This week’s planned presentation in Cambridge by the author of a book detailing “how terrorism created modern Israel” has been shelved.
Thomas Suarez, whose book ‘State of Terror’ alleges that “Jewish terrorism” in Palestine “compares with the worst acts of terrorism by ISIS,” was due to speak at Friends Meeting House on Thursday for a Cambridge Palestine Forum event.
Suarez’s book, based on his access to the National Archives at Kew, was presented and discussed at SOAS in November, after which Campaign Against Antisemitism filed a complaint with the University and Israeli Embassy spokesman Yiftah Curiel said SOAS had indulged in “racist conspiracy theories”.
Published in October, the book was commended by Baroness Jenny Tonge and covers the Deir Yassin massacre in April 1948, where more than 100 Arab villagers were killed in their homes by Jewish paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi.
Drawing on “previously neglected declassified documents” from the British National Archives, Suarez principally covers the period of British Mandate Palestine from 1920-48, but the book has been described by Israel advocates as “a shocking distortion of the truth” and “pure demonisation”.
A spokesman for Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who had invited Suarez to promote the book, said it was “naturally disappointed” and that the Friends Meeting House “had been put under pressure” to cancel the event.
PSC director Ben Jamal said: “We are concerned about efforts to shut down events that are critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or in this case seek to explore the history behind the establishment of the state of Israel. Freedom of expression to criticise any and all governments is a fundamental right cherished by our society.”