'The story of how Palestine became Israel
'‘Rishou Hass'an had decided it was impossible to pick apples all day with a permanent erection …’
'Palestine, 1933. The centuries old rhythms of sleepy Rab’allah have been disturbed by the building of a Jewish kibbutz on the swamp in the valley below the village. The Jews are the future, the twentieth century. The Jews are the enemy. The Jews are their new neighbors.
'The Jews, in the shape of Sarah Landauer are also beautiful, tempting - and a direct challenge to the way the men of Rab’allah have always lived.
'Zayyad Hass’an, Rishou’s father and muktar of the village, can see the future and it fills him with dread. On one side the Jews; on the other, the Britishers and the Arab muftis in Jerusalem, who don’t give a damn about them either. His son, Wagil wants to rise up and fight for Islam. But what is Islam? What is Palestine? And where will the fighting lead them?
'Far away in Europe, another father faces the same impossible dilemmas as Zayyad. Josef Rosenberg has been a respected, even beloved, man in Ravenswald. But he is also Jewish.
'As the Nazis take a hold in his homeland, he watches with despair as his only son falls in love with a German girl. Once he would have objected that his son was finding a match beneath him; now it is his son who battles prejudice of quite another kind.
'Two fathers; two sons; two very different women. A world about to convulse into war. How can they protect all they know and love from the cataclysm to come?
'From the snow-hushed winter streets of Nazi Bavaria, to the burned hills of Palestine, from the Alte Post to the Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock, romance and terror collide in a novel of forbidden loves and ancient hatreds.
'This is the first book in the Jerusalem series, tracing the roots of the Jewish-Arab conflict in the Middle East, from the exodus from Nazi Germany to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is the story behind the scenes that you see every night on the evening news. ' (Publication summary)
We enclose the ashes of your husband, Josef Rosenberg, who was shot while trying to escape from protective custody at Dachau. He was cremated in line with official government policy. There is an outstanding charge for transport which will be sent to you separately.
'Netanel Rosenberg could feel the net closing in. After his father dies in a Nazi concentration camp he tries everything to get himself and his mother out of Germany - even if it means leaving behind the woman he loves.
'Meanwhile in Palestine, other loyalties are being tested; while the Arabs in British-controlled Palestine openly support Hitler, Zayyad Hass’an, in tiny Rab’allah, wonders whether the muftis in the city will lead them to freedom - or just tyranny of a different kind.
'But what does it mean to be an Arab in such a fast changing world? His son Rishou learns he cannot be a true Muslim - and be with the woman he loves. A man is whatn he is born to, and Sarah Landauer will always be forbidden to him.
'For the Hass’ans in Rab’allah, for the Rosenbergs in Bavaria, there are no easy solutions.
'When Netanel Rosenberg is sent to Auschwitz, he loses everything but hope. Little by little he forgets the good Jew he once was in order to survive. He lets go of everything but the dream of one day regaining his freedom and finding a place where a Jew might never be afraid again.
'Two men, two women; two vastly different worlds. From the freezing plains of Poland to the sun baked hills of Palestine, from a world in the grip of war, all that matters is the desperate will to survive.
'This is the second book in the Jerusalem series, tracing the roots of the Jewish-Arab conflict in the Middle East, from the holocaust in Nazi Germany to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is the story behind the scenes that you see every night on the evening news. ' (Publication summary)
'Anything would be better than this, Netanel Rosenberg thought. Anything at all.
'1946: after surviving the concentration camps, Netanel Rosenberg finds himself shipwrecked on a beach in Israel, and people are still shooting at him. This time it’s the British.
'But at least in Zion, the Jews are organized and now they’re fighting back. He joins the Jewish militia - the Haganah - and dedicates his life to carving out a homeland for himself and other refugees from the Holocaust, and hopes to find his own redemption there.
'But in the hills above Jerusalem, others are getting ready to fight for their homeland, too. Zayyad Hass’an has watched while Palestine has been sold off piecemeal by the Arab muftis and now his sons are getting ready to fight to take it back. He wonders how many more of his sons will die while the muftis get fatter and richer off the war.
'As Palestine descends into violence, some still reach out for love; Rishou Hass’an for a Jewish Haganah agent he met long ago labouring on her father’s kibbutz; Netanel Rosenberg for the girl he loved in Germany when the world was still an innocent place.
'But what will they do when the war comes?
'The Arabs want the Jews out, and the Jews are getting ready to claim Zion, no longer trusting even the British overlords to protect them. And if they cannot protect them, then they must go too.
'High on the Hill of Evil Counsel in Jerusalem, one British official holds the key to the future of Palestine. If he cannot be bought then he must be persuaded.
As two nations wrestle with their shared past, men and women on both sides are torn apart by love and loyalty. Do we follow our hearts, do we stay true to our conscience? Or do we follow our flag, even if it means killing the people we love the most?
'This is the third book in the Jerusalem series, tracing the roots of the Jewish-Arab conflict in the Middle East, from the holocaust in Nazi Germany to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is the story behind the scenes that you see every night on the evening news. ' (Publication summary)
'And Rishou Hass’an thought: How many more sons must I bury?
'Every father on both sides of the divide are now thinking the same thing; the United Nations votes for partition, giving the Jews their own state for the first time since the time of the Romans. But in reality it just means all out war, with the armies of Egypt And Syria and Jordan mass on the borders just waiting for the British to leave.
'But even now, nothing is simple, as Jew turns against Jew and Arab turns against Arab. As the Jews prepare to defend the Old City they have to war with the Hassidim who just want them to leave; in Rab’allah old Zayyad Hass’an finds one of the Arab mercenary commanders raping his wife.
Some men still speak for peace; men like Rishou Hass’an. But how can you speak for peace when the Jews raze your village and you come home to find your wife and your children in bloody tatters in the ruins of your house?
'And so the apocalypse looms, with the fight for the ancient shrines of Jerusalem the final battleground. Rishou’s Jewish lover huddles behind the rubble of a synagogue, prepared to fight to the death; so does Netanel Rosenberg, hoping for a noble to death to release him from the memories of all he did to survive Auschwitz.
'In the end we all become what we hate. As Jerusalem falls and the battle for Israel enters its final days, both sides fight for a peace that may never come. But still they hope to find hope for the future in a land soaked by the blood of the past.
'Israel is the last book in the Jerusalem series, telling the story of the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. It is told from the points of view of the Arabs and the Jews, the scenes behind the acts of fury you see every night on the evening news. ' (Publication summary)