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

Encounter 272 – 26.5.2023

We are sitting, the breeze is caressing with the aroma of coffee.
After about an hour, when we had already calculated the end of the circle backwards, the first miracle happened, Jaber arrives! The hug with me is natural and expected, as above with Moshe, but with Shmulik?! Anyone who hasn’t been there and seen it with me, will have a hard time even imagining. Jaber, armed with a bag of baked goods, a bag of za’atar, a vial with olive oil and a pinch of salt, organizes plates with a health mixture.
More breeze, more coffee, and a traveling family appears on the top of the hill – second miracle!
Instead of being a guest in some kibbutz with caravans of agricultural implements and white maidens leaping from among the yellowing wheat, couples with guys as above and children with baskets on their heads. It turns out that there are those who actually chose to travel.
Yuval Orna and their children, Ofek and Adam, like to travel on the weekends precisely in places that few people, if any, would choose to travel to.
I begin by explaining about us, continue with “What is Gaza to me” and point out that my presence here, in our “Lighthouse” is influenced by a television docu that I watched in the past in which there is a reference to a population that lives an almost undisturbed life while in its neighborhood, other people suffer for a long time (the docu talks about those who lived in the neighborhood of the concentration camps in Europe during the Second World War and continued their normal lives).
Yuval says he has no specific connection to Gaza (he did not serve in it or near it in the army). He thinks the situation inside is difficult. The parallel I made when I presented my rationale is difficult for him. He compares the Hamas rule in Gaza to dictators in Africa. The aid programs are not successful because the government is not interested in change and profits from the situation. You can complain about the Israelis, but you should also honestly say that their attempt at democracy did not succeed and not because of Israel. I once read a book by an economist, whose name I don’t remember, who said that those who live off of someone else’s backwardness will not really try to solve the problems.
Orna, curious to go in and see with her own eyes the situation there. It pains her to see the pictures from there that are broadcast on TV, especially during the rounds of violence. Very very curious to see Gaza.
Shmulik, born in Ramat Gan, came to the area in a group and lived here since the 1960s. His family is scattered around the Gaza Strip, a daughter in Netiv Ha’asara, a son in Kfar Gaza, a sister in Nir Oz, and he and another daughter and son live in Nir Itzhak. In times of war one does not leave home, he also says (an answer to Orna’s question “What did he do in the last conflict”). In his professional life he also met workers from Gaza and remained in contact with them. When the physical contact was severed he sent money and now helps in hiring a laborer from there. At the time, Aric Sharon created a complete dependence of the Gazan economy on Israel. Today we are separated by modern fences. Tells about Physicians for Human Rights doctors, who visited the circle almost 5 years ago and told about the difficult situation in Gaza’s hospitals. Until about a year ago, Gaza was closed and isolated and there was great despair. Since they opened the suffocating lockdown and allowed the workers to go to work, the situation has improved a bit. Enmity and tensions are building up there and one day everything will explode and flood us. When he understood the situation he also decided to be active.
Jaber talks about “El Zarnouk”, his unrecognized settlement, and emphasizes that compared to Gaza, their situation is excellent. Whoever ignores what is happening there is burying his head in the sand. Every time we hurt the “responsibles” and new ones arise. In the economic aspect, Jaber says, the foreign workers in Israel (from Thailand, Philippines ect.) take the money out of the country, while the Gazans, on whom Israel’s economy was based until about 30 years ago, used the money inside Israel. The situation bothers him. In his eyes, the state is like a father, an abusive father. There cannot be a situation where there is nothing to eat and we are thriving. This difference between the opportunities each side has is outrageous. Wants to be a part of the lighthouse even though he is at work on Fridays (driver in “Egged”).
Moshe says that in the last operation (the use of the word “operation” does not please him), he saw how we, the adults, also suffer. Today is a holiday, the sense of danger is constantly hovering above, present. On the other side, they suffer much more. There is a film about the children in Gaza, Moshe recommends watching. This is a reality that is hard to digest. Most of the population in Gaza are refugees from 1948. This affects the collective and personal level. We try to contact people in Gaza and this sometimes happens despite “dangerous conditions of conversation”. It is difficult but also optimistic.
Yuval says that he is himself, not paying a price (doesn’t live close to Gaza) and therefore he feels that the weight of his words is weaker. Basically, he says, he is a leftist. In his opinion everyone deserves a fair life but in the West there is a lot of hypocrisy, if tribes are slaughtering each other in Africa I don’t get involved because it’s not my conflict. A person should demand humanity from himself, but he also has the right to demand it from the other side. The western standard is only about itself.
The holiday is about to begin and I make sure to finish on time. Just before the end, Maharan and his son Malek also arrive. They are on their way to watch with us the Shavuot ceremony in Nir Itzhak. Jaber and the traveling family are also invited, but decide to stick to the prearranged plans.
This time we were: Shmulik, Moshe, Jaber, Oded, Orna, Yuval (Ofek and Adam, their sons, wandered the site), Maharan and Malek.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 271 – 19.5.2023

