In the name of the embedded mother: Women citizens on alert in the West Bank



The colonial matrix of citizens and non-citizens reveals an interactive surface of social behavior between the two groups. Normally, the interaction occurs almost exclusively between the citizensí armed forces personnel and the non-citizens. In the last four years, however, a group of mostly middle aged women citizens have situated their bodies in permanent daily shifts in specific sites/monads which make up the network of the Machsomim (checkpoints) in the non-citizensí habitat, completely interrupting their daily lives. While the majority of the citizens avoid bodily contact with the non-citizens, this group of women has expanded its engagement with the non-citizens, seeking to provide human assistance beyond the specific monads/checkpoints.



In this paper I would like to critically reflect on this interaction by employing the Narcissus-Echo metaphor for analyzing the relations between the armed forces personnel and the women citizens. I will explore these relations by following them along three different trajectories:


n     The political effect of challenging the military armed personnel in each machsom/monad.


n     The liberal ethics reflected in individual human solidarity with the



n     The practical collaboration with the armed forces personal, enhancing the illusion of a democratic state.


My research consists of participatory activist engagement with the group and the virtual transverse activities on the internet, in the form of words and images.


The theoretical insights drawn from my analysis will be used to interrogatethree visual images:


n     The video clip of the violin player at the Beit Iba monad/checkpoint.


n     The image of one of the women in the group who volunteered to join the armed forces and serve at the monad/checkpoint.


n     The groupís photography exhibition that was banned in Beer Sheba (a ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court).