Encounter 201 – 21.1.2022

Winter peak, penetrating cold and lying sun. On the way to the sulfur plant, we stop to photograph flowering anemones. Nahshi edits the photo for the invitation to the “Lighthouse”. Then he will also make coffee.
Ofek is already here, the chairs and table have already been arranged before he arrived, it is not clear by whom … even two garbage bags were left.
Ofek is interested and I took him on a tour: I showed him the caption in the parking lot, the private parking lot of the British commander, the tennis court, the olive tree brought by the Tibetan nun along with the seeds of peace on the guru’s mission, and finally we returned to the factory building.
Mark, Roni, Shmulik and Nahshi are already sitting in the circle. First news arrives about what is happening in the village of Burin. Jewish activists who came to plant olive trees together with the local Palestinians are attacked by masked men descending from the top of the mountain. A discussion begins in the circle. I bring some insights (interpretations? …) from the past about the roots of the present conflict and the debate focuses on whether a past discussion is relevant or whether we should direct the energy to a future solution.
During the discussion, Mary, and Dina and Malki, and Omer and Yogev arrived.
But the circle begins with a real procedure when Tal and Hagar arrive, two innocent hikers who came because of the trip and stayed because of the coffee. I introduce us to them and try to moderate their astonishment. After all, one can understand that encountering a phenomenon like ours is a bit surprising and strange.
Mary speaks: she came for the first time in an attempt to understand the complexity of the inter-communal problem in our region, and kept coming because of the respectful and interesting discourse.
Roni has known Palestinians since she was in Egypt. It’s easy to hate something abstract. There are partners, she says, a lot. Need to get to know and create encounters and platforms for human connection. Women and men from Gaza are neighbors and friends. Her tireless connections and humanitarian activities, sometimes bring success and sometimes pain and disappointment.
Ofek is the last one whos “captured”. He is still a high school student and he keeps coming because he has not yet formed opinions. What he hears here he has not heard anywhere else, certainly not in his hometown. Today, after several consecutive times, he can finally say what Gaza is for him: On the one hand, he has the image that all of Gaza is a Hamas outpost that is being bombed, but at the same time, Gaza for him is a kind of legend …
Dina was born in Alexandria and came to Israel at the age of a few months. In her adulthood she worked for someone who was the Military Governor of Gaza and later the governor of Nablus. In her opinion, Gaza should be on the agenda all the time and everyone should work all the time in order to raise awareness in Gaza. She does it all the time and not just in the “Lighthouse.”
Nahshi was born, raised and still lives near Gaza. For him, Gaza is people he knew. Huge potential that if it were otherwise would change the harsh reality. Coming here is the least he does for a change in reality.
Tal, who came with Hagar, says that on the way they “discovered” that they were approaching Gaza and there was some concern. She lives in Jerusalem whose complexity is not simple and she is more aware of it. Gaza is something distant …
Hagar, also from Jerusalem. She served in Military Intelligence and went out to “deal” with Gaza. It’s a heartache. Do not know what to do with it.
Yogev has been coming in a row for quite some time. Still a high school student and still listening … At this point, he still has no opinion on Gaza …
Omer says that today he has nothing to say, a sentence that he repeats every week …
Shmulik, introduces himself as a communist “I am enveloping Gaza,” he says. “I have a daughter in Netiv Ha’asara, I have a son in Kfar Aza, I have a sister in Nir Oz, and I, another son and another daughter live in Nir Itzhak” A real siege. Anyone who watches from here from where we are currently sitting, sees Al Bureij, he says. Collaboration can be fruitful. We have partners for hopes beyond the fence. The “lighthouse”, for Shmulik, is a “conscientious laundry.” The ability to influence is very poor. You have to listen to them. The “circle” is an attention circle that lasts almost 4 years.
Mark started arriving during the return marches (end of March 2018, in fact from the beginning of the “lighthouse”) … Mark is not a native of the country. Even abroad, before he immigrated, he thought he would come to a kibbutz, for some reason … He read abroad about members of Kerem Shalom who help in Gaza to build houses for Gazans and he liked it. In the end, he actually arrived to Kibbutz Gvulot and not to Kerem Shalom, but since then, Gaza has been in his head. His thoughts thanks to his South African background (his father was born in South Africa) and the awareness of the apartheid regime there, are directed to the poor of the region. Injustice everywhere discourages him. Doing symbolic steps is what is left. It’s almost “therapeutic” for him to come and be here. Active in “Extinction Rebellion” and working to “save the world” …
The first time Malki arrived (somewhere in 2019) she was initially excited about the place … then she was impressed by the company of people who sit together and learn something new every week and she keeps coming (almost) every week. This is also the place for her, to remind herself every week of Gaza and its misery. It’s still discouraging. Our lives are good and next to us are people with no horizon and no hope. Reminds us that we talked a lot about the importance of being present here. Even if it does not work in the foreseeable future, it will probably not hurt. The people here are doing more things. The meeting gives strength.
After everyone had spoken, Malki mentioned the question that Omer raised a week ago (a question from a questionnaire he had to fill out as a pre-military preparatory exam) regarding leaving the country in exchange for another, stable and safe place to live. She asked Omer if his presence and the things he was exposed to here in the “lighthouse” influenced his answer … Omer extended his answer and said “no” …
Shmulik, who responded to the question, used the term “homeland landscape.” Malki asks him if the “landscape of his homeland” could be elsewhere. Shmulik says he was born and lives and is in a certain setting and that is his home. A house that is not abandoned either for his own safety. He has no intention of substituting for an ideal utopia either!
Mark says he has been in the country half his life. It was not in his plans to come. But decided to come check … from the first night, he knew he had to stay here. It is irrational and has no explanation. He was looking for a place to live in Israel, from which no Palestinians had been deported. He has a problem with his son’s decision to live in Germany. Every left-wing Jew should be here to stand up to Messianism.
We then returned to the debate as to whether to discuss the past or focus on the future. Meanwhile time has passed, the cold has penetrated and the future at home looks warmer.
We were: Mark, Omer, Yogev, Shmulik, Oded, Mary, Malki, Roni, Ofek, Dina, Nahshi, Tal, Hagar.
Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 200! 🎈🎈14.1.2022

