Tel Aviv Diary July 9-13, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 9, 2007

July 9, 2007

I started to write this first thing in the morning - but something reminded me of my late father-in-law and I wound up looking up all kinds of fact on his father on the web. Here's one about his goldmine in Cyprus: really.. But I couldn't get the stuff from the Imperial War Museum on line. All this delving into the past takes me mind off the heat and the rockets and my hatred of airconditioners.

Of course the coming visit of the Arab League to discuss the peace program and the sheltering of the Darfur refugees make the present a more promising time than world war 2 and 1941. But I seem addicted to little facts from long ago.

I have to draw your attention to this article about Howard Rieger and the Jewish Federation. Not only because Howard and Tina, of whom I have written before, have been dear to me for a long time, but also because of the selflessness of Howard's concept of contribution to Israel, and how much we have to learn from it.

Tonight was a concert to note identification with Sderot. I couldn't be there, and I wasn't the only one. The people of Sderot have long felt that they have been simply thrown to the wolves, and the rest of the population has done little to change the way they felt. Let's hope that changes.

July 10, 2007

"Why do I always write about my husband's relatives," a friend asked me today. Because they left traces. I probably have millions of second cousins but I don't know about most of them. And they don't know me. Occasionally someone shows up and I am reminded of my mother's description in yiddish of how these relatives are connected. "Pferd foos potkeves an aynekel." Or "you know the horse? his foot? his shoe? Its grandson."

Anyway they're all coming here this summer. I was buying something for a distant cousin in the mall and ran into all my neighbors, escorting their relatives from America. Most of them are absolutely thrilled to have visitors. And they all were very enthusiastic about the sites here, the bed-and-breakfasts, the food.

July 11, 2007

Happy aniversary - today is one year since the last war, or should I say the latest war(My husband used to enjoy introducing me as his current wife). The fabulous Lisa of "On the Face" fame, reported today from Beirut that people there are all expecting a war this summer, as we do.

July 12, 2007

Of course I am known to be obsessive, as you can see from the clip of Yael Kraus and Roy Yarkoni et. al doing my song about love:Obsessions, so don't take my military advice here. It's pretty clear nobody really wants a war right now.

Lisa is making headlines. You can see it here but she says that she'll put it on youtube soon. Now I'm going to watch her on London and Kirshenbaum. The thing I liked most about her report from Beirut was the fact that Tel Aviv and Beirut are so similar, and now she's being called an "Israeli Spy!"

We all like to think of our little worlds and our little viewpoints as the center of the world. Every once in a while I am reminded that even my view of Tel Aviv in this diary is private to me, and not the generally accepted view of this city. There are places and people and trends in Tel Aviv I avoid like the plague, and others I know nothing about, and still others that I just can't be objective about. So don't trust me to tell you the whole truth, just my truth.

July 13, 2007

For example, of all the exhibits at the Tel Aviv Museum the one I enjoyed most is not even on their website, Lili Almog's exhibit of Perfect Intimacies some of which are for sale here. I know it is strange to have an exhibit of photographs of nuns in Tel Aviv of all places, but they were so transparently transcendent, and so empathic, that I could not help be moved by them. And there are some of Adi Nes 's works that move me as well, especially smaller groups and individuals.

We picked up some more cards of Sali Ariel. Last night we saw the exhibit of Ruth Beker, whose photographs are accompanied by poems written in English. To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

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