Tel Aviv Diary - January 17-21, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 22-6, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 3, 2009 With Liz Magnes The Bowery Poetry Club 308 Bowery (Between Houston and Bleecker) 212-614-0505

January 22, 2010

I'm safe in New Jersey - Despite the incredible paranoia I feel around me - justified or not - We're fine. And more proud to be Israeli than ever. Whatever someone might say to criticize my country, it usually shows me more of its justice and benevolence than I had known before. The criticism of the medical team in Haiti, for example. The first to get there, set up a hospital, and take care of desperate victims, the only evaluation of them is that they're only there to cover for Israel's mistreatment of Gazans. But having spoken to doctors who treated people from Gaza, in the field hospital set up at the border as well as in local hospitals such as Ichilov, I know there is no medical imbalance.

January 23, 2010

What about the civilians injured in Gaza? What about the proportions of civilians injured in Afghanistan? The statistics show extremely different proportions of civilians.

January 24, 2010

Sometimes we just can't see our lives as they are. I always take the shower as my central example. What is good about a shower? It comes from above and washes you from the top down, when you are usually dirty from the bottom up. My uncle Yitzak built showers that sprayed from all different directions, all around you, and that makes so much more sense to me. But no one seems to criticize American plumbing.

Except for me - i am a critical outsider. So I have all kinds of perspectives on things Americans take for granted as being the only way.

Here's a different example. Friends of mine here are convinced that the only way to make peace in the middle east is to bring Israel to its knees with a boycott. The Arabs, they tell me, don't want to talk to Israel any more because they are so arrogant and evil. Tell me, bringing Israel to its knees will make them want to talk to us? I am more and more convinced that the only way to make some sort of peace is to bring people together not apart, that no matter what legal or political decision is made, it will only work when people respect one another.

January 26, 2010

I hate the term 'evil' - it demands only one reaction - destruction. It is not that I don't think evil exists, and people must defend themselves against agression, but simply to label some being or some body as evil is to seal closed the possibility of negotiation and understanding.

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