Tel Aviv Diary - January 9-13, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 9, 2011

With all the political excitement around here - people treating the country as if it is there personal right to impose their personal or political desires on everyone, my most intense thoughts are with Gabrielle Giffords at this moment. Congresswoman Giffords is the most recent victim of this selfish and malicious indifference to humanity. Think of the way Sarah Palin has been talking about her and many others: here for example. How we trample on others!

January 11, 2011

A Morning in Small Claims Court. First time I've been in any court in 50 years. We're suing the company that sold us that crazy faulty Dell and wouldn't take it back. Okay, so our claim has to be resubmitted because we have to include the servicing company, so we wasted the morning, but we learned a lot. First of all, justice can be simple. We got to see 3 decisions and they were all speedy, clear, and on the mark. Second, the system is on our side. The clerks are intelligent, understanding, and on the side of the citizens. Third, I'm a total chicken. I sat silent as Ezi explained our case, and it took me a while until I got up to ask a question. But next time, I'll be right up front.

Avigdor Liberman called us leftists "Feinschmekerim" today. He meant it as an insult, but a feinschmeker in Yiddish is a person with good taste. Maybe too choosy, but certainly neither unrealistic nor wrong. What does this mean about what he thinks of his own party?

January 13, 2011

Notice how erratic I've become? It has nothing to do with Tel Aviv, but the complexity of my life - and if you bear with me, I'll be back to a daily schedule as soon as possible. There are certainly things to write about in this city, and we are being constantly threatened with earthquakes, and more central, rocket attacks. And parties, parties, parties. And on top of that our foreign minister, who enjoys playing the bull in the china shop. (Every time I see him I imagine someone like Tsipi Livni or Avram Burg in his place and shake myself with disbelief, and then shudder uncontrollably). But now I will recall Thoreau who said 'my life is the poem i would have writ, but i could not both live and utter it.'

January 13, 2011

Gershuni. We made a very great effort to go to the Gershuni exhibit at the museum. Others for whom I had great respect had praised it in glowing terms, and I myself have had intense responses to his work in the past. But tonight I couldn't concentrate. There was a guided tour with a particularly large audience that distracted me, and when one of the participants fainted, I couldn't think about art any more. As the group continued through the exhibition, discussing the art with great wisdom, two medics appeared, and began work. They kept talking to the recumbent man, measuring his blood pressure, offering him water, asking him about his history, and that's all I could think of - how he was doing.

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