Lighthouse 101 – February 21, 2020

Present were Rami, Roni, Nomika, Arik, Rinat, Malki, Uzi, Hanan, Limor and Nahshi.
Many travelers came close and many of them even sat down with us in our circle: a couple from Be’er Ya’acov, a young man born in Kibbutz Re’im who came with a Greek friend, a couple from Be’erotayim on the Green Line, a Bedouin shepherd grazing his flock nearby, four vicycle riders from Tel Aviv and Rishon Le-Tziyon, Dina from Kibbutz Gvulot, friends of Malki from Mevaseret Tziyon, other friends of Malki’s from Arugot whose names are unforgettable (Shlomo and Shlomit…), Vivian and Orit from Kibbutz Be’eri, Rachel from Harish who defined herself as a peace-loving religious Jew and said she had taken part in a story translation project from Gaza – “We Across the Fence”, and there were also Gidi and his wife from Nirim who came back from the 96th “Hadar Vigil” (demanding the return of Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Ebre Mengisto and Hisham A-Sayed).
We spoke about the transparency of the Gazans whom no one actually sees, about the conflict, about the tension that has caused us to lose our ability to empathize with our neighbors, about the leaders who “manage” the conflict instead of solving it; about the fact that acquaintance is a condition for understanding and the ability to reach agreements. The problem is that on both sides people know ‘the other’ less and less, and have almost given up trying; about the fact that one can no longer celebrate birthdays with balloons in our area.
And after all of that, it is in fact people, lots of people in Israel and in Gaza who can improve their lives if we only manage to leave violence behind.
… This time we did not manage to speak with our Gazan friends on the phone, but we save their place in our hearts and in our circle.