Jacob Asch, a main character in “Sanction” “The Lesser Evil” and “Cop” by Jim Magwood.

Who are you?

I’m Jacob Asch, born in Israel in 1942. I was raised there, joined the Israeli Defence Force in 1960, later got my degree from university in Middle East history and finally joined the Mossad (the Israeli secret intelligence service.) My life has been one of very deep-undercover work in trying to prevent harm to my beloved Israel and then branching out, since my retirement, into helping other world governments and individuals in their own investigative activities.

Where do you live?

My home is in Haifa, Israel, but I have a home-away-from-home about 400 miles north of Edmonton, Canada, where I spend as much time as possible. Very few people know of that place and access is by invitation only. I have a major computer system there from which I can access information sources world-wide and where I conduct many of my investigations.

What is your problem in the story?

Actually, I’m in three stories so far by the author, Jim Magwood. SANCTION, THE LESSER EVIL and COP are all about mysteries in the world of people either trying to take control of the world or trying to stamp out the uncontrolled evil or of terrorists running rampant. My part in the stories is to find out who the people are and to resolve the situations. I work with several people from around the world, government agents as well as private individuals, and they are all instrumental in how the stories resolve themselves.

How do you see yourself?

I see myself first as a loyal Israeli, desperate to keep my beloved homeland safe from the terror the world wants to bring down on her. Second, I am also a world citizen and, with the skills I learned through my life in the Mossad, I am intent on helping other people, even governments, bring peace and security into their own lives.

How do your friends see you?

Unfortunately, I have few real friends. My demand in life of those around me has been to do their absolute best in whatever work they are given, especially in secret investigative areas. This has caused many to shy away from me. My real friends are those who are working with me in these endeavors and who struggle against evil as I do.

Most of my friends in my non-secretive work as a university professor see me as simply an older, Jewish scholar who wouldn’t even be noticed in a crowd.

How do your enemies see you?

Usually they don’t see me. I have been a deep-undercover agent all my life and am really only known in that work to a very few. Those who do know of me, or have seen my results, are aware I am relentless in my pursuit of them and, when necessary, am known to bring every kind of force possible against them.

How does the author see you?

Oh, I know he sees me as a very secretive little Jewish man he can keep sending into dangerous missions around the world. His mind just works that way. However, I really do enjoy working with him and I look forward to more of the missions he dreams up.

Are you healthy?

Well, right now I think I’m about 70 years old (at least that’s what the author tells me), but I’m in good health. I have always kept active through my life and can still teach classes at the university while disappearing occasionally to work through the bazaars, alleys, main streets and sewers of the world trying to resolve the evil that confronts me.

What was your childhood like?

I was born into the confusion, and often terror, of Israel becoming a new state. Through my early years we suffered war after war and I either watched them taking place or took part in them as I grew older. I had several childhood friends, but they were all basically from my own neighborhood. We didn’t venture far from our homes because of the terror around us.

Do you like remembering your childhood?

It was good in many parts, but very painful in others. However, I grew through it and moved on into life.

Did anything newsworthy happen on the day you were born?

Not on that day (although my mother might tell you different.) However, a very eventful day took place when I was just six. I was listening to our little home radio by myself when I heard the broadcast at 4 p.m. on May 14, 1948, that David Ben-Gurion, standing under the portrait of Theodor Hertzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, in the old Tel Aviv Museum of Art building on Rothschild St. in Tel Aviv, had declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The ceremony had begun with the singing of HaTiq’vah, the national anthem. At first, all I could do was sit, stunned. Then I began screaming and my family came running.

Who was your first love?

There was a young woman I met while in the IDF on a mission in the desert. We saw each other a few times through the next years, then struck up a deep friendship when we re-met in university. As they say, love blossomed and we thought there was going to be a great future for us. However, when I joined the Mossad and had to tell her the first lie about what I was doing, I recognized I could not have anyone close to me in the life I was going to be leading. We parted, and I have hurt for her presence ever since.

Who is your true love?

Now, Israel.

What is your most closely guarded secret?

That has always been my life “above-ground” as a university professor in the University of Tel Aviv while at the same time serving as a very deep-cover agent with the Mossad. There are only a handful of people in the world who know of that secret, and those numbers are growing smaller by yearly attrition.

What are the last three books you read?

SANCTION, THE LESSER EVIL and COP by Jim Magwood. Wonderful books that I’d recommend to all.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

Fortunately, it would affect me personally. However, that would be that the people of the world would gather together to combat the forces of evil around them. If We, the People, would rise up together, we could defeat the forces of man-made evil and be able to live our lives to a better end. Fortunately, that would also likely take me out of my present work.

How do you envision your future?

You would really have to ask the author, Jim Magwood, about that. I think he sees me continuing in the work I’m doing for quite a while. He has quite a fertile imagination along with his past experiences, and there are truly hundreds of missions he could send me on in today’s world.

By the way, you can find the stories I’m in by going to Jim Magwood’s website, http://www.JimMagwood.com. Tell him I said Hi, and that I’m looking forward to the next adventure.

Click here for an interview with: Jim Magwood, Author of “The Lesser Evil”