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Tag Archives: time
Ammar Awad / Reuters
Racers reach the finish line of the first Palestinian marathon in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Sunday.
By Paul Goldman, Producer, NBC News
BETHLEHEM, West Bank Jesus’ traditional birthplace has long been linked to tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. On Sunday, around 650 athletes took a step towards transforming Bethlehem’s modern image by running in the first official Palestinian marathon.
Its a strange site to see people run in the West Bank, said runner Dina Khuri, 21, from Beit Sahour. Usually when people run here it has to do with violence, but this time its for fun.”
Courtesy Dina Khouri
Dina Khouri, left, took part in an historic marathon in the West Bank on Sunday.
Security was tight in the wake of the Boston attacks that killed three and injured more than 170 on Monday. Before the event, organizers said they were “deeply saddened by the news from Boston.”
For George Zeidan from Jerusalem, the marathon was not only about fitness.
“Sports (are) my inspiration and my way of identifying myself,” he wrote in a blog posted on the marathon website before the race. “I am running for the freedom of Palestine and my people. I am running to inform everybody that we Palestinians are just like everyone else, we run, dance, sing, play, jump, and have fun, not only that but we are also good at it.”
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The amount of change happening in Washington right now is impressive. Congressional leaders are debating legislation on gun control and immigration, and lawmakers from both parties are coming out in support of gay marriage. This kind of sea change cant happen right now with energy and climate policy. Here are five reasons why.
1. Humanizing policy. Despite what Candy Crowley might say about climate change people and despite the message conveyed by the American Petroleum Institute with its energy voter campaign from last year, energy and climate policy does not embody itself in human beings. Contrast that with immigration, gay marriage, and gun control. Hispanics, and the U.S. companies who employ them, want immigration reform. People whose family members or close friends are gay want them to be able to get married. Surviving victims of gun violence and family and friends of those killed want Congress to do something, anything, to crack down on guns. The political benefits of these human elements are reflected in effective advertising and lobbying that pull on peoples heart strings. The connection between human beings and what Washington can or should do with energy and climate policy is less tangible.
2. Electoral consequences. This is the biggest reason why the Republican Party, which got just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 presidential race, wants to do something on immigration. For energy and environment policy, these consequences have either not materialized at all or the consequences have negatively affected candidates seeking to change the status quo. To wit: In the 2010 midterm elections, when the House flipped control from Democrats to Republicans, several red-state Democrats, such as former Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., lost their seats in part because of their votes in favor of legislation that created a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, which the scientific consensus agrees causes global warming. Frankly, a lot of us believe Republicans are in the majority because of cap-and-trade, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a recent interview with National Journal Daily.
3. Agreeing on the problem. As long as the leaders of the Republican Party deny that Congress must act to address global warming, not enough political momentum will exist to move energy and climate policy forward. Washington cannot solve a problem whose definition it cannot agree on. Contrast that with immigration, gun control, and gay marriage. Lawmakers from both parties agree on the problem with immigration and gun control. This doesnt necessarily mean Congress will pass meaningful legislation on either one of these contentious issues, but it has clearly set the stage for meaningful legislative momentum. On gay marriage, both the majority of the public and more and more lawmakers are agreeing that there doesnt seem to be a problem at all with gay people having a right to marry someone they love.
4. Cultural roots. The issues of marriage, immigration, and gun control are rooted not in science, but culture. Climate change, and its connection to fossil fuels, is instead chiefly rooted in science. Almost all scientists around the world agree humans use of coal, oil, and natural gas is causing global warming, but the science is not yet quite as clear or settled when it comes to how global warming affects people on a more granular level by way of extreme weather such as droughts, more intense storms, and heat waves. As long as that scientific consensus is not strong, Washington will find it hard to gain momentum on big energy and climate legislation. People already find it hard to wrap their heads around how climate change affects them personally, and unsettled science doesnt help make that clearer. Some experts say that by the time the scientific consensus about the connection between global warming and extreme weather is crystal-clear enough for political momentum, it will be too late to do anything about the most adverse effects of climate change. Some people think its already too late.
