Tel Aviv Diary - January 4-8, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 4, 2015

It was a rainy day so we got to spend a few hours with the TV today, and it was one Commercial after commercial. I love commercials in Israel - they are funny. in the US there is much more to sell - hair products that might return some body to my over dyed hair, creams that promise to make me younger, gels that will improve my sex life, etc. But there are ads that really scare me in the US, like ads for donations to help soldiers get prostheses, or treatment for PTSD. How could a government send its men to war and not take care of the wounded? Friends confirm that their medical expenses remain high despite Obamacare with differences in treatment between the wealthy and the poor, the intelligent and the naive.

feeling the protection of Israel, I began to feel the longing for home and this longing was soothed with a turkish restaurant, a bowl of manti, and raki. It close to what i am used to.

January 5, 2015

This remind us of the war. Today's Forward has a poem of mine about the summer here

January 6, 2015

I keep telling my worried ex-Israeli friends that the way they can change the fate of Israel is to go there for the elections. they all look at me strangely. It is as though they have incorporated the principle that they don't make a difference. Well if there is one vote to 316 million people in the US you don't make much of a difference. But if it is 1 to 7.5 million people you do. .I figure that if just 10 of my friends make it back for the elections I'm doing okay. 100 would be better. But they all look at me askance and complain that they can't get israeli health insurance if they are not in Israel. The nerve, they say. Would you get US health insurance if you were in Israel, I ask? Health insurance in the US isn't free and it isn't as good, they say.

January 7, 2015

We were on our way to the MOMA this morning, but it was too too ccold so we went to the Nike store instead. So much Hebrew! I got homesick. And then the cold forced us to go home - and watch television where all the programs are the same, and so is the news. The news: the cold.

January 8, 2015

Every single newspaper in the world should be publishing the cartoons of charlie hebdo today. Some are. Most are scared. And they should be.

Most of my friends in New York haven't spoken about politics - no one asked me about the war this summer. Until tonight I didn't realize it was because they thought nothing happened in Tel Aviv. I am not sure they even understood exactly what I was saying when I told them about the terrible fear we lived with for well over 40 days. Wow - when i think of the helplessness of our situation I cannot believe how anonymous it was.

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