Tel Aviv Diary - May 5-9, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - May 5-9, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 5, 2013

Sometimes I see people on the street and they look just like someone who should be my relative. I see my niece's eyes in some lady who is shopping, or my father's shoulders on some waiter, or the hand motions of my best friend from high school. It's not about memory, or being a nostalgic old lady - although that might be a part of it. But when I heard that 300 odd people were killed by our bombing in Syria, I imagined people looking like my relatives. I know we can't let Hizballah have the weapons that could bomb a city block in Tel Aviv, I know we are in constant danger from these weapons, but it's awful nevertheless.

Speaking of awful, have you been paying attention to Hungary? The American Jewish Congress is opening in Budapest and those guys I saw on the streets of the cities and towns in boots and black are demonstrating, burning flags of Israel and showing their swastikas, calling for blood.

Here's an old interview of me - an Israeli in Long Island:

May 6,2013

There may be all kinds of threats of war around us, but children have to be a bit protected from this. The eight year old and I talk about ways the atom bomb can be foiled but the little children just need to have stories read to them. But all the CDs the kiddies want to watch are at least 20 years old, and the best movies go back to Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers.

As for adults, I haven't heard it mentioned. It's like we're tired of preparing to be attacked all the time. Of course the government claims it is ready, and the army blusters about it, but it's not clear what would happen if we were attacked. One thing I know - they go for civilian targets, and we'll have to stock up on Marx brothers movies...

May 7, 2013

Enough paranoia. We had a little talk about religion yesterday, mostly women, 2 wearing hijab, 3 Jewish women, and me, the teacher, surprisingly defendant. Of what was I defendant? Attacking the need for closure, for knowing - let go the big questions - but behave as if the world must become ethical and i have a personal responsibility to help.

I actually don't care which religion - as long as they give one a sense of responsibility and put the individual's sense of self second to the sense of something more important than self.

But who am I -

And if you're worried about the economic situation around the world, as of today you can finally worry about the economic situation here. Not if you're rich, but if you were just making it through the month - now you won't. I figure if we had 300,000 people living under the poverty level before, now we can say we'll have twice that by next year.

May 9, 2013

The demonstrations against the new economic measures seem to be going strong. We were there - by chance - me because we don't think Lapid is all that wrong, and our friends because they think this country deserves any better than what we're getting. I really think we're way too extreme in our reactions and don't think before we react.

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