Encounter 193 – 26.11.2021

Last week, in a summary written by Hayuta, we read about three young people who joined the “circle”.
The hosts of the “Lighthouse” last week did a good job, two of the young people came back again this week and brought two more with them … but not only them, this week we were in a circle of participants so much that the water tank for coffee was completely empty! (Do not worry, there were two …).
Well as mentioned, four young men came to the circle and Rami who opened and discounted, gently directed his words so that they would appeal to young ears, as they probably did, even those who spoke after him …
Ramy said he got up in the morning with the question of what can already be renewed in the world? After all, life is a bit repetitive … when the young people arrived he felt that here, there is something new … we do not start anything anew, he says, we continue anew. He told about the “lighthouse”, about a place where a light is lit that the very knowledge of its existence, allows hope. Tells about our rationale in relation to space, Gaza Area on both ethnic sides. Today Gaza for him is a big question mark, he adds. Long time of quiet. Relatively long time of course … Gaza is also hope and love.
Ravid says that Gaza is a place of pain and despair but there is also hope, she believes it is possible. Do not know how and therefore came here to get closer to the answers, to get closer to the area where Gaza and its neighbors are, to satisfy the curiosity. “Lighthouse” is a great name in her opinion …
Tal arrived with Ravid and he too feels connected to “Lighthouse”. A lighthouse is something that looks at you. And when something looks at you – you exist. Tal wants to look at Gaza.
I directed my words to the young people and said that the first reaction to hearing the word “Gaza” is an emotional response (fear, anger, pity, hatred, etc.). It is therefore important to bring to the guests of the “circle” any kind of information about Gaza, information that will shake the negative initial feeling a bit.
Rami accepted the challenge and added information …
For Yogev, Gaza is something “of an enemy”, as the environment in which he grew up broadcast. If Gaza wants to hurt me, I’ll hurt her. His knowledge, does not come from examination and inquiry but from random hearing. To learn more, he came back again this week …
Meitav came because the friends told about their visit last week and persuaded him to join… Gaza is sad for residents born to this situation. Can not get out of this life and the boredom and suffocation bring them to do bad things.
Omer sees Gaza as a friend that can be benefited from but also harmed. The residents there are fighting for their lives and there is incitement to violence.
Ofek: When I think of Gaza, I get a picture of a fence, of a separation, a partition. In difficult days of fighting the immediate thinking is about Gaza as a terrorist organization. In calm thinking this is not the case. Ofek likens the citizens of Gaza to “orphans.” Without father and mother they are led into an impossible situation. It’s not their fault.
Roni, a neighbor of Gaza. In the past, during the period when Israel controlled the entire area, it had friends but these ties were severed. Even today, Roni is a neighbor of Gaza (from another direction …) and has once again made connections through which she handles requests for help that come to her from Gaza. It’s very easy to hate an enemy you do not see, she says. Over the years, She established connections between schools in Gaza and in Israel. When you see, connections are formed … continued to a theatrical connection between teenagers. She became acquainted with what was happening in Gaza in the social spheres. Tells a bit about them and the relationship with them. Brings examples of her activities … transferring a piano to a musician, a donation project for sewing and purchasing schoolbags (“one child, one schoolbag, one hope”), and not only hope for the child the project brought, also hope for changing the consciousness of his environment.
During the war, Roni received a message from a friend in Gaza asking if she had been hit by Qassam and at the same time she heard the helicopters going to bomb in Gaza and the friend that has no shelter. A feeling of helplessness. She called the friend from Gaza and made sure she was OK. “We all need to remember that the two peoples are not going anywhere. We are all staying here,” she concludes.
It was important for Roni to add one more thing: she accepted groups from religious preparatory schools, girls only. They were very “sloganic”, reciting sentences that were assimilated into them, but listened to her closely and approached before they left and said that despite the disagreements, the things she said evoked thoughts in them.
Malki: What is happening here today justifies our existence! (I guess the intention is to have the “lighthouse” … against the background of the discussions in recent weeks). It’s exciting to see young people coming and going again with friends and there is also some sensitivity in them. It’s a lot of importance.
Mirahleh is studying in a Judaism studies class and was asked to define what prayer is for her … Her answer was “Hope”!
Bella says that today in Gaza is quiet. She thinks what causes this silence, will it continue?
Uzi notes that his kibutz was established without violence and without dispossession. Roni’s stories excite him. He met a lot of Arabs in his life (mostly, not in the wars …) He was in Egypt in Jordan and in meetings abroad. Today he can say with certainty about the Arabs of Israel that they are not similar to Arab peoples but mainly to us Israeli Jews. This is a very strong figure in his eyes. Nobody’s going anywhere … In the past, he dived on the shores of Gaza, and wandered alone, unarmed, through the streets of Gaza. Today, the sadness is deep and a sense of missing out. The blame for the lack of solution lies with the other side as well, But we, as the strong side, need to initiate the solution.
Dina is surprising, she’s never been to Gaza! “Go to Gaza” was a curse … intriguing to be there. She was an Israeli orientalist secretary and drafted press articles for him. Gaza needs to be on the agenda all the time. The insistence on the existence of the “lighthouse” is justified. Dina talks all the time, everywhere, about Gaza. It interests her to know what others think… it can be great to live in peace. Too bad we keep miss it …
Shmulik: After a difficult period of few people, happy for the people who came today.
Maharan: Justifies Uzi’s opinion that Israeli Arabs are similar to us … Mansour Abbas understood that this is what needs to be done, to deal with citizens, similarly. The silence is maintained because there are Arabs in the government … Hamas, too, quietly, thinks it is good. The departure of workers to Israel is welcome. If employees leave, it is a sign of lowering the level of danger and suspicion. Thinks there will be a Hudna for 10 years and gets responses of joy mixed with cynicism … In his opinion this silence is committed by the forces in the area. The world is tired because of the corona. The world is trying to rebuild economies at the expense of wars.
Nahshi: The conversation today reminded him of something from the past. When he was 7 during the 1967 war. The waiting period, Nasser expels the UN forces. Obviously something is going to happen. As a child, he does not understand, excited. Dad invited him to go up to the tower and look out over Gaza. Nahshi was sure he would see monsters … See Bicycles and people traveling. Asked Dad in amazement is it intense? And his dad tried to look at some ditch … It collided with everything they told him. He later made good contact with Gazans and he is convinced that living together will return.
Neta does not know what Gaza is for her … confused. She has vague memories of visits as a little girl. On the one hand she knows and understands that there are human beings there but there is a cover of ignorance that obscures rational thinking. The hope and despair of recent years is confusing. The young people who were here today give her back hope. You do not hear such talk as theirs … The fact that they are back is exciting and wonderful and really not obvious. Turns to Roni and tells her how important her acts are, meetings with groups and the view, literally, to Gaza. At the request of the public, she talks about the visit of Women Wage Peace in the Knesset and the law they are trying to promote, the “Political Alternatives First” before any decision to go to war.
Have we already said many participants? … Here are the names: Mirahleh, Neta, Rami, Ravid, Tal, Ofek, Omer, Meitav, Yogev, Uzi, Malki, Bella, Dina, Maharan, Roni, Shmulik, Nahshi, Oded .
Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 192 – 19.11.2021

