Tel Aviv Diary September 10-14, 2006- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - september 10, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 10, 2006

I would like to form a new party - consisting of bright people who might once have given up their political intentions but now should consider the need. Amnon Lipkin Shahak, Yom Tov Samia, Danny Rotschild and Yulie Tamir. I admit i chose them by their good looks but also because each one has integrity, responsibility and wisdom.

And basically, that's what we need.

What they have in common is kind eyes.


The town as you can see, is tiny. Beyond the cute houses is Lebanon.

And here is a piece of Katyusha shrapnel next to the wedding pictures on the bureau.

The same kind of katyusha killed the 12 soldiers waiting by the cemetery where Trumpeldor was buried.

The hole is right there too.

The same kind of katyusha fell into this house in kiryat shmone

. See how it fell in - leaving the hole, and then exploded, shooting out the rafters...

September 11, 2006

Panic Ensemble at Levontin 7 at 8:30 p.m. After we go celebrate at Mishmish - Lilienblum 17.

I don't think the day of September 11 should be built up. It's a memorial day for the people killed but not a day to build up Al Keida. The month after the tragedy I wrote this poem: Towers.

And now a word about tourism. No – two words. First, Israel has now disappeared from tour books. No charter deals, no travel agent brochures. And it is such an amazing country to tour – read Mark Twain – even he loses his cynicism when he sees the Mount of Beatitudes. But I wouldn’t go to Sinai – I figure there’s going to be a terrorist attack there during Sukkot. WHY? Because Sinai is the new Afghanistan. Don't go there.

Go to Metulla.

September 12, 2006

“Yeah, yeah, all this political speculation is fine, but what about your life?” Someone wrote me today about the diary. Okay, here’s a little incident. I was just coming out of my driveway in my spiffy car and floppy hat, and as I am turning, a man appears from nowhere and asks me to roll down my window. I see he is Arab, around 40, a worker, tall, good-looking, wearing a long yellow shirt. I roll down the window. “I’m looking for work in your building,” he says, and I don’t believe him. “Could you tell me who is in charge of the garden or cleaning the hallway?” “Not me,” I say. It’s apartment 12.” “And what about you, could I paint your apartment?” “Sorry, no.” I’m in a hurry – absolutely hate to be late, and I tell him that. “Call the guy in apartment 12.” Then he's lost interest in working, tells me he’s from up north, that he works around here and he just realized he left his wallet home and …. So while he are talking back and forth and I don’t believe him but like him, I ask him his name and he says Samir and I shake hands and say, Karen. Then I pull out 5 shekel and offer it to him. He refuses vehemently. “No, I want you to take me down to the main road.” Right, like I’m going to let any one into my car. So we go back and forth about that a while and then he lets me go and I drive off. Two blocks later I suddenly realize I’ve left my apartment behind. I call my neighbor and ask her to keep an eye out. I’m not happy. I’m so unhappy that I decide to forget everything I was supposed to do and go home. But even before I get near my home I see two police cars with flashing lights on the corner opposite my house. I drive by and see Samir sitting on the bench with hands together and head down and the police all around. I drive around back and park the car and go upstairs to see if the neighbor called the cops or it was something else. She didn’t. She says they’re just checking his papers. Papers? He said he didn’t have his wallet. But by the time I go downstairs he has been released and there’s no one left. As if it had never happened. But my heart is thumping a bit. “You’re just a human being in an inevitably inhumane situation,” my friend says. “Or maybe you’re realizing you escaped a carjacking.”

September 13, 2006

Panic Ensemble last night succeeded in filling a hall of enthusiastic strangers who cheered and whistled between songs. You missed an amazing evening. The songs (mostly mine)have been arranged into a different sequence that really works - and the texts lose very little of their significance. The music, however, is the really fun part. Changing mood from minute to minute, and changing genre from rock to brecht, the music sweeps you from emotion to emotion much in the way we live in Israel - intense and unexpected.

Rochi was complaining about Tel Aviv. "It's so dangerous - there are antennas everywhere!" "There are two things that characterize Tel Aviv," I remind her, "The proliferation of antennas and the proliferation of old ladies in the street. It's clear that the existence of one supports the other."

September 15,2006

Tomorrow's the regatta at the Daniel Rowing Center. . Even though sometimes I wonder how this tiny stream we call the Yarkon River can support the enormous dreams of the rowing club, I have to say that this place is beginning to fulfill these dreams. There are people training for the olympics there - people who have already competed and won. People who are winning medals in the disabled olympics. The inclusiveness of the dream is particularly appealing. Jew Arab Blind Crippled...

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