Part 1, a general response

I wish to thank David Collier and Jonthan Hoffman for their time and trouble in fact-checking my book, State of Terror. Given their familiarity with the topic, their weeks spent in the National Archives scrutinising my text for any possible flaws, and especially that they approached the task from an adversarial standpoint, I could have hoped for no better, more meticulous effort to weed out any problems in this first printing that I had not yet caught. (I began an online list of errata when the book was first published, and I always ask readers check it.)

Indeed I was encouraged by how few issues of any merit they were able to uncover, none of which affect the substance of the book.

I will refer to the 59-page PDF critique as the ‘Report’, and to Messrs. Hoffman and Collier as ‘the authors’.

In their Report, the authors make two unrelated claims, which they treat as a single, inextricably linked claim:
1. That my book, State of Terror, is academically unsound;
2. That it, and I, are anti-Semitic.

This second charge is to me far more serious than the Report’s academic claims. To abuse the charge of anti-Semitism trivializes actual hatred against Jews.
The most serious allegation of anti-Semitism appears not just in the Report, but has also been disseminated by Mr. Hoffman via Twitter:

“He [Suarez] even questions truth of survivor of Mengele’s Nazi experiment - her story’s awkward for him!

This was tweeted without explanation. My book makes no reference whatsoever to Mengele or his experiments, and the document he illustrates has no relevance. Yet the tweet insinuates that I doubt the veracity of Mengele's experiments (and, by extension, suggests Holocaust denial).

The "explanation" is found in the Report. It concerns an endnote in my book in which I explain an exchange I had with Israeli professor Yosef Grodzinsky, regarding contradictory records about IDF Major General Yossi Peled. This is the offending end note in full.

According to the authors, Peled's mother was a survivor of Mengele’s experiments; according to Professor Grodzinsky, both parents died in the war. Whether the authors, or Professor Grodzinsky, is correct, is immaterial to the issue at hand. What is at issue is that the content of my endnote was falsified to fabricate the image of me as virtually a Holocaust denier, a doubter of the human experiments perfomed on Jews in concentration camps. Thus falsified, Messrs. Collier and Hoffman conclude in their Report that this endnote “best highlights the disdain Suarez has for the Holocaust and Jewish life in general.”

Online, the authors advertise their Report with statements like
“The book is dripping with racial hatred against Jews ... this book is an antisemitic fraud.”
“The authors [sic] hatred of Jews runs through the book. Like blood in an animal, the book has no life without it.”


From Mr. Collier's web site, mockery of actual anti-Semitism for his political purposes:
“[He is a] rabid little man, motivated by hatred ... The message that is screaming from the pages as you turn them is that this is an author who has issues with Jews... This book has an antisemitic stench from the very first page to the very last and Thomas Suarez wrote every word of it. Suarez even included in this libel Jews who wanted a bi-national state.* It is inhumane, racist, and against Jews, clearly antisemitic.” (* RE libelling Jews who wanted a bi-national state, I have no idea what this is about. The only person who I discuss who was active in the bi-national state move was Judah Leon Magnes, whom my book presents in a wholly favorable, almost heroic light.)

The web site goes so far as to issue what, to me, feels like a threat:

“We see you. We know what you are.”


Book Launch ?
In its beginning “Executive Summary”, the authors repeat the falsehood that “The book [State of Terror] was honoured with a launch inside a meeting room in the House of Lords.” This claim of an illegal book launch at the House of Lords was already filed by Mr. Hoffman with the HoL, and dismisssed by its Committee for Privileges and Conduct (HL Paper 142, 15 March 2017). Yet the authors repeat the invention as fact in the Report, even after Mr. Hoffman was formally told by the HoL that there was no such launch, no such breech of HoL regulations.

The Quakers
Similarly, in his online advertisement for the Report, Mr. Hoffman repeats his earlier falsehoods against the Quakers regarding their cancellation of a talk I was to give at the Friends Meeting House in Cambridge. This is an extraordinary case of manipulation, as it was Mr. Hoffman himself who created the situation that he then mispresents and exploits.

The following is a statement from the Quakers regarding this abuse (with permission):

Elders of Jesus Lane Friends Meeting (Quakers) are concerned at the continuing misrepresentation by Jonathan Hoffman and others regarding the decision made by Cambridge Jesus Lane Quaker Meeting to cancel a talk by Tom Suarez in May 2017.

To be clear, we want it to be known that this decision was arrived at under pressure of time and with incomplete information, in response to a request to reconsider the booking.

