Encounter 245 – 18.11.2022

The first guests to arrive were Orit (my sister) and Oren. Both were born at Moshe’s, Nahshi and mine kibutz. At this stage there is no need for a circle of acquaintances, so the conversation turns to the history of the region and the space where we live and work.
When Uzi and Aryeh arrived, we started a circle. And as is our custom, I begin by explaining about us and our “Lighthouse”.
Uzi says he “still wonders about us” (coming for the third time already), he appreciates our persistence. When he heard about the fire in Gaza last night, in which 22 people died, he called friends in Gaza to go see for themselves and tell him. Uzi runs a kind of night meeting in a cafe in the “Black Arrow” park. He was looking for an outlet for the frustration he felt because of the situation, and this caused him to leave the house and establish the night meeting. Today a dovecote is already there and next week pigeons will nest. It’s all part of the idea of the release of the pigeons that we already wrote about in previous summaries. As a pensioner he has time, he has ideas and plans.
Aryeh worked with at-risk youth. He managed the community center and education in Shaar HaNegev and moved to the same position in Segev Shalom. He established a conservatory, a nursery and more there. He says that together with the staff there, they do a lot of activities with at-risk youth. Preparatory students from Sde Boker also come to work with him. It works well beyond expectations. Aryeh came to our Lighthouse because Uzi told him. He has a dream for a project – a peace tent inside Segev Shalom where the issues of the day and peace will be discussed. Also there, in Segev Shalom as in Gaza, the median age is 18. Of the workforce over the age of 18, 60 percent are unemployed According to Aryeh, the intersection of Route 232 with the Gaza Strip is the axis of suffering for both sides. He still serve the army reserves and during a round of violence he helps guide the forces in the area. The residents on both sides are a game tool over which they do not have control. This is a situation that has been forced upon us. A difficult situation for both the parties.
Uzi really wants to add to Aryeh’s work. The moderator protests and asks to keep the rules, but Uzi says that if he waits, he will forget what he wants to say and gets permission. He says that he visited the community center that Arya manages. Segev Shalom is a place far from civilization, but the community center is amazing and he had to say that even though it violates the rules of the circle.
Moshe does not like to define himself and points out that he has many definitions (Zionist, socialist, kibbutznik, Israeli, etc.). A week ago he was traveling with a friend from Gaza who works in a kibbutz, the friend returned to Gaza for the weekend and they drove him to the Erez checkpoint. In the car, the friend showed him pictures of his children and grandchildren and Moshe was moved. It is important for Moshe to tell why we are sitting here: the sulfur plant was built and operated by Jewish workers and Arabs and is evidence of a shared life.
Nahshi comes because it’s something he can do. Something is wrong and improper in the reality we live in. The past is glorious and the future is also glorious in his opinion, but the present is discouraging. From the fields touching the fence you can see the neighbors but you can’t reach them, there is a fence. He felt futility in the cycles of violence that create hatred. It will end sometime. It may take years but he knows it will happen. Nahshi is happy for the opportunity to come and hold the “Lighthouse”. Every time he comes back from here, he blesses that it exists.
Malki arrived at the lighthouse close to the start of the activity and “lighted up”. She has been here ever since. The proximity of her current residence to Gaza makes her more involved. She comes from desperation. But here it is a kind of escape. Gaza is a great despair. We sit here and do what we want and they are locked up. She was in Segev Shalom in the last election when she volunteered to drive women to the polls. Gather and wait at the “Sustainability Center” in Segev Shalom. She didn’t know the place before and was surprised to see that it was more of an urban settlement than a rural one.
Bela arrived in the area in 1956. All her life she advocated coexistence. When she lived with her family in Ramla (before she came here) everyone around them spoke Yiddish, including the Arabs. When she was in the army and her core members were taken to Bedouin evacuation activities, Bella wondered why this violence. Sometimes she is really desperate. She came because of Malki and found here a friend who understands her and understands the situation as she does. In the past she was in Gaza and sat in cafes. Sometimes she is asked if sitting at the lighthouse, drinking coffee and talking about Gaza, can help in anything. She replies that sitting at home and doing nothing will probably not help. Maybe the lighthouse does.
Hanan came because of the kites. He was bothered as a kite builder that they use to burn fields. He came to see the phenomenon, met us and has been coming ever since. We are here, he says, to preserve hope. When the opening for change appears, we need people to be ready for it. His life, says Hanan, takes place on the Internet. Tells about Elon Musk breaking up Twitter. Twitter is a place where everyone is, but it’s also a toxic place. Twitter has vicious attacks on distinct population groups. In recent years, a parallel network has been established that allows more freedom of decision. It arose in 2016 and Hanan already knew them in 2017, “Mesodon”. Hanan relates this story to our case through the fact that there were people who prepared for the crisis and prepared an alternative way. Now that Twitter is breaking up there is a replacement, and we are also preparing an alternative way for the day when reconciliation comes. We are the infrastructure for hope here. Hanan tells about us to everyone he meets who wants to hear.
Mary came to this place through Hanan’s blog. Gaza is complexity and Mary is drawn to complexity. Stayed because of the people. We save here an end of a thread that we can connect to the thread opposite.
Ofek is a soldier. He will soon finish his apprenticeship. Came here by chance with friends when they were walking on a rainy day last winter. They were students in the twelfth grade. Since then he came regularly until the draft. Now, because of the military service, he rarely comes. He just returned from an education series in the army. The series dealt with dilemmas: Let’s say, a little girl throws stones at you, and in the background there is a big commotion (“disturbance” in army parlance) what do you do? Yes, these are the dilemmas of the Israel Defense Forces. Gaza is also a dilemma for Ofek, today.
Another round of coffee prepared by Nahshi (Mulik is absent today) and some more mingling and scattering.
This time we were: Oded, Nahshi, Moshe, Orit, Oren, Uzi, Aryeh, Mary, Hanan, Ofek, Malki, Bella.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 244 – 11.11.2022

