Encounter 177 – 6.8.2021

On our way to the “lighthouse” we stopped at a lush fig tree. The fig trees are right here, in the immediate vicinity, outstretched and plucked. The figs have joined the Sabers bowl, also “made” by the nearby area as well as some of the inhabitants of the circle. Today Arie arrived for the first time in our circle, so we made it “properly” … I presented the circumstances that led to the initiative and the idea that has been leading it for almost three and a half years.
After Dina spoke. It matters to Dina what happens because she lives in the area. It is not acceptable for her to ignore the situation of the neighbors. Everyone is supposed to do the least they can to make things happen. Do not sit idly by. Since she is part of the circle she tells it everywhere. Each is a link in a chain. Need faith and perseverance and do not despair. No big things will happen here but …
Radir reads a song written by David Peretz, “There is a place within me.” The song, she says, represents her way. Israeli Palestinians have an important role to play in bridging. Connecting to Gazan companies and friends is extremely important. Feels like a family here and tells things she does not dare say elsewhere. Sometimes things are said in a circle that are difficult for her to hear. Radir cares for future generations. Education on both sides is very important. It is important that each side sees on the other side its humanity and not the negative.
Shmulik agrees with every word said so far. Believes in historical processes. Forgiveness and perfection have already been created in the past between peoples who hated and therefore the solution will reach us as well.
Malki loves to come here. Only 6 years in the area and a half of this time she also came here, to the “lighthouse” … from the first moment “sucked” … Gaza is a great despair and life next to it is conducted in two different worlds. Even if it is difficult to help, she at least wants to understand and be aware. It is possible to live our good lives and not look at the neighbors, but it is difficult for her, it is difficult to think that there is suffering there. It hurts. It’s good for her to share with people who see people the way she sees. It is difficult for her with the religion whose value system depends on the divine commandment. She can not respond to it rationally and it scares her.
Jaber lives in an unrecognized settlement in the State of Israel. A bit far from Gaza, but feels in the Gaza area … There is a lot of injustice in the country, even in his place of residence. Among the neighbors in Gaza, suffering is much more present. Jaber says that the suffering in Gaza brings him here, to our lighthouse, to sit with people who see people like him eye to eye. He came for his friends and family in Gaza.
Nahshi. Send this week, in the WhatsApp group, an article about three educated Gazan women from the village of Hiza’a in the “Gaza Strip” who did not find a livelihood in their field of study and decided to become farmers. Today they grow organic vegetables and sell them in the Gaza strip. It happens really close to us and Nahshi gets excited. He wrote to them and said how much he appreciates and admires their initiative. Nahshi is always looking for the good and the compromiser in life. And happy to discover such initiatives. The future is good and positive, he said.
Arie came because Nahshi told him about the project. His intense consciousness is not clear to him. At the moment, he is busy making peace with himself … he grew up in Kibbutz and they always talked to him about sharing and equality. Hopefully there will be leaders here who will push for speech. Gaza is a riddle. He reads and hears. Was never there. Human beings like him live there. Believes they want peace and quiet. They have a sea and he envies them for it … remembers very little from his childhood about Gaza. Because of the contradictory things he hears it is difficult for him to form an opinion. Maybe from here, from the “circle”, peace will grow …
Ramy arrived in the last hour after a night of revelry at his son’s wedding. When he greeted at the wedding, he talked about the transition from individual to together. On the power of the “together.” Choose the path of love, but together. And you loved your neighbor as yourself, and maybe just “and you loved” … This morning when he woke up he remembered the end of the wedding ceremony, breaking a glass. Usually the customs of the religion conflict with its inner truth. Yesterday it seemed right to him, breaking the glass symbolizes for him the broken and incomplete things that need to be healed. For him, on the weight of “If I forget you Jerusalem”, he says “If I forget you Gaza” … When he got up in the afternoon (fizzy at the wedding until four in the morning …) his feet carried him here to a place he would not give up. We live in abundance and against this background Gaza should be mentioned. This is the circle for him today, “If I forget you …”
Radir responded to what Malki said (“She has a hard time with religion” …) and told about her encounters with clerics of all religions and the search for the common and unifying. I said that I understand Malki’s difficulty and I also find it difficult to argue with arguments that rely on the words of God… A discussion has developed on the subject. Can religion mediate and bridge or is it a divisive factor. Of course with the nuances in between … until the clock struck four and we parted each one on its way.

Shmulik, Malki, Jaber, Radir, Rami, Dina, Oded, Nahshi, Arie.

