Top critical review
Five star tale but one star politics
on 17 February 2016
To say more about the story itself than is said in the synopsis on the product page would present spoilers, so I will not.
It is a, gripping, really well plotted and delivered tale of politics and international intrigue and makes for a great read.
However, to make the tale work, the author has to paint the Palestinian Arab Muslim cause in a good light and paint the Israeli cause in a bad light and this is where it goes wrong for me, becoming quite objectionable in places; the author glorifies the former and demonises the latter, whilst at the same time conflating Jewish and Israeli and, thus, demonising Jews per se.
The potted history of Palestine, Israel, Palestinians and Israelis which comes out of the book ignores many of the important bits and gives a distorted presentation of many others - for just a few examples: contrary to the impression created in the book, a load of Jews did not suddenly turn up in Palestine in 1948, throw all the Arabs out and create Israel - the population of Palestine in 1947 was approximately 30% Jewish, the population of Israel in 2014 was approximately 75% Jewish, with the majority of the remainder being Arab Muslims; from 1947, when the creation of Israel became a certainty, to 1948, when the creation of Israel became a reality, the majority of Palestinian Arab Muslims did not seek to negotiate a modus vivendi with the Palestinian Jews but, instead, signed up to the hyperbole and hate filled rhetoric of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hitler's acolyte and long term house guest, with the aim of exterminating every Jew in Palestine; unlike the Palestinian Arab Muslims who left or were expelled from Israel in 1948 and who have not been assimilated or integrated into the greater Arab world or the Ummah, seven years, let alone 70 years after the event, the more than one million ethnic Greeks expelled from Turkey in 1923, the almost half a million ethnic Turks expelled from Greece in 1923, the almost three million ethnic Germans expelled from the Sudetenland in 1946, the almost two million ethnic Germans expelled from East Prussia in 1945 and so on, were not sitting in refugee camps or temporary enclaves, lobbing rockets into and committing terrorist atrocities in their former homeland, instead, they were assimilated and integrated into their new homeland.
If you are looking for a good fictional read and can remember that it is fictional and not a history lesson, this could be for you; if you might be swayed by the incomplete and distorted history, best give it a miss.