Tel Aviv Diary August in New York, 2006- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - August in New York, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 14, 2006

It's only partly true - that an Israeli can leave Israel, but always takes Israel with her. The moment I was airbourne part of a burden was lifted. The immediate terror of every moment for my people my life and everything i believe in was replaced with only the fear of being blown up.

And the first thing I did when i got to the internet was check the news. The news is terrible. The son of David Grossman. Terrible. Hundreds of rockets. A cease fire that solves - if it works - only the violence of the moment.

August 17, 2006

Sorry. Its not just that I have very limited internet access, and not just that Im busy, or have post-traumatic stress syndrome, or jet-lag. I have simply lost my right to speak about Israel in general and Tel Aviv in particular because Im not there. What I see on the news here, or what I read, is simply nothing like the truth. Try me again at the end of next week.

August 18, 2006

August 18, 2006

As Eric Hoffer once said, "as go the Jews, so goes the fate of the world..." (total paraphrase). So maybe I do have a right to say something in NY after all. Most of my friends seem totally confused and a bit frightened. Is the entire Western World being threatened? Is it just Israel? Tune in later for an authoritative evaluation.

Here it is: If we all work for peace, it can still be achieved. If we all pretend to be very smart and very worried about what will happen, we're all going down. There is nothing more destructive than intellectuals who worry and point out faults and do nothing. Make specific goals and work towards them. This is me talking to me too. I know Im picking candidates this year and making sure they know why, and giving them as much money as I waste on myself.

which reminds me

Between appointments today I found myself walking quickly through Macys, slowing down uncontrollably as I neared the Lancome counter. Couldnt help it. But when I was approached by the salesman, I almost kept to my list. Fortunately, I was charmed I looked into his Lebanese eyes and knew he knew more than I did about my face than I would ever know. And I forgot my appointment and let him sell me things to make me beautiful. And they work. Tarik Abbas. Look him up at Lancome. (I'll repleace thiswith a photo as soon as i get to my cable.) He also said the right words when nearly perfect I mentioned that I was Israeli. People get along. Governments fight.

Normally, no matter how many things I must do in NY I always get to the Whitney, the MOMA, the Guggenheim and the Met, at least once. Preferably twice after a few days with a break to digest. This time however, everything seemed wrong. The power of the Dada movement eluded me at the MOMA, the perfection of Edward Hopper seemed merely bitterness, and Paul McCartney seemed to finish it all off for me with his overt violence. I want something that doesnt just deconstruct, I complained. I want someone to build. Maybe that was just the war-nerves talking, someone said. But then we found ourselves at the Guggenheim and Saha Haddid was actually DOING just that, building. Okay so not everything she designed was do-able, not everything was actually smart. But it was an attempt the first one Id seen in NY this time around to actually CREATE instead of kvetch. Yes, shes from Baghdad. And yes, the exhibit was filled with Israelis. And Arabs.

People get along.

Unfortunately, governments determine an awful lot. If each Lebanese family gets $12,000 to replace their bombed houses, they are going to be happier with the Hizballah and learn to adopt their beliefs. If each Israeli family has to figure out how to fix their houses themselves, they are not going to feel warmly towards those Lebanese who have learned to love Hizballah. And even if they got along before this war, theyre not going to get along after.

So it can't be left up to me and Tarik only. We all have to determine what - for example - is the source of the money Hizballah is giving out, and make sure we don't contribute to that. We all have to find out how to get together for specific political goals, like tracing the money trails - and find a way to control it. We all have to ... wait a minute, didn't I say I have no authority to talk about this situation as long as I am in New York?

Yes, but I also said we all have to do as much as we can to promote peace. So authority-shmothority.

One minute past midnight: i already got one question about my previous entry - did i think the lebanese shouldn't be reinbursed? Adrabba. On the contrary. If it were only not a political ploy i would be in fact thrilled. Nobody should have to suffer homelessness.

August 19,2006

Be specific. 1)I want to press all politicians into direct negotiations with enemies. This includes Lebanon, Hizballah and Israel. 2)I want the US and Israel to contine developing those anti-missile programs they abandoned for economic reasons. If the Nautilaus program had been developed there would have been no Hizballa success. 3)I want everyone to build underground. 4)I urge allgovernments and news centers to stop giving awaysecrets, and false information and begin educating people for peace and war - to know FACTS about their own civil defence, their< 'enemies'' life and plans, etc.p>How are there for starters? >Oh yes, Ezi added - the former-homeowners in Israel should be demanding compensation from Hizballah.

Dear me I screwed up. I wanted to give you some sites of real people in israel who know what's going on likeLisaor ole girl

August 22, 2006

You can see my situation with this diary is not good. i will be back in Israel by Saturday and can give you a better report. In the meantime I have formed a personal 3 point program to help worried americans help us. Here goes:
1) get as much information as possible and get it out to as many people as possible - send it by email, talk to people, write to the papers. do not dissemble - just get information.
2) buy as many Israeli products as possible. check labels. 3)get in touch with people who may have been bombed or displaced. there are more than a million of them. Find out how they are. Find out what they need.

August 23, 2006

I had not posted this more than an hour when I received a missive from Shirley -right now in parts unknown - asking me what kind of information to get. Okay, let's focus today on Iranian missiles, specifically the Shihab 3. Articles like this one are all over the place and every day and discuss iranian power to fire a rocket from their home and destroy mine. literally. It seems to me that political leaders around the world should be made more aware of this. Write your representative about the information you've picked up about this rocket and what it will be doing in the near future if he/she doesn't try to influence those who press the trigger here.

Then someone else asked me what products to buy. Hmm. Victoria's Secret, for example. They were going strong during the war in Carmiel, even though the rockets were falling all around. But I'm sure they could use a little extra help right now.

August 24, 2006

I'm surprised you're asking. The Shihab 3 is the grandson of the Buzz Bomb, the one that missed me on the day I was born in WWII. The V2 with much much more destructive power for citizens, and easily able to reach my home in Tel Aviv.

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