Encounter 171 – 25.6.2021

As has been our custom for three years or more, we gathered today at the Lighthouse. Since we were all one of the regular participants (who less, who more…) and we often and even more than twice heard our opinions / thoughts / consciousness on the Gaza issue, a conversation took place in a broader context.
Vivian talks about the “Mosaica” organization founded by Rabbi Michael Melchior. They do a lot of things below the surface, she says. It is an organization of Jewish and Arab clerics. Abdullah Nimer Darwish, who had extremist views, decided to join Melchior in setting up “Mosaica”. They built a network to influence extremists on both sides to put out flames, especially at a time of violent outbreak in the area. When Darwish died, he was mourned by extremists on both sides… “Mosaica” mediated between RAAM and Bennett in the formation of the Israeli government.
Roni spoke with Rami and he says that the Palestinian leaderships are not going to cooperate.
Shmulik argues that a disk should be changed regarding Hamas. The late Rabbi Froman of Tekoa argued that religion can and should be a bridge between people and not a separation.
Radir is also in a common group of clerics. She hopes that “mosaica” can indeed influence the extremists.
Vivian wants to say something more positive… tells about the director of the Erez crossing who says in an interview that the Israeli attitude towards Gaza is unfounded and should be done exactly the opposite. He was interviewed on the 972 website. The army’s response to his remarks was a question of his private opinions…

Roni wonders if he expresses such opinions because he intends to leave…
More from Vivian – something she heard from a bookstore owner, also political literature, located in front of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem. He divides the Palestinian activists in East Jerusalem into three groups: the progressives who after the prayer in the mosque go to Sheikh Jarrah, the religious who go to al-Aqsa and the young people to the Damascus gate. Israel decided to provoke all three groups and the Palestinian authority did not respond… He told Vivian that entering al-Aqsa would cause the red lines to be crossed.
Nahshi says that when something provocative like the “idiotic” flag parade happens, it should be understood that a reaction from the stomach creates the opposite effect to the intention of the respondents.
Salah says the media needs to be more balanced. Bring in dialogue people from all sides. Fluent and not quarrelsome.
According to Dina, one should not wait for something to happen, one should initiate.
Jaber says the media has no reason to publish anything calm, it does not bring ratings. Leaders will always say “Watch out for the other, I’m fine”.
Radir says that after the assassination of Yaakov Abu al-Qa’an, they held a protest march that ended in a relatively calm conversation and at this point the media moved away and were not interested because “there is no meat”…
I said that even though Israel deliberately crosses red lines, it does not pay a price…
Vivian replies that a price has been paid and we are victims of the settlers who are dragging the area into conflict. This is (and will be…) the price.
Malki says that the public in Israel does not see that Israel pays a price because it really does not pay.
Dina says that someone should take the initiative on the other side as well and keep quiet and then it will be good for everyone.
Jaber replies, “If you are lying on the floor and I put My foot on your neck and any movement of yours will hurt you”, is this a kind of “quiet”? Jaber knows someone who has never prayed in his life, and now suddenly, wants to go to Al Aqsa to protect the worshipers… that is, Israel’s behavior infuriates everyone. Israel “puts the PA in the small pocket”… does not treat it as an influential factor. Poses ridiculous conditions in exchange for an end to the violence.

Dina thinks that today’s situation is a result and not a cause. We want to help them develop the civilian spheres so we all will be able to “sit quietly”. Want them to understand that too.
Vivian explains that it is not a matter of water or electricity but their desire for self-determination as a people sitting on their land.
Shmulik says that there are contacts below the surface. Israel has a tendency to conflict between Gaza and the West Bank. This is a game that manages the strong side in the area. If we do not change the attitude towards the political forces in the region nothing will change. “Oded,” says Shmulik, speaks of “red lines,” but there are none… There is no mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinians. In Israel, Hamas sees a terrorist organization and also convinces the world that this is the case.
Malki changed the subject and talks about the new hospital that was established with American assistance in the area of ​​the Erez crossing.
Roni says it’s works in very small grade… Hamas is having difficulties. The equipment entered the hospital slowly. There are some doctors and pharmacists but little work because of the difficulties that Hamas places on the arrival of patients. People act as individuals according to their ability to advance the issue.

Participants: Salah, Shmulik, Radir, Malki, Dina, Roni, Oded, Vivian, Nahashi, Jaber.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 170 – 18.6.2021

A group of teachers from a high school in Tel Aviv is touring the area. The end of the tour is with us at the “Lighthouse”.

