Encounter 278 – 23.6.2023

A day before General Prigozhin began the march of the rebels towards Moscow, four loyalists of the lighthouse had already taken positions at the sulfur factory.
While Oded prepares a table, Shmulik promises coffee.
Haim receives an update on the meetings that have taken place in recent times, and welcomes the activity with the youth of the preparatory schools.
The question of the identity of the “lighthouse” arises again.
Mark arrives at the right moment to try and answer the question. There are already five of us, and naturally there are seven opinions regarding the purpose of the activity and the ways of spreading and realizing the basic idea of the lighthouse: awareness of Gaza and concern for the situation on both sides of the fence.
This time the bees took pity on us, probably as a result of placing barrels of water near the hives, which allows not only to sip Shmulik’s coffee but also to enjoy a cake, a homemade pastry that Chaim placed on the discussion table.
As for the question of the possible tasks, there was talk of creating a pool of workers from the Gaza Strip seeking work and of agricultural and industrial farms in the region who could show interest – and above all, goodwill – to provide a living for workers and ease the plight of many families.
The first part (list of job seekers) is absolutely possible. The supplementary chapter, it is regrettably said, is more difficult to operate: business owners are needed with a willingness to accept Gazans and take care of entry permits, stay in the country, work as required by the regulations, and if necessary also permits for lodging and a place accordingly.
Well, what will we do if a bus full of travelers arrives now, as happened two weeks ago?
Here we return to the beginning of the story (remember: rebels, Russia) since this is exactly what Lenin was talking about (“What is to be done?”, 1901).
So we return to the question of the road, and Chaim suggests looking into the possibility of handing out notes (“What is Gaza to you”) and pencils. Each guest will be invited to write down a sentence or two. Before returning to the bus, hand back the note. This, over a period of time, allows tracking of the answers and changes in trends.
This time we were not visited by any bus, but the question of visitors is always on the agenda.
At this moment of dilemmas and struggles, Malki appeared, and with her updates on her blessed activities: demonstrations, meetings of the Lands Committee in the Negev and a host of issues concerning the “Question of the Bedouins”.
At the end, a lawyer joins the circle: Maharan doesn’t give up a watermelon slice and the circle doesn’t give up on Maharan’s report on the Bar Association elections. Maharan not only reports, he also sails to other times, but we are already at four in the afternoon, the time for collecting the cups, closing the circle, shaking hands and descending from the former Sulfur Hill, today’s Hill of Vision.
Present: Oded, Shmulik, Haim, Mark, Malki, Maharan, Moshe.
Written by: Moshe

Encounter 277 – 16.6.2023

The “lighthouse” idea created a community. When no visitors come, the community meets itself.
What did we talk about? This week Rami found an article about a demonstration by the refugees of the village of Lajoon in front of Kibbutz Megido which sits on the land where the village sat until 1948. Most of the residents of the village were deported to Umm El Fahm. Now they are protesting demanding that the mosque be excluded from the kibbutz (the mosque is still standing) and allow them to pray in it and maintain it.
The issue of Zionism came up again… I get the impression that the main debate on the issue of “Zionism” takes place around the definition of the term itself. As the term “Gaza” creates a different context for everyone, so does the term “Zionism”. As a result of this discussion, the matter of Palestinian flags in demonstrations also came up for a moment…
We celebrated Bella’s birthday, 85!! She came with Malki and a basket with cake and wine.
Roni told what was “renewed” in Gaza.
Rami, who took on the issue of the beehives that were placed near the factory, said that he spoke with the beekeeper (who is a scion of a family from Nes Ziona who were the first beekeepers in the Land of Israel) who said that in two weeks he would take the beehives away from here. When that happens, we can move to the “summer residence”.
More topics, coffee, cookies and watermelon flowed under and over the table.
The rotation of the earth caused the sun’s rays to penetrate through the building’s openings, harassing the crowd of people sitting and finally scattering them. In the summer residence the shade is guaranteed even if the earth continues to move.
This time we were: Moshe, Hayuta, Shmulik, Roni, Rami, Malki, Bela, Oded, Hanan.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 276 – 9.6.2023

