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.