Friday 11.11. On the way to the lighthouse, Shmulik reminds us that today, in 1918, at 11 o’clock in the morning, the armistice that ended the First World War was announced. Some of the battles that decided the campaign took place in our area. Millions of soldiers and civilians lost their lives. Another, more deadly war was needed to convince the nations that there was room for peace. The enemies at that time, like France and Germany, are friends and close partners today.
This morning, the road to the lighthouse is a little longer: passing through the Erez checkpoint, a friend from Gaza returns home to his family, after a week of toil across the fence. He knows that returning to work in Israel will involve getting up early in the morning and waiting tiringly at the same checkpoint, but good for him, and good for thousands of other workers, and good for us, the citizens of Israel.
Roni made sure to arrive on time, before Shmulik made the coffee. But the coffee is ready when Lily and Guy from Beer Ganim join.
The circle opens with concern about the threats of the “breakdown clause” and the expressions of hatred of the last week.
The continuation of the conversation stands precisely as a sign of hope: the struggle of women and young people in Iran, cooperation with Gaza, the renewal of the activities of movements in Israel for a sense of peace, cooperation, equality.
Mary and Ilan from Beit Elazari and Maharan from Rahat enrich the conversation with interesting insights and sweets.
If Oded was present – you would get a full reconstruction of the events, but this week he was at a seminar in Jerusalem al-Quds and he is waiting to be picked up at the Be’eri junction.
Thanks to Nahshi who made sure to remember the participants in the circle, it can be noted that Roni, Mary, Ilan, Lily, Guy, Maharan, Shmulik, Nahshi and Moshe enjoyed the winter sun and the beginning of the flowering near the sulfur factory, near the British bunker that was abandoned today, 104 years and five hours ago.
Written by: Moshe.

