Tel Aviv Diary - August 11-15, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 11-15 2014

August 11, 2014

This just in from Gershon Baskin:


I have just been informed that the Israeli vegetable growers' association has a surplus of 5000 tons of potatoes that will be destroyed on Sunday in order to keep the prices up in Israel. The cost of destroying the potatoes is .50 NIS per kilo ($0.0144). We can get those potatoes for the same price + shipping and send them to Gaza. For about $730,000 we can send 5000 tons of potatoes to Gaza. The going price for potatoes today in Gaza is between 4-6 times that price. We could probably arrange for UNRWA to receive them and distribute them to the most needy in Gaza. If people are willing to pledge money and then pay their pledges, I am willing to organize this operation - but we need immediate responses. If you are willing to pledge money for this cause, please send me a note to my email with you name and how much you are willing to pledge. Let's see if through crowd funding we can pull this off.

Click to Potatoes for Gaza. Don't let good food go to waste!

Am I left? Am I right? Both sides are getting attacked now from every direction, and, as Tom Lehrer once said, "everybody hates the Jews." With Hamas, Hizballah, and so many other organizations waiting in line to destroy us, it is hard to be left, but with the sometimes inhumane statements and practices of our politicians it's hard to be right. What I'm for is a rational self-defense and the necessity for trying to understand others and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

It is always on my mind. Today, as we took the little boys to the movies to see Planes 2, which is animated, I kept thinking of the need to teach humanity and purpose to children. This movie is about a cropduster plane turned racing champion, who loses the power to race and becomes a fire-fighter. The need to be useful to society, to be productive, was buried in the idea of self-fulfillment, but, okay. The thing that bothered me was the extent to which we are losing the ability to recognize, understand, and sympathize with human faces.

August 12, 2014

Last night began the Jewish Valentine's Day, Tu B'Av, considered a good day to marry, propose or anything concerned with coupling. I actually saw a guy give a ring to a girl in the crowded restaurant! Then the waitress took their picture. Anyway, here's the general impression:

Tu B’Av

The Specials Board at Pappa’s
On this ancient night of coupling
Mid cease-fire
Reads: “Make Love
Not War”
And we laugh
At the vintage saying.
How can we return
To those days as of old.

Because we're pretty well married and have celebrated many tu b'shvatim in the past, we spent the evening gathering information about the recent war. Children from Gaza who have remained in Ichilov hospital because there was no way to get home during the rockets and bombing were in need of visitors and volunteers agreed.

August 13, 2014

I'm about to take a bath - a real bath - maybe the last one before the ceasefire ends. I went wild last night on the internet and ordered food for a month at least in case. But I can't believe anyone is ready to fight right now. The thousands of troops on the border ready to invade Gaza are just there in case. i hope. Me and my rubber ducky.

Nope. They started 2 and a quarter hours early. I have to be dressed. I should have known everyone would be trigger happy.

August 14, 2014

Big demonstration in Rabin Square tonight to support the people in the south. If I could go to demonstrations I'd be there. If I have been going out of my mind with a rocket here and there, and my friends and colleagues in our relatively safe zone have not been able to do a bit of work, can you imagine the way the people feel with dozens of daily rockets for years and seconds to run for cover? If you can make it to the square, be there. I don't think the people from the south will be able to be there - after all they finally got a few days free from rockets. If I were them I'd try to read a book.

I just heard aboutkids 4 peace, an interfaith organization that operates here and in the US. It has the kind of attitude that I think might give us a chance. Certainly not our government.

August 15, 2014

So the truth is beginning to come out. Hamas Lies about civilian deaths

And on a lighter note:Heeb Magazine summarizes the greater demand for Soldier Sperm in Israel. Yep. We're proud of our soldiers.

At the beach this evening, the crowds were so great we could barely find a place to sit. And at sunset yet!

It is a Friday afternoon of ceasefire.
The beach is filled with people,
Arabs and Jews, fathers and children,
Bobbing with the waves
And drawing back as they break.

And, as the sun
Dips into the sea,
We all pack up and leave.

but the basis of my day was the stone of our warrior for peace, Michael Sternberg. "blessed are the peacemakers," it said in englsih, after "ish shalom ve rodef shalom:" To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

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