Archive | June, 2010

27 June 2010 4 Comments

What’s floating in the Dead Sea?

If you’ve ever slathered your skin in the healing, mineral-rich mud of the Dead Sea, you may want to stop reading now. More than 8 million gallons of sewage from East Jerusalem is pumped downhill to the Dead Sea, raw and untreated, every day. That’s not just a little icky for those of us who […]

23 June 2010 7 Comments

Soggy sheep at breakfast

I was under the impression that the English weren’t allowed into Wales any more, now that Tony Blair persuaded us we ought to have at least half a government of our own and let Westminster pay for it. I assume Colin Cotterill managed to make it through the border undercover on his Australian passport. Which […]

20 June 2010 4 Comments

How to keep up on the Middle East

JERUSALEM — Time was anyone with an interest in the Middle East could be guaranteed a couple of books a year would be brought out by U.S. journalists based in the region. Now many of those correspondents are history, with news bureaus closing and those that remain cutting back. The new books written by Americans […]

17 June 2010 1 Comment

Cheers for Hitler, and Brits go home

The company you keep can put the culture around you in a new light, let you see it as you haven’t before. That’s true when I travel to different countries and discover that readers in Germany have a particular take on my Palestinian crime novels which differs from the way they look to Americans, for […]

12 June 2010 1 Comment

Motor sport, Palestinian style

Their politics might be spinning wheels, but Palestinians are revving engines on the race track. NABLUS, West Bank — For a change, the Palestinians gathered on the main street of Nablus were happy to be going around in circles. Palestinian politics makes a lot of noise, only to end up spinning its wheels, moving no […]

10 June 2010 1 Comment

Save me, Middle Eastern ladies, from the nightmare of the World Cup

The women of the Middle East are about to save me from the greatest banality known to man. I’m counting on them to care as little about the the World Cup as I do and to keep me entertained until men can once again talk about something other than Wayne Rooney’s groin.

9 June 2010 1 Comment

Big acts cancel, Israel’s opera goes on

MASADA, Israel — A parade of bejeweled camels, elaborately costumed warriors and prancing horses crossed the stage. Jerusalem had fallen to a conqueror from the east. The high priest predicted disaster and the wrath of a vengeful deity. Three hours later, with searchlights flitting across the rugged face of this ancient fortress, the Jews were […]

6 June 2010 3 Comments

How to avoid writer’s block

Writer’s block has nothing to do with writing. That might seem obvious. When a writer wants to write, but can’t get anything out, he’s blocked. Not writing. Blocked. But it isn’t the writing that causes the block. Neither is it some psychological problem or an inability to conjure up the Muse of inspiration. It’s because […]

3 June 2010 0 Comments

Grief, violence and a Palestinian sleuth

I haven’t written anything about what we might call the flotilla fiasco. And I’m not going to do so. Here’s why: The Jerusalem Post reviews THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels, this week. Ilana Teitelbaum writes: “As in the previous novels, a seemingly isolated instance of murder is revealed to be […]