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Israeli attack on Iran would have nightmare global consequences — a thriller explains

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People in foreign policy circles can’t stop talking about a war with Iran, as if there’s sense in such hostilities. Benjamin Netanyahu has been pumping for such a war for years and in his political predicament come very close to unleashing it. Now Trump’s absence of relish for Middle East conflict has upped Israeli fears that Israel is on its own– so Israel should attack Iran. “We’re not talking about a major war, but some clashes,” Jonathan Regev said on i24 News today.

This is the greatest pleasure of a thriller published this summer, in which a former intelligence analyst imagines what happens when Israel attacks Iran with well-laid plans, and a global humanitarian and environmental nightmare, and near-world-war, ensue. The book puts the lie to such cheerleading.

Gil Maguire is a friend– and an advertiser on our site — but despite that conflict I thought it worth reviewing the scenario he lays out in “The Exodus Betrayal: A President Confronts Israel.” Because Maguire’s understanding of hubris and folly and military overreach, even if a bit overblown for dramatic purposes, provides a cautionary tale that has surely also occured to the U.S. security establishment, and ought to be more regular fare in our media.

Here’s the story. It’s weeks away from a presidential election in the U.S. in the present day, a neophyte president Hailey Hannagan is fighting for her life. Israeli PM Ari Ben-David decides to attack Iran because Iran is getting close to having enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon and Ben-David thinks he can force the president’s hand to “provide at least defensive support for Israel.”

Israeli security chiefs argue with the political leaders that Iran is a rational actor that won’t attack Israel even if it has a nuke. They warn that the operation is way too risky. Iran is too far away from Israel.

But the prime minister and defense minister are filled with hubris and paranoia, convinced that Iran will dare to attack Israel if it has a nuclear weapon. And the Defense Minister says, “General, do not take counsel of your fears.”

As for the distance problem, Israel has solved it. It has bribed Iran’s northern neighbor, Azerbaijan, to let it fill a southern base with military assets; Lankoran is close to the Iranian border and a mere 200 miles from Tehran! The Israelis sneak three cargo planes loaded with Israeli special forces and bunker-buster bombs to Lankoran. They ready 25 F15I attack bombers, state of the art.

The Israelis decide to use the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha to launch the attack, ten days before the presidential election. “The Iranians are in for a big surprise.”

But the Russians discover the Israeli presence in Azerbaijan and an Israeli listening post in Georgia and decide it’s time to stop the Israeli meddling in the Caucuses. They inform the Iranians of the Israeli plans, and the Iranians ready forces near the Azeri border to attack the Israeli base. Iran gets permission from Iraq to move fighter planes there to attack Israeli aerial refueling tankers when they are in Iraqi air space.

“The Israelis are in for a big surprise,” says an Iranian commander.

The Israeli attack is massive, and very quickly a disaster. Thirty Israeli bombers, a fifth of the air force, are shot down by long range missiles that Russians supplied Iran that Israel did not know about. The Israeli air force commander wants to turn other bombers back. Prime Minister Ben-David says, “the attack must proceed.”

The Israeli bombers take out nuclear sites at Arak, Isfahan and Natanz, but the bomber headed for Fordow is crippled and when its pilot, a messianic Jew, sees the sunlight glaring off a mosque dome in Qom, he decides this is his chance to kill the biblical Amalekites and start an apocalyptic battle. He destroys the mosque, killing thousands of worshipers, a more gruesome attack than 9/11.

“Everyone in the Muslim world, as well as the rest of the world, is glued to their TV sets…”

Meantime, Israeli bombers attacking the Bushehr nuclear plant make the mistake of hitting the nuclear reactor itself, blowing up the containment dome and releasing radiation.

“Good god, there will be hell to pay for this,” says a pilot.

President Hannagan, who was vice president till the president suddenly died earlier that year, is awakened before dawn as the Israeli attack stumbles. “Wake up, the world is going to hell.” Prices of oil have tripled. Rioting has begun in Pakistan, Indonesia, and India. In days to come, dozens of U.S. embassies in Africa and Asia will be attacked.

