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 […]

29 November 2009 0 Comments

In Bethlehem, the Third Intifada approaches

Rain on the streets of Bethlehem can’t cool simmering tension. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A writer seeks the surprise of a “man bites dog” story. The most violent times of the Second Intifada, which took place under the leaden winter skies of early 2002, gave me mine. I wrote […]

12 November 2009 0 Comments

Jerusalem’s a zoo

When foreign correspondents come to Jerusalem they often ask me for advice on stories and places from which to witness the various conflicts that play out in this city. Next time, I’m going to buy them a ticket to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. I go there every Saturday afternoon with my two-year-old son. But perhaps […]

4 November 2009 0 Comments

Looking for somewhere to kill someone: suggestions please

I’m always looking for a good spot in which to kill someone. Still, as a crime writer, I rarely have to ask about potential locations for a good murder. People are keen to suggest that the blood be spilled on their doorstep. Most recently, it was a pastor and his wife. To be fair, they […]

3 September 2009 0 Comments

Oldest Bible? Tell it to the Samaritans

UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports the discovery of a portion of a Bible from 350 AD in the library of the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai. The Codex Sinaiticus is written in Greek on animal skin and the newspaper calls it “a fragment of the world’s oldest bible.” Well, I hate to […]

14 July 2009 0 Comments

Nasty nargila and biblical heat on video

My favorite little coffee shop in Jerusalem’s Old City is just inside the Muslim Quarter, behind the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, buried and resurrected. Once you’ve sucked on the tobacco in this café, even hanging on a cross with nails through your hands and feet would […]

12 July 2009 0 Comments

Rabbis: No pie for Jesus!

Her methods may be kosher, but in Israel baker Pnina Konforti faces a bigger commercial obstacle: She’s a Messianic Jew.By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost GAN YAVNEH, Israel — I always thought that by following kosher laws religious Jews only missed out on certain flavors and debatable delicacies. Turns out that by turning their back […]

15 May 2009 0 Comments

Pope kicks off red slippers and wonders why he came

Pope’s visit satisfies fewAnalysis: After a five-day visit to the Holy Land, the Pope may be wondering why he came. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPostJERUSALEM — As the Pope’s special El Al flight departed Tel Aviv for Rome Friday at the end of his five-day visit to the Holy Land, he might have kicked […]

11 May 2009 0 Comments

The right Holy Land, the wrong Holy Father

My irreverent take on the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land features prominently on The Daily Beast today. Maybe people always say their take is “irreverent,” but in the case of a story about the Pope I feel justified in using it…

4 May 2009 0 Comments

Popeophobia hits Holy Land

By Matt Beynon Rees, on Global PostJERUSALEM — If you happen to be in the Holy Land next week and you have a beef with the pope, get to the back of the line. In Nazareth, where Pope Benedict XVI will say Mass on May 14, the Islamic Movement accuses the pontiff of insulting Islam […]