Tel Aviv Diary - January 25-9, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 25, 2015

Strange stories are coming out about Sara Netanyahu. Stories not unlike the stories of before but more extreme. The truth will come out after the election.

Somehow I feel the legends about her wild behavior have affected all of our sttitudes, our behavior, our lives. It is something like the madwoman in the attic who affects the entire character of Rochester.

January 26, 2015

But of course it is not only the prime minister's ministering that is being questioned. The unravelling of the members of Leiberman's party is far more significant than a mere scandal concerning the misuse of public funding. It is part of the entire policy that does not believe in truth but only the appearance of truth. this concept is antithetical to the concept of this country, which was founded on the belief that here, at least, we will not have to be different from the way we appear in the public. That we are 'dugri,' direct, honest no matter what the price.

January 26, 2015

I was looking forward to watching "Wonderful Country" tonight because it's considered the best satire in the land, and I've avoided it long enough. So I came home especially to watch it. So it isn't funny. It is too close to dumbed-down news for me. It may be that I'm just lacking a sense of humor about politics right now.

But there was one section in the program when the Arab pharmacist read her poetry that, poetry constructed from medication instructions. Dramatically, erotically. That I loved.

Ever spent an evening at the Ramat Aviv mall? Remind me not to go there. We met by mistake at one of the expensive restaurants there where pretension is the nom de la jeux. We had a delightful waiter, but everything else was dumb.

January 26, 2015

We don't observe International Holocaust Day here. I don't know exactly why - but it is pretty surprising since we cover it in the news here. And I feel it.

Or mybe what I'm feeling is the flu, which seems to be recurring every other day since I've been back. Chills, fever, etc. In any case today as I was getting dressed and feeling very cold, I remembered my aunt's stories of her life in a work camp - a dress no coat and no underwear.

January 28, 2015

One of those tragic days. Really tragic. Two guys killed. For nothing.

There was a while when we thought there had also been a kidnapping. Then we were scared as well as sad.

January 29, 2015

She says that the days when I write little she knows that i have little energy and take small breaths. I say that when I write little I cannot bear to put my grief into words.

January 29, 2015

Did I forget to put the invitation for tonight on my diary? Is that why there were so few people at the poetry reading for protest poetry? I don't know. The facebook page said there were almost 60 people signed up, so I didn't bother so much with inviting people. Anyway I don't quite know what protest poetry is. I mean it is clear that the occupation has ruined us as well as those we've put under our 'supervision' but what can poetry do about it? Political poetry that uses the stories from newspapers and the language of journalism seems senseless to me. I'd rather get the information from papers. I do want to hear what it feels like. So Liat Kaplan's poetry about what it is to be an Israeli citizen in this situation made sense, and Rajja Natour's description of what it is like to be an Arab in Israel under occupation moved me greatly. That is what poetry is about I thought, to be able to get into the skin of an other. My own poetry was pretty bland in this context. I'll show you tomorrow.

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