Tel Aviv Diary - December 15-19, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 15, 2010

Ever take a trip through Israel's bureaucracy? It used to be a nightmare for everyone just to get an identity card. Now it's just a nightmare for a small percentage of the population. Not the citizens - jewish and arab - they're fine. But everyone else, I think. After my identity card was rejected (it's at least 30 years old and torn in the corners) at an official office, I had to run to get another one. Tbe only problem was parking. The lot convenient to the government offices was full, and we had to walk for ten minutes. But once we got in, we were finished within an hour, and could go back to get a smart card for the writers' association in order to apply for government funding. This is another aspect of the bureaucracy, but maybe a step in supervising government aid.

December 16, 2010

And here's what you've all been waiting for: (a href="">the top ten antisemitic remarks of the year! Although the year's not over yet...

December 17, 2010

You know how you remember to say the right thing right AFTER the interview? Well yesterday there was an interview with Doug Holder posted on the Boston Small Press and Poetry Review site and it was some Arab students who made me reconsider one of my answers. Why do you feel at home here? they asked. And I realized that they contribute to this feeling in no small way. Why? I cannot seem to learn the language but I'm happier hearing it than hearing French or German which I do understand. I wouldn't be able conceive of this country without all its residents. Strange, isn't it.

December 18, 2010


Just ignore it, I said to myself.

There is no warmth here.

At least not so as I can see.

Temples are destroyed here.

Prophets disappear to the sky.

Messiahs are shamed in the streets.

It's an impressive place, but not

for me

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