Encounter 243 – 04.11.2022

The first Friday of the Third Kingdom of Israel. We brought insights and assessments from the sad results of the elections.
Mark decides to bring some order to the circle and volunteers to be the first.
Mark says that in the last week nothing has changed in relation to Gaza. Yesterday they mentioned their existence (alarms in the Eshkol region) and he can understand them, they are trying to mention their existence amidst the general oblivion. Mark says that if he had a wish to do harm, he would go more for fire and less for missiles. But he did not wish and does not want to give them advice.
Malki came to breathe here and be filled with good things. Gaza is close and the desperation in it is great. Came to ask for hope. She met Radir this week when they were driving Bedouin women to the polling stations. The women who came to take part in the transportation made her feel good. There are good people (as well as here at the lighthouse). Malki adds that not placing polling stations in the unrecognized villages is really outrageous.
Itzik says that he understands reality differently “than you all” (and comments on the use of the plural). 80 percent of the Gazans want peace, he says, and 20 percent make life miserable for us and them. Itzik comes for the second week in a row and explains it by saying that he simply enjoys traveling with a good friend (Uzi) and meeting a nice group. But, he says, it has no scope because we have no control over reality. He tries to remember Golda’s quote and says something like that when they stop putting their children in the front it will be possible to talk.
Shmulik, between brewing one coffee for another (and also tea for the Malki) summarizes his words by mentioning his name, place of residence and gender identity “communist”!
Hayuta reads a song that Shmulik wrote- In honor of his birthday today! Yesterday, she blessed her kibbutz, where they also celebrated their birthday, and proudly noted that in this blessing, she mentioned Gaza! “There are results for the lighthouse”, she says.
Moshe chooses to talk about the elections, which he experienced personally when he sat at the polling station with religious representatives. The insights he has from these long hours together are a topic for another time. In any case, the shared experience was pleasant.
I, as usual, talked too much, so I will only bring one insight from my words. I say that the early Zionists were not religious and were even proud of their new secularity. But they were needed to justify the choice of this land and therefore put forward reasons of a “divine promise” (as Prof. Amnon Raz-Karkotzkin characterized the principle that guided the Zionists: “There is no God, but he promised us the land”). I continue and compare the relationship between Zionism and religion as a symbiosis between a launcher and a missile. The religion (the launcher) was supposed to launch the Zionist missile, but the launch went wrong and to this day they are entangled with each other. The religion has lost its spirituality and has become a political religion and Zionism is stumbling from the bottom to the bottom.
Nahshi also sat on the ballot committee. He did not believe that the results would be so decisive. He finds solace in the fact that Gazans continue to enter and work in Israel, but asks himself how long this will last in the new climate. In Nahshi’s opinion, you need to continue to strengthen the voice that believes it can be different. A place like the “Lighthouse” makes it possible to say this to others. The right thing to do at this time is to get out of the comfortable living room and be active. Moving, going out, that’s what needs to be thought about in the near future.
Uzi Second time around. He certainly finds the “Lighthouse” an interesting project, but he believes in a different, more active way of operating, as evidence, he brings the project that is gradually coming to fruition: this week Dovecote was placed in the Black Arrow. In this way, Gazans will also be able to participate without endangering themselves. Digital pigeon release brings hearts closer and does not endanger them like a shared bicycle journey for example.
Roni appreciates Uzi’s pigeon project and just wants to tell him that a few years ago there was an initiative by the Gazan youth committee to fly pigeons towards Israel. In Osa’s film, “Other Voices” (whose existence Uzi and Itzik hear about for the first time from her), she says that in the last scene, 3 people appear who fly pigeons from Israel, and someone in Gaza is waiting for them. Roni heard Sivan Rahav Meir, who she thinks is a smart woman, who explains that the right wing has become stronger because of the righteous arrogance of the left and the right should beware of that. Roni thinks that sometimes, in the circle, statements are heard that go too far. Out of a desire to do good to the other side, we eliminate the dangers that threaten us. Therefore, Roni says about herself, “In the eyes of the left I am not considered so left and in the eyes of the right I am left”.
The official round is over and Mark announces free speech.
Itzik says that Bibi is blackmailed. It is activated by the influence of the world and is influenced by everyone. In his opinion, the Israeli court should return to its natural dimensions and stop being active. to judge according to the laws enacted by the legislators.
Shmulik says that you have to work at eye level. Everyone must interact with Palestinian partners. Shmulik is not impressed (like many others), by Meretz’s failure to enter the Knesset. They are no longer really relevant to his words. Tells about a trip he took with a guide from Kfar Etzion. Shmulik told him that they both agree that they are in favor of a state from the sea to the Jordan but Shmulik thinks that all humans should be equal citizens in this country and the guide thinks otherwise.
Itzik agrees that there should be a binational state, but we should be the ones who decide on it.
Malki says that when religion leads it is very difficult to argue and find a logical way.
And there was also Mary who arrived after the end of the round, and also Liora who shared with us, through the wonders of the “Zoom” in her blessed activity.
That’s it, I didn’t wrote anymore.
This time we were: Mark, Malki, Itzik, Shmulik, Moshe, Oded, Nahshi, Uzi, Mary, Roni, Hayuta, Liora.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 242 – 28.10.2022

