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

July 7, 2014

Don't like 76 rockets before I go to bed. As much as I talk about negotiations and the necessity for common language I don't like being in danger.

July 8, 2014

Sixty rockets so far today. I'm very happy that the iron done has done such a good job in saving lives. It just seems to get more and mored secure. But for the shorter range rockets, we really need a laser system. All this gives us the quiet necessary to react with less danger to the Gazan people. But danger there is. Especially to the leaders of Hamas who have gone underground, leaving their people undefended.

So there I was, after a morning of rehearsals that wore me out and a badly served lunch at Anina, baby sitting two sick infants. My back, my hips, my knee - all reminding me of my age. The kids were fed and I was putting on the one-and-a-half year old's shoes when the sirens went off. I picked up the baby, grabbed the hand of the big boy and we followed Ezi down to the shelter. Ezi had the key in hand and we met our neighbors at the entrance. It's been a while since we've shared news so we had a lot to talk about but thee shelter was dirty and ... well... we were scared.

Never mind, we'll get used to it.

July 8, 2014

I checked this morning with the secretary of the Mendele prize committee to see if they cancelled the meeting this morning, but no - even after a rocket fell so close we could hear it, we had to decide about the prize. So I go dressed up and went to Beit Ariella Library in Tel Aviv. Got home just in time to receive the new air conditioner, change back into clothes for the shelter, and lie down to rest after a pretty sleepless night. (I'm an insomniac in the best of times and last night was the world cup as well as the rocket watch.)

Why am I being so flippant? I'm not any more flippant then usual. We all knew that long range missiles were going to Gaza from Syria (3000 I think), we all knew they had invested billions of dollars in exploding tunnels, all this just to cause us as much civilian damage as possible. We all knew that when we bomb Gaza back we call on the people to leave the building first and Hamas instructs them to go up to the roof instead to protect their house, and that would mean many civilian deaths. I've been terrified of this for a long time, so why should the rain of rockets disturb us now?

July 10, 2014

I didn't leave the house all day - the babies were here and i didn't want to go anywhere that would make it difficult to run for shelter.

I really think that the need to be ready to run for cover at any moment is as dangerous as the rockets themselves. People get heart attacks, they trip, they drop their kids, they run into other cars.

July 11, 2014

Do I feel the same fear for the people of Gaza? It's worse. They are used as human shields and have no choice. I understand they no longer go up onto the roof when they get a phone call from the Israeli army to vacate their building. The noise the pilots make to scare the population away from the building seems to work, but the people still don't have anywhere to escape. the thousands of tunnels in Gaza are for bombs and leaders, not people.

The subject of cutting off the electricity for Gaza, not because of the debt of millions, but because it would stop the rockets, keeps coming up. I would be very very careful of this - people are connected to life-saving machines, people who have no involvement in this war.

At the moment a bomb falls on Gaza every 4 1/2 minutes, having hit 1,100 targets that are supposed to be strategic. They have no sirens. And still they keep sending rockets onto us, even though we have sirens and have invested in protection. The moment they stop, we will stop.

Get ready


Iím kind of starring in a show at the Arab-Jewish theater in Jaffa. Itís about covering, and how poems are clothes and clothes are poems.

Most of it is in Hebrew but it has English subtitles, and the more English speakers in the audience that I know about, the more English there will be.

It starts at 9 p.m. and if you say the magic word, ďOrpheusĒ the ticket is only 40 shekel.

Iíd love you to come and help me get through this first poem-play Iíve done since the Israel festival almost 10 years ago.

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