STATE OF TERROR by Thomas Suárez

STATE OF TERROR

How Terrorism Created Modern Israel
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A chronicle of Zionist sins since the beginning of the “settler project” in the 1920s to the 1956 Suez Crisis.

London-based professional violinist and author Suárez (Palestine Sixty Years Later, 2010, etc.) is careful to first define Zionist “terrorism” before he launches into his systematic, chronological account of how it played out in the Jewish settling of Mandatory Palestine. If terrorism means the violent targeting of civilians, then the “ethno-national movement of Zionism,” which accomplished the appropriation of non-Jewish land over many decades, even if it meant “making life so miserable for [Palestinians] that they [left] ‘of their own accord,’ ” certainly fit the bill. Moreover—and this is where Suárez is most sharply provocative—the early Zionists also targeted Jews themselves, such as pressuring post–World War II displaced persons to settle in Palestine as well as kidnapping Jewish orphans to keep them from being raised Christian. Not surprisingly, the author blames Europe’s Zionist leaders—Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion et al.—for propounding an extraordinary kind of messianism, a biblical Israel that was “not subject to norms applicable to the rest of the world.” Suárez concentrates on the highly organized violence of Hagana splinter groups Irgun and Lehi from 1939 through the founding of the state: both were anti-Palestinian and anti-British. Yet these terrorist groups also targeted Jewish “traitors.” The author emphasizes the anti-Semitic nature of Zionism in creating “a permanent state of emergency” for which a Jewish state in Palestine was the only answer. Eventually, the book becomes a lengthy litany of Zionist terrorist attacks and the employment of “confusion and war weariness” to push for its political objectives, namely to assume all of Palestine and not just what was granted at Partition in late 1947. The author’s theme is that Partition, and thus statehood, was essentially gained by Zionist terrorism.

A relentless, hard-hitting, ultimately one-note polemic.

Pub Date: July 6th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-56656-068-9
Page count: 440pp
Publisher: Olive Branch/Interlink
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionOPERATION EXODUS by Gordon Thomas
by Gordon Thomas
NonfictionFROM HERZL TO RABIN by Amnon Rubinstein
by Amnon Rubinstein
NonfictionTHE UNMAKING OF ISRAEL by Gershom Gorenberg
by Gershom Gorenberg