Until guests arrive, Roni shares with us information she has accumulated over the past week. About those who want to enter Gaza, about those outside and those inside Gaza.
Uzi (and his dog Jimmy) and Itzik arrive. We opened a “circle”.
I begin by explaining about us and continue by referring to the “exploration” question that asks for a response from everyone who sits with us in our “Lighthouse” (after he/she has introduced himself/ herself, sipped coffee and tasted something) – “What is Gaza to you”?
For Uzi, Gaza is a frustration. He grew up close to the border with Gaza and remembers, as a child, trips he made to the border. There was a canal along the border and there was a UN hut. He would sit with his feet in the canal and exchange food with the Arab shepherds on the other side. The fires of the past few years frustrated him and brought creative ideas. He wanted, for example, to raise an inscription of fire in front of Gaza in which the word “peace” burns and even started collecting the materials for it. The concept expanded into the idea of lighting fire inscriptions along the border every month! For various reasons, the initiative remained only an idea. Today, Uzi is a retiree who is looking for people to help him carry out his ideas. Uzi is awake at night and sleeps during the day (by choice). From this, he created night meetings next to the “Black Arrow” monument, in front of Gaza. A cafe where people whose sleep wanders come. Now he has an idea of breeding pigeons. Virtual pigeons and real pigeons. For this purpose he built a Dovecote. An internet sign will display the cumulative number of pigeons that are being flown virtually (anyone can connect from anywhere in the world and fly a pigeon) and twice a month there will be actual pigeon flown. The counter will be displayed on a huge screen in the Bedouin settlement of Segev Shalom, where Uzi is active in other areas. Uzi has friends in Gaza and the situation Very frustrating for him. He maintains his friendships with them.
Nomika tells about the “bazar” project she set up in Sderot (every object/ clothing that the first hand kneads and passes to the second hand). Nomika tells about the dynamics created around the “Bazar”. Since job seekers started leaving Gaza in large numbers, many of them come to Sderot and work under difficult employment conditions. They are desperate and ready for any job in any condition, without any insurance. They come to the bazar every day and interesting interactions are created between a variety of people from Israel (who also come there), from all kinds, with the workers from Gaza. In the beginning there was problematic behavior (violent, rude, sexist) but little by little the situation is changing. There was also fear and racism. In the last three months, a special process began to emerge, a kind of parliament, talks and inclusion of each other. It is of course very complex and still very fragile, but Nomika recognizes new options for interaction, and thinks that this could be of interest to the “Lighthouse” as well, for example, dialogue with Gazans, who are not Rami.
And if we’ve already talked about Rami, here he is in front of us in zoom (as usual when switching to English, a burnt smell rises from the smoke that burns my brain and the summary pronounces “jumps” translation.)
Rami introduces himself to those in the circle who are getting to know him for the first time. Emphasizes the hope for ties with Israelis. Want to create a new generation that will communicate, on both sides. that will create mutual reconciliation and understanding. Unfortunately, there are no opportunities for physical relationships. Many Gazans want to leave it. look for a future elsewhere. Those in Gaza wish for hope but have nothing to do to promote it. Want to raise money for projects for the people. “We are not giving up” he says. Want to change the hard opinions that each side has about the other side. Tells about the history of meetings with Israelis that took place through him. He and his friends have done many demonstrations in the past against Hamas and are quite well known in Gaza, even now that some of them are outside it. What concerns Israel, the USA and Egypt is only who will rule after Abbas.
Then, in Zoom, Muhammad ascends. He is also outside Gaza. Muhammad was also active together with Rami and was previously arrested by Hamas. He is currently in a country in Europe where, he says, there are many human rights organizations but they care more about the refugees within it and less about the violation of human rights globally.
Shmulik works and pushes for the employment of Arab laborers who come to Israel and look for work. They have a great fear that they will lose their permits if they engage in something other than work. They live in substandard conditions and work in very difficult conditions. It is difficult to mobilize help for them systematically. Only on personal initiative.
Amir from Kfar Menachem arrived to deliver Meretz’s materials to Nahshi in preparation for the elections. Fell in the charm of the place (and Shmulik’s coffee) and promised to return.
Itzik, who was born in a kibbutz close to Gaza and today lives in Sderot, begins his words by saying “although not all Arabs are terrorists, most terrorists are Arabs”. Itzik deals in security training. He says that his mother, in 1954, was afraid to leave the kibbutz and go to the maternity hospital to give birth to him. As a child he sat on a sand hill in 1967 and saw the bombing of Gaza by our planes. He says that he is not so comfortable saying here in the circle, but nevertheless says that “with 2 neutron bombs we would solve all the problems in Gaza”. Then he will make a reservation and say that it was said in jest and not as a course of action. He referred to the number of residents in Gaza (I quoted the number 2.2 million in my words), he claimed that in his opinion the number is decreasing and not increasing, mainly because many leave for Egypt and about 20% of them do not return and also many women marry men from outside Gaza. In his opinion, the real number does not exceed one and a half million people in the Gaza Strip. In general, the demography is in favor of Israel and the opposite is a fake. He added that anyone who tries to do something for peace is in favor of it. He has friends from all religions and we have many more enemies around.
Uzi says it’s nice that the lighthouse exists and it’s a shame it’s not famous enough. will continue to get interested in our actions and interest us in his actions.
Mark will update the Facebook site from now on. Mark also says that Gaza is where he raised his children. During his son’s bar mitzvah, there was a helicopter flying overhead the whole time and it was very disturbing. When they came back from his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah (which took place far from the conflict line), a rocket fell in Kfar Aza and Jimmy was killed. His children do not want to return to live in the area. Over the years, he has learned a lot here from interesting people who came to the circle (Mark is one of the first of the lighthouse).
Roni says she listens to everyone’s opinion. Listening is the important thing here. But we do talk here about projects and try to do them as well.
Mark says that the “lighthouse” is the collection of opinions of the women who arrive that day. There is no “opinion of the lighthouse”.

