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.
P.S.
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.

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