The beginning of the circle was really familial: Shmulik and Hayuta. We celebrated Mulik’s birthday.
Pretty soon Mark arrived, followed by Mary the Winter Woman and last came Hanan with the two chairs.
Shmulik spoke with enthusiasm and great satisfaction about an operation with a family with whom he has a regular relationship. Nahshi, Limor and Shmulik crossed the checkpoint and transferred their children and mother to the beach in Ashdod. Shmulik described their joy and happiness that made him happy himself. According to Smulik’s opinion is this type of activity that preferred over frustrating sitting on Fridays.
Towards three o’clock, three boys arrived – Tal, Ofek and Yogev – an 11th grade students in the area. We all told them our words and they expressed their position as future recruits. They expressed a desire for peace and hesitations about a possible peace.
Suddenly we heard countless explosions …
Hayuta showed a beautiful presentation “What is love“.
In short towards the end it was interesting and meaningful.
We were: Shmulik, Mark, Hanan, Mary, Tal, Ofek, Yogev and Hayuta.
Wrote: Hayuta.

Encounter 191 – 12.11.2021

The weather was pleasant today, near the bicycle center at the entrance to Kibbutz Be’eri there were some hikers and on our way to the “lighthouse” on the narrow field road, several cyclists pedaled.
We were optimistic … Nahshi did not arrive today, but his place (in the car, not in making the coffee …) was taken by Moshe who together with Shmulik and me, we prepared the circle, still optimistic …
Roni arrived and later also Jaber and this is: to take out A military vehicle whose passengers we were intrigued for a moment, approached and immediately turned to the other side and a tank that was heard (not seen …) maneuvering north of us, no promenades were observed in the area …
The conversation then was mainly about the experiences of Moshe and Mine from a tour we conducted on Thursday in Bedouin communities. Some are ” Unrecognized Villages” and one is close to recognition. The tour was organized by Michal Oren and guided by Odelia Matar from the “Forum for Coexistence in the Negev.” During the tour we met and listened to local leaders who brought to us the less enlightened sides of the relationship between the Bedouin citizens and the state and the attempts to regulate civilian life in the country they are citizens, also the failures …
Among other things, we were in El Zarnuk, Jaber’s village. Jaber was not at home but managed to arrive when we left the village and saw each other.
Today Jaber is here, in our “circle” and he adds his own insights. Jaber also attends a tour guiding course and his dealing as a native Arab with the Jewish narratives inherent in the course is particularly interesting.
On the Gaza issue, Roni is the light in the lighthouse and at every meeting brings the information in her possession.
The olive harvest season in the West Bank is coming to an end. Shmulik and I talked about the experience of meeting the families of the farmers who harvest their olive groves under the restrictions and harassment of the army and the settlers.
Shmulik, Nahshi and Shelly (Nahshi’s sister) took Palestinian children from a village near Jerusalem to bathe in the Mediterranean last Saturday! For some it is the first time in their lives that they are at sea! All the participants in the “operation” experienced great happiness and Shmulik shared …
The Lack of travelers in our area, once again raised the issue of finding ways to expand the circle of participants in our lighthouse meetings.
We were: Roni, Jaber, Moshe, Shmulik and Oded.
Wrote: Oded

