Tel Aviv Diary October 30 - November 3, 2006- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - October 30, 2006 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 30, 2006

My ex-sister-in-law imports films for the theatres here. Centuries ago, she used to invite me to private showings of the movies to see if she should buy them for Israel. She would watch my face - if i liked it, it was sure to fail. So it seems to go with politics. I couldn't believe that Labor would go with Lieberman. I couldn't believe that Lieberman would become vice-prime-minister. And here we are. Labor has accepted Lieberman's policies as well as the incredibly strange budget cuts. I would quit the government if I were in it. There is a limit to the compromises that should be made by an honest person. But I haven't and don't plan to quit the party.

I think it's a sign that Labor is doomed.

on the other hand barak is back and who knows what he'll do

October 31,2006

We were at a wake and nobody was talking about halloween. The most I could get out of the conversation was whether people were changing over to a winter quilt or not. This is the question that seperates the men from the boys, the young ladies from the post menopausal ones.

November 1, 2006

I fell asleep in the middle of writing last night, so i feel i have to explain at least what i wanted to say. What was interesting was that we are getting so used to denial, we can do it anywhere. I don't mean that we don't try to behave properly, to behave in a way we feel is responsible. I mean that we try not to talk about the really upsetting things. Like Lieberman. Like Nasrallah. Like the poverty and terrorism in Gaza. Like the climate changes. Like Iran and the yellow stripes Jews have to wear there. Like the bomb. Should I go on? Remember how Rabin was murdered on this day? Someone killed a prime minister here, and set us off on this downward spiral. And we are talking much more about the danger of holding a gay pride parade in Jerusalem than this assasination.

Oh, and yes, I'm not changing over yet to the down quilt.

November 2, 2006

Eleven years ago the board of the writers' association found it necessary to express our grief with a little collection of poems in Rabin's memory. We assumed that no one would disagree that the assasination of a prime minister was a tragedy worthy of commemoration. Years later I was shocked to hear that one or two people had had questions about it, thought that a political opinion had been imposed on them. I am still shocked by that. As time goes by I miss Rabin more and more, and feel more and more the loss to our country. The poem I wrote then, 11 years ago, on Rabin, still pains me. "The Hope"

November 2, 2006

Vivian Eden wrote a profound piece on the conference in Haaretz. The print edition has some photographs too...

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