As a 40+ year resident of Israel and veteran of more than 20 years service in the Israeli army (reserves), I have often been disappointed by the absence of accurately written books that deal with the Israel-Arab conflict. Many works of fiction presume to give an accurate picture of the area and the event, yet contain glaring errors of fact and even simple translation. These were among the reasons I wrote MURDER OVER THE BORDER.
The fact that I live in Israel could probably be called accidental. I grew up with no Zionist background, did not belong to any Jewish youth groups, and never had any interest or intention of living here.
It all came about because I spent a semester of my university education in Paris, France, where I was supposed to be learning French, and was actually learning to drink French beer (not bad, actually) and smoke French cigarettes (horrible) and learn about the rest of the world in general. I went to France under the influence of Hemmingway and Elliot Paul (my favorite writer), and though that the Parisian atmosphere would give me inspiration (it didn't). While there, I also picked up the beginnings of a political outlook of my own. As the saying goes, “timing is everything”. My time in Paris was from January to June, 1967, and the events of June 1967 changed my life forever.
When the Six-Day War broke out on June 5th, 1967, I immediately went to the Israeli Embassy in Paris, along with thousands of others, to try and volunteer to help out. By the time they finished processing all the applications, the war was long over, so I bought a second-class train ticket to Istanbul. From Turkey, I flew in on a Turkish Airlines propeller plane, landing in Lod sometime at the beginning of July, and my life was changed forever.
I went back to the US to try and finish my university education, but by the end of November, 1968, I was back in Israel, to see what living here was like. Two months later I was in the army, learning Hebrew and how to be an Israeli – the hard way. By the time I finished my service, I was adjusted, acclimatized and ready to go to work.
Forty-plus years later, I’m still here, approaching retirement and working on my second novel. It is not a detective story this time, but it is Israeli-oriented. Hopefully I will finish it!