Tel Aviv Diary - August 4-8, 2012 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 4, 2012

I tell everyone I'm from Israel - immediately. At first I expected a little negativity, and it would be totally understandable. I too am negative about so much that is going on. It's in many aspects of our lives - political, social, personal.

I'm not the only one who is negative. So are thousands of people in Israel who are protesting against the government tonight. So are - for instance - over 20,000 people annually who get married abroad to avoid the rabbinate. So are twice as many people who don't get married at all in Israel but live together in various ways.

Anyway I don't get negativity when i say I'm from Israel. Not yet. I get a lot of warmth and understanding

August 5, 2012

Of course I'm leading a sheltered life at the moment - friends and relatives and big-eyed mid-west tourists. Nevertheless, people are as friendly as they can get.

Of course, it used to be when I walked into those discount stores like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx I'd see all kinds of clothes I'd recognize and when I looked at the label they'd say proudly, "Made in Israel" and I don't see that any more. And I don't hear Hebrew on the streets - not in Marshalls and not in Copley Plaza and not in Harvard Square. In Fact, as I sat in Harvard Book Store, thinking about how much I could scopp up and take home, I discovered I was sitting in the Mid-East section, and most of the books were about Israel and most of them were negative. Centrally displayed was "The Case for Sanctions Against Israel" which sounds like a fair book but is pretty distorted. I kept sitting on that bench for a while, then went back to my books, that suddenly struck me as just as distorted. The books were about literary theory and anthropological

August 8,2012

The "Resort" in Maine promised free wifi, but it is only open in the breakfast room in the morning. it took me a while to get the rules, but now we're leaving. Thankfully. There is a great deal to say of Maine, but generousity to their 'summer guests' is not one of them.

August 15, 2012

Will fill in soon. No internet.