Encounter no. 119 – June 26, 2020

Another Friday, another meeting.
Hayuta opens, saying that indeed Gaza is the reason for our coming together, but she is not in contact with Gazans so she is here mainly to support the supporters…
Shmulik sits here because of the human commitment and awareness of the goings-on in Gaza and the people he knew there. He speaks about his visits in Hizma with Faisal. Unfortunately, his contact with Gaza has lately been broken…
Malki (like Hayuta) has no historical ties with Gaza. In her opinion no one in the country is privileged to do nothing. When a security event (terrorist attack? Military operation?) begins, she is concerned, but on second thought, she realizes that to a certain extent they (Palestinians) need to remind Israel at times that it has locked them in, and to remind the world that they are here (the world has an easy time forgetting all about them…). Malki feels good about this social encounter. She understands that the situation there (in Gaza) is abnormal.
Dina connects with the circle. The idea “speaks” to her. The Gaza issue is urgent. Can more be done about it? Beyond talking in a circle… There is a gap between the situation and our possibilities to do something about it. She didn’t know about the “young committee” in Gaza. She admits that she should come out of her zone and do more. Last week she learned much about the Bedouins through the circle.
Hayuta updates Dina about our communication history with the Gazan group, our disconnection from them and our duty to keep silent. Dina speaks about a window of opportunity that came up a few years ago for her to create ties with Yemen. She participated in a course for tour guides in Yemen but it was closed because the Israelis talked too much… It’s a miss. One needs to know when to keep silent…
Nahshi tells us he used to work, was acquainted with and met Gazans. Ever since Israel’s ‘disengagement’ from Gaza and his everyday life, Gaza was pushed in the oblivion of his consciousness. Since he began coming to the circle he found in it his chance to get closer to the conflict and know more about the reasons for the recent exacerbation. Gazan youngsters don’t know Israelis, and vice versa. In Migdalor Nahshi found his niche for activism. In historical perspective, past attempts of political frameworks have not succeeded. Israel erased Gaza from public awareness. Nahshi is doing something minor, and good – for himself as well. The forum is interesting. He believes that the grains of sand will unite as “terra firma” – stable ground. The anomality cannot last forever. He has renewed his contact with the Gazans he knew, a family who had worked on his kibbutz. Some time ago, he tells whoever did not know, a cooking gas container blew up. Said, one of the brothers he had known, dies of his wounds. They were glad to renew contact with Nahshi who even raised money in his kibbutz after the destruction of their building block plant following that accident, but now they are disconnected again. There is a mango fruit merchant with whom he speaks occasionally. He tells of the Harassment by Hamas. They have sought ways to meet. The man has dealings with Israel. They were looking for a way to meet through “The Road to Recovery” (Israeli volunteer actions to take Palestinian patients to hospitals from the checkpoints to hospitals inside Israel), so when some aunt of this fellow hade to undergo treatment in Israel Nahshi helped drive her and a chance to listen and speak. There are people behind the stories, and many years of erased awareness.
Bella came for her own sake. She can express her inner feelings. She doesn’t see them, but she feels them. Because of our group, there is hope. We are undergoing a bad period of time. There is nothing to expect from the leaders, they don’t count us. Here she is able to raise her voice for peace. We might despair, but the Gazans are far more desperate. She dreams of a better future and has came to the meeting for the coffee…
Mark feels frustrated about the circle but says it’s his own fault, not the circle’s. The circle was important for him. He found his own ability to change and raise his head. He recalls the European radical left’s own modes of action. People in the circle helped him dare ask questions that contest the mainstream’s idea of things. The next step, supposedly more active, is not yet here. He knows that as a Jewish citizen in Israel his own words and deeds touch upon non-Jewish citizens, and that injustice is carried out in his name. Environment interests him but there too it is theory and not practice that has the upper hand. Criticism has not helped, and his has no criticism of the others. He studies Arabic with Haneen who has left two children and a husband and moved to Portugal. He says Haneen is troubled by the upcoming planned annexation. She can be met on the “We Are Not Numbers” website. Mark speaks with her about the “Youth Committee”, about Alaa and Liora. She thinks that youngsters from both sides should be speaking about the occupation before they get into joint projects. Heneen is in a difficult mental state in the present situation, separated from her own family. Mark suggests that Migdalor participants bring up ideas in writing. Writing is significant. Perhaps publish an anthology of papers.
Michal has come because of Hayuta… She is not political. She is curious. Came to check it out… Mostly listening. Nomika has many activism items on her resume, in the framework of “Other Voice”. Today she was on a Palestine tour organized by the Ir Amim (Jerusalem) association that took place to show people the significance of annexation. Every few months she tours the occupied territories with a different organization. More landgrab, more confiscations. She spoke of a joint project that employs engineers from Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. There are many demonstrations protesting the annexation that are not at all covered in the media. The book, Alone in Berlin, is a constitutive book regarding am individual’s action resisting the ruling consensus. She suggests planning an event at the Erez Crossing. The PA’s committee on interacting with Israeli society has renewed its activity. They should be invited to the Migdalor circle. Finally, she spoke extensively about the American hospital project in Gaza.
And finally, an apology: last week I wrote that Nurit, Uzi’s sister, came for the first time. Not true! She has already been with us 4 times. All power to her…
Participants: Hayuta,k Shmulik, Malki, Dina, Nahshi, Mark, Oded, Michal, Bella, Nomika.
Wrote: Oded

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