Encounter 254 – 20.1.2023

Apparently, stormy days, winter in full swing, demonstrations in the face of political/legal/social chaos, crazy communication, a sense of the end. in fact, everything is “for now”. The winter days are warm, the demonstrations are only on the weekend and the chaos is brewing and will be served in February. Communication? The majority say that they no longer connect to the frequency…
and us? Here we are an island of stability. We position ourselves every Friday like a cuckoo clock that Gaza appears in the window and announces our disgrace and the disgrace of the world. Here There is actually a feeling of no end. Positively and negatively. Positively, because we are here every Friday and negatively, because the human anomaly occurring in Gaza has no end.
A lot of people arrived today. The list below will reflect maybe a fifth of the actual participants.
At first we were Nahshi, Moshe, Shmulik, Mark and myself, then a couple from the area arrived and at two o’clock about 40 travelers flocked to their guide and microphone. They were sure that we were some kind of surprise that the guide had prepared for them. At the same time Malki, Rami, Mirale, Uzi, Deganit, Bella, Ovadia and Roni also arrived! Yes yes our friends Roni took a cane, Ovadia and a matching chair and came back to be with us after (so and so) a long time.
The guide told the group (from the Avshalom Institute) about sulfur and history, I told about us and Rami continued and talked about history, about grandparents, Rotenberg and Tel Hai (respectively) childhood near the border fence and about hope. The group was intrigued and wanted to sit more, they had many more questions, but the guide… they left.
The immediate family remained and Rami feels that the situation “requires” Gaza awareness.
Nahshi told about his friend who is a documentary filmmaker. Yesterday they met for coffee. In 2005, the friend made a film about Gaza with Haim Yavin. They were interviewing some leaders and Chaim Yavin wanted to go talk to people in the market. The security guards were stressed. Chaim Yavin calmed down and said they would introduce themselves as a German TV crew (he knows German). The security guards agreed. They went to the market and all the merchants said “Oh, Chaim Yavin has arrived!”.
Bella doesn’t know how much is known about us. The silence scares her. I don’t know how to predict our future. I always think about them. I take care for them like I take care for us.
Moshe says that his concern is no longer focused only on our space. Now, the country is in danger. The dominant language is violence. It is tangible and sharp, something existential, really physical. What is happening now is not temporary. A struggle is needed.
Mirale wants to maintain her mental health and therefore does not watch/listen to the media, “a bit playing the ostrich” according to her. She is aware and talks about the absurdity of the surrounding pastoralism compared to the reality in the territories.
Roni thinks that sometimes it might be better to disconnect, but she can’t, she is constantly interacting with people and needs to know. To ease the mental burden a little, she focuses on knowledge about Gaza. Mainly with the help of her friends there. updating Who left Gaza and moved to the big world and who stayed. She feels she has to help them. There are many changes. Laborers are coming out and this is a big change for the better in Gaza and it is also expressed quietly here. She gets a lot of requests for help getting out. She met with the director of the border terminal in Erez and found there a great willingness to help. She is in contact with a Dutch psychologist who enters Gaza and meets with psychologists and sociologists for workshops and support.
Ovadia says that Gaza reminds him how unwise we are. In the past he walked there alone in many places and was treated with great respect. What is happening today is because of us because we did not understand what was happening there and spoiled it for several generations. When some whispering embers appeared we could put them out before they started a big fire and we did the opposite, we lit them instead of putting them out. A sense of greatness and arrogance brought us to the current situation. We would free them from the burden of Egypt. Here we can still demonstrate against evil and crime. There are those who suppress such demonstrations.
Daganit says she doesn’t know Gaza like we do. She is here because of Rami and it moves her to support the idea. She is not one who often goes to demonstrations, to say the least. And if she was at a demonstration and in the pouring rain, that means all the summers are over! I really relate to the things said here. I remember that as a child she rode a bicycle in Gaza and it was fun.
Uzi precedes and says that he is very happy to come and see Rami enthusiastic and lecturing – a sign that he is healthy! Also happy to see Roni and Ovadia. Read last week the book “The Conspiracy Against America” written by Philip Roth. Didn’t know the book. A dystopia, a novel that simulates an alternate history of America with Charles Lindbergh supposedly defeating Roosevelt in the 1940 election. Lindbergh was a glorified pilot, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, Nazi sympathizer. In the book there are Jews who (supposedly) collaborate with him and he has plans to “treat” the Jews. In the book there is a description of a reality that is similar to what is happening around us today.
Malki ponders aloud and asks what has changed in her since she came here the first time. Is her look different? “No” she says, this place gave expression to the feeling she came with. Sometimes it’s nice to be an ostrich. But if there were no demonstrations and everyone would continue as usual? The demonstration gives a feeling that many people think like her, it gives hope even if nothing changes and Gaza continues to be a great despair. Our place gives her strength.
Shmulik says that what he can do in the personal sphere, he does. From conversations with a friend from Gaza, he knows that the situation there is dire. Today’s peace is thanks to those who pass and work. Things need to be resolved.
Suddenly, about 15 curious young people peek out from all the openings. They are invited for coffee (even though it is already a quarter to four). They came from Tarabin near Gvaot Bar. Some are shy, some accept the offer of coffee. Rami tries to get them to talk about Gaza. Only a Abed is willing to say that his mother is from there and that he has a family there, but he himself has no connection. A little more talk about (lack of) employment opportunities in their settlement.
There was also Amos who was walking with his grandchildren and said that at the age of five and a half he went down with another boy older than him to the bottom of the well in the sulfur factory! 51 meters!
He added that the current appearance of the building was caused by the departure of the British when anyone who could get their hands on something of value and sell it, did so.
At a rough estimate there were 60-70 people at the lighthouse today
Who was? A very, very partial list: Mirale, Roni, Ovadia, Daganit, Uzi, Malki, Shmulik, Rami, Oded, Nahshi, Bela, Moshe, Mark, Salman, Abed.
Written by: Oded