NIPPLES to stand for Breaking the Silence

After the controversy that followed their report about the conduct of the IDF during its last operation in Gaza, Breaking the Silence (BTS) will be honored with a standing ovation.

This Thursday evening will mark the inaugural gala dinner of the New Israel Palestine Progressive Liberal Egalitarian Society (NIPPLES). It is here that Breaking the Silence will be honored with a standing ovation.

NIPPLES, a newly-formed non-partisan, progressive, liberal NGO, hopes the dinner will help kick-start the organisation and establish them as an important player on the Israeli left.

“The organisation was borne out of a frustration that there wasn’t a sufficiently liberal organisation out there. We established NIPPLES to accommodate a growing number of outspoken and disenfranchised Israeli academics. We wanted to create a space for truly liberal and enlightened people” NIPPLES founder, Gideon Pappe-Hass said.

“Let’s just call a spade a spade, we’re better than people with opposite views” another member candidly explained. “We believe in progressive values, non-divisive rhetoric, freedom of speech, democracy. We straight-out refuse to engage with people that aren’t as open-minded as ourselves” he added.  At the very least it’s important to bring intellectual elites together”, Pappe-Hass explained.

Due to the anonymous nature of every testimony given in the Breaking the Silence report, audience members at the gala dinner will not know whom to look at whilst applauding. The standing ovation will go ahead as planned nonetheless. “With nobody to look at during the applause, It will be as if we’re clapping for ourselves” – one excited member of NIPPLES explained. “It will feel like a collective pat on the back – and that’s long overdue.”

The keynote speaker — Israel’s first black, Muslim, lesbian Rabbi – is set to address the audience from an elevated ivory speaking podium. “It’s important that we show our guests – mainly our academic colleagues – that Judaism isn’t primitive or barbaric; it can be universal and non-divisive, if only people would embrace change” Pappe-Hass said.

The dinner will commence with a minute and a second of silence in memory of the innocent Gazan civilians who lost their lives this past summer. “We opted for a 61-second minute as it symbolizes the 61-members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s fascist coalition – another tragedy worthy of silent mourning.” Pappe-Hass explained.

During this minute and second, the reformed Israeli flag will be held at half-mast. The reformed Israeli flag maintains the blue-and white color scheme, but replaces the old singular Star of David, with multiple less-Jewish stars forming the shape of a circle, thereby resembling the flag of the European Union. According to its charter, NIPPLES envisions “a perfectly-democratic State of Israel-Palestine whose character is like that of any other European country.”

Over 500 guests — mostly European atheists, liberal academics and potential funders – will be treated to a 3-course vegan meal. As NIPPLES strives to not offend anyone, anywhere, it was admittedly challenging for the organizers to find an appropriate singer for the function. Obviously a male was out of the question for the many feminists in attendance, but then it became apparent that a female singer would offend many of the masculinists in attendance. Religion made matters even more complicated. In the end NIPPLES had the almost impossible task of finding an agnostic transgender to provide entertainment. “It wasn’t an easy task, but we did it” beamed Pappe-Hass.

The evening will conclude with the singing of Hatikvah – to be sung in English, Hebrew and Arabic and to omit the words ‘Yehudi’ (Jew), ‘Tzion’ (Zion) and ‘Yerushalayim’ (Jerusalem) for purposes of inclusiveness.

Despite his excitement about the upcoming event, Pappe-Hass remains concerned about the prospects of NIPPLES’ future. “It’s hard to survive when the whole country is out to get you. It’s like an Orwelian police state – but that makes organisations like us all the more important.”

When asked how he hopes to face the challenge of sustained funding, Pappe-Hass replied half-jokingly: “I suppose the real way to maintain funding is to encapsulate your organisation with ‘BS’. BTS and BDS have gotten so much attention, there’s something about ‘BS’ that really captures the imagination.”

About the Author
Josh is the former Chairman of SAUJS (South African Union of Jewish Students) Cape Town; and former Board Member of the SAJBD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies) Cape Council; and Tikvah Fellow
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