People keep asking. “What drove you to write 72 Virgins?” Why—after a long career as a professor in the academia, followed by a hi-tech stint as a technology chief—suddenly an author—a fiction writer. What happened?
My latest novel, 72 Virgins, carries a message, a prediction. Islamic terror is about to explode in the US. It’s a fact. Imagine. Attacks were thwarted even on the day the book was released. The real question is not whether Jihad terrorists’ plots will ever cease to emerge—there is no chance of that. The question the book seeks to answer is whether the next one will be stopped before it’s too late.
I was born in Israel. I served in the Israeli military during, before and after the Six-Day-War in 1967. I lived and breathed war violence, military intelligence, spy-craft designed for terror deterrence. I understand wars, military conflicts, and faith-based hate—an Islamic trait, since I grew up in that kind of a hostile neighborhood. I have been frustrated by the naiveté of my American friends and colleagues who keep asking, whenever I take a trip to my birthplace, “aren’t you worried? Isn’t it dangerous over there?
I keep thinking to myself. “Aren’t you worried as well?” Did you forget 9/11? Did you forget the following terror and potential terror attacks on US and Western interests all over and around the world?
America needs a constant reminder. Americans must be more alert and more aware. The economy is important. The healthcare system must be fixed. But security should not be sacrificed in the process. Without security - freedom, the economy and healthcare are meaningless. And if you don’t get it, try living in Afghanistan for a week.
There has been no serious terror attack in the US since 9/11. Americans have become complacent. The political left is on the attack—their aim is distorted. They go after the CIA, the law enforcement agency in charge of protecting us. They do not ask themselves the question that I am trying to answer in 72 Virgins—how is it that there has been no terror attack on US soil since 9/11? We all know (or at least those who read or watch the news), that there have been attempts; they failed; perpetrators were caught; we are safe. No!
I grew up in Israel, and I have seen it. You can’t fight a religion driven, faith-based hate by being nice, by making sure you don’t violate rules of war, by making concessions. These are means that apply to rational opponents—not ones steered by a holy book, but rather, by a selfish interest. I was trying to clarify that concept in 72 Virgins. I was trying to craft characters, through which the reader can grasp the new reality behind the type of terror we have been witnessing in the past twenty years.
I wrote 72 Virgins because I care about America, because I have grown distressed when witnessing the mounting naiveté among those who lack the understanding of history; those who are unable to learn from it and avoid repeating past mistakes.
I was trying to explain that suicide bombers are not desperate people. They are the most selfish animals in existence. They kill innocents, believing that that criminal act is martyrdom, qualifying them for an express ticket to heaven, next to Allah’s throne, where 72 Virgins would attend to their needs.