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 […]

1 May 2011 0 Comments

Mideast experts pick my nonfiction book about Israelis, Palestinians

I published “Cain’s Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear” in 2004. It’s a nonfiction book about Israeli and Palestinian society, focusing on the internal divisions within each group, rather than the conflict between them which usually gets all the attention. I’ve always been rather proud of it, even as I’ve gone on to write five novels. […]

1 May 2011 4 Comments

My Mozart novel and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and […]

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 […]

1 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel’s president is no angel

When the residents of Kiryat Malakhi, the southern Israeli town whose name means “City of Angels,” picked Moshe Katsav as the youngest-ever mayor in the country’s history in 1970, he was 24. For decades he was the town’s symbol, an immigrant born in Iran who made it to the top of the establishment and was […]

20 December 2010 0 Comments

Pick-up artist protests in Israel

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah ended last week, bringing to a close an apparently great opportunity for sexual conquest. The Center for the Art of Seduction, a Tel Aviv business which runs courses to help men succeed with women (“Do you want to get every girl that you want?”), posted a video earlier this month […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]