5. Taking your time. Advocates for immigration reform have been grappling for reform for some 30 years. For gun-control advocates, 1994 was the last time any major legislation was passed in their favor (and that legislation, the assault-weapons ban, ended up hurting Democrats politically in the 1994 elections). Gay-marriage supporters first started fighting for their cause in the early 1970s. Congress last passed major energy legislation in 2005 and 2007. The last time it passed major environmental legislation was the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Congress first started debating substantive legislation to address global warming some 13 years ago, at the start of this millennium. Thats longer than some political careers, but in Washington legislative speak, it could be considered normal. There was one time I put a clean-air bill on the floor, said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the longtime chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee during the 1980s and ’90s. Everyone patted me on the back and said: Oh, Dingell, youve got this bill through in 13 hours. Howd you do it? I said: Oh, it was really simple, it only took me 13 years to get that damn thing to where I could get it through in 13 hours. He didnt mention the bill by name, but Dingell was referring to those 1990 amendments of the Clean Air Act.
In other words, just be patient, energy and climate watchers. Its not your timeright now.
A group that opposes legalizing gay marriage in Minnesota is being criticized for materials it sent to pastors urging them to take a stance against same-sex marriage in their Sunday sermons, including information that compares the tactics of gay rights activists to Nazi propaganda.
“This is the second time in less than six months that spokespeople for Minnesota for Marriage have compared our respectful conversation and the loving and committed relationships of same-sex couples to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Sending this appalling comparison out during Passover and as we approach Easter makes it even more hurtful to people of faith,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families.
Minnesota for Marriage, which opposes legalizing same-sex marriage, called the issue a “smoke screen” by the other side and an example of the kind of attack on religious freedom that can be expected if same-sex marriage is legalized in the state.
“This is simply a desperate attempt to distract Minnesotans in order to convince them that children don’t really need a mother and a father,” said Autumn Leva, a spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage. “This distraction just exposes the fact that they have been saying the people of Minnesota have given them a mandate to legalize gay marriage, when all the polls show that they didn’t.”
The group is promoting a “Stand For Marriage Sunday” on April 7. Materials were posted on the group’s website Wednesday,
One section in a document entitled “Sermon Starters” refers to “old ‘gay gene’ studies” cited by homosexuals who say, “We were born this way; it is in our genes; God made us gay.”
“They essentially practice Joseph Goebel’s Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it,” the document states, misspelling the Nazi figure’s last name.
Minnesota for Marriage faced criticism in the fall when its church outreach director, the Rev. Brad Brandon, compared opponents’ tactics on the gay marriage amendment fight to those used by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. Brandon and other Minnesota for Marriage leaders quickly apologized for the “inapt” analogy at the time.
Megan Boldt can be reached at 651-228-5495. Follow her at twitter.com/meganboldt.
The new issue of Time magazine has declared it: “Gay Marriage Already Won: The Supreme Court Hasn’t Made Up Its MindBut America Has.” To go along with that statement, and a cover story by David von Drehle, they’re offering us two covers of same-sex couples mid-kiss, taken byTimephotographerPeter Hapak:Sarah Kate and Kristen Ellis-Henderson, who have been married since 2011, andRussell Hart and Eric LaBont, who have been engaged since 2010.
RELATED: Is This the Last Big Gay-Marriage Fight?
It makes sense, right? It’s a push further along the line of newsweekly covers discussing gay rights: from protesting to hand-holding to hugging. A kiss would have to follow at some point.And a kiss is one of the most basic images with which we can show love. It’s a universal experience, something anyone over the age of 12 or 14 can probably relate to. A kiss is also traditionally that thing that happens at the end of the wedding, when the vows have been spoken and the pronouncements have been made.The striking combination of this intimate moment shared between same-sex couples on a public cover is both timely and Time-ly (i.e., will, surely the editors hope, sell more magazines and get people talking).
RELATED: Supreme Court to Review Gay Marriage: Everything You Need to Know Now
But that same-sex couples kissing on a magazine cover is still cause for surprise, for shock, for discussions and reactions and double takes, that it would even be a cover, means in fact we’re not quite all the way there. The expectations of how the Supreme Court will ultimately rulestrike down DOMA but allow the lower court’s ruling to stand on Prop 8, meaning gay marriage would be legal in California but remain banned in other statesindicate that as well, even as public opinion has experienced a sea change, an inspiring open-mindedness and acceptance that seems all but sure to continue.
