My new novel, The Exodus Betrayal: A President Confronts Israel, is about Hailey Hannagan, the first female president of the United States who lands in that office as a matter of fate, with little of no experience in higher office. The overarching subject of my novel is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is centered around a hypothetical but not unlikely attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear program. The novel deals with the run-up to the attack and the president’s failed attempts to prevent it. The war then takes unexpected and precarious turns for Israel, Iran, and the US. Its climax and ending suggest a possible resolution to the generations-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Phil Weiss, editor of Mondoweiss, interviewed me about my novel. The interview: (“Imagine a US president taking Iran’s side in conflict with Israel, and you get Maguire’s thriller ‘Exodus Betrayal’”) also contains reader comments about the interview and about my novel.
As the novel deals with the politics of the conflicts in the Middle East, I’ve attempted to introduce some history and differing perspectives about these conflicts through various characters: American, Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, and Iranian. Since this is in large part a historic novel, some of the characters may appear to be recognizable or at least very similar to real-life characters. Despite any apparent similarities, this is a work of fiction and each character is purely fictional, although many of the events they participate in are historically accurate.
To broaden the historical perspective and context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I’ve used a device I call the London Calling interviews which consist of fictional interviews by a well-known radio correspondent of actual historic characters at different points in time in which they attempt to describe and interpret historic events they were a part of. There are nine of these London Calling segments. None of these segments is directly related to the plot of the novel. Sources for the historic events in each segment are contained in the Endnotes with hyperlinks from the event to its endnote source. If the source is available on the internet, a hyperlink is present that will take the reader directly to the source’s website. Most are Wikipedia sites which I chose for simplicity of reading, and quick access by the reader. I’ve also cited several well-known histories of different aspects of the conflict which are far more detailed and authoritative. For anyone interested in the complicated history of this conflict, these books are well worth reading.
The real-world politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are complicated and told through the narratives and lenses of the various participants and the groups they represent, both in the Middle East and in the US. While I have attempted to be balanced, my novel may well be accused of having its own narrative and perhaps an inaccurate and/or biased one at that. Any reader who wishes to point out inaccuracies or otherwise comment can contact me through my website/blog at http://www.irishmoses.com by replying to the “My New Novel The Exodus Betrayal” post in the Leave a Reply box at the bottom of that post. Normally I respond within 24 hours.
My blog, Irish Moses, has the subtitle and theme, “How to Save Israel in Spite of Herself: Solving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” which comes from the title of an article written by the renowned American diplomat, George W. Ball in the April 1977 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. In the article he criticized US Middle East policy and recommended it use its vast power and influence to force Israel to abandon the Palestinian territories it conquered and occupied during the 1967 Six Day War and enter into a permanent peace settlement with the Arab nations and allow the Palestinians to have the land and country of their own promised them in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
While my writings on my blog demonstrate a critical view of Israel’s post-1967 Six Day War conduct and annexation and settlement policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, I remain a strong supporter of Israel and firmly believe the U.S. has a moral obligation to protect Israel’s existence from any foreign threat. However, I also agree with George Ball’s prescient article that Israel’s illegal settlements and annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem are causing great harm to U.S. vital national security interests, and that it needs to enter into a fair and reasonable settlement that both guarantees Israel’s security and provides the Palestinians with the homeland and state of their own promised to them by the United Nations in 1947.
Irish Moses, my blog, is named in honor of an American Episcopalian who played a crucial role during the founding days of Israel. In 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, called the American who directed and led Operation Magic Carpet, “the Irish Moses” because he and his fleet of silver C-54 transport planes and pilots flew tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from all over the world to the new homeland for the Jews, the state of Israel. That American was my father, Robert F. Maguire, Jr. He and the pilots that flew for him were all World War II veterans, most had served in combat, but few if any were Jews.
In 2004, just a year before his death, my father was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for “his heroic efforts that helped to rescue tens of thousands of Jews” during 1948-49 after the founding of the State of Israel. Paradoxically, my father, the “Irish Moses” for Israeli Jews, became very critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in his later years, and refused an invitation to attend ceremonies in Israel celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence in 1998. His refusal and criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians sparked my interest in the Israeli-Arab conflict over Palestine and was the motivation for my blog and my novel, The Exodus Betrayal.
As the youngest son of the Irish Moses, I hope my blog, writings, and novel, The Exodus Betrayal will contribute to a greater understanding and empathy for the plight of the Palestinian people, and the re-creation of a promised land and a homeland of their own they too can return to and live peacefully in alongside the existing Jewish homeland of Israel.
Oxnard, California, June 2019