Tel Aviv Diary - August 13-17, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - August 13-17, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 13, 2013

We forgive our friends everything. We forgive our enemies nothing. The idea is to turn our enemies into friends. This is exactly what isn't happening right now. I think I have to get into politics.

Tomorrow morning Ezi goes for a shot of ritoxomab and then i go take care of Tamar while Omer and mommy go to the theater. I am hoping I'll be able to go to shopping in Dizengoff with her. She's only 8 months old and won't be able to argue about my taste in clothes.

August 14, 2013

Tel Aviv was too hot today. The ritoxomab went smoothly as usual. Free, fast, accurate and efficient. Public health is incredible. But after that there was the city to face. As we sat opposite Habima on Rothschild Boulevard munching Tony Vespa's pizza, I thought that if it was only 10% cooler it would be perfect. Two years ago the demonstrations here were in full swing, but now it was silent, peaceful and silent. As I drove home the radio was in hysterics describing the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, the violence, the weapons, the deaths, the terrible deaths. I was reminded how delicate the quiet is in this world.

August 15, 2013

For once I'm siding with the military in Egypt. If they don't manage to quell the organized rioting what will happen to Egypt? The Copt Churches are burning, the streets are burning, the curfew is being disrupted all the time. Who could possibly think this is about democracy?

Because the university libraries are closing down for two weeks I managed to take out 2 books that mention my aunt. These are books that don't go out because they are falling apart and i just might take more time out of my life by scanning them and putting them on line. They are important books. Moshe Kaganovich's chronicles of the Jewish Partisans in Belarussia is information of day to day activities of movements of the war.

August 16, 2013

"Why do you CARE how she died?" my son says to me. MY office is in a mess, and so is my back. I need a pair of strong hands to help me move things around so I can get back to work. I have papers to write and papers to correct. My fascination with Kurt Gerron is always being stirred up by a new admirer of his, and politics continues to invade even the most introspective of lives. And I have no more proof of how my other aunts and uncles were killed. Yet the

August 17, 2013

Ali Salem, one of my favorite people in the world, was noted today on Israeli television as having written Barak Obama that he is absolutely wrong in his analysis of the situation in Egypt. I salute this amazing Egyptian writer. His work to overcome narrow thinking in politics became known to me years after I first met him. I was giving a talk at the University of Michigan Women's Center when suddenly from the back of the room a large bald man stood up and in heavily accented English intoned "I know you." The polite audience looked to the back, looked to the front to my startled expression and waited through my silence. "ALI!" I shouted, and ran back to embrace him. He and I knew that this moment was a lesson to all the people who thought they were wise in the ways of middle east politics. After that we went together to a Palestinian restaurant where he introduced the owner to me. He said something like "You should get to know each other - you're neighbors - (from Jerusalem)." The owner wasn't happy with this, perhaps because he knew that Ali, as an Egyptian, was being supercilious with him.

Anyway, one day he took his jeep and drove from Cairo to Israel, missed the exit to Tel Aviv and wound up in some religious hotel on Friday evening. On Saturday morning Sasson Sommekh got me to drive up to see him and take him to eat in Haifa.

The drive must have been very dusty in the Sinai because he came out of it with a fistula on his neck. Ezi and I took him to a private clinic, where he was asked to fill out a form. No sooner had the receptionist seen his name and country when she disappeared out back, and returned immediately with the doctor. "You have noted your name and address, but what is your profession?" "I WAS A WRITER," he said, "BUT NOW I AM A PATIENT." Like I said, when Ali Salem speaks, every word is a pearl.

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