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Online reactions to the covers appear to support that dual reality of what we want to achievethe point we should someday (soon, one hopes) reachand where we are as well. On Twitter, I’m seeing words like “provocative,” “sexy,” and “sure-to-be-controversial,” among the reactions. At BuzzFeed,Dorsey Shaw saysTimeis “sexualizing same-sex marriage.”Andrew Beaujon writes at Poynter that there was much discussion in the Time offices over the covers:In an editor’s note, Time Managing Editor Rick Stengel explains, “We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples. Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”
RELATED: A User’s Guide to Day 2 of Gay Marriage at the Supreme Court, DOMA Edition
Would such a debate have existed over a cover featuring heterosexual couples kissing? Would such a thing be considered “sensationalist”? Doubtful. Certainly, these rather chaste, lovely images of couples kissing are not even close to embodying the sensationalism of another cover I can think of.But also, there’d be little cause to put a hetero couple kissing on a cover, or at least, no reason that comes easily to my mind. I think these covers are great, but that we need them, regardless of Von Drehle’s article and the progress that’s been made, means gay marriage hasn’t, in fact, quite “won”yet. It won’t have won until marriage is legal for same-sex couples throughout the U.S., and recognized federally, too. It won’t have won until “gay marriage” is no different than any marriage. And it won’t have won until gay couples kissing wouldn’t even merit consideration from an editor at Time magazine as a cover, not because it’s too sensationalist, but because, well, why would you even do that? Don’t we see all sorts of combinations of people kissing everywhere? We’re all perfectly fine with that. Let’s move on to a discussion that gets people riled up! How we feel about PDA: Now that’s a topic that can apply to all of us.
RELATED: Scalia Reveals His Current Thinking on Gay Marriage (and Murder)
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The number of Democrats who publicly oppose gay marriage dwindled this week as arguments in two Supreme Court cases drew national attention – and political pressure – to the issue.
In a matter of four days, six Democratic senators issued statements indicating that their view of the marriage debate had changed in favor of allowing Americans to marry regardless of gender. Only nine of the 53 Democrats in the Senate continue to oppose marriage equality in some way, and of those, few come down staunchly on the side of preserving the traditional one-man, one-woman definition.
Those nine senators are Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bill Nelson of Florida, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Of the nine, some oppose DOMA, some have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, others are less specific.
Manchin’s answer is straightforward: Spokesperson Katie Longo said that guided by his faith, Manchin “believes that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman” and wants to uphold DOMA.
Nelson is a more complicated case. In May 2012 he told the Miami Herald he believes the issue should be left to the states, but a spokesperson for his office told TIME this week that Nelson supports the one-man, one-woman vision of traditional marriage.
Some of those with more complicated stances on the issue tend to value a term President Obama once used to describe his views on gay marriage: “evolving.”
“Senator Carper was proud to support Delaware’s efforts to enact civil union legislation and earlier this month he joined 211 of his Congressional colleagues in co-signing the amicus brief that urges the Supreme Court to invalidate Section 3 of DOMA,” a spokesperson for Carper told ABC News this week. “Like many Americans including Presidents Obama and Clinton, Senator Carper’s views on this issue have evolved, and continue to evolve.”
“Change” is another favorite.
“We’ll have to see what the Supreme Court says about gay marriage,” Landrieu told POLITICO on Tuesday. “And I just think that people’s views about it are changing quite rapidly, a more progressive position. I’m just going to continue to talk to the people of my state.”
An ABC/Washington Post poll released last week showed support for legal gay marriage among Americans had grown from 37 percent in 2003 to 58 percent. Almost 84 percent of Democratic Congress members signed an amicus brief for the Supreme Court asking them to overturn DOMA.
On this day when a momentous series of cases related to gay marriage are being heard before the Supreme Court, I thought it time to reflect on a broader topic of leadership and motivation.
So often in life we let fear, old stories or myths prevent us from living from our heart and pursue what we love, cause us to be less tolerant, or keep us from leading in a strong compassionate way. Many times fear causing us to fight (against bullies) or flee (when imminent danger is around) is a good and valid response. But when fear and old stories cause us to freeze or to not lead in a heartfelt way, we know we are probably about to make a bad decision.
The bullies in our lives (and politics) will often repeat old stories about ourselves, themselves, or society in general in order to keep us from doing what our heart knows deep down is just and right. This happens many times in our relationships, in our jobs, or just in the interaction with friends and the people we care about. It causes our elected officials to freeze and not lead where the country deep down really desires to go. Leaders usually never lead, they usually follow where the country is already going. This happened in a profound way on the issue of gay marriage.
The strength of the anti gay marriage message as a successful wedge issue in politics a while back proved ineffective. I have written and talked about this before, but it bears repeating on this important day in our country’s history and for the world when nine folks in robes listened to arguments on both sides of the gay marriage issue. In 2004, voters were already ahead of our leaders, and the amendments on the ballots concerning the legality gay marriage had no effect on turnout.
