Tel Aviv Diary December 18-22, 2008- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 13, 2008

This video of Beit Leyvick is very informative of the Yiddish scene in Tel Aviv. Iím doing something myself there next Saturday.

But tonight Iím going to try again to see Waltz with Bashir.

SPOILER: Now I understand why Sharon Moldavi called me when he saw the pre-viewing of Waltz with Bashir and told me to run and see it. Early in the movie the animated protagonist asks his friend if he can draw him and his son playing in the snow. ďAs long as you donít film it,Ē he answers. At the end, the widows and orphans of Sabra and Shatillah, real and not animated for the first time in the narrative, run towards the camera and an old lady shouts in Arabic, ďFILM THIS!Ē This is a film that had to be made, a film that has to be shown, and one I really had to see.

Being in the Lev theater in Dizengoff reminded me of an earlier time we were there, in 2002, when a fire put me into a state of paralysis here. I was so wired that I was sure we were about to blow up, but it was only a fire in the mattress store. A little trauma can go a long way.

December 14, 2008

At least it rained today. It was only for a few minutes, but it reminded us what the weather is usually like around here. Tomorrow is traditionally the day our building turns on the heat, and Iím always the one pushing for it, and everyone else try to put off the date a bit, but thereís no argument this year. Itís still balmy.

December 15, 2008

The best show in town tonight: the municipality meeting in Tel Aviv. The council meets in the round on the stage of the Einav Center, and above and around it is the cheering jeering audience. It was like the colliseum, and the crowds want most of the gladiators dead. When Dov Hanin walked in, applause broke out. When Yael Dayan was nominated to lead the meeting, boos filled the room. Okay, the peanut gallery was packed with Hanin kids, but the lack of trust in government was palpable, the feeling that the leadership canít be trusted in any way.

December 16th, 2008

The other night we had some amazing fish at Pappaís. Whatís Moosar in English? Whatever it is it was with white wine, capers, mashed potatoes and it was extraordinary. i like to drink it with Perroni and follow it with fresh strawberries and yoghurt. And while Iím on the subject of food, stuffed fruit at Suzannaís in Neve Zedek, anything at Assifís.

We were driving home this afternoon from a wedding in Jerusalem - a wedding that made me feel particularly good about the world - when Ezi called to tell me about the terrible bus accident on the Eilat road. Dozens dead, dozens wounded. The worst accident ever in Israel. There was the sudden feeling of claustrophobia - how do i get out of this car - how can I get to the hospital in Eilat to help - But of course, who am I and what can I do? But I found it amazing that rescuers and doctors from all over made their way to the site of the accident and the small hospital to help. Doctors on vacation in Eilat, professionals in the field of rescue, numerous people who could actually do something to ease the situation made the effort to help.

And now weíre going to have a rain of rockets from Hamas in response to the killing in Jenin. This is not a great week. Madoffís fraud has caused the closing of all kinds of charities in Israel, charities that were very much needed. That lovely wedding I was privileged to attend was the only positive direction today.

December 17, 2008

The best show in town tonight: the municipality meeting in Tel Aviv. The council meets in the round on the stage of the Einav Center, and above and around it is the cheering jeering audience. It was like the colliseum, and the crowds want most of the gladiators dead. When Dov Hanin walked in, applause broke out. When Yael Dayan was nominated to lead the meeting, boos filled the room. Okay, the peanut gallery was packed with Hanin kids, but the lack of trust in government was palpable, the feeling that the leadership canít be trusted in any way.

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