Jesus Lane Meeting has a long historical relationship supporting Palestinian refugees dating back to the early 1970s and we continue to engage on the issues in the Middle East. Since the cancelled booking some of us have attended the talk by Tom Suarez, which was relocated, or watched a recording of it. Some have purchased the book and read it. Friends (Quakers) who have read the book or seen the video recording of Tom’s talk have no reservations about Tom Suarez or his work
.



— Tom Suárez, 9 September, 2017








Part 2, the academic issues raised:

The Report is in part a rehash of Mr. Hoffman’s failed complaint to the House of Lords, now in a formal, academic-looking presentation. Of the new material added, a few isolated points have in fact been helpful to me, though most of the Report is a sequence of "red herrings" and misrepresentations.

The Report divides evidence against my book into nine principal issues, which they call the “Nine Pillars” on which my book is built, though this is confusing because a few of the biggest complaints are not included in these.

My various conclusions that most upset the authors were invariably based on cumlulative evidence and the course of events, not a single document that they have isolated and framed as my alleged sole proof.

Rather than engage in a laborious untangling of the 59-page document, I will respond directly to the "Nine Pillars" themselves, and five further issues not included in the "Pillars".


Herewith their statement :

The Suarez book ‘State of Terror’ is built on nine pillars. Some of these are truly absurd:
• #1. That the book was built on diligent research
• #2. That Zionist terror was the reason for Partition
• #3. That Zionist actions were part of a ‘master plan’, rather than a reaction to events
• #4. That Zionists and Jews were two different groups, with little or no intersection
• #5. That Zionists had no respect for human life, least of all that of Jews
• #6. That between 1933 & 1949, the Jews of Europe had somewhere to go, other than Palestine
• #7. That the British were impartial observers
• #8. That 1948 was not a civil war, but rather Zionist aggressors picking a fight with peaceful Arabs
• #9. That the Hagana secretly supported the actions of the Irgun.


Herewith my responses:

1. Whether or not my book was “built on diligent research” depends on the subsequent eight “pillars”, so there’s nothing to comment here.

2. I stand by my claim that “Zionist terror was the reason for Partition”.
• British documents cite “intensification of Jewish terrorism” (that is, 'intensification' beyond the years of already relentless Zionis terrorism) that would follow if Partition (i.e., Zionist statehood) were not approved. But the authors reinterpret the report's “intensification of Jewish terrorism” (over that already ravaging Palestine) as “civil disobedience”. This is nothing short of comical.
• The Report ignores my voluminous evidence of the several years of relentless Zionist terror specifically to force Zionist statehood, for which Partition became the means to statehood and afterwards expansion. As one report put it, Partition was a “temporary expedient,” a necessary annoyance tolerated by the Jewish Agency on the way to seizing as much of the land as possible.
• The Report dismisses my proof that the US & UK knew by early 1948 at the latest that there would be no Palestinian state, by treating Abdullah’s deal with the Zionists as though it happened by itself, with no complicity by the latter. This is untrue and irrelevant.
• Finally, it fails to explain — even if one ignores all the rest — why the Jewish Agency /Israeli government not only ultimately refused to abide by Partition, but indeed began abrogating it within days of Resolution 181.

3. I absolutely stand by my claim that the Zionist expropriation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine was intended all along, not “a reaction to events” — though I never use the term "master plan" that the Report alleges. The evidence is overwhelming. The key leaders, people like Weizmann and Ben-Gurion, from the Balfour period and on, explicitly state that they plan to take all of Palestine and ethnically cleanse it. As with the previous issue, the very course of events vindicates this: that's what they did and refused to undo.

4. As regards “Zionists and Jews were two different groups, with little or no intersection,” I am not sure what the authors are accusing me of. Zionism is a political movement. There is of course "intersection" between Jews (and non-Jews) and Zionism, just as there is "intersection" between Jews (or anyone else) and Communism, or vegetarianism, or any other -ism. What is the issue here?

5. This allegation — “That Zionists had no respect for human life, least of all that of Jews” — is a nonsensical caricature. There is nothing to which to respond.

