web analytics
September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


An Israel Love Story With a Twist

Fields of Exile is a story about love for Israel that transcends political orientation, and time and space. It also gives an authentic voice to being "pro-Israel and pro-peace," and that's a refreshing change.

Israeli flag flying in Zichron Yaakov, Israel

Israeli flag flying in Zichron Yaakov, Israel
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Nora Gold has written a book, Fields of Exile (2014 Dundurn), that is unique in many ways. It provide layer upon layer of insight into various conundrums, both within her novel and within herself as well.

I was asked to review her book. The one thing I was told – indeed, it was all I needed to be told to make me want to read and review it – was that it is the first novel that deals with the rising swell of anti-Israel hatred on western campuses.

And it does. It does that very well.

But the book does much more. It provides a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those whom many in the unconflicted pro-Israel world simply cannot fathom: the leftist Israelis and/or other Jews who, nonetheless, actually love Israel. I am not talking about the faux lovers of Israel, the ones who call themselves “pro-peace and pro-Israel.” I am also excluding all the others who only criticize Israel, never those with whom Israel is locked in combat, and only criticize Israel, never praise her unless she makes major concessions or appeases her enemies, and then only briefly, until the next sacrifice is demanded.

Nora Gold and her Fields of Exile protagonist – Judith Gallanter – both love Israel fervently. And both hate and protest against the “Occupation.”

Judith, an olah, has returned to Canada because her father is dying. Shortly after Judith made aliyah her mother died and Judith wasn’t there. She could not do the same thing to her father. Then, just before her father dies, she promises him she will stay in Canada and get her Master’s degree in social work, so that she can be ably employed and independent in Israel when she returns.

What happens at the social work school and the surprise and betrayal Judith feels when Israel is considered the single worst form of evil on the planet, is something many Israel supporters will understand.

What is different is that Judith also despises the “occupation.” And so does the author. But Judith and Gold really, truly love Israel, identify with Israel and only feel fully alive and connected to and in Israel.

That’s the part that is so hard for many to understand.

Here is where Judith reveals her visceral connection to the land of Israel. She speaks about it as one does a family member who has imperfections but nonetheless is beloved:

Because her love for Israel is something like that. Unconditional. The way many people love their family members. You know all their faults, but still you love them. There are things about Israel she can’t stand. At the top of the list, the occupation, and this government’s treatment of Palestinians. (another definition of domestic violence: domestic policies that are violent.) But it doesn’t matter: Israel is her love. I am my beloved’s and beloved is mine.

Judith explains how that feeling coursed through her, connecting her soul to the land:

In Canada she’d always found geography and history boring, scoring low on her high-school leaving exams in both these subjects. But in Israel she was fascinated by every mountain range, by every excavated tell or Biblical battlefield. Because it was hers. It was about her people, and it told the story of what had happened to them, and therefore to her.

The story in Fields of Exile is multi-layered. The characters are richly drawn, with subtleties in many of the minor characters that make you want to know not only how Judith’s life unfolds, but also that of her social work classmates and her Israeli friends.

Fields of Exile is, in addition to a love story between a woman and the Jewish state, a modern love story between the protagonist and her pragmatic lawyer significant other. One whose significance grows, despite his straight-forward refusal to move to Israel and that, in spite of his less ambiguous support for the Jewish state and the very policies Judith finds repugnant.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “An Israel Love Story With a Twist”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The Palestinians have desecrated Joseph's Tomb on more than one occasion.
Capture of Joseph’s Tomb Terrorists Exposes Truth About Palestinian Authority
Latest News Stories
Rocket Crossing

5:21 AM At around 5:21 AM Israel time, the rocket alert went off along the Gaza border. No additional information available at the moment.  

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)

THThree NYC Cong. Ds from heavily Jewish districts defied constituents, announcing support for Nuclear Iran Deal.

Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

An IDF soldier in the Yamam counter-terrorism unit was injured in one of the Jenin battles on Monday evening.

Rocket Crossing

In response to the IDF Jenin Operation, Gazan terrorists are threatening to launch rockets.

Five administrative detainees in Ketziot Prison in the Negev desert started a hunger strike, according to the Israeli Prison Service.

The Celebrated European Clubs Will Clash in Two Games As Part of The 2015 Euroleague Basketball World Tour.

One IDF soldier is seriously wounded after Arab terrorists attacked IDF soldiers in a Jenin arrest operation.

Rep. Pompeo has received money from KochPAC, McDonald’s, the Snack Food Association PAC, FoodPAC, and Land ’O Lakes butter — but not a penny from AIPAC.

The death bed confessions of a former Nazi soldier revealed the whereabouts of the “Nazi train” which remained hidden for decades in tunnels in Poland and is thought to contain gold, art and other valuables.

The purpose of the talks was to find a way for Nahal Oz to grow potato seeds for Jamal from the Gaza Strip for the autumn season.

Obama knows how to capitalize on the bulk of American Jews, who want Israel to be a nice Jewish boy that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable President Barack Obama declared that American Jews’ concerns are like those of Afro-Americans and other Americans, indicating that Israel is not one of those worries. He unsurprisingly chose the left-wing […]

Jerusalem Arabs on Monday returned to their masochistic hobby of throwing rocks at the Jerusalem Light Rail trains that passes though the Arab Shuafat neighborhood. Wibndwos were shattered, but there were no injuries. If one tries to understand the reasoning for Arabs trying to disable the trains that serve the Arab population, the conclusion must […]

“It cannot be that in one moment of diplomacy, the reality is changed so completely.”

The management of the former death camp says there was no intention to remind people of the gas “showers.”

PM Netanyahu says he will beef up security in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria due to rising Arab violence.

ISIS destroys a new, majestic part of the Syrian UNESCO World Heritage site, Palmyra.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)

THThree NYC Cong. Ds from heavily Jewish districts defied constituents, announcing support for Nuclear Iran Deal.

Brooklyn's "Vote No on the Nuclear Deal" rally organizers singing Ani Ma'amim. (L to R) Cantor Shlomie Rabin, Councilmember David Greenfield, Jeffrey Davis (back row), Kalman Yager (back row), Chanina Sperlin, State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Zaki Tamir, Yaacov Berhman, Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Aug. 26, 2015.

Brooklyn politicians and community leaders called on Cong. members to vote down the Nuclear Iran deal.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair, allegedly blocked a DNC resolution supporting the Iran Deal.

Swiss Ambassador Portrays U.S. and Iran as doves of peace defecating on Netanyahu.

A report by the entity responsible for ensuring the peaceful development of nuclear energy worldwide and the one upon which the world depends for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity revealed that over the past few months Iran has been working on and adding to a building at its Parchin site. Parchin is an Iranian military complex located southeast of Tehran. It […]

The Donald and the Cruz together against Iran on Sept. 9 at D.C. rally.

Maloney said that despite the administration’s diplomatic efforts, she could not support the Nuclear Iran Deal.

190 military officers signed a letter to the Congressional leadership, warning against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/an-israel-love-story-with-a-twist/2014/08/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: