Tel Aviv Diary June 29-July 3, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 29, 2007

June 29, 2007

What did I mean by the fact that women need to be judged by women? Susan Glaspell's "Jury of her Peers", about which I have written a few articles, teaches us that when women are not part of the decision-making process, they can't get justice. So 1. if you're in Tel Aviv tomorrow night at 7:30 you should bedemonstrating against Katzav's deal 2. It is necessary to get significant female representation on cases like this 3. Women's networks have to be more active and supportive.

The Israeli Katzav story is sad and disgusting. The Bangladesh story of Choudhury is terrifying:

"Muslim journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury spent 17 months in a Dhaka prison for advocating REAL interfaith understanding and warning Bangladesh is about radical Islamists. Now, he faces physical attacks, and the government wants to put him on trial for his life." Please help Shoaib Chadoury

June 30, 2007

200,000 people in Rabin square asking that the President's plea bargain be rescinded. 200,000 people. Even my ex-husband was there.

Maybe it's true that the main witness in the rape trial was inconsistent and untrustworthy - i don't know - but i do know that people around here are tired of being fed cover-up stories and want all the facts in order to make up their minds.

it was only 20,000.

When we were coming back from Eilat on Sunday we stopped at some dinky cafe in the middle of nowhere. The bathrooms were outside - a concrete building but very primitive -and a group of black people dressed in sweats and caps were gathered nearby in the shade. In the bathroom two girls were washing their hair and talking in some language that wasn't Amharic. Only when I left did I realize they were from Darfur. We have about 1000 refugees here that we apparently don't know what to do with. I think the government is only now beginning to talk about planning some program.

The Katzav decision has gotten to me, despite my determination not to make judgements until all the facts are in. I pulled out the DVD of "In the Cut" which is about victimization (and the co-dependency of it) and thought about the women who work for famous men even though they can't control their hands. Not that I think that Katzav is any less to blame, but it is not just men, it is a whole social mentality that creates sexual abuse.

July 2, 2007

The government decided to deport 800 Sudanese. I If you remember the trip I told you about in the desert a few months ago (February 23, you can now get more information in Michal Palti's article in Ha'aretz today called "A Bedouin Growth Industry". There seems to me to be one mistake - the people of Derejat are not Bedouin but cave-dwellers (at least in the past) and are looked down upon by the Beduoin.

July 3, 2007

My entry on Derejat is here.

I really wanted to sit under the tree at Suzanna's in Neve Tsedek and listen to the birds getting ready to go to settle in together for the night. There is an excited chattering that begins an hour before sunset and I believe I can distinguish the different voices - the one who just wants one more quick flight in the neighborhood, the one who insists everyone get into place, the one who worries that some one hasn't shown up, etc. etc. So we all sat down in the tables arranged under the tree and almost immediately a bird crapped on Ezi's head. It didn't dampen my enthusiasm (it was EZI's head, after all) and while we were getting into our main courses (kubbe, stuffed fruit, etc. I ordered the chicken with fruit - and it was great) the birds rustled a bit, crapped into our lemonade and went to sleep. So maybe don't sit under the tree just at sunset.

What does all this have to do with Tel Aviv and politics? It was an allegory, silly!

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