In the last year, the dialogue we used to maintain with partners in Gaza has weakened. This dialogue is important and complementary to the circles that are re-created every Friday at the “Lighthouse”.
Of course, individual relationships still exist, such as helping someone find a job, transporting patients, donating money, and more. But, the connection with the group from Gaza was in the past one of the anchors of the “Lighthouse”. In situations where the reality hardly changes and it is difficult to get excited at every new meeting, the conversation with Gaza, as well as the meeting with random guests, was what created interest and sometimes a thread for further action or dialogue. Admittedly, even in the talks with Gaza, the texts were repeated, but perhaps this is actually the conflict we are facing today, messages that are repeated over and over and may produce a “tiring” routine in the face of recognition of the importance of persistence in maintaining the “Lighthouse” initiative.
A shining ray of light in this “routine” is Roni, who manages to create a continuous dialogue with people of Gaza, and every week she shares information with us. This time Roni proposed to create some kind of forum to which the needs of employers on the one hand, and job seekers on the other, would flow.
During every week, articles are published and information is published in the context of Gaza. It’s not like direct dialogue, but it’s knowledge. Knowledge and facts are an important tool in dealing with “feeling”. In the context of Gaza, all the more so. The gap between the public’s “knowledge” about Gaza (if anyone is interested in Gaza outside of the war context) and the real facts and information, is huge. The same goes for the knowledge that exists in the Gazan public about Israel. An initiative like the “Lighthouse” is important as a place that treasures knowledge that it can mediate to those who are interested in listening (perhaps even generating the matter itself).
Today, 9 people were present at our Lighthouse, all of whom have “experience” of one kind or another. That’s why we wondered about those who disappeared a bit: Jaber for example and Ofek (Nahshi sent him a message and he replied that Ofek does intend to visit and has a lot to tell us).
It is also important to note that Chaim is coming for the fifth or sixth time (who is counting) in the last two or three months. It may not lower the average age, but it certainly raises the level of intellect.
We reminded ourselves – and repeat here as well – that next week we have two special meetings planned: Wednesday 5/31, with the Galilee Preparatory and the next day, Thursday 6/1 with the trainees of the “Hashomer Hachadash” leadership program. In the afternoon here at the sulfur plant. We would welcome the participation of anyone who can.
This time we were: Nahshi, Shmulik, Bela, Malki, Roni, Hanan, Haim, Moshe, Oded.
Written by: Oded.

