Maya Katz 

Tel Aviv - Yaffo

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 little questions of herself.
During her service in the IDF, 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 ElAl.
Maya’s job was to question Palestinians, foreign citizens, 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 women from the Galilee. One day she had mentioned she
had once worked as a security personal for ElAl. 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.

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Personal stories of Palestinians and Israelis who had been a part of the violence or witness to it. Yet they all made the choice to walk the path of non-violent activism and partnership.