Radir introduces them to the rationale of the “lighthouse” meetings, Begin a “circle”.
Jaber says policymakers think the village where he lives (“unrecognized”) is in another country… the “circle” is important to him. Gaza is suffering, neighbors and family. Their condition is even worse than the condition of an unknown beduin vilages…
Hayuta, comes from time to time. Part of the education she received from her father is to be human and sensitive to the suffering of others.
Shmulik says he is an individualist communist… knows it is an oxymoron, but that’s how he feels… he reads a poem he wrote inspired by Gaza.
Moshe says he participates sometimes. In times like the last, when we experienced war, the lighthouse is important. It’s a kind of hope. We have refuge and time for hope… They have none.
Nahshi, was in friendships with Gazans who worked with him. The “lighthouse” is a kind of connection.
Naomi, member of “Other Voice“. She says (quote) “It is unthinkable that something unthinkable will last for an unthinkable time”!
Shelly rarely comes. Keep in touch. “It’s easy to suffer from someone else’s stomach ache,” she says of suffering in Gaza.
Rafi says that wherever Other voice is heard he comes to strengthen. He does not accept what is happening in Gaza. People, mostly innocent, should not go through that.
Smadar has had contact with Gaza since childhood. She was born and raised in Ashkelon, where many Gazan workers used to come. Those who have sensitivity after must understand their suffering. Recommends connections to groups that report what is happening beyond the fence. (“We are not numbers” for example…)
Radir talks about her activities. Here, in the “Lighthouse”, a family feels. It is important for her to be in space. Palestinian citizens of Israel should be a bridge to peace. Come so as not to lose hope.
Bella is already excited from the moment of starting the trip to here. Live on the daily despair side of what is going on around. Concern for friends who are close to the fence and beyond the fence. I would like to hope that the change of government and the arrival of the group of teachers at our Lighthouse will contribute to the change.
Malki identifies with every word said before her. Comes from the despair that does not pass. They, in Gaza, have no horizon.
Adva: The situation must change. A lighthouse represents the direction in which one should aim. It is difficult for her with the moral conflict in which she finds herself.
Maya: Writer. Great excitement to be here. Loves to come to meetings with people. With the help of speech, one must “undermine” the unjust reality.
Naomi: It suits her to be within the sincerity created in the circle. Gaza is a black hole for her. She was looking for a source of hope and came here. Gaza is a black spot on us and we have a responsibility for it. Her job as an educator is to flood in and talk about moral dilemmas, to expose students to what is happening. To bring us and them closer together.
Neil: First time so close to Gaza. Lost hope. It’s awful to lose hope. Perhaps meeting such people who produce empathic discourse, returns a little of it.
Ayelet from the north and she appreciates the people who live daily in the envelope. Everyone has the right to life. The push for change must come from below.
Aviva says the residents are crying out for help and need help.
Daniela says she was not born in Israel and “does not know the situation like you”. Her students come from different places, a cosmopolitan class. Come here to hear more than to make.
Za’a: As for Gaza, it has lost hope. Think this is a reality that will not change. Looking for a voice that will make a different “melody”. Today, on a tour of the region and a visit to the “lighthouse”, a small light of hope is lit. “Thank you for being who you are,” she says. Now you know you should not lose hope.
Ze’ev thanks for the opportunity to be here. Feels responsible and especially ashamed of the actions of the state. Strives to make small repairs in the world. The encounter floods the injustices and Ze’ev admits the inspiration.
Nomika talks about the establishment of “Other Voice”. Look for another way to mark national and national holidays. Time has weight in making a person numb. How much can be contained… Humanity is lost from many unjust injustices. It is impossible to mediate life in this violent space for one who has not experienced it firsthand. She gave up the great effort of the activists in the various organizations is perseverance. The ability not to lose empathy even when you are attacked, the ability to contain another story as well. In “Other Voice” they faced a lot of different opinions. It takes effort.
Yaniv grew up in Ashkelon. In the neighborhood of Gaza. His views have always been in the minority. Family dinners “explode” because of his views… Happy about the meeting at “Lighthouse”. We need to make our voices heard more.
Nili served in the area. Need one human existence, she says. Grew up in Jaffa. They had a friend from Gaza who was kind of a family. The house was culturally open. Umm Kaltum heard at home. Believes in discourse. The voice she hears here is not other voice, it is a human voice. Experienced dissonance with the peace, quiet and nature in front of the burnt fields.
Shurouff is excited. Comes from Tira, an Arabic teacher. Want to know what we’re going through. Gaza for her is a soul. Came here to breathe the air of Gaza.
Avichai says that in the last round, the Israeli brutality that was reflected in the media, “came to Tel Aviv with cries”… Here, in “Lighthouse”, it is a little escape from the depression that accompanies it. Asks himself, to what world is he raising his daughters? How could he mediate it for them? Did he stay true to his beliefs? He knows Gaza through military service. He has not returned to the area since. Thanks for the welcome in “Circle”.
Neta, a resident of the area, thanks the teachers who came from Tel Aviv today. Her life is an “amusement park”… between hope and despair. Life alarms are not made more comfortable… She has no answer as to how children are raised here, this is home so she is here. But the effect of the violent atmosphere, hard on the children. It is also difficult with what is happening on the other side. When she was still a child, in one of the rounds of violence, her daughter told her that the children in Gaza had no alarm and no way to defend themselves.
Luciana is a teacher. Gaza is a mystery. But in the last round she cried all the time. She’s a mom! Fled to the north because she could not bear the situation. We are working in education to change something in the minds of young people.
Noga. We tasted the suffering of the conflict a few weeks ago. It’s a circle of friends and it’s good to go back and meet the people. It is difficult to change reality, but there is value without burying your head in the sand. And here, in “Circle,” an act is done.
Shaul has a desire to try to live together, but he does not believe in a political settlement in our generation. However, he does see the possibility of living together, in the series. Through integration into space. Shaul’s “partner” for the series is actually the extremist on the other side.