Israel is in way over its head. And meantime Iran attacks the Israeli refueling tankers over Iraq, downing six of eight of them. And the Iranians cross into Azerbaijan, storm Lankoran and destroy nearly 100 Israeli aircraft and capture the Israeli force there.

The Russians invade Georgia to destroy the Israeli listening post. The Iranians blow up an oil pipeline in Canada to warn the U.S. about its global reach.

The Israelis attack Lebanon and are surprised by the missiles that Hezbollah unleashes on northern Israel.

And with Israeli missile defenses decimated, the Iranians strike many targets in Israel with long-range missiles.

“The Israelis began to get a taste of what it felt like to be a Gazan, boxed in from all directions and subjected to a merciless bombing campaign,” Maguire writes.

Hannagan rises to the occasion. Her political advisers urge her to help Israel out. She refuses. “We’re heading downhill with no brakes.” Further hostilities are not in the American interest. They will turn the  Persian Gulf into a “total war zone,” Iran will attack Saudi Arabia and close down shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, and put the U.S. in a hostile stance toward Russia and China.

When the Israeli Prime Minister calls the president, Hannagan refuses to take the call, passing him to a desk officer at the State Department. “[He] is about to learn who the superpower is in this relationship,” she says.

The Exodus Betrayal, by Gil Maguire.

The president then makes a speech denouncing the attack and saying that “dire predictions” by the U.S. have proved accurate. She is working for a ceasefire but comes under enormous pressure from the hawkish pro-Israel lobby. Why don’t you support our ally? she is asked. Because the U.S. has many allies, and Israel’s “irrational and immoral” actions have put many of them in serious “jeopardy,” she responds.

The coverage of the Israeli attacks shifts public opinion in the U.S. A Jewish group that opposes the occupation becomes the center of campus protests against Israel’s actions. Usually docile congresspeople turn on Israel!

There are more unexpected consequences. A rogue Iranian commander attacks the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Gulf of Oman and kills 6000 Americans. The Iranians apologize immediately and say they will make reparations. President Hannagan then gives a speech blaming Israel and its lobby for overriding serious American misgivings about an attack.

“This war, as we predicted, has been a disaster for Israel… as well as for our country and the rest of the world.”

It doesn’t seem that the war can get any worse. But it does. Israel attacks the U.S., and the two countries are in a state of war. The president is determined to show who has the stronger military! And meantime she begins rounding up Israel lobbyists as spies….

I won’t give away more of the plot than that, but you get the feeling. The war is an unmitigated disaster for Israel. Its willful destruction of Hamas and Hezbollah forces over the last 20 years have ill-prepared it for an encounter with a major rival.

Iran is of course a highly-educated and prosperous society of 80 million. It has fiercely guarded its interests in the region and it would respond aggressively to any threat. Iranian leaders have warned us about that, though insisting that they will not be the aggressors.

Maguire’s nightmare scenario strikes me as a good antidote to all the warmongerers still active in the U.S. and Israeli political establishments. They should heed this warning.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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42 Responses

  1. Donald on October 11, 2019, 12:40 pm

    Too over the top. Maybe you are a bad reviewer, but I have no desire to read this book. I like apocalyptic dramas as much as the next person, but I prefer ice zombies and dragons or magic rings and dragons. And even fantasies should have their own internal sense of logic, which is where the last two seasons of Game of Thrones completely fell apart, destroying seasons of character development and falling headlong into racist and sexist stereotypes (always a problem before, but completely destroying the storyline towards the end).

    So you read a story where Israel attacks Iran, fails miserably, Iran strikes back, kills 6000 Americans too but we take it calmly and start locking up Israel lobbyists as spies and then Israel attacks the US—well, I almost prefer ice zombies and anti-dragon catapults with supersonic dart launch capabilities in terms of realism.

