Your book has caused a huge stir in Germany, where it has just been published. Some critics charge that your dark vision of the future abets an increasing chorus of voices that argue the founding of Israel was a mistake in the first place.
Let me first be clear about my personal loyalties (which are not always identical to my loyalties as a novelist): I am an admirer of the Zionist project, of the historical necessity, to use a Marxist phrase, to create a safe haven for European Jews as a reaction to 19th century anti-Semitism.
It has been a breathtaking adventure – but it did not happen in a geographical or cultural or historical vacuum. It happened when the Islamic world was slowly awakening from the enormous blow executed by giant European forces, beginning with Napoleon's easy march into Egypt in 1798, and by the search by Arab and Muslim intellectuals for their own answers to the question why their universe collapsed.
There have been very strong arguments for the case of a Jewish state in Palestine (a name given to the region by the Romans – until recently, there has never been an Arab tribe called the Palestinians), but now, decades later, if it would have been up to me, I would have picked another region, like the former Dutch colony Surinam, or Montana, or New Mexico.