The Masada Complex by Avraham Azrieli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I heard good things about this author in the reviews left by my fellow GoodReaders. It was the reviews that inspired me to pick up this book. This is the first book that I have read of Avraham Azrieli. I must admit I am confused after reading this book. It propagates the idea that Palestinians are all terrorists and Israels excesses are justified due to them fighting for their promised land.
I disagree, the plot was good enough, but it also rode high on showing that there is nothing that Israel does not know or it does not manipulate to suit its purposes.
Masada El-Tal the titular heroine is a disillusioned sabra who left Israel in disgust after the death of her brother due to bureaucratic rigmarole. She has made a new home in America where her investigative skills have earned her a Pulitzer and brought down two Senators with her exposes. Her expose of a corrupt Senator helping Israel push through laws in its favor starts a dramatic political shift away from the Israel in America. Just when we are dealing with this, Azrieli deals an ace by showing that all these events are being manipulated by Levy Silver who is a Palestinian in the garb of a Jew out to destroy Israel by any means and planning this plot for around 20 years now.
In a twist of fate the paths of Levy Silver and Masada are crossed by personal tragedy that occurred at the start of the book where they both lost their loved ones and their paths crossed each other.
The scene is set for a intriguing finale where the reader is holding their breath to find out if the America-Israel relation will be lost and new Palestine will rise in its place or if Masada will be able to expose the conspiracy for what it is - a plot to disgrace Israel.
However Azrieli complicates things by indulging in religious dogma by both Rabbi Josh and Prof. Silver. Also what got my goat was that Masada was literally showcased as a superwomen who survived a car crash, arson, and numerous other assassination attempts.
The ultimate cliche of the entire thing being a plot instigated by Israel just to paint the Palestinians in a bad light was a bit too much. The other stereotypical typecasting of Palestinians and a bit of Islamophobhia came up in the end. The Palestinians merciless disregard for a pregnant woman and turning her into a suicide bomber just to serve their purpose was too much to digest and lead to the loss of couple of stars. Rabbi Josh also came across as a fanatic caught between the scriptures, his love for Masada and struggling to cope with the loss of his wife and son. His character did not serve any purpose other than that of a smokescreen to send Masada on a wild goose chase.