cover image State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel

State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel

Thomas Suárez. Olive Branch, $20 (418p) ISBN 978-1-56656-068-9

Suárez (Palestine Sixty Years Later) passionately and meticulously exposes the terrorism committed by Zionist groups in Palestine from the post-WWI era of the British Mandate through the early years of the Israeli state. Though not a historian by trade, Suárez ably presents material from British archives, Zionist documents, and other sources to chronicle the relentless onslaught of kidnappings, shootings, and bombings committed by Zionist terror organizations. Suárez outlines the ideological origins and racialized basis of the Zionist political movement and details how groups such as Irgun and Lehi—“the terror gangs of the Mandate era”—spared few to achieve their political aims, targeting native Palestinians, British authorities, and “uncooperative” Jews in Palestine; even WWII refugees and Jewish victims of Nazi crimes were considered fodder for Zionist political aims. He demonstrates the centrality of coercion and terror to the eventual establishment of the Israeli state and argues that the ongoing “conflict” between Israel and the Palestinians is less an intractable collision between historic enemies than it is “the single story” of political Zionism’s “underlying linear violence” and “its determination to expropriate all of Palestine for a ‘Jewish’ settler nation predicated on blood descent—‘race.’ ” Much of Suárez’s work recounts episodes of violence rather than offering analysis, but it is nevertheless an impressive display of historical excavation. (July)