The moderates may be nice, but creating a common life, it’s only with the extremists. A senior GSS official once told him that when he interrogated a Hamas man, they found a common language between them and they maintain contact to this day on both sides of the fence. Islam says that it is possible to live with the enemy even in a state of conflict. Israel is in conflict. Arrangements are needed that will “move” the conflict a little, even if the opinions of the enemies do not change. It is necessary and possible to find a way to live together.
Miriam has children and grandchildren who live in the area. Gaza is neighbors. This is a place where she has walked before and almost slept in a hotel on the beach… not losing hope. Tonight was a difficult experience. There was a loud explosion and she was attacked with anxiety. Not worried about herself but about her granddaughter (18) who was staying with her with a friend. She was afraid of them. In the morning she received a phone call from her cousin who asked her how you live there at the “foot of the Vesuvius”… Miriam says this is true on both sides of the border… There is a contrast between the pastoralism outside and the “rounds” violence. Miriam is frustrated but frustration is accompanied by hope. Think what Shaul said is worth listening to. Twice a year she receives a phone call from Khaled from Gaza greeting her on holidays.
rami. In the circle one meets life. Every Friday there is someone to talk to. Gaza is his internal struggles. Sit week after week with the mental difficulty he is in and see that something manages to sparkle. Choose today to listen and speak at the end. Constantly asking himself anew, what is the reason for people to choose to come here? Are there people who get up in the morning for a change of consciousness? The Neighborhood to Gaza and the knowledge he has accumulated about it since childhood, made him decide to talk about it and found the meeting and the “lighthouse”. We are talking about Gaza. Whoever decides that there is no one to talk to creates another wall. Glad his son graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration. This will be able to change consciousness. Gaza is an opportunity to speak to the suffer but open heart to love.
We also talked to our friend in Gaza. It was hard to hear but a connection was made between him and the group of teachers. The conversation with them continued on the bus after they left.

We were: Radir, Jaber, Shmulik, Moshe, Naomi, Rafi, Shelly, Nahashi, Smadar, Bella, Malki, Adva, Maya, Naomi, Neil, Ayelet, Aviva, Rami, Daniela, Za’a, Ze’ev, Nomika, Yaniv, Nili, Shuruof, Avichai, Neta, Luciana, Oded, Noga, Shaul, Miriam, Rami.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 169 – 11.6.2021

Just as Shmulik was pouring four cups of coffee (Nahshi will come later…) the first four guests arrived to the circle. Ayelet, Mani, Ziona and Yoram. Ayelet has been several times and Ziona, who she and Yoram came from the north, is very intrigued by the phenomenon of a group of people, not young (to say the least…) sitting on elementary school chairs, around a green “classroom table”, in a remote pine grove in the Be’eri Reserve…

