|"Next Year in Jerusalem"|
|Reprinted||The Book of Exodi|
"Next Year in Jerusalem", Imaginings, edited by Keith R.A. DeCandido, Pocket 2003, is a short story by Harry Turtledove. It was reprinted in The Book of Exodi, edited by Michael K. Eidson.
"Next Year in Jerusalem" is a science fiction piece depicting a future where the state of Israel was defeated by its neighbors after a century. Set in the mid 22nd century, the story depicts a series of terrorist attacks on Arab Palestine by members of the Second Irgun, an Israeli nationalist group made up of foreign born Jews. Despite the best efforts of Yakov and Miriam to incite an uprising, they succeed only in causing tragedy for the Jewish community when they kill its collaborationist local leader.
Literary Comment[edit | edit source]
In typical fashion, Turtledove examines pressing issues of today by creating an analogous scenario. In this case, Turtledove displaces the Jews as the dominant power in Palestine and allows the Arabs to rule. While Turtledove acknowledges on the one hand that a strong Muslim government would not automatically be better (in fact, he tacitly argues that Muslim Arab rule in Palestine would be unpleasant, describing public behavior codes as "obsessively puritanical" at one point), he also argues that fanaticism is rarely productive.
"Les Mortes d'Arthur," an early Turtledove work, shares the "Israel no more" scenario and the presence of an organization called the Second Irgun with ties to Buenos Aires. Turtledove has not stated that the two stories are set in the same continuity. If they are, "Next" would logically take place a few decades before "Mortes", due to the respective states of space travel in the two. The former seems to indicate that astronauts only occasionally travel as far as Mars; in in the latter, some of the Winter Olympic Games are regularly held on one of Saturn's moons.
Turtledove's "Occupation Duty" uses the "reversed Middle East" theme in an alternate history context (with the Point of Divergence rooted in the Iron Age), with the Philistinians (a geographic analog of Palestine) playing the role of Israel, and the Moabites (a geographic analog of Israel) playing the role of Palestine.