Tel Aviv Diary - March 21-5, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 21, 2015

This is the first day I've been able to look at the news. even the newspaper was too much for me. But today the optimism factor kicked in. Maybe Bougie was too weak at the end, maybe we can still change things. But no. That speech he gave about how the Likkudnikim have to run to vote, to enlist at the emergency of the Arabs being bussed to the polls, will never leave me. Tonight, when I watched my favorite political talk show hostess, Lucy Arish, weeping is she not a citizen, I could not look at myself in the mirror.

Later today I watched her in a rehearsal for Independence day, where she was chosen as one of those lighting the torch, and I was proud of her amazing ability to incorporate those insults and remain a proud citizen.

March 23, 2015

The state of Tel Aviv. That's what people have been saying for years and it gets to be more and more true. And it sinks in deeper and deeper. We're not part of the rest of the country. Here's a typical scene in the city today: I am sitting in a cafe in north tel aviv with my two year old daughter. She's not in nursery school because she's on antibiotics but her mother is at work upstairs for an hour. I order coffee. The kid tells the waiter she wants a croissant. Cheese. The waiter tells us he's out of cheese but has almonds, chocolate, etc. She graciously chooses chocolate. And, while the waiter leaves, asks me about what's at my house. "Does your big computer work?" she goes on about all the things we can do at home, and then, after "Have you finished your coffee?" "Can we do some window shopping now?" As I get up, the man who seemed to be writing the whole time on the table behind us, remarks, "where did she get that vocabulary?" "I don't know." "She should be at the university." And while I am answering him, "The university should come to her," a woman with a walker comes up to her and kisses her on the forehead. She returns to her caregiver, and the child says, "okay, Giddyup, let's walk." Of course she is in a stroller and I am pushing it. We play the game of 'what do they sell in this store,' where she rushes past anything not directly connected with fashion or toys. That's when I suddenly understand that almost everything in this city is about fashion.

March 24, 205

Bibi's little campaign speech just won't leave our conscienceness. Even though we think of ourselves as being in another country than him, we can't stop hanging our heads. Every one I meet eventually gets around to the sidelong question about election results - always with the understanding that it is simply shameful.

March 25, 2015

We knew what would begin to happen after the elections in the world, but in our individual lives I've redoubled efforts to understand and find a way to my Arab friends. Today we renewed our Arabic classes but spent most of our time learning about the significance of holidays. I'm never good at explaining our customs and religion to others, but I'm a great listener. Sabrine told a story about Mohammed hiding from the infidels in a cave, and the spider web that covered the entrance of the cave caused the enemy to skip that cave, saving his life. That's a story I heard about King David when he was hiding from Saul. i don't think the story is in the Qoran and it is a commentary on the Psalms. who's got the source for me?

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