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From Nazi Europe to today's threat of nuclear annihilation, FAMILY WARS tells the story of three generations of an American/Israeli family, torn apart by irreconcilable goals, in a young country fighting for its life in the world's most treacherous neighborhood.
Terror, murder, betrayal and loss haunt Naomi and Lazar Kagan, as well as their sons, military hero Ari, and mystery figure, Rafi, their wives and, above all, Ben, their beloved and tormented grandson, as well as their cousin, whose conflicts reflect the challenges of modern Israel, especially those between secular Israel and the religious, extremist ultra nationalists.
When military intelligence chief Ari Kagan's first wife is brutally murdered while illegally at an Israeli military base in occupied Lebanon and Ari's friendship with Palestinian leader, Khalid Heikal, is betrayed, the family's yearning for their original home in the U.S. tugs against their devotion to the nation they helped build, and threatens them all.
Set in Israel and the United States, this suspenseful novel tells the story of three generations of the Kagan family, reaching back to Nazi Europe, their escape to the U.S. and their idealistic committment to the young state of Israel.
The story tracks four family members as each confronts the demands and threats of a nation in turmoil. The action is triggered by Shemtov, powerful chief of combined intelligence. He plans to use Khalid Heikal, a charismatic Palestinian awaiting trial for terrorism, to advance a peaceful resolution to interminable war. Against the background of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the novel reflects the struggle within Israeli society between the ideals of the founders and the disillusionment and sense of betrayal of the younger generation, as well as the conflict between religious and nationalist zealots and mainstream citizens.
In despair over his own role in enforcing the occupation, his father's militarism and womanizing and his anguish over his romance with an Arab girl, Ben Kagan becomes the spokesman for an merging effort to resist Israeli military activities and withdraw from the occupied territories.
There is a national debate and grave threats from the right wing. Ben is used as a pawn in demands made upon the government. A family upheaval ensues and long-buried secrets are revealed.
Thought-provoking and suspenseful, FAMILY WARS is a compelling read.
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ORA MENDELS was born in Jerusalem, grew up in England and South Africa, and has lived in the US for many years. She has won several literary prizes and has worked as a newspaper reporter, feature writer and columnist.She has had several short stories published, one of which was in Anteitam Review. Ora has had two prior novels published. MANDELA'S CHILDREN, Little Brown, and A TASTE FOR TREASON, Birch Lane, was awarded the ATHENEUN FICTION AWARD. These books received great reviews in the New york Times, Publisher's Weekly, Philadelphia Inquirer and many other papers