Wrote: Oded

Encounter 176 -30.7.2021

As usual and as expected in this hot season, people rarely hike, certainly in the hot south. The meeting at our “Lighthouse” continues in its usual format and hopes for voices that will refresh the discourse. Today Racheli “refreshed”. She came with Malki. For the first time with us, and her curiosity about the sulfur plant, earned her and us a historical review by Ramy, about the history of the project and the space in which it resides. Of course, the lighthouse keepers have heard these things many times, but Ramy always adds details and creates renewed interest. Most of the conversation took place between Rami and me when Rami greets on the one hand my “eagerness” to expand knowledge in the history of the communities that live and struggle on the area and on the other hand Rami claims, I “choose truth” on the one hand and bring myself to “extremism” on the other. In the concept of “self-hatred” God forbidden… I argue that the “objective” approach, which holds that “both sides are guilty” or “subjective truth”, frees the claimant from significant criticism of the actions of the community to which he belongs and the attempt to present an impartial judgment in all of us is impossible. Values ​​are cast by which we judge human behavior.
Shmulik makes coffee and occasionally contributes his mind from a few meters away and decades of engaging in the regional / community conflict, and Hayut says we are all products of “indoctrination” that we absorb from the moment we are born…
Hanan arrives and follows. Malki and Racheli. For the last hour, Maharan is also joining. Hanan is practical and initiates a “circle” when he is the first speaker. He tells Racheli mainly about the essence of the “lighthouse” that was used and implemented by Rami about three and a half years ago as a response to his internal distress (of Rami…) and was joined by other residents from the Gaza area (this is the opportunity to wish Roni, who joined Rami from the beginning, complete healing and fast return to “service”). Hanan added in the context of Gaza, which this week caught sight of an article about two detention camps from Gaza set up in the early 1970s, in Sinai, to which individuals and families who were not well received by the sovereign were exiled.
Shmulik, as usual, describes himself as a “communist.” He is well aware of the fact that such a definition creates different contexts in each and every one. He is a resident of the area who hopes that life will change…
For Hayuta, Gaza is something she experiences as she walks the fields of her kibutz. Sees the houses beyond the fence and hears the muezzin calling. Says that the education she received at her parents’ home was humanistic and human-loving.
Racheli says that Gaza is a “terrible ghetto.” She feels helpless in her ability to help and when she thinks of the people there she “drowns in shame”. Can’t clear her conscience. Connected to the “bordergone” website. From her place of residence she does not see Gaza but Gaza for its sufferings, very present in her life.
Malki came so as not to disengage. Her persistence in being present at the Lighthouse is also intended to maintain emotion towards Gaza. Today Gaza is despair. The most optimistic thought is about what Gaza could be when she’ll allowed to live free…
Now Ramy. It begins with the effect of expanding the circle of consciousness, on expanding the circle of participants (and vice versa…) and seeks to listen to the area. In the context of Gaza, he speaks of two concepts, “curiosity” and “passion.” Born in front of Gaza and has been drawn out since childhood. Remembering himself wandering in nature. In his adulthood he was also a nature teacher and tour guide. He constantly added knowledge about history and the people who lived here. It took him a while to realize that parts of his story were missing. The rounds of violence are traumatic for him and that is what led him to sit here in the sulfur factory and invite friends to listen and talk. As a tour guide, he told about the factory in the historical context of the State of Israel. When he expanded the boundaries of his consciousness, he had already told about the enterprise in a spatial, historical, human context. Gaza is a place with the most impressive human story in human history. Gaza is a big story. Gaza is a meeting point that also has an opportunity. Tells about his grandfather who was an Ottoman, English and Israeli citizen in one lifetime! We, says Ramy, are in “fault time”… we can fix… It will happen when we are ready and mean it. He tells about the history of the structure of the sulfur plant, its establishment, operation and end. The population in Gaza changed very intensively, the Ottomans emptied it completely before the confrontation with the British and scattered its 45,000 inhabitants throughout the Ottoman Empire and the British returned residents to it after its conquest. Gaza was a meeting city, a transit city. Both in ancient history and to this day. A point in the space between the inhabited area and the nomadic area. The sulfur plant operated for perhaps five years. It was “born” following the First World War. The British camped here for a year and developed the area. There was a road to Cairo, there was a water line coming from the Nile! This is where the Ottoman rule ended. The British came with artisans. The geologist Williams smells the sulphur and discovered it close to the ground and pushed for the establishment of the plant. Sulfur is a sought-after commodity mainly for the rubber industry that was very popular before the invention of plastic… The British set up various factories in Palestine. here also. The space is exposed to trees and shade and in the center is a huge factory. Construction managers came from Gaza (Rashd A. Shawa). The British in thirty years created a huge revolution in the development of the region. The factory stopped working because of the German threat. Fearing a German invasion from Egypt, the British fortified the area with 15 huge army camps. Rami skips back to World War I: Only after the conquest of Beersheba and the collapse of the Ottoman defensive line, which also included Gaza, did the British feel secure in their control of the area and Balfour publishes his declaration of a national home for Jews in Palestine. The British return a population to Gaza. This is also the first “Negev” area that Zionism is beginning to settle. In 1946 the space is inhabited by agricultural farms and the factory strikes a whole mourning. Be’eri were integrated as another farm. The war of 1948 finds the area quite developed with roads and army and agricultural camps. The residents of the area called themselves Gazans (did not call themselves “Palestinians”). At the end of the war, the Egyptian army is gathered in Gaza and a buffer is stretched. Some wanted to move to the Egyptian side, some were deported there by the Israelis and some remained. The “Gaza Strip” was created. The Egyptians hold the Strip. The deportees were “stuck” in Gaza.

They thought they would return to their homes. In the meantime they are inhabited by the military camps evacuated by the British. There is no connection between Israel and the Gaza Strip between ’48 and ’67. The Strip has no way out and the population is increasing. According to Rami, the reality requires looking at Gaza not by finding “other” culprits, but by understanding that we are all to blame and to solve the problem we must understand that the Strip is small and unable to hold on. The dismantling of the borders will create initiatives for the industrial development of the region.
Maharan, who arrived during Rami’s “lecture,” says that in 1953 Nasser brought an Egyptian population to Gaza. Maharan says that the accent does not change and he knows how to identify Egypt among the Gazans…
Rami concludes by saying that along with the difficult conditions in which the Gazans live, there is, unfortunately, a loss of hope.

We were this time: Hayuta, Malki, Racheli, Shmulik, Rami, Maharan, Hanan, Oded.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 175 – 23.7.2021

As usual, another Friday at the Lighthouse. We started four and the discussion was around the positions and opinions on historical and contemporary issues relating to the region and its population.

For a brief moment, we were visited by Golan, Keren, Ziv, Maayan and Ella: a father who travels with four girls, two of them his daughters and two of their friends. Golan had a coffee and the girls were interested in a “star-kite” created by Hanan, who got the inspiration for its construction from the kites that “starred” in ours (before the balloons…) combined with a photo taken in Gaza with a girl holding a “star of hope” from the project Of a group of Americans for strengthening populations in the world affected by wars or natural disasters. The girls asked, we answered and they continued on their way.

We’re in the historic debate… Shula and Danny arrived. A retired couple from the center of the country who decided to visit friends in the area. With them we dealt with one of the most popular sports in Israel: finding common friends that are not here at the moment… Shula and Danny stayed for two cups of coffee and went on to other commitments.
Nahshi signed for a lone ATV touring near us. Two 18-year-olds from a local community, Yinon and Gilad, arrived.
Rami, chooses the “circle” intriduction version for 18-year-olds before enlistment in the army and presents us as part of the region population. He will return at the end of the circle…
Nahshi, as one who grew up on the Gaza Strip border, says Gaza is acquaintances and friends. Maintain some telephone contact. He remembers good days. Learns and is interested every day in what is happening to them. Believes that the great days of Gaza will return. Maybe the meetings here at our Lighthouse will contribute.
Shmulik recites God-style Gaza to Moses, “You will see her from the other side and you will not come to her”… Hope the future will be different. A discourse of everyone’s attention is created here in the “circle”. The ability to see the other side is limited.
For me, Oded, Gaza is frustration, anger and mental reckoning. Frustration that I can not really help people who live a life of suffering in the neighborhood to me. Anger that the country where I live manages to create repression and build a wall (literally…) and actually make 2 million people disappear. A mental account of any process I go through in re-learning all this complex of man and earth in the region in which we walk.
Yinon: Gaza is an enemy place. Do not approach. They want to destroy our country. He adds that he was never there. For the situation to work out it has to come from their side. If they wanted to stop the violence, they could. Evacuating Gush Katif is the beginning of hatred.
Gilad: I hear a lot from my father and grandfather about Gaza. The grandfather told him that he cried twice in his life – once for his father and once for a Gazan soulmate who was killed. There are good people there. While there are few who hate us, they are the decision makers. Once they reach out they will get two hands back. If they do not stop with all the hostility, it will not end.
Rami: Gaza is a mystery. As a tour guide a lot to deal with history: Many years ago, Gaza was the center of the world !. Here, (he gestures around with his hands) Abraham grazes his flock and here he meets Avimelech. More than half of the world’s population sees Abraham as a father and his life is conducted here! There is a sea road that crosses east-west and it passes through Gaza. Moving in it between the two great kingdoms. Gaza at the seam between the blowing land and the desert. Something in this whole process, which is happening with Gaza now is a malfunction and we have a part in it. Not enough consideration, not enough we darsd to look, maybe we tried to reach out an unanswered hand… Anyway, one day Gaza and 3 other towns remained imprisoned. Children grow up and are born there without a horizon and without hope. Gaza has been forgotten by the world. There is no reason why Gaza should not be a glorious part of the world. Change will not come by one party. He had a teacher who said that if we have not yet found (peace…) it only means that we have not found… Rami tells the young people that we all have a responsibility and says that people from Gaza ask him if there are those in Israel who care about the Gazans? Recalls the excitement of Marwan who visited us here in the circle and asked that we continue to mention and speak Gaza at our meetings.
Like the girls at the beginning of the meeting, Gilad also asks about the kite that Hanan built and we tell…

