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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 […]

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 […]

25 December 2010 0 Comments

Bethlehem upbeat for Christmas

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago. After the city’s economy was devastated by the Palestinian intifada over the last decade, Bethlehem’s economic recovery has picked up pace in the last year […]

13 December 2010 0 Comments

New West Bank road to peace?

ST. GEORGE’S MONASTERY, West Bank — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert last week, the Orthodox priests chanted “Lord, have mercy” in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to […]

10 December 2010 0 Comments

Islamic dialogue site runs my interview

On a recent trip to Cologne, Germany, I was interviewed by journalist Eren Guvercin, who works for Qantara.de, a website which publishes in various languages and is intended to fill the media gap between “Western” and “Islamic” cultures. You can read Eren’s interview in German or in English. We chatted about Palestinian reaction to my […]

11 November 2010 4 Comments

Jerusalem: Just the facts

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Israel’s plans to add 1,000 housing units to Jerusalem neighborhoods in the area of the city conquered by Israel in 1967 this week. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that “Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel” and he intends to build wherever he likes. What kind of […]

11 October 2010 0 Comments

Paving Zion to put up a parking lot

Intifada fans can breathe a little more easily. Just when it seemed as though no amount of building in Israel’s settlements and harsh statements at the United Nations by the country’s foreign minister could truly provoke new violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the Jerusalem municipality came up with something guaranteed to steam up some hotheads. […]

26 September 2010 0 Comments

Tired of peace talks

Israelis and Palestinians are as tired of living through peace talks as I am of writing about them. Here’s my article on why at Global Post.

17 July 2010 1 Comment

Tragic friends on a search for peace

JERUSALEM—If you asked about a moment that encapsulates the tragedy of the Israelis and Palestinians, there’d be no shortage of incidents, fatal and wrathful, from which to choose. This week, however, I’d point out an occasion that was less shocking but just as poignant. In a banquet hall of the King David Hotel, an Israeli […]