    • Citizen on October 11, 2019, 3:50 pm

      I agree with your impression, Donald. I bought the book a few months ago and was about to read it–now I wonder if I will bother…

      • echinococcus on October 11, 2019, 8:03 pm

        You know, Citizen, it is pure sci-fi for anyone who firmly believes, better said knows, that it is impossible for any president or officeholder to decide or do anything if not allowed by the Zionists and the alphabet soup. If you don’t think that is impossible, it becomes a “why not”?
        I know it is entirely impossible but found the book a compulsive page-turner — an all-nighter. Good fun to imagine for a moment that we live in a marginally rational world.

    • echinococcus on October 11, 2019, 4:07 pm


      All I ask is for a dollar for every time you have said or thought “it cannot happen”, then it did.

      Zombies and dragons do not happen, I’ll agree with you so far. If you think you know how the US and the Zionist crowd and its Zionist crusader state appendix in Palestine function, think again.

      • Citizen on October 11, 2019, 5:03 pm

        If there was a war the EU would have to bribe Turkey with half its GDP to prevent the resulting avalanche of new ME refugees escaping across its borders.

      • Donald on October 11, 2019, 8:56 pm

        Yeah, echino, quite possibly you might be several dollars richer. Maybe I could collect on times when you are wrong. That might be worth several dollars in itself.

        I have no idea if crazies in Israel will ever attack Iran. If they do, it will likely be a disaster for everyone in the region. Iran presumably either carried out or supplied some of the technical support for whoever did the recent Saudi attack, so if any country takes them on they may find they have bitten off more than they can chew. My eyes started rolling at the notion that a rogue Iranian group would kill 6000 American sailors, the Iranian government offers a sincere apology, we accept, and start rounding up Israel lobbyists as Israel then goes to war with us. I mean, sure, anything could happen. But this seems pretty fanciful. You can argue against war with Iran on the grounds that it would be deeply immoral, incredibly stupid, and would kill a lot of people on all sides.


        If Phil wants to start writing about how Israel is treated in popular culture, I think it would be worthwhile. I have relatives who read these spy novels about an Israeli James Bond. I forgot the name of the author and his character. I haven’t read them— just the back covers of a couple. But people are probably influenced by this kind of thing.

        Just looked up the author— Daniel Silva.

      • Donald on October 11, 2019, 10:46 pm

        “ It doesn’t seem that the war can get any worse. But it does. Israel attacks the U.S., and the two countries are in a state of war. The president is determined to show who has the stronger military! And meantime she begins rounding up Israel lobbyists as spies….”

        I don’t know how this is handled in the book, but in the review it comes across in a bad way. So we have a fantasy where Israel and the US are at war and an apparently antiZionist President with a name of Hannagan begins “ rounding up “ Israel lobbyists as spies. As much as one might despise lobbyists for bad causes, people aren’t supposed to be jailed unless they actually break laws. Is the book trying to tell us that Bari Weiss is right and antizionism is or could be a steppingstone to full fledged antisemitism?

      • echinococcus on October 12, 2019, 12:35 am

        Well, Donald, if we were to discuss the balance of payments I would very probably be in the red at the end of the day.

        But one thing that should never be underestimated is the degree of the Zionists’ suicidal fanaticism and their hair-rising contempt of all civilized conventions, especially as a result of the intensive inbred brainwashing of the last 2 generations. Better never say they wouldn’t do this or that…

      • RoHa on October 12, 2019, 1:07 am

        “Zombies and dragons do not happen,…”

        Well, dragons don’t happen. But when you look at some Zionists …

      • PaulMerrell on October 12, 2019, 3:16 pm

        @ Donald: “As much as one might despise lobbyists for bad causes, people aren’t supposed to be jailed unless they actually break laws.”

        Laws like the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires that agents of foreign governments register with the Dept. of Justice and carries criminal penalties?

      • Mooser on October 12, 2019, 5:25 pm

        “Laws like the Foreign Agents Registration Act,”

        And the laws regulating transfer of money to criminal organizations.

      • Keith on October 13, 2019, 1:04 am

        MOOSER- “And the laws regulating transfer of money to criminal organizations.”

        Since most of these “criminal organizations” work for us, the “Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI)” has other priorities, being Zionist occupied territory and all.

