Tel Aviv Diary - June 17-21, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 17, 2014

First of all, I cannot but hope with all the nation that the three kidnapped boys will be returned unharmed as soon as possible. I pray they are kept together and will not have to be rescued separately because it complicates the success of the rescue. If one is rescued the others will be endangered. But who knows but they are sitting together in some basement living room with access to wireless and can read all that is written about them.

The numerous Arabs who live in Israel and are shocked and appalled by the kidnapping should not be forgotten here. I have seen how delicate their position is and how sensitive they are to criticism on this point. I don't mean they are on our side and our dearest friends, although some really are - despite the geographical, political, and cultural difference - but they are definitely on our side in this matter. I hope we will be wise enough to promote this connection.

Just a little note, I don't know what will happen with this. But today's paper printed an ad for "Eid el Shopping." that is the holidays, especially Ramadan, is a good time to shop and therefore for shopowners to promote their wares. I love the combination of Arabic and English in the Hebrew papers.

June 18, 2014

The pain is gone. After weeks of crippling knee pain, a simple shot and it's better. I didn't even complete the simplest of tasks, like this one - next month i have a performance at the Arab-Jewish theater (July 21, 21:00 p.m.) and I was supposed to get the pr information in today, but until this moment I couldn't even think of putting it together. Partly because it's a complicated evening - a power point with video, playback music, and other strange devices. But mostly because I've been a mess. Sorry to kvetch about my health - it's usually not so crippling.

So far today 7 rockets from the south, but all we seem to talk about is the kidnapping. It is becoming clear that these guys won't be coming home and all traces of their kidnapping will have to be removed by the perpetrators because they can't risk the revenge even at the cost of popularity. As soon as one of them admits having kidnapped those kids they're going to get their heads blown off. Who would be silly enough to boast of it.

June 20, 2014

Tomorrow's the solstice! Our days are never long enough but right around now we have almost as much daylight as we need. We will be spending this long evening with friends who are only temporarily back from the U.S. We spent yesterday with other Israeli visitors and it's beginning to look like I have more friends in the US who used to live here than I have permanent residents. I get it - politically we're in a strange place but if my friends hadn't left there would be a majority of people who think like me. It's true that most left for economic reasons - this is just too small a place and there are too few jobs, too few opportunities to get ahead.

June 21, 2014

On the other hand, this is a country where whatever you do gets noticed. tonight, for example, I want to film my friend Nili walking down the pier wearing a coat. it's for my production in July. I know that even though she is my age, and not particularly special, everyone will be looking at her. People will be stopping her to ask why she's wearing a coat, what she's doing, why we're filming. You can't do anything here without getting advice.

Well I was wrong again. There were few people on the boardwalk, and most of them were busy with their own lives. If they looked at her, it was a sidelong glance.

And I didn't see a single person I knew.

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