I present the circle and Ziona constantly interrupts me in an attempt to understand what… what… who and why… the best explanation is the circle itself…
Shmulik explains the rationale for which he is here. Asks Ziona that when she returns home, she will tell on about us. He expands a bit on Ramy (who has not yet arrived…) who as the founder of the idea and a native of the place, best tells the story of the space. Shmulik says that in the last war he stayed at home because this is home…
Hayuta tries to convince Ziona that if she listens and lets the circular speech flow, she will understand the rationale. Hayuta comes occasionally to reinforce her meaning in life.
Roni knows Gaza far beyond the popular knowledge gained in the country. It’s much easier to hate when you don’t see a face, she says. 50% of the Gaza population, under the age of 18 – have not seen or know an Israeli who is not a soldier. When Roni decided it was important to get to know, she started driving patients (“the road to recovery”). On the ride she listened. Sometimes it was unpleasant to hear. There are those she keeps in touch with. She has a friend who she helped go to school in the US. Connects between schools, artists, young people. She comes here because she wants to convey the message that it is possible. Both peoples have a historical affinity for this place. We must reconcile. It is a circle of listeners. Tells about Uri who was last week and whose statements are difficult to contain in relation to the Arabs. He told her that he came “because here, people listen to him.” It was time we stopped saying there is no one to talk to, says Roni. And the world and recently a lot of groups from preparatory schools and schools are coming.
Ayelet was born in Kiryat Bialik and until the age of 18 she knew nothing about Gaza. Got there during military service. After the army she lived in Yamit and there she also got married. She has a lot of experiences in common with Gazans. She is impressed by the perseverance of the circle… It is exciting to know that we are present every Friday.
Ziona was born in an area in a moshav near Ofakim. She moved north as a child. Gaza was a place of shopping and freedom. Great beaches and streets with the smell of fish… Now Gaza is bombs and missiles… When Roni spoke she hears hope. The idea of ​​the “lighthouse” is great! But lacks the public effect in her opinion.
Yoram was born and raised in the valley. Has never been in contact with Gaza. Defines himself as leftist… The idea of ​​the circle sounds great but a lot of talk and… What else? Do you have a feeling that something happened in Israel thanks to your sitting here? He asks. The situation is getting worse on both sides. Why do young people not come here? The extremist people, are the ones who set the tone in this country and this circle, far from their hearts. Good things do not happen… He does not see them (the good things…) and does not feel them.
Mani has a lot of contact with Gaza from the past, now and probably in the future as well. When he worked at Yamit, he lived in the Tel Aviv area.
Hanan, Limor, Nachashi, Maharan and Amichai arrive.
Hanan says that the last time he came to the “circle” was three weeks ago, after the ceasefire “broke out”. Since then, there have been a lot of dramas. Hanan continues to strengthen hope here and in Jerusalem on Saturday. In his opinion, the activity in Jerusalem and the bridges “persuaded” Likud members not to go to the polls. The connection to the circle is that civilian activity can change!
Limor comes because she has less hope… In this situation, dominance is dictated by violence. The last round was more violent. Limor lives under two “hats”. One “hat” is her work at the Resilience Center where she supports the victims of mental crises and treats anger and frustration, and a second “hat” are her personal opinions that she should, to some extent, keep to herself. Limor has an idea to initiate a move through which you can feel real action. She wants to ask all therapists to go through an anxiety treatment workshop. Raise funds to fund the workshop and also bring therapists from Gaza. She has a fantasy that she works hand in hand with a Gazan therapist… wants to bring a film created after a the last war and screen it in front of all the therapists.
Amichai came because of Nahshi… he’s a lawyer. Came today with Maharan with whom he met a lot in court. As a teenager he worked a lot with Gazans that his uncles, Earthworks contractors, employed. There are colleagues in the profession for whom he knows that the Gazans are Damon… He has a friend from the moshav in whose house a Gazan worked who actually raised him as a mother. He too had strong friends, on other days, who were really a part of his life. He tells his friends that it is possible. Hope the circles grow.
Maharan saw this morning the coalition agreement with the “Ra’am” party. The agreement benefits the Arabs in the long run. Israeli Arabs will continue to “observe” what is happening in Gaza. Mansour Abbas told Sinuar that he “will not cause problems” until they form a government. In the war, everyone loses. Read in the Egyptian press that al-Sisi brings heavy equipment for the reconstruction of Gaza and it will bring Egypt 500 million $. Biden wants Gaza Egyptian and not Qatari. No longer free from the noise of the Middle East because the Chinese are at the gate and need to be valued in front of them.
Jaber, who is known to all of us from al-Zarnok, says that “an unrecognized village” is worth a trash can in the corner of the country… he came because he feels missing us… the first time he participated in “circle”, he felt that . Some light inside the black… We must continue to operate through the lighthouse. In Gaza, the situation is bad and it is a human act to worry about friends and neighbors. Who started or who was before it does not matter. Let’s work for both of us together.
Calling from Gaza, to Roni’s cell phone. Ramy takes the mobile from Roni and makes a round between everyone and everyone says a few words of greeting and sympathy.