        “Mandelker was born in Israel and largely educated in the United States. She is predictably a lawyer. She has never stated how many citizenships she holds while repeated inquiries as to whether she retains her Israeli citizenship have been ignored by the Treasury Department. It is not clear how she managed to obtain a security clearance given her evident affinity to a foreign country. The position that she held until last Wednesday was created in 2004 by George W. Bush and is something of a “no Gentiles need apply” fiefdom. Its officials travel regularly on the taxpayer’s dime to Israel for consultations and also collaborate with pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC, WINEP and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Mandelker’s predecessor was Adam Szubin and he was preceded by David Cohen and, before that, by the office’s founder Stuart Levey, who is currently Group Legal Manager and Group Managing Director for global bank HSBC. Since its creation, OFTI has not surprisingly focused on what might be described as Israel’s enemies, most notably among them being Iran.” (Philip Giraldi)

    • Misterioso on October 12, 2019, 10:05 am

      To describe the book as “far fetched” would be an understatement. Also, I didn’t see any reference in the article to the fact that as a result of the war, the Strait of Hormuz would quickly be full of ships scuttled by Iran making it unnavigable and causing the price of a barrel of oil to skyrocket to heights that would wreak unimaginable and lengthy havoc on world economies.

      However, we must not ignore that fact that a couple of American Zionist multi-billionaires would love to see the U.S. attack Iran:

      Sheldon Adelson, largest private financial contributor to Trump and the Republicans, and Haim Saban, top private contributor to the Democrats, are Zionist zealots and both have called for Iran to be bombed. Adelson has actually called for an attack ‘with an atomic bomb.’
      Short video, Oct. 25, 2013, discussion between rabid Zionists, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Sheldon Adelson.

      Haim Saban:

      Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov. 9/14

      WASHINGTON (JTA) — “Haim Saban, a top Democratic Party donor and backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, slammed President Obama’s Iran strategy and advised Israel to bomb the ‘living daylights’ out of Iran if a nuclear deal with the major powers endangers Israel.

      “If Obama strikes a ‘bad deal’ with Iran in nuclear talks under way and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assesses it as a deal that would put Israel at risk, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches,’ Saban said Sunday at the first conference of the Israeli American Council, an advocacy group he is helping to fund.”

      • irishmoses on October 12, 2019, 2:43 pm

        Per Misterioso,
        ////”To describe the book as “far fetched” would be an understatement.”////

        Have you read my novel or are you basing your conclusion on Phil’s summary and Donald’s speculation about the contents and theme of the novel?

        The scenario you describe is addressed in the novel and there have been recent reports that Netanyahu tried to order an attack on Iran but his security cabinet would not agree to it.

        Wars have a habit of creating far-fetched outcomes. Few if any predicted the outcome of the US invasion of Iraq.

    • irishmoses on October 12, 2019, 12:38 pm

      I think you and Citizen are overreacting to a couple of brief sentences summarizing several chapters, scenes, and many pages from the climax of my novel. Those brief sentences don’t do it justice. I’ll try to respond briefly to your comments without giving too much away.

      First, the event in which 6000 American sailors are killed order the orders of a rogue Iranian commander is very plausible and duplicates the nightmare scenario feared by US Navy admirals from the South China sea to the Persian Gulf.

      Second, the attack outrages the president and her national security team (not to mention the American public). She orders a massive attack on Iran but stops it when the Iranian government informs her the attack was ordered by the rogue commander of the forces guarding the Strait of Hormuz which US intelligence sources confirm. The president then explains to the American public why she has halted the US bombing of Iran.

      Third, several US officials are arrested for acts of espionage. There is no mass roundup and arrest of Israel lobbyists as spies.

      Fourth, in a Samson Option scenario, Israel fires on a US naval vessel attempting to prevent a nuclear attack on Iran by Israel. Israel does not directly attack the US.

      That’s about as far as I can go without giving away the climax of the novel.

