Behind the books
The Taba Convention
BEHIND THE TABA CONVENTION
The Taba Convention
The Jordan Kline Series. Book 1.
Between hotel assignments on the Red Sea, I came up with the idea to write a novel. As a hotel General Manager I was always thinking “outside” myself, taking care of staff, guests, vendors, travel agents and all the people that work in the industry on a daily basis.
I decided that it was time to “self explore”, and that the best way was to write a novel. I suggested this to my wife Mali who encouraged me to start writing.
Middle East peace negotiations have been the focus of many US Presidents, and I thought it would be fun to write a thriller based on an upcoming peace convention in Taba Egypt. It was only natural that I would create a character loosely based on my experiences as an hotelier and General Manager. The difference being that Jordan Kline is an ex Mossad operative, a legend in the Israeli intelligence agency. Turning his back on the agency after becoming disillusioned with the continued violence, Jordan now manages a hotel and lives in a Red Sea resort.
Prior to the small sliver of land called Taba being returned to Egypt by Israel following international arbitration, we used to visit what was then the Sonesta Taba Hotel almost every weekend with the kids. Many a lazy, sun drenched Saturday was spent soaking up the sun on the sands of the beautiful small bay in Taba.
There have been numerous summits held at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El Sheik, perhaps the most famous one being co-sponsored by President Bill Clinton and President Hosni Mubarak in March 1996, called “The Summit of Peacemakers”. The Taba Convention is a book about such an upcoming summit, convened by the President of the United States to sign a peace treaty between the Palestinians and Israelis in Taba.
About Jordan Kline
Jordan Kline was born and raised in the Willowdale suburb of Toronto Canada. Over the years growing up, Jordan became increasingly aware of his Jewish roots, and heard stories of the holocaust from his grandparents and parents. He decided to immigrate to Israel and joined the famed Golani Brigade where he fulfilled his army service.
His parents had soon followed him to Israel, not wanting to leave Jordan alone with no warm home to come to on his leaves from the army. His father opened a real estate office in Ramat Hasharon, a town near Tel Aviv, and had prospered, although life had been hard in the years following immigration.
Jordan’s bravery in the field was followed by recruitment into the Mossad. Over the years he gained a reputation based on the successes of his combat missions for the secret service agency. However, over time Jordan became disillusioned with all the killings, and began to question his future in the agency. The final straw came in Beirut on a mission to assassinate terrorist leaders. The team burst into the apartment and found the terrorists in the company of prostitutes. They killed both the terrorists and the women in order to get out cleanly. The next day Jordan had resigned and turned his back on the agency.
I wanted a symbolic name for the hero, and Jordan seemed a perfect fit, named after the famous River. The Jordan River brings life giving water into the Sea of Galilee before meandering southwards and ending in the Dead Sea. The river is a source of conflict between the Syrians, the Lebanese, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians to this day. I saw this as a reflection of Jordan’s inner conflict; the hardened combat operative versus the man of peace, weary of war and killing.
I thought about what could be the most horrific conspiracy that could engulf the Middle East once more in flames, and created the conspiracy plot behind The Taba Convention.
During the period that we lived in Eilat and Tel Aviv, we experienced the return of Taba to the Egyptians, the Palestinian Intifadas, the deadly and horrifying suicide bombings, but also all the praiseworthy efforts to find peace. I was also fortunate enough to manage the David Citadel Hotel Jerusalem, and honored to personally meet and host Presidents, Prime Ministers and many high level diplomatic missions. These experiences afforded me invaluable insights into the workings of security and diplomatic channels. Along with my experiences as an hotelier, these have allowed for a lot of the background and colorful scenes in The Taba Convention.
The Righteous Within
BEHIND THE RIGHTEOUS WITHIN
The Jordan Kline Series. Book 2
Gertruda Babilinska was a proud member of the Righteous among Nations, having saved a Jewish boy from certain death at the hands of the Germans. Overcoming huge hardships on the way out of war torn Europe, she brought him safely to Israel and stayed to bring him up in the new State. To her dying day she remained a devout Catholic, but raised the young man as a Jew, thereby fulfilling her promise to his mother as she was dying.
While thinking of the subject for the second book in the Jordan Kline series I remembered reading about Gertruda Babilinska. I got to thinking about Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, and of the Righteous Among Nations.
The Kharta Conspiracy
BEHIND THE KHARTA CONSPIRACY
The Jordan Kline Series. Book 3.
Whjile on contract to manage The David Citadel I saw some Neturei Karta first hand. Since that time I have been interested them. There is something fascinating in their long held beliefs that Israel is not a legitimate state; and yet they are ultra orthodox Jews.
How can they carry on living in the State of Israel, separated from society? In the modern digital age they live with no television. They still live much as the Jews of central Europe lived prior to the Second World War, in the “Shtetls”, the small villages that dotted the countryside in those far off days.
They live today in Mea Shearim, “ hundred gates”, a village within Jerusalem. They live in poverty and extreme overcrowding, many with large families.
They participated in the Holocaust Deniers and Skeptics conference called by the Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, and featuring rabid anti Semites from many countries. They participated in a Palestinian rally in Toronto that I witnessed myself by the Royal Ontario Museum.
But there is one thing that stands out about the Neturei Karta. They have never taken up arms against Israel, and have never become violent even though they state categorically that Judaism rejects Zionism and the State of Israel.
I imagined the younger more radical generation in Mea Shearim taking things into their own hands. Two Rabbis found the Kharta brotherhood, and actively conspire to undermine the State.
It seemed a natural progression to expand the third Jordan Kline novel to include a conspiracy that also takes place in North America. The Kharta conspiracy is of horrific proportions, and a testament to what evil men can plot in order to gain their ultimate objectives.