Tel Aviv Diary November 30-December 4, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 30-December 4, 2007 Karen Alkalay-Gut, 2007

November 30, 2007

Asher Green remains missing. This is the worst part of the news on the internet. The notice is old news and hard to find, and the chances that someone who has seen him and sees the internet notices are diminishing, so all efforts have to be redoubled. Send out the information if you haven't already, Lisa picked up my blog and took it all over. it was amazing. but that's old news now.

The gay jargon in Tel Aviv is called 'neige' and Mickey Boaganim's commercial for the "light warehouse" is replete with it. I couldn't believe all the sexual references when i heard it a few weeks ago, and knew that the words I couldn't understand were worse than the ones I could. But the sales of the "light warehouse" tripled in the first week, and the debate on its taste and its value for the gay community continue. So much more interesting to discuss than Annapolis or the devastating teachers' strike or the destruction of the universities by the treasury.

December 1, 2007

What could be better than Shabbat? Even the most unreligious person here must benefit from the quiet and simplicity of the sabbath.

December 2, 2007

After a perfect afternoon at Pappa's, we decided to go to the movies in Dizengoff Square. Michael Clayton, just for the fun of it. But as we began to walk down the stairs of the theatre wer realized the theater stank. stank. This morning I realized it was because of the flooding last week - lots of places are still damp. But I hated the feeling of sitting in a damp room, the airconditioner masking the stench. We should have left.

On Wednesday we're locking the gates of the university. We passive scholars have finally been provoked into action. Knowing that the universities themselves are in danger, and Tel Aviv University more than the others, and that no one in the government that determines our future cares, we are actually getting serious.

December 3, 2007

When a government appears to be not functioning, citizen action needs to be taken. This is true of the faculty strike - and I hope you will be at the gates of the university on Wednesday to help explain the situation and at the demonstration on Thursday (Tel Aviv University - Antin Square 12 noon) - as well as numerous other issues in our society. One of the most pressing is the issue of Gilad Shalit. Sign this petition to the government.

Why are the senior faculty not on the barricades? We all know the future of higher education is at stake. But by the time you become senior in the faculty here you are likely to be well over forty, and we know that few have achieved the status of senior faculty in the past few years. So the average age, by my reckoning, has to be well over fifty. How much fight do we have left? And that of course is part of the bigger problem. That few are hired, few are promoted, and what remains is a diminishing faculty.

December 4, 2007

Due to weather considerations, the demonstration that was planed for Thursday, 6 Dec. will take place on Tuesday, 11 Dec., same time and place. The students and university teachers of all ranks and positions will demonstrate together.

We took a new friend to Pappa's yesterday. She hasn't lived in Israel for 30 years but we knew that she had lived here for a long time after WWII. We drove in the dark and parked in the lot on Hillel Hazaken, and as she got out of the car, she said. "Such an old neighborhood, but it's being refurbished." She must have read about this, I thought, since it was difficult to see much in the dark. We walked a few steps. "There was a hotel here once." she said, as we stood before the inconspicous closed shutters of the Gallileo Hotel bar. There still is, I said. "I stayed here in 1949, and Marcel Marceau stayed here too." Her husband, she had once mentioned, was one of the founders of the Cameri theatre and, when she came to Israel as a refugee in 1949 she got a job designing scenery in the theater. The theater, she pointed out, had been down the street in Mograbi on Allenby. The excitement for all of us was great. She was back in a place she hadn't seen in over sixty years. "It was seedy back then too," she noted.

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