The Desert Sands & the Stars Is a story that takes place in Palestine and in a Kibbutz located on Palestinian territory. A 22 year old Jewish girl from an Orthodox family overhears her best friend telling another girl, "Becky is a nice person but with her style of dressing, her hairy legs, her no make-up makes her a liability to be with. If two boys see us, they cross the street so avoid one of them from being with Becky."
Becky's friends, mostly reform Jews dressed in Mini-skirts, and tightsweaters to show off their attributes. After all, they wanted to attract young men.
A disillusioned Becky retreats and spends most of her time in the Public Library. There she happens to read an article on the Kibbutzim in Israel and the invitation to young men and women to join forces and make a strong Israel; a chance to make the deserts bloom. The article indicated the need to be self sufficient and to share the work with other residents which included farming, raising of livestock, building etc. Intrigued by the chance to "escape" her lonely existence, she applies and is accepted.
On her way to Israel, the plane has a five hour layover and it is there that she meets a Palestinian girl who had been in England studying. The two girls discover they each has the basis for a real friendship. When it is discovered that Najla, the Palestinian girl lives in a small village very close to the Kibbutz to which Becky is assigned they are overjoyed.
In truth, Najla had been in London where she and other Palestinians were developing a code so that the separate Terrorist Cells could coordinate their activities. The fact that Becky was to be part of the Administrative office and would be privy to information which could be useful to the terrorists. After being accepted by Najla's family and attending the wedding
of Najla's young sister, Najla is informed that she is to return to London. Najla's cousin, Khalid is a very handsome, professional man who is not only well mannered but he is also a poet who is also the liaison between 3 terrorist groups. Khalid is to be the Terrorist contact since Najla is returning to London. The story explores the relationship between Khalid and Becky and her role in informing the Palestinian Secret Service of the Terrorists.
Nothing was ever mentioned about race, religion or heaven forbid about racial relations. It was simply a subject that never came to mind. There were never any real slurs but you got the idea that other races were there but for you they didn’t exist. Becky knew instinctively that her religion and the people who made up her background were superior to the others. How could it be otherwise? Just with the foods, you couldn’t compete with the foods and flavors of other ethnic foods although she had to admit there was the Chinese food and the Italian food that on occasion was a must.
Rebecca Belkinski was 22 going onto 23. She was unmarried and not seriously involved with any one in particular, not since that first affair in which she lost her faith in men along with her virginity. Her hair was a wiry reddish color and she broke out in freckles every summer since she could remember. Her eyes were a hazel color but were overshadowed by the big, black-rimmed glasses she always wore. She had selected those large black frames when she was still a Junior in High School because she thought they gave her an intellectual look and in a sense, to ward off the whispered remarks her female cohorts made when they thought she was not listening. Her nose was somewhat beaky and was called Beaky Becky behind her back. To complete her picture, her teeth looked too big for her mouth and her legs had a golden glow from the hair she never shaved. Actually, she was a rather unattractive girl who first discovered that she was not good looking in High school when she overheard her best friend Elsa telling another girl that Becky was a friend but that she was a liability when it came to meeting boys. “When she and I are together, the boys take one look and go the other way.” What a shock to hear that from your supposedly best friend. She had never measured herself from others in terms of good looks but rather how close two people could be in sharing secrets and in general, overall camaraderie. But, with the beginning of boys, she was left out of social activities. Going to the movies alone was no fun, and going for a soda generally involved boys so that too was out.
Slowly, she realized that she had to make her way alone. The only time she was out with a boy was when she agreed to go on a date with Arnie Becker. He was another “poison pig” as far as the girls were concerned and after Arnie had exhausted his search, he turned to Becky. They had gone to a movie, saw a crummy movie that Arnie wanted to see and then went to a diner for coffee and pie. Arnie had his father’s car, a 1949 Chevrolet for the night and he had driven her to a lonely “lover’s lane” and insisted so ardently that she finally gave in and let him be the first. For Armie, it was just a bragging way of saying he got laid the other night but never saying it was Becky. After his first and only date with Becky, Arnie found all sorts of excuses why he couldn’t see her any more. After having pinned her hopes on Arnie, Becky finally gave up waiting for him to call or date her.
Arnie and his friends found great difficulty in actually making love to girls. After the usual braggadocio, the first question asked after knowing some one went on a date was “Did you make out?” And then the questioning about how it went; were you able to feel her ****; did she go down on you; where did he go; did he use a rubber and what if she gets knocked up?