Maya’s grandparents left Poland and Germany before the Second World War, in order to help build the new state of Israel. The kibbutz where Maya grew up, “Emek Ha Yarden”, was built upon land of an abandoned Arab village. Maya admits she had never asked herself where the previous inhabitants had gone. She was a “doer” for that matter, one who asked few questions of herself.
During her service in the Israeli army, she monitored unmanned aerial vehicles dropping bombs on the streets of Lebanon, and watched people flee in silence. The monitor had no audio, the scene was distant and isolated. She never asked why or what for.
When she graduated her psychology studies she took a job in Paris working for EL AL. Maya’s job was to question Palestinians, foreign citizens and Palestinian citizens of Israel, before embracement. Maya voiced her left-winged political views often and out-loud but never questioned her tasks.
Upon her return to Israel she began working as a psychologist. She worked alongside a Palestinian woman from the Galilee. One day she mentioned she had once worked as a security personal for EL AL. The women’s response was emotional: “That’s what you did? Humiliated people and didn’t stop to ask yourself if what you were doing was wrong?” Maya was shocked and ashamed.
The turning point for Maya came actually during the protest of the social movement on 2011. Maya was there but was left wondering about the absence of political issues. A chance encounter led her to a meeting in an Arab village with Combatants for Peace.
At first she was somewhat frightened. The second time she attended a meeting, Maya and other Palestinian activists were severely beaten-up by youths from the settlement “Esh Kodesh”. The incident woke a feeling of solidarity in Maya. She felt her fate had ben intertwined with Combatants for Peace, of which she has been a part ever since.