We were: Keren, Ziv, Maayan, Ella, Golan, Shula, Danny, Rami, Nahshi, Shmulik, Oded, Yinon, Gilad.

Wrote: Oded

Encounter 174 – 16.7.2021

There was shade of the pine trees and there was a pleasant breeze and there was coffee. For a brief moment there was a rumble of SUVs debating at the crossroads where to turn and finally turning in the opposite direction. The silence dropped to Good Friday afternoon in the summer heat. And there we were Shmulik, Hayuta and I talking in matters of Dumas.
At a quarter past three, when we were already thinking of shortening a bit in the lighthouse, Maharan and Ibrahim appeared. After coffee and blessings, Maharan offered to lead a “circle” and asked Ibrahim to say what Gaza is for him.
Ibrahim earns his living by operating a concrete sawing machine, a childhood friend of Maharan. He accepted his invitation to come to the lighthouse. Gaza, says Ibrahim, is a narrow place for 1.5 million people. A large prison. Need peace to solve the problem. The problem is between governments. That is, short and to the point.
Maharan opens and says that this week he was in Nablus. Went to buy a suit at an upscale store. There, an officer from the PA met and a conversation ensued. Ask him about Gaza. The officer said they are two separate entities and he does not even know what is going on there. He added that for some time there has been no contact with Gaza and they will not return there. Mahran adds his own insights and says that Abbas traveled to Turkey to promote gas drilling in front of Gaza. If Hamas takes over the West Bank, he says, that is the end of the PA and therefore Abbas with the Turks, to build support. Gaza is becoming more and more crowded and Lebanon is also an explosive barrel…
Shmulik tells about a tour we (he and I) did in the city of Lod. An initiative of the “Zochrot” organization. They are handing out maps of the Palestinian settlements that were destroyed in the 48th war. The young people are “warriors” and declare that they will fight for their homes and rights.
A woman whose mother was 8 at the time of deportation told us about her family history and past trauma. A student points in the direction of her home and says that in order to reach it now, she must pass by the yeshiva established by young Jews and they “make troubles”. Shmulik concludes, the atmosphere in Lod is not calm yet and there is a lot of anger.
Hayutal declares that she is not “politically eager” like Shmulik and Oded… she sometimes comes to give power… In her opinion, the current Israeli government is changing the atmosphere a bit and she seems to be coming to do the work. But that does not change about Gaza…
I was “caught” this week by two subjects. One is the refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow political activist Khaleda Jarrar to accompany her daughter Suha, who died suddenly at the age of 30. The refusal was mainly based on reasons of permit and bureaucracy. Who exacly has a legal possibility to initiate such a move…

The second issue was the already serious water situation in the Gaza Strip, when since the military “round” of May the situation has worsened because Israel does not allow the introduction of equipment for repairing water and sewage pipes. The security system defines as “humanitarian” only what enters Gaza Strip and equipment for repairing pipes does not fall under this definition. The result is polluted water and not even suitable for a shower. I hung this moral failure on a particular person, but because politics is not talking in a circle, I will not expand…

We were: Hayuta, Ibrahim, Shmulik, Maharan and Oded.

Rote: Oded

Encounter 173 – 9.7.2021

After the last few weeks when many people came to the circle, today was a more family event (in the Ashkenazi interpretation of family…). Shmulik Nahshi and I in the first hour, (with the renovated kite repaired by Hanan) and Malki, Bella and Dina who joined later.
There was a conversation. Nahshi and I have been saying that for a long time, we have been trying to find someone to translate into Arabic. Recently, the name of a professional translator from East Jerusalem came up and we talked about the connection with her.
This week, at the Dokaviv Festival, Michal Weitz’s documentary, “Blue Box,” was screened. The work on the film took 14 years! And the film revolves around the character of her great-grandfather, Joseph Weitz, who was one of the leaders of the JNF since the 1930s and pushed for a full Jewish takeover of the area. Michal Weitz recounts in the film his actions, dilemmas and also his (unsuccessful) attempts to help refugees recover in the places they were deported to. The history-study in the country, even though his detailed diaries (5,000 pages in handwriting!) Were visible and visible to all.

This introduction was to say that in the film and in the interview, elements come up that directly relate to our sitting at the lighthouse and they certainly filled a respectable place in the conversation.
This is, short this time…

Present: Bella, Shmulik, Dina, Nahshi, Malki, Oded.

