Sunday, June 09, 2002

Last night I was at the annual Book Fair - this year on the grounds of the Israel Museum rather than the square next to City Hall as it was previously. In spite of the general hesitation to venture out, there were a lot of people there - mostly young.

Since I don't have too much time for serious reading at the moment, I got a couple of "reference-y" and essay books. While looking for hiking books, I came across a new map of the West Bank and Gaza which included locations of medical stations and region-by-region emergency phone numbers.

Novelist David Grossman was there autographing his books. If I had known that he had been a participant in the UK Guardian's "peace conference", I would have asked him if it's really true that he and his lefty friends set up a "shadow government" as an alternative to the democratically elected Knesset and Cabinet. Actually there's quite a lot of things that I would want to ask him about ....

Last week my wife T. went to see some Cuban music at the Israel Festival - she said it was pretty good. Thursday night we went to the final evening of jazz but found that it had been cancelled due to the Megiddo bombing on Wednesday. Until the last year or so, the country would enter low-key mourning for about 24 hours if there was a serious terror attack- restaurants and plays would close, and the radio would play sad music. These days that's not possible of course, and the sad music generally lasts until the news reports from the scene are finished.

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