      My novel is not a work of fantasy. As Phil’s original interview of me about my novel showed (see Phil’s link above), I wrote it as a counter-narrative to Leon Uris’ Exodus. It is a serious, realistic work of political fiction and your comments do not do it justice. But then you haven’t even read the book yet you are trashing it based solely on two random summary sentences in an otherwise positive review.

      I suggest you read the reviews of my novel on Amazon or on my own website by people who have actually read the novel and speak highly of it. Or, you might even try reading it yourself and writing your own review. Feel free to trash it but at least read it first.

      • irishmoses on October 12, 2019, 2:32 pm

        Re Donald:
        ////”As much as one might despise lobbyists for bad causes, people aren’t supposed to be jailed unless they actually break laws. Is the book trying to tell us that Bari Weiss is right and antizionism is or could be a steppingstone to full fledged antisemitism?”///

        The actual legal standard for arrest and incarceration is probable cause to believe a suspect has broken the law. As I said earlier, no one, lobbyist or other, is rounded up, arrested, or jailed for being a lobbyist.

        As to your Bari Weiss bit of innuendo, you haven’t even read my novel so how can you suggest I’m an antisemite let alone an antizionist?

        You’ve spun a very clever but dishonest web here, Donald. I hope you’ll reflect and reconsider.

      • Donald on October 12, 2019, 3:36 pm

        That’s fair, Irishmoses, so I will retract criticism of the book itself. I was trying to limit it to criticism of the book’s plot as portrayed by Phil. It would take a lot of very good writing to plausibly explain how an attack on the US Navy which killed 6000 sailors would not result in a US counterattack but you might have pulled it off. I don’t have the expertise to evaluate whether Iran could accomplish such a thing, but have read about the war game simulation where Iran did something like this.

        Phil’s statement about “ rounding up “ lobbyists rubbed me the wrong way, but that apparently gave the wrong impression about what happens in the book.

        I stand by my criticism of the last two seasons of GOT. A few good scenes but overall a total [email protected]@show.

      • Mooser on October 12, 2019, 5:14 pm

        “First, the event in which 6000 American sailors are killed …”

        …is as likely as one of our allies attacking, by air a US communications ship for some obscure reason, wrecking the boat and killing and injuring many US sailors. And that happened.

      • Citizen on October 13, 2019, 3:24 pm

        @irishmoses & Mooser:
        I am reading it now; I do remember Israel’s intentional attack on the USS Liberty after all.

  2. lonely rico on October 11, 2019, 5:35 pm

    Meanwhile, back in the real world.

    Good MEMO article on the duplicity and lies hiding the Zionist plans to dispossess and destroy the Palestinians –

    An Expansionist State? Did Israel ever have any intention of honoring either the 1947 Partition Plan or 1967 borders?/Thomas Suárez

    • annie on October 13, 2019, 8:43 pm

      thanks lonely rico,. as always, great article by Suárez

      • jon s on October 15, 2019, 4:46 pm

        Misterioso is once again recycling his comments. I would recycle my response if I could access my archive.
        In any case, mainstream Zionist leaders envisaged living in peace and co-existence with the local Arab population, not expelling them.

  3. Misterioso on October 12, 2019, 10:34 am

    @lonely rico

    Yes, I read Thomas Suárez’s article and agree with you. I have always been one of his fans.

    He correctly states that beginning in the late 19th century, the Zionist master plan was always to expel the indigenous Palestinian Arabs and create an expansionist “Jewish State.”

    For the record, Here’s some Zionist assertions from that era and beyond:

    “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border…. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” (Theodor Herzl, diary entry, 12 June 1895)

    Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and Zionist, 1901: [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession…or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….”

    In May 1911, Arthur Ruppin, one of early Zionism’s leading figures proposed to the Executive of the Zionist Organization, a “population transfer” of the Arab peasants from Palestine.

    In 1918, Polish born David Ben-Gurion (real name, David Gruen), described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs)

    In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians should be “transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919).