Encounter 270 – 12.5.2023

The roads to the “Lighthouse” are blocked, but not all. There was an argument in the car: Should we go to the sulfur plant or sit under the protection of a shelter near Be’eri.
Under the pressure of the back bench, it was decided to Be’eri.
But, no shelter was found there…
With no choice, the back bench agreed to go to the sulfur plant. Nahshi also adds that “no one will come anyway and all we need is to bypass the army and bring a picture of victory.”
As mentioned, the roads are blocked, but not all…
In the “Lighthouse” a pleasant wind blows and the silence is wrapped in a hum from the sky and distant growls of another unnecessary war.
Nahshi, the one from the back bench, sending a “not to come” invitation. Strange kind of an invitation.
Shmulik, Nahshi and me. Three coffee mugs, with refreshments that have been making their way back and forth for several weeks.
Talk about Gaza, or rather, keep talking about Gaza. There is a lot to say already from the night between Monday and Tuesday 8-9/5. It’s not just that I mention the date. This is the official date of the end of WWII (in Russia it is celebrated on 9/5 and in Europe 8/5), a war in which about 6 million Jews were murdered (out of about 35 million total citizens) – the “Holocaust”.
The Holocaust serves to this day as a moral test for the State of Israel and gives it unlimited credit to repel accusations of its behavior towards the Palestinians. And here, on this sensitive date, Israel chooses to re-examine the strength of the Holocaust and under the illusory pretext of self-defense eliminates three Palestinians who are defined as “seniors in the Islamic Jihad” and along the way murders ten more innocent people.
So we came to the “Lighthouse”. We quoted WhatsApps, articles and conversations, all in the context of Gaza, its surroundings and its destruction.
When we left the area, we changed the route a little and upon reaching the exit road from the Re’im parking lot, we were captured by an IDF squad. The soldiers jumped out of their composure and excitedly waved us to stop (except for one who was engrossed in crossword puzzles). They caught three downed Altas. They reported us and were instructed to hold us until the command understood the extent of the failure. Then they announced that since we had arrived from a no-go area, we would have to wait. We offered them a coffee in the meantime, they said they are equipped and organized and respected us with iced Coce.
A strange scene: three leftists (except for Nahshi and Shmulik), elderly people and a squad of young people wearing uniforms are waiting for “instructions from above”. After about fifteen minutes we were released.
We were this time – Nahshi, Shmulik, Oded.
Intented to come but avoided it for security reasons – Hanan and Mark.
“Take care of yourselves” – Mahran said
Sending a hug – Roni
Send information that was discussed during the meeting – Racheli, Nomika, Dina, Julia, Mary, Hayuta.
“The heart is with you” – Malki said.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 269 – 5.5.2023

There were three of us quite orphaned: Nahshi, Shmulik and I.
After love bites between Shmulik and Nahshi, the coffee came on our luxurious table.
Shmulik, gave me an amusing quiz that happily tested my failure to remember the names of the eighteen residents of the Poalim Yod residance – our common childhood home in Ramat Gan which no longer exists.
This matter comes to say that everything that has been said and celebrated so far has been a discussion at the level of Ephesians who are entertaining in themselves.
We exchanged experiences about the week’s useless round of violence, updated about our acquaintances beyond the fence and read some of Israel Pinkas’s poems when, around three o’clock, Rami emerged from among the clouds of haze.
We were all happy to see that his condition had improved remarkably: not that he put on any meat, God forbid, but he returned to his previous thinness and his face was as good as it was in the past. Rami’s appearance also failed to raise the level of the discussion and he soared again and again –
Until he landed a very practical and generous offer: he offers to buy the lighthouse a dedicated vehicle that will help transport the equipment and make it easier for the struggling people who have been sitting in the sulfur factory for five years. The proposal was made and here it is before us, and here we come in front of this generosity and large-heartedness, for the days when solutions will come.
This time we were: Shmulik, Rami, Nahshi and Hayuta.
concluded and enjoyed Hayuta.

