Encounter 197 – 24.12.2021

As we sit down, Oded updates about an event on January 7: a national meeting of peace organizations in Sderot. Roni says there are probably close to 400 movements and peace organizations in the country. The conference will be divided into three parts: The lighthouse will present itself there, by Jaber and Rami or Oded. In the second part lectures, and in the last workshops. The conference will start at 09:15 and last until 15:00. There will be people who will be here at the lighthouse and part of the conference.
Then we could start a circle.
Oded: Gaza for him is people from the past, with my neighbors I want to live in peace. I learn about the roots of the conflict. Reads Palestinian literature and more. My goal is to see the other side. I realized that not every fact that is dictated to me is correct and requires examination. The lighthouse is important for dialogue between Jews and Jews. Hence the lighthouse is of double importance. I am happy to listen to those with different opinions as well.
Jaber: I belong to the unrecognized Village of El-Zarnok. Despite the difficulties of my village, the suffering in Gaza is greater. It is not possible for me to live here in relative comfort and there is Ongoing suffering. I have hope that the conflict will be resolved.
Assaf Yanai from Kfar Aza in the recent past from Ashkelon: was last week, interested and decided to return. Describes three rounds of his connection with Gaza. The first – my mother worked as a nurse in Gaza. Second round – in the army I came to Gaza, and I had the experience of one in front of a different reality. Memories of the market I experienced as in the third world. Contrast between two worlds at a short distance. The third round was as an agronomist in Gush Katif. Hope for the best.
Ilan: I grew up in the valley of Isreal. Mary’s spouse. I was a helicopter pilot in the Air Force and the police. There is a gap between the values of partnership and equality in Mishmar HaEmek, the army and the police. My friction was with the negative side of the conflict. The solution is in the personal and human relationship. The connection from my experience in the army and police is complex.
Roni tells in great detail about our friends across the fence.
With the joining of the people of Mabu’im and Netivot Mary talks about the population density in the world.
Oded continues to provide data on an extreme gap in the standard of living between Gaza and Israel.
The four young guys comment that what attracts them to the lighthouse is the different opinions from what they hear around them. They also emphasize that the opinions expressed here are based on prior knowledge and life experience.
Jaber talks about the feeling of being a minority. Yet there is power and meaning to others in which both I and the lighthouse keepers live – the minority has power in perseverance and determination and has influence.
Oded tells of a geographer who claims that there are 2,000 communities in the world that are defined as nationalities. Only 200 of them have territory.
A historical discussion develops about the development of the concept of nationality.
Jaber says that the most human person is the Bedouin in the desert.
Who arrived today? Oded, Assaf, Moshe, Roni, Mary, Ilan, Jaber, Malki, Uzi, Yogev, Ofek, Oren from Netivot, Meitav Mabuaim and Hyuta.
Who wrote? Hayuta.

Encounter 196 – 17.12.2021

Wind, drizzle of rain and cold of real winter.
Moshe, Mark, Shmulik and Nahshi get organized and ask how many lunatics will leave a warm house to talk about Gaza.
You will be amazed …
Doron from the north and Assaf who is an agronomist who worked in Gush Katif and today lives in the area, hikers and invited to coffee.
Tomer, who also moved to the area recently, heard that there is something interesting and strange here and came to check.
Roni arrives so we can start a round:
We introduced ourselves and told about the “Lighthouse” and Gaza.
Assaf remembers Gaza as a soldier before the first intifada, and brings stories about the development of the Katif region and the good relations with workers from Gaza.
Meanwhile, Mary and then Hanan arrive, and Maharan brings fresh sweets, Malki and Dina, and later, of course, the group of persistent young people Ofek, Yogev and Meitav, who also brought Moran and Omar for their first visit.
Everyone tells where he came from and what brought him here, to talk about Gaza.
Mark says that recently when he was in Jerusalem, police officers stopped his vehicle, questioned him and searched the vehicle on the pretext of intending to violate public order. It ended at the police station and on bail. It turns out that on both sides of the fence freedom of expression is not in a good period.
When Ofek introduced himself he said “We come here every week and we will keep coming!”.
Last came, for the first time, Eden (Mark’s son), and said he was happy to see that there were those who did not let Gaza and its people to be forgotten.
Then we had a conversation with our Gazan friend. This is the first time the young guests see him and hear from him about the youth committee and the insistence on seeing that on the other side there are people to talk to, despite all the difficulties. He does not forget to tell guests that he is a regular member of the “lighthouse” and that there is a vacant chair waiting just for him.
Finally, Nahshi talks about the “Bring Peace Back to Discourse” conference scheduled for Friday, January 7 in Sderot: there will be many people who will come to tell and hear about what they are doing and want to do to strengthen the dialogue between the people of the south, Bedouin society and Gaza. The “lighthouse” will also present itself there, of course, and we were asked to help physically with the technical things as well. In the coming week we will distribute a detailed plan and ask for help in what is needed.
We were: Moshe, Mark, Shmulik, Roni, Doron, Assaf, Tomer, Mary, Hanan, Maharan, Malki, Dina, Ofek, Yogev, Meitav, Moran, Omer, Eden, Nahshi.
Wrote: Nahshi.

