Tel Aviv Diary - August 6-10, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 6-10 2014

August 6, 2014

Click the poem to see the link behind the poem:

“How do you feel,
Now that you know
That thousands of terrorists
Were planning to rise up
From hell on your holiday
And slaughter you?”

“About the same.”

This poem is inspired by information shared with the Israeli Armed Forces by some of the prisoners of war captured in those tunnels. Thank you Hamas for your profound influence on my work.

The day after the ceasefire
We went to the beach
But although I tried to write
The word peace with seashells
The sea kept washing it away

August 7, 2014

It seems to be a given that we are over this nightmare. Even though the ceasefire could be ended tomorrow, we have decided we don't want to know about this. And just like I can forget today I was raging mad at someone yesterday, we're way too willing to forgive and forget.

What I won't forget is the way some people here endangered us by demanding extreme reactions. Especially those in the government.

and yet we will be part of the unncertainty that's determining csmpaign in tne middle east.

August 8, 2014

If all I read was the NYTimes, I would think we are terrible and agressive people. But I watch Al Jaziera, the Israeli Channels, and I've met Israeli soldiers. I have to admit I havent spoken to any one i Gaza directly for at least a year, but I would like to. In any case, when I read the NY Times it seems to me there is almost no logic at all in most of the coverage of the Middle East. Since it's what I know the most of, I wonder about the rest of the news. I used to rely on the times. But now I am afraid of trusting any of the reporting. Today's article on the chocolate factory in Gaza that was bombed. They say that 3+ billion dollars was promised to Gaza for rehabilitation, but somehow that money failed to materialize. Do the math. How much do 45 tunnels costing an average of 3 million dollars cost? Isn't that where the money went?

We had 72 hours cease fire. For every individual in this area it was heaven. But Israel and Egypt didn't agree on all the points that Hamas wants. Let's wait with open ports they say until we see how Gaza behaves. So we've been getting rockets all days from the moment the cease fire ended. After 2 hours of about 45 rockets, Israel started bombing again - open space, but firing. We've been getting a lot of injuries, however. Will the Times write about it? I doubt it. And the destruction to Israel's economy will of course go unexamined. But what about all the medical research that could save lives all over the world, research that has saved lives of people I know personally in the United States. Does that count?

And what was under the factory anyway? I don't believe that question should go uninvestigated.

Because so many of you ask me what I've been doing since the ceasefire, and how I'm holding up at the front, I will make two confessions. Last night we went to see the Cameri production of "Electra," in which the entire question of revenge is examined and questioned. It's an interesting time for this question to come up. And in the audience were some significant political personalities. But how can one indulge in the luxury of Sophocles when your life is in danger?

After the play, we took a little nap before i went for a CT scan at 3:30 in the morning. Because the expensive machines function 24 hours a day, this was the first appointment I could get. Got home around 4:30 or so. Soon after the siren app I have woke me up.

The siren app is frustrating. It signals every time there is an attack anywhere in the country. I turn off the sound when other people are around. It is just so upsetting.

This might be a good time to thank all of my friends who are writing and calling. As well as those who have disappeared. Moral ambiguity is difficult to deal with, I know. Especially when you have the Times as your guide.


Hamas fires from close urban population in Gaza

The solution seems to come from Gershon Baskin. How can this be made operative?

August 9, 2014

A day of relative quiet - lots of grandchildren, closet cleaning,waiting.

August 10, 2014

What is justice? The question constantly returns to all conversation. How can we enjoy our lives in this world of so much evil around us, some in which we were involved? Self defense does not clear your from guilt.

I'm not against the war so much as I'm against what brought us to the war. The war itself is terrible. And it is much worse for the people of Gaza than it is for us. But we won't stop if they won't - especially since they keep declaring that they want to destroy us all.

August 11, 2014

This 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.

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