Wrote: Oded

Encounter 172 – 2.7.2021

Today, for one session, we changed the concept of the circle. The “circle” sanctifies the right of each and every one of his / her participants to express his / her opinions in an orderly and uninterrupted manner. Every opinion is heard and listened to and everyone is equal in front of the “circle”. The reference is to each person’s personal, private, human consciousness regarding Gaza and what it represents for him / her. A discourse of human beings talking about the plight of other human beings. Many times when people go into “political” diagnoses and such and such suggestions for resolving the conflict, we try to get them back to focusing on the personal, human aspect.
Today, two members of the Palestinian Authority came to the circle. Therefore and in accordance with the one-time opportunity to know more about what is happening inside, the circle briefly changed the concept, listened to their words and asked questions.
Rami, who led the circle, tried as much as possible to steer the meeting to focus on Gaza and what its residents are going through, but they expanded their words to conflict at all levels: history, Jews vs. Palestinians, Palestinians vs. Palestinians, West Bank and Gaza, PLO and Hamas, Israeli politics ets.
They talked about the process that the Palestinians went through in the various negotiations with Israel. About the long journey that the Palestinians have made in concessions with Israel. They said that the leaderships in Israel have no continuity in negotiations and every leader wants to start negotiations again … Olmert wanted to move forward This “game” strengthened Hamas in Gaza.
In their opinion, if workers went to work in Israel, it would weaken Hamas. In order to separate the Hamas leadership from the citizens of the Gaza Strip, they must be allowed to work in Israel.
Hamas is willing to make deals with Israel to maintain its rule and if in any way, there is a way to weaken Hamas Israel intervenes and interferes.
Hamas should be part of a Palestinian unity government, they say, it will weaken it. In 2017, Hamas accepted the principle of a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967. Sinwar said after the last war that they were ready to accept UN resolutions and join a non-violent popular struggle. If they were part of the government they would have an interest in keeping the agreements.
Israel, according to them, is not behaving properly towards the residents of Gaza.
One of the two is a native of Gaza and occasionally enters the Strip to visit his family. Hamas, in his opinion, is weakened in the face of Gazan public opinion and also religiously it is unable to force its opinion.
The world needs to “help” Hamas behave differently. And the authority needs to get it into the leadership. The Hamas leadership is drawn to different directions. Some are in favor of Turkey and Qatar, some are in favor of Iran and some are in favor of Egypt. But Israel is the main influencer on what is happening in Gaza. Many Palestinians in the West Bank do not know what is happening in Gaza … There are people in Gaza who burn themselves out of desperation. 54% Unemployment. They define UN aid as “nonsense.” Students who stop studying after a course or two, who can’t get married and many get divorced. There is no money. They need a livelihood and not donations. If there is a livelihood, it will also weaken Hamas.
The sons and daughters of Hamas leaders live in wealth.

We still have time… Ramy asks for “questions” and not “lectures” … We all have opinions and a desire to be heard, but today, as mentioned, it is different. Nevertheless, every questioner “avoids” a small lecture before the question comes …
Ya’ala says that Hamas today agrees to things it did not agree with in the past. She asks about the American hospital that is ready and not working … They say that because the hospital was built under the auspices of the American army in cooperation with the Israeli army, there are suspicions … The Qataris also built a hospital in Deir al-Balah.
Mark asks that they put a finger on one, precise point, which is the one that will make a change in the direction of peace.
They confidently state that once there is a government in Israel that will make the UN decisions, it will “break the plug.” The whole agreement is written and Israel must make a decision to implement it.
Hayuta wants to know how a teenage child feels in Gaza.
Guests say a young man, at any age in Gaza, does not know what his future holds. When they finished their matriculation it seemed that the whole world was spread out before them, today there is nothing. Parents have no certainty about what they can do to help their children and the children internalize the parents’ weakness and understand that in fact the decisions are theirs alone.
Jaber asks / slaps them and asks them to see some project that the PA did for the Gazans as it did for the people of the West Bank?
They answer that although the PA has done more projects in the West Bank, but also what still exists in Gaza, was established by the PA until 2007. The PA is limited because it does not control Area C. The economic investments need to be directed there. If you do not control your territory yourself, you can do nothing. they admits that disagreements within the PA also prevent project options.
Hanan asks whether the missiles fired by Hamas during the war gave the residents of Gaza satisfaction?
They say that because of Jerusalem, the last war was different. It united the people because of the shooting at Jerusalem. Finally, the “problem” was not only that of the Gazans. Not only are they suffering and the rest are not interested. This gave Hamas an advantage over the PA.
Dina asks why no more voices of peace are heard from the Palestinians towards the world and towards Israel.
They reply that they are working in every possible media to convey the “Voice of Peace”. Founded the “Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society” in 2012 after the UN recognized a Palestinian state. The Israeli government does not want to listen to these voices and only talks about aggression. The Israelis have created a wall that blocks the possibility of knowing. As a result, Israelis are not interested.
It is also difficult for them, in the Palestinian Authority, to act because the peace process (Oslo) has collapsed and this has severely damaged the credibility of the PA leadership. The power shown by Hamas brings more achievements …
Ya’ala says she heard that there was a plan to expand Gaza towards northern Sinai and some of Israel.
Answer: This is a program by Giora Island. But, in the whole Palestinian people, from end to end, there is agreement on the dividing lines of the Green Line with an exchange of territories of only a few percent. They do not agree to accept Egyptian territory nor will Egypt agree to give its territory.
Malki asks what happened in the unopposed elections and read that the percentage of support for the PA is zero compared to Hamas.
Guests say public opinion is constantly shifting. Hamas is still strong because Fatah is divided into three lists. But these results are temporary and if the PA succeeds in improving its achievements, it will be reversed.
Maharan asks about the position of a bi-national state or the transfer of the West Bank to Jordan and the creation of Gaza as a Palestinian state.
Their answer is that there are a lot of ideas. Gaza should be the model for reconstruction. There is no situation in which Jordan, with its internal problems, will return and take control of the West Bank. “We have received a country from the world and we will not give it up,” they say. The only other solution besides “two states”, is one state with equal rights for all. This is also the original PLO plan from 1969! But the Jews want a Jewish majority …
Nomika asks who is responsible for rebuilding Gaza?
They answer that Israel is the sole ruler of Gaza and the Egyptians also ask permission from Israel to open the border between them and the Gaza Strip. Egypt has very strict criteria for accepting Palestinians to move to its territory. Everything that happens in Gaza is an Israeli decision! They emphasize.
Ramy asks if they have any questions for us …
There is one question … “Are you willing to accept workers from Gaza to your communities despite the state of hostility and suspicion created today”?
Jaber answers first and says that this is an irrelevant question to the forum convened today in the circle, because it is a forum that will in any case support any fair initiative that will bring peace.
Uzi says “yes without a doubt”! Mainly for agriculture …
Shmulik: “Unequivocally yes. We live in a common space and we all need to share a livelihood”!
Nomika says that in the past she wrote to the heads of the regional councils in the area around Gaza, and begged them to accept workers from Gaza.
Rami tells the guests that he has great appreciation for the task they have taken on because they are operating in difficult conditions both with Israel and with the Palestinians. Here, in the “circle”, do not give up discourse and action for a better future. We are all similar in the desire to share and reflect ourselves. He asks, “You too will be our emissaries. If you have ever been in a circle you are partners. Tell the Palestinians you meet abut us.” Gaza, he continues, must not fall under the cynicism and struggles of the greed for power and power. There are a lot of people without horizons and hope and it is our and yours task to make the voice heard.
Hanan says that each side does not believe that the other side wants peace. “Please tell the people in Gaza,” he asks, “that for more than three years now a group has been sitting here talking and talking about Gaza.”
The guests say that they tell their people a lot about the desire for cooperation on the part of Israelis they meet. In Gaza, they are surprising, there is a greater desire for cooperation than in the West Bank and there are ideas.

