BDS IN THE PEWS
May 17, 2011
- Website: www.machsomwatch.org
- Founded in January 2001 as “a movement of Israeli women… who oppose the Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinians’ rights to move freely in their land”; member of the radical Coalition of Women for Peace.
- “Conduct[s] daily observations of IDF checkpoints in the West Bank, along the separation fence and in the seamline zone.” Reports, photos, and videos are published in Hebrew and English, employing emotive and politically charged language that contributes to the demonization of Israel.
- Frequently interferes with and provokes IDF soldiers. A YouTube video shows activists harassing a soldier at a checkpoint, haranguing him for engaging in “apartheid.”
- An exhibition of photos taken at Israeli checkpoints refers to the “policy of suppression and dehumanization that pervades the nature of control over another nation,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid roads.” Machsom Watch also claims that the delay in checking documents at checkpoints is aimed at imposing “an illegal means of ‘educational punishment’.”
- Accepts donations through the New Israel Fund (NIF), and is funded by the EU (including a €77,632 grant for 2010-11), Diakonia (Sweden), Norway, and the UK (£30,000 for its project “No Legal Frontiers”). The Netherlands did not renew funding after 2009.
- In 2006-2009, the NIF authorized grants worth $204,698 to Machsom Watch (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
- Together with Coalition of Women for Peace, Mossawa, Israel Social TV, Women Against Violence, Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Zochrot, and Alternative Information Center (AIC), Machsom Watch wrote to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, calling “upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.” The letter accused a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.” The campaign resulted in the Pension Fund’s divestment from the Israeli company, Elbit Ltd. Mossawa, Women Against Violence, and Israel Social TV are also NIF grantees.
- Following the March 2011 Palestinian terror attack in Itamar in which five members of a family were murdered in their sleep, including three small children, Machsom Watch activists, including spokesperson Raya Yaron, visited the Palestinian town of Awarta to comfort the relatives of those who were arrested for the murders. Yaron was photographed hugging the mother of one of the alleged murderers.
- Ha’aretz reported that IDF troops caught a member of the group climbing the security barrier to receive a package from a Palestinian on the other side. When the woman saw the soldiers, she reportedly threw the package back over the fence and fled the scene.