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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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"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
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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 July 2009 arrow July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009
July 21, 2009: Agitating for Freedom: Anniversaries, Dreams and Persistence 
"If we wait for it to work itself out, it will never be worked out! Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil."
– Martin Luther King


This July 22, marks the fourth anniversary of my website, but I did not establish the 'blog' until October 8, 2005, when I wrote:

It was about six months ago that I heard Charlie Rose on his PBS show say something like;

"We have yet to begin to imagine the potential of the Internet."  

When I began writing for WeAreWideAwake/WAWA about three months ago, I imagined it would be an instrument to provoke thought, engage a dialogue and stimulate American's to do something about the state of our Union and for all our sisters and brothers in Israel Palestine.

I had hoped to be challenged by some conservative and many fundamentalist Christians, but so far, they remain mute.  Perhaps, they just haven't read me, so if you know of any right wing neo-con Christian types I would appreciate any connections you can make with WAWA. Debate is great and all opinions are welcome but no mean-spiritedness will be posted.

Imagine the potential of the Internet. [end]

I still am imagining and have had no luck engaging USA Christians. However, I have managed to get myself censored/banned/deactivated and deleted from Reverend Jim Wallis's Belief Net blog, Facebook, The Democratic Underground, and the DAILY KOS.

Not one of the powers to be of the above sites has bothered to reply to my inquiries as to why [as if I did not know] was I censored/banned/deactivated and deleted, but as every experience is all about what you do with what happens to you, I wrote about it and the links are accessible through the homepage of my site; which has also attracted the interest of Big Brother.

I have a link that tells me daily, what countries are hitting on my site, and the USA Government and Military are considered a country.

In the last few months of the Bush Administration, Big Brother dropped out of the top 30 of over 75+ countries that hit on WAWA; but ever since February 2009, when I began contacting President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to do something to help free Vanunu, Big Brother has hovered in the top twenty [Israel has consistently been in the top ten for all four years.]


But, after five months of agitating this Administration and never receiving any reply and as this is the 4th anniversary of my membership in the New Fourth Estate-which equates to an activist reporter- I established a Soapbox Alert to Obama and Biden @


http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/alert/?alertid=13764921&content_dir=ua_congressorg

The above link will be alive for thirty days and for every one of them, I will use it to email Obama and Biden and remind them of things Vanunu has said, such as on April 21, 2004, upon emerging from 18 years in a tomb sized cell:

 "I am not harming Israel. I am not interested in Israel. I want to tell you something very important. I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian, because I was baptized into Christianity. If I was a Jew I wouldn't have all this suffering here in isolation for 18 years. Only because I was a Christian man."



It was in May of 2005, just prior to my first [now 7] trips to Israel Palestine that I phoned Mother Agapia Stephanopolous, a Russian Orthodox nun and the administrator of the Orthodox School of Bethany in Jerusalem. I was inspired by her bold words to Congress about The Wall and also, I wanted to schedule an appointment with her for spiritual direction.


Mother Agapia is the sister of ABC News commentator, George Stephanopolous, and she had passionately informed Congress about the fact that, “Israel is destroying the local Christian community.”


On April 18, 2005, Robert Novak’s article “Walling off Christianity” reported on the nun  and how East Jerusalem had been cut off from the rest of the West Bank. Mother Agapia predicted, “It is only a matter of time before Christians and Muslims will be unable to survive culturally and economically.”


Mother Agapia spoke bluntly about the nine yards high wall of Israeli concrete that have “shattered” the Christian communities.

She said, "I witness the strangulation of East Jerusalem, and the deprivation of her non-Jewish residents’ religious rights every day. Even the United States seems to have been taken in by Israeli spin."

On my very first afternoon in Jerusalem, on June 12, 2005, the nun met me at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem and I told her that I hadn’t been taken in by the spin, but what could I possibly do? She had no answer-but when I returned to USA I established WAWA/WeAreWideAwake.org with hope to raise awareness of what the USA media was not reporting and what the government did not want we the people to know about-such as the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land and the ongoing persecution of Vanunu-an ex-Orthodox Jew baptized Christian just days before being kidnapped by the Mossad on September 30, 1986.

But, I did not know any of that on the afternoon when I met Mother Agapia on the first day of my first trip to occupied east Jerusalem. The very first thing I told her about was of the surreal experience I had that very morning while wandering around in the Old City.

I had landed in Tel Aviv with ten other members of the interfaith Olive Trees Foundation for Peace just a few hours before dawn on that Sunday morn. We all checked into the Ambassador Hotel, a fifteen minute walk from the Old City and although they all crashed, I was wide awake.  As soon as the sun rose I began to explore, and although I have no sense of direction and only understand English, I wandered around the Old City, which was eerily empty the closer I came to site of the Pool of Bethsaida and when I tread upon that ground, I experienced déjà vu, which was more real than imaginary.

Background:

Between 2000 and 2001, I was a first year student in the Episcopal Diocese of Orlando’s Formation Program for Spiritual Directors. I knew going into the program I would never be hanging out a shingle as a Spiritual Director that I was there because of the curriculum; to deepen my prayer life and study the lives of the saints. That is also when I became uncorked as a writer and began going on spiritual retreats.

On the second night of the second retreat in that program, we had a guided meditation on the story of Jesus at the Pool of Bethsaida.

There were seven of us in the class and we were instructed to close our eyes, listen to the story and allow our imagination to lead us to respond to the character that resonated most deeply to us.

