Encounter 199 – 7.1.2022

Today, a conference of peace organizations was to be held in Sderot. But, Omicron … and the conference was postponed to March 4. The same omicron did not prevent 17 man and women from gathering at the lighthouse to speak their Gaza consciousness.
Noga says that in her home in the center of the country she lives in denial, like most of the public. Disconnection of consciousness from Gaza. Occasionally when she arrives at the “lighthouse” she receives a literal “Welcome” greeting, both from the lighthouse people and from the Gazan situation present in the circle
Roni notes that like others, she too has gone through the Israeli systems of education and communication with all the “wrapping” they give to the Israeli consciousness. But a mission in Egypt was a turning point. For the first time she met people from the other side. Roni has no doubts about the right to live in the country, but she learned that there is another people here with a history of its own. Roni needs the help of the Palestinians to resolve the conflict, she needs to make sure that more people think like her. She holds cultural meetings and holiday greetings between youth and children on both sides of the fence. She is busy helping people in all kinds of fields and has a real daily connection with people in Gaza. Because she is deeply in touch, she understands how complicated and difficult it is to create normalization.
Shaul Reads a lot about the conflict. The injustices to the Palestinians were done throughout the previous century. But it is possible, in his opinion, to manage the conflict knowing that there will be no peace. In the religion of Islam the Jews can only be “protégés” and since most Muslims are religious and consider this country a sacred Muslim land, there will be no peace. But, he adds, Hudna did. A temporary calm agreement that will allow the next generation to decide whether to extend the calm or return to the struggle.
According to Shmulik, Hudna is a stage through which it is possible to reach one state for both peoples. Shmulik, a trainee of Hashomer Hatzair, underwent a change in thinking. From uncompromising separation (a destructive process in his opinion), to living together. A lot of people he said went through the process like him, both on the right and on the left. Shmulik here because that’s the least he can do for the things he believes in. Hoping for a surprising historic move that will bring peace, like many cases in the past. To reinforce his words he brings examples from conflicts in different parts of the world that one day are over. Need brave politics he finishes.
Keren comes from Tel Aviv and for her Gaza is a place she can not even think of. If she already thinks about the conflict, which is rare, it comes to her mind “Judea and Samaria” … and Gaza is at all something far from consciousness and life. She is (still) at a stage where hearing Arabic makes her afraid.
Arbel is active in a subsidiary of the Fighters for Peace movement. They learned about the conflict in general and do meetings and seminars. She is organizing the upcoming seminar and the topic is “Gaza.” Looking for material and the “lighthouse” seemed to her good material … she had hardly thought of Gaza since her days. Once in the army they were almost sent to “Gaza” (i.e. close to the fence), but that did not happen … Gaza arouses her curiosity because she knows almost nothing about it.
Keren says that when you do not live here in the area, it is easier to ignore …
Nahshi answered and said that here too it is easy to ignore … he went on to say that he was privileged to live in times when the connection with Gaza was daily. Today it is impossible to meet but it is possible to keep in touch. He imagines an open and inviting space, and reveals enormous potential for beauty and collaboration. He reads about interesting agricultural experiments on the other side and as a farmer he understands the difficulties they have in maintaining agriculture.
Mary Comes because of the bunch here and the discourse created. She was looking for that kind of discourse. A “discourse” that knows how to listen to both speakers and what is happening in Gaza.
Hanan builds kites. It bothers him that kites are used as a destructive tool. Came here to see the kite phenomenon up close (about 3 years ago) and connected to the idea of the “lighthouse”. The kite shown in the circle was made according to a photograph of a girl from Gaza who drew on star-shaped plywood and was photographed with her work. The photo was published. Our job is to say, to preserve hope. When it comes true we will be ready to lead the relationship that will be forged.
Gaza for Rami is a lot of times he is asked if he is from there … Recently he travels a lot, as part of his work, between Metula and Eilat. Gaza is a house he returns to. Every week at Lighthouse Hour he feels he is here even if he is not physically here. He has no questions about the house. This is the house! Only at home, feel that you are in it even if you are not in it.
Roni, who as mentioned is in contact with Gaza more than all of us, says that there is a change! The main change is the permit for ten thousand Gazans to go to work in Israel. To get out, she explains, you need approvals from three sources, Hamas, the PA and Israel. Until a few months ago, it was rare to get approval from the three parties, unless you are sick … Financial relief is a change in the situation.
Oran came to hear. For him, Gaza is “Arabs”
Yogev, does not think of Gaza
For Ofek it is a barrier and a fence
And for Omri, Gaza is a pain
Ramy adds. It is important to talk about facts and not about interpretations in the context of Gaza. He has no doubt that wherever we bring Gaza only unilaterally, we are moving away … Gaza has everything but mostly people without horizons. A growing population of people whose horizons are receding and darkness is increasing. This leads them to collapse and react. In and out. Anyone who makes a different voice in Gaza pays a price. We need to talk again about the beauty and hope that exists in Gaza. The day there are enough people to see the other, the change will happen, a change that everyone can call whatever they want. A million people wake up to bad reality and they know no other. In history, people in that situation caused disasters to others, but in the end there is light. In Gaza, he is sure, there will be a change in the near future.
It is already five past four and the cold is penetrating bones. See you next week at the 200th meeting!

We were this time: Hanan, Shaul, Noga, Roni, Rami, Mary, Bella, Keren, Arbel, Nahshi, Malki, Shmulik, Oded, Yogev, Ofek, Omer, Oran, Oded.