Tel Aviv Diary - April 23, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - April 23-28, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

April 23, 2010

When we sat down on the balcony of "Nechama and a half" at 5 it was a pleasant Tel Aviv afternoon, a peaceful Friday afternoon with half the population fast asleep in preparation for another wild evening. But by 7 I was so frozen I had to warm myself under our quilt until the news.

The news by the way was so strangely barren of so many of the issues we'd been discussing all week I began to believe in censorship - but there was enough shmutz anyway. I didn't get anything about the injured demonstrator in Bilin, or any west bank demonstrations, or Ehud Olmert, or Holyland or any of the big headlines, but there was a lot of discussions about 'i told you so,' and 'we've been hinting about Danny Dankner and the other big families running Israel for years.'

So out of boredom I decided to surf Kurt Gerron, something I periodically do. But for some reason I decided to check in at Yad Vashem to see if anyone ever listed him. And it turns out that his nephew wrote in about 13 years ago, naming his father as Max, mother as Mally, wife as Olly (nickname for Olga). Now it's my turn to find the nephew.

Then we can go out and party.

April 24, 2010

Someday some analyst will look at this little diary and diagnosis an acute attention deficit disorder but as I remind you constantly it is not that I am constantly shifting attention but that i want to point out how complicated it is to live here and how complex it is to be a Jew. Not that it is easier to be Muslim. Wait, it is easier to be Muslim. It's much more clear. Jews (at least the Jews I respect)are always trying to see every side of the situation and this makes any action impossible.

We spent the latter part of the evening, having eaten moderately and wisely at Pappa's, forcing our guest Alicia to watch videos of my past performances. Poor Alicia, but I was impressed. Roy Yarkoni in all his stages is amazing, sensitive, warm, and incredibly talented, creating each time on a higher level. I, on the other hand, just schmaltz up the same stuff.

April 25, 2010

Looking for a real poet? Nathan Alterman is someone whose life I'd imitate any day. His involvement in ideology, in politics, in popular culture is something I would love to emulate. Was he right? Oh goodness. When he criticized Pope Pius, when he wept for the children victims, having them thank the lord for choosing them, wheh he saw the 67 war as a chance to make peace ( and to hang on to all territories as a trump card ) I don't think he was wrong. And I wish he had had the power to make his dreams come true.

This morning we saw the exhibit of Alternman in the Land of Israel Museum. Pity it wasn't in English as well because Alicia Ostriker would have loved the challenge of his multifaceted work. As it was, she had to be content with a quick general translation by someone who was too busy looking and reading to be clear.

Now that is a museum and I will never understand why they never make an effort to make things available to foreign visitors. There's just so much one could learn there!!!

April 26, 2010

I've got a 24 hour flu and have been comforted by Lisa's announcement of Dr. Seuss in Yiddish. It looks good enough to cure me.

April 27, 2010

Here's my natural cure: Sharav. It dries out my sinuses, clears my nose, unstops the plugs in my ears and makes the world accessible to me. I had wanted to do the television cure last night - where you lie in bed and wait for the tv to wash over you. but our commercials are getting longer, our programs thinner, and the news smellier. So we had to content ourselves with old DVDs. Someone absolutely must do something about television - or about us - The only program we watch besides the news is "The Bachelor" and only Ezi watches it while I sit there and complain. The site, like the program, has more annoying commercials than anything else, but the program itself is much worse. Many people would like to be one of the many women he is courting. Me, I'd like to take the bachelor and slap him twice across the face.

April 28, 2010

Imagine yourself the aide of a person who becomes more and more important in the years you are with him. Imagine your values slowly becoming confused as everyone around you pressures you to 'help them out.' Imagine how suddenly you realize you've been taken far afield from the ethics you were taught at home. That the are somewhere you never intended to be, and the only way out is to betray those who helped you progress in the first place.

Oh, did you think I was talking about Shula Zaken, Olmert's secretary? I was thinking about Israel.

The 10 Arab members of Parliament who went to see Kadaffi - in his private jet, at his expense - forgot to ask the ethics committee for permission. Whoops. And Tibi (my favorite) was insulted that he was even asked about why he didn't. Now, let's see. Libya is a foreign country. A member of parliament is a representative of his country. He doesn't ask for the support of his parliament to visit a foreign country. This is not a problem? Ach Ahmed.

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