9 January 2011 0 Comments

Into the heart of Hezbollah

The liberal Israeli newspaper published my review of two new books on Lebanon (one’s on Hezbollah, the other is a broader history) in its weekend edition: Hezbollah is often portrayed in the West as a caricature of implacable Islamic terrorism. Lebanon also has become something of a stereotype, its name now synonymous with any process […]

5 October 2010 0 Comments

Review: Hezbollah’s rapture, resistance, and revolution

Here’s my review of A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel — by Thanassis Cambanis (Free Press). The review appeared this weekend on Global Post, where I’ll be doing reviews of international fiction and nonfiction each month. Most books on Hezbollah tend to focus, in one way or another, […]

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 […]

23 May 2010 0 Comments

Israel prepares for next threat–nuclear?

NABLUS, West Bank — During the Palestinian intifada, I sat on a dusty hilltop overlooking this most violent of West Bank towns with a dozen of the top Israeli officers in the area. The brigade commanders told their regional chiefs that all the police work and house-to-house fighting of the intifada had made their troops […]

11 May 2010 1 Comment

Hezbollah’s missiles cover all Israel

JERUSALEM — Hezbollah’s stockpile of weapons includes missiles that can strike at the entire area of Israel, the country’s Intelligence Minister revealed Monday. In a briefing to foreign journalists, Dan Meridor said the Lebanese Shiite militia, which fought a rocket war with Israel in 2006, has 42,000 rockets and missiles “aimed at Israel.” He added […]

2 April 2010 0 Comments

An Islamic Romeo and Juliet

Since 9/11, journalists and writers have tried to understand the extremists committed to the destruction of the West and, often, that of their own societies in the Middle East. Writers have mostly done this by “going inside” the world of those extremists, giving us the inner life of suicide bombers or of the “American Taliban.” […]

30 October 2009 0 Comments

Review: The year’s best Police procedural

Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and PygmiesBy Stewart CopelandPublisher UK: The Friday Project US: HarperStudio Just because I write crime fiction doesn’t make me obsessed by The Police. However, this new memoir by The Police drummer is absolutely the most delightful surprise of the year. Copeland writes with the same verve […]

31 July 2009 0 Comments

Just like the (good?) old days

With US diplomats roaming the streets of Jerusalem, it’s like the intifada never happened.By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — It’s like the intifada never happened. American diplomats mobbed the streets of Jerusalem this week. Even Iran point man Dennis Ross, whose sad-sack demeanor was a frequent feature of the Oslo peace process, stopped […]

22 July 2009 0 Comments

Bruno in Jerusalem

It’s hard enough to get around the notorious Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp in Lebanon at the best of times. I can testify to that, having had a few sweaty-palmed visits to the place myself to interview the hardline Palestinian gunmen who rule the camp. Try doing it after calling on the head of the Aqsa […]

25 June 2009 0 Comments

Stranger than zinc bars and literary fiction

Foreign correspondents are always more enthusiastic about Beirut than about Amman. Just like critics prefer “literary” fiction to crime novels. It seems to me they’re both wrong, and for the same reasons. Visiting reporters always rave about Beirut. Mainly because there’s a very un-Middle Eastern nightlife there. Zinc bars. Beautiful girls in spaghetti-strap tops beside […]