August 6, 2007
Is there another country like this…Saw a wonderful little film this morning (bi-weekly presentation with lecture), called ‘Noodles’, about a 6 year-old Chinese boy left by his desperate mother in Israel, after being arrested as an illegal immigrant and subsequently deported. Amusing and heart-wrenching. Not kitch.
The lecture focused on immigration aorund the World and how, in this case, the kids are affected. Apart from the ‘illegal’ and ‘political’ cases, is there another country with such a high proportion of its inhabitants who are recent immigrants? Add to that the unsettled status, and it is a surprise that it still has some structure.
A Hamas leader recently complained that Blair, as UN Middle East envoy, and Rice and Gates, were forcing a wedge between the Palestinian factions. A wedge? I would have thought that the short, sharp civil war in Gaza recently was a fair reflection of a divide between the two. I thought the Jews were the kings of chutzpah, but that opinion takes some beating.
Many applaud the attempts to negotiate with President Abbas. Funds being released, the first lot of the Palestinian prisoners released, Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers here, on behalf of the Arab League (wasn’t it members of the Arab League that started and continued this whole thing with Israel since 1948) and today, Olmert and Abbas meeting in Jericho.
Big hopes. Have they forgotten Hamas and Gaza? Will Fatah abandon Hamas? Are we now dealing with 2 Palestines? As usual, the World expects Israel to compromise in the face of such a threat.
And while these smiles go on, the Israeli army felt it necessary to enter the West Bank and seek out some more militants, while Hamas lobbed more Kassam rockets into southern Israel.
So Tel Aviv hosts the annual Intl Opera Summer Program, 3 weeks of master classes, building up to the Gala concert, which we had the privelege to attend. About 50 singers from all over the World. About 30 gave performances, solos to sextets, and the rest joined the chorus in the Traviata finale.
Physically every type: the classic fat ones, the modern slim and beautiful ones, short and tall, 2 Chinese men (tenor and bass), several Israeli. It was stunning. I have loved opera all my life; seen many performances. I not only did not notice a wrong note (backed by the terrific Israeli Chamber Orchestra), each voice was more spine-chilling than the next.
Now I’m searching for a recording.