Into Costume: My book promo Pt. 2

How do you make Jaffa, the ancient Mediterranean port city and present-day gritty suburb of Tel Aviv, look like Vienna in the winter of 1791? Answer: make a book video of a historical novel set in Mozart’s time, and let the lighting do the rest. Last week I headed down to Jaffa for a second […]

The war Israelis and Palestinians plan

I posted this on Global Post. JERUSALEM — There’s an old Arab aphorism: “A man with a plan takes action; a man with two plans gets confused.” Apply that to the Israelis and to the Palestinians, and the nonsensical sequence of recent events in the Middle East starts to fall into a comprehensible pattern. It’s […]

Israeli settler sect: Messiah is coming

GIVAT ONAN, West Bank—On this windblown outpost in the hills north of Jerusalem, a small group of Israeli settlers strives to bring the day of redemption promised, as they believe, in the Bible. A controversial sect shunned by nearby Israeli settlements, the Brothers of Onan believe that by “spilling their seed” on the land of […]

Back to Israel: Recall what’s foreign

When you live in a foreign place, it can become home. You forget how foreign it is. Then you go to another foreign country, only to discover that it doesn’t seem so foreign. And you realize that the place you live actually IS extremely foreign. That’s what happened to me during the last week, when […]

The Writing Life interview: Alon Hilu

The most original voice in Hebrew fiction is that of Alon Hilu. His first novel “Death of a Monk” took a blood libel against the Jews of Damascus in 1840 and offered a startling alternative perspective on how the murder at the heart of the scandal might have taken place. The second of his novels […]