Encounter 190 – 5.11.2021

We started the “circle” today with Atef and Ahmed who passed, stopped, drank coffee and
hurried on. Therefore, they remained in the summary only in their first names without us
knowing (and summarizing …) their Gaza consciousness.
They were followed by Arnon and Hilik (a woman) who announced that Uzi and Malki were
on their way and since Roni also announced that she was on her way we waited with the
round …
meanwhile Rami told about his insights from a short trip to Greece, which took place this
week. The trip was, admittedly, in matters of tourism, but Ramy was occupied by the
insights of Irad Malkin who diagnoses a kind of common identity he calls “Mediterranean
identity”, a kind of resemblance between the inhabitants of the Mediterranean shores and
through this view, from sea to land, seeks to understand conflicts On the land among its
inhabitants (oops, hope this is what Rami meant …)
Through Malkin’s thesis, Rami realizes that we are constantly preoccupied with identity.
After returning from Greece, he discovered that the stories of his “our father Abraham”
were a bit shaky. Gaza for him, today, is a large and important port in the history of the
Mediterranean, a port he reaches on a Phoenician or Egyptian ship.
Mark is currently taking a writing course. The instructor bases the course on the teachings of
Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew who perished in the Holocaust and left diaries. Mark reads to us
what he wrote (in English). As a person living in space he is sensitive to the voices, the voice
of history, the prayers for peace, the voices of war, the rhetoric of politicians and the
mourning of the common man. He experiences the clash of narratives and the relentless
propaganda. In the ground remained the ruins of civilizations from the past. And the
pleasant evening breeze coming from the sea brings the sounds of the present, prayers,
shots and music. From a distance the sounds mix. But the dominant voice is the voice of 2
million people trying to live a normal life inside a ghetto! Sometimes, someone is killed not
far away, near the fence of the ghetto, and sometimes someone dies or is injured while
defending or trying to gain a homeland.
Dina says that Gaza is part of life in the area. It does not depend on our will … It can be
ignored but Gaza is present. Dina finds herself talking a lot about Gaza and the “lighthouse.”
Gaza should always be kept aware, and flooded whenever possible. Gazans deserve to live
as human beings. Who like us knows what it is like to be in their situation …
Roni tells of a group that came to hear the story of someone who lives near Gaza. But Gaza
also lives next door … it focuses mainly on the story of the Palestinians. In meetings she
holds at the settlement with groups, she talks about the history of getting to know Gazans
(including an agricultural mission in Egypt) and talks about her difficulty in convincing people
of her belief in the right of both peoples to live in a non-violent space. To convince other
people, she also needs partners in Gaza. She talks about them and says that there are a lot
of people in Gaza who know that there are Israelis who want a peaceful solution, but in Gaza

