Checkpoint Watch: Reflections on Israel’s Border Administration in the West Bank
Social & Legal Studies 21: 297-320 (2012).
27 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2012 Last revised: 6 May 2021
Date Written: December 13, 2011
This essay sketches my personal impressions of the changes that have occurred over the last decade in Israeli checkpoints in and around Jerusalem. These changes are both in the physical design of the checkpoints as well as in their human management. My particular focus is on the women’s human rights organization MachsomWatch. The role of MachsomWatch has changed in a way that parallels the solidification and the bureaucratization of the border. Nowadays, MachsomWatch women - originally avid protestors of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank - have, despite themselves, become a routine feature in the occupational apparatus. This essay’s grounded ethnographic account provides a vivid illustration of the ways in which resistance can feed into power.
Keywords: Checkpoints and borders, Power and resistance, Israel/Palestine, Bureaucratization, Legal, Ethnography, MachsomWatch, nongovernmental organization
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