Follow ABC’s Live Updates Here: Gay Marriage at the Supreme Court
Speaking from experience as the chief strategist in 2004 for President Bush, I saw in close detail how little gay marriage could influence turnout of conservatives or evangelicals. In 2003 and 2004, we did a series of public opinion tests on different messages related to the micro targeting project that would cause voter groups to turn out more in President Bush’s favor. We tested social issues as well as messages related to the economy, national security, taxes and the size of the federal government. Not a single social issue (which included gay marriage) fell on the effectiveness scale in the top eight messages.
Further, in analyzing the election returns in the aftermath of the 2004 presidential race an interesting set of data was revealed. In states that had gay marriage amendments on the ballot including key target states, there was no statistical difference in turnout of conservatives from states that did not have these amendments on the ballot. Gay marriage had no effect on turnout even among the most conservative potential voters in both the data before Election Day and the returns on Election Day.
The 2004 election already was showing voters were ahead of our leaders and especially ahead of consultants who grew up using wedge issues in the 1980s. They were repeating an old story that was no longer true. And this old story even scared Democratic politicians like Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as President Obama, all of who were against gay marriage as recently as the 2008 election. They bought into this old story and myth and were afraid to lead from a place of love and compassion, and reacted with fear. Not fear of reality, but fear of a myth.
INFOGRAPHIC: How Support For Gay Marriage Has Grown
This same type of fear also caused many leaders (and the media) not to stand up in the face of a disastrous war in Iraq. In that case they were afraid of being called weak or unpatriotic on defense, and because of that fear thousands of life’s were lost and more than a trillion dollars spent because many of us didn’t have the courage at the time to stand up and say no. Many Republicans use this fear to scare leaders from opposing a failed policy on war and military defense.
Published on Thursday, March 21, 2013 Last updated on 07:27AM, Thursday, March 21, 2013 Our old friends from Occupy Oakland were out in the streets tearing up stuff again last weekend – or maybe it wasnt Occupy Oakland, but somebody else. The folks at the Bay Area News Group and the Oakland Tribune cant seem to make up their minds
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When I film, I feel like the camera protects me. But its an illusion. Emad Burnat, West Bank Palestinian and co-director, 5 Broken Cameras
A commander or an officer sees a camera and becomes a diplomat, calculating every rubber bullet, every step. Its intolerable; were left utterly exposed. The cameras are our kryptonite. Israeli soldier, infantry brigade
To some degree, the conflict in Judea and Samaria has become a camera war. West Bank settler
When Israeli security forces arrived in the middle of the night at the Tamimi house in Nabi Salih, the occupied West Bank, the family was already in bed. The raid was not unexpected, as news had traveled around the village on that day in January 2011: Soldiers were coming to houses at night, demanding that young children be roused from sleep to be photographed for military records (to assist, they said, in the identification of stone throwers). Bilal Tamimi, Nabi Salihs most experienced videographer, had his own camcorder at the ready by his bedside table when he was awoken by the knock on the door. His sometimes shaky footage, drowsiness and concern for his children making his hand unsteady, subsequently ran on Israels evening news programs, the video provided by the Israeli human rights organization BTselem as part of its effort to document army abuses in the Occupied Territories. The footage told two stories, testifying to the increasing use of photography both by the army as a means of counterinsurgency and by Palestinians under occupation for evidence and self-protection. In the West Bank today, cameras are ubiquitous, as is the usage of social media as a means of online witnessing. Both are deemed nothing less than political necessities, the sine qua non of political claims in the networked court of public opinion.
Cameras have long played a central role in the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories — their importance dramatized in 5 Broken Cameras, the joint Palestinian-Israeli production nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary. Today, one finds cameras of various kinds and degrees of technological sophistication in the hands of the Israeli army, whose film unit dates to the occupations early years; Palestinian residents; activists and NGOs operating in the territories; Israeli human rights groups and anti-occupation activists; and organized bands of Israeli settlers (enabled by a rabbinical ruling that authorized filming on Shabbat).  Cameras, of course, are also embedded in the surveillance infrastructure of the military occupation itself, mounted on drones, checkpoints and the separation barrier. As the above list suggests, cameras serve many competing political agendas, employed by the military for both official security measures and personal displays of militarized bravado (as evidenced by the February viral Instagram scandal, when a soldier posted aestheticized photos of a Palestinian boy in a rifles crosshairs), and by Palestinians under occupation and their anti-occupation allies as a means of deterrence and protest.