Rami says that last night he was in a tent on the beach in Ashdod. Find a quiet place, but ATVs got there… heard they speak Arabic and all at once, all the “work” he does with himself “disappears”. Thoughts began to surface about the clashes that took place in the cities during the war. Although the Arabic language is so beloved by him, he was “frozen.” He told himself that it was sad that the statements, that if we persisted in fences and separations we would not be able to contain the hostility, would come true. His soul is tired. Here in the pine grove, near his house, where the tanks have traveled and the planes have passed, near Gaza which does not go out of his mind, he finds little refuge. Gaza is a clear knowledge that everything is shattered. The political change is causing a shock to many people. And the mental load only increases. Suddenly the demons come from the past and defeat it. The mind is exhausted. Finds some comfort in the fact that there is no longer any energy for hostility either… The war in Gaza tried to ignite hostility in the streets, but in his opinion it did not really work. The earth is not really burning and maybe this will lead to a new way. For that it’s worth every second he sits here. Gaza is not going anywhere and people are not disappearing. It is a joy mixed with sadness. Very soon we will see something else, he says.
Radir says Gaza is a big prison and any of the leaders who want to make “shofuni” use Gaza. Gaza is present here (in the “circle”…) because we are here. Even the media ignores. Killing children in war is the worst thing. Participates in the “Peace Square” (of the Bereaved Families Forum) in Zoom, and someone said there that because the Gazans responded, they deserve all the respect. This radius caused mental anguish, hoping for a more containing discourse. When she saw her family’s assessments in Acre in the face of the violence, in the clashes that took place in the streets, she was horrified. A friend from Lod told her that her neighbor, with his weapon, protected the neighborhood and now it is difficult for her to ask for the obvious, that it is to collect the illegal weapon…
Nahshi comes as he can… it is the anchor of the things he does to feel that he relates to what is being done around it. Gets to know more and more people and learns. This is the practical thing he can do to realize even a little of the potential for an encounter with the Gazans. Know every Friday that this is the first important thing to do. Maybe maybe maybe now we can say that there is some shift in a better direction…
This is for today… Next week we are supposed to host teachers from the “Herzliya Gymnasium” school in Tel Aviv…

We were: Hayuta, Shmulik, Oded, Roni, Ayelet, Mani, Ziona, Yoram, Rami, Rami, Hanan, Limor, Nahashi, Maharan, Jaber, Amichai, Radir.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 168 – 4.6.2021

