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10 February 2012 0 Comments

Israelis scaring each other

My pal Matthew Kalman just became editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report, a much-deserved high-profile position for a thoughtful, creative fellow. In the true spirit of log-rolling he asked me to write this week’s cover story. It’s headlined “What Israelis Fear Most.” Needless to say, they don’t fear what you might expect… Well, they do, but […]

30 September 2011 0 Comments

Happy New Year

Frequently Jerusalem hits the headlines because Jews and Muslims do rotten things to each other. They kill; they shoot; they make the most predictable speeches in the history of the United Nations General Assembly, which is not known for spicy dialogue at the best of times. However, there are many benefits to living in a […]

23 June 2011 2 Comments

Unpolished Fleming, Paranoid Mankell

I’ve seen two things in the last week that allowed me to compare something of the way crime writers used to appear in public and their present avatars. It only made me wish for the good old days even more than I used to. The comparison is between: a delightful radio chat on the BBC […]

16 June 2011 9 Comments

The Honest Tours Guide to Jerusalem

The New York Times ran a travel article last weekend about things to do in Jerusalem during the Jewish Sabbath when most things are shut. The article was fairly typical of shorter travel writing in that all the experiences described were unlikely to surprise anyone. Eat hummus at the restaurants. Browse for ceramic bowls. Take […]

11 May 2011 15 Comments

FREE Omar Yussef short story: Damascus Trance

I’ve written this story as an immediate response to the murder and arrest of anti-government demonstrators all over Syria–and elsewhere in the Arab world. It’s a work of fiction based on the characters in my series of Palestinian crime novels. But real people are still being killed. DAMASCUS TRANCE An Omar Yussef story By Matt […]

15 April 2011 9 Comments

Taking Refuge

Some people are always expecting or hoping for a war. They’re even working towards that end. When you live in the Middle East, you come to such a realization eventually. Most people are like me, however. The wars sneak up on them. They notice the signs, then they bury them because they think they’re being […]

3 March 2011 0 Comments

Corrupt LSE finds out what happens when you lack lit dept

Potential students of the London School of Economics ought perhaps to rethink their choice of university, particularly if they plan to study international relations. After all, Muammar Qaddafi had to kill thousands of his own people before the LSE’s distinguished academics realized he might be something of a dictator. However, if your plan is to […]

17 February 2011 2 Comments

Finding true Mideast reality with kids

It’s always encouraging to meet well-adjusted teenagers (mainly because I wasn’t one.) When they’re Middle Eastern teenagers, it’s inspiring. I met a group of just over a dozen 15-year-olds (some of them may have been older than that, so I hope they aren’t offended when they read this, but when you get as old as […]

16 February 2011 2 Comments

Israel fears its own Giffords shooting

Israeli law enforcement officials, concerned about virulent divisions between left- and right-wing groups in the country, have warned that a political assassination could be imminent. Dudi Cohen, Israel’s police commissioner, told a conference earlier this month that “murder for ideological reasons … could occur in Israel” and that it was “one of the most disturbing […]

2 February 2011 2 Comments

Omar Yussef predicted Cairo and Tunis

If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels. In THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which was published exactly a year ago, my Palestinian sleuth Omar […]