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[Jerusalem] On 18 November, Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower told me he was scheduled to return to Israel's Supreme Court in mid-December, "if they don't reschedule" his latest appeal to rescind the draconian restrictions against him that have denied his right to "get on the first plane out of here."
UPDATE: On 9 December, Vanunu wrote, "Changes in date, Court hearing against the restrictions not to leave Israel, schedule hearing in the Supreme court will be Dec' 25, 2013, moved from the Dec' 16, the same Appeal was 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The court can send me free and end all this case from 1986-2013. Freedom Now First."
The first time I met Vanunu was in 2005. The last time before this, was in 2009, and what struck me the most during this-our 8th visit- is his resilience and stamina.
This was the last photo I snapped of Vanunu on 24 Nov., the final day of Sabeel's 9th International Conference and Celebration of 25 years of Christian LIBERATION Theology
The Monday before, I accompanied Vanunu on his “short walk” through east Jerusalem which included a hike up the Mount of Olives, to The Wall at Abu Dis, through the Valley of Olives and Peace Park to Jaffa Gate.
On Sunday, I delivered some snail mail and messages from his supporters and a copy of the screen adaptation for Beyond Nuclear: Mordechai Vanunuʼs Freedom of Speech Trial and My Life as a Muckraker
From which I excerpt:
Vanunu was born into an Orthodox Jewish home in Marrakech, Morocco in October 1954. Our movie begins in a darkened movie theater and Doris Day is singing, “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera).”
The lights come up and our camera is focused on the eyes of a boy about 9 years old. We follow him into the streets of Marrakesh –and into the very same scene where “THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH” began.
We follow Vanunu home and after ritual prayers the father tells the family they are moving to the “land of milk and honey.”
Vanunu is soon uprooted from his comfortable home and after a harrowing journey the family learns they have been banished to the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Beersheba-one of over 500 Israel has ‘wiped off the map’ since becoming a state in 1948.
Vanunu suffers his first crisis of faith and alienation from God and society shortly thereafter. At the same time, America mourns the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Eileen and Vanunu meet ‘by chance’ on the first evening of summer in 2005, after Eileen’s harrowing day in Hebron. A nurse by education, she is in the midst of writing her first book based on the memories of a 1948, Palestinian Muslim refugee from the Upper Galilee and her spiritual journey.
Vanunu is on his way out to a meeting as Eileen enters the courtyard at St. Georges Cathedral. Eileen has an experience of the presence of God…
Eileen first learns of Vanunu in 2004, while researching for her first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE and writes him into it.
As her research continues her outrage increases over American policies that collude in support of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and military occupation of Palestine….
In January 2006, Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH TRIAL begins when the Jerusalem Magistrates Court charges Vanunu with 22 different violations, accusing him of breaking the law by communicating with foreigners [meaning press] and trying to flee Israel when he took a cab to Bethlehem to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity in 2004.
In June 2009, Eileen visits with Vanunu and when they say goodbye he tells her that he will not email her and she tells him, she will continue to email him because she wants SECURITY to know they cannot control the free flow of info or prevent anyone from following their conscience.
Eileen persists to report on the Internet that Israel refuses to allow Vanunu his right to full freedom because SECURITY has a vendetta against him and corporate media colludes in the injustice by their silence.
In November 2009, Vanunu suffers another crisis of faith and returns to atheism.
His freedom of speech trial concludes with a conviction on 19 charges and he is sentenced to 6 months in prison, which was eventually reduced to seventy-eight days in a high security prison in total solitary confinement during May to August in 2010.
When Vanunu is released from prison, he immediately reactivates his social media accounts, and posts a video message on Youtube:
Eileen posts the first comment:
“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. -Article 19. UN Universal Declaration HUMAN RIGHTS which Israel's statehood was contingent upon upholding! No shame on e, WeAreWideAwake: THE VANUNU SAGA 2005-2010!”
Vanunu readily replied: “No shame on Eileen, because Eileen is the best of using all her freedom of speech to the limits of using as a strong power to Bring my freedom.”
In April 1999, thirty-six members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Mordechai Vanunu's release from prison because they believed "we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity."
President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards. No American politician has uttered a word on topic since.
Vanunu continues to wait in Jerusalem for his right to leave Israel…###
On November 24th, 2006 Vanunu wrote:
"My lawyer succeeded to reveal a few very important facts: This General of the Army also was not allowed to see all the secrets that he is required to protect by these restrictions that they claim I know them. So, he gave orders of restrictions without knowing what he is protecting or that he is also following orders blindly, and Mossad Sheen Bet using its authority for just punishing me. He testified that it is not a crime for me to talk with foreigners in general anywhere.
"He testified that I can speak freely to any Israeli citizens about anything; it is not his concern what I am saying to them. These Israelis can give this information to any foreigners. It was difficult for the Judge to understand why this dichotomy exits between foreigners and Israelis. It means that it is not about secrecy but about something else."
On November 17, 2013 I asked Vanunu why Israel refuses him the right to leave 'the only democracy in the Middle East' and he replied, “It’s all about revenge.”
It has also been said that “Revenge is always the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind.”
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