We were this time: Roni, Itzik, Nahshi, Mark, Oded, Shmulik, Uzi (with Jimmy the dog), Nomika, Amir, Rami, Muhammad, Uzi, Malki, Samdar, Uri (last 6 in Zoom).
Written by: Oded

Encounter 241 – 21.10.2022

At night it rained lightly throughout the area. Shmulik promises that in two weeks everything around will be painted green.
The crowds of visitors did not come this time (they preferred to continue to Indinegev).
With those who did come, we talked about freedom of speech in Gaza and Israel.
On the 40th anniversary celebrations for Nativ Ha’asara after the evacuation from Sinay.
On the difficulty of getting answers from the people of the Directorate of Coordination and Liaison with Gaza.
About the upcoming elections in Israel, the split and the minority vote.
About Osa’s film and whether it will be screened at Sderot Cinematheque.
On helping the Palestinians to harvest olives in the West Bank, the violence of the settlers and the position of the army that both enables the violence and suffers from it.
On the phone with Rami we talked about joint projects, for example Nisrin’s cosmetics and perfume store in Gaza, which has already received goods from Hebron with our help, started selling and looking for ways to increase the selection.
And also about the Machiavellianism of Hamas – two years ago they accused Bashar Assad of genocide and now they are going to cut alliances with him. And in the same way they attack Israel but send tens of thousands of Gazans to build it.