    In 1930, when despite ever increasing immigration, Jews privately owned only about four per cent of Palestine, Arthur Ruppin wrote that displacement of Arab farmers was inevitable because “land is the most necessary thing for our establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of the purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land so far, both owners of the land and tenants.” (Rashid Khalidi, in Blaming the Victims)

    • jon s on October 21, 2019, 4:41 am

      Do you see any mention of Arabs or Palestinians in the quote from Herzl?
      In the quote where Ben Gurion fantasizes about the borders of the Jewish state does he say anything about displacing the existing populatiion?
      As to Zangwill, he started out as an assimilationist, became a Zionist, and left the Zionist movement in 1905 in the aftermath of the Uganda debate and became a “territorialist”. He admitted having been wrong about the Arab population.
      In general Zionist leaders expressed a desire to live in peace, not displace the Arab population.

      • eljay on October 21, 2019, 8:23 am

        || jon s: … Zionist leaders expressed a desire to live in peace, not displace the Arab population. ||

        Every Zionist – from “Zionist leaders” right down to you – expresses a desire for insists on Jewish supremacism in/and as large as possible a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • RoHa on October 21, 2019, 10:14 am

        “Do you see any mention of Arabs or Palestinians in the quote from Herzl?”

        Herzl’s statement was a general principle, to be applied to whichever penniless population was in the way. It happened to be the Palestinians who had the principle applied to them.

        Zangwill demonstrated Zionist thinking while he was a Zionist. His change of mind does not make the Zionist thinking any less reprehensible.

        “In general Zionist leaders expressed a desire to live in peace, not displace the Arab population.”

        And yet the Zionists set up a separate society in Palestine rather than becoming part of Palestinian society. They bought land and then drove off the tenant farmers. They intended to take over the country. So their idea of “living in peace” seems to have been that of Arabs quietly accepting life as second class citizens in a Jewish State.

        And they did displace the Arab population.

      • jon s on October 21, 2019, 2:41 pm

        Not true. I oppose all supremacism. Equality is a basic democratic value.
        As to the state being as” large as possible”: I’ve supported all the agreements which have entailed Israeli withdrawals -from Sinai, Gaza, Lebanon…And as you know I support a two state solution, so Israel would actually be as small as possible…

      • eljay on October 21, 2019, 5:09 pm

        || jon s: eljay,
        Not true. I oppose all supremacism. … ||

        Not true. You advocate, support and defend Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism.

        || … Equality is a basic democratic value. … ||

        It is, but you don’t apply it to Israel which – according to all Zionists, including you – is and must remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        || … As to the state being as” large as possible”: I’ve supported all the agreements which have entailed Israeli withdrawals -from Sinai, Gaza, Lebanon…And as you know I support a two state solution, so Israel would actually be as small as possible… ||

        As large as possible means exactly that: As large as possible.

  4. pabelmont on October 12, 2019, 11:02 am

    I read this book a while back and loved it. Yes, marvelously unlikely — a decent female president, although Elizabeth Warren ?? , but after a successful if very unlikely dual impeachment, Pelosi ?? — but I digress.

    Can there be political surprises? I read today that (some) Evangelical Christians are reacting very badly to Trump’s throwing the Kurds (Christians) under the bus. How could the poor man have predicted such an unfair turn of events — after so much (to my eye) un-Christian behavior by Trump having been supported by this self-describing Christian electoral segment? Hope this report is correct.

    • echinococcus on October 12, 2019, 4:10 pm

      “a decent female president, although Elizabeth Warren ??”

      Decent? She’s so aggressively warmongering and colonialism-peddling that even the Democratic Party accepts her as a legitimate candidate!

    • irishmoses on October 12, 2019, 6:18 pm

      Thanks pabelmont for reading and enjoying my novel.

      According to Pew Research, Kurds are 98 percent Sunni Muslim, the remainder are Shia and a variety of other sects including Christian. But, like all things Kurdish, it’s complicated.

      There’s no small irony in the US allying itself with a Sunni Muslim sect in order to defeat another radical Muslim sect. Apparently some Muslims are redeemable. Some Evangelicals apparently think large numbers of Kurds have already converted to Christianity. Wishful thinking don’t make it so.

