Categorized | Harrison_Donald_H

Violent novel depicts Israel after its fall

 

Enfold Me: A Novel of Post Israel by Steven Greenberg; 2012; ISBN 978-0-9856873-1-1; 280 pages;  price unlisted

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO — This brutal, shockingly violent novel imagines a high intensity earthquake that leaves Israel defenseless against an opportunistic strike by Iran and its Arab allies. When the smoke and dust clear, Israel has ceased to exist.  In its place are Northern Liberated Palestine (including Acco and Nazareth), where Jews and Christians are brutally subjugated; Central Liberated Palestine (Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron); the contested territory of Haifa and the Carmel, and the Egyptian protectorate (Hadera, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon) where the administration is more benign but in which physical reconstruction is at a total standstill.

We meet Daniel, the protagonist, living quietly in what remains of his hut in the village of Safuriya north of Nazareth, doing his part for the resistance by sending emails about any movements that he can witness from his isolated shelter, where he is able to remain alive by eating produce from his garden.  An agent has been sent to take him out of his isolation — an Arab-American man named George whom he once knew at university in the United States, before Daniel made aliyah to Israel.

We are told that George has been sent on instructions from the United States government to arrange a  ransom for Daniel–the only way Hamas and the Iranians will allow Jews to leave their regime.   And so the men head for Tel Aviv in the Egyptian Protectorate, Daniel convinced that he will again see his wife and children in the United States.  He has been able to send emails to them, but has not been able to receive any messages.

George, it develops, has another mission in mind for Daniel — one that is based on Daniel’s previous work as a bio-scientist in a top-secret Israeli facility.  Daniel revolts against the idea but Ayelet, another agent, is able to coax him into living up to his responsibilities as a man. Deprived of his wife and children for so long, Daniel secretly longs in the words of an Israeli poem, that Ayelet would “enfold me under your wing, and be to me mother and nurse.”

“Manhood”–what it means– especially among a people who are brutally subjugated, is a recurring theme in this imaginative novel.  The question plagues Daniel, not only in his nightmares but in his waking hours as well.

Is it simply a biological classification?  Is it the ability to prevail in war?  To protect one’s loved ones?  To take responsibility for one’s actions?

We are held in suspense by these questions.  The book’s conclusion will startle most readers.

*
Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World.  He may be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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