Tel Aviv Diary - June 30- July 4,2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 30, 2011

We didn't stay for the speeches - the standing around and talking for hours at the ambassador's so weared me out that by the time the white limosines came rolling in we were sneaking out the back door. But the little presentation of the Rogozin school choir was the highlight of my evening. These little foreign children some of whom have a shakey legal right to stay in the country, since typically patriotic songs of multiculturality.

It was too wonderful, and to watch the religious extremists scurry away when they began to sing was a really great moment.

wish I could have stayed longer to talk to the magnificent women of the embassy.

July 1, 2011

Nothing from me today - the 'deep cleaning' i did of my implants have maybe saved me from recurrent sinus infections and jaw pain but has put me totally out of commission.

Well maybe a few words, since I seem to be able to actually write.

Lying around in bed all day has special benefits – I can watch the news all afternoon and evening. The postponement of the flotilla to Gaza is one of the centers of attention tonight, and although we don’t admit it, it looks like the reason for the postponement is our intervention. What concerns me is the participation of Jewish people, even holocaust survivors, in this flotilla. It is clear that the motivation is moral, their belief that Jews have to be even more morally responsible than others. It is a belief I share – that we must always examine and criticize our behavior and our motives in every action, in every consideration. And when we behave irresponsibly, it is our duty to speak up, even if it embarrasses us. But the situation here is not as simple as most people think. I know that even I do not have all the information – but I certainly have more information than they do. I know, for example, how to make bombs from the fertilizer being carried on the boats.

July 2, 2011

Why have the people on the flotilla focused on Gaza and not Libya, Syria, Iran? Because Israel should know better. What does this tell you about the ethical expectations from Libya, Syria, Iran?

My own expectations of Israel have always been exceedingly high. There are many times when they are not met - but there are many occasions when my heart expands with the way Israel and its people exceed my hopes.

July 3, 2011

Since I really don't like any of our leaders - with the exception of a few guys, like maybe Mitzneh or those who dropped out of politics like Amnon Lifkin-Shahak - I've decided to invent a prime minister. I'm going to pretend he/she does 'fireside chats' on the radio a few times a week, little talks that respond to letters by citizens and explain the rationale behind a translucent government. (The radio has such potential for intimacy and direct communication - why hasn't it been used more in politics? even podcasts. so cheap, so simple...) So tonight the 'fireside chat' discusses the price of food in Israel - 12% increase in the past 6 years above the cost of living and at least double what people pay in the States. Our discussion is about the mutual effort of consumer and government to return food prices to rational places. If a locally made children's snack costs double in Israel what it cost in New York, it has to been looked into by the government and boycotted by the consumer.

July 4, 2011

(I just erased what I thought was an amusing fantasy about my imaginary leader with the radiophonic voice and all that's left is a fragment. But the essence was that my new PM talked about how self-interest becomes communal interest and how it can widen our horizons about how we think of ourselves. A little John Locke in practice. But it's gone....) Let's work together, the leader says.

Isn't this more fun than living in the real world?

Salman Masalha is fast becoming one of the few popular voices in the world of journalistic opinion. his article today in haaretz made so much sense to Ezi that he sent it to his friends. Quoting the scriptures Masalha blames monotheism on the political differences in the world. I kind of agree with him about monotheism, but not with the scriptures, which can be used to prove almost anything. Sometimes, however, I think that when there were lots of gods, they were always fighting. The idea of one diety was supposed to prevent that. Does God exist? That part isn't my business. i like behaving as if...

. Alkalay Gut, Karen - Poesia.Doc

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