  5. irishmoses on October 12, 2019, 5:48 pm

    Per Donald:
    ////”That’s fair, Irishmoses, so I will retract criticism of the book itself. I was trying to limit it to criticism of the book’s plot as portrayed by Phil. It would take a lot of very good writing to plausibly explain how an attack on the US Navy which killed 6000 sailors would not result in a US counterattack but you might have pulled it off. “////

    Thanks Donald. I appreciate that. I had expected my novel to be savaged on Mondoweiss by our usual Likudnik suspects but they remain strangely silent, ignoring the book perhaps out of fear of drumming up interesst. Instead, MW voices like yours, Citizen’s and Misterioso’s who I have long respected, slam me based on words from a Phil review not from actually reading my novel. I welcome informed criticism of it by those who have read it.

    As I said in an earlier post, the US had responded to the attack on US naval forces and was in the midst of mounting a massive counterattack when President Hannagan had US forces temporarily stand down based on reports from US forces and US intelligence assets that the Iranian attack had been ordered by the Strait of Hormuz commander who had gone rogue. Why he had gone rogue is an interesting side plot as is the side plot behind the Israeli F-15 pilot who crashes his aircraft into the golden dome of a famous mosque in the holy Iranian city of Qom. Blowback being the operative term.

    I spent a great deal of time researching the history, politics, and military aspects that make up my plot. I wanted my plot to be as realistic and balanced as possible considering my obvious bias in favor of US national interests and justice for the Palestinians. I think I succeeded and I’m proud of what I accomplished in what turned out to be a decade-long project.

    Read the book. I think you’ll enjoy it as it encompasses much of what we all discussed and debated here on MW over the years except told in the words of a female president forced to confront the difficult issues our past presidents have avoided or glossed over.

    Fiction can be a great vehicle for telling and imparting history as it replaces dry facts and opinion with human emotion and experience as characters live the history being told.


    • Donald on October 13, 2019, 9:04 pm

      I want to apologize again, irishmoses. I was mostly set off by the “ rounding up” of lobbyists, which sounded like it was living up to Bari Weiss’s paranoid views of antizionism. But that turns out to have been just a misleading phrase in Phil’s review.

      On the plausibility side, I set aside whether some crazed Israeli government would do this because I don’t know. But I have to admit— no joke— I have difficulty imagining the US reacting in a rational sensible manner if this happened, especially if on top of that some rogue Iranian military elements dealt the US Navy its most devastating defeat since Tassafaronga ( sp?) Savo Island, or Pearl Harbor. Your imaginary President would have to be Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and FDR all rolled into one to deal with that crisis in a sensible way.

      But not having read it, you might make it all seem plausible. In real life, I think that one way or another we would react like idiots.

      • irishmoses on October 15, 2019, 11:56 am

        Thanks again, Donald. In the novel, it takes a massive Israeli overreach to create the circumstances for what you’ll see becomes an entirely plausible outcome. Having a courageous leader who is willing to level with the American people allow us to avoid reacting like idiots.

  6. annie on October 13, 2019, 8:46 pm

    sounds fascinating! i really need to get around to reading it.. my bad. thanks irishmoses! and phil for the thrilling review of what sounds like a thrilling novel.

  7. echinococcus on October 13, 2019, 9:23 pm

    Just read it one more time. I suppose that focussing on plausibility is not a useful way to look at it.
    The book is captivating. Well, of course it would be for someone already interested and knowledgeable about Palestine, but I suspect it will be so for anyone who likes a good thriller. And that is for the wide public. Including the clueless and those who are not within reach of the buzz restricted to liberals and the like. It is a compulsive page-turner, relegates much interesting information to appendixes, ie for after the interest has been awakened, and (albeit not too well proofread) knows how to rivet attention, using all the tricks of the successful thrillers — including suspense and sex.

    As for plausibility, of course a decent human in the US presidency, or even anything in US politics working according to the law, etc., is definitely impossible, the general facts, including the Zionists’ collective suicidal instinct and fanaticism, the huge likelihood of the so-called Sampson option, the fact that after reaching its acme this crisis will necessarily end with an atrocious and general war, remain facts.