Both the “circle” of the day and that of last week, were characterized by “sitting on the edge of the chair” … that is, those who do not agree with the speaker’s words, slide to the edge of the chair impatiently to respond immediately … Luckily for us, there is still respect for the speaking procedure used in the circle and we let the speaker finish his / her words …
It opens with a discussion around the chapter “Hagar” in Shelly Eshkoli’s book, “Postcards”. Shelley joined the circle today. In her book, Shelley illuminates women who accompany the biblical story. Reading the chapter on Hagar, clarified to me elements in the story that I did not give my opinion on.
Then a discussion began on the issue of regulating the unrecognized villages against the background of the formation of the government of change.
Uri: is it interesting to know how many Arabs of Israel think it is good to be citizens of the State of Israel under Jewish rule? And does it give them a better standard of living …
Roni says that both peoples see this space as a homeland and the Palestinian’s right to see his homeland here does not fall short of the Jew’s right.
I ask the participants, if each of us had the exclusive right to decide who they “share” in the country, who would they join and on what background? Uri responds quickly and says he would not share Arabs, but Druze did.
Jaber moves to the “end of the chair” and responds immediately when Uri finishes … He says that from his acquaintance with the Druze, those who live in the Golan Heights, are determined to remain Syrians. He also says that Ben-Gurion did not agree that the Bedouin would be in the army because then he would have to give them equal citizenship conditions…
From here we connect to the matter for which we have gathered, “a circle for the Gaza consciousness.” Jaber is already in the run and he continues to tell about his village El-Zarnouk, but repeatedly emphasizes that he keeps coming because of the unbearable situation in Gaza. Gaza is neighbors, he says. If they thrive the whole area will thrive. They are an organ from the spatial body. If part of the body is sick, the whole body suffers.
Nahshi found on his way to come here an opportunity to remind himself that there are sufferers in the area. In our meetings he learned that Gaza had a glorious past. The future can be good, too. The presence here is the little grain of sand that it can contribute to tilting the scales in the direction of speech and reconciliation. Calls on everyone on his side to come and say it out loud. He has cautious hope in the new government. The difference is that now there are expectations and from the previous government were not.
Uri thinks that Gaza has a role that not everyone accepts. A role assigned to it by the other Arab countries in the destruction of Israel. In his opinion, they are not interested in peace but receive money from Arab countries to expel the Jews from here. The Palestinian state is not in the forefront of their minds. If anyone in Gaza thinks otherwise, he can not even say that to his child, because then they will kill him. If someone had thought otherwise he would have already found a way to say it. But as long as they are paid they must perform their job because for that they get the money.
Roni takes care of the neighbors and discovers new friends every day. There are partners and there are those to talk to. In Gaza, there are partners in her opinion who do, speak and initiate for the sake of speech and meeting. There are those who are afraid to speak and there are those who are willing to speak. During the war, they called and asked how she was. She did not want to compare pain and suffering with Gazan friends during the war, but was also unwilling to apologize for being well protected and having no casualties on her side. They have the same right as us with the same arguments. We both have a right to this place. There are solutions. Roni appeals to Hamas to allow dialogue in any way possible.
Mark has very little to do with Gaza. He comes here to remind himself of the situation and is aware that he is to blame for their situation: his national aspirations have caused their problems. Neighborhood does not push him into action. Does not feel he has much to do. Checking his opinions with himself every day. Engaging in academic discussion is an escape from responsibility. Here in the “circle” is among people who understand it. Today, it deals mainly with climatic issues.
Brian has been teaching debate in schools for 5 years. What draws him here is the ability to respect the other’s mind. Restrain judgment and for a short time listen. He comes because he believes in something whose essence is to sit and listen. When you listen, you give value to a person regardless of his opinion. The politics are less interesting. Donates according to his ability. The only Gazan I met was Rami on the phone. It is good to keep hope.
Salameh remembers from childhood trips to Gaza. Everyone is at sea and the fun is great. In recent years everything has turned upside down. In his workplace he cannot express an opinion that everyone will attack him. Glad to hear different opinions here while maintaining listening.
Mahran is somewhat optimistic. After 73 years people realized that coexistence was urgently needed. He once attended a conference of Yesh Atid and talked to Yair Lapid. The change now sets a precedent and creates a new situation under the Israeli flag. The leaders decided yes, it is necessary to unite despite the difficulties they tried to outwit them. Hopefully this government will be good for Gaza as well. It is hard for him to believe that changes will be made. Too many contrasts. But yes maybe under the influence of the RAAM political party there will be relief. Even under occupation, if there is a good economic situation there is no rebellion. Two scenarios. Or war again, or a long-standing hudna which is a global interest. We want the economic interest in the reconstruction of Gaza. If there is peace here, it is essential for the region.
When it is Shmulik’s turn to speak, he first responds to the question I asked at the beginning of the discussion … yes, he is willing to accept within his political framework any person as a person. In the context of the new government, he says that even in other countries, despite the contradictions in the various political systems, they knew how to reach agreements. Believes that the political issue will be resolved in our region as well. Every destruction of a house hurts him as if his house had been destroyed. The current situation is solvable.
At the end, when everyone had got up from their seats and we started to settle down, contact was made with Gaza and Roni passed between us all with the cell phone and greeted them.
Two “big” events in the planning (initiated by Nomika). One – meeting with the principal, teachers, students and parents from the Herzliya Gymnasium in two weeks – 18/6
The second – a meeting with Ashraf al-Ajrami, head of the committee for interaction with Israeli society on 2/7.

We were today:
Shmulik, Shelly, Brian, Mark, Roni, Oded, Uri, Nahashi, Eviatar (Neria-child …), Jaber, Salma, Maharan.
Rote: Oded.

