ESTER'S CHILD



Excerpts from Part 1

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Joseph quickly locked the door before turning his attention to Ari. He wasn't sure who "they" were, but he knew that the "old man" as he was affectionately called was David Ben-Gurion, the leader of the Jews in Palestine, and the man who would surely become the first Premier of their new country.

Joseph stared at Ari and almost laughed aloud, thinking that with his nervous eyes, grimy face, ill-fitting clothes, and thick red hair standing straight and stiff from dirt, Ari looked like a demon himself. Still, Ari's unexpected visit clearly meant bad news. Joseph tried to keep the alarm out of his voice, "Ari, what has happened?"

Ari curled his hands into fists and looked as if he wanted to strike out. Ari's face, already red from the cold, grew redder still. "There's been a massive bombing at the bus station at Jaffa Gate. Just a short while ago. Only God knows how many are dead and injured." After a moment's hesitation Ari added, "I was told the street looked like a slaughterhouse."

The Jaffa Gate area was the main commercial artery of Jerusalem and was usually crowded with shoppers.

Joseph answered softly, "God...how easy it is to be alive one moment and dead the next." Since leaving Europe and coming to Palestine, Joseph had often thought the old hatreds that had percolated on the land promised the Jews by God now threatened every living soul, Arab and Jew.

Ari leaned his M-1 rifle against the wall. "Our sources tell us the Irgun gang was responsible. They managed to steal a police van. Then, those bastards rolled two barrels of TNT onto a crowded Arab street. Women...children...all turned into shredded meat."

Joseph spoke in a low voice and did not look into Ari's eyes. "Dear God." He then asked, "Did they capture the men?"

Ari nodded, "After throwing a second bomb at the intersection of Mamillah Road and Princess Mary Avenue, members of the gang crashed the van and tried to escape on foot through the cemetery. The British police and an American Consulate Guard followed the men, killing three of the gang."

The Irgun gang was an illegal military group, led by Menachem Begin, a man whose unassuming appearance gave no indication of his murderous anger. His followers consisted of hardened Holocaust survivors willing to kill anyone trying to block the creation of a Jewish homeland. These men believed their miraculous return to the Promised Land was a sign of God's devotion to their cause, and they justified every terrorist action with a biblical verse. The Irgun gang violently disagreed with the idea of compromise with the British, Americans or the Arabs, and their reckless acts had caused David Ben-Gurion many sleepless nights.

© The Sasson Corporation • Rights to publish Ester's Child owned by Windsor-Brooke Books, LLC.

Excerpts from Part 1

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