even the most eminent academic historians. For example: Zionist leaders opposed the Marshall Plan; UN Resolution 181 was a “scam” because “no Israeli leader had any intention of honouring Partition;” Jewish orphans in post-war Europe were “kidnapped” by Zionists; after the Second World War, Zionist leaders sabotaged plans to safeguard Jewish displaced persons (DPs); and Israel destroyed the Iraqi Jewish community.

Incredibly, this fraudulent book has gained traction.

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Suarez has given talks in the UK Parliament, at SOAS (a London University) and at four venues in Scotland. He will soon be speaking in the US (on September 18 at the University of Massachusetts; September 25 at Columbia; and September at 26 Rutgers).

In blurbs of the book, Ilan Pappé, a professor at Exeter University, calls it a “tour de force,” and Baroness Jenny Tonge says, “Everyone who has ever accepted Israel’s account of its own history should read this book and hear the truth.”

So, we decided to fact-check the book.

We read 26 of the same National Archive files and 8 of the same books that Suarez used — in addition to information that Suarez ignored. We found widespread evidence that was misinterpreted or ignored, always in a manner that denigrated Zionism.

One example is the statement that Zionist leaders opposed the Marshall Plan because of the fear that reconstruction in Europe would prove “an obstacle to Zionism.” Suarez’s evidence? An archive document showing that a small group of (unnamed) Zionists took this stance — not the mainstream Jewish leadership or the Jewish Agency.

We found other allegations that were not only false, but flagrantly antisemitic — for example, that Jewish children in Europe who had been orphaned by the Second World War were “kidnapped” and spirited to Israel. The truth is that after Hitler’s attempted genocide of the Jewish people, many Jewish orphans were in the care of Christians.

The rescue operation — by Israeli Chief Rabbi Herzog, which was carried out with the blessing of national authorities — was simply intended to ensure that the orphans could remain Jewish rather than de facto be converted to Christianity. After six million Jews perished, it is nauseating to label this resettlement in Israel as kidnapping. It shows a wilful failure on the part of Suarez to understand the Holocaust, and the very essence of Judaism itself.

Throughout the book, we found a strategy to attribute to all Zionists the action of one. If any Jewish Zionist said or did anything negative, Suarez used the example to reflect the action back on all Zionists. He then labeled it as Zionist policy. This is a highly dubious, and racist, strategy to employ. When discussing the Holocaust, it becomes sickeningly offensive.

We also found a strategy of wilful selectivity in the selection of archive material, focusing disproportionately on the years of maximum civil strife in then-Palestine (1947-48), in order to support the author’s calumny that “terrorism created Israel.” And describing only half of the conflict — deliberately evading uses of Arab violence — presents an utterly skewed impression that the violence related to Israel’s creation only came from Jews.

In conclusion, Suarez’s antisemitic template fits over his book like a glove. Here is a tweet on Suarez’s Twitter account that perfectly encapsulates his mentality:

The propagation of malicious falsehoods about Israel has become a veritable industry. This book is Suarez’s job application to enter the movement, alongside such revisionist luminaries as Pappé, Massad, Brenner, Finkelstein and Chomsky.

State of Terror is a deeply antisemitic book. It is grist to the mill of the worst Jew-haters. The first step in confronting antisemitism is recognizing it. We hope — at least — to have achieved that.

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