Encounter 268 – 28.4.2023

Malki came with Racheli, a childhood friend (who had already been once before), Racheli quickly internalized the spirit of the “Lighthouse”, recognized two suspicious characters as walking in the area of the well, went “hunting” and returned with Neta and Lee.
Come on circle…
Maharan said that he loved spending his childhood in Gaza with his father and with the local exotic experiences (market, sea, food, etc.). During one of the visits, he saw soldiers standing civilians facing the wall with their legs apart and searching them. To his question, his father replied that Gaza had changed. He continued to come to Gaza even in his adulthood and already knew how to notice the changes in himself. Today, he says, nobody wants Hamas, but they are afraid. In his opinion, going to work in Israel improved the economic situation a little and therefore there is peace. Israel invests more in the West Bank because there are Israelis there and neglects Gaza. They are conducted separately from the West Bank and a sort of “Gaza state” was created.
Malki says that living close to Gaza increases awareness (compared to living far away). She doesn’t have much to do but came so as not to run away from reality. Some do more than her. She focuses on the lighthouse. Gaza is a great despair.
Racheli comes from Tel Aviv. As a child, I vaguely remember Gaza. As a student she visited Gaza only once. Gaza today is a big ghetto.
Shmulik renewed the relationship with Gaza by renewing the relationship with Yusuf and his family. Once, when he was a dairy farmer, Yusuf, then a boy, came to the dairy with his father. Today they are both grandparents to their grandchildren. After many years of disconnection, Yusuf received a work permit in Israel and the relationship was renewed. Shmulik remembers that when he himself arrived in the region, in the mid-sixties of the last century, as a young man, after finishing high school, he sometimes went to the border of the Gaza Strip, met with UN soldiers and traded cigarettes. Back then the border was a single barbed wire, today the border is a fence high above the ground, a concrete wall Under the earth and the UN is busy with other countries. Shmulik used to travel with a friend from a kibbutz as he had friends in Rafah and Khan Yunis. After the Oslo Accords, there was a feeling for a moment that peace would break out, but the moment passed and peace is over. In Gaza, people live under limitations that we do not experience.
Moshe says that especially in this week of the Holocaust remembrance and independence, we hear a lot of sirens and loudspeakers. That second before the announcement on the loudspeaker, when he starts to act but still nothing has been said, that second makes him shiver. When he checked the reason, he realized that the second of this pause reminded him of the second before the “red color” alarm. After each operation, the children are checked to see that everything is fine. Moshe thinks that the adults are also hurt, it’s just that it has become the “normal”. He asks rhetorically, how did such a generation grow up in Gaza where they are completely exposed both physically and mentally/ therapeutically? While we are sitting here, in the “Lighthouse”, a group is sitting in Gaza with whom we are in contact. We have hope that one day we will meet and we gain strength from the knowledge that we are a Lighthouse for them.
Neta does not remember Gaza from before the war period. From her young age, she only remembers alarms. Today, more than 10 years after she was released from the army, she still serves in the reserves, her main occupation in the reserves is the protection of the residents. There, in Gaza, she says, there is a small group that is degenerating the area into violence. Unfortunately, she does not see a solution in Gaza, until both sides make a switch in their minds. She lives in a settlement very close to Gaza and among them you hear the “Iron Dome” first and only after that an alarm. When this happens, she already knows that she will be called to the reserves.
Lee lives in the center of the country. For her, Gaza is only stories from her father. According to him, it was a place of entertainment, sea and market. If you wanted to impress a girl you would take her to Gaza. While renovating a family site, they met a worker from Gaza who told about the horror of life under Hamas rule. Lee rarely talks about politics because “in our society everyone thinks they are the most righteous in the world.”
Mary spoke and so did I. But our words can also be read in previous summaries…
This time we were: Maharan, Malki, Mary, Racheli, Shmulik, Moshe, Neta, Lee, Oded. Roni was with us from afar.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 267 -21.4.2023

