Tel Aviv Diary November 14-18, 2006- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 14, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 14, 2006

Two of my closest friends had nightmares last night - they concerned the war that is certain to come soon. One of them tried to reassure me - "It will be a short one," she said. "That's what they promised."

November 15, 2006

First thing after the news in the morning I call some friends in Sderot. "NOW you're calling? We get at least 5 at day for years and now you're calling? The only difference is that people were killed!... But DOES make a difference that you care..." I put their nervousness down to TSS - not post traumatic - we're never POST traumatic for crissake... 1000 rockets a month on a small town is a lot to bear. And as I write someone else had been severely injured in another attack. I was watching the news and the reporter was interviewing a school psychologist when everyone started screaming...

How can we stop this planned murdering? Me if i were in charge i'd attack and i'd talk. "If force doesn't work," Ezi says ironically, "use more force." It can work - but with talking - not just monologues, but real dialogues. I know there is a problem with that. Someone out there must remember Shaike Ofir playing the role of the Arab English teacher who is teaching Shakespeare (Ya Ibni Hamlet!) where he explains that a monologue is one person talking to himself, and a dialogue is two people talking to themselves.

If I were in change I'd also make sure that the nautilus program that got cancelled a few years ago, the one that had 100% solution to kassam rocket, was instituted again.

If you live in Tel Aviv - you shouldn't miss the auction at Tzavta on Monday evening.

I will be there.

November 16, 2006

Thursday mornings I get woken up with peals of laughter - Ezi is reading Sayyed Kashua's weekly column in the paper. When he was a child it was probably Ephraim Kishon he read every week, that wonderful satirist who took the foibles of everyday life in Israel as his subject. Now we have Sayyed Kashua who - using himself as the butt of most of the humor, never fails to mention his situation as an Arab in Israel, never ignores the 'situation' never forgets his people.

But I could have slept a little longer.

Yes yes we did it. the unforgivable. We went out to mishmish and had an incredible time on a night when we knew that people were living in terror in Sderot and Ashkelon. Wedid not torture ourselves with the news. We had the most amazing salad and kebabs and cocktails and didn't go to Ichilov Hospital to visit the Palestinians from Beit Hanun who are recovering from their wounds. We listened to great music from the fifties and forties - Ella and Chet and Louie - and didn't hear the news for three hours.

November 18, 2006

Where did Friday go? It's supposed to be a winding down day, but there is so much to do to wind down - I actually went to a supermarket. I usually visit my grocer every couple days - the dog eats the cat food leftovers outside while i get the gossip and some milk. It's easier on my back. The rest I order by internet. So the supermarket was a surprise. Not that anything on the shelves has changed, but the Russian cashiers have been replaced by charming Muslim girls. The pharmacy has been like that for some time. And the mall. And all the while the Aroma cafe chain in Tel Aviv has been in the front pages for weeks for discrimination - not against Arabs, but non-ashkenazis.

My Mother's yahrzeit comes on the torah reading called "Sarah's Life" which begins with her death. It always seemed strange to me, but I later understood that it was the consequences of her life that was significant in this chapter - the next generation. There's a lot for the next generation to learn. It starts out with Abraham buying a plot for Sarah in the Machpela cave in Hebron. And then, after setting his son up with a wife, and having a few more kids, he dies and gets buried by Isaac and Ishmael together in the same cave. So the whole thing closes on the consequences of the life of Sarah - the two sons she separated come together.

A surgeon at Ichilov, a close relative, has been treating a few of the wounded from Beit Hanun. Weird, he says, one evening you see some Palestinian grandmother on the news screaming that she wants to blow herself up in Tel Aviv and the next day you're talking to someone who looks just like her about the success of her child's surgery.

I wanted to post this two days ago but forgot. It is a response I got from a student about my complaint about my friends' nightmares:

i just wanted to add a different perspective and comment that according to most psychoanalytic theories (as far as i understand them) -- if your friends dreamt about the war it means precisely that they didn't really dream about the war but about something else (the war was just the manifest content of the dream, content that glosses over the latent, "real" content, which is much more personal and more interesting and ultimately more important than this or that external war in the real world, which any way is only an externalization of inner conflicts, desires, and pathologies)

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