Tel Aviv Diary May 7-11, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 7, 2008

The siren began last night at dinner. We all rose in the middle of a bite and stood at attention. Twenty thousand odd lost soldiers went through my head all at once - young men, fathers, women.... Then Sapi - managing the cane as she danced next to me with ease. Sapi blew up waiting for a bus near the central bus station. Just like that. And I stopped dancing.

The siren stopped and we all went back to dinner, humbled.

May 8, 2008

But we spent the evening singing. Independence Day with all its limitations, and this country with all its horrors, is still worth celebrating. Dinner began with a question. We don't have 'folk songs.' do we, I interrupted the first course. My friends started trying to find songs - most came from the Bible. Could they be considered 'folk'? Then we went through the poetry and music of the past sixty years. Nothing significant. If folk songs are anonymous and traditional, we missed out on them in the thousands of years we didn't have a country.

May 9, 2008

The news is full of Olmert, but me I'm more interested in what's going on in Lebanon. It's as though we're using the scandal to distract us from the real horror. (After all we've known all along that Olmert is a crook. As I keep reminding you in these pages, when I complained about that I was told, "Yes, but he's OUR crook."see here). People are escaping Beirut, and there is genuine danger. Maybe I shouldn't have expected it, but I didn't want to imagine it.

May 10, 2008

Family Day. And since I don't write about family, there is no news here. So I'll say something about upcoming events: Tomorrow night on the army radio channel I'm doing a thing with Eran Sabag about Woody Guthrie - sometimes between 10-12. Next week watch for me on the Tal Gordon show on channel 11 tv. and now, signing out.

May 11, 2008

You can also listen to Panic on Reshet gimmel tonight, We're both on at 10 - me on the army channel.

I really don't like what's going on in Lebanon. The entire country is in danger, and we continue to speculate about how much Olmert put into his pocket. I'm sure it was a lot, and I'm sure we shouldn't be concentrating on something we've known in a general way all along. These are times we should focusing on Hizballah. But who listen to me around here?

"How far is it?" "Three cigarettes walk" That's how Bedouin used to measure distances. How many cigarettes you could smoke on the way. I was thinking about it tonight as I walked along, wishing it was okay to smoke like in the old days. I gave it up over 30 years ago and still miss it. A little glass of coffee cooked on an empty tin can with a hole it in for the kindling, and a cigarette. But that's very far away right now.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home