Tel Aviv Diary February 11-15, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 11, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 11, 2009

You didn't expect me to write anything, did you? With this depression? Oy. Yes, Tsipi won, but she'll never manage to put together a government. Bibi will, simply because he's a bigger shark. The only thing that comforts me is that it is the President that okays the government, and maybe Peres has something up his sleeve. Whatever happened to the left? I voted Tsipi only because she has some power. I might have voted Hadash but it didn't look like they can accomplish anything. Dov Hanin seemed, as Oren said, to be the token Jew.

This is the time to begin a new movement, a new left - not the complaining kvetching kind, but a left with a vision. Start with direct talks with Syria, enlisting the aid of neighboring Arab countries to help work with or against Hamas. There are a number of economic programs already at work - they have to be emphasized and enlarged. There are also numerous social programs in place and active - they too have to be centralized and emphasized. The educational system can easily be enlisted to work towards progressive goals. I am sure that a little ideology and good will goes a long way to motivating children.

Enough. That should be enough to get me through the night.

February 12, 2008

The more I think of it the more i like the idea of putting together a little platform to see whether there are others who can help plan an alternative. I've beeen getting lots of negative criticism, especially from abroad, but no ideas about repair. I mean, this is the situation - what can you suggest other than punishing one person or the other? What practical solutions do you have? We really shouldn't be all that surprised that the right has taken this election - they have 'answers'

Just as I was reading the site that Robert Whitehill sent me about dishonest reporting on Israel, and getting more and more depressed, Richard sent me an email that was equal but gave the opposite effect, about a similar subject:

Is proof reading a dying art?

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

This one I caught in the SGV Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!!! They put in a correction the next day.


Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

No, really? Ya think?


Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Now that's taking things a bit far!


a Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

What a guy!


Miners Refuse to Work after Death

No-good-for-nothing' lazy

............. ------------------------------------------------

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

See if that works any better than a fair trial!


War Dims Hope for Peace

I can see where it might have that effect!


If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Ya think?!


Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Who would have thought!


Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

They may be on to something!


Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

You mean there's something stronger than duct tape? Oklahoma's new construction program!


Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

He probably IS the battery charge!


New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Weren't they fat enough?!


Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

That's what he gets for eating those beans!


Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Do they taste like chicken?


Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Chainsaw Massacre all over again!


Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Boy, are they tall!


And the winner is....

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Did I read that right?


February 13, 2009

Here's a recompense for this being Friday the 13th: a site that maps and shows newspapers world round. Of course there is no good news anywhere to be found. Even "The Daily Show" doesn't seem like a joke. On the other hand, Israel is asserting again that 2/3 of the people killed in Gaza were terrorists, but who's going to believe us?

In general I don't have the facts about anything. Sometimes I think I do and then they slip out of my hands. For example, a wonderful friend of mine in the U.S. asked me whether it would help the situation if the U.S. should cut aid to Israel. I said that assuming she meant military aid only, how much does Israel get? How much does it need to continue existing? Neither of us knew the difference between 'existing' and 'aggression' much less how much Israel gets and how much it needs.

I actually know the figures but they don't mean anything. How much is Egypt getting? How much is Jordan getting? Does what they get balance what Israel gets? Do you figure their budget separately or together? The U.S. gives very little to Gaza because of Hamas, but there are other countries who make up the loss. And those other countries are not friends of the U.S. So perhaps some of the defense budget given to Israel could also be considered part of the U.S. budget? And all those conditions about spending in U.S. dollars that probably screw up the Israeli economy - how do you figure all this in? (Until we start learning about relative statistics we'll never figure these things out and we'll keep losing in the stock market)

So let's begin with the value of a human life and with the idea of defense. When you spend your money on shelters and keeping citizens out of harm, that is of course defense. If, however, part of your defense system is putting children in front of you while you are being shot at, does that count as defense? My sentences are convoluted because the 'situation' is.

February 14, 2009

Did you know the 'war' with Gaza is still going on? Did you know there are still rockets falling on Israel - long range ones too? First there is a whistle, then a boom. Think about living with that.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day.

February 15, 2009

Jill wrote me today to tell me I've become incredibly defensive, and then I got an email from a completely different direction that reinforced that image. An Israeli arrives at London's Heathrow airport. As he fills out the entry form, the immigration officer asks him: "Occupation?" The israeli promptly replies: "No, No, No, just visiting."

To be serious for a minute, the stories of antisemitism in England are coming in fast and thick, some of them personal from friends and some of them from journals. Two examples Nick Cohen's account of his reaction to hatred and "The Jihad against Britain's Jews" by Melanie Phillips in last week's Spectator.

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