Our leader prefaced the story from John 5:1-6, by telling the legend of the angel from heaven who would descend and agitate the waters of the Pool of Bethsaida.

Only the first leper, blind, or invalid who made it into the water would receive a healing. One day while Jesus was there, he walked by a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years.

Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”

The man answered he had no friends to help him get into the water first.

Jesus asked him again, “Do you want to be healed?”

Our leader then went silent, and in my imagination I was immediately upon the back of that agitating angel.


I hadn’t thought of that experience until I found myself at the site of the Pool of Bethsaida and what triggered the memory of that guided meditation was the recollection of a dream I had had a few weeks after that day we call 9/11.

In my dream I had stood at the edge of a dried up pool where crumbling stone columns were overgrown with vines and weeds and scores of doves and pigeons nested and flew. To my right was a large shade tree, but to my left I saw a few square squat dwellings with large satellite dishes attached to them. I remembered thinking the moment I woke up from that dream what a strange place it was, but then I quickly forgot all about it.

That is, until the afternoon of June 12, 2005, when I found myself standing at the edge of a dried up pool where crumbling stone columns were overgrown with vines and weeds and scores of doves and pigeons nested and flew. To my right was a large shade tree, but to my left I saw a few square squat dwellings with large satellite dishes attached to them. What a strange place I thought, how could it be that I had seen this scene in a dream a few weeks after that day we call 9/11?


On the afternoon of my very first day in Jerusalem, after I told Mother Agapia about my dream and what I had seen at the Pool of Bethsaida, she shrugged and smiled, then told me about the Jerusalem Interfaith Peace Conference with satellite link to the world that was happening the Sunday after the Thursday I was scheduled to return to the USA.

I knew immediately that I needed to attend and after saying goodbye to Mother Agapia, I phoned my husband to get his OK, changed my flight plans and on June 26, 2006, I attended the world wide satellite linked Interfaith Peace Conference at Jerusalem’s Notre Dame Cathedral.

Dan Rather moderated from Washington DC and the Holy Land interfaith panel were all moderates attempting to reclaim the battlefield of ideas from extremists on both sides.

Reverend Theodore Hessburgh, President Emeritus University of Notre Dame began the evening by stating, “The Peace of the world begins in Jerusalem.”

Dr. Tsvia Walden, Board of Director of the Peres Center and Geneva Initiative said, "There is a need for a third party in the negotiations that could enable both sides to trust each other. There are more people in this region interested in making concessions, they all want peace so desperately."

Rania Kharma, Coordinator of World Bank emergency services to the PA, reminded everyone, “We all need to be the bridges to our leaders that justice, equality, and human rights will bring peace. Give people justice and they will reward you with peace.”


Sheik Imad Falouiji warned, “Religions must go back to their origins. God commands us to love each other and live together. This Holy Land was given to all people. This land is on fire. There is an occupation that must be removed. The language of peace cannot succeed without justice for all.”


The Rt. Rev. Bishop Riah Abu Assal affirmed, “Peace is an act. Blessed are the peacemakers not the peace talkers. Peace is possible in the Holy Land. The root cause for the lack of peace since 1967 is the occupation. For peace to make progress in the Middle East we need to deal with the root cause...Religion was not meant to bring death. All those involved in searching for peace should commit themselves to work for justice and truth.”


Throughout the entire evening, I kept remembering what President Bush promised in his Second Inaugural Address: “In the long run, there is no justice without FREEDOM. There can be no human rights without LIBERTY. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we stand with you.”

I also wondered what Bush would say to the video message Vanunu taped three days prior as to where WMD's could actually be found in the Middle East:


Click here to view Vanunu's Video Message on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKTX3vrHQOE


On 24 April 2004, Uri Avnery wrote:

"This week it became clear that the Americans are full partners in the creation of Israel's "nuclear option". How was this exposed? With the help of Mordecai Vanunu, of course. …The Security Establishment has not stopped harassing him even after he has sat in prison for 18 years, 11 of them in complete solitary confinement – a treatment he himself described on leaving the prison as "cruel and barbaric". After he was "set free", far-reaching restrictions were imposed on him (e.g. he is forbidden to leave the country, is restricted to one town, cannot go near any embassy or consulate, may not talk with foreign citizens). All this under the colonial British emergency regulations that were condemned at the time by the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine, as "worse then the Nazi laws".

"Everybody understands that he has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?...it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel's nuclear armaments.

"This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for "arms control", Under-Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power…By the way, this John Bolton is an avid supporter of the group of Zionists neo-cons who play a central role in the Bush theater. He opposes arms control for the United States and its satellites, and was installed in the State Department against the wishes of the Secretary of State himself."
http://www.fromoccupiedpalestine.org/taxonomy/term/226


"Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew."-Vanunu, excerpted from "30 Minutes with Vanunu"

Once upon a time, there was an old widow, who lived in a certain town with a judge who cared nothing about justice, people or God. But an old widowed crone kept coming to him with her plea, "Grant me justice against my adversary."

The judge ignored her until she became such a PIA [pain in the ass] he finally muttered to himself, "Even though I don't fear God or care a hoot about this old crone, she has become such a PIA, I will give into her, just to get her to leave me alone!" [Paraphrased from a story Jesus told in Luke 18 1-5]


 "If we wait for it to work itself out, it will never be worked out! Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil." – Martin Luther King
 

   
 
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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

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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

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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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