During the 5 and a bit years of the “Lighthouse” life, the motif of listening comes back again and again as an important reason for people’s desire to return and come on Fridays (between one and four did we say?).
On the days when the circular “rite” takes place, the structure of the meeting is clearer and it is intended mainly for the ears of new participants. Sit, listen and we will tell. Speak and we will listen.
When we are among ourselves, a “new” speech is created that sometimes challenges the fixed opinions, sometimes it is somewhat strange and sometimes it repeats itself. Today some talk started about the difference between “piety” and “righteousness”, a strange doubt, a philosophical doubt…
We will continue with the summary and move on to charity with a point to think about at the end:
Mark said he met a Gazan beggar near a shopping center. He asked for money to buy his children new clothes for the holiday (Eid al-Fitr). Mark gave, chatted with him a bit and gave more. Later, when they had already parted, Mark wondered to himself, was the willingness to give due to the fact that the beggar was a Gazan? Would he have given even if the beggar was from here? And if he gave, why so and so and not more, then he could have allowed himself to give a larger amount… interesting.
Roni receives a short video from a woman she knows in Gaza in which a child is seen crying. The woman adds in the video that he is crying because he wants a gift for the holiday. Roni like Roni, takes out of the wallet and gets another video of a happy child…
Vivian arrives and with her Yaeli and Tamar, graduates of the “Sam Spiegel” film school. The two are working on a television drama series about women in the Gaza border and Vivian finds it appropriate to interest them in the “Lighthouse”.
Rami presents the rationale and says that the circle seeks to place a beacon for Gaza’s consciousness, “to a place where a light burns, hope can be steered.”
We, he says, ask that we not forget that we have to turn on the light in our lighthouse. In literature and cinema, when writing about lighthouses, the main emphasis is on the people who hold the lighthouse. They are the keepers of the light in the lighthouse. They hope someone can use the light they spread. In the “storm” unfolding in the space in which we live, there are those who want to keep the light on.
Roni talks about the great privilege she had to also know the other side that claims its right in the space, on the side of her recognition of her side’s right. We will not be in each other’s place, but by each other’s side, she says. Because of the neighborhood to Gaza and familiarity with Gazans, she feels the need to link them to us. This is how joint groups of theater, dance, music and more were created. Roni receives at least 10 “Shabbat shalom” greetings from Gaza every Friday… We can’t hide behind the “no partner” slogan, she concludes, there is definitely someone to talk to.
Malki is coming because there is a light on here for her too. Gaza is a black and depressing hole. There are indeed difficulties in acting, but there is also the tendency to “get addicted” to our personal comfort bubble. This place strengthens her.
Uzi recounts the history of the establishment of his settlement and says that it was a “settlement without violence” because the settlement was not established on land occupied by others. Over the years he met many Arabs in his tours in the Middle East, and came to the conclusion that the Palestinian Arabs are very similar to us, the Jews of the region, much more than the resemblance to other Arab communities.
Haim says that for a short time in his life he was a citizenship teacher and did not feel that he was able to make an impact. Gaza is a ghetto “par excellence” he says. It’s near his house and he lives peacefully, tending his garden and being ignored. This gap disturbs his rest. Roni’s words touched his heart and he intends to act.
Yaeli writes a series about women in the Gaza border. There is many men’s stories and a female point of view is different and worthy of a story. The voice of people in our region heard only in war contexts. She says that her “hands are tied” because the project is for commercial television in Israel. The “Lighthouse” inspires, both the place and the people. When she thinks of Gaza, the word “shame” comes to mind. She is ashamed of the state and its people’s treatment of Gaza. It is also convenient for her to forget, because Gaza is not present in her life.
Tamar is Yaeli’s partner in the series. She grew up in the US and when she came back it took her a while to connect and understand Israeliness. For her, Gaza is a kind of new insight into the place she calls home.
Mark says that on this Friday in particular, it is correct to refer to Gaza as a ghetto (4 days after “Holocaust Day”, OB). Think about the people who are looking towards the houses they had. The people who died there, who ran away, who live somewhere in the world. If Gaza is a ghetto, then what are we? Mark compares us to a group of Poles who sit near the ghetto and talk about it without doing anything… at least we talk.
Rami, defines Gaza as a kind of private house in the area. The great wars are being waged today over consciousness. It is a complex struggle. Expanding the circle of consciousness is the important task. You (turning to Yaeli and Tamar), take part in this struggle in your project. Rami quotes Rabbi Kook Sr. who says “one should not accept the conviction but add justice”. Everything that happens in Gaza is defined by Rami as a temporary “mishap”.
Shmulik points out that the tip he adds to “wear away the rock” is the help he gives to a Gazan laborer, the sole breadwinner of a large family in Gaza.
Bella had an experience this week. As a Holocaust survivor, she was visited by soldiers who came and saluted her. She was moved to tears. She swore that she would not rest and would act so that people in the world would not go through life like she went through as a child.
Hayuta tells about her mother-in-law that she calls her a “Holocaust heroine” and not a “Holocaust survivor”. She took her to hear the proclamation of the state in the museum and her mother-in-law was moved to the point of crying, which surprised her a little. The pain and excitement sometimes come from an unexpected place.
Moshe refers to the story of the meeting between Mark and a beggar. This made Moshe think about Gaza. Are the positive and negative feelings related to the history of Gaza in which we are active partners? Would we develop the same attitude to what is happening in Gaza if it was due to a natural disaster for example? Would it have aroused in him the same desire to be involved and active as he feels by being, he feels, part of the responsible for the situation? Moshe refers to the Holocaust in a story about his father who left a wife and child in Europe and went to Argentina to find a safer place. His wife and son did not have time to leave and the war completely severed the relationship. Only this week, Moshe managed to find out the names of the woman and the boy who is actually his half-brother.
Vivian brought Tamar and Yaeli because she thought it would be interesting for them to meet the lighthouse. She says that it is important to introduce them to films made about the area.
Roni points out that from the contacts she has in Gaza, she sees that the light of the lighthouse is indeed visible on the other side. Before the corona virus there was an initiative by a group that was in contact with us to settle in a building not far from the fence and set up a similar lighthouse there on the other side.
At the end of the meeting, Rami told about “Gaza jars”. Gaza, which was a major city at the end of the Byzantine period and before the Arab conquest (sixth century), was a wine production center and for the purposes of storing and sending it by sea, jugs with a cone bottom were made and they were arranged in holes in the floors of the warehouses in the belly of the ship. In addition to wine, the area was abundant with barley and wheat and enjoyed great wealth until a plague came…

