Archive | July, 2007

20 July 2007 0 Comments

"Quick, woman, go and get the Koran!"

I have never been a religious man. Which is why I’ve always wondered why so many Palestinians want me to become Muslim. I’ve been asked, quite formally, to accept Islam on three occasions during the course of my reporting from the Middle East. Two of them I consider to have been somewhat pro forma queries […]

13 July 2007 0 Comments

Paying the Price for Violence in Bethlehem

In Bethlehem last week, I visited a place that gave me some of the bloody inspiration for my murder mystery The Collaborator of Bethlehem. Unfortunately, based on the way the town feels now and the things people tell me, I think that same place will have a dreadful part to play in the next Palestinian […]

9 July 2007 0 Comments

Hamas brings Sunni-Shia hatreds to West Bank

The backing Hamas gets from Iran is bringing the hatred between Sunni and Shia Muslims to the West Bank. In 2002, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal went to Tehran to put aside previous differences between the Sunni Palestinian group and the Lebanese Shia of Hizballah, Iran’s biggest success in the export of Islamic Revolution. Hizballah leader […]

9 July 2007 0 Comments

Collaborator ‘Right Up There with Graham Greene and John Le Carre’

London’s The Jewish Chronicle profiles me in this week’s edition. The newspaper describes me as “on a literary mission to uncover the ‘interior life’ of Palestinians.” The article about The Bethlehem Murders (the UK title of my first Palestinian detective novel) is at: The (Frederiscksburg, Va.) Free-Lance Star‘s book review of The Collaborator of Bethlehem […]

7 July 2007 0 Comments

Palestinian Civil War Part II: Coming Soon

If you’re inclined to agree with the State Department that, for the time being, it’s just fine to have Hamas isolated in Gaza, so long as Fatah plays nice in the West Bank, think again. This week in Bethlehem, an old friend who’s a member of Fatah told me bitterly that the men who run […]

4 July 2007 0 Comments

Who kidnapped Alan Johnston? Look inside the Palestinian Authority for a real dirty deal

BBC journalist Alan Johnston is free, but the truth behind his five months as a hostage in Gaza remains murky. If you only read the newspapers, that is. Journalists won’t be telling you who really kidnapped the 45-year-old Scottish reporter, or why he was released now. So I’ll tell you: powerful figures inside the Palestinian […]