Tel Aviv Diary -January 7-11, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - January 7-11, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 7, 2014

Now let's see - we have something like 60,000 refugees, to a population of say 8 million people total. That means we're supposed to absorb another 7.5%. Is it surprising we're having a problem figuring out what to do? And there is no way of keeping track of who are political asylum seekers and who are not since everybody snuck in, it makes it a little harder, doesn't it?

Sorry, somehow i think the U.N. should be helping out...

January 9, 2014

Sorry, Back to bed for a little recurrent virus. And today a Russian woman cleans my house so it isn't a good time to be in bed. She says to me, "What about those blacks?" and I say, yeah it's terrible. "Of course! If people paid good wages we wouldn't need those blacks at all." Hadnt been thinking in those terms. Anyway, here's a warning. Don't eat in restaurants this week. Nobody has time to check which food is out of date. Except Papa's, of course, where Oren has taken over the role of chef, chief cook, and kitchen patrol. And the food is so great I'm going to order some soup and spezzatino to keep me going until this passes. Again.

Erase all that. The Erithreans are getting hungry and going back to work.

Seriously folks, as the only country with a border to Africa, our situation is like that of Australia and/or the rest of the world, but made more extreme by the numbers and the pressure. I would like to be able to help these refugees as have so many of my students, but I do not think they are the only ones to need help around here. The Syrian refugees in neighboring Arab countries and here as well are in danger of freezing and starving to death - and at least half of them are children.

All right, we can't solve the problems of the world, and we certainly have enough problems of our own, but we can't ignore our neighbors either. How wide can we stretch the blanket?

I've long wondered about the limitations of academia. Because we don't really live in the real world we're extremely susceptible to whatever we're fed as 'in fashion' in the world of scholarship. And sometimes we're fed such drivel it's hard to believe. This article went far to correct that feeling i have: Cary Nelson addressed the boycott of The American Studies Association If you can't get into it, google it.

January 11, 2014

Arik Sharon passed away an hour ago. I was on the phone with my anti-Zionist friend and we were discussing why I remain a zionist and Ezi called out that Sharon was dead. She shouted Hooray and my heart sunk. A great man - I hated so much of what he did, and was suspicious of the stories told about him, but he was great. He may have been in terrible shape for the past 8 years, and it cost us a great deal of money to keep him that way, but i hope he didn't suffer at all.

How much did he know of what is going on in this country and how conscious was he of the way it is now being run...

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