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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 13, 2007

October 13, 2007

WAWA Blog  October 13, 2007

If all goes as planned, I will be delivering the following this morning at the NO More Wars for Israel Conference in California, but "life is what happens while you are busy making plans" [John Lennon]; so its not over until the fat lady sings...

I am NOT here today as Mordechai Vanunu's spokesperson. I am here today because Vanunu, as with everyone in this room and everyone in the world; all possess inalienable rights, God given rights-such as the right of free thought and the right to speak those thoughts.

States and nations have obligations. People have rights.

The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of Al Nabka, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the statehood of Israel which was contingent upon their honoring inalienable rights such as in Article 13 of the Declaration of Human Rights,

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country, [her homeland.]

These are rights that states and nations have obligations to uphold.

American democracy is based on the self evident truth that all people are created equal; all are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…[and] that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted…and derive their powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes unjust and destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people [to rise up and] alter or abolish it. –paraphrase from "The Declaration of Independence"

I am here today as a global citizen, a patriotic American and Christian of The Beatitudes; AKA: The Sermon on the Mount which is where Jesus promised that it is the Peacemakers who are the children of God.

NOT those that bomb, torture or occupy any other…

I am here today to tell you that on April 30, 2007 , in Jerusalem, 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.


Vanunu was also convicted for traveling the few miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem when he hoped to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity, his first Christmas after being released from 18 years in jail [most of it in solitary] on April 21, 2004.

Vanunu has spent the last three years under house arrest in Jerusalem forbidden to speak to the likes of me, and in 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."

Article 19 of the UN Universal declaration of Human Rights asserts that: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

And in that spirit, I videotaped Vanunu in 2005 and 2006 and some of what he says in the "30 Minutes with Vanunu" :

 "The Dimona is 46 years old; reactors last 25 to 30 years. 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...

"It's very sad that Hilary Clinton went to the Jewish Wailing Wall and forgot the real crying wall is the Palestinian wall...the apartheid wall... the wall is not for defense, but to keep this conflict permanent...

"Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew."


I am here today to tell you that on July 2, 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to six more months in jail denied of the inalienable right to speak in the ethnocracy of Israel and that his appeal was filed last month.

In 2006, American Israeli, Jeff Halper, Founder and Coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and a Noble Peace Prize Nominee for 2006, told me: "Israel is a not a democracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control."

Vanunu was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Marrakech in 1954. When he was 9 years old the Zionists came and promised his family the stars and the moon; the land of milk and honey. Instead, the Vanunu's were banished to the desert of Beersheba, a place with no Coke or Pepsi and the ice cream was just ice.

Vanunu attended Yeshiva; the Jewish orthodox boarding school in the Old City where the mosque was empty for Palestinians had been banished from Beersheba.

He passed all his high school classes except for English and Hebrew studies. At eighteen years old, he had his mind and health checked by the Israeli army doctors and wanted to be a pilot. But he failed the hand-eye coordination test and was assigned to the Engineering Unit, where he learned about land mines, bridges, and explosives.

Vanunu traveled freely as a soldier, and served in the occupied territories near Bethlehem. In 2005 he told me:"I felt how poor the people were under occupation and how they suffered without reason, except for the reason of injustice. In the 1970s, Israel built many fortresses and spent lots of money on equipment, but nothing on the people who were oppressed and under occupation. I got really mad and upset every time I thought about how much money they wasted, but I kept my mouth shut and kept it all to myself. After a year, I finished my training and was assigned to train more soldiers. For me it was all futility and waste; I saw these children become soldiers and thought, what a complete waste. When the Yom Kippur War broke out, soldiers with less than a month of training got called to go with me to the Jordan Valley. There weren’t enough trained troops, and we were lucky we didn’t see any fighting and got to return to base after three days. After a few months, we all went to Syria and the Golan Heights. When Kissinger coordinated the cease-fire, the Israeli army destroyed the area before leaving there. I was promoted to First Sergeant, and they wanted me to re-up. I said no.

 
Vanunu continued, “I began my studies at Tel Aviv University when I was twenty-one and this was the first time I met Palestinians as human beings. I began attending political demonstrations inside the university. I was all about equal human rights and respecting all others. By the time I was twenty-three, I began working at the Dimona. It was suppose to be a textile plant, but I was hired for the control room. At the time, I had no idea what it was in control of."


After a year, Vanunu got bored with the routine job at the Dimona but stayed for the steady pay while he studied economics and became involved in university politics and helped establish a group of Palestinian and Jewish students for justice and peace.  After six months, he got called in by security at the Dimona, questioned, warned and then threatened with fifteen years in prison if he didn’t stop his pro-Palestinian human rights university activities.

Vanunu didn't stop. He graduated with a BA in philosophy and geography, and began to make plans to leave Israel. Because he was a good worker, he was crosstrained in many departments and figured out what was really going on underground in the Negev Valley. Vanunu shot two rolls of film documenting the fact that Israel had gone nuclear, but did not develop them until many months later when he ended up in Sydney, Australia. One day, Vanunu, who for decades had now been a secular Jew and existentialist wandered into a social justice Anglican Church and felt at home. He shared his story of the Dimona with them, and met the church painter who claimed to be a freelance journalist and who wanted to make money on Vanunu's story.


 Vanunu insisted that all he wanted to do was prevent a nuclear holocaust.


It was only a few days prior to being abducted by the Mossad, that Vanunu was baptized a Christian. It was not until after his closed door trial and the start of 18 years in jail; that he began to read the New Testament. For a half hour, twice a day, he would recite the entire New Testament and begin all over again when he finished the Book of Revelation.

Vanunu told me, "I did this for myself, as well as for my captors--not so much the prison guards, but the ones who watched me on camera twenty-four hours a day. Once I covered up the camera that spied on me and was punished with one month in total solitary; no books no radio; there was never any contact with anyone anywhere. It was just them, watching me, constantly watching me. The Shen Beet, you know, like the FBI and the Mossad, like your CIA— they were watching me. They tortured me by keeping a light on in my cell constantly for two years. They told me it was because they were afraid I would commit suicide, and the oppressive camera was for my safety. They recruited the guards and other prisoners to irritate me and deprive me of sleep by making loud noises near my cell all night and all day.
 
“I chose to read them 1 Corinthians 13 [4-8] instead:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with THE TRUTH! It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.

I am here today to tell you that for the last three years, Mordecahi Vanunu's speech and movement have been restricted under the British Mandate Emergency Regulations -a relic from the British Mandate period in Palestine-before the state of Israel was founded and replaced British rule. Nothing like it exists in any democracy in the world. When Vanunu was convicted, he joked, "Perhaps I should turn to the Queen or Tony Blair for justice."


I am here today to tell you that for the last 21 years, Vanunu has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This year he was nominated by Bishop Desmond Tutu, who in 1984 received the Nobel for his courageous and fearless opposition against the South African apartheid system.

I am here today to remind the world of what Israel promised in 1948:

On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the establishment of Israel

I am here today with hope and a prayer that Israel and America will hear the prophets of Israel, such as Micah who reminded the people of what God requires.

"He has told you o'man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord."

I am here today to say Happy Eid and happy 53rd birthday to Vanunu.


DONATE TO VANUNU'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH APPEAL through his Pay Pal @ www.vanunu.com


   
 
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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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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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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
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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