In the shade of the pine tree, in a circle of school chairs, we sat with the guests:
Hayuta, Bella, Mark, Mark, Smadar, Malki, Dina, Roni, Yaela, Rami, Jaber, Shmulik, Oded, Yossi, Brian, Eli, Naamika, Hanan, Moshe, Uzi, Maharan, Nachashi, Shoshi, Nurit.
Rote: Oded

Encounter 171 – 25.6.2021

As has been our custom for three years or more, we gathered today at the Lighthouse. Since we were all one of the regular participants (who less, who more…) and we often and even more than twice heard our opinions / thoughts / consciousness on the Gaza issue, a conversation took place in a broader context.
Vivian talks about the “Mosaica” organization founded by Rabbi Michael Melchior. They do a lot of things below the surface, she says. It is an organization of Jewish and Arab clerics. Abdullah Nimer Darwish, who had extremist views, decided to join Melchior in setting up “Mosaica”. They built a network to influence extremists on both sides to put out flames, especially at a time of violent outbreak in the area. When Darwish died, he was mourned by extremists on both sides… “Mosaica” mediated between RAAM and Bennett in the formation of the Israeli government.
Roni spoke with Rami and he says that the Palestinian leaderships are not going to cooperate.
Shmulik argues that a disk should be changed regarding Hamas. The late Rabbi Froman of Tekoa argued that religion can and should be a bridge between people and not a separation.
Radir is also in a common group of clerics. She hopes that “mosaica” can indeed influence the extremists.
Vivian wants to say something more positive… tells about the director of the Erez crossing who says in an interview that the Israeli attitude towards Gaza is unfounded and should be done exactly the opposite. He was interviewed on the 972 website. The army’s response to his remarks was a question of his private opinions…

Roni wonders if he expresses such opinions because he intends to leave…
More from Vivian – something she heard from a bookstore owner, also political literature, located in front of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem. He divides the Palestinian activists in East Jerusalem into three groups: the progressives who after the prayer in the mosque go to Sheikh Jarrah, the religious who go to al-Aqsa and the young people to the Damascus gate. Israel decided to provoke all three groups and the Palestinian authority did not respond… He told Vivian that entering al-Aqsa would cause the red lines to be crossed.
Nahshi says that when something provocative like the “idiotic” flag parade happens, it should be understood that a reaction from the stomach creates the opposite effect to the intention of the respondents.
Salah says the media needs to be more balanced. Bring in dialogue people from all sides. Fluent and not quarrelsome.
According to Dina, one should not wait for something to happen, one should initiate.
Jaber says the media has no reason to publish anything calm, it does not bring ratings. Leaders will always say “Watch out for the other, I’m fine”.
Radir says that after the assassination of Yaakov Abu al-Qa’an, they held a protest march that ended in a relatively calm conversation and at this point the media moved away and were not interested because “there is no meat”…
I said that even though Israel deliberately crosses red lines, it does not pay a price…
Vivian replies that a price has been paid and we are victims of the settlers who are dragging the area into conflict. This is (and will be…) the price.
Malki says that the public in Israel does not see that Israel pays a price because it really does not pay.
Dina says that someone should take the initiative on the other side as well and keep quiet and then it will be good for everyone.
Jaber replies, “If you are lying on the floor and I put My foot on your neck and any movement of yours will hurt you”, is this a kind of “quiet”? Jaber knows someone who has never prayed in his life, and now suddenly, wants to go to Al Aqsa to protect the worshipers… that is, Israel’s behavior infuriates everyone. Israel “puts the PA in the small pocket”… does not treat it as an influential factor. Poses ridiculous conditions in exchange for an end to the violence.

Dina thinks that today’s situation is a result and not a cause. We want to help them develop the civilian spheres so we all will be able to “sit quietly”. Want them to understand that too.
Vivian explains that it is not a matter of water or electricity but their desire for self-determination as a people sitting on their land.
Shmulik says that there are contacts below the surface. Israel has a tendency to conflict between Gaza and the West Bank. This is a game that manages the strong side in the area. If we do not change the attitude towards the political forces in the region nothing will change. “Oded,” says Shmulik, speaks of “red lines,” but there are none… There is no mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinians. In Israel, Hamas sees a terrorist organization and also convinces the world that this is the case.
Malki changed the subject and talks about the new hospital that was established with American assistance in the area of ​​the Erez crossing.
Roni says it’s works in very small grade… Hamas is having difficulties. The equipment entered the hospital slowly. There are some doctors and pharmacists but little work because of the difficulties that Hamas places on the arrival of patients. People act as individuals according to their ability to advance the issue.

Participants: Salah, Shmulik, Radir, Malki, Dina, Roni, Oded, Vivian, Nahashi, Jaber.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 170 – 18.6.2021

A group of teachers from a high school in Tel Aviv is touring the area. The end of the tour is with us at the “Lighthouse”.

