Tel Aviv Diary - December 3-7, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 3-7, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 3, 2013

When I lived through Watergate, and when I saw the film of Frost/Nixon, I could only think of how much i disliked Nixon and how I left the U.S. because of him. In fact, when it was announced that my graduation ceremony, in 1966, Richard Nixon would be speaking, we raised such a ruckus that the president of the university announced that whoever didn't attend the ceremony would not receive a diploma. So we planned to stand up and demonstrate - and then another warning of punishment came back us. We had to be there, be quiet, and stay seated. So, chicken that we were, we didn't even act on our alternative plan to stand up, turn our chairs around, and sit down again with our backs to the speaker.

But as I watched the Frost/Nixon play in Cameri theater last night, the more dominant feeling was of the responsibility of the press in relation to politics. The play was followed by a discussion about this subject with people from the press, the play, and academia. In our time in Israel we are so worn out with political scandals we don't even react when news is released about the corruption of the politicians. Nixon's little contretemps is small potatoes to us. We don't even react when our leaders rob us personally.

December 4, 2013

I may be away for a few days. I may not.

December 5, 2013

Tell you about what i'm doing later, but right now - put December 28 on your calendar - Una Selva is performing "The Love of Clothes and Nakedness" at Tmuna - Soncino Street - Tel Aviv. exact hour of performance and price of tickets to be announced shortly.

December 6, 2013

The sadness of the passing of Nelson Mandela is overwhelming. Even though he has been around so many years, it just means we've gotten used to having him around.

If there is any chance that Kerry is right when he quoted Mandela today, and said: "The naysayers are wrong to say peace in this region is impossible. It always seems impossible until it is done." Any chance at all. We absolutely must go for it. We need it for our souls. We also need it for our security.

December 7, 2013

We just got back from Eilat for for 4 days. While I was gone i cancelled the paper so i don't even have a copy of the article i didn't know was coming out this Friday in Haaretz in Hebrew, and it is only available to subscribers so i can't share the entire online version. Here's a peek at the piece I wrote about Allen Ginsberg's grave. It isn't even all of it because the last paragraph was cut. But it's about how he's buried in the B'nai Israel cemetery in Elizabeth, New Jersey and how committed he was to that place. I wrote it in Hebrew but Ezi raged and raved about how bad my Hebrew was that he couldn't even fix it up. (I think it hurts him that I don't sound as intelligent in my Hebrew writing as I do in my English). So I asked my friend Mira Zakai to look at it and with a very few twitches she made it palatable. The only problem is that the editor took off my title and the last paragraph. Maybe because he knew it would only be understandable to an American audience but it kills me anyway.

Now I'll have to write it in English.

And what of Eilat? It seems like a dream world - or maybe a nightmare. It is gorgeous, luxurious (We stayed at the Royal Beach) and there is no sign of a problem anywhere. Most of the people (including staff) spoke no Hebrew or English - Most of the signs are in Russian with Hebrew underneath, and I think i would have enjoyed the shopping more if I too were an Oligarth.

We're waiting with bated breath for Obama's address to us. Our government has been unable to even accept the possibility that the impossible can be created with fear and deprecation. At least we have Herzog.

Oh the difference between our blustering prime minister and the quiet, considered, thoughtful US president. Oh my heart.

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