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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2007 arrow June 22, 2007

June 22, 2007


"If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did."- Mordechai Vanunu to me, June 2005.

Two emails came yesterday and they, along with some commentary, are today's blog.

The first is an OPED by my 'brother' and hero; 80 year old Dr. Khaled Diab, the visionary and Founder of the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace,

Dr. D's life was the inspiration of my first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE and it was he, who shepherded me, during my first trip to the Holy Land in June 2005.


The second is the complete email from Ernest, the Coordinator for the Campaign for a nuclear free Middle East, who sent out an update on Vanunu.

Vanunu will learn on June 25th, if he is going back to jail for the interviews he gave to professional media in 2004;

And they have ALL been missing in action during his historic FREEDOM OF SPEECH Trial.


Excerpted from the FOREWORD of KEEP HOPE ALIVE, written by Dr. Khaled Diab:

On October 28, 1948, I was classified as a Palestinian Refugee. The book describes some of the people I have known and loved deeply. These are my memoirs, but this book also contains characters born from the imagination of the author, Mrs. Eileen Fleming.

This story is about hope and vision, harmony and peace. It is about loving each other and helping those in need. It is about creating a better world with hope for a better future for our children and theirs.

My relationships with Christians, Jews, and Muslims who treat each other with respect have filled me with hope for our collective future. By praying together, working as partners, and sharing our pain, we have found peace and joy. We found hope when we chose to quit trying to find justice through the contorted prism of who is to blame.

Peace will come when people of goodwill act to create the three basic elements of peace. These elements are Possibilities, Reconciliation and Opportunity. These elements form the Olive Trees Foundation’s PRO plan.

Twenty-five trees will provide the opportunity to sustain the average Palestinian family of five. Providing this sustenance will change many hearts and minds. Only then, will reconciliation be possible between the children of Father Abraham.

Beginning in 2003, the OTFFP began creating children’s parks in the West Bank and has now provided the funds for over 31,000 fruit bearing and olive trees, which are deeply rooted in Israel and Palestine.

Dr. Khaled M. Diab, Founder and President, Olive Trees Foundation for Peace
www.olivetreesfoundation.org


orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-myword21b07jun21,0,3687394.story

OrlandoSentinel.com

OTHER VIEWS MY WORD

Marshall Plan for Holy Land
Khaled M. Diab  June 21, 2007


Since 1948, Israel has won several wars; the Arabs have claimed some victories, too. Yet no side has won the highest prize of all, peace.

The needs of security and the right to self-defense will never hide all of the injustices that have been done and continue to be done to the Palestinians in Palestine and elsewhere. The rights for freedom, self-determination and resistance to occupation will never cover the crime of killing innocent Jewish and other civilians by means of suicidal attacks or firing primitive Kassam rockets. But occupation, targeted killings and other means of pressuring the Palestinians have not brought the Israeli people or the Palestinians real hope of peace.

Israeli occupation has converted the remaining Palestinian cities and villages to jails. Israel has continued occupation, expansion, erection of walls, and establishment of hundreds of checkpoints that restrict the movement of Palestinians to work, to schools, to hospitals and to normal trade. This will never win the peace. The brainwashed Palestinians who blow themselves up to kill whoever is on the scene of their suicidal acts will never win peace or gain claimed rights. The primitive rockets fired at Israeli areas will result only in the hardening of negative positions and moving away from peace.

The blame game, the revenge and the counter revenge and the belligerence will not achieve peace. The labeling of killing of innocent people and the destruction of property as collateral damages does not justify the net result. Continuation of occupation and continuation of the same behavior by the Israelis, the Palestinians and the Americans will never win peace.

To win the peace, there are other ways.

It is very obvious that the practices of the past 60 years did not win the peace; it is high time to find other approaches that would reach to peace in the land we call the Holy Land. Peace is in our interest, the interest of the vast majority of the people in Israel, Palestine, other states in the region and the world. The recent Palestinian in-fighting, Hamas takeover in Gaza and other developments are the results of the pressure-cooker policies that have dominated the region. I believe that continuation of the past practices will result in annihilation of millions of Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims and other people.

The recent declarations by the European Union and the United States to supply aid to the Palestinians are moves in the right direction. They need to be followed with many other healing steps that include the political, social and economic aspects of life.

On the other hand, selling or providing more sophisticated weapons to one side or the other will nullify any hope for peace. Rabbi Michael Lerner has advocated the Marshall Plan for the whole world. If we cannot afford a global Marshall Plan,  how about starting with a Marshall Plan for the land that we call the Holy Land?

There is certainly enough wealth in the region and elsewhere to show that the provision of peace, reconciliation and opportunity -- PRO --to work will definitely lead us to peace. Let us go for PRO. Compassionate treatment of humans is the way to peace.

Let us win the real prize: PEACE.

