The relationship of Metula’s people with the residents of southern Lebanon is deep, courageous, personal, valued and beautiful. Long before there is a war in the region, there is peace between the residents of southern Lebanon and the residents of Metula. This relationship began in 1977 when the Good Fence was opened in Metula, which was the main crossing for thousands of people from southern Lebanon to work in Israel. These relations stopped in May 2000 when Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Such was the relationship of Miriam Hod with Basima. Bassima, a resident of southern Lebanon who lives in a Lebanese village near the fence. Bassima has worked at the Hod-Fein family for many years. Over the years Miriam and Bassima became friends. Brave ties were also forged among the children’s families, and Christian and Jewish holidays were celebrated together.
When the Israeli government began planning the withdrawal, Miriam understood the magnitude of the disaster to which the residents of southern Lebanon, including Basima, might be injured. Miriam contacted the office of then-prime minister Ehud Barak and warned of a future massacre. Miriam, a single woman against an army of journalists and statesmen, determined and stubborn and especially anxious about the massacre that will take place in front of her eyes on people dear to her, succeeded on the day of the withdrawal to send a list prepared by 100 families from the South Lebanese army. The event is covered by the media.
After the withdrawal Bassima and her family lived in the Hod-Payne family’s home for two years. Miriam is the owner of Beit Shalom. Together with Haim Hod-Fein they built the hotel. Miriam is also a fiber artist. Her work is dependent on the Beit Shalom Gallery and the restaurant and hotel spaces. Miriam’s moving story about her involvement in saving the SLA families can be heard in her lecture at Beit Shalom, and she also conducts private tours of the gallery where she talks about her work.