6. Regarding “between 1933 & 1949, the Jews of Europe had somewhere to go, other than Palestine”:
• The Report’s silliness here is so blatant as to warrant quoting. The bold emphasis is original:
Suarez asserts that Roosevelt ‘provisionally secured safe haven for half a million Displaced Persons’ (page 2851). He never did ‘secure’ anything like this. He did try (see Laqueur, op cit*) but it was never likely that his own country - the US - would accept: opposition to large-scale migration (eg from the trade unions) was just too strong. So ‘Zionist leaders’ could not have ‘sabotaged’ an offer that never existed! (*Note that “Laqueur” is not my source for this or anything else.)
This concerns Morris Ernst’s first-hand account of the Zionists' sabotage of President Roosevelt’s resettlement plan; but the Report (above quote) dismisses this by saying that Jews were blocked from entering the US, and that therefore there was nothing to sabotage, and so my claim is false. This is circular nonsense: The fact is that Roosevelt believed he could shame Congress into approving the plan if Britain did the same (which Britain did), or even that he could enforce it without Congress. The possibility that Roosevelt might have ultimately failed is irrelevant to the issue — the issue, the only issue, is that the Zionists did not want it, and sabotaged the attempt, so Roosevelt never even got to try. This is not in question: Morris Ernst was vilified by them for supporting the plan.
• In a bait-&-switch, the Report quotes Professor John Quigley and from Moshe Menuhin, upon whom I do not rely for this claim, then dismisses them as anti-Zionists writing long after the fact (though in the case of Menuhin, this is additionally disingenuous, as he was a first-hand witness; the fact that his book was published in 1964 is irrelevant).

7. As regard whether “the British were impartial observers,” I assume (?) that the authors are referring to this statement in my book: “[The British records'] many authors were both bureaucrats and firsthand observers on the ground, recording clinically and commenting candidly.”
• Indeed the British writing these reports, in their non-public inter-government communications upon which I relied, did usually record clinically (this happened, that happened...), whereas in their comments they were candid, expressing their feelings (not clinical). As far as “impartial” (a word I did not use), it must not be forgotten that the British were the ones who enabled, and continued to enable, the entire Zionist project. So to suggest that they were in general biased against the Zionists seems odd.

8. About the 1948 ‘civil war’:
• Ignoring the Report’s comical imagery of “Zionist aggressors picking a fight with peaceful Arabs”, yes, I stand by the point: that from the beginning of WWII through to the summer of 1947, virtually all of the terrorism in Palestine was Zionist, and once the reality of the Zionist state was assured (which in practical terms came upon the announcement of the UNSCOP recommendations, before Resolution 181), the Zionists began redirecting their violence to assure an ‘Arab threat’.
• There were of course also incidents of individual Palestinian violence that began resurfacing by the summer of 1947. Not only does my book not ignore these, but indeed my book pushes up the beginnings of this resurgence earlier than previously thought.

9. The authors’ final “Pillar” is my claim that “the Hagana secretly supported the actions of the Irgun.”
• This cooperation is abundantly illustrated by the behavior of the gangs, with  collaboration ebbing and flowing with the times. As a defence summary put it, “the Hagana will have a lot of its dirty work done for it, without carrying any responsibility”.
• The authors cite an interview with Teddy Kollek in support of my claim of cooperation among the gangs, which shows Hagana attempts to recruit members of the other gangs. I quote from it, as the authors do, that none were willing to lose their identity to the others, but due to my own editing error, the phrase the authors object to ("Hagana and Irgun would agree on a particular terror attack, the Irgun would carry it out, and the Jewish Agency would then publicly condemn it") belongs to the defence summary in my next sentence. The quote is correct, but was orphaned into the wrong sentence due to a bad rewrite. This error has been on my list of errata.
• Another issue is the report's use of the phrase "there can be no question [etc]" which the authors, in retrospect probably correctly, interpret in the negative, and I interpret in the positive, the linguistic issue being whether it is followed by "of" or "that". Nonetheless the fact is that many terror attacks were Hagana-Irgun or even Hagana-Irgun-Lehi collaborations.
• The authors' allegation that I paint too general an image of this inter-gang cooperation is inaccurate. Quite the contrary, what I do, drawing from British records, is record a much less black-and-white reality than the common idea of a specific period that began and ended, as the authors would have it.


Other criticisms of State of Terror in the Report but not in the "Pillars":

Rabbi Herzog
• The authors make much of my claim of a kidnapping trip by Rabbi Herzog in 1946. Here they engage in the same device Mr. Hoffman used in his failed complaint to the House of Lords — they refer to page 28 in my book, where I make a passing reference to this issue but which is not my account of Rabbi Herzog’s trip, and then claim I cite as evidence only a NY Times article and Prof. Yosef Grodzinsky’s book, In the Shadow of the Holocaust, neither of which is the source I cite. They then dismiss the Herzog papers, and their proof of the profound resistance Herzog faced from European Jewish communities, by claiming that I do not understand the Holocaust. They are free to interpret Herzog’s actions in apparent contradiction to what he wrote — they are not free to falsify my citations or claim I am misrepresenting the evidence.