Khaled M. Diab, a Palestinian who emigrated to the United States in 1953, lives in Orlando. He is the president of the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace Inc.
Copyright © 2007, Orlando Sentinel


On 06/17/07, The Peoples Voice and Opednews.com published my article,

"Do You Ever Hear Voices?"
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/06/17/do_you_ever_hear_voices 

http://www.opednews.com/articles/life_a_eileen_f_070616_do_you_ever_hear_voi.htm

That article was inspired after the June 13, 2007, The Colbert Report, when Stephen Colbert interviewed the author of Muses, Madmen and Prophets, Daniel B. Smith, who spoke about how hearing voices is not always psychotic and could actually be a good thing.


Two months before my first journey into Israel Palestine in June 2005, I turned the TV on, and what immediately appeared before my eyes was a segment of a show entitled "Sexpionage."

It was all about Russian female spies and one from the Mossad.

I probably never would have tuned into that show, but what I immediately viewed  was video of Mordechai Vanunu, being transported to his closed-door trial depicting his inspired move to write "HIJACKED" on his palm, and the Rome airline flight number he had been on.

The show then ran video of Shimon Perez claiming to the world that Israel would never be the first country in the Middle East to go nuclear! But the London Sunday Times proved him a consummate liar, for they had published the photos Vanunu had acquired while working as a low level tech in Israel's WMD Program in the underground Dimona nuclear plant proving that Israel had already gone nuclear!

The Dimona WMD Plant still has NOT been inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency/ IAEA, but President Bush ignores this fact!

Up until that evening I had never seen a photo or that video of Vanunu being transported to his closed door trial, nor any photos of him as a disheveled bearded guy, who looked like many of the guys I had known in college and wouldn't date.

 

But, in my heart I heard: "DO SOMETHING!"

 

I immediately complained and kvetched to God, what in the world could I ever do to help Vanunu, but every time Vanunu came to my mind, all I would hear in my heart and mind was the incessant refrain: "DO SOMETHING!"


"DO SOMETHING" had been the constant refrain I had been hearing in my heart and brain for years ever since I saw the photo of George of Beit Jala whom I wrote about in, "Do You Ever Hear Voices?"

Just before my first journey to Israel and Palestine in June 2005, a Palestinian American gave me a warning.

He knew I admired what Vanunu had done by standing up to the empire to inform the people of the health risks and dangers of the weapons of mass destruction being manufactured underground in the Negev, that was still labeled as a "TEXTILE PLANT" by the Israeli government in 1986.

My Palestinian American friend warned me, "Don't visit Vanunu, if you see him; don't speak to him. He's not allowed to speak to foreigners and you could cause him trouble."

I responded, "OK, I won't track him down, but Jerusalem is a small town and if our paths cross, I will speak to him. What kind of government is that, that will tell a human being who they can and cannot talk with?"

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Israel agreed to uphold in 1948, affirms that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression…to receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers" and as freedom of conscience and speech are God given rights which NO government has any power to rescind, unless of course, we the people cower and cave in to Big Brother; I had no fear of speaking to Vanunu, if our paths should cross.

In fact, I did not cross paths with Vanunu for the first time, until the third Tuesday in June which was five days before I returned to the USA.

I had spent a most horrific day in Hebron-the most painful experience in my life. Hebron is where 450 Israeli settlers are protected by 3,000 IDF. Above the narrow winding stoned streets a thick deeply sagging netting is strung for protection from all the huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture and all manner of debris that have been flung onto it by the settlers in hopes it will give way and hit any Palestinian who is passing underneath it.

Many of the formerly Palestinian homes in Hebron have graffiti such as "GAS THE ARABS" and Stars of David painted upon them. I felt like I had entered into every movie set and photograph I had ever seen of the ghettos during World War II.

When I returned to my room at the Ambassador Hotel that afternoon I had no intention of going back out. But the second I got out of the shower, the phone rang and it was Tony from Ramallah, whom I 'met' through the Palestinian Christian Yahoo Group. Tony just happened to be in Jerusalem that day seeing a Doctor and he invited me to dinner. We walked towards the Old City in search of a restaurant and on our way was St. George Cathedral where Vanunu had been living. I suggested we stop in and if Vanunu were there we could invite him along. As we entered the courtyard, Vanunu was leaving for a meeting. I imagine if we had arrived a few minutes later we would have missed him completely.

But, that chance meeting led to my opportunity to spend a few hours with Vanunu over the next few days. I was curious as to what kind of a kid he had been and why he became a Christian. In all honesty, Vanunu got the wrong idea about my curiosity, and I admit I had not given it a thought, that since he had been locked up for 18 years, anything female would arouse his interest. His English is also very limited and he did not comprehend my repeated declarative statement: "I am married! I am very married!"

Vanunu thought I wanted a date, but what I wanted was to fill him in on how he got all caught up in my brain with little George of Beit Jala, and the incessant refrain: "DO SOMETHING!"

