“a dangerous book ... an evil book”

Yisrael Medad's critique of my book, State of Terror

Tom Suarez

view at Shilo settlement

(source: Wikipedia)

This is a brief response to the review of my book, State of Terror, by Yisrael Medad.

Mr. Medad is an American Israeli settler in Shilo, the illegal settlement esablished in 1978, roughly 15 km south of Nablus. He describes himself as “an unofficial spokesperson for the Jewish Communities in Judea & Samaria [occupied West Bank, and] a former director of Israel’s Media Watch.”

Although I am not going to get drawn into deconstructing every Zionist critique of my book that appears online, this one merits a general response to the tactics used.

Mr. Medad begins by reproducing a screen-grab of a Facebook page in which someone asks me if I had any plans to speak in the US; in my reply, I mention talks I am scheduled to give at American universities. And so he prefaces his critique of my book with the following:

“As Tom Suarez intimated he will give a talk at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sept 18, 7:00 PM, I'm rushing this.”

He does not explain why he has to rush his review as a result of that talk.

Mr. Medad, who describes my work as “a dangerous book ... an evil book,” engages in misrepresentation, distortion, and red herrings, but is far better skilled at it than, for example, Jonathan Hoffman and his nearly incoherent missive submitted to the House of Lords. Mr. Medad's knowledge of Zionist history is impressive, and he was undoubtedly an effective director of Media Watch.

The following examples are representative of Mr. Medad’s critique of State of Terror:

1. To demonstrate that I am “simply sloppy,” he cites my reference to an Irgun attack recorded in Kister which, he says, is the Steel Bros Garage attack.
• In fact I describe the Steel Bros attack from varied sources, and was meticulous in avoiding duplication, explicitly stating when two apparently distinct attacks recorded from different sources might be the same, even when recorded on different days in different places.

2. He claims I never explain my use of the term “messianic” in regard to Chaim Weizmann.
• Wrong: I use the term only when Weizmann invoked the Third Temple or other blatantly messianic iconography.

3. He claims I said that “the Jewish Agency engaged in a campaign of ‘kidnapping Jewish children’ from European DP camps, without a source.”
• No, I said no such thing, and this is a rather convoluted claim, since the Zionist officials effectively ran the Jewish DP camps. The “kidnapping of Jewish orphans” referred to Rabbi Herzog’s kidnapping campaign, and far from being “without a source,” I quote directly from Herzog’s own records, held by the British in their National Archives and which I have made available online.

4. Mr. Medad seizes upon the following on page 128 (not p126 as he cites) — ‘(P?)£6000’ — to suggest my wide ignorance of the Mandate period, that I did not even know that the Palestine Pound was the currency of the Mandate.
• It is hard to imagine that this distortion is anything but deliberate: The question mark — obviously, I would have thought — means that the source document from which I was quoting did not specify whether it was British or Palestinian pounds. Both were used in these documents, but in this instance it was not clarified. That was the purpose of the question mark. Indeed the book contains dozens of ‘£P’currency figures without the ‘?’, and I even have an explanation of the Palestinian pound on page 19.

5. “For example,” Mr. Medad continues, “on page 158, he reprints a caricature for an Irgun mouthpiece in England, The Jewish Standard, a journal of that time ignored by researchers. Unfortunately, while I am sure he reads music being a professional violinist, he seems unable to comprehend the cartoon.”
• First: the cartoon is reproduced from The Jewish Struggle, which I state, not the Standard. I photographed it from the actual, complete paper, so there is no question about this provenance. He states that I wrongly interpret the cartoon as depicting the British as Nazis, when it simply depicts them as preventing Jews from entering Palestine. While his interpretation of it is plausible out of context, it is far less plausible in context of that paper’s, and other extreme Zionist publications’, constant reference to the British as Nazis — some even describing them as worse than the Nazis.

6. In dismissing my account of the King David Hotel bombing, Mr. Medad states: “Has he not read Thurston Clarke’s book?” and he claims that my citing of a "diversionary attack" is false, a confusion with the French Consulate incident.
• I am not in error on the diversionary attack. TNA WO 261-562 specifically records this, "a diversionary explosion ... on the pavement outside a shop opposite the hotel."
• In fact, in my account of that attack, I twice cite from Clarke’s book, By Blood and Fire: The Attack on the King David Hotel, which claims to give a moment-to-moment account of the Irgun operative’s movements and thoughts.
• Mr. Medad has simply selected a particular secondary source to "disprove" my primary source, a source which he fails to mention.

7. Mr Medad states that “he continues his ignorance” by citing the story of the Zionist terror groups “drawing straws” to decide which would carry out the attack, which Mr. Medad finds not credible.
• My book's stated purpose is to record what is preserved in British archives. The British received what it called this “reliable report” about the “drawing straws” meeting in Tel Aviv, and so I cited it, along with other reports. Indeed, in the next paragraph I refer to apparent discrepancies. Rather than showing ignorance, this demonstrates my efforts to lay out the evidence as it is recorded.

8. There are pejorative misstatements of what I say; for example, he paraphrases me as saying that “The Jews are guilty of causing hate to themselves, on purpose”.
• No, I have never said any such thing. This is an invention, a complete distortion of my reference to the anti-Jewish riots in England in the summer of 1947.

9. Mr. Medad also focuses on apparent misspellings or inconsistent spellings, and insinuates some sinister motivation to it: “...the Gan Hawaii Cafe ... he insists on calling the Hawari Cafe, perhaps to increase its Arab identity.”
• As I carefully explain in my introductory notes, I generally followed the spellings in the source documents from which I was quoting. ‘Hawari’ is how it appears. It is hardly a stretch to imagine a British official hearing ‘Hawaii’ and writing it ‘Hawari’.

This sort of tactic characterizes much of the remainder of Mr. Medad's critique.

Mr. Medad does make one true, and important, criticism:
“his quoting of the German not-quite-pro-Zionist Jew Paul Nathan’s usage of Zionist ‘terror [against Palestinians]’ is misleading.” Mr. Medad is correct. On page 29, my book wrongly refers to Palestinians, rather than non-Zionist Jews, as the victims of the Zionist violence to which Nathan refers. The error — which occurred in a hurried late rewrite — was caught soon after publication, and was one of the first items listed in my online errata. It will be corrected in any future printings.

— Tom Suárez, London, 3 September, 2017