Tel Aviv Diary - October 11-15, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 11, 2010

The Magic of Galapagos

Photos: Ezra Gut

Poems: Karen Alkalay-Gut

Hebrew: Dina Milano

Presentation: October 17, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in room 01 in Webb Building, next door.

Exhibit: from October 12-28

The idea of the presentation, is not to escape from the Middle East, but to examine some of the options to be considered about our responsibilities to each other and to the world.

October 12, 2010

The exhibition opened, but me, alas, am recovering from a sinus lift and implants and will not be attending. Our tortoises and iguanas will have to be satisfied with Ezi and friends. For the operation I had the amazing experience of having my Kindle and earphones and in order not to ruin the music forever, decided to listen to a book. I chose Sayyed Kashua's "Let it be Morning" because reading about the Intifida suited the drilling in my jaw, and it really helped distract me. Unfortunately, however, I was drugged then, and now I'm awake and it hurts, so I can't take any more of it for today.

October 13, 2010

Just in case you didn't remember today is the day that Claudius was poisoned. I feel like Claudius today. But as long as I don't move, I'm okay.

The two items in the news today, the slow but sure rescue of the miners in Chile, and the threatening visit of Ahmidinajhad to Nasrallah in Lebanon. There is so much warmth and humanity in the rescue - the behavior of the miners, the good will of the rescuers, the obstinate hunger to connect, to find solutions, to encourage one another. And so much of the opposite in the Middle East right now - we can't even talk with each other, much less save each other, or even ameliorate our situation.

October 14, 2010

An item in the local news yesterday on channel 10 concerned the diminishing reputation of Ahmidinajhad. "Everybody's laughing at him," a reporter commented, and there followed clips from "The Daily Show" and some other jewishy satires. Was this supposed to comfort us? He is ridiculous - when he says there are no gays in Iran, who could possibly believe him - but so what? he has a very nice audience in Lebanon, and that's what counts, doesn't it?

The drought - that thing we pretend isn't really here if we don't wash our cars with hoses - is doing terrible damage in this neighborhood. A photograph of a woman in Al Raqqa this morning the paper with the background of a desert makes you realize - this is the Euphrates river - where the Garden of Eden is situated - and what's happening to it. Makes you wonder when there's going to be a divine intervention.

October 15, 2010

Last week David Be'eri, confronted by masked Palestinian boys throwing stones, drove into them and injured two of them to the point where they required hospitalization. In case you didn't hear about it, there one report here. We spent the weekend asking each other what we would do if we turned a corner and were attacked. The fact that the driver was right wing didn't make it easier. What would I do? From personal experience trying to talk to people who approach me with violence does not usually work, but from personal experience my body does not respond with violence, no matter how dangerous the situation is, so I would probably brake, get hit in the head with a rock and wind up at best in Emergency. But I don't think that's a wise response. Sayyed Kashua makes a point today,in Haaretz in which he suggests that if they were Jewish children he wouldn't have plowed into them, but I don't think I would distinguish - rocks are rocks and masks are masks.

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