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Baking at the Front Line, Sleeping with the Enemy: Reflections on Gender and Women's Peace Activism in Israel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2012

Hagar Kotef
Affiliation:
Columbia University

Abstract

One day in the summer of 2004, a shift of activists from Checkpoint Watch (CPW) brought to the checkpoint some cookies that one of them had baked earlier that morning. Checkpoint Watch is an all-women Israeli organization that opposes the Israeli checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Israeli 1967 occupation more broadly. Its members conduct routine tours to monitor changes in the deployment of checkpoints and stand in regular shifts at the larger, manned checkpoints in the West Bank. As they spend several hours weekly at specific checkpoints, some activists develop acquaintances with both the soldiers who operate them and the Palestinians who regularly pass through them. Many also stop for coffee at the local Palestinian “shacks,” conduct weekly political debates with soldiers, and try to pass the time in conversation. Therefore, it may have seemed trivial, for the activists, to share homemade cookies with the people they encounter weekly. This is precisely what happened on that morning in 2004: a trivial event that probably happened many times before and many times afterwards.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2011

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