Lighthouse 99 – February 7, 2020

A little while after our arrival, another car came to the parking area and man with a cowboy hat disembarked. He turned and walked away from the British sulfur plant where we were assembling as we are wont, for our 99th weekly meeting.
“Ah-huh” I said to Nahshi and Shmulik who came with me, and to Mark who had also arrived – “here’s someone who really doesn’t want us to invite him”.
We continued arranging our seats and two minutes later the cowboy hat entered. Underneath the hat was Jeff Parness. Jeff, a veteran ‘Migdalorist’ who lives in New York said to his wife on Sunday that “there’s a flight in three hours”. Yesterday he was already lying amidst the (Israeli) wild anemones and photographing himself…
He was followed, one after another, by Micha, Roni, Gadir, Mohammad (from Bu’eine village in the Galilee, a teacher in Nazareth), Ye’ela, Limor, Raz (from Haifa) and his friend Liza (from Germany) – two travelers who have been charmed by the wonders of our circle, and like them – Shai and Shaked, still in uniform, travelling together on their weekend leave.
Niva and Noa also arrived, and for our last hour – Mirale, her daughter Neta and graddaughter Keren.
Last to arrive was Rami who had returned from a meeting at Neve Shalom and entered with a young couple he picked up on the way. They stayed only for a short while and we didn’t manage to ask them their names…
As we do every week, we also hosted Rami and Manar who were only present with their voices on the telephone. While we listened to them Shmulik went out to meet a group of travelers who were curious but preferred to keep their distance. Shmulik, of course, spoke to them about the charms of the circle and its importance for regional reconciliation.
The sharp-sighted among you will note that I haven’t yet mentioned Uri’s presence. Well, this Uri who – in his opinion – holds views opposed to “ours”, came in order to wipe out graffiti drawn a few months ago on the plant wall. Uri, who joins the circle occasionally, felt obliged to wipe out the graffiti because he knows the person who wrote it. With roller and white paint, the graffiti was soon all gone. Then Uri joined the circle.
Naturally with so many participants an acquaintance circle was necessary and we went ahead with it.
Surprisingly the weather was nice and unlike the predictions clear and not particularly cold. The designed coffee cups were filled one by one and served by Nahshi to all interested…
Notably absent this time were the film students from Sapir College who have been filming us for 10 weeks running, and did not show up today… Well, we’re not offended, but we miss them…
Topics that came up:
• Faith and hope – what do they mean for our anticipation of sanity returning to the region;
• Micha read out a poem by Robert Frost about neighborliness and fences/walls;
• Rami said he does not wish to speak about Trump, Bibi and manipulations for staying in office. He is waiting for the day when Gadir will be Israel’s Prime Minister and Jeff President of the US;