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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.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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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 March 2009 arrow March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009
March 31, 2009: Brenda Starr+Dorothy Day=Citizen Journalist
On March 28, 2009, ABC Evening News reported on my muse; Brenda Starr, the fictional red headed ace investigative journalist whose stogie sucking boss, B. Babbitt Bottomline, laid Starr off due to the economy.


See that report here:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7198706






When I was a child my dream was to grow up and become Brenda Starr. I had forgotten all about that dream when I put childish things aside, but it resurrected in June 2005 as a desire to follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Day.

I cut my 'reading teeth' on the New York Daily News Sunday comics while sprawled out on the floor of my living room in Levittown, Long Island in the days when Brenda worked for the metropolitan daily, The Flash and Dorothy was agitating church, state and media in her publication The Catholic Worker.

Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops and intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth. She boldly went around the world searching for unusual and usually dangerous stories…

 

My first of six trips to Israel and occupied Palestine was in June 2005. I was the Christian delegate amongst the Palestinian and Jewish co-founders of the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace/OTFFP [http://www.olivetreesfoundation.org/] an interfaith non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds to purchase trees to replace those that have been destroyed by The Wall.

I was also in the midst of writing my first book, based on the memoirs of the founder of the OTFFP; a '48 Palestinian Muslim refugee from the Galilee. Dr. Khaled Diab was raised Muslim and is better at doing what Jesus actually taught his followers to do- than many who claim to be Christian have.

[Read More:
http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=892&Itemid=200 ]

At my very first OTFFP meeting, I happened to be the only Christian to show up that day. I was surrounded by American Jews and Palestinian Muslims who were doing my faith and I was in awe of them all, for they had forgiven the other, they loved the other and they were doing good/blessing the other.

I imagined-still do- what a wonderful world it would be, when every professing Christian would also do the same…

 

Nothing I had read or heard prepared me for what I felt and saw in occupied Palestine. I wrote everything down and all that I heard, but not until after experiencing occupied Bethlehem and Hebron and then listening to hours of Vanunu tell me his story, was I inspired to go home and go online to raise awareness of life in the so called holy land, which is in pieces; Bantustans.

On July 22, 2005 I established my website and became a citizen journalist: an unpaid reporter without editors and borders.

I credit Vanunu for inspiring me to stand up to my Big Brother while he was talking about his childhood:

"I was born in Marrakesh, on October 13, 1954. I was the second oldest of eleven; the first seven of us migrated from Morocco in 1963 after the Zionists came and convinced the neighborhood that Israel was the Promised Land. Instead of the land of milk and honey, we were banished to the desert of Beersheba.

“Wait, I have never been to Marrakesh; tell me about it.”

“Did you ever see that Dorothy Day movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much?”

“Is that the one where Doris Day sings ‘Que sera, sera’?”

“That’s the one."

"OK and yes, I remember that part, but, do you know who Dorothy Day was?"

"Sure," Vanunu replied and in my mind I began to wonder what Dorothy Day would do with Vanunu's story.

Day was a 20th century socialist muckraker agnostic who evolved into a committed Christian anarchist.

Christian anarchists know inner freedom comes by way of doing the teachings of Jesus for Christianity is more than a religion for when one follows the teachings of Jesus a new vision of life is illuminated. Christian anarchists are critical of all outer authority, be it Church or Government

Day lived a diverse 83 years that culminated in 1980, and spent her youth amongst commies and bohemians, in bars and through many unhappy love affairs. Day's life ended with a mile high FBI file and a paper trail that testifies that what she wrote-she lived.

As an unwed mother Dorothy dismayed her progressive friends when she entered the Roman Catholic Church, but from the inside, she began to critique it. She called herself a journalist, but she was also a lone prophetic voice of wisdom of her generation that challenged the corruption in high places, in particular the church which had watered down and diluted the gospel/good news that Jesus said was non-negotiable for his follower's: you must forgive to be forgiven, you must love your enemies and do not expect any payback in the material life.


In a 1994 issue of The Progressive, Erwin Knoll reported "the day after the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor [was] a day when even the most committed pacifist might have been forgiven for maintaining a discreet silence…There was nothing discreet about Dorothy Day."



On the Sunday after Pearl Harbor, Day stated at a public platform:

 

"There is now all this patriotic indignation about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Japanese expansionism in Asia. Yet not a word about American and European colonialism in this same area. We, the British, the French, and others set up spheres of influence…control national states-against the expressed will of these states-and represent imperialism…

 

"We dictate to [all] …to where they can expand economically and politically, and we declare what policy they must observe. From our nationalistic and imperialistic point of view, we have every right to concentrate American military forces [everywhere we chose]

 

"But I waste rhetoric on international politics-the breeding grounds of war over the centuries. The balance of power and other empty slogans inspired by a false and flamboyant nationalism have bred conflict throughout 'civilized' history.


"And it has become too late in human history to tolerate wars which none can win. Nor dare we quibble about just wars…All wars are, by their very nature, evil and destructive.

 

"It has become too late for civilized people to accept this evil. We must take a stand. We must renounce war as an instrument of policy.

 

"Evil enough when the finest of our youth perish in conflict and even the causes of these conflicts were soon lost to memory.

