Tel Aviv Diary May 24 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - May 24-28, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 24, 2006

I used to leave the tv on without sound because every time there was a terrorist attack, the programs would be interuppted by a blue screen with a map of the bombing. For this first time today I saw a brown-beige screen - indicating a fatal traffic accident. The map with the red star indicated the place. Since there are more people killed on the roads than in terrorist incidents, this additional emphasis is significant. The high numbers is a factor of nervousness, a negative-competitive spirit built into the society, and a small and busy police force. Whatever the reasons I always feel the need to be totally alert on the roads here, never able to relax and enjoy the ride.

Massisyahu is coming to Israel! Ariel gave me a disk and now I'm hooked. Ynet mentions him.

Whoops! Mattisyahu. I've been corrected.

Ehud Olmert is speaking to the Senate and House and I'm watching it live. But I've got a rehearsal in an hour and should have left the house. How amazing that politics rivets me to the the tv when i should be elsewhere.

But he's good - he's really good. With lines like he believes in making room for the dreams of others as well as our own, he's winning over everyone there. Applause for each sentence.

Back home, today was much rejoicing in jerusalem on the eve of jerusalem day. I think i can't get into jerusalem just because of the politics - that people are willing to die for the stones there and no stones are worth a human life to me.

May 25, 2006

How long do the colon cancer patients have to starve before the government finds money for their life-saving medications, Erbitx and Avastin? How is it that in almost 2 weeks of their serious protest, we've been unable to find budget for such an important thing as life?Sammy Ofer wants to give some money, and the pensioners' party is volunteering money from their own budget, but the government seems unable to come up with anything that acknowledges their responsibility for the health of its citizens. And these vulnerable and brave people continue their demonstration.

May 26, 2006

The other day Hillel Schenker noted in the guardian his opposition to the British shunning of Israeli academics and advises "Your model should be Jean Paul Sartre. In the spring of 1967, at a time of total impasse in Israeli-Arab relations, he published a special issue of his journal Temps Modernes, devoted to rapprochement. He did this in cooperation with the Israeli peace monthly New Outlook, established under the inspiration of Hebrew University Professor Martin Buber's philosophy of dialogue, and the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram.
He did not succeed in preventing the six day war, but he did help to lay the foundations for future Israeli-Egyptian peace. You can't ask Sartre about this anymore, but you can ask Claude Landzmann, who accompanied Sartre to Israel and Egypt and edited the special edition, which featured articles by Israelis, Egyptians and other nationals."

Since dialogue has always been my goal (even the poetry we're doing in "Love Soup" on Monday is based on Buber), I am particularly intrigued by Hillel's argument, and particularly opposed to the idea of boycott. I am also opposed to Israel's practices with the Palestinians, but would never state that if it was required of me as a condition for publication.

In fact I wouldn't even state that I believe in democracy if it was required for an academic post.

May 27, 2006

Yesterday a gorgeous wedding at Palmachim - canopy against the shining sea - kept bringing me back to this subject. The late mother of the bride, a dear friend, was always involved in discussions about freedom of the mind, development of individual paths in thinking - in short, a sixties girl like me. I keppt looking at the bride, barefoot in her long, white dress (as she always was since I can remember her) and thinking of the way her mother and my generation imagined the freedom of thought we were helping to create. In the bride's case, I think there was success. We had good ideas. It's the world that's going backwards.

May 28, 2006

I have become a cat woman. A typical tel aviv eccentric with a bag of Whiskas walking down the street trailing a tail of felines.

Israel Festival - May 29, 2006 - Love Soup -

This is a multimedia production of a series of poems of mine with Iris Erez as choreographer, Yael Kraus singing compositions of Roy Yarkoni, and direction by Dalit Ziv. The subject is the concept of love. Here's a review on Ynet

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