I wanted people to think differently than what you hear on the street or in the media, or from what people are willing to see. My intention is to not only perceive the fear of Qassam rockets but to see what's going on, on the other side too. It's hard for me to say why they're shooting rockets at us, and I don't want to justify that in any way. However, I think that we should understand why this type of extremism is created and why people come to encourage violence.
I organized a group and we've been meeting for a year and a half. It's called Other Voice. During our meetings we contact people from Gaza. We try to meet different people every time and think how we can create an alternative to this reality. Usually we brainstorm ideas for meetings and activities. Because of the [border] closure, we haven't been able to carry out any of the joint activities.
Other Voice has various goals. First, reminding ourselves that we are all human beings and that it is people who live on the other side of the border. We remind ourselves that the violence isn't coming from civilians, that it's the result of this severe, protracted and very long conflict, which is yet to be resolved. Civilians on both sides get hurt during a conflict. Another goal is to create a process of maintaining contacts, besides those episodes where we meet once and talk. Usually we return to our regular habit of ignoring each other and to our daily lives because it's easier to forget these things.
Every time we discover just how similar we are, and how similar our worlds are, even though you can't measure and it's very difficult to compare. Our worlds are very similar on both sides: fear of bombings, uncertainty of our futures, problems making a living, wanting to leave, children's fears at night and paying for psychological counseling. In those senses we are very similar to the civilians we talk to from Gaza. I think this is true for every person who ever came to a meeting, even people who came once and didn't return. There is a strong sense of a shared fate in this difficult reality. I talked about comparison and similarities. We constantly remind each other and insist that we mustn't deal with who is suffering more, who is to blame, who started it. We should address each other as human beings; all the other paths just lead to a dead end. You could justify what the leaders do, or you could choose not to. There are always reasons, but the outcome is what counts. We are suffering the consequences and they are cruel and unbearable.