In “State of Terror,” written by Thomas Suarez, “we found allegations that are not only false but flagrantly antisemitic.”
There used to be things called ‘facts’. But today? “Let 100 narratives bloom”, to paraphrase Chairman Mao. ‘Narratives’ and ‘facts’ don’t mix. And nowhere has so much effort been expended into replacing facts with ‘narratives’ as in the history surrounding Israel’s conflict with its neighbors. The latest addition to the cookie jar 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 is Herculean: Seven years of work, five of them reading 430 files in the UK’s National Archives, resulting in 69 pages of 680 endnotes plus 124 entries in the bibliography.
This diligence enabled Mr. Suarez to unearth 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 honoring 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; and it was Israel which destroyed the Iraqi Jewish community.
Book has Gained Traction
Incredibly (?inevitably) the book has gained traction. Suarez has given talks in the UK Parliament, at SOAS (a London University) and at four venues in Scotland. He is about to embark on a tour of the United States (18 September University of Massachusetts, Amherst; 25 Columbia; 26 Rutgers). Some well-known names on the anti-Israel circuit have lauded the book. A Professor at Exeter University, Ilan Pappé, 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 David Collier and I decided to fact check the book. We read 26 of the same National Archive files and 8 of the same books. Plus material which Suarez ignored. We found evidence that was misinterpreted or ignored, always in a manner that denigrated Zionism. An example is the statement that Zionist leaders opposed the Marshall Plan for Europe’s postwar reconstruction because of the fear that reconstruction in Europe would prove ‘an obstacle to Zionism’. The evidence? An archive document showing that a small group of (unnamed) Zionists took this stance – not the Jewish leadership or the Jewish Agency!
We found allegations that are 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 Chief Rabbi Herzog 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 (two-thirds of Europe’s Jews), 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, as well as the spirit of survival which has enabled Judaism to survive and prosper over more than 5,000 years of adversity.
We found a strategy to attribute to all Zionists the action of one. If any Jewish Zionist said or did anything negative, throughout the entire period 1917-1948, Suarez uses the example to reflect the action back on all Zionists. He then labels it as Zionist policy. It is a highly racist strategy to employ. When discussing the Holocaust, it becomes revoltingly offensive.
We found a strategy of wilful selectivity in the selection of archive material, focusing disproportionately on the years of maximum civil strife in Palestine (1947-48), in order to support the calumny that “Terrorism Created Israel”. Files from late 1947 are accessed over 400 times but they simply reflect Zionist actions as a response to the Arab rejection of partition. Archives from the late 1930s only show Zionist action as a response to the tragedy unfolding in Europe. And describing only half of the conflict – deliberately evading Arab violence – presents an utterly skewed impression.
In conclusion, the antisemitic template fits over this book like a glove. We have titled our response ‘Hate And Error’. ‘Zionists’ become dehumanized, amorphous monsters who ‘hijack’ Judaism, ‘kidnap’ Jewish orphans and ‘coerce’ Displaced Persons in order to boost the population of Palestine, whether they want to go or not; who are heartless Untermenschen for whom the murder of two-thirds of Europe’s Jews is a matter of complete indifference. Here is a ‘tweet’ on Suarez’s Twitter account which perfectly sums up his mentality:
The propagation of malicious falsehoods about Israel has become a veritable industry. This book is Suarez’s job application, 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.