By Elise Cooper
The Fallen Angel, Daniel Silva’s latest book, will be another number-one New York Times bestseller. Anyone who supports Israel will want to read this novel, since Silva paints a picture of why it is important to defend this Jewish state. He blends fiction with history and the realistic struggles Israelis have had to endure over the years. American Thinker had the pleasure of interviewing him.
Early on in the book, the theme becomes apparent, as expressed in this quotation about how Israel is viewed: “Israel was no longer a beacon of democracy in a troubled Middle East; it was an illegitimate rogue, an occupier, and a threat to world peace.” Silva explained that in his previous career as a journalist living in Cairo and Bahrain, he was able “to get a distinct understanding of how the Arab world views Israel, despises Israel, and resents Israel. In the short term, the entire region is becoming more Islamist, more populist, and perhaps more radicalized.”
Without preaching, he weaves throughout the plot the historical struggles of Jews: in Austria and in Switzerland, and regarding the terrorist atrocities sponsored by Iran, a supporter of the jihadists. Silva told American Thinker, “We have to find a way to get it right soon, or we might lose Israel as a permanent enterprise. I will freely admit I do not like jihadists, people who blow up innocent victims on buses, restaurants, and buildings. I have nothing but contempt for them. I try to convey these scenes showing the pain, the horror, the ruthlessness, and cowardliness of these acts.”
Silva is able to look at current events and develop possible scenarios for his books. In his previous book, Portrait of a Spy, he foreshadows what is going on in Egypt today. When asked about this, as well as the warning in his latest book, Silva explained, “I wrote these as reminders that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. The Israelis invested three decades to have peace with Egypt. Now it is possible that that can just go away. We do not know how the situation with Egypt will unfold. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood controls the presidency and the Parliament. They said they would not yield a candidate for the presidency and lied about that. They said they would not run for more than one-third of the seats in Parliament and lied there. It is very interesting that the U.S. is trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt while the military and intelligence services are trying to prevent that from happening.”
The plot also has commentary about why Israel should be controlling Jerusalem. In this part of the book, Silva interestingly combines the biblical past with the present, although sometimes embellishing to make a more interesting novel. The book discusses how the Muslim authorities have attempted to appropriate the Temple Mount through the construction of the new el-Marwani Mosque and the destruction of artifacts from ancient Jewish times. Silva hopes to communicate to his readers that the political battle is also a religious one “between two peoples. As the area becomes more radicalized, it is only natural that the conflict will become more religious. The thrust of my story is that the Palestinian Authority purposely tries to hide that there was ever a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, which is an accepted doctrine throughout the Arab world. It is a fact that while building this underground mosque, they engaged in some reckless destruction. They threw bunches of material over the Old City walls.”
A powerful quotation from the book reminds people that not only Jewish artifacts are destroyed by the Muslims: “… the damage that had been done to the Church of the Nativity in 2002, when a group of Palestinian terrorists seized the sacred Christian site…looted the church of gold icons and used pages of the Christian Bible for toilet paper.” Silva wanted to express the sentiment that “there is an important, special, and profound bond between the people of the U.S. and the people of Israel, including evangelical Christians who adore the state of Israel.”
This book is a must-read since it is a very powerful wake-up call to supporters of Israel. The Fallen Angel is a story that explores the historical roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict and, for Silva, “a warning that the Jewish hold on this little slice of land is very tenacious.”