As in other political theaters, most players in the Israeli-Palestinian media field shoot video, chiefly with camera phones, and disseminate the footage via social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Video is deemed not merely a political advantage within this theater but a requirement — despite the debates about video veracity that almost always ensue, often fueled by charges of technical manipulation or politically motivated editing.  The technological playing field is highly uneven. Israel boasts some of the worlds highest rates of Internet penetration and social media savvy, while Palestinians are constrained by the regulation of their telecommunications infrastructure, over which Israel exercises considerable control by the terms of the Oslo accords.
BTselem launched its camera project in 2007 in the West Bank city of Hebron, site of some of the fiercest confrontations between Palestinian residents and militant settlers. Unexpectedly, the Hebron footage went viral. Since that initial success, the organization has distributed hundreds of video cameras to Palestinians living in high-conflict areas of the Occupied Territories, enabling them to record firsthand their frequent abuse at the hands of Israeli security forces and neighboring settler populations.
Today, the proliferation of camera equipment in activist theaters across the globe usually yields a tale of liberation technology — a variant of the digital democracy narrative echoed so frequently in the first months of the Arab revolts, positing new media technologies as naturally suited to progressive grassroots activism. The case of Israel-Palestine, with cameras on all sides of the occupations political divides, tells a more complicated story, suggesting the highly variable political functions and futures that new technologies can serve.
The village of Nabi Salih in the occupied West Bank is a focal point of Palestinian protest against the Israeli separation barrier. Since 2009, the village has held a weekly non-violent demonstration that, on any given Friday, draws residents from across Palestine, as well as tens of Israeli and international solidarity activists. International journalists also number heavily at these demonstrations, their presence sometimes outmatching that of the foreign activists. Given the political import and visibility of this weekly demonstration, and the global media coverage that can result, the Israeli security forces have endeavored to stop it and violent dispersals with tear gas, pepper spray and beatings are common, as are raids on households suspected of participation. 
Bilal Tamimi, 46, affiliated with BTselem in 2010. At the time, he was the only active cameraman in Nabi Salih, as few residents had camera phones or Internet access. He began filming in clandestine fashion, perhaps shielded by a porch or awning, in an effort to avoid detection. Soon, political necessity dictated a retreat from the shadows, and Bilal began filming demonstrations and arrests from the ground, in full view of the military. Thereafter, Bilals camera was always at the ready, sitting next to his bed, in accordance with his personal pledge to document everything pertaining to the villages struggle with the security forces.
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BETHLEHEM, West Bank President Obama, whose visit to Israel begins Wednesday, is scheduled to travel to this Palestinian city during his trip, but there is little anticipation and much skepticism in the air.
Previous American presidents have come and gone, people say, and nothing has changed. Israels occupation of the West Bank has deepened, its settlements have expanded, and there is no sign on the horizon of a political solution that will bring Palestinians independence.
Weve reached the point of frustration, said Osama Darwish, a lawyer, expressing the preemptive disappointment ahead of the presidents visit here Friday, which will include a tour of the Church of the Nativity, traditionally held to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Obama failed to create an opportunity for peace in his first term, and I dont think his visit will bring progress toward a fundamental solution of the Palestinian problem, Darwish said. Its more of a sightseeing trip.
Although Obama will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, Palestinians are keenly aware that the focus of the U.S. presidents trip is Israel, where he will spend most of his time, and they have adjusted their expectations accordingly.
Statements by U.S. officials that the president will be in listening mode and will not be presenting a peace plan have further dampened Palestinian hopes that his visit will improve prospects for a resumption of peace negotiations, which have stalled in a dispute over Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
We understand that this is a preliminary visit, that he needs to at least demonstrate his interest in pursuing peace here, said Nabil Shaath, a senior aide to Abbas. In deference to him, we are trying to welcome him with a minimum amount of problems, and we are trying to really wait and see without too much expectation.
What happens when he goes back, this is the test, Shaath added.
Palestinian officials say that without vigorous U.S. diplomatic follow-up, there is little chance that Obamas outreach to Israelis and discussions with the Palestinians will produce substantive new peace talks. Still, there is appreciation for the signal of renewed U.S. engagement.
The mere fact that President Obama in his second term decided to visit us before anybody else is a reflection of his commitment to the two-state solution, said Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians chief negotiator. But its really up to us and the Israelis to decide, and the Americans are not going to force-feed us.
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