Diplomatic and media talk regarding the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities has reached a fever pitch. Many pundits have attempted to weigh the pros and cons, pointing to the risks involved in a possible strike. What has received less editorial attention, however, is what it would look like if Iran acquires nuclear arms and then uses them against the Jewish state.
In a new novel, titled ‘The Last Israelis’ Noah Beck depicts this doomsday horror in vivid detail. Beck, an American who says he “was so worried about the Iranian nuclear threat that he dropped everything to write an 84,000 word novel in ten weeks,” self published the book.
In a recent Algemeiner column, Alan Elsner describes his work as follows, “A chilling recent novel, “The Last Israelis” by Noah Beck, imagines a scenario in which Iran has launched a nuclear attack on Israel. The last Israelis of his title are a submarine crew who are cut off from their country who must decide whether or not to fire their own nuclear missiles in retaliation.”
Below is an exclusive excerpt from ‘The Last Israelis.’ The author sets the stage as an introduction to the excerpt from chapter 8 of the book.
The Mossad informs the Israeli Prime Minister that he has only a week left to order a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program before it enters the “zone of immunity.” He prepares with his aides to convince the Israeli security cabinet to authorize a strike but he suddenly falls unconscious. With the Prime Minister hospitalized, there is no leader to build the government consensus needed to authorize a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear program. Thus, the Islamic Republic is able to finish moving the key components of its future nukes deep into the hardened and strike-proof Fordo facility.
Meanwhile, Daniel Zion, captain of Israel’s nuclear-armed Dolphin submarine, is abruptly ordered by naval command to return to shore. Headquarters has suddenly terminated Daniel’s naval exercises so that the submarine can be resupplied and its 35 crew-members can briefly see their loved ones before their next mission commences. The shore visit takes place on the lawn of the Haifa naval base, where the navy has prepared a picnic for the returning submariners. Daniel is visiting with his wife, Sivan, and their four-year old daughter, Esty, when he is interrupted.
Chapter 8: More Bad Signs
“Sir, I need your signature,” said a naval supply agent holding a clipboard.
Daniel put his plate of food down to look at the form he was supposed to sign. It was an acknowledgment that his submarine had received certain materials. There were blanks that he had to fill in to indicate the quantity received, and this meant that Daniel had to go back to the submarine to confirm the actual amounts. Duty calls, even on break. The captain briefly excused himself from his wife and daughter.
He walked with the supply agent past the fence surrounding the lawn area and over to the restricted walkway leading to the submarine. The two climbed the ladder up the mast of the Dolphin and then climbed down into the upper deck.
The supply agent took Daniel around the various parts of the vessel so that he could see and then certify the quantity of each item that required a signature confirmation: fuel, drinking water, and food. The unusually large amounts of these provisions that had just been supplied could mean only one thing: they were about to embark on a very long mission. The extended period away from home that awaited him troubled him almost as much as what it actually meant. What did headquarters have in mind for him and his crew? Why would they need to be at sea for so long?
He climbed down the Dolphin’s ladder to the dock walkway. Before turning left to walk towards the family reunion beyond the fence, his instincts and curiosity told him to look right, to see if he could see anything of interest in the yard behind the naval command building. That area could be seen only from the viewpoint of the submarine, so everyone at the gathering remained blissfully ignorant of the men there running around in hazmat suits, conducting drills that simulated a chemical or nuclear attack. Thus, with a mere turn of his head to the right, Daniel had inadvertently received another piece of the disturbing puzzle. Was this going to be the mission in which the Dolphin would fulfill her raison d’être and launch a retaliatory second-strike on a country that had delivered a nuclear or chemical attack on Israel?
As Daniel turned left to head back to his family, he debated whether to suggest to Sivan that she take little Esty and their other two children on a trip abroad. It was his first impulse because it was the most natural and human thing to do: protect your loved ones. It was also completely contrary to the selfless ethic of placing the nation first. After all, if every citizen fled the state of Israel at the first sign of danger, who would be left to live in it or defend it? If even the captain of Israel’s most powerful warship encouraged his family to flee upon sensing a doomsday scenario, then the state’s enemies could win without firing a single shot; they would need only to announce the date of their devastating military onslaught, and they could count on a country of cowards to evacuate before then.
In struggling with the dilemma of whether to say something to his wife, Daniel also concluded that there was something fundamentally unethical about using highly classified information for his personal benefit. Why should he be any more entitled to see his family survive than the millions of other fathers in Israel who didn’t know what he knew thanks to his military stature?
While Daniel’s moral convictions knew exactly what he should do, the temptation to save his family was nearly insurmountable. Doing the right thing almost felt like signing his family’s death certificate.
“Sir, I forgot to ask you to sign on page three of the form as well,” the supply agent said, running up to him from behind with his clipboard and a pen. Daniel stopped to give him the needed signature, before turning left to return to his family.
The book ‘The Last Israelis’ can be purchased from Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook, and elsewhere. For a complete list of stores, click here.