Tel Aviv Diary January 12-16, 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 12-16, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 12, 2009

No water, no gas, no electricity, no telephones.

No food, no home, no government.

Only bombs

Here we have a government that is making sure citizens under fire have almost everything they need. There is no way to measure the difference.

Tayush is collecting blankets for children of Gaza - Here's the letter: About 25,000 people are staying in UNRWA schools in Gaza, among them about 9000 children and they need blankets. If you have blankets to donate - cloths and toys as well - but mainly blankets - please send them to me untill 14.1.2009 so that we can send the, to Gaza. We have coordinated a truck that will enter on Thursday. Contact me at: 054 - 455 60 52 or mail to: Please distribute the message Thanks, Hagit Ofran

When there was such an outcry over the 'massacre' at Jenin, I called my friend, who was a doctor there. When I couldn't get hold of him, I got very nervous. The next day he called and said he had been busy transporting a woman who was giving birth from Jenin to a hospital. I asked him about the massacre. "Shu (what) massacre??" he said. "I don't see any thing like that." Later it turned out that he was telling the truth = that the story had been fabricated, exaggerated, photoshopped, etc. No one apologized. I hope this is true for Gaza as well.

Tonight i'm going to make it to the poetry reading. Yesterday I collapsed on the way, but it thrills me that there is so much going on.

The whole question of whether the muses are silent when the cannons roar is one of the major subjects of all the literary events i've been to lately. It usually ends with the idea that of course one writes while war goes on. But I think it's a matter of degree. I don't think you can write when you are in imminent danger.

Janaury 12, 2009

On the other hand, I also think you have a responsibility to write.

And on the subject of my using both hands in this diary, I want to remind us of that old quote by Golda Meir "We can forgive the Arabs for killing out children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." Now my problem with her is how she defines the word, Arab, because there are distinctions not only between Arab, Muslim, Christian, Fatah, Hizballah, Al Keida, and Hamas, but also between individuals. That's why I also have a problem with the word "we" as she uses it. Nevertheless Hamas has been fostering hate and murder for an incredibly long time.

Robert Whitehill has done it again. Here's a film for you to contemplate: Before you Boycott Israel. I don't know where he finds these sites. Other hand: Although the university of the Negev has resumed studies today, many students are not comfortable with concentrating and haven't returned.

Walking the dog in the orchard I came upon my neighbor (the Auschwitz Graduate) wearing a handsewn fleece robe and a flowered kerchief tied under her chin, and we had our usual type of conversation. "No rain," she said, "In Canada it's freezing and we've got summer - no rain." "It's still raining kasams," I answered. "I'd much rather it rained rain than rockets." "Oh, the children," she said. "What will happen to the poor children? We spend so much effort bringing them up, and we can't keep them out of danger." That shut me up. I suddenly remembered the end of a Yiddish lullaby about Yankele, "It will cost me and your father many years before we can make you into a mensch." And I thought about what kind of adults will emerge from these children at the front - on both sides. Will they be able to make or maintain peace among them or will they all be too shell-shocked? Will they become human beings, menschen? That's what worries me in these videos

January 14, 2009

I may be gone for a few days. I'm going down to Sde Boker for a poetry festival and will be going through a bit of kassam country. So it's a little hard to think about planning readings and classes there. There were rockets up north too today. And an Iranian ship got turned away from Gaza today and that skirmish isn't over.

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