Encounter 195 – 10.12.2021

We sat for the 195th time (yes, we are celebrating the 200th meeting soon) Roni, Mary, Moshe, Limor and Nahshi and agreed that two things would make the meeting perfect: a conversation with a friend from Gaza and another visit from the guys from Mabo’im.
And so – both things happened!
Our Gazan friend looked and sounded good, promised that the call for listening and mutual acquaintance would continue despite the difficulties. He said that in the coming week he would try to bring us together with a group of friends.
Shortly after we said goodbye to him, Yogev and Ofek joined.
From the conversation about “What is Gaza for me?” it is worth quoting an excerpt from what Ofek said: Suppose I enter my room, that I love it and I like it, but then I am informed that it is forbidden to leave the room any more. I’ll break my head on the door and walls until I can get out! And every moment inside the room will look like a nightmare to me… This is how I believe the people of Gaza feel.
I’ll say no more…
We were: Roni, Mary, Moshe, Limor, Yogev, Ofek and Nahshi.
Wrote: Nahshi

Encounter 194 – 3.12.2021

This week, a meeting was held in Kfar Aza at the initiative of the interfaith forum in which our Radir took part. At the meeting, a Christian priest, a Muslim sheikh and a Jewish rabbi spoke about the perception of miracles in the various religions (Hanukkah …). When four young guys came to the circle (for the third time in a row!), Shmulik found it appropriate to begin by describing the interfaith encounter about the miracles …
Nahshi said that in the past, he met a lot with Gazans. Today, only telephone contact with those friends is possible.
Ofek says there is something intriguing about this encounter that is hard for him to put his finger on. He said that since he was born, Gaza has not been a topic of discussion in non-hostile contexts. He has a curiosity and wants to know.
Yogev also came out of curiosity (and because of the tea that Shmulik made for the first time he was present in the circle …). It’s a bit difficult to define what Gaza is for him.
Ronny is excited to see the youngsters in the third. She tells of the mission in Egypt. How did she get to know a different angle of the conflict, when did she realize that there were those who suffered from her people independence. It was a kind of shock for her. She read and tried to understand more. Repeatedly emphasizes that like hers there is an affinity for this place, so do they. Also realized how much we ruined them to live here. Started making connections and getting to know each other. We need to live together, she says, there are solutions and we need to listen. Tells about joint cultural activities she organized. From her experience, on a mission in Egypt, she learned that Palestinians in Egypt are not accepted as equals. Tells about the acquaintance in Egypt between her daughter who was then a 6-year-old girl, with an Egyptian friend of her age of Palestinian origin, and how the relationship developed, with many difficulties, also for relations between the families. Tells about pre-military preparatory schools that come to stay with her and at the end of the meeting girls come and say that even though they disagree with her, her words seeped in and made them examine them. Need to move forward she concludes.
Malki happy to come and see things from different directions. Read about a teacher in Gaza who teaches Yehuda Amichai at the university. He read a song by Yehuda Amichai in front of a class of girls who thought it was a song by an Arab poet … tells of “Bordergone” A site worth visiting and reading to better understand the spirit of the young people in Gaza.
Bella left the meeting in High last week thanks to the young participation in the circle. For her, it is rare to hear young people (17-18) refer to an issue as repressed in Israeli society as Gaza. Hopefully when they get to the military to preserve the homeland, they will see things differently. As a child she suffered from vagrancy, without a permanent home until the age of 12 and did not understand much. She saw that Jews were entering abandoned houses and did not understand that these were the houses of others.
Hayuta has been spent in education for most of her life. That is why it was encouraging for her to see the return of the young. Education is a process with ups and downs so it’s exciting for her to come again in the third. In a circle one thinks the same thing and it is difficult to convey the “same thing” to others.
