Tel Aviv Diary - June 23-27 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 23-27, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

poetry reading - june 29 - tmol shilshom - 7:00 p.m. jerusalem

June 23, 2009

Here I was going back and forth from one errand to another - thinking about how i have to get to this place on time, and that place on time, my mind totally into what i was doing. As I left the green-grocer (absent mindedly taking someone else's bag as well as mine and having to return) I was still irritated by the very nervous and loud woman at the hairdresser's just before. Her curses and insults were I suppose meant to be funny, but I they made me incredibly nervous. Even as she was leaving, and looking for the shampoo girl to give her a tip, she said "where is she? probably ran off - don't blame her, considering the level of this place." And this continued to grate on me as i turned on the car radio. And suddenly i heard there was a rumor of Gilad Shalit being transferred to Egypt and eventually home, and everything in the day changed.

It was a baseless rumor, i discovered when I came home and turned on the tv, but for the rest of my life I will not forget that car ride.

June 25, 2009

Yes, it is too hot and muggy for me to think about writing. I'm going to go to Jerusalem to cool down for a few days - watch the fights on Shabbat between the Haradim and police. Even though this evening is cool and breezy and an incredible relief.

Haaretz today notes that 230 professors vow not to obey the law banning Nakba commemoration should it pass. Only 230? Of course I'm one of them - and I'm hoping I will not have to become a lawbreaker. I'm hoping it won't pass. But if it does, it will force me to act.

June 26, 2009

Oh dear, I fear my opposition to the proposed laws is not universally appreciated. Bill Freedman, who began the petition, sent this to me on june 9 and i saw it as my duty to sign. I did not think then that there was a possibility that the law would pass, and was sure that drawing attention to it was a way of disgracing it, and ensuring that the members of Parliament would be alert to public opinion. But no response ensued. Until the little piece in haaretz.

How can I say i will break the law? A student asked, when I have never even paid much attention to Nakba Day before it was suggested that it should be outlawed? Well, I believe that encouraging the Arab population to place less emphasis on Nakba can only be done with positive measures to incorporate them into the society.

'You're talking civil disobedience,' my American friend warns me, 'and that's all well and good, but then how do you perceive the settlers' breaking of the law? How is that different?' It is very different because I'm trying to have an effect on ethics, not political. But I admit, it is not legal, and I am hate the idea of breaking laws.

June 27, 2009

I'm going to be reporting for a couple days from Jerusalem. If the computer works. Yoel Michael Solomon Street - that quaint little walkway that is like a tourist's dream. Nothing big. I hope always to be in a different part of the city if something is goin on. Today today we heard on the radio about the riots between the haredim and police, but there was almost no one on the street. Everything was peaceful. Which means I don't understand what's hoing on where.

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