Matt Rees's Blog – August 2010 Archive (5)

Israeli leaders pass buck

The present Israeli government seems to make a specialty of dropping the ball. The only thing the top ministers won’t drop is the buck. They’re very adept at passing that.

Testimony last week revealed the lack of responsibility at the top of the Israeli government. Before a committee investigating a fouled up military operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have both said they take responsibility for the attempted takeover of…

Added by Matt Rees on August 16, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments

In between the drafts

Rock musicians like to note that, had they not discovered their talents for destroying ear-drums, they’d have been criminals. It adds some edge to their pampered personae. Here’s my claim to edge: had I not been a writer, I’d have been locked up long ago, but not in a jail. At best I’d have been sedated.

I know this for sure, because when I’m between drafts of a novel I feel the old madnesses creeping up on me. The dark resentments whose origins I can’t quite…

Added by Matt Rees on August 13, 2010 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Sondheim in the West Bank

I’m in between drafts of a novel, so I thought I’d look for something to clear my head. Inspired by a BBC broadcast last week in honor of the 80th birthday of Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim, I’ve been working on a musical version of my Palestinian crime novels. (Only in the shower, so far…)

I’m thinking of updating the Romeo and Juliet story and setting it in Bethlehem. In tribute to the Sondheim-Bernstein classic “West Side Story,” it’ll be…

Added by Matt Rees on August 5, 2010 at 5:05pm — No Comments

Israel Museum gets funky

I was the first journalist to interview James Snyder when he arrived in 1997 from a sinecure at New York's Museum of Modern Art to head the Israel Museum, the country's premier cultural institution.

Snyder had neat white hair, a trim build encased in a seersucker suit, and a black tie. This, in a land where dressing up means putting on a T-shirt that has sleeves. As I listened to his East Coast drawl, I took one look at him and figured he wouldn’t…

Added by Matt Rees on August 5, 2010 at 12:32am — No Comments

With democracy like this, who needs dictators?

JERUSALEM — Israelis like to point out that theirs is the only democracy in a Middle East otherwise dominated by repressive regimes. Given the performance of legislators in the parliamentary session that just ended here, you might be forgiven for asking: with democracy like this, who needs dictators?

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, broke up last week for its summer vacation. The speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, sent lawmakers on their way with an…

Added by Matt Rees on August 1, 2010 at 11:40pm — No Comments

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