Tel Aviv Diary - September 10-14, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut


September 10-14, 2014

September 10, 2014

Tomorrow will be my final day as chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. I have given up trying to bring together the remnants of an organization that was once incredibly vital and could well be again. This means I have hope for the future in general.

All right, I will have my say about Isis. The publicity is terrifying. Why should we give them so much of the attention they need to grow? We've given them weapons, space, education. Why can't we be quiet about organizing against them.

September 11, 2014

The date of 9-11 seems forever burned into our minds.

Ezi was reading the Koran tonight - in response to some recent internet Muslim bashing. The arguments against Islam have been very virulent lately, because of the violence of Isis. And indeed he found terrible references immediately. But he also found that people tend to quote out of context, and that sometimes sentences are garbled and can be interpreted in various ways. One thing is clear Isis is not following the Koran by beheading prisoners of war. The Koran talks about ransoming prisoners, not murdering.

And it is forbidden to translate the Koran. So how do all these foreigners know what they are allowed to do?

We'll be seeing the man who translated the Koran to Hebrew next week. I'll be compiling a list of questions for him. Any one have some questions?

Here's a fact about September 11 I didn't know: The only resistance to the hijackers was initiated by an Israeli: Danny Lewin

September 12, 2014

last night we I divested myself from the IAWE for the first time in 36 years. Well, I'm still the treasurer but I've been keeping the books for years unofficially for a long time. I'm kind of relieved. But I really want the writers to get together, help each other out, care and promote each other.

September 13, 2014

Shabbat. We really appreciate Saturday. It's only a one day weekend so we have to squeeze in all the leisure we can. And right now we're trying to squeeze all our recyclables into the new bins.Recycling has been slow in and gradual in coming around here. It began with plastic bottles and then there was a newspaper bin and then a carton bin and now another bin for the rest of the milk cartons and cereal boxes and stuff. We still don't do glass. But it's lots of work for shabbat especially after those Friday night dinners.

And tonight is Lady Gaga. If only I possessed all those disks in my back that have gone missing I would be in the front row. Why? Because she's got guts.

Apropos of guts, the guy I would follow anywhere right now is Yuval Rabin. Slow of speech like his father, and deep of thought, this guy is almost anonymous on the web, but is organizing a memorial for his father on November 1, and if anyone out there can find him for me, I want to volunteer to help. A few days ago he said in an interview reported in the Jerusalem Post that his father is not to blame for the victims of terrorism, but Baruch Goldstein. Yuval Rabin reminds me of the way I always pictured Moses - he's the one with the vision and the strength but he needs someone to speak for him. He's been quiet all these years and no one came forth, so he is forced to learn to speak. That's what I like - it's so hard for him, but he feels he has to step up.

September 14, 2014

getting the internet fixed. Took all evening.

and now it is almost midnight.

I've been writing songs for panic ensemble and getting stuck - my inspiration is - as it often is - women who are described in rough outline in the Bible and get interpreted in very machoistic ways in all the religions. Like Lot's wife - about whom so many poems are written. The song I wrote for Panic was called Sodom. It's in our second album, A Different Story:

The idea is that she doesn't want to leave because she's a part of all the free love going on there.

Anyway I've written about Rebecca before, and how I think she was basically deceived by Abraham who sent out a servant to find a generous soul because he knew his son was no bargain. She figured anything was better than staying home but was terribly shocked to discover this aging shepherd and covered her face not out of modesty but terror. Then she fell off the camel. And, as chapter 24 says, he loved her all his life. How do you think she felt? This time I'm taking it seriously.

This is just to say - I love the Bible.

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