Ben-Gurion's oft-cited 1938 statement about saving Jewish children
The authors refute my condemnation of Ben-Gurion's statement by claiming that no one, not even the Nazis, knew what would happen over the next few years.
• This is a peculiar claim — even though no one predicted the full horror of the Holocaust in 1938, to claim that Jews were not known to be in serious mortal danger is astonishing revisionism. But the Report accuses me of "falsely endow[ing] Ben Gurion with this foresight". Really? After five years of Nazi rule?
• But even this is irrelevant. Ben-Gurion's words are explicitly built on the premise of Jewish children being murdered.
• Further, I cite Hagana member Hanna Braun, who noted that this was not a one-time statement, that she knows he repeated and meant it. (The authors dismiss her.)
• The Report cleverly uses the date July, 1938 in relation to Ben-Gurion's speech, extracting that from a previous sentence. But the speech was December, as I state. This is important because that was a month after Kristallnacht,
• Finally, the Jewish Agency's highest priority during the war, even after word of the Holocaust began to reach the world in November 1942, remained Zionism.

Reconstruction
• From when Mr. Hoffman first disrupted a book talk of mine in November 2016, he was particularly outraged by my statement that the Jewish Agency was against Reconstruction, and this remains a key complaint of the authors. They now claim that it was a minority view, not that of the leadership, and allege that the statements of Ben-Gurion refer only to reconstruction in Palestine, not Europe. (This in itself would beg explanation.) But the interpretation is at odds with the explanation by, for example, the settlement member named Newton, who reported that "They were not interested in Jewish rehabilitation in Europe. They were afraid that with the improvement of conditions in Europe the pressure on Palestine would subside."
• Further, in early 1948, as the Marshall Plan was about to be implemented, even the NY Times was reporting that Zionist leaders were telling politicians that they cannot be both pro-Marshall and pro-Zionist.
• By the war's end, the British were reporting a general feeling against improvement in Europe among the settlements, since many felt it would make the quest for a Zionist state more difficult. This is all cited.

The destruction of the Iraqi Jewish community
• This complaint was already addressed in the complaint to the House of Lords. The authors dismiss my "claim that that [sic] Israel destroyed the Iraqi Jewish community." They achieve this by first substituting the events at issuse in the early 1950s with a separate issue a decade earlier, in 1941, where there was anti-Jewish violence in Iraq (and certainly no evidence of Zionist conspiracy), and then fudging the actual events ten years later.
• As regards the 1941 violence, the authors criticise me for refusing to assume that "Arabs" were the cause. To be sure, I never dismiss the possibility, but I also present the (likely) theory that it was a British false flag operation to provide a pretext for their continued control. This claim is well known, for example by the Iraqi Jew Naeim Giladi, whose account the authors of course dismiss; But I also introduce new evidence from classified documents that I successfully got the British to release (CO 733/420/19), and which the authors fail to mention. These documents, despite being heavily redacted, support Giladi's claim, though they do  not (as I make clear in my book) categorically prove it.
• As regards the Report's political motivation for this excercise, the irony is that CO 733/420/19 also contain new information about the Mufti's connection to the Italian fascists, and I also bring this out in my book. Yet the authors ignore my citing this new Mufti-fascist evidence, and instead Mr. Hoffman falsely alleged to the House of Lords that my book does not mention the Mufti's well-known meeting with Hitler.
• When the Report does advance to the 1950s and the flight of Iraqi Jews, it ignores the fact that the Zionist terror ring was exposed, it ignores the testimony of British witnesses, it ignores the words of a CIA agent then present, and it ignores the additional evidence I supply, not to my knowledge previously published: that Israel, though ill-equipped, refused any help in airlifting the tens of thousands of Iraqi Jews left homeless, cold, and hungry as result of the "emergency", and threatened to impound any airplane that tried. If indeed there was a fear of Iraqi Jews being harmed by their "Arab" countrymen, how does one explain this behavior? All this is ignored by the authors.

Citation method
• The authors repeatedly criticized my method of identifying specific documents in the National Archives, and of the frustration it caused them in locating the documents (or failing to try). This is gratuitous: while some folders at Kew consist of pages that are numbered in some organized fashion, others consist of hundreds of loose, often unrelated sheets, that bear either no numbering at all, or several contradictory numbers, or duplicated numbers, resulting from previous archiving. I strove to use the most visible, non-duplicated method of identifying the particular document. For example, the authors question a quote I attribute to Sharret (Shertok), by saying “We attempted to check this file but it is massive. Without further location information, it’s not possible to find the document to which Suarez refers.” Indeed, the folder contains a variety of papers and no sequential numbering, they would have had to look for the sheet entitled ‘Situation Report’, ‘2’, with the Sharret quote. It took me a few minutes to locate it again — it is as described.
This is the nature of these documents, not a failure of my method.