FAMILY WARS -- An Excerpt

...looting wasn’t over, not at all. As Ben swung off the bus on the road between Hadassah Hospital where even at night the Chagall windows glowed, but on the Scopus campus, heavily guarded since the recent terrorist attack, he didn’t see the stars, diamonds over Jerusalem and the desert beyond. He saw instead the blue jeans in Qalquilya, lifted by Amram from the newspaper they lay upon in the first house they entered. Amram stuffed them under his leather jacket as they searched. Searched for what? Arms, that was the order. Search door to door for arms. But enter the houses through the walls, Assaf instructed, tear holes to go through instead of going on the road, stay inside and search, it’s safer. There were the new blue jeans. Someone found a copper goblet. There were bright new sneakers on top of a kitchen shelf. They took those. They found no weapons. Families hurried to help them, show them. They offered coffee.

Later, in Qalquilya they used shields to protect themselves while they hunted arms, terrorists, weapons of destruction. Chemicals, perhaps. Once the shield was a girl who was a daughter of the house. How could they be expected to know? They grabbed her when she came from the shop with bread just before curfew. On the roof of the store, Ben established a look-out; his men were inside, there was a curfew. He had orders to kill anything that moved. Something moved. He killed it. He aimed low, going for the legs, but the legs weren’t very long, his arm was shaking with fear, it was near dark, dim, foggy.

On a grassy slope near his dorm on Mount Scopus, Ben lay and wept.


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FAMILY WARS
This suspenseful story reveals the fractured society in Israel itself as the struggle between religious and nationalist fanatics and mainstream citizens deepens. The idealism of the founders is eroded by the younger generation's rejection of the constantly expanding settlements on Palestinian land. Young Ben Kagan becomes a pawn in a savage blackmail plot against the government. A national and family crisis reveals deeply buried secrets.

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