In Conversation with Merphie Bubis from Breaking the Silence
We are delighted to be welcoming Frima (Merphie) Bubis, Diaspora Coordinator for NIF grantee Breaking the Silence, to the UK on Tuesday 12th March, for a joint special event with Yachad.
Breaking the Silence aims to expose the public to the daily reality of the Occupation and Israeli military rule over the Palestinian civilian population in the territories.
By publishing soldiers’ testimonies on their service in the Occupied Territories, BtS aims to generate opposition to the Occupation through meaningful public debate on the significant moral price paid by Israeli society for entrenching the ongoing regime of Occupation.
Date: Tuesday, 12 March, 2019
Location: Crouch End Picturehouse, 165 Tottenham Ln, London N8 9BY
Ticket price: £8 adult / £5 student
To book tickets click here [you will be redirected to the Yachad booking site]
Merphie Bubis comes from an Orthodox Jewish family in Jerusalem. As a teenager, she dreamed of wearing jeans and leading a less restrictive lifestyle. At 18, she joined the Israeli army, even though, as an Orthodox woman, it was not mandatory. Serving for two years as an operations sergeant in the Nablus region in the West Bank, she saw injustices suffered by Palestinians. These experiences led her to become a tour guide with Breaking the Silence.
“What moved me most coming from my background,” she recalls, “was the violence of the settlers. It could be young children from one of the settlements going out after Friday night dinner to throw stones at Palestinian cars, or a settler with a chainsaw cutting down olive trees.”
In this latest Trailblazer clip, we see Bubis taking Israelis around Tel Rumeida in Hebron near where Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who was later convicted of manslaughter, killed a Palestinian laying immobile and injured on the ground, after he had stabbed an Israeli soldier. “There are many incidents like that. We just don’t hear about them and they aren’t made public,” she says.
“People move forward,” she says, mentioning that nobody believed that the Berlin wall would fall or that there would be peace in Northern Ireland. “And things change. It won’t necessarily happen tomorrow, but I believe the occupation will end and things will be better here.”
Asked where she sees herself in the future, Bubis says she will carry on working for Breaking the Silence. “This is my way and it is perhaps one of the most important things that it is possible to do in Israel. I see myself as part of the struggle against the occupation and it doesn’t matter within which framework. I am part of the Israeli society that wants to change the situation from the ground up so that it will be better here.”
She adds, “The entire basis for settlements and for military control is because this place is sacred for us and important to the Jewish people. But from my point of view the right’s conclusion is completely wrong. In the name of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs that are buried here, we are doing this to another people.”
To date, over 100,000 Israelis have participated in tours and lectures of Breaking the Silence, which was established by Israeli army veterans and exposes the realities of everyday life in the occupied territories.
NIF’s support for Breaking the Silence comes in the context of our support for a range of organizations working to document and monitor human rights in the territories (including B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Machsom Watch, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Gisha) as well as organizations engaged in educational efforts that counter racism, support peace, and engender tolerance (including Tag Meir, Peace Now, and Standing Together).
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