Encounter 167 – 28.5.2021

Today, 25 people spoke at the lighthouse. At the beginning of the “circle” presences Dina, Shmulik, Roni, Nomika, Nahshi, Mir and Oded.
The war we went through and it’s gliding to the streets of the mixed cities, is still present in the discourse.
Dina says that if the Arab citizens of Israel felt good they would not switch to Palestinian flags instead of Israeli flags on balconies. This is an extreme act in her opinion.
Shmulik says that if you want a partnership, you need to expand the socio-political range and not just focus on Zionism, the JNF and more.
Dina thinks it is important to give Arabs the good feeling they share. This is where the behavior comes from. Supports working with young people.
Salim arrives and with him Dor. Followed by Jaber and Ramy.
Salim tells a little about himself and the period of his studies in Israel. A story about his family that he cannot visit. If he visits, it’s a risk that he may not be able to return. His family stayed away from the bombings. The family dispersed to reduce the risk … electricity was problematic. The food was enough for a few days. The feelings were mostly anger. Now there is some kind of relaxation. There is some hope. There was no safe place.
Rami says that during the war he was not in the area (working in the Arava) and even shut himself off from hearing. Because he was out of place he could find an inner voice for himself. Deep inner sadness. The only thing that interested him in the context of the war was what was happening to humans. Wants to embrace the suffering. In his inner sense, there is no limit, we are all together. It is difficult for him to define in words, the feelings. The circle gives him strength now, when he is in distress.
Nomika brings a song by Leah Goldberg. “denial”. Tells of a friend who also traveled to the Arava and preferred to seal himself, like Rami …
Mir says Gaza is an interesting place that has good people like us. Hope to visit there.
Nahshi comes because it’s the little he does to keep a voice inside him that recognizes the suffering on the other side. They suffer from what we do.
According to Shmulik, the fence imprisons both sides. Expects a day for the fence to fall and sees itself as a partner in activities for the fall of the fence.
Dina- Gaza is a forgotten place from the hearts of the people. You can ignore and you can do. Everyone is supposed to do the least for a better world. She works with the feeling that she is doing something for a better world. Calls on all of us to do together with her.
Roni does everything she can for the people of Gaza, those who are in contact with her. It is everywhere where the voice of Gaza can be heard. We blame each other and need to stop and let everyone live. There is a speaking partner and we let the extremists run us. She had a hard time in the war. She was afraid to leave the shelter and at the same time thought about her comrades in Gaza. It is an internal rift. But she continues to be a bridge to the Gazans. It also helps to reach the media in Israel.
Eyal and Boaz arrive.
Jaber feels an inner need to come into the circle and that is really part of it. It is a strong sense of satisfaction that does him good. Gaza is a family, neighbors, the Gaza Strip is his natural area, not Tel Aviv. Their situation is terrible and unbearable. Hamas found an excuse and used what was happening in Jerusalem to erupt.
Eyal – connects to maintain hope and light. On a day-to-day basis he engages a lot in politics in his various roles (the Meretz party and Mate Asher regional council) but, he says, he will try to keep the rules of the “circle”. History has taught us what hatred is, he says. He chooses not hatred but hope. Initiate a meeting at a school in an Arab village with educators to talk about the incidents of violence, not to lose the togethernes and what can be done. In addition, he met with coordinators at the Arab Society in Givat Haviva. Conversation with Arab female leadership. He also met with heads of authorities in the Galilee. One of the heads of the Arab councils in the Galilee told him about dealing with what the young people see on the Arab social networks (Al Jazeera) and how he physically prevented teenagers from going wild. Eyal believes in living together despite what we see around. No need to accept it. Need to fight over dismantling settings. Today, the word “peace” is less used even in encounters between a person and his friend. There were a lot of intersections in the protest and that’s important, but to make an impact, space movements need to connect to a political system.
Comes maharan.
Ramy says national symbols are meant to separate communities. Since the dawn of history. The one up the creek sets the rules for the one down. When he arrives, he has a lot of happiness. The simplicity with which the “circle” takes place, school chairs, coffee … when he saw Salim, he was moved. The naturalness with which Salim feels with us to be here, it’s exciting. This gives Ramy hope that change can happen soon. Thanks to a circle that allows near / far voices to be heard. Knowing that there is such a place does him good.
Dor Tells about herself. Came because she wanted to ask herself questions of identity. Recently, the conflict between the urge to be here and feel at home (even though she was not born here) and the fear of shock at the base of our society. Need to create a displacement. Infrastructure needs to be built for the day after.
Salim lost friends in the wars that were. The people, are the ones who make the place where they are home. For the first time experience the war from the other side: see the difference in the way of thinking. To feel at home, you need to have confidence. Physical, economic, national and more. It’s fascinating for him to hear how people here see the other side. Where he is here in the country, people who are far from where he was born speak differently from people who are close to where he was born. As close as those in the circle.
