Tel Aviv Diary - September 12-16, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 12, 2011

Computer problems. Sorry. It looks like my little laptop was attacked and fought bravely, defeating the enemy.

I don't know whether I'm ashamed at not having re-joined the labor party in time for the primaries. What's important for me is re-joining the party in time for the elections, and making sure the elections are soon. It is a relief to know that not everyone was as lazy as I was and that the numbers of voting in the primaries are great.

We are busy as usual with lymphomania - the judges are still out for the biopsy but the doc seems to think there's time. So what's the score for today? I can't keep track.

September 13, 2011

Our national theater is on strike tonight because of non-payment of salaries. Since they owe me more than a thousand dollars, i think i should be part of the strike too. How we ever got into this mess I don't know. In the mean time the "other" theater, the Cameri, is boycotting the new theater in the Jewish Settlement in the West Bank.

Speaking of boycotts, Think Progress has a piece about Israeli censorship that sounds scary. I think I'd like to see more of the facts than less of the opposition.

September 14, 2011

Let's start with something good: The Website Jewish Fiction is really neat. I remember when they first wrote me they were beginning it, but I don't think I checked in, and there's a lot to read.

A friend passed on one of those e-mails with no sources today that intriqued me. "Lyndon Johnson was Jewish" she announced, and then proceeded to enumerate his ancestry. About a third of the way through I began to suspect faulty scholarship but couldn't figure out why anyone would want to wrestle so violently with the facts. So I looked it up. A guy named Salvator Astucia seems to be the source, and the reason is to prove a Jewish conspiracy creating the U.S. connection to Israel. Yes! Here it is. Any possibility of truth in this? I set Ezi to work on researching some of the Jewish names he comes up with. He's not finding any basis so far (Then again he hasn't found his own name as Jewish either). But anyway, why would someone be like a Jewish mole in the White House? Wouldn't his argument work if Johnson was a good Christian? Or is there something inherently evil and manipulative in having Jewish blood that doesn't exist for normal people, including our semitic cousins? Poppycock! (Is that a Jewish name too?)

September 15, 2011

Ah, Belarus, says Tanya. What was I lacking there that I came here? There my friends understand me right away - I just have to tell them I'm coming home and there they are at the airport, helping me get to my mothers, arranging parties and dinners. When I came back to Israel I couldn't even think of whom to call. And the trees, the green, the food.

Me, all I know of Belarus is that my parents were born there and most of my relatives died there. And there are few of my friends or family in the place where I grew up. Even the neighborhood is gone. But I know the feeling of a native connection, And the fact that many of the people I know and love in Israel have lived the feeling of an ideal past - somewhere else.

The fact remains that Tanya is here, that she manages to get along almost as well as I do, and we DO understand each other, even in our strangeness.

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