Tel Aviv Diary May 14, 2004 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - from May 14, 2004 Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 14, 2004

Lack of sleep is probably my biggest problem. I'm not even making it to rehearsals. And what about the funeral today? Should I go - even though there will be thousands of people there and the poor parents will not even know I attended?

In the mean time soldiers are crawling in the dust around the Philadelphia junction, looking for pieces of their friends, coming under fire the while from hizbullah trained terrorists.

I go back to my old theories, frequently mentioned here - that the Palestinian autority has no authority and there is no way they can manage this mess unless we build them up. Then we can negotiate and demand they stop terror.

And Ezi repeats his theories of two years ago about sheet-piling the whole area so those arms-running tunnels can be broken.

Why aren't we in charge?

If you will remember, I began writing this over 3 years ago when tel aviv cafes were blowing up daily, and i would report particularly about visits to tel aviv cafes and restaurants - sometimes even ifnoring the ambassador's parties.

Now there is a new development - I am actually in Nona while I am writing this - live - thanks to the wireless internet connection that Nona now has.

It is a beautiful Friday afternoon - the usual crowd is filling the place and I have just had a roast beef sandwich and read the article about Nona in the town mouse.

I think the town is still very subdued after this week's events, and there are fewer people than usual - but then on the other hand i see many more people in black coming away from an "End the occupation" demonstration than I saw last week.

I really wanted to write about being in Nona, about the people who pass by, the excitement of being in a city that never sleeps and all that - but there was too much going on. The eternal dilemma of living or writing.

Much better to be in a place like that than home with the television, the news, the terrible memories of this week of loss and devastation.

Tomorrow there is a demonstration in Rabin square - even the stage is up, the posters hanging across the square. If I don't go it will be for a physical reason - everyone else will be there.

May 15, 2004

We debated and debated on this demonstration - I was at the point where I would have gone alone and parked at Ichilov - and suddenly we all came to the conclusion that it was the wrong time for a demonstration - the story of the 2 more soldiers killed last night - the way one of them opened a door for a woman begging permission to go out for supplies and got shot, and then the other soldier going to help him getting killed too. Yes, we should not be there, but getting out right now is an encouragement to terrorism.

And there is no doubt the terrorism has been encouraged lately - even the beheading Nick Berg in Iraq has increased the feeling of power and the encouragement to continue to use these methods to gain more power.

May 16, 2004

Trying to rationalize my not going - 150000 people. Paul said less. Others said 200000. wish i could have been there but i was not able to stand up straight - two hours of Rabin Square would have killed me.

And now I suddenly realized that that may have been my last chance to demonstrate there - because it will be turned into a parking lot soon.

But at least people have woken up. 6000 people have joined mifkad since last night. You can join too.

Asher Shla'in sent me this today - I immediately thought of politics and new beginnings.


Tech Support: Yes, ... how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me though the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program not run on external components". What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

For you Hebrew speaking peace loving ladies, here is Shuvi, a new organization.

Looks good to me

May 17, 2004

The cab driver says to me today - what are we doing in Gaza? And I answer - dunno, but even the Egyptians didn't want it. he says - were you ever there? i say - lots of times, years ago. And then I realized how weird it sounds. how 30 years ago i was sure normalization was inevitable.

and now we're bulldozing wholesale.

i remember those awful shacks well.

May 18, 2004

In the prizegiving ceremony yesterday for Israeli Music in the Knesset, the two prizewinners, Shlomo Artzi and Kobi Oz, made statements that got the parliament all riled up and filled my heart with pride. Artzi - who really is the best selling singer in the country - complained about the situation of music - that the financial situation of musical artists is terrible, musicians live in poverty and degradation and music should be subsidized. Kobi Oz claimed that musicians should be responding to the situation here more. Both claims are right - i don't think music should be subsidized, but the places that pay them should. I mean there should be places where young musicians can perform and get paid, there should be places where music can be produced and distributed. and the part about poverty is particularly true - the singers whose work keeps up the spirits of this country in these terrible times live in terrible circumstances, and usually work three jobs.

Here's a specific example. Yesterday I was invited to do a television show on the third channel, which is government sponsored public television. It is in Jerusalem so the others on the panel were picked up around 12. By the time they got around to recording it was almost 3 and we were finished before 4 (no time to rerecord or edit). With some pretty bad traffic it took a while to get back and the day was gone. So all of us devoted at least 6 hours to this program, not counting the interviews before.

But neither the actor, the producer, the author nor me were paid for this. We did get a cup of coffee upon arrival (from a machine), but that was it. Fortunately I have another job, but I really wonder what this is all about. Actually I did a program like this once in New York, with the very same moderator, Noam Semel. And the situation was the same - except for some bagels - but that was Israeli television too as I recall. And I really think that these people should be paid.

Actually I was promised payment for some programs I did on channel 8 but the money never appeared. Another characteristic of the way the arts are treated in this country.

Although I love poetry so much I am sometimes shocked when someone offers me money...

Check this site to see what the world is saying about Thin Lips All Music Guide

I have a question about Yigal Amir. Yesterday Yigal Amir was in court asking for permission to get married and for conjugal rights. The court wanted him to voice regret for his actions. He refused, explaining that murder was something that was done with the intent to do something bad, and he did nothing bad. if he did something bad, he said, that would make him a murderer and he isn't a murderer.

Now it's pretty clear that his logic is fouled up a bit, but it is like what samuel johnson warned about solitariness (probably under the influence of aristotle) - you can't make logical decisions totally on your own - society keeps you straight because it provides a sounding board, a mirror, a balance. So if we keep Amir in solitary he can never learn. Of course if he is let out of solitry he'll be murdered, but that's another story.

here's another riddle: if people are living in houses in Rafah, how can we blow them up? but if the houses are covering weapons-smuggling tunnels, how can we not?

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