A group of motorcyclists arrive: Roy, Dror, Yoram, Yavin, Yogev and Roi. Uzi, Malki, Radir Yaela and Talila.
Rami introduces the residents of the circle to the “lighthouse”.
Salim continues: It is difficult for him to enjoy his studies because he cannot visit his family. Takes care of the lives of the people who live next door to his family. During the war many questions came to his mind. The answers helped him understand himself more. Glad he’s here at the lighthouse.
Talila has memories of trips to Gaza. Glad to meet and get to know Salim. Works as a filmmaker and dermatherapist. Works with children. Sometimes it is hard for them to believe that she has Arab friends. A girl told her that if people quarreled a lot over something unimportant, it will not be.
Maharan begins with a historical fact … Many peoples lived here. In the last war he took care of friends who live here in the area. During the war, he informed his wife that she was getting ready to host … that was a real concern. He said he knew before everyone else that there would be a war. According to the helicopters that passed over his place of residence … and yet, when the war began, he felt lost, defenseless. There are no police and no one to protect. There was chaos. The police were in chaos. This war, gives indications for the future …
Uzi met many Arabs as an Orientalist. In Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and various conferences. Once, in a lecture to educated people in Egypt, they asked him who the Palestinians were like … he said that most of all the peoples in the region are similar to us, the Jews … In his opinion, Gaza could be Singapore of the Middle East. Both sides are to blame but we are strong so we need to initiate the solution.
Malki – happy to come today. Identifies with the lighthouse sentence that says “to the place where light is lit one can navigate hope.”
Roy: Gaza is a thorn in the side of the world. A half pin that hurts the whole world. Represents the rift between the Arab world and the Western world. All the terrorist attacks in the world are linked there. But need to get to know each other and he’s glad he knew Salim. The personal acquaintance between human beings, this is the solution to world peace.
Dror opens and tells us that “there is a lack of understanding here.” He explains. All the problems come from there. They need to get organized on their own. They choose the option that is convenient for them. His knowledge of Gaza is from the media. Human beings live in Gaza. The question is why do they choose the way they choose …
Yoram opens with “Congratulations to those who are willing to live here.” Yoram worked and served in Gaza without fear and without weapons. In his opinion education is the problem. He does not know who is responsible for education there but the name of the problem. We and they educate differently. When shooting, you react, no matter who started. Funds that do not go to education are transferred there. Hope it will be okay and that the education there will change.
Yavin- he does not have much knowledge. For him, Gaza is a topic that is talked about among friends. It all starts and ends with education and does not know how to change it. He has never met Gazans and never heard of Gaza in the education system in the country.
Yogev – connects to the issue of education as an element that can create closeness between the two sides. The circles that allow listening are the way to the solution. The State of Israel is here to stay and they have to come to terms with it. He asks Salim if such a circle can exist in the place where he was born, and if so, is it possible to speak freely?
Salim answers yes, that in conversations between friends you can say everything, but not in public …
Yogev goes on to say that the discussion should take place at eye level. Turns to Salim again and tells him I wish he could speak to him in his own language.
Roi: Peace between leaders is not peace. It comes voluntarily for political gain. Gaza is human and it is difficult to see the bodies of children coming out of the rubble. Tells of a study he read. A Japanese scientist spoke for a month only nice words to the plants in his house and they grew. Then he spoke to them for a month in harsh words and the plants withered. Brings from the words of “Pirkei Avot” that jealousy is a difficult emotion. They, he says, envy us for our success. Lust for the other’s garden is also a motivation for confrontation. Once you give a horizon of livelihood and prosperity you create hope. In favor of dialogue from a place where both sides do not lower their hands to each other.
Radir states that peace happens between peoples. She tells of the riots in Acre, her hometown. Her family lives there. At her parents home, they prepared to defend themselves against violence by force, in contrast to the education they received. Gaza is an easy place to burn and the leaders use it. Believes in discourse at eye level. Understood the need to speak and began peace and reconciliation activities. She’s tired of definitions. It hurts her to see children suffering and burnt fields.
Yaela: She left Kissufim at war. Opposite Kissufim, a few hundred meters away, is the city of Khan Yunis. Yaela sees the neighbors from her home and cannot ignore their daily life with the suffering and the good. Tells the guests (the bikers …) that it is important to her that they came and wants to say that the neighborhood is desirable to us.
Roni asked to summarize and addressed the issue of “education” which was repeated in the guests words. It tells of collaborations between young people between the two sides that are not published and do not reach the public.
We were – Mir, Nahshi, Shmulik, Dina, Roni, Rami, Nomika, Dor, Salim, Oded, Jaber, Boaz, Eyal, Malki, Radir, Uzi, Yaela, Talila, Maharan, Roy, Dror, Yoram, Yavin, Yogev and Roi.
Wrote – Oded.