This time we were: Roni, Mark, Shmulik, Hanan, Rami on the phone and Nahshi.
Written by: Nahshi

Encounter 240 -14.10.2022

These days Ose Oyamendan’s film ” Aswat-Acherim” (Other Voices) is being screened in Tel aviv and Jerusalem Cinematheques. Ose and Ito (his partner) and their other friends came to us today to the lighthouse.
Rami also arrived and he leads the circle.
Rami opens with an explanation of the “Lighthouse”. There are guests from America, so the circuit is conducted in English (something that causes the writer of the summary severe vertigo).
Rami says that we see ourselves in our area as one community and not “us and them”. It’s a home for everyone. We don’t ignore the conflict and what it implies, but in the circle we try to accommodate. Not defined politically. Focus on the relationship between people. Presents the lighthouse as an idea that stems from the phrase “to a place where a light is lit, hope can be steered”.
Uzi was born in 1947 (the period of the British Mandate) his birth certificate is written in English. “I’m Palestinian” he says. Indicates the fact that Kibbutz Gvulot was established without the need for occupation. He arrived to Gvulot in 1965. He remembers contacts and good relations with Gaza after 1967. In the last thirty years, he says, something unfortunate has happened – a loss on both sides. But our side is the stronger one and therefore has the responsibility for the solution. Uzi comes to the circle, according to him, rarely. But he is part of the idea. This week he was at the screening of Ose’s film at Jerusalem and was impressed.
For Roni Gaza it means friends and people who need her help. Roni has learned a lot over the years and understands that it is a home for both parties. Blaming each other is easy, but you have to think about how you live together and that is her motivation for action.
Ito lives with Ose in California. Gaza is an example of how politics interferes and divides. We are all human, she says.
Ose thanks everyone for coming to experience the project with him, the documentary film “Aswat-Acherim “. Osa had previously visited the lighthouse several times. The challenge for him is to give hope. In Gaza, the challenge is to literally “push” the people to hope. He wants to share with the people the hope in him.
For Mary, the situation in front of Gaza is not easy. This complexity intrigues her. We sit here and wait for the Messiah of peace and justice.
Malki wants to continue the line of thought of “hope”, because the opposite is despair. She sees no immediate solution. Maybe the young people will get to live a different life. Her life is good and she came here to remind herself that there is another life, people there are suffering. and hope for the best,
Dina says that Kibbutz Gvulot is part of the shared space with Gaza. You should always think positively to see what can be done to improve, for example small steps like coming here. Doing her best to be active and promote her cause.
Vivian says that for her Gaza is mostly a tragedy. She has been to Gaza many times in the past, as part of her activities in various organizations. Since 2007 it has become dangerous to operate physically inside Gaza. She moved to activity in Ramallah. But the Palestinians there feel they are different from the Gazans and this made it difficult for her.
Cassie was born in America and grew up in Israel. The roots of her family go back to the first Aliya, to Zichron Ya’akov. Appreciate the work of Roni and Ose. Maybe something we can share is hope. She met Ose, was impressed and worked with him on the distribution of the film.
Niv did not know where Gaza was for most of his life. Today he, together with Cassie, are partners in promoting the film. In the past, he heard a lot of talk about peace when he traveled around the country. Now the “peace” is almost no longer heard. There is a small group here, at the lighthouse, that what they are trying to do is indeed difficult, but we have to do what our heart tells us.
