Tel Aviv Diary - October 1, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 1, 2010


nevertheless the show must go on, so here's a site. The Diaspora Museum is next to my office, and the some of the videos of Latma have disturbed me in the insensitivity of their satire and their willingness to stretch truth, and I wonder about the damage to the neutral image of the Diaspora Museum.

October 2,2010

Have I mentioned that Ezi and I are doing an exhibit on the 12th of the Galapagos. It's poetry and pictures of exotic places but I thought that the poetic perspective of a tortured Jewish apicorous alongside all kinds of apparently standard nature pictures but with a twist. Almost a comment on life here. Definitely not Darwin, or Melville.

It's in the university library from the 12-28 but the reading and powerpoint are on 17th when I recover from my new implants. (No, you are not experiencing deja vu. I had a bunch of them last year. and a few years ago, and since they're accompanied by sinus lifts it's more complicated.)

Oh, did I mention that the library is next door from the Diaspora museum? Won't that be a contrast - our exhibit is about diversity coexisting and theirs is about dissing an enemy.

As the elections in the U.S.A. near, and I hear more and more complaints about Obama, I want to share a list sent to me by Alicia:

At the Israeli Ambassador’s residence on Monday, the annual Rosh Ha Shanah (Jewish New Year for our non-Jewish friends on this email) reception guest list included

national and international Jewish organization leaders; elegantly dressed Foreign Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, a host of Rabbis from across the religious spectrum ; famous authors, renown professors and magnificently decorated military personnel from several countries including at least one U.S. 3-star General (Dayton). We were invited because my husband Mark is the National Deputy Finance Chairman of the Democratic party, I’m the owner of an Israel tour company and have been heavily involved in tourism to Israel for 15 years and probably- and most importantly- because our daughter was Ambassador Oren’s student at Yale.

Ambassador Oren and his wonderful wife Sally warmly received each guest -then stood before the assembled crowd in what was the best stump speech for President Obama that I have heard from any world leader (and yes, Ambassador Oren speaks FOR Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel!). Without a note, Ambassador Oren outlined the brilliant accomplishments and strong support of Israel demonstrated by the Obama Administration in LESS THAN 2 YEARS! Oren invoked our President’s name, time and time again: (please memorize these bullet points and tell everyone you know!)

• President Obama has led the global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

• President Obama’s leadership (and coaxing) has produced an international coalition that INCLUDES China and Russia who have implemented unprecedented sanctions against Iran, which, according to conversations at the Monday reception, appear to have caught Iran off-guard

• President Obama and his team are spending more time on this issue than almost any other issue facing our country today

• President Obama and our Congress have provided Israel with every cent (and then some) of foreign assistance requested by Israel

• President Obama has restored Israel’s QME (qualitative military edge) which had been neglected for the last 8 years

• President Obama is the FIRST American leader to say – in an Arab country (Egypt) that the Arab world must recognize Israel as a JEWISH state and in a support of Israel’s legitimacy to affirm the –quote- “unshakeable “ bond between the USA & Israel

• President Obama & team played a critical role in leading a UNANIMOUS vote to include Israel in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development). The vote was 31-0 admitting Israel to this prestigious organization

• President Obama has dispatched leaders of the Joint Chiefs to Israel not once, but four times already in his less-than-2-years in office ( before that the Joint chiefs had not been in Israel for YEARS ( not once during the ‘last’ administration)

• The Obama administration has integrated US missile technology into Israel’s expanding missile shield. NO OTHER AMERICAN PRESIDENT HAS DONE THIS.

• The Obama administration continues to fund development of ARROW-3, Israel’s advanced long-rage, high-altitude system for countering Iranian ballistic missiles

• President Obama asked Congress for $205 million dollars for Israel’s IRON DOME rocket defense system (which will reduce incoming rocket threats from Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south…) – this request is IN ADDITION TO the $3 BILLION budgetary request for Israel’s security assistance!

• And my personal under-the-radar item; the Obama team’s clever input to re-wording the Gaza blockade language which not only garnered international support for Israel (and a promise not to condemn Israel if Gd forbid there is another flotilla incident) BUT effectively thwarted several pending flotillas in Mediterranean and Persian Gulf ports… that simply became the boats-to-nowhere!

• And last, but surely not least, (and listed in this basic order by Ambass. Oren) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiators are sitting as we speak at a table together – talking. Who knows what the result will be….but talking is the only way to get anywhere. And it is a giant step in a positive direction.

October 3, 2010

Shopping. Not something I like to do, but sometimes it really disturbs me that I have so little knowledge of what is being sold even in my neighborhood. And today was my opportunity to see millions of earrings I can't afford, bracelets the price of my mortgage, and necklaces that cost as much as all my jewelry put together. Not in one shop, but in shop after shop - all in the same mall. And who's buying? EVERYONE.

October 4, 2010

Sometimes as I am writing, the whole paragraph disappears. That's one of the risks when you write on line. But anyway I can't seem to write anything important. It's not a good time to say what I really think just because everything that goes on is so complicated. Like that whole thing about Al Keida blowing up Europe. London, Paris, Berlin. So many different things that could be written about it. So many different ways to think about this. Just like almost every single issue that comes up here daily.

So I think I'll say something about Moses -- the restaurant chain I mean. It's clean, fast, okay - a kind of upscale McDonalds with beer. That's it.

October 5, 2010

This is what is taking up all my time

The Magic of Galapagos

Photos: Ezra Gut

Poems: Karen Alkalay-Gut

Hebrew: Dina Milano

Presentation: October 17, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

Exhibit: from October 12-28

The Galapagos Islands, located 972 km west of continental Ecuador, is part of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Known for its wildlife, it was an inspiration for Charles Darwin, and is the source of many musings for many writers such as Herman Melville. This exhibit does not attempt to encompass the vast variety of the islands and the manifold vegetations. Rather it focuses on its specific character and the dialogues offered by the self-assurance of the living creatures.

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