I have just completed a two book novel (duology?) about the Israeli-Palestine conflict that is centered around an Israeli attack on Iran. In doing research for it, I decided to reread Exodus. The high-point for me was Uris’ rendition of the Balfour Agreement (p.247):
“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
Unfortunately, Uris conveniently left out the comma at the end (not a period) and the critical next clause:
“…, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, …”
I guess admitting that under Balfour the non-Jewish communities in Palestine (then 90 percent of the population) might have equal rights to the incoming Jewish minority didn’t quite fit into the theme of heroic Jews verses backward, savage Arabs.
Notwithstanding the propagandistic nature and poor quality of Exodus, its impact, when coupled with the movie and haunting theme, was monumental. It turned all of us who grew up in that generation into lovers of Israel, its noble Kibbutzim, its brave warriors, and its tan and comely (hot) young sabra lasses who wore tight shorts and loose fitting shirts with the top three buttons unfastened (the number one fantasy of my sordid teenage mind).
Exodus created in all of us an image of that tough little Jew who would not back down whatever the odds and who, though bloodied and beaten, would ultimately triumph over the hordes of Arab savages. The tough little Jew metaphor began in Uris’s first novel, “Battle Cry” which was about the Marines in World War II. In Exodus he cleverly extended the metaphor to a tough little Jewish country who fought back against all odds.
I decided about a year ago that fiction (and art in general including movies and music) may have much more persuasive impact than logic and rational discourse. Exodus certainly provides support for that belief. Rather than continue what I saw as largely futile posting of articles and comments on this blog and on Phil Weiss’ Mondoweiss blog, I decided to try writing a novel, an anti-Exodus if you will. It’s now complete and called Armageddon in the Gulf. The first book is called “Prelude to Disaster” and the second “Armageddon and Redemption”.
The main character is Hailey Corrigan, the first female US president. While there is a lot of talk in it about the I-P conflict and its origins, including US politics and the Lobby, it also has a lot of Tom Clancy-ish action centered around Israel’s attack on Iran, plus some passionate romance (“50 Shades of Goy”?).
I would be delighted if any of my blog readers would be willing to review it and provide me with suggestions, corrections, and ways of bolstering the narrative I provide about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its origins and history. If interested, let me know by replying to this post. I’ll email you a PDF copy.