Encounter 121 – July 10, 2020

So we got together, as Yossi Sarid (well-known left-wing politician, publicist and writer, now deceased) used to say.
The circle today was held in several rounds. The first included Shmulik, Oded, Rami, Roni and Hayuta. We began by warming up personally and joking about one another from the sheer pleasure of meeting.
Rami began by telling about work he has been doing in the Eilot region. Following this work he has been pondering the question whether the value of work has totally vanished from our present mental world.
Each of the participants voiced their opinion on the subject:
Shmulik claimed that ever since the kibbutz abandoned the idea of its members doing all the work, labor in general has become devalued, probably in conjunction with the general collapse of the communal kibbutz idea.
Rami wonders about that change and gave for example one of the main figures of kibbutz Be’eri who knew how to harness people to work at the kibbutz’ printing press, and give it and them meaning through their work.
Hayuta stated that any human interaction that has one going out from the self to the collective – be it as it may – means work.
The circle’s second round began when Mark, Malki, Uzi and Bella joined us. Rami raised the issue of annexation and our response to the possibility of annexing the Gaza Strip.
Mark claimed that annexation from a position of superiority without any dialogue is unacceptable.
Shmulik referred to the semantics of the word ‘annexation’. He thinks that the word (sipuach in Hebrew) connotes the minimization of the annexed people to a kind of marginalized superfluity. This, in his opinion, contradicts the idea of equality of human beings be they who they may. Shmulik raised the idea of egalitarian annexation according to the Swiss canton model.
Rami brought up the hypothetical possibility based on historical examples of annexations that were beneficial to the annexed population. Such as Britain’s control of Israel during the British Mandate {1919-1948)/
Hayuta deliberated between loyalty to the value of human equality as a supreme value, and an extreme following of this value resulting in leaving the situation unresolved
Oded said that his resolute opinions about human equality and other matters have not in been in vogue for many years now. “I am used to this, I know that I cannot be on the winning side…”
Roni believes in dialogue with the Gazans.
So does Malki.
Bella expressed her fear of losing her (Jewish-Israeli) identity if the Gazans become an inseparatble part of the State of Israel.
Uzi supports parts of the Trump plan. He thinks Gaza should be helped as much as possible but remain outside Israel’s borders and control. Our power assures our survival and protects our neighbors, especially the Palestinian and the Jordanians. He also thinks that the powerful and victorious are responsible for the weak and vanquished…
At the close of these rounds, Mark expressed the idea of publishing a written text about various issues. Rami focused the Gaza matter. We all welcomed the initiative. Rami added that Mark would share it with others. Whatever is done alone, is not done – he remarked.
Mark concluded the circle by telling a painful personal story about accompanying an ill Palestinian to the checkpoint post-surgery.
Shabat Shalom!
Written by Hayuta

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