We were then finally able to spend a few hours together over the next few days. This opportunity offered me the opportunity to learn of his childhood and why and how he became a Christian. Those stories are covered in both of my first books, but, as of this writing Vanunu has quit talking to me, but some of his supporters have not.

On June, 20, 2007, Ernest, the Coordinator for the Campaign for a nuclear free Middle East, sent out an email update on Vanunu, who will learn on June 25th, if he is going back to jail for the interviews he gave to professional media in 2004, and ALL of them have been missing in action ever since!

This civilian journalist, committed Christian of The Beatitudes and agitator of church, state and limp USA MSM, returns to Israel Palestine July, 2007. 

But I cannot do as he has demanded of me and delete our video interviews which are freely streaming on http://www.wearewideawake.org under "Vanunu Archives" on the top right side of the WAWA banner, directly under the photo of George of Beit Jala

"If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did."- Vanunu to me, June 2005.

Following my conscience means following my heart and that is where I hear the voice telling me: DO SOMETHING!

So, here is Ernest's complete email:

20th June 2007:Court sentence imminent and courageous dedication by Susannah York
 

Dear friend and Vanunu supporter,

 

It is now three months since our last update, so it's time enough that we brought you up to date with recent events concerning Mordechai.

 

Earlier this year Mordechai was found guilty of the 21 charges of talking to foreign journalists; the court postponed sentencing until 25th June.  Once again, the judges accepted the prosecution case, which was mostly based on statements from the security services, whether true or not, and evidence which Mordechai's lawyers are seldom allowed to see.  Not much room there for justice!  One of Mordechai's lawyers, Michael Sfard, commented after the decision said, "it should be understood, Mordechai has not been convicted for what he said, but just for the act of speaking". 

 

Mordechaia's lawyers don't think the prosecution will ask for a prison sentence but, apparently, they can and might.  More likely, there will be warnings to Mordechai of what could happen if he breaks his restriction orders in the future.  In fact the restriction orders have now been renewed for the third year; four years in all.

So please watch out for news of the sentencing and be prepared to respond accordingly to Mordechai and / or the media.  

 

Our public meeting in Parliament, on 26th March: Iran, Israel, nuclear weapons and the threat to attack Iran was a great success; committee room 16 was completely full with many in the audience having to stand.  Following up on one of the discussion points at the meeting we have been working towards a joint statement against nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East signed by an Iranian and Israeli group and ourselves.  We are hopeful that this statement will be released soon and with the added signatures of other international anti-nuclear groups. 

 

In mid April the second, successful Vanunu Freedom Ride took place.  It will be the last for now.  This year the cycle ride left Faslane, Britain's nuclear submarine base, after a two hour vigil.  It took the east coast route to London arriving at the Israeli embassy on 21st April, the anniversary of Mordechaia's release from prison in 2004.

 

At many of the night stops, meetings were held and background to Vanunu's imprisonment and now his fight for freedom was widely circulated.  Thousands of pounds were also raised for Mordechai.

 

At the start of this month Susannah York was in Israel to visit Mordechai and to do two performances of her one-woman show, The Loves of Shakespeare's Women, a project agreed quite some time ago.  Susannah reports that Mordechai is well and in good health.

 

Both performances of her show at the Cameri Theatre were sold out, the first receiving very good reviews.  At the second performance Susannah prefaced her reading of Constance's soliloquy, on the death of her son in war, by drawing attention to the mothers across the world who were still mourning their children; victims of wars in Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Darfur. Susannah said that when she mentioned the current wars she could hear the gasps of the audience.  Susannah ended the second evening performance with a dedication to Mordechai, quoting Portia, from the Merchant of Venice; she spoke to the quality of mercy and urged Israelis to show some towards Mordechai, without actually mentioning him by name.  The audience, however, quickly understood who she was referring to, and against a background of some clapping, but a greater number of boos and angry shouts, with some people leaving the theatre, Susannah continued with her courageous dedication declaring; "this man has served his sentence and now deserves his full freedom."

Not surprisingly, this incident received quite a lot of coverage in the Israeli press which could have been much worse; and shows, once again, what a sensitive issue Mordechai continues to be, despite the black-out on his court appearances and his continuing harassment.

 

Mordechai has moved again, telling us he now has accommodation in a small hotel in the vicinity of St Georges Cathedral.  It is hoped that this will better suit him at the present time.  Mordechai can still be contacted at or by post at: P O Box 20102, Herodian Post Office, East Jerusalem 91384, Israel. 

Now, after over three years out of prison, it is still or even more important that we do not forget Mordechai's continuing fight for full freedom.  The Israeli authorities would clearly like for Mordechai to disappear and be forgotten; it is up to each one of us to make sure this doesn't happen. 

 
Our very best wishes,
Ernest and Adeline

   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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