The growl of the engine heralded a large vehicle parked in the square above us.
A few people enter.
There are free chairs, there is an invitation for coffee, there is curiosity.
The guide invites them to continue towards the well. “There are bees”, we warn. Another reason to sit down and not continue to the well…
Shmulik hurries with a teapot on the gas. I begin to tell who we are. The guide stops me, “That sounds interesting, I’ll go call those who stayed on the bus.”
At the end, about 30 travelers, aged 55 plus, sit with us – a group from Haifa area. They travel all weekend and sleep in Gvulot.
During my explanation Rami also arrives.
As usual, I tell about us and to emphasize my personal connection with Gaza, I tell that I transport patients in the “Road to Recovery” association. This provokes anger in one of the female travelers, “charity begins at home” she slaps me. I assure her that she will get her own right to speak, but she stands up defiantly and walks back to the bus. I pass the right to speak to a guy named Gidi.
Gidi says that Gaza is a bloody demographic problem. You need to understand the Arab mentality. We are meant to live on our sword. There are good people among us who care about the society in which they live. Barak offered Arafat 93 percent and he said in a closed call that he would not agree to even 100 percent, because he needs the struggle to continue.
Nahshi begins to speak. Someone else from the group also expresses some anger at the things that are said. Even the promise that it will soon be his turn to speak does not calm him down. Other voices from the group try to calm him down but in vain, he also angrily goes to the bus. At this point, the guide stops the meeting, “But”, he says, “Rami was my guide in the geography of Israel studies, let’s hear him and then we’ll go”
Rami recently returned from the Biennale in Venice where he participated in the presentation of a joint project with Jordan on water issues. Next to them was a Palestinian pavilion with a map of the Nakba. Rami introduced himself as Israeli and the manager of the Palestinian pavilion said “You are Palestinian”. The parents of the Palestinian pavilion manager were born in Jaffa. Rami showed him the old Be’eri area on the map, the sulfur factory and marked where the Abu Mualik family lived “I’m from there” he says to the Palestinian. Had excellent relations with Abu Mualik, until he was deported to Gaza in 1948. The Palestinian said: You expelled Abu Mualik. Rami said “I’m not arguing about facts, I’m expressing sorrow” and adds that he respects the narrative. Today, Rami is engaged in regional joint planning. The climatic and environmental problems are common to all. The entire space behaves according to different codes according to its rulers, including Gaza. Today everything is going on with anger, everyone is in post-trauma. In today’s behavior we are not getting to a good place. We need to think in combination of regional forces. Rami learned in life not to make assumptions, you have to look at reality. The assumption that there is no one to talk to is incorrect. We see how easy it is to start a war. Sometimes a small landing, like the meeting here at the lighthouse, can open a different way of thinking.
After the group leaves, a conversation develops between us about how to present things given that the environmental conditions do not facilitate patience.
Perhaps there is no value at all to sitting here if the weather conditions do not allow comfortable conversation and listening.
Perhaps we should speak much more briefly and when a large group comes, leave room for more people to express themselves.
To notice that the listeners understand that we are “the lighthouse” and even if some of us are partners in other ventures (like Other voice, Road to recovery, etc.) – we, in this place and time, are the lighthouse and nothing else.
Interesting and important discussion. It would be easier for me personally if others also introduce and guide the circle in the future.
We were: Nahshi, Shmulik, Rami, Moshe, Oded and about 30 other travelers
Written by: Oded

Encounter 275 – 2.6.2023

I’ll start from the end: when Maharan got into his car at the end of the meeting, he announced that the thermometer in his car read 48 degrees Celsius.
I will continue with an apology: we apologize to all the followers of the “Lighthouse” who came between three thirty and the end time (four) and did not find us – we were “defeated” by the bees that hovered, buzzed and stung.
True, it was very hot, but the combination with the bees that clung to every source of moisture that was around, coffee, water, sweat and even challah, was already too much.
The bees came from hives placed by some beekeeper near the “Lighthouse” summer residence. He probably wanted to capture the eucalyptus blossoms, but the bees, being very thirsty, were really not interested in the flowers and hummingly begged for a little water.
Rami, who arrived today, photographed the beehives and sent the message to the relevant authorities who will take care of their removal. Let’s hope that by next Friday we can get back to normal.
When we arrived Shmulik, Nahshi, Moshe and I were convinced that in this heat no one goes out for a walk… we were fooled.
As mentioned Rami arrived but stayed for a short time because he decided not to challenge his immune system against bee stings.
At a certain point the bees lured us away from the factory building and we settled near the eucalyptus tree above the ramp. The bees followed us there as well.
Three cars were parked under the tree, with about seven or eight travelers in them (not all of them were out of the car’s air conditioner), adults from the Beit She’an Valley and Afula.
Although our heat is winter compared to the heat in the Beit She’an Valley, the unique combination with the bees made them continue on their way after listening “on one leg” to the history of our lighthouse.
There was also Ido, who comes to us sometimes, there was also a couple of travelers from the southern Jordan Valley whom Rami met on the way and invited.
Towards three o’clock, Maharan also arrived. He usually has answers for everything and he tried to advise on the bees as well, even concocting sugar water for them, but he too finally supported secession…
Our loyal readers notice that Gaza news did not really occupy us this Friday. Indeed, it was hot, very hot, but the main concern was finding a place where the bees would not reach. in vain.
We finally abandoned around three thirty.
We where: Shmulik, Nahshi, Moshe, Ido, Rami, Maharan, Oded, another 7-8 travelers from the Beit Shan Valley area and another couple from Moshav in the southern Jordan Valley. Even with the couple who stayed for a while, we did not conduct a circle of introductions. There were also lots of bees and lots of Celsius.
Written by: Oded