Tel Aviv Diary - November 14-18, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 14, 2014

I just coulnd't get into my account yesterday. i'll be i'm being attacked on cyberspace - but who? the anti-s or the pro-s?

There are times when I listen to people who grew up in Tel Aviv in the 50's that I am very jealous. It's not that I didn't have a good time as a child, but the degree of independence and security and society was far more developed then. The memories are very similar with all the children and the sense of community is really enviable. Here is a site that shows some of the life then.

November 15, 2014

In our first lesson in Arabic we got the sentences: "I am Muslim," "I am Druze", "I am Christian." And the lesson ends with "Muslim, Druze, Christian - we're all Arab." It is weird to start out like that but I think it is copied from the Hebrew "Ulpan" technique, which was invented to absorb all the various immigrants from around the world. But with the Arab population here one would think it was not necessary to incorporate all the nationalities, since they all get along. Wrong somewhat. Not too long ago some young Muslim friends mentioned to me their dislike of their Druze neighbors, and pointed out that one could even tell the difference by their haircuts. I thought it was something like the competition we had in high school with a neighboring school. And today the fighting in Abu Snan that left well over 40 people injured is probably like that as well. If it looks like the beginning of some racial uprising among the Arabs it is just because some of us would love that to happen. At least that's my evaluation for the moment.

Much more complicated is the division among Jewish factions here. Today we had a beautiful Shabbat and I kept thinking to myself of how wonderful that concept of shabbat is. But the feeling of coercion ruins it for me. It's one of the reasons I am glad we're going to get rid of the free newspaper "Israel Today," not because they are a mouthpiece for Bibi, but because the concept of undercutting the market with propaganda is another form of coercion.

November 16, 2014

We absolutely must find a way to prevent this new idea of Bibis to make us a Jewish State. If 20% of our population speaks Arabic and Arabic has been our second language since 1948 we should be learning Arabic and not removing it from its official status. Thank goodness Tsipi Livni stopped it today. It gives people who believe in democracy to join together.

The first thing is to unite all the Arabic speaking population, many of whom don't exercise their right to vote.

I just dropped 1400 shekel for a doctor who saw me for 5 minutes and sent me for tests I should have had in June when the pain started keeping me awake. If it helps me it was well worth it, and I'll be back in business. And maybe I can help do something in politics here.

Anyway, you should be doing something.

November 17, 2014

I was about to order my weekly list from the supermarket, and suddenly realized how much I've been screwed lately. There is never anything extra, always something missing in my order. And last time I didn't have the energy to wait on the phone to complain. and I have a perfectly good grocer downstairs who isn't cheating me. why have i been insisting on chain stores when they are just pocketing my stupidity?

The distributor of literary books is on a tiny street in the middle of Tel Aviv off Montifiore Street. All the literary mags that no one makes money off are there, an old apartment stacked with books and surrounded by cats. I haven't been there for 40 years and it hasn't changed.

Much of Tel Aviv is so different now but there are thousands of corners that remind me of then. My late brother-in-law walked me around that neighborhood as he told me stories about growing up here and how things have not changed since then - he would be 80 now.

November 18, 2014

Ezi decided not to go to friends tonight. I know what they'll be talking about, he said. Me, I'm kind of glad he stayed at home - ax murders really get to me. Especially in synagogues -its just like old times.

Save January 27 - We're doing the English launch of "The Encantadas" in "Best Sellers" in the commercial center of Kfar Shmaryahu. It's a long time off but we're committed until then.

My friends who live in the Carmel market are moving away. Omer and I watched the sellers cleaning up their booths and then throwing the leftovers in the middle of the road. Then the steamshovel pushing all the waste down the road. We didn't stay for the hoses this time.

I will miss visiting there.

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