Tel Aviv Diary - December 23-27, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 23-7, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 23, 2009

At last Israel television has a program about the accusations of Goldstone Report. Many of the responses I know to be true because – as you know – I was watching the war live all the time. I saw Gazan men using children as human shields, rockets coming out of schools, people responding to the flyers warning of the bombing of their houses by gathering on the roof of the house and shouting to the bombers – who of course didn’t bomb. I saw phosphorus bombs – but the ones I saw were high up – for illumination, not for injuring population. There were injuries, but the bombs were never directed at people. Why would we want to bomb the flour factory when we stopped the war every day so people could stock up and we ship food there all the time? An American friend of mine said the other day that we just wanted to pummel the Gazans, to punish the people for the rockets we could have stopped. But it doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t we have stopped the rockets if all that was needed was some sensors in the tunnels? It just doesn’t make any sense. The only thing I really want to know is why we haven’t had an internal independent inquiry.

i mean the GOLDSTONE CRITICISM doesn't make sense

December 24, 2009

When did it occur to me that tonight is Christmas? So much going on around here I only had time to breathe at 10 and only then realized it's time to hang up my stocking. Santa'll never have time to fill it. Well, Season's Greetings and all that any way.

We were busy with an evening of Yiddish poetry - from Sutzkever to me. I only wish Sutzkever could be there, but he's not in great shape now so only his daughter made it. But there was Rivka Bassman and Moshe Lempster and many more from here and abroad. The festival will go on for 2 more days in the municipal library. Longer than Christmas.

December 25, 2009

I am watching the evening news. Most of the time we've got something going on Friday night and I don't get to see any of the three channels that give different variations of the same stories. But tonight I am recovering from having run myself into the ground yesterday and can't doing anything but switch channels. Say we're talking about how Netanyahu is trying to entice Kadima members away from Livni. One channel talks about Netanyahu's lack of ethics, another at Livni's vulnerability as a woman, another at the movement toward the right of the government. All are correct. But I would ask about the ethics of Mofaz as well. In fact I would ask about the ethics of the democratic system in the parliament: Livni is the only vibrant ideologist left to oppose Netanyahu, and perhaps she isn't a powerful enough leader (after all her maneuver to remain in the opposition hasn't given her additional strength) but her oppositional position was the one people voted for. She won the majority of the votes.

But enough of this kvetching. It is my fault for not getting involved in a major way in politics. In Israel it is very possible for an individual - or a group of individuals - to make a difference, and I have consistently backed down when I saw it was too much trouble.

December 26, 2009

Cholent - takes up the whole day. It doesn't matter what you did before or what happens afterward. The day is filled with Cholent. Terrorist attacks, murders, etc. all fade into the background when you've had cholent.

An American friend tells me that she can't stand the tension in Israel, it shortens her life. But we live on an average of 2 years longer than Americans. Is it the tension? Health care? Cholent?

December 27, 2009

What a messy mind I have. Despite the unhappiness I have about the present government in Israel, despite my constant complaints, despite the news, I get more patriotic every day. I've been reading Hebrew women's poetry of the twenties and thirties and thinking that if only my aunts had been able to get here instead of Auschwitz they would have been privileged to fall in love with this land. That's an amazingly sentimental thought for me, but there it is.

Am I right? Am I left? yes.

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