Radir introduces them to the rationale of the “lighthouse” meetings, Begin a “circle”.
Jaber says policymakers think the village where he lives (“unrecognized”) is in another country… the “circle” is important to him. Gaza is suffering, neighbors and family. Their condition is even worse than the condition of an unknown beduin vilages…
Hayuta, comes from time to time. Part of the education she received from her father is to be human and sensitive to the suffering of others.
Shmulik says he is an individualist communist… knows it is an oxymoron, but that’s how he feels… he reads a poem he wrote inspired by Gaza.
Moshe says he participates sometimes. In times like the last, when we experienced war, the lighthouse is important. It’s a kind of hope. We have refuge and time for hope… They have none.
Nahshi, was in friendships with Gazans who worked with him. The “lighthouse” is a kind of connection.
Naomi, member of “Other Voice“. She says (quote) “It is unthinkable that something unthinkable will last for an unthinkable time”!
Shelly rarely comes. Keep in touch. “It’s easy to suffer from someone else’s stomach ache,” she says of suffering in Gaza.
Rafi says that wherever Other voice is heard he comes to strengthen. He does not accept what is happening in Gaza. People, mostly innocent, should not go through that.
Smadar has had contact with Gaza since childhood. She was born and raised in Ashkelon, where many Gazan workers used to come. Those who have sensitivity after must understand their suffering. Recommends connections to groups that report what is happening beyond the fence. (“We are not numbers” for example…)
Radir talks about her activities. Here, in the “Lighthouse”, a family feels. It is important for her to be in space. Palestinian citizens of Israel should be a bridge to peace. Come so as not to lose hope.
Bella is already excited from the moment of starting the trip to here. Live on the daily despair side of what is going on around. Concern for friends who are close to the fence and beyond the fence. I would like to hope that the change of government and the arrival of the group of teachers at our Lighthouse will contribute to the change.
Malki identifies with every word said before her. Comes from the despair that does not pass. They, in Gaza, have no horizon.
Adva: The situation must change. A lighthouse represents the direction in which one should aim. It is difficult for her with the moral conflict in which she finds herself.
Maya: Writer. Great excitement to be here. Loves to come to meetings with people. With the help of speech, one must “undermine” the unjust reality.
Naomi: It suits her to be within the sincerity created in the circle. Gaza is a black hole for her. She was looking for a source of hope and came here. Gaza is a black spot on us and we have a responsibility for it. Her job as an educator is to flood in and talk about moral dilemmas, to expose students to what is happening. To bring us and them closer together.
Neil: First time so close to Gaza. Lost hope. It’s awful to lose hope. Perhaps meeting such people who produce empathic discourse, returns a little of it.
Ayelet from the north and she appreciates the people who live daily in the envelope. Everyone has the right to life. The push for change must come from below.
Aviva says the residents are crying out for help and need help.
Daniela says she was not born in Israel and “does not know the situation like you”. Her students come from different places, a cosmopolitan class. Come here to hear more than to make.
Za’a: As for Gaza, it has lost hope. Think this is a reality that will not change. Looking for a voice that will make a different “melody”. Today, on a tour of the region and a visit to the “lighthouse”, a small light of hope is lit. “Thank you for being who you are,” she says. Now you know you should not lose hope.
Ze’ev thanks for the opportunity to be here. Feels responsible and especially ashamed of the actions of the state. Strives to make small repairs in the world. The encounter floods the injustices and Ze’ev admits the inspiration.
Nomika talks about the establishment of “Other Voice”. Look for another way to mark national and national holidays. Time has weight in making a person numb. How much can be contained… Humanity is lost from many unjust injustices. It is impossible to mediate life in this violent space for one who has not experienced it firsthand. She gave up the great effort of the activists in the various organizations is perseverance. The ability not to lose empathy even when you are attacked, the ability to contain another story as well. In “Other Voice” they faced a lot of different opinions. It takes effort.
Yaniv grew up in Ashkelon. In the neighborhood of Gaza. His views have always been in the minority. Family dinners “explode” because of his views… Happy about the meeting at “Lighthouse”. We need to make our voices heard more.
Nili served in the area. Need one human existence, she says. Grew up in Jaffa. They had a friend from Gaza who was kind of a family. The house was culturally open. Umm Kaltum heard at home. Believes in discourse. The voice she hears here is not other voice, it is a human voice. Experienced dissonance with the peace, quiet and nature in front of the burnt fields.
Shurouff is excited. Comes from Tira, an Arabic teacher. Want to know what we’re going through. Gaza for her is a soul. Came here to breathe the air of Gaza.
Avichai says that in the last round, the Israeli brutality that was reflected in the media, “came to Tel Aviv with cries”… Here, in “Lighthouse”, it is a little escape from the depression that accompanies it. Asks himself, to what world is he raising his daughters? How could he mediate it for them? Did he stay true to his beliefs? He knows Gaza through military service. He has not returned to the area since. Thanks for the welcome in “Circle”.
Neta, a resident of the area, thanks the teachers who came from Tel Aviv today. Her life is an “amusement park”… between hope and despair. Life alarms are not made more comfortable… She has no answer as to how children are raised here, this is home so she is here. But the effect of the violent atmosphere, hard on the children. It is also difficult with what is happening on the other side. When she was still a child, in one of the rounds of violence, her daughter told her that the children in Gaza had no alarm and no way to defend themselves.
Luciana is a teacher. Gaza is a mystery. But in the last round she cried all the time. She’s a mom! Fled to the north because she could not bear the situation. We are working in education to change something in the minds of young people.
Noga. We tasted the suffering of the conflict a few weeks ago. It’s a circle of friends and it’s good to go back and meet the people. It is difficult to change reality, but there is value without burying your head in the sand. And here, in “Circle,” an act is done.
Shaul has a desire to try to live together, but he does not believe in a political settlement in our generation. However, he does see the possibility of living together, in the series. Through integration into space. Shaul’s “partner” for the series is actually the extremist on the other side.

The moderates may be nice, but creating a common life, it’s only with the extremists. A senior GSS official once told him that when he interrogated a Hamas man, they found a common language between them and they maintain contact to this day on both sides of the fence. Islam says that it is possible to live with the enemy even in a state of conflict. Israel is in conflict. Arrangements are needed that will “move” the conflict a little, even if the opinions of the enemies do not change. It is necessary and possible to find a way to live together.
Miriam has children and grandchildren who live in the area. Gaza is neighbors. This is a place where she has walked before and almost slept in a hotel on the beach… not losing hope. Tonight was a difficult experience. There was a loud explosion and she was attacked with anxiety. Not worried about herself but about her granddaughter (18) who was staying with her with a friend. She was afraid of them. In the morning she received a phone call from her cousin who asked her how you live there at the “foot of the Vesuvius”… Miriam says this is true on both sides of the border… There is a contrast between the pastoralism outside and the “rounds” violence. Miriam is frustrated but frustration is accompanied by hope. Think what Shaul said is worth listening to. Twice a year she receives a phone call from Khaled from Gaza greeting her on holidays.
rami. In the circle one meets life. Every Friday there is someone to talk to. Gaza is his internal struggles. Sit week after week with the mental difficulty he is in and see that something manages to sparkle. Choose today to listen and speak at the end. Constantly asking himself anew, what is the reason for people to choose to come here? Are there people who get up in the morning for a change of consciousness? The Neighborhood to Gaza and the knowledge he has accumulated about it since childhood, made him decide to talk about it and found the meeting and the “lighthouse”. We are talking about Gaza. Whoever decides that there is no one to talk to creates another wall. Glad his son graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration. This will be able to change consciousness. Gaza is an opportunity to speak to the suffer but open heart to love.
We also talked to our friend in Gaza. It was hard to hear but a connection was made between him and the group of teachers. The conversation with them continued on the bus after they left.