This time we were: Haim, Mark, Rami, Shmulik, Nahshi, Bella, Hayuta, Mary, Moshe, Roni, Malki, Uzi, Oded, Vivian, Yaeli, Tamar.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 266 – 14.4.2023

Mark suggested a slightly different circuit, “role play”.
Each person in the circle represented a popular opinion in the Israeli public. For example, “it is important to preserve the unity of the people in Israel” or “the Jewish people, wherever they are, should unite” or “two states”, “enough for occupation”, “a state of all its citizens” and more.
A good idea to start an important discussion. The problem for most of us was the difficulty of representing different and even opposite positions to the personal positions.
During the round, Mary arrived with her guest, Vicky, who listened and asked to speak as well.
Vicki is a retired Jewish American doctor. She has visited the country many times in the past. Understands Hebrew quite well but is less sure of her ability to speak. Since she showed interest and a desire to express herself, we decided to stop the role-playing and focus on Gaza. It is important and interesting to hear what an older Jewish woman from Arizona thinks about Gaza. We made a circle, some spoke English and some Hebrew. Most of us said the things we repeat every time, so I won’t mention them in the summary.
The readership can scroll back the summaries and read what Nahshi, Shmulik, Roni, Oded, Mark, Bela and Malki said about Gaza in the past… We repeated the same things today. Not that there are any surprises in what can still be said about Gaza, but there were some new insights from different people and especially in the way Vicky formulated her point of view.
Vicky spoke in English and so that I wouldn’t misunderstand things, I asked Mary to summarize for me in Hebrew. Turned out a bit long.
Vicky says this: in order for peace to come to Gaza, both nations need to work on themselves.
We need to understand the harm we caused by our actions, whether out of true intentions or due to neglect. Acknowledging these things for our neighbor is huge! This is the first step in apologizing. But the next steps are more difficult. Changing our actions and committing to peace is something that should also come from us. If we declare that we are ready for peace, but only declare, then it is a bluff. Being ready for peace also means being vulnerable in a certain way, changing our behavior and attitude to a friendly one. Being vulnerable not from a security perspective but from a relationship perspective.
The Gazans should also have real intentions and act towards us consistently in order for trust to develop. It’s hard to know if it’s possible on a large scale, it’s doubtful. Our cultures are very different. If we do things that shame and hurt the feelings of others then we are not doing our job to build peace. Unfortunately, the people of Gaza are silenced by leadership and religion, which also do not seem to encourage a two-sided solution.
Neighbors need to build trust through actions and continued talk. The current situation cannot lead to a solution, because Gaza will simply remain as it is.
Mahran thinks America should force Israel to make an agreement with Gaza. He calls the USA “the big mother”. If the economy in Gaza is good they will have no reason to fight.
Vicki replies that she has a friend who says that the US is always the source of trouble in the world and has never solved any conflict.
Haim said that like all of us, he will reach heaven one day, meet his mother who will ask if he finished the soup and maybe someone will also ask him what he has done in his life to solve the problem of the largest ghetto in the world that developed near his home (in a settlement near Gaza). In the meantime, he’s clarifying the issue for himself. Come on, this is the fourth time! to the lighthouse
Shmulik says that Gaza should be a state in itself because even the Palestinians in the West Bank do not see the Gazans as brothers and are not really interested in them.
Mahran says that he trusts and believes more in the Palestinians from Gaza than in the Palestinians from the West Bank, such a feeling… He cannot explain it… He said that the Israeli Arabs should stay between Israel and the Palestinians for the time being and not choose a side.

