Tel Aviv Diary May 2-6, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 2, 2009

Since we're in quarantine at home, and sick of tv, I don't have too much to report. Except I've been reading Abraham Lincoln while the news is blaring, and discovered that "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you canít fool all of the people all the time" doesn't exist anywhere in his writings. Apparently P.T. Barnun is the one who said it. I should have guessed that. No politician would say something like that.

May 3, 2008

As I dug out my old flags and starting getting ready to put them on my balcony this week, I couldn't help thinking about what an emotion-filled week this is: Holocaust Day, then Memorial Day, then Independence Day. It's too much. I know this is supposed to be part of the narrative - because of the holocaust, we've were given a country to defend, and there are many losses, but also much joy. But, creepers!, it's just too much to take at one time. No wonder so many friends were watching the game on German TV on the eve of Holocaust Day. Even Hillel Schenker.

So maybe if I were the police I'd be careful to investigate the Prime Minister BEFORE I announced it during these painful days.

And while we're on the subject of pain, the national anthem is really getting to me. I got the translation off this website

Hatikva - English Lyrics

As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And forward to the East
To Zion, an eye looks
Our hope will not be lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

I'd probably change a few words, but the idea is that as long as we still yearn, we'll hope to be a free nation in the land of Zion. Now I think it's time for a new additional anthem. We don't have to dwell on what we wanted, but on what we believe in now. And that belief includes other nations as well, the Druze, the Arabs who believe in the country, etc. We stand for so much more, for democracy (and we are the only democratic country in this part of the world), for progress, for brotherhood. If it were my personal anthem I would also include socialism, but it would have to be a non political statement.

May 4. 2008

Another Ezi winner. Not the dinner, but the picture.

I absolutely dread Memorial Day - it will begin Tuesday evening and the television programs are already starting. I don't want my patriotism to be spurred on by fallen soldiers. It is not that i don't grieve for every single one of them. It is that my grief for them has nothing to do with my patriotism.

May 5, 2008

"It's a little quiet tonight," I told my visitors as I showed them the streets of Tel Aviv. It is actually more than a Little Quiet. The city seems empty. "Is this holy week or something?" my friend asked. Almost. From Holocaust Day to Memorial Day one week later is not a happy time around here and the sadness is intensified by the mess our leaders are in.

In answer to your questions, I have not been appearing, but Panic is: May 11 2008 10:00P Reshst Gimel, May 12 2008 10:00P Barby Tel Aviv, May 30 2008 2:00P Third Ear record store Jerusalem, Jun 24 2008 8:00P Ticho house Jerusalem, Jun 26 2008 8:30P Levontin 7 Tel Aviv, Jul 10 2008 8:00P Third Ear Tel Aviv, Jul 17 2008 10:00P Tmuna Tel Aviv, Aug 3 2008 12:00A Abraxas Tel Aviv, May 6, 2008

Ezi came back from an intrathecal shot looking radiant. I didn't go to the hospital with him, but the nurses in hemotology certainly don't need me to take care of him. There is a team of four nurses who seem to operate in total synchronization - you don't see any discussions among them, no instructions, and yet they treat about 20 patients simultaneously, intensively, with living-saving treatments, and without fuss.

Apperently yesterday there was a little glitch. A patient fainted. "Did you see that?" the nurse asked Ezi, "he did a plie' on me."

Gotta do an interview on Tal Gordon today. A few years ago I think it was the first tv program i ever did on a music show and i was supposed to lip-sync a song i couldn't even remember by heart. I was scared to death. If only they had asked me to quote Yeats instead. Anyway its being filmed in a club on Levontin Street and now the ony thing that worries me is parking. I hate parking in Tel Aviv.

(P.S.: It went okay.).

Robert Whitehill - whose poetry book is a best seller around here, sent me this link: NY Post to the information on the Prime Minister which is not allowed to be published yet in Israel. I don't know anything more from it than the name of the American businessman involved, but I've had my theories all along.

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