We were: Radir, Jaber, Shmulik, Moshe, Naomi, Rafi, Shelly, Nahashi, Smadar, Bella, Malki, Adva, Maya, Naomi, Neil, Ayelet, Aviva, Rami, Daniela, Za’a, Ze’ev, Nomika, Yaniv, Nili, Shuruof, Avichai, Neta, Luciana, Oded, Noga, Shaul, Miriam, Rami.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 169 – 11.6.2021

Just as Shmulik was pouring four cups of coffee (Nahshi will come later…) the first four guests arrived to the circle. Ayelet, Mani, Ziona and Yoram. Ayelet has been several times and Ziona, who she and Yoram came from the north, is very intrigued by the phenomenon of a group of people, not young (to say the least…) sitting on elementary school chairs, around a green “classroom table”, in a remote pine grove in the Be’eri Reserve…

I present the circle and Ziona constantly interrupts me in an attempt to understand what… what… who and why… the best explanation is the circle itself…
Shmulik explains the rationale for which he is here. Asks Ziona that when she returns home, she will tell on about us. He expands a bit on Ramy (who has not yet arrived…) who as the founder of the idea and a native of the place, best tells the story of the space. Shmulik says that in the last war he stayed at home because this is home…
Hayuta tries to convince Ziona that if she listens and lets the circular speech flow, she will understand the rationale. Hayuta comes occasionally to reinforce her meaning in life.
Roni knows Gaza far beyond the popular knowledge gained in the country. It’s much easier to hate when you don’t see a face, she says. 50% of the Gaza population, under the age of 18 – have not seen or know an Israeli who is not a soldier. When Roni decided it was important to get to know, she started driving patients (“the road to recovery”). On the ride she listened. Sometimes it was unpleasant to hear. There are those she keeps in touch with. She has a friend who she helped go to school in the US. Connects between schools, artists, young people. She comes here because she wants to convey the message that it is possible. Both peoples have a historical affinity for this place. We must reconcile. It is a circle of listeners. Tells about Uri who was last week and whose statements are difficult to contain in relation to the Arabs. He told her that he came “because here, people listen to him.” It was time we stopped saying there is no one to talk to, says Roni. And the world and recently a lot of groups from preparatory schools and schools are coming.
Ayelet was born in Kiryat Bialik and until the age of 18 she knew nothing about Gaza. Got there during military service. After the army she lived in Yamit and there she also got married. She has a lot of experiences in common with Gazans. She is impressed by the perseverance of the circle… It is exciting to know that we are present every Friday.
Ziona was born in an area in a moshav near Ofakim. She moved north as a child. Gaza was a place of shopping and freedom. Great beaches and streets with the smell of fish… Now Gaza is bombs and missiles… When Roni spoke she hears hope. The idea of ​​the “lighthouse” is great! But lacks the public effect in her opinion.
Yoram was born and raised in the valley. Has never been in contact with Gaza. Defines himself as leftist… The idea of ​​the circle sounds great but a lot of talk and… What else? Do you have a feeling that something happened in Israel thanks to your sitting here? He asks. The situation is getting worse on both sides. Why do young people not come here? The extremist people, are the ones who set the tone in this country and this circle, far from their hearts. Good things do not happen… He does not see them (the good things…) and does not feel them.
Mani has a lot of contact with Gaza from the past, now and probably in the future as well. When he worked at Yamit, he lived in the Tel Aviv area.
Hanan, Limor, Nachashi, Maharan and Amichai arrive.
Hanan says that the last time he came to the “circle” was three weeks ago, after the ceasefire “broke out”. Since then, there have been a lot of dramas. Hanan continues to strengthen hope here and in Jerusalem on Saturday. In his opinion, the activity in Jerusalem and the bridges “persuaded” Likud members not to go to the polls. The connection to the circle is that civilian activity can change!
Limor comes because she has less hope… In this situation, dominance is dictated by violence. The last round was more violent. Limor lives under two “hats”. One “hat” is her work at the Resilience Center where she supports the victims of mental crises and treats anger and frustration, and a second “hat” are her personal opinions that she should, to some extent, keep to herself. Limor has an idea to initiate a move through which you can feel real action. She wants to ask all therapists to go through an anxiety treatment workshop. Raise funds to fund the workshop and also bring therapists from Gaza. She has a fantasy that she works hand in hand with a Gazan therapist… wants to bring a film created after a the last war and screen it in front of all the therapists.
Amichai came because of Nahshi… he’s a lawyer. Came today with Maharan with whom he met a lot in court. As a teenager he worked a lot with Gazans that his uncles, Earthworks contractors, employed. There are colleagues in the profession for whom he knows that the Gazans are Damon… He has a friend from the moshav in whose house a Gazan worked who actually raised him as a mother. He too had strong friends, on other days, who were really a part of his life. He tells his friends that it is possible. Hope the circles grow.
Maharan saw this morning the coalition agreement with the “Ra’am” party. The agreement benefits the Arabs in the long run. Israeli Arabs will continue to “observe” what is happening in Gaza. Mansour Abbas told Sinuar that he “will not cause problems” until they form a government. In the war, everyone loses. Read in the Egyptian press that al-Sisi brings heavy equipment for the reconstruction of Gaza and it will bring Egypt 500 million $. Biden wants Gaza Egyptian and not Qatari. No longer free from the noise of the Middle East because the Chinese are at the gate and need to be valued in front of them.
Jaber, who is known to all of us from al-Zarnok, says that “an unrecognized village” is worth a trash can in the corner of the country… he came because he feels missing us… the first time he participated in “circle”, he felt that . Some light inside the black… We must continue to operate through the lighthouse. In Gaza, the situation is bad and it is a human act to worry about friends and neighbors. Who started or who was before it does not matter. Let’s work for both of us together.
Calling from Gaza, to Roni’s cell phone. Ramy takes the mobile from Roni and makes a round between everyone and everyone says a few words of greeting and sympathy.

Rami says that last night he was in a tent on the beach in Ashdod. Find a quiet place, but ATVs got there… heard they speak Arabic and all at once, all the “work” he does with himself “disappears”. Thoughts began to surface about the clashes that took place in the cities during the war. Although the Arabic language is so beloved by him, he was “frozen.” He told himself that it was sad that the statements, that if we persisted in fences and separations we would not be able to contain the hostility, would come true. His soul is tired. Here in the pine grove, near his house, where the tanks have traveled and the planes have passed, near Gaza which does not go out of his mind, he finds little refuge. Gaza is a clear knowledge that everything is shattered. The political change is causing a shock to many people. And the mental load only increases. Suddenly the demons come from the past and defeat it. The mind is exhausted. Finds some comfort in the fact that there is no longer any energy for hostility either… The war in Gaza tried to ignite hostility in the streets, but in his opinion it did not really work. The earth is not really burning and maybe this will lead to a new way. For that it’s worth every second he sits here. Gaza is not going anywhere and people are not disappearing. It is a joy mixed with sadness. Very soon we will see something else, he says.
Radir says Gaza is a big prison and any of the leaders who want to make “shofuni” use Gaza. Gaza is present here (in the “circle”…) because we are here. Even the media ignores. Killing children in war is the worst thing. Participates in the “Peace Square” (of the Bereaved Families Forum) in Zoom, and someone said there that because the Gazans responded, they deserve all the respect. This radius caused mental anguish, hoping for a more containing discourse. When she saw her family’s assessments in Acre in the face of the violence, in the clashes that took place in the streets, she was horrified. A friend from Lod told her that her neighbor, with his weapon, protected the neighborhood and now it is difficult for her to ask for the obvious, that it is to collect the illegal weapon…
Nahshi comes as he can… it is the anchor of the things he does to feel that he relates to what is being done around it. Gets to know more and more people and learns. This is the practical thing he can do to realize even a little of the potential for an encounter with the Gazans. Know every Friday that this is the first important thing to do. Maybe maybe maybe now we can say that there is some shift in a better direction…
This is for today… Next week we are supposed to host teachers from the “Herzliya Gymnasium” school in Tel Aviv…

We were: Hayuta, Shmulik, Oded, Roni, Ayelet, Mani, Ziona, Yoram, Rami, Rami, Hanan, Limor, Nahashi, Maharan, Jaber, Amichai, Radir.

