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Posted 19 hours ago on April 22, 2014, 2:38 p.m.
Originally posted here:
Palestine held its second annual marathon on April 11, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. There was not one loser in the bunch of roughly 3,000 local and international participants. Personal goals were achieved, categories of prizes awarded, and records broken. The greatest win, however, was a group efforta win not against oneself, one another, or even a clock, but against occupation. There was no stopwatch to record this win or finishing line to mark it or trophy to honor it. The evidence of the win was simply that it happened.
Movement is difficult for Palestinians living in the West Bank, a sliver of historic Palestine containing nearly three million Palestinians. Palestinians have civil and military control over only 5% of the West Bank, called Area A. However, entry and exit to Area A is monitored by Israel, which often breaches international law by conducting illegal raids to arrest alleged militants. Area B, under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control, makes up about 25% and is increasingly being populated by illegal Israeli settlements. Area C, under full Israeli civil and security control, makes up about 75% of the West Bank and includes most of Palestines natural resources, which Palestinians cannot access.
Israeli settlements continue to be built in Area C, even though according to Oslo II, Israel was supposed to gradually transfer Area C back to Palestinian jurisdiction. (The Gaza Strip is an isolated self-governed entity, which has not successfully merged politically with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.)
Within the West Bank there is a divisive network of Israeli checkpoints, bypass roads, permits, roadblocks and settlements, along with the Separation Barrier. This network of closure mechanisms hinders movement of Palestinians in the West Bank by confining them to pockets. Isolated Palestinian enclaves facilitate Israeli occupation of the West Bank because it allows for the decentralization of common Palestinian spaces, control of Palestinian economic life, and the monitoring of civilians. Essentially, it is a way for Israel to practice remote control of the land, resources and people without officially and fully subsuming the West Bank into the state of Israel.
The Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement have concrete consequences on daily life. Some Palestinian families live just kilometers apart but cannot visit one another without driving five times the distance. Students arrive late or stressed to schools and universities after delays and interrogations. Palestinian farmers need permission to enter their own olive groves during harvest season. Critically ill Palestinians cannot readily access the closest medical facility.
The Palestinian marathon was a symbolic step towards breaking the control over movement. While Israel did not allow participants out of their usual West Bank confines, and managed to deny entry to approximately 30 Gazan participants (including an Olympian), the important matter is that participants moved. And did so in the thousands. Some ran 10 kilometers, others the half marathon, and some even ran the full 42-kilometer race.
The marathon was organized around a motto: We run to tell a different story. Part of that story is that walls and checkpoints will not stop Palestinians from moving. Liberation can come internally when a person goes against what the panopticon tries to stop them from doing.
The race started at the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square, passed the Separation Barrier with looming Israeli watchtowers, and entered the two refugee camps of Aida and Dheisheh. A mother and father ran together pushing a baby stroller. A physically disabled person participated in a wheelchair. A woman from South Africa celebrated her 60th birthday by crossing the finish line. Child spectators ran alongside the runners, giving out high fives.
The sight of all these people running alongside the 8-meter high concrete separation barrier was powerful. Movement, for a moment, took the foreground to a landscape of paralysis.
Heidi Morrison is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
Originally posted here:
Stefan Molyneux on the Oracle Broadcasting Network
Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio answers questions about liberty on the radio show Outside the Box. Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio – the largest and …
By: Marc Daniel
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The forced resignation of Mozillas CEO over his views on gay marriage has sparked a passionate debate that doesnt always break down along the lines you would expect.
The media framing of the saga of Brendan Eich has been that a bigot got what he deserved (that is, when it was covered; the network evening newscasts couldnt find time for the Mozilla story last week). But even some of those who deeply believe in same-sex marriage say its a case study in intolerance.
Eich was pushed out of the company that makes the Firefox browser after a week in the top job because he contributed $1,000 to Californias Prop 8 back in 2008. He has not spoken of gays in disparaging terms or made his workplace unfriendly to gays. He simply supported the position backed by Barack Obama until the spring of 2012: that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
I believe that same-sex marriage will eventually become the law of the land, given the shift in public opinion and that most younger people regard it as a non-issue. But you can believe that and also think that those who hold different views should be treated with respectjust like in the divisive debate over abortion.
Andrew Sullivan, the gay blogger who has been an advocate of same-sex marriage for decades and is married to his husband, is appalled by what happened to Eich:
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
For Sullivan to accuse some of his fellow gays and gay-rights advocates of fanaticism and intimidation is an incredibly strong statementand a tribute to his long record of independent thinking.
Americablogs John Aravosis, who got into a heated debate with Amy Holmes on yesterdays Media Buzz, takes a different viewand at one point compared opposition to same-sex marriage to the Holocaust. Holmes shot back that the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Obama when his position was also in favor of traditional marriage.
Aravosis writes: Normally, I wouldnt really care how a corporate CEO felt about marriage equality. Dont get me wrong,I care. And Id laud a CEO if she came out in support of it. But I dont think Id launch a campaign against a company simply because its boss wasnt quite there yet on marriage. I know lots of people who arent there yet though that audience is slimming down fast.
But Brendan Eich wasnt simply not there yet he played an active role in creating and enforcing discrimination against millions of gay Californians. So his offense was pretty severe, and it went arguably beyond speech he joined the ranks of anti-gay activist.
