Tel Aviv Diary February 6-10, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 6, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 6, 2009

Do not think that because I say nothing about New York I am not having the time of my life. There are wonderful people and amazing places here and I would be thrilled to spend months here.

The only problem is we are operating on different databases. My friends here have different information than I've had about Israel and Gaza.

Like the phosphorus bombs: Israeli tv repeatedly stated that investigations proved that there was one phosphorus bomb alone that was shot low enough to harm individuals. Here my friends say they've read all over that there were numerous phosphorus bombs. And that the original death count of 1300 people has never been revised.

So we have different "facts." How can we dicuss the situation without agreeing on the basic facts.

February 7, 2009

"Come on Karen," my friends here say, "Get real." I try - but i don't understand where their 'real' is coming from, and whether my reality is completely messed up. I'll try harder when i get back on monday.

But I'm baffled by the news on the web and the conclusions so easily drawn. Am I really alone?

February 8, 2009

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." said Albert Einstein. I have more to say about this, but I have to fly home now and prepare my lessons.

February 10, 2009

Election Day. A friend calls in the morning and warns me not to vote for Tsipi. Bacuase of the other dwarfs, she says. Mofaz and Baron and Shitrit, etc. It's a fairy tale, she says, and she's snow white. But despite that, and despite the fact that I'd rather vote for the environmentalists or Hadash, I'm hoping for a little happily ever after.

I guess others are too, since shopping is up 250% in the malls today. But in the polls, it looked grim. It was hailing outside and there were very few people. A religious man wrapped in plastic was handing out tickets for Bibi, and there were almost no signs for Tsipi or Barak. The news says otherwise - the voting percentage is high, and so is the anticipation.

So people are essentially voting for democracy - believing in the importance of participation. 70% is not bad. Let's see.

Meanwhile, Hamas is massacring Fatach people in Gaza. By the dozens today.