Eric is a Jew from New York who did not care that much about the conflict in our region until he met Ose at the university 30 years ago. An African-American, Catholic student who opened his eyes. Through their joint work, he got to know people on both sides of the barrier and got closer to the project matter-of-factly and emotionally. It really moves him that people sit here at the lighthouse every week, believing and discussing a common future for the two peoples in this country.
I had a little trouble understanding Lauren. What I (maybe) understood, is that she has been here in Israel for a week, following the movie, she is from New York but lives in California and they categorize you according to where you come from.
Mark says that every time he walks around this area, he thinks about all the people who once lived there and are now missing from the landscape. They are as refugees on the other side of the fence without the ability to return to the home or village of their parents or grandparents. He also thinks about the Israeli Arabs who recently come less often, their presence in the circle is essential and they are missing. In addition, he thinks of other people whose absence is very noticeable. People who take their worries one step further, don’t “hope” that it will be alright, but get up and work to make it alright, like Martin Luther King. He wants to take advantage of the presence of African Americans in the circle so that they tell us their personal experiences about the question of when not to be satisfied with just talking about hope, but to get up and be active. To produce civil change through direct and non-violent action. The left in Israel is much more passive than the right.
For Bela, Gaza is neighbors near and far. Close, but can’t reach us and we can’t reach them. therefore also far away. You find a feeling of power here in the lighthouse. Living between hope and despair. Visited Kibbutz Kerem Shalom this week. There is a wall separating it from the Gaza Strip. A wall where you can peek at the neighbors. This gave her a bad feeling and she asked God to break down the walls between us.
Ruti lives close to Gaza and sees it from the window. From her residence she hears a lot of war noises. Sometimes it’s scary to walk around the kibbutz. For her, they are not only neighbors, they are also suffering human beings. I don’t agree with many things said here, some are too naive.
17 year-old Mikey will soon enlist in the army. Gaza for him is suffering as he hears. Life there is not good under Hamas rule. It’s hard to help even if you want to. Heard a lot about the issue and also heard ideas for a solution. The people here see Gaza every day. During operations there are bombs and sounds of war. Those who live in the center think it is everyday.
Shmulik says that he is currently focusing on only one Gazan. Yusuf is his name. Helps him look for and find a job, makes sure he receives a salary as he deserves, takes care of transportation and also lodges him in his home. This is his contribution, to one person from Gaza.
I didn’t quite understand the things I said in English, so Mary translated and sent it to me to add to the summary. Here they are for you: For Oded, Gaza is a mirror that reflects shame, guilt and rage. The lie he grew up with since he was born 69 years ago. A lie denial and concealment. In recent years he has been researching the situation and the conflict, but finds that it distances him from other Israeli people who do not want to know. Therefore knowing more does not help. Just takes away from people and family.
Rami concludes and asks what “hope” means and replies that it is something you strive for and hope for. Every morning we get up and hope for the best. Tells about his grandfather’s passport that came from Russia in 1892. The grandfather was an Ottoman and later a British citizen. was an exporter of agricultural produce from Palestine throughout the empire. He was allowed to go anywhere in space. Rami is happy that in his life he was able to visit Egypt and Jordan, and hopes in his days to get stamps in his passport from Syria, Iraq and more.
This time we were: Ruti, Mary, Mark, Oded, Shmulik, Rami, Mikey, Bella, Dina, Malki, Uzi, Ose, Ito, Eric, Roni, Vivian, Cassie, Niv, Lauren.
Written by: Oded
Photografed by: Malki and Mary.