they want us to hear and understand them as well. Dreaming of herself in her own funeral
and in her dream, all the friends from Gaza want to come to accompany her …
Arnon remembers from his childhood a blind Druze who used to come to his house in Haifa
and sell fruit. Already as a child he knew how to distinguish between a Druze and an Arab.
First Memory from Gaza, as a soldier navigating the orchards in Khan Yunis. He once
survived a grenade thrown at the vehicle he was driving. Arnon was a partner in the “Basel
Project”: developing the ability to quickly control the departure and return of tens of
thousands of people in crossings in a short time. The second intifada interrupted the
implementation of the project. Today he is concerned about Gaza. He distinguishes between
the Arabs of Israel and the Arabs in the territories. He has no answer to many problems.
They are human beings first and foremost and that is how it should be seen. The relationship
that existed in the past, after the 1967 war was seemingly quiet, but was actually a “horse
and rider” relationship.
Uzi reached the borders in 1965. He remembers the period in the area before the 1967 war
and the period after it as “we would walk around Gaza alone and without weapons” … Gaza
is for him today “deep sadness and a constant feeling of missing out”. We are the winners
and the strongest and we must find answers.
For Nahshi Gaza it is neighbors and friends, especially in recent years after years of
forgetfulness and repression. The area could be much better. The situation today is
unbearable. Nahshi is looking for a way not to stay passive. Here, in our Lighthouse, it fills
some of that. Awareness of the situation should be disseminated.
Shmulik Is in contact with Palestinians mainly on a personal level. On the collective side, he
says, we need to find a solution to the area. It is a landscape of his homeland and he belongs
here. It does not preclude the belonging of a person who has lived here to return. This is
land of two nations that can find a solution. He remember that once came to the circle a
father and children from Alfei Menashe, listened, played, drank coffee and drove. After a
few months they came back to see if we were still here … Shmulik would continue to come
looking for a solution through the circle …
Hilik Lived for a short time in her youth not far from here. In her area of ​​residence today,
they have good relations with the surrounding Arabs. Joint trips and conversations about the
existence of coexistence. Gaza for her is a lot of pain. A desire for the people there to live a
normal life. Also hopes for change in relation to the Arabs within the Israel.
For Malki, Gaza was not a familiar space until she came to live in the area. Most of her life
was spent far away from here. She served in the area for a while in the army … When she
moved here, her view of Gaza sharpened. Her freedom in the face of their non-freedom is
very jarring. We talk about their suffering and then return to our comfortable life. There it’s
a prison … for Malki to come here is a kind of help to hertself as well. In talking about the
situation, it is difficult for her to argue with the arguments based on religion. The arguments
presented in the “statement” from God and therefore they can not be challenged or
contemplated, frustrate her. Everyone wants to live and can be good to everyone. The
religious section blocks without giving rational reasons.

Rami raises for an open discussion the question that ended the previous session, how do we
Roni claims that the Gazans know we are here, it is important to them and therefore
important to us. Rami says that the “schoolbag project” influenced more than the 500
children who received the bags … Their families knew that the schoolbags came from
donations from Israelis and thus the information about well-wishers Israelis reaches
thousands of people in Gaza. We help him help the children in Gaza. Hamas also sees the
positive in its social activity.
Mark thinks that one should continue to hold the “light” here and if one needs a slightly
different organization one can raise it.
In general, the majority opinion is in favor of continuing, with ideas to reach more audiences
by other and additional means …
We were: Ahmad, Atef, Rami, Uzi, Dina, Malki, Roni, Mark, Arnon, Hilik, Nahshi, Shmulik,
Wrote: Oded

Encounter 189 – 29.10.2021

Towards the end of the meeting, a topic came out of the subconscious of the “lighthouse” conversations: How do we proceed?
The absence of travelers hosted in the “circle”, whether it is due to the plague or the hot summer or any other reason, and also the paucity of conversations with friends across the fence have created a kind of reflection and perhaps even an appeal to the format of the “lighthouse”.
It seems to me that it will be inevitable to discuss the upcoming meetings on the matter and everyone is invited to express opinions …
After deducting all non-Gaza-related talk (which was the majority of the talk in the circle …) here is the summary:
Ose’s movie “Aswat-Acherim” (Other Voices). A film shot and edited by Ose Oyamendan, an American documentary, starring characters familiar to us all (especially Roni!). Roni is in constant contact with Ose and asks for ideas for help with distribution. Intended to try to get to the Cinematheque (Sderot or Tel Aviv), there is an abbreviated version on YouTube (45 minutes out of an hour and a half).
A discussion developed about the qualities of the film precisely in recognition of its importance and in bringing its message to the Israeli audience.
Hayuta reads a poem by Roman Eisenberg, a man she knew in a bookstore and interested in hes book of poems..
Roni gives new details about the hospital.
Rami says that the region suffers from a lack of trust between various factors that operate in it.
Mahran talks about a world-wide American strategy whereby they identify a future confrontation with China and therefore do not want to disperse into all sorts of relatively small “local” conflicts. Not to be disturbed. One of the proofs he says is the relocation of laborious factories from the East back to the US. China is the new external enemy needed by the US administration (any administration …), and after the Soviets and Islam (Iraq, Afghanistan etc …) the “choice” passes To China.
Regarding the departure of the workers – Roni says that although more workers leave Gaza, they do not find work because the employers are afraid of the workers’ ability to persevere (war rounds, closures, etc …). Employers will not fire foreign workers to make way for workers from Gaza.
I said I was surprised to find out, when I arrived at the Erez checkpoint, that there are other charities that transport patients to hospitals for money.
Maharan told of his hardships as an attorney who occasionally handles the citizenship case of non-residents married to Israelis. They always find a reason for rejection. When complicated requirements are resolved, they find something else …
As I wrote at the beginning of the summary, the end of the meeting was an opening for reflection …
We were: Nahshi, Maharan, Vivian, Roni, Shmulik, Hayuta, Rami, Oded.
Wrote: Oded