The former IDF operative who thinks Israelis need to talk more about life in the occupied West Bank

Speaking to the JC at the end of a UK tour last month hosted by Yachad, which saw her visiting university campuses and community centres, she says for a “non-Israeli citizen to say that about me is something quite bizarre. I live there, I was in the army.

“I have Canadian citizenship, I could go there if I wanted to, I don’t have to do this, I don’t have to care, but we all do this because we love Israel.”

Ms Bubis, who grew up in a Modern Orthodox family in Jerusalem, served in an operations room of the Civil Administration in the West Bank from January 2013 until March 2015. She says her experience there exposed her to the “impossible” task given to the IDF, particularly when it came to dealing with disputes between Israelis and Palestinians.

She went into service with “this notion [that] the occupation is bad, we know that it exists, but thinking I am going to be the good soldier at the checkpoint.

“The IDF is a great army, it is good at securing Israel and its borders but it has been given a political task in the Occupied Territories.”

She says it was seeing the way “settlers were treated with kid gloves” and the lack of power soldiers had to control them that frustrated her.

“Stone-throwing would be one of the things that happened regularly on both sides. But when it came to Jewish children, often the soldiers would report back and say ‘they apologised and we’ve sent them home’.

“The other side of that is there are hundreds of Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons at any given moment.

“We don’t want the IDF to police Palestinians in the streets and in their hometown. We think our military should be a means for defence and not a means for oppression.”

To read the full interview click here.

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