First came Hayuta, Nahshi, Arieh with his daughter from Nir-Itzhak and Ofek from Mabuim, met with a group of Rahat residents who settled around a fire in the middle of the building.
Then came Roni and Mary.
The coffee was immediately judged by Nahshi and he continued to serve in the best tradition hot tea and boiling coffee throughout the session.
The Rahat group did not connect. They seem to have avoided connecting to the invitation to join the circle. Listen to what was said from the side, perhaps out of doubt, shyness, suspicion, and I felt that the cloud of unrest in the Negev was thickening. But maybe these are just my thoughts … in any case it was noticeable that they did not feel comfortable.
When they saw that the “masses” gathering, they left a dim fire and went on their way.
We revived the fire that warmed us well.
Ofek promised that Yogev and Omer would arrive later and indeed it was.
Roni talked about the thought that acquaintance making the other close, accessible. Tells about meetings with young groups, including a group of the Preparatory School for Empowerment for Young Leadership, who came to her for the enrichment path. Jewish and Arab Israelis. At the end of the meeting with them, the group said goodbye to Roni and continued to gather at the Moshav club. Some time later, the group’s instructor sent a WhatsApp to Roni – a greeting from our Gazan friend. It turns out that during the activity at the club they had a conversation with him, during which the connection between him and Roni became clear.
Ofek says that the Gaza of the past, about which his parents and grandparents, one of the founders of Kibbutz Sa’ad, told him, is for him a distant memory that does not exist and is not understood and it causes a feeling of missing out.
Then a young man from the Yavneh came from Kibbutz Sa’ad with his 4 children. Hayuta introduced the theme of the circle. The guy told of a random encounter he had years ago with a Palestinian worker who was on his way back to his family in Khan Yunis and whom he took a ride to the border crossing and since then there has been a regular connection between them. And so he got to know the reality of life across the border in a continuous way to this day.
Malki has arrived.
We talked on the phone with our Gazan friend who told us about the continuation of the activity and the spread of the good news of the activity. He comforted us that we who are in the lighthouse are not alone!
And we talked to him again a few minutes later when Ramy arrived and the excitement was great.
Hanan arrived with the promised surprise: wine and spices that were soon cooked together and poured into trophies in honor of the lighthouse group’s 200th meeting. 200 weeks according to my account is close to 4 years…
Oded and Shmulik returned from planting olive trees in the West Bank. Excited and uplifted, they told about the empowering experience and honored those gathered at the knapsack.
Hayuta noted that the encounter is rioting. And we agreed that sometimes it’s not so bad.
Malki told about the inspiration she has from the meeting at the lighthouse.
Ramy returned the discourse on consciousness to the concept of love that he had been trying to define for some time. Love which he says is a concept not of the emotion but of some kind of combination of things.
Love is a way of life, it is a choice. His choice in Gaza consciously and the choice to come to the lighthouse and the choice to be conscious, it is out of love as a way of life and decision that there is the other’s existence and that there are people that reality is cruel to, in his thought of them in his love for them, in fact he makes love Of the other.
The discourse focused on the topic raised by Omer. He posed a question from the screenings for the pre-military preparatory school in which he participates: Will you agree or not to leave the Land of Israel on some utopian island in front of the State of California in order to resolve the conflict over the land?
