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  • PHOTOS: Thousands take part in Palestine Marathon for free movement

    Israel denies permits to over 100 runners from Gaza. ’Freedom of movement is not only a right in itself, but is essential for the enjoyment of many other human rights,’ the United Nations says of the fourth annual marathon. Photos by Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Thousands of Palestinian and international runners from 64 countries participated in the fourth annual Palestine Marathon in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Friday morning. The run was held under the banner of the right to freedom of movement, a theme that was accented by Israel’s concrete separation wall along which much of…

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  • Living in a cage: On jail, running and the Shuafat Camp

    As a conscientious objector, being confined in prison made Moriel Rothman's chest fill with pain and panic. A year later, the feeling resurfaced while visiting Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. By Moriel Rothman Last October, I spent 20 days in Israeli military jail for refusing to serve in the army. I got a brief sense then of what it is like to live in a cage, to have my every move scrutinized, to have to request permission to move, to fear that if I made the wrong move, my time in the cage would be increased. I felt like my soul…

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  • Bethlehem and Boston: That amazing thing called running

    In Boston, the bombings brought out the most generous community spirit among strangers torn apart by violence. In Bethlehem, Israel restricted who could participate in the marathon. But as Gisha's Sari Bashi writes, dozens of Israeli runners expressed support for letting Gazans participate, emphasizing the hope and purity embodied in the marathon and speaking of their identification with people who challenge their human abilities by doing that amazing thing called 'running.' The first marathon was held in Bethlehem on Sunday, as my colleagues have reported (and photographed, beautifully). The marathon is moment of great personal achievement, but marathons also sometimes become a…

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  • Can I keep jogging without the pain of politics?

    It's always so nice to come home to Israel. It was a successful trip away; I fell in love with my new nephew, and I gained some deep insights into my American Jewish community, caught up with family and friends. After a freezing few weeks, I was thrilled to catch the last of the soft gray rainstorms of Tel Aviv, which are more cozy than they are cold. In fact, spring has almost arrived. And among the joys of coming home was that first beautiful jog along the sea. The broken running paths of Tel Aviv have been marvelously renovated…

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