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In a move that left even people on their side of the battlefield stunned, a group in Michigan has gone back to Rick Santorums old stomping ground: claiming that gay marriage will lead to pedophilia, bestiality and who knows what else.
The group, called the Traditionalist Youth Network, filed an amicus brief in the ongoing Michigan gay marriage case. Michigan has been a battleground in the same-sex marriage fight lately, since a judge overturned the law banning same-sex marriage. That states Attorney General, Bill Schutte, filed an appeal in the case, and a judge issued a stay halting same-sex marriage while the whole thing works its way through the courts.
A similar situation happened recently in Kentucky, but there the state Attorney General refused to appeal the case.
The amicus brief filed by TradYouth, as they call their little club, was not welcome by the Attorney General in Michigan. It read, in part:
The Culture distorters and those who espouse their ideals flagrantly reject originalism and often treat the United States Constitution like an accordion: they frequently stretch it out to invent rights that do not exist such as the right to have an abortion or the right to engage in sodomy or the right to view pornographic materials and they constrict it to not mean things that it certainly does such as by denying the plain language of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The reason why banning same-sex marriage is a legitimate state interest is because the State of Michigans inherent police powers authorize the government to promote the health, safety, morals, and public welfare of its people, and it is respectfully submitted that same-sex marriage is an affront to the health, safety, morals, and public welfare of the residents of the State of Michigan, which is why the Western and American legal traditions have proscribed sodomy, much less same-sex marriage, for thousands and hundreds of years, respectively.
If a state cannot be permitted to define marriage as simply as constituting one man and one woman, then our culture will be taken down a very slippery slope that will see pedophiles, polygamists, zoophiles, those in incestuous relationships, and every other sexual deviant with proclivities now known or to be invented to challenge laws that, likewise, prevent them from marrying whom or what they wish.
The brief also inexplicably quoted W.B. Yeats The Second Coming (Turning and turning the widening gyre).
The groups website expounded on their views:
When your cause is truly just and worthy, you cant calculate the odds. Whether its facing down hundreds of Marxist agitators, engaging mainstream media smear campaigners, or challenging anti-White extremist Tim Wises lies on our college campuses, were going to fight for family, folk, and faith wherever its under assault.
Originally posted here:
In the West Bank with Palestinians and Israelis
Philip Winslow offers a rare firsthand account of people's lives in the West Bank, a dangerous and contested region.
By: Forum Network
Read more here:
Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattans Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations
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I ARRIVED in Istanbul last Sunday to attend the annual conference organised by the Istanbul Network for Liberty. The Network consists of individuals from around the world who are interested in expounding the principles of a free society from within Muslim history and culture.
I am now vice-president of this global network. I still remember the early conversations about setting up this network with many others who are now the Networks Board members. The Network certainly has progressed a lot since inception.
This is our third annual conference and this time we are exploring Values and Institutions of a Free Society in Mainly Muslim Countries.
Immediately before coming to Istanbul, I spent five days in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Antalya, in the south-western part of Turkey.
It was my first time in Antalya so I took the opportunity to visit some of its tourist attractions. The older part of the city is called Kaleici. If you visit Antalya, you must visit this area.
The small and winding roads make for a good walk. You can take a short cruise around the coast from the marina. And the shops sell all sorts of souvenirs. But be careful when dealing with some of the shopkeepers. Their hard sell tactic put me off somewhat.
Another must-visit site is Mount Tahtali, which is about one hours drive from Antalya. The drive itself was very nice, crossing through several towns with beautiful views of the sea and surrounding mountains.
The highlight for me was the cable car ride to the top of Mount Tahtali. It took just 15 minutes to climb up the 2365 metres. But dont be deceived by the short time on the cable car. At more than four kilometres long, this track is actually the second longest cable car track in the world. At the top, the view is breathtaking.
The steep change from sea to mountain range creates a scene that is difficult to describe with words. You need to view it to appreciate it. I did not have enough time to explore more of Antalya.
The real reason for my trip was to attend a group discussion organised by Liberty Fund on Liberty as an Islamic Value with 13 other delegates from Palestine, Morocco, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Of the many events that I have attended over the years, Liberty Fund colloquiums are among my favourites.
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Saturday, March 01, 2014
GAZA CITY Algeria’s legendary nationalist Djamila Bouhired will arrive in the Gaza Strip on March 8 to participate in celebrations of the International Women’s Day.
“Bouhired will arrive in Gaza next week, heading a delegation of 80 Arab and foreign activists to celebrate the International Women’s Day,” Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ghazi Hamad told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
It is not yet clear whether the delegation would cross into Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing or the Erez terminal on border with Israel.
Bouhired is an outstanding Algerian resistance figure who was instrumental in resisting the French occupation of her country in the last century.
The Gaza Strip has been reeling under an eight-year Israeli blockade.
Foreign delegations visiting the strip to show solidarity with the besieged Palestinians have drastically dropped following the July 3 ouster of Egypt’s elected president Mohamed Morsi by the military, according to the Gaza Foreign Ministry.
Egyptian authorities have tightened their control over the border with Gaza, repeatedly closing the Rafah crossing, which represents Gaza’s only window to the outside world.
The Egyptian army has also launched a campaign aimed at destroying the network of tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which in recent years had been used to bring vital commodities into the besieged coastal enclave, home to nearly 2 million Palestinians.
Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group which propelled Morsi to power in the 2012 elections, has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
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