Wrote: Oded.

Encounter 168 – 4.6.2021

Both the “circle” of the day and that of last week, were characterized by “sitting on the edge of the chair” … that is, those who do not agree with the speaker’s words, slide to the edge of the chair impatiently to respond immediately … Luckily for us, there is still respect for the speaking procedure used in the circle and we let the speaker finish his / her words …
It opens with a discussion around the chapter “Hagar” in Shelly Eshkoli’s book, “Postcards”. Shelley joined the circle today. In her book, Shelley illuminates women who accompany the biblical story. Reading the chapter on Hagar, clarified to me elements in the story that I did not give my opinion on.
Then a discussion began on the issue of regulating the unrecognized villages against the background of the formation of the government of change.
Uri: is it interesting to know how many Arabs of Israel think it is good to be citizens of the State of Israel under Jewish rule? And does it give them a better standard of living …
Roni says that both peoples see this space as a homeland and the Palestinian’s right to see his homeland here does not fall short of the Jew’s right.
I ask the participants, if each of us had the exclusive right to decide who they “share” in the country, who would they join and on what background? Uri responds quickly and says he would not share Arabs, but Druze did.
Jaber moves to the “end of the chair” and responds immediately when Uri finishes … He says that from his acquaintance with the Druze, those who live in the Golan Heights, are determined to remain Syrians. He also says that Ben-Gurion did not agree that the Bedouin would be in the army because then he would have to give them equal citizenship conditions…
From here we connect to the matter for which we have gathered, “a circle for the Gaza consciousness.” Jaber is already in the run and he continues to tell about his village El-Zarnouk, but repeatedly emphasizes that he keeps coming because of the unbearable situation in Gaza. Gaza is neighbors, he says. If they thrive the whole area will thrive. They are an organ from the spatial body. If part of the body is sick, the whole body suffers.
Nahshi found on his way to come here an opportunity to remind himself that there are sufferers in the area. In our meetings he learned that Gaza had a glorious past. The future can be good, too. The presence here is the little grain of sand that it can contribute to tilting the scales in the direction of speech and reconciliation. Calls on everyone on his side to come and say it out loud. He has cautious hope in the new government. The difference is that now there are expectations and from the previous government were not.
Uri thinks that Gaza has a role that not everyone accepts. A role assigned to it by the other Arab countries in the destruction of Israel. In his opinion, they are not interested in peace but receive money from Arab countries to expel the Jews from here. The Palestinian state is not in the forefront of their minds. If anyone in Gaza thinks otherwise, he can not even say that to his child, because then they will kill him. If someone had thought otherwise he would have already found a way to say it. But as long as they are paid they must perform their job because for that they get the money.
Roni takes care of the neighbors and discovers new friends every day. There are partners and there are those to talk to. In Gaza, there are partners in her opinion who do, speak and initiate for the sake of speech and meeting. There are those who are afraid to speak and there are those who are willing to speak. During the war, they called and asked how she was. She did not want to compare pain and suffering with Gazan friends during the war, but was also unwilling to apologize for being well protected and having no casualties on her side. They have the same right as us with the same arguments. We both have a right to this place. There are solutions. Roni appeals to Hamas to allow dialogue in any way possible.
Mark has very little to do with Gaza. He comes here to remind himself of the situation and is aware that he is to blame for their situation: his national aspirations have caused their problems. Neighborhood does not push him into action. Does not feel he has much to do. Checking his opinions with himself every day. Engaging in academic discussion is an escape from responsibility. Here in the “circle” is among people who understand it. Today, it deals mainly with climatic issues.
Brian has been teaching debate in schools for 5 years. What draws him here is the ability to respect the other’s mind. Restrain judgment and for a short time listen. He comes because he believes in something whose essence is to sit and listen. When you listen, you give value to a person regardless of his opinion. The politics are less interesting. Donates according to his ability. The only Gazan I met was Rami on the phone. It is good to keep hope.
Salameh remembers from childhood trips to Gaza. Everyone is at sea and the fun is great. In recent years everything has turned upside down. In his workplace he cannot express an opinion that everyone will attack him. Glad to hear different opinions here while maintaining listening.
Mahran is somewhat optimistic. After 73 years people realized that coexistence was urgently needed. He once attended a conference of Yesh Atid and talked to Yair Lapid. The change now sets a precedent and creates a new situation under the Israeli flag. The leaders decided yes, it is necessary to unite despite the difficulties they tried to outwit them. Hopefully this government will be good for Gaza as well. It is hard for him to believe that changes will be made. Too many contrasts. But yes maybe under the influence of the RAAM political party there will be relief. Even under occupation, if there is a good economic situation there is no rebellion. Two scenarios. Or war again, or a long-standing hudna which is a global interest. We want the economic interest in the reconstruction of Gaza. If there is peace here, it is essential for the region.
When it is Shmulik’s turn to speak, he first responds to the question I asked at the beginning of the discussion … yes, he is willing to accept within his political framework any person as a person. In the context of the new government, he says that even in other countries, despite the contradictions in the various political systems, they knew how to reach agreements. Believes that the political issue will be resolved in our region as well. Every destruction of a house hurts him as if his house had been destroyed. The current situation is solvable.
At the end, when everyone had got up from their seats and we started to settle down, contact was made with Gaza and Roni passed between us all with the cell phone and greeted them.
P.S.
Two “big” events in the planning (initiated by Nomika). One – meeting with the principal, teachers, students and parents from the Herzliya Gymnasium in two weeks – 18/6
The second – a meeting with Ashraf al-Ajrami, head of the committee for interaction with Israeli society on 2/7.

We were today:
Shmulik, Shelly, Brian, Mark, Roni, Oded, Uri, Nahashi, Eviatar (Neria-child …), Jaber, Salma, Maharan.
Rote: Oded.