Tel Aviv Diary - March 10-14, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 10, 2011

The Shopping Mall at Ramat Aviv - the policy there seems to gifts in place of reductions. Buy for 500 shekel and you get on hour free parking for a month. And a flower. And a picture. We went there to get some presents, parked at 10 in an empty parking lot, and were out within an hour as the women battled for a space in the now-packed garage. It's mostly women during the day - as in shopping malls everywhere - but more so here because the whole mall is full of clothing stores and accessories. Try to buy some basic housewares, or shelves, or crafts equipment, and you're out of luck.


March 12, 2011

I started to write yesterday about how wonderful to have poets and writers on Israeli currency, and then the tsunami hit Japan and all I could think of was how to find out about people I know in that neighborhood. I couldn't watch CNN - the devastation and the danger of further devastation was too much to bear.

And then the terrorist stabbing of three little children and their parents in the village of Etamar. Think of it - someone climbs in your window in the middle of the night, cuts the throats of three children, then the parents, misses two other sleeping children, and climbs out the window again.

Itamar is south of Nablus, surrounded by Arab villages, and about 40 miles from where I live.

I wish putting poets on the currency could help reduce the pain in the world,

March 13, 2011

The as-yet untold enormity of the tragedy in Japan, the monstrosity of the nearer tragedy - so much to digest. Perhaps that's why our server collapsed tonight. Everyone is looking for more information, details, ways to help.

And there is so much more to come. Netanyahu's impulsive reaction to the murder of the family, including the month-old baby, is to approve the building of 500 housing units in the west bank. It's an understandable emotional gesture, but dangerous. Past tragedies should teach us how to minimize future tragedies.

March 14, 2011

While the Japanese are struggling valiantly to overcome the immediate results of the tsunami-earthquake-reactor disaster, to contain, to ease, and to aid, with the world supporting it as much as possible, we remain alone in our little quagmire, our little murders and revenges, our little crimes and outrages.

Becuse Arella came to visit, I got to go down the street to see the ceramics exhibit at the Land of Israel Museum. I wouldn't have thought of leaving my desk on my own, but I was really glad I did. Despite the bland website, many of the items are a real delight.

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