Encounter 239 – 7.10.2022

Today we talked about Osa’s film “Aswat-Acherim” which will be screened in the coming week at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and once also at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on 10/13. The film was shot over 10 years and is attended by friends we know from Gaza and Sderot.
After the festive screenings, Osa and his team plan to come to us for the upcoming lighthouse meeting.
Ahead of the olives picking season with the Palestinians in the West Bank, I tried to convey my impressions of last year’s picking in a hope that…
We talked to Rami and realized that despite his current location, he is not silent on the yeast and continues to try to cultivate relationships.
A mini-discussion developed on the (philosophical?) question of the concept of a “democratic Jewish state”. Interesting, but the discussion arose near the time of dispersal and faded with it.
We also talked about the upcoming elections, about agendas, about who votes and who doesn’t.
And how is it possible without a few words about the new “All Citizens party” (if you will “Voice of all Citizens”) and the insights, mainly from Roni and me who are in it’s WhatsApp group. This organization, if anyone was wondering, was indeed registered as a party, but will not participate in the upcoming elections.
Surely more topics came up, but due to my forgetfulness and advanced age, they did not make it to print.
When Mary arrived after hot summer months, we noticed how much we miss our friends Jaber, Mehran, Rami, Radir and all the other Aswat-Acherim.
This time we were: Nahshi, Moshe, Roni, Mark, Malki, Bella, Hanan, Mary, Oded.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 238 – 30.9.2022

Another Friday.
Shmulik, Moshe, Oded, Roni and Nachshi who also brought his puppies Yefet and Nina. All three left after an hour or so.
There are four of us left.
Roni told the stories of our friends in Gaza. The human spirit, it turns out, aspires not only for freedom, love and hope, it also weaves into these lofty aspirations, twisted and surprising telenovelas.
Then we talked… The framework of speech is always related to conflict through history, fear, literature, cinema, encounters, true or false information and more.
Just when we wanted to disperse, arrived… no one came and we dispersed.
This time we were: Moshe, Roni, Shmulik, Oded, Nachshi (+ Nina and Yefet)
Written by: Oded

Encounter 237 – 23.9.2022

This time Ofek came to our circle. He went out for the weekend plus a holiday.
Hayuta, Shmulik, Mark, Nahshi and I also arrived.
Mr. Haruvi arrived and the conversation got a twist.
Doubt in earnest, doubt in jest, Rami demanded the “ceremony”, that is, a round of speech to the consciousness of Gaza. Since we have already heard hundreds of times the “minds” of various kinds, the ones that each of us usually says in the ears of occasional guests, it became possible to expand the reference to Gaza in new ways.
It started with Ofek who told how he found an opportunity to tell a “civilian” fact about Gaza precisely in a place that is the most “closed” to listen to such facts.
Mark pointed out the barriers hindering the initiatives we have started to roll out and their current state.
I raised a question that concerns me from time to time, are those who demand the regional good aware of the need to give up their privileged status when it comes to the use of resources? Resources that are currently given to them in huge excess at the expense of those whose use is prevented?
Rami addressed my question, calling it “self-flagellation” and also explained his position on the matter. He also claimed that already at the age of 18 he announced that he was ready to share the assets of his settlement with the neighbors.
Shmulik said that he is currently focused on “Project Yusuf” and his brothers. Yusuf is already here and working and his brothers Shmulik is still trying to bring as well.
Nahshi said in connection with the “distribution of resources” that I brought up, that he indeed remembers that Rami came back and talked about his willingness to share his property with his neighbors and that Shamulik is a communist so that the distribution of wealth is inherent in his ideological teaching.
Hayuta said that in her opinion she is the least “Gazatian” of all of us and chose to address the question of “resources” through the criticism of the treatment of equation as a social value. She asked rhetorically why we brilliantly carry great universal egalitarian values (man, women, resources, etc.) but give them up in our immediate environment (kibbutz, community, nation).
Mark also asked to address the “resources” issue. Mark is active in climate and environmental issues and brought us some fascinating (and alarming!) facts about the global use of natural resources.
After that, an interesting discussion on the subject developed, although unfortunately there was too much in the personal direction (“You do beautiful things with your abilities”) and less in the public direction of the distribution of resources. The discussion was so interesting that even at a quarter to four, Shmulik worked on making another pot of coffee.
This time we were: Shmulik, Nahshi, Hayuta, Ofek, Mark, Oded, Rami.
Written by: Oded