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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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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow October 2007 arrow October 2, 2007

October 2, 2007
WAWA Blog  October 2, 2007
Seeing Elephants is a Matter of Conscience

On September 30, 2007, Daniella London-Dekel's political cartoon ran in the Hebrew [but not English edition] of Ha'aretz, depicting men carrying stretchers of wounded and dead in Gaza on a television set. At the other end of the room, a man with his back to the TV held a newspaper and apparently completely oblivious/unconscious to the scene in Gaza, says "Poor Monks in Burma."


On September 25, 2007, President George W. Bush announced a plan to tighten sanctions against the military government in Myanmar and to slap a visa ban on "those responsible for egregious human rights violations."  

In a speech at the United Nations, Bush focused on human rights and outlined a new U.S. effort to force the military rulers to accede to the demands of the democracy movement in what was once known as Burma. Bush called on the United Nations to honor its human rights charter and urged the world body to reform its Human Rights Council and overhaul the U.N. Security Council.


President Bush ignored a few elephants in the world; Israel's human rights abuses, Israel's exporting of weapons of destruction to Myanmar and America's veto power in the U.N. Security Council.

The United States veto power and blind allegiance to Israel has resulted in 95 instances in which-except for the U.S. veto-resolutions would have passed against Israel's refusal to uphold international law and human rights.


"Such a list of resolutions passed and resolutions vetoed is unparalleled in United Nations history. The list in itself forms a stunning indictment of Israel’s unlawful and uncivilized actions over a period of 45 years and of America’s complicity in them. Aside from the core issues—refugees, Jerusalem, borders—the major themes reflected in the U.N. resolutions against Israel over the years are its unlawful attacks on its neighbors; its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians, including deportations, demolitions of homes and other collective punishments; its confiscation of Palestinian land; its establishment of illegal settlements; and its refusal to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War… Yet references to this damning record are totally absent from the vocabularies of American leaders as they go about saying they are seeking peace."-Donald Neff, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/un.html



According to a March 1, 2000 report in the authoritative British publication Jane's Intelligence Review by William Ashton, "Israel was one of the few countries to which Myanmar turned for assistance and advice after it regained its independence from the UK in 1948. As a former British mandate, Israel shared certain identity with Myanmar…While Myanmar remains a pariah state, subject to comprehensive sanctions by the USA and European Community, it is unlikely that Israel will ever admit publicly to having military links with the Tatmadaw…Israel has never liked advertising such ties, particularly with countries like Myanmar, South Africa and China, which have been condemned by the international community for gross abuses of human rights."
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/reg.burma/archives/200008/msg00005.html



In response to a recent Senate resolution seeking to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "terrorist organization" Iran's parliament approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army "terrorist organizations." The hard-lined majority in parliament cited America's usage of depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting the killings of Palestinians by Israel, bombing and killing Iraqi civilians, and torturing terror suspects in prisons. While the proposal attracted overwhelming bipartisan support, a small group of Democrats cautioned that labeling the state-sponsored organization a terrorist group could be interpreted as a congressional authorization of military force in Iran.


President Ahmadinejad told world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly that his country would defy attempts to impose new sanctions by "arrogant powers" seeking to curb Iran's nuclear program and that Iran would pursue the monitoring of its nuclear program "through its appropriate legal path," the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070929/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_us


In a TV interview President Ahmadinejad actually said, "We do not accept or officially recognize Israel. They are occupiers and illegitimate. But our approach is humanitarian. I ask you where is the Soviet Union now - has it been wiped out or not? It has been wiped out without a war…We do not deceive ourselves. We say a regime that…is an occupier which bullies people…cannot survive…What role did the Palestinian people play [
in the holocaust]? The Palestinians were innocent. Why should they be punished, why should their land be occupied, why should they be killed and why should they be turned in to wanderers?"
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18376.htm



Kathleen Christison, a former CIA political analyst who has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years, wrote: "Israel's war machine is essentially a part of the U.S. war machine, Israel's assault on Palestinians is part of the U.S. "war on terror," the U.S. and Israel do not go to war anywhere in the region without close coordination and cooperation.

"The U.S. enables Israel's occupation and oppression of Palestinians; Israel facilitates and pushes U.S. war policy. One does not act without the other, and the Palestinian plight cannot therefore be separated from whatever other atrocities this war machine perpetrates elsewhere in the Middle East, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or Iran…

"Outside the U.S., the interrelationship between conflict in Palestine-Israel and turmoil in the rest of the region is well understood. Public opinion polls in Europe and the Middle East have demonstrated repeatedly that U.S. support for Israel is the principal cause of increasing anti-Americanism everywhere…

 
"The essence of Gandhi's satyagraha, and of King's civil rights movement, was resistance to injustice through nonviolent civil disobedience -- precisely, in other words, to disturb the peace by conducting direct nonviolent action against unjust laws." http://www.counterpunch.org/christison09202007.html


An example of nonviolent action against unjust laws in Israel is a voice that although censored cannot be silenced. 


On April 30, 2007 , in Jerusalem, Mordecahi Vanunu was convicted on 14 [out of 21] counts of violating a court order which denied his inalienable right to speak to foreign journalists in 2004 after his release from 18 years in jail for telling the world the truth that Israel was already nuclear in 1986. His appeal will be heard November 13, 2007 fighting a six-month jail sentence.

After WW II, Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel's Minister Of Justice, described the Emergency Defense Regulations which has been used to deny Mordechai Vanunu the inalienable right of freedom of speech and movement as "unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany."[ N.S. Ateek, Justice and Only Justice p.34]
 

Vanunu has spent the last three years under house arrest in Jerusalem forbidden to speak to the likes of me, a foreigner and civilian journalist, but in March 2006 he told me, "This administration tells me I am not allowed to speak to foreigners, the Media, and the world. But I do because that is how I prove my true humanity.


"The Dimona has never been inspected and Israel has never signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty but all the Arab states have...Twenty years ago when I worked there they only produced when the air was blowing towards Jordan ten miles away. No one knows what is happening now.

"The Israelis have 200 atomic weapons and they accuse the Palestinians and Muslims of terrorism. The world needs to wake up and see the real terrorism is the occupation and the Palestinians have lived under that terror regime for 40 years."


The military empires of America, Israel and Myanmar seek security through the barrel of a gun.

Vanunu, Palestinians, monks and citizens of Myanmar seek justice.

To be just is to be fair and reasonable and to be merciful means to treat all people the way one wants to be treated. Justice requires mercy and forgiveness. Justice enables compassion and compassion is what will change the world. Compassion is the ability to recognize and deeply feel the injury inflicted upon the 'other' as if it were happening to oneself; which a matter of conscience; awareness of what is right.  

"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right."
~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 




   
 
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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

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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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


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



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



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
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