Our Choice of Gods

Richard Parrish, Author, Stewart Richardson, Editor Carol Publishing Corporation $19.95 (491p) ISBN 978-1-55972-002-1
Although sometimes simplifying complex historical events, this engrossing first novel presents sweeping, personal views of both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Leah Arad, Polish-born survivor of Treblinka death camp, testifies against a Nazi butcher at the 1946 Nuremberg Trial in exchange for an exit visa to Palestine. Matthew Jordan, the American-Jewish lawyer who secures her testimony, falls in love with her and follows her to Palestine, where she joins Menachem Begin's militia, the Irgun, fighting against the British for an independent Israel. At the massacre of Deir Yassin, in 1948 (where the Irgun wiped out a neutral Arab village) Leah rescues a Palestinian Arab woman, Nadia Attiyah, by killing the Israeli soldier who is about to machine-gun her. The parallel lives of these women--one a member of the Israeli Knesset, the other a homeless refugee--mirror a 40-year spiral of mutual vengeance, hatred and bloodshed. Tucson lawyer (and former Jewish chaplain) Parrish implicitly argues that it is time for Israel to negotiate a settlement with the Palestinians. Told with conviction and impressive narrative skill, this provocative novel tackles difficult questions with well-balanced insight. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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