    So we really should try our best to diffuse the book’s distribution, even if for no other reason than its enormous informative and educative value.

    • Keith on October 14, 2019, 12:38 am

      ECHINOCOCCUS- “As for plausibility, of course a decent human in the US presidency, or even anything in US politics working according to the law, etc., is definitely impossible….”

      Impossible? No, merely highly unlikely. Not that it would make a significant difference in any event. Our capitalist oligarchy is more-or-less impervious to good intentions. Can you feel the Bern? Aaargh, I give too much credence to “good intentions.” Militarism uber alles.

    • irishmoses on October 15, 2019, 11:40 am

      Thanks echino, nice summary and kind words.

      I originally thought, as I began to write the book, that the ending outcome would be some version of a negotiated 2-state settlement. But that outcome, as we’ve come to see, is totally impossible, implausible, and little more than a fantasy cooked up to hide the true state of affairs and the hidden desired outcome of the Likud fanatics..

      The outcome I arrived at was the only plausible fair outcome I could come up with and required massive overrSeach on the part of Israel protected and encouraged by its lobby umbrella in this country.

      Sorry about the editing issues. They’re easy to correct for Kindle and even hardcopy versions. I’ll do a reread and make the changes. If you think of specifics, shoot me an email on my website,

      Thanks for your support.

  8. jon s on October 15, 2019, 4:51 am

    Over the last few years I’ve read 4 books that imagine the destruction, or near-destruction , of Israel, three in Hebrew, one in English:

    “Gibor” by Arik Czerniak: An incident in Gaza with many civilian casualties leads to an escalation to a full-scale, multi-front ,war. The USA abandons Israel , Israeli society collapses, a piano-playing former PM returns to power (an obvious reference to Ehud Barak) and the you-know-what in Dimona is brought into play.

    “The Third” by Yishai Sarid : The title refers to the Third Temple. After most of the population- and nearly all the secularists- are wiped out by nuclear bombs on Tel Aviv and Haifa, a charismatic IDF general leading the forces based in the Negev, takes over what’s left. He expels all the Arabs, destroys the mosques on the Temple Mount and builds the Third Temple, complete with priests and Levites and animal sacrifice. He also crowns himself as King. Despite the far-fetched plot , it’s the best-written of the three Hebrew novels.

    “Shark ” by Mishka Ben-David: As all-out war engulfs Israel, this suspenseful novel focusses on the commander of the “Shark” an IDF nuclear-armed sub. He faces moral and operational dilemmas after he loses contact with hq. Use the nukes? What targets? Damascus? Teheran? Others? Without spoilers I’ll just say that the culmination is extreme.

    “Here I Am” by Jonathan Safran Foer: The first sentence in the novel begins “When the destruction of Israel commenced…”. Catastrophic events in Israel are in the background of this story of a Jewish-American family. Highly recommended.

    • eljay on October 15, 2019, 8:28 am

      || jon s: Over the last few years I’ve read 4 books that imagine the destruction, or near-destruction , of Israel … ||

      The people of countless ravaged countries in the Middle East and throughout the world can’t begin to comprehend how hard it must be for you to read books that imagine harm coming to Israel.  :-(

      But look on the bright side: These books can’t help but firm up your belief in and devotion to the righteousness of Jewish / “Jewish State” colonialism, (war) criminality and religion-based supremacism.  :-)

    • irishmoses on October 15, 2019, 11:16 am

      I’d ad to that Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union although the dystopian parts are mostly in the background of a wonderful plot.

      My novel (which I hope you will read and review) is more about the rebirth of Israel after the devastating events brought forth by a messianic and increasingly out of touch leadership. It reflects an outcome I would like to see emerge from this conflict.

  9. echinococcus on October 17, 2019, 2:17 am

    “I won’t give away more of the plot than that, but you get the feeling”
    I don’t know about feelings. He didn’t give away any of the plot, eh? But we got an idea somehow…

    In the (unlikely?) case of Weiss publishing a thriller in the future, I’ll know what to do.

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