We made a round of reasoned answers divided between the majority that ruled out leaving and the minority that owed.
Nahshi indicates his love and connection to his place of residence and that Shmulik reinforces the fact that man is a landscape model of his homeland. Oded mentions the statement that the land does not belong to us but we belong to the land And indicates A trending question.
Malki points to the unreality and realism of the question.
Hayuta indicates that apart from the sanctity of human life everything else is mundane. But she feels that she has a conscientious obligation to her pioneer father and her partner who fought in the Israeli wars.
Shmulik from Be’eri arrived with his grandson to check if the embers were kept in the “lighthouse”. Say hello and wish peace and keep going.
Ofek stated that he does not want to run away from the problems but wants to solve them.
Hanan explained that the question upset him because in essence it is whether it is possible to destroy and abandon what we did in order to allow and rebuild well. It is an idealization of destruction as a way of thinking about the world. Hanan also points to the trend of the question. And for a lack of understanding and internalization of important and significant historical processes and none of which answers the question.
Roni thinks she actually went through the process of moving from her place of residence when the “Yamit” setlements evacuated to a new place in the belief that it was the right thing to do for a better future.
It was argued that this question was a question of provocation / manipulation.
Rami said that during the peace talks with Egypt he was willing to leave Be’eri for another place but to be within the area in order to give the Palestinians more space. And he wants to learn to get along with the neighbors. And the question that has arisen sits on a utopian plane. For him the land should not be divided.
Shmulik notes that he has a deep sense of belonging to his homeland and the place where he lives.
Arieh said he does not expect his problems to be solved by changing geographical location.
Omer noted that the majority in the preparatory said they were ready to move to the utopian island. He himself answered similarly to Shmulik.
Rami returns Gaza for discussion. Claims that Gaza has never been in any country but has been “ping pong ball”.
Another question was whether the struggle for a foothold in the Land of Israel was worth all the casualties of the Israeli wars.
Oded talks about Wikipedia and the debate that developed in the Haaretz newspaper about the “dictatorship of Wikipedia”. According to him, a situation has arisen where there are values that have become taboo and should not be discussed and considered. And there are paving places in all sorts of places.
The meeting was very frenetic this time and took place most of the time with more and more people joining the circle and basically without any control or circular order.
We were: Shmulik, Rami, Rami, Nahshi, Roni, Hayuta, Oded, Ofek, Omer, Yogev, Malki, Hanan, Arie and Elia, the guy from Yavne and his children, Mary who also rote this time to the best of her ability.

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.

Encounter 198- 31.12.2021

We sat Roni, Mary, Shmulik and Nahshi – with the kite and a loaded table.
We waited for travelers, rain and friends from Mabu’im and meanwhile we talked about our friends in Gaza, the planned meeting for next week in Sderot, planting Tu B’Shvat a week later in the West Bank, the education system in Israel and heard Roni’s experiences with young people seeking to learn about life in Gaza.
It was cold (as mentioned – Mary came), instead of rain there was only a slight drizzle and hikers and guests did not visit our circle.
There are also days like this… We enjoyed and expanded our minds.
Shmulik promised that soon there will be a blossom and the hikers will flock and what Shmulik promises always comes true!
Wrote: Nahshi

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.

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.