 

"Even more horrible today when cities go up in flames and brilliant scientific minds are searching out ultimate weapons.

"War must cease. There are no victories. The world can bear the burden no longer. Yes, we must make a stand. Even as I speak to you, I may be guilty of what some men call treason. But we must reject war: Yes, we must now make a stand. War is murder, rape, ruin, death; war can end our civilization. I tell you that within a decade we will have weapons capable of ending this world as we have known it."

 
Every morning since I established my website, I wonder what Dorothy Day would have to say today in defense of the forgotten, forsaken and beaten down. Day understood the media must be a sanctuary for dissent and the job of The Fourth Estate is to go to where the silence is…

 

In 2005, Vanunu told me:

“At eighteen years old, I had my mind and health checked by the Israeli army doctors and was assigned to be a pilot. But I failed the hand-eye coordination test and was assigned to the Navy, instead. Three weeks later, they sent me to the Engineering Unit, where I learned about land mines, bridges, and explosives. I started training with fifty others and was the most unenthusiastic of the bunch. I stood back from it all and saw it as if it were just playing stupid games. Mostly, everyone else was serious, but I just didn’t care; all I could see was the futility.

"I finally met some secular Jews, traveled freely as a soldier, and served in the occupied territories near Bethlehem. I would make treks of fifteen miles through villages, and 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 I saw, 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, I was home on leave. I returned the next day to my station near Ramallah. 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.

“I began my studies at Tel Aviv University when I was twenty-one. I studied physics until the army called me up for thirty days’ reserve service. When I returned to school, I couldn’t catch up. I worked in a bakery at night and attended class all day. This was the first time I met Palestinians as human beings. I began attending political demonstrations inside the university.

"It 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.

“On the application, they asked if I knew any Palestinians. I said yes. They accepted me anyway. I watched them as closely as they watched me.

"I began studying philosophy and geography, and read literature. I began wondering more about life and politics. I decided to become a hermit and vegetarian. I lived alone, but never was lonely. It wasn’t ever fun, but I enjoy the quiet. I was never sad, but never happy, either.

"I went to Beersheba University and studied economics for a year. I became involved in university politics and in student unions. I was all about protecting Palestinian students’ rights. I sided with Palestinians more and more, and was invited to help establish a group of Palestinian and Jewish students for peace and justice.

"This was also the time I found out that it was dangerous for me to speak the truth. I was being watched, but I continued to express myself anyway.  After six months, I got called in by security at the Dimona, and they asked me, ‘Can you imagine why you are here?’

“I answered, ‘My university activity?’ They then questioned me about all my contacts and told me to stop, because I was in danger. I told them I would try, but I knew I would continue on, because it was the right cause and I would not hide my thoughts."

 

On September 18, 2004 in London, Yoko Ono awarded Vanunu a peace prize founded in the spirit of John Lennon's "Give Me Some Truth" released in 1971.

Ono was quoted by Reuters that Vanunu was honored as one who "spoke out for the benefit of the human race by overcoming extreme personal difficulties and, in doing so…allowed the truth to prevail. Hopefully [Vanunu] can come and receive the award himself. He did complete his sentence, it's not as though he's a criminal…the point is that it's another statement, a statement that the whole world can share and think about…People power is stronger than the power of institutions."

In Ray Coleman's biography of John Lennon, he quotes the artist circa 1969, "I'd like to be like Christ, [he described himself as a Christian communist] in a pure sense, not in the way Russia or Italy think of Christianity or communism…Every body's uptight [fearful] and they're always building these walls around themselves. All you can do is try to break down the walls and show them that there's nothing there but people… I only know that peace can exist, and the first thing is for the world to disarm…I think I'll win because I believe in what Jesus said."[1]


So does Vanunu:

"The Israelis have this very beautiful article about freedom and liberty but they want to destroy anyone who criticizes them for revealing the truth to the world. The world must look and see what kind of democracy Israel is when one speaks out the truth.

"The only way to peace is peace; the only way is non-violence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peace-full voice.

"When I became the spy for the world I did it all for the people of the world. If governments do not report the truth, if media does not report the truth, all we can do is follow our conscience."

 

When a good conscience is our guide, we will be grounded in non-violence and centered in love. Only good can defeat evil and only love can drive out hate. Every one must decide whether they will walk in the light of altruism or in the darkness of selfishness. Silence in the face of wrong is complicity with it. Knowing the truth makes one responsible and a good conscience will move one to action.

American citizen's overseas emails are potentially monitored by the USA Government.

Vanunu's every move in occupied east Jerusalem and every correspondence with him is potentially monitored by the Israeli Security Establishment.

On April 21, 2009, it will be five years that Israel has denied Vanunu the right to speak to non-Israelis.

Vanunu once told me that Israel had hoped to make him so crazy that when he was finally released nobody would even listen to him or care about what he said. Every click onto Vanunu's website: http://vanunu.com/ and every email of support to him sends a message to Big Brother that they failed; for people of conscience never forget and the desire for liberty from oppression can never be annihilated.

 
1. LENNON, By Ray Coleman, McGraw-Hill, 1984. Pgs -374-381.


 
   
 
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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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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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