Encounter 180 – 27.8.2021

Shmulik Nahshi and I. Chairs, coffee, pine shade. Radir arrives with Jaber.
We are talking about MK Said al-Harumi, who died of a heart attack this week. Radir, who knew him best from all of us, tells about him and his activities, as well as the masses who came to the funeral.
Then came Vivian and Malki. Vivian was this morning at the “Black Arrow” site in front of Gaza, at a meeting of “Women Wage Peace” with Hadar Goldin’s parents who are demanding his return from Hamas in Gaza. “I had a hard time,” Vivian says of the encounter in the black arrow.
Last to arrive today were Nomika and Yael.
A call from Gaza to Radir’s phone: Radir asks about the contributions to the purchase of school bags. Schooling in the Gaza Strip began in mid-August but even if the schoolbags arrive now it is still fine. For those who do not have a schoolbag at the beginning of the year, they improvised something for the time being, so the schoolbags that will be donated can help. Some of the schoolbags will be donated to a girls’ school, a particularly poor school. Hamas tried to delegitimize one of the activists and it is important for him to show that he continues to act for everyone. To a question asked during the conversation he answers that there are corona vaccines in Gaza and the population cooperates and gets vaccinated (he was vaccinated for the first time 10 days ago). It is important to him that the children who receive the files and their parents know that this is a donation from Israelis. It is also important for him to know that he is still in the field and continues to take care of social issues that everyone needs. He is interested in spending some of the money donated, right now. It is important to him that the donors know that he is using the money for the purpose for which it was intended. Not that he needs permission or anything from the donors, but it is very important to him that we become a kind of partner … Many people in Gaza cooperate with Israelis in various fields. He is actually perceived as a collaborator and for that he is fighting against Hamas. He says that he receives strength from our support and it is important to him that we work together and listen to his requests. He keeps to himself and knows what is good for him. Radir’s mobile goes from one to another and everyone says something to him… in his plans to tour Israel and Egypt and return more strongly to Gaza. “We have known each other for many years,” he says, “and we will continue to work together.”
Finally, Yael is sitting with us today for the first time and it requires a “proper circle” …
Jaber introduces himself and then says that most of the public does not know about the unrecognized villages so he gives a brief explanation. He goes on to say that still, compared to Gaza, the condition of the unrecognized villages is much better …
Radir talks about her roles in the Wadi Atir project, empowering women and various social organizations. She remembers a meeting in 1998 in Gaza. That was the last time she was there. It was a workshop with more Arabs from the region and the world. For Radir, as an Israeli Arab, it is important to be the bridge to reconciliation between the peoples.
Vivian also presents her full range of activities over the years in attempts to bridge and bring the peoples together.
Malki “Apologies” that she is less active than the others here… the circle keeps her from being disconnected … Gaza is a deep and black pit. The change must happen. You have to act, you can’t be complacent.
Shmulik Emphasizes the determination and perseverance of having our meetings. The struggle will lead to change. He’s sure it’s going to happen. Doing his best here in our “lighthouse”, supporting one family from the village of Hizma, helping with olive harvest and other activities in the present as he did in the past and will continue in the future.
Nomika thinks that Shmulik is too optimistic and that the change will not happen in his and her shift …
Yael says that what our generation wanted and hoped for did not really happen … She was born in a settlement that was evacuated in 1948 from Gush Etzion. The trauma caused her great fear even just of hearing the Arabic language … While working in the Ministry of Education she became acquainted with Arab teachers and There she began her journey of acquaintance with the narratives and with the people. Met good and very interesting people. When she retired, she decided to volunteer at the bilingual school in Be’ersheba. She once read an interview with Zubin Mehta and through the interview became acquainted with “the Road to Recovery” and joined the patient transportation. Today, Yael is making efforts to learn Arabic. Gaza for her is a shocking thing. Pity for the situation of the Israeli Arabs, the feelings towards Gaza are much more difficult. Yael is quite desperate. She does not understand how we see hope here (everyone is trying to encourage her …).
Nahshi recalled that at the time of signing the Oslo Accords he worked in a mango plantation of his kibutz and closed a mango sale deal to a Gazan trader with whom he and his family had good relations. So that the Oslo Accords would not be torpedoed because of some terrorist attack, the Gaza Strip was closed. The mango, meanwhile, has ripened on the trees … an agreement has been reached with the trader that Nahshi and his team will pick and deliver the fruit to him at the Erez checkpoint. While transporting the fruit containers at the checkpoint, the broadcast of the signing ceremony began. thay all stop the work, listen to the broadcast and drink coffee together … Nahshi expects that one day all this evil will end and maybe it will happen faster than expected. Meetings like ours are important so that we are ready when peace breaks out …
We were this time: Jaber, Nahshi, Radir, Vivian, Malki, Shmulik, Nomika, Yael, Oded.
Wrote: Oded.