A lineup of Jewish gangsters in New York City from 1931. Look at these dapper fellows. Guy on the far end with the eye patch wins for style.
Jewish gangsters… Hey! I think I wrote a book about that or something like it. Check out A History of the Middle Eastside
Once again, Herzl’s crew of plucky Yids must fight for their lives against a determined foe that wants them all dead. This week, the Muj have stepped up their campaign of rocket attacks against the Citadel Hotel.
Well, it was always a tough neighborhood. Some things don’t change.
See coverage of the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict over at The Propagandist. Here’s one account from one tough guy on the ground:
Life in Tel Aviv is surreal. True, we are all glued to our news sources almost 24/7. At the Carmel Market this morning I heard the sirens wailing over Be’er Sheva, via the tomato-vendor’s radio. It seems that Hamas fires into population centers at carefully arranged times: Because of the need to warn of falling rockets, the radio and TV systems automatically broadcast these alerts; so the enemy rockets are fired around the top of the news hour, when most listeners will be tuned in – and will hear the warning sirens.
Want to understand what’s going on? Buy the novel
No. Not of this blog. Just the end of Jewish life in Egypt.
Not that Jewish life was exactly flourishing prior to the Muslim Brotherhood takeover. The twentieth-century ethnic cleansing of Jews throughout the Arab world (which is weirdly ignored by most Westerners, even those familiar with the European Holocaust) only expedited a process that had already been in force for centuries.
The Muslim Brotherhood-dominated authorities shut down the last synagogue in Alexandria (which was also the last one in the country) due to “security reasons” — in other words, “we can’t (and won’t really try to) prevent a Muslim mob tearing you Yids apart limb from limb, enraged by the thought of your celebrating the Jewish religion’s high holidays. You’re not the security threat. The rest of the population that we’ve whipped into a xenophobic, anti-Semitic frenzy is the security threat against you… and we like it that way.”
This is precisely the kind of gangsterism that is so commonplace throughout the Arab world when it comes to Israel and Jews, which I attempted to highlight in the novel.
It never ends.
The 1967 liberation of Jerusalem from the Arabs, who had tried to exterminate all vestiges of Jewish history from the area, was a pivotal moment in history. Naturally, events in the novel are inspired by the fighting that led to this singular victory.
“Contrary to myth, the Jewish gangsters were just as violent as the Italians, but the difference was that their aim was to send their kids to college.”
What inspired me to write A History of the Middle Eastside? I’ve left some thoughts on this over at The Propagandist in Dealing with Gangster Nations.
Libyan “rebels” kicking over old Jewish grave stones when they’re taking a break from torturing rival militia groups. An Egyptian government that accepts ransom money for hostages. A Syrian regime that survives by shooting its enemies and pulling out the fingernails of the opposition. This is the modern Middle East; a land of ruthless gangsters that don’t know any other way than violence.
When I wrote A History of the Middle Eastside, I had those ideas firmly in mind. My gangster protagonists were an allegory for Zionists and modern-day Israelis, fighting to survive and stake out their territory despite overwhelming odds. And as in my novel, the Israelis find themselves stuck in a very bad neighborhood, able to cling to their land partly thanks to the gangster-mentality of the rulers across their borders, who can never seem to work together long enough to try to take out their chosen enemy. This is also the story of the wider Middle East region.
Here’s what readers had to say about the book.
- “It’s a great piece of satire and political allegory, with a crime noir style that is a perfect fit for a narrative spanning years of bloody conflict and infighting.” — Libertas Post
- “A History of the Middle Eastside is rife with violence, sex and Yiddishisms. It could be described, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction meets Alex Kliner’s Menschenings.” — The Jewish Independent
- “European and Middle Eastern history is presented in novel form in Narvey’s work, beginning with what I take to be the Dreyfuss Affair of 1894, as witnessed by Theodore Herzl, founder of Zionism. Moving through the novel’s presentation of events set in fictional Manhattan gangwars, we see tough guy Gruber, (known to us not as Adolph Schicklegruber but as Adolph Hitler,) defeated; his rivals François, Big Ben, and Ivan, with the dedicated help of Washington, then vying for turf; Polanski, (whom I take to be Ze’ev Jabotinsky,) a refugee from the wars, showing up in the traditional Jewish ghetto of Manhattan’s Lower Eastside, here as The Middle Eastside, 1948. Thus begin the gangwars of survival “The Yids” must win– over and over again.” — No Dhimmitude