Joel is fervently pro-Israel, this being the understandable result of his family heritage. His paternal ancestors escaped Russian persecution of the Jews early in the twentieth century. His loyalty is also fueled by his personal faith as an Evangelical Christian.
The very fact of Israel’s existence is, to Rosenberg, a testimony to the reliability of the Bible. He told me that “the Bible is the only book on the planet that ever predicted that (a modern state for the Jews) would come true – and it has, quite dramatically so!”
This passion for Israel shines through his books and is evident, as well, in his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the poor and needy in the Middle East (such efforts not limited to Israel alone, but focused on the surrounding nations as well). He and his wife established The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net ) a few years back, and they are currently involved in an effort called OPERATION EPICENTER, with the goal of distributing $120 million dollars worth of food, clothing, pots and pans, furniture, medical supplies, construction supplies, wheelchairs, and toys for children in the region, over the next few years.
Reflecting on the current campaign for the presidency, Joel considers the war against radical Islam to be an overriding issue; one with “winner take all” stakes. He considers Barack Obama to be very “weak” in foreign policy experience as well as on issues relating to America’s strategic relationship with Israel. Yet, he also notes that Christians don’t seem to be flocking en mass to the McCain campaign.
Rosenberg’s November Communications, Inc. commissioned a poll last week, one that questioned 1,000 likely Christian voters. The results were not good news for the man from Arizona, revealing that if the election were held today Mr. McCain would lose the Christian vote to the Democratic nominee – 36 to 45 per cent, this even AFTER all the news about Barack’s talkative preacher. By contrast, George Bush decisively bested John Kerry with this voting block in 2004.
And, though Joel clearly admires the President, he is disappointed in the Administration as it seems to be encouraging the division of Jerusalem and forfeiture of the West Bank. He finds himself clearly puzzled by their efforts to “put pressure on Israel, in part, to placate the Saudis and others who really hold our economic future in their hands” (read: OIL).
And oil is very much a key to the plot of DEAD HEAT as the price of crude soars to record heights – we’re talking about $400.00 to $500.00 a barrel. Joel admits that when it came to writing this novel he found himself skeptical of those figures, but with oil lately at $107.00 such a scenario is not so far-fetched anymore. Add to the mix a new strong-man in Iraq, North Korea on the move to the South, and China threatening Taiwan, and you have the prescription for a first-rate thriller, and a worst case international crisis.
As Joel says in the Author’s note in the beginning of DEAD HEAT, “I pray to God the novel you hold in your hands never comes true.”So do we.