Omer came for the first time. Arrived following the friends and today has already come out of curiosity … both for him and for Elad who introduced himself after him, it is difficult to say what she is strong for them.
To Elad, the friends told about the meeting and therefore came.
Shmulik recalls watching television on a program presented by Rino Tzror in which he stated that the first and second houses of Jewish independence did not survive more than 75 years… he is troubled by the thought that this is the current age environment of the State of Israel today. Things change when you meet at eye level, he says. Tells about meeting the family in Hizma and the exciting trip when he and Nahshi took them to the sea for the first time in their lives, and goes on to tell about meeting in Egypt, on a bus, with an Egyptian guy who was a bit alienated and reluctant, but when they met again. It gave him the feeling that a human connection solves the animosity and creates a basis of equality and seeing the person as a person. The fence does not do well and so do the barriers. Hopefully the ties that are being formed now will be strengthened in the future. Asks the young people to bring friends and says it was hired, a meeting with people different from him in age or opinion.
Yaela went for a walk with her dogs. Inside her kibbutz near the Gaza fence. From there you can see the sea. Beautiful, clean and blue. She thought what a fun air she and the residents of Khan Yunis on the other side of the fence have … when dirty, she says, dirty for everyone when clean, clean for everyone. Has been involved in the issue of unrecognized villages for many years. In the election, she organized shuttles for taking families to remote polling stations. She was asked to be Mansour Abbas’ parliamentary adviser on the issue of unrecognized villages. There is a lot to do and there are close things to do. What is happening to the Bedouin population stems from the fear of normalization with the Bedouin.
Roni saw at a demonstration in Jerusalem, a woman with a sign that read “My son will not be drafted.” Roni came over and told her they were together at the demonstration but it was hard for her with the sign, it was hard for her to think there would be no army defense. We are not in a situation where it is possible to exist without an army, I wish we could get there … hope our children know how to behave in their military service, in a decent way.
Yaela says not to enlist is a protest. There is a protest against income tax for example, people do not think it is possible without income tax but when they feel wronged, protest. The same is true of the military, the refusal is not to have no army but to say that one does not agree with the behavior.
Rami arrives with his son Rotem and Yoav.
Yoav wonders about the meaning of the gathering and Rami explains to him the desire to remove fences, literally, towards Gaza and the desire to know where Gaza meets us outside our lives and within them.
Rotem has been here on many occasions, but this is the first time inside the building … his only experience from Gaza, playing basketball in Gush Katif when they were children … this is his only entrance to Gaza …
Yoav is still serving in the army, currently in Gush Etzion. He has never been to Gaza. It’s a huge metropolis next to us, he says. His attitude towards the Palestinians has taken shape in recent years and he is in distress because he hates talking about differences between human beings. It is difficult for him to resist his belonging group even if he does not like the things she does. In his opinion, we have a right to defend ourselves and it is important to have an army. The treatment of Palestinians stems from the need to protect the civilian (probably Jewish) population. This is the main task. Everything is allowed except what is not. If it was up to the soldiers, they were more violent… trying not to kill because it could complicate them … he knows they are very restrictive to the Palestinians but it is a necessity. It does not match his private views but is part of an organization. Do not want fences in life but do not see how to take them down …
He was of course invited to come again, but it was four o’clock …
We were: Hayuta, Moshe, Shmulik, Nahshi, Roni, Malki, Bella, Yogev, Ofek, Omer, Elad, Rami, Rotem, Yoav, Yaela, Oded.
Wrote: Oded.