In the 1970s the Temple Mount was open all day to visitors and one could enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque
I waited a long time to capture this street in the Jewish Quarter without people Up on the Temple Mount in 2015 when a lot of these photos were taken I wasn’t the only one with a phone camera. I’m a novelist, bunch of serious thrillers about the Middle East and for THE SPY’S GAMBLE, I wanted my characters observing the Friday Jerusalem police preparations to ascend The Temple Mount. I seemed about the only one who found this day extrordinaryA Palestinian juice seller in the souq. I buy silk carpets upstairs in this shop where with flourish and mint tea they cheerfully fleece me. The icons are sold primarily to Russian tourist who fly up from Sharm el-Sheik for the day with wads of crisp hundred dollar bills.Time for a break from entertaining at Jaffa Gate I liked the contrast of the spear like gate and the limestone outside the city across from the Mount of Olives.I’ve been writing a lot about Israel and Syria and the conundrum of not stopping Putin in Syria, Israel needing to keep an arm’s length away to keep Russian cooperation over Syria, as in not shooting down Israeli jets so my new novel THE SYRIAN SUNSET just out tackles this and set too in these streets above I love so much.