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.

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