We were: Malki, Vicky, Mary, Haim, Shmulik, Nahshi, Bella, Mark, Mahran, Oded, Roni
Written by: Oded

Encounter 265 – 7.4.2023

Another round of Jewish-Israeli “justice” started and ended tonight. A few hours ago we “returned to normal”. The same routine that Tibi calls democratic for Jews and Jewish for Arabs. There were not many expectations for travelers today (security tension and hot weather) and yet… we are here.
As usual, I made a round to look for chairs. This time I collected 5 of these that were placed under the trees. Some of the signs that Nahshi made, in Hebrew and Arabic, in which he asks to return the chairs after use, were found torn and thrown into one of the pits, someone is probably angry with us and reacts by smashing chairs and tearing signs.
At the meeting itself there were 8 of us and we talked about order and disorder. Also on methods to manage the disorder.
Mark told about protest bikes that he was a part of in the events of the “Extinction Rebellion”.
Hayuta read from the poems of Meir Wiesilter who passed away a few days ago,
Shmulik made coffee,
Nahshi smoked, took pictures and called Rami.
The conversation with Rami didn’t work out because of the communication problems there, but I wanted to talk to Rami to hear from him and better understand what happened to Gaza last night.
According to our friends in “Other Voice”, there were “terrible bombings”.
Hanan brought his homemade jam and told (again) the story about an Arab woman from the north who scheduled her wedding for 5/15 and only when Hanan reminded her that it is “Nakba Day” did she realize the mistake…
Maharan amazes with his stories and invites to an iftar dinner at his place.
After that, Shmulik, Nahshi and I continued to Rahat and joined a protest demonstration about the events of the last few days in Al Aqsa.
We were and survived to tell: Hayuta, Nahshi, Shmulik, Hanan, Maharan, Mark, Malki, Oded.
Written by: Oded

Encounter 264 – 31.3.2023

The fasting of Ramadan is in full swing, Passover is also approaching, the holiday is already here. The wheel of the year turns despite the storms. In the lighthouse is a kind of routine that tries to survive in a storm of other routines.
As usual for the last few weeks, I start by looking for chairs and come back loaded with garbage bags (without chairs).
Moshe, Haim, Shmulik and Nahshi sit around the table and listen to Rami who tells about the structure of the aquifers in the Arava.
The topic is covered and Rami suggests making a circle on the question of whether there is a connection between the Zadorov trial and the coup d’état currently underway in the country.
In the meantime, Malki and Bella arrive. In the spirit of the times, seeing only men, Malki asks if she can join or is it better that they sit at a distance from some of the men, so as not to provoke temptation.
Nahshi making tea.
Returning to the research question formulated by Rami, the dominant word is “prosecution”. We get into legal corners and wording dilemmas. Mainly it seems that although everyone is quite sure of his/her opinion, there are concepts and procedures that we don’t understand and a “circular” discussion (in the sense of repetition) begins.
We ran out. I would like to present a situation for discussion.
“We are standing in the demonstration, vigorously waving the Israeli flag. A Palestinian comes to the demonstration and says, when the laws of the dictatorship are passed, I will be the one who will hurt more than everyone else. Therefore, I ask to join you in the demonstration.”
I asked that everyone address the situation and reply to that Palestinian. Welcome! everyone said. When we added a flag to the Palestinians, it already sounded ahalan and sahlan but…

This time we were: Malki, Bela, Shmulik, Nahshi, Haim, Moshe, Rami, Oded. This time Roni was with us in her heart.
Written by: Oded