Tel Aviv Diary Oct 24-28, 2004 - Karen Alkalay-Gut


ýTel Aviv Diary - from Oct 24-28, 2004 Karen Alkalay-Gut


ýOctober 24, 2004

I just read about Vanunu declaring Israel has a hydrogen and neutron bomb. He must be having a hard time keeping the spotlight on himself - so each time he makes up a new story. And yet, and yet...Why do environmentalists have such trouble here - because there are security reasons for not reporting certain leaks and pollution problems. So we must be making suspicious things. Who knows what we're drinking and eating andbreathing? When Arafat's wife told Hilary Clinton that we poison the wells I was sure she was right - ALL of the wells.

On the other hand, the sea is a transparent green today - the sky is blue - and the waves are soft and gentle.

October 25, 2004

Nice picture of us in the Post today. It's Shani's. Nice piece too by Atira Winchester.

The invitation to an evening I'm participating in on November 16 at Beit Hasopher arrived today. If I didn't know I was in it I would never have read it - it looks so business-like on one hand, and over-written on the other. The Writers' House in Tel Aviv has managed somehow to keep itself afloat in these hard times, through sheer persistence, but even the invitation reminds you that they are operating on a shoe-string budget and they remain devoted to pure literature.

I'll scan it.

No. Scanner is busted.

Following a particularly grueling day at the computer salt mines, i took off for a visit with Michal at Nona. Now every time I go there I rediscover the absolute charm of the place, the intimate atmosphere and the enormous window to the street, from the high-tech crowd to the mature tel aviv provincials. i love them all.

And I love the pear patent. And the carrot cake. And all the weird teas.


In the nurse’s office

a baby is screaming:

It is a regular, even

scream, a terror

to which

even the baby

becomes accustomed

And we

in the waiting room

barely hear, occupied as we are

with our own



October 26, 2004

I was walking up the steps to the municipality, thinking about my resident card and whether i have all the papers needed for the parking device that prove i am married to the man who owns the apartment in tel aviv, etc., and suddenly i realized i was on the stairs that Rabin spent the last seconds of his life. In Jerusalem demonstrations are going on for and against disengagement and Peres is going along with Sharon, in Ramallah Arafat is recovering from his surgery, and Rabin has been dead for 9 years. We pass the spot where he was shot, and know part of us died there.

October 27, 2004

Spent the evening in front of the television, the drama was amazing. And despite Bibi and Limor, it went through - disengagement. Now if only we can work some kind of agreement with it. And keep your fingers crossed that Sharon doesn't get murdered - we are a savage people.

Now Limor has taken a further step in destroying higher education here - allowing the colleges to grant doctorates. An ignorant woman in the position of minister of education. Let's hope she quits in 2 weeks as promised, and maybe something can be salvaged from the universities.

October 28, 2004

Yesterday's news - the drama in Parliament - is already forgotten. Today we sit by Arafat's deathbed and speculate about what will happen after he dies. Personally I expect him to jump up like a puppet and laugh at this latest ruse. However, most of us believe he is really going. And Avneiri says, "You'll miss him." because after him will be anarchy. And the question arises if the Israelis shortened his life by keeping him in the Mukata, his headquarters, for 2 years. Personally I must admit he has definitely shortened mine.

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