Tel Aviv Diary January 27-31, 2020 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 27-31, 2020- Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 27, 2020

RIP Kobe Bryant. The controversies that surround him went down with the helicopter and what is left is the heroic.

Today was one of those hectic days - a meeting of the IAWE here, that, if you are paying close attention, accomplished very little - but every step not backward is a step forwards. We'll see what happens. I do believe that when people work together their situation improves, and it's true of writers as well as real people.

But before the meeting I was glued to the television, switching channels between cnn and fox. I mean since Bibi was in the air, the big news was John Bolton and his direct blaming of Trump. Once Bibi and Benny landed we could go back to our obsession with what to do with the peace deal of the century. I couldn't believe that both of them could accept the deal, no matter what it could be. but i guess since both of them knew that the Palestinians would turn it down and it will never come to fruition, they had nothing to lose by saying yes.

And now that Naama Yisachar has been pardoned and can go back to being anonymous, we can begin to concentrate again on stupid television series. "Sex Education" will do for tonight.

January 28, 2020

"I want a hero," Lord Byron writes at the beginning of his epic poen, "Don Juan," and last year, when i was called upon to give a talk about Benjamin Disraeli I pointed out that in all his novels he searches for what makes a hero. Yesterday as I thought about Kobe Bryant, it seemed to me that in today's world we have to accept the faultiness of each human being, the fact that someone can be a hero despite imperfections, even legal transgressions. Kobe Bryant committed a crime, admitted his failing (given, after he was caught, but still) and settled the issue to the satisfaction of the victim. I think "Whoops - i went too far" would serve in today's world in most cases. Or, "sorry, I'll make up for it." But today we have Bibi's indictment on three counts after withdrawing his bid for immunity and i wonder how he will react.

Yes I know I've already talked about the film 1917 and the kind of heroism it portrays - especially when it transcends the personal reasons for achieving a goal for the good of others. But I don't think we talk about these things enough, and we have trouble portraying the idea in the arts, in part because of the danger of oversentimentality and in part because of our post-Freudian suspicion of underlying motivations.

Actually, for years I've been researching and reconsidering Kurt Gerron - who died in Auschwitz after being forced to make a film lauding the life in Theresienstadt. He has been omitted from most discussions of the Holocaust but every detail I learn about him reveals his nobility in the face of degradation.

The Peace Plan of the Century - how can the Palestinians accept it? i mean, were I am Palestinian I'd say "fine," and then as soon as possible undercut the plan. But they are going to say no. Even though they are going to be showered with money. I can not forget once in the '70's in Shchem when I sat with a businessman who was doing very well with the business he was getting from Israel. he surprised me by answering to my question of his acceptance of Israel, he answered that he would give everything up for independence. He had been living under Jordanian rule all his life, but his dreams were of a state. But perhaps he just said that for the effect.

Int any case, I completely understand him.

January 29, 2020

I haven't met anyone yet who likes this peace program. It seems like a total castration of the Palestinian people to everyone I know. Ehud Olmert pointed out that it makes any future plan impossible. how can you negotiate with a people you've just decapitated?

After we heard the peace program we watched Martin Scorcese's "The Irishman," and discovered that the violence and corruption of the Mafia was tame compared to what's going on in the world today.

But seriously, here's a review. Our friends came over and we thought we'd watch a little bit of the film. We had heard that it was too long and repetitive to see all at once. So we turned on netflix and began. we didn't stop until over three hours later. There is not a minute where the tension diminishes.

So I woke up late and suddenly realized i could barely make it to the ultrasound i had scheduled that morning. from that moment until now I have not stopped running around. And I will need all my energies for a board meeting of our coop tonight. only 18 apartments and 20 opinions.

January 30, 2020

I was told today that I've been remiss in following the chapter of the week - that each chapter is relevant to our week. one thing is sure - that the attack of locusts in Kenya is absolutely parallel to the plague mentioned this week. also when things look like they're getting worse, they may be getting better. Pharoah's heart gets hardened and then it breaks... So Naama Issachar got released all of a sudden after 10 months served of her 9 1/2 years in a Russian prison. Putin granted her a pardon.

I've been finding more and more information on Kurt Gerron - facts lead to more facts - which lead to questions and nightmares of Theresienstadt. Just now reading about how he had to direct a place in front of 12 corpses, and knowing how hard it would be for actors to do this, he used blind performers..

I wanted to go to Baka Al Gharbia and Um El Fahum on Saturday, but suddenly realized that the 'peace plan' has changed the atmosphere and it might not be a good idea.

January 31, 2020

Dubnov 8 was once my favorite place for seeing celebrities i admire, but now it's just an old age restaurant.

they do have good solid food with a lot of happy noisy customers, though.

fell asleep again. Friday night dinners are killers for me.

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