Machsom Watch

Machsom Watch, or Checkpoint Watch is a group of Israeli women who monitor checkpoints in the West Bank and the military courts, out of opposition to the Israeli occupation. The self described "politically pluralistic" human rights organization is composed of Israeli women to the exclusion of men, with a "bias towards mature, professional women" who tend to have a "liberal or leftist background". Machsom Watch claims to have 400 members, notably including former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's daughter Dana. The word machsom is Hebrew for "checkpoint," referring to Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints which control movement between different parts of the West Bank and between the West Bank and Israel.

The IDF view of the humanitarian situation expressed by IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz during a two-hour meeting with members of the group in March 2006 where he told the women that: "Humanitarianism is not exclusively owned by Machsom Watch and it is tested not only at the checkpoints, but also in preventing suicide bombers from reaching the markets of Tel Aviv and Netanya."

According to its website, the group's aims are to monitor the behavior of soldiers and police at checkpoints; ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians attempting to enter Israel are protected; and record and report the results of their observations to the widest possible audience, from decision-makers to the general public. Some members also see their role as protesting against the existence of the checkpoints.

Machsom Watch has been accused of being hostile towards the Israeli troops and disrupting the operation of checkpoints. Some of its charges against the troops have also been disputed as false. On May 2006, the group sent a letter of apology to the IDF after activists had verbally attacked a soldier, called him "Nazi" and other profanities as he asked Palestinians to stand in line for an ID check at a checkpoint leading into Israel. In response to the group's contentions regarding the checkpoints, the IDF has implemented training procedures intended to ensure respectful behavior by soldiers.

Read more about Machsom WatchHistory

Other articles related to "machsom watch, watch":

Machsom Watch - Reactions, Accusations of Bias and The "violin Incident" - The Beit-Iba Checkpoint Violin Incident
... On 9 November 2004, members of Machsom Watch released a video of IDF soldiers requiring Wissam Tayam, a Palestinian violinist, to play his instrument at a ... The Maschom Watch observers said that they did not hear the discussion between the violinist and the soldiers and did not speak Arabic, which Tayam speaks ...

Famous quotes containing the word watch:

    Perfect present has no existence in our consciousness. As I said years ago in Erewhon, it lives but upon the sufferance of past and future. We are like men standing on a narrow footbridge over a railway. We can watch the future hurrying like an express train towards us, and then hurrying into the past, but in the narrow strip of present we cannot see it. Strange that that which is the most essential to our consciousness should be exactly that of which we are least definitely conscious.
    Samuel Butler (1835–1902)