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Home arrow Blog arrow October 2009 arrow October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009
October 12, 2009: Back to U2, Lennon and Vanunu








On January 30, 1972, British troops opened fire on NONVIOLENT demonstrators in Derry, Ireland during a March for Civil Rights march.


"Bloody Sunday" is U2's tribute to the 29 killed and many others who were wounded.

Last Friday in Tampa, U2 dedicated this song to Iran's Green Movement-and for me it was the highlight of the exceptional night of great music and unity among the stand up and record breaking crowd at Raymond James Stadium.

Green is the color chosen by  Iranian Civil Society
to symbolize their unity and their hope for a better future.


On September 6, 2006 I published the following message from:

An
Irish Truth teller in Jerusalem

And a Lennon Vanunu connection
:


 

In 1976, at the height of "The Troubles", [which extended from 1969 to 1998] the "Peace People" movement organized the largest nonviolent demonstrations in the history of Northern Ireland. The following year Betty and Mairead Corrigan Maguire were awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for their leadership and vision.


The war raged on but Mairead persisted in speaking and promoting nonviolence. Since 1976, Mairead has insisted "that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts. I believe that hope for the future depends on each of us taking nonviolence into our hearts and minds and developing new and imaginative structures which are nonviolent and life-giving for all. Some people will argue that this is too idealistic. I believe it is very realistic. I am convinced that humanity is fast evolving to this higher consciousness. For those who say it cannot be done, let us remember that humanity learned to abolish slavery. Our task now is no less than the abolition of violence and war. We can rejoice and celebrate today because we are living in a miraculous time. Everything is changing and everything is possible."


In April 2006, after spending 10 days in Israel-Palestine Mairead Corrigan Maguire stated:


"During my visit I have travelled to Jenin Refugee Camp, Hebron, and Bethlehem in the Israeli Occupied Terrorities. I have witnessed the daily suffering of the Palestinian people living under an increasing and worsening oppressive Israeli occupation.


"I believe there is a great desire for peace amongst all the people, but in order to move into serious dialogue and negotiations urgent steps, and the political will, particularly from the Israeli Government, need to be taken.


"I believe it is sad and shameful that the Israeli Government continues to detain Mordechai Vanunu for this the 20th year of his internal exile within Israel. He has no secrets. He is no threat to Israeli security. I therefore call upon the Israel Government to uphold Mordechai Vanunu's human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of movement and let him go."


Maried returned to Jerusalem in August 2006 and wrote:


On 7th September, 2006 that upon hearing of her unanimous appointment as the next Israeli Supreme Court President, Justice Dorit Beinisch said "she would preserve the Supreme Court's culture of values'. She went on to say 'As for the talk of eroding public confidence in the court system, everyone from all walks of life comes to court to ask for its help.' She said the Supreme Court had no political agenda and protected basic values.


I found these interesting comments from Justice Beinisch, who just the day before sat in the Israeli Court (together with Justices Chesine and Brunis) hearing this the 3rd Appeal of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower, against his restrictions.


"In l986 Mordechai Vanunu, acting out of conscience, revealed to the world that Israel had a nuclear weapons programme. Sentenced to 18 years in prison, he spent the first 12, in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, and eventually was released in April, 2004 having completed the entire 18 years. Upon his release the Israeli Government imposed draconian restrictions on his freedom. He is forbidden to speak to foreigners, foreign press or leave Israel. Each year for the past 2 years on 2lst April, these restrictions are renewed and Vanunu remains a virtual prisoner living within a couple of square miles within East Jerusalem, and under constant security surveillance everywhere he goes.


On this my 4th visit to support Mordechai Vanunu (whom I have nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize) I attended the Israeli Supreme Court hearings on Vanunu restrictions on 6th September, 2006. Vanunu defense Lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, argued that in all the interviews Mordechai gave to the International Media since his release, in April 2004, there was no new secrets revealed and nothing he said was endangering the security of the State.


He said that the Supreme Court stated in its judgment last year, that 'the no breaches of restrictions together with the "Passing of time" factor are the base in deciding the continuing or ending of the restrictions", and now after two and a half years and in the light of the fact that Mordechai did not breach the restrictions for eight months, Feldman argued, the court should consider the ending of the restrictions. Mr. Feldman said that the ban on Mordechai to leave the country is a serious breach of his fundamental constitutional human rights. The attorney for the State came to the court with four or five men, secret expert witnesses, from the Secret Services and from the secret Israeli Nuclear Committee, to give the three judges a testimony behind closed doors, without Mordechai and his lawyers present, as they have done in the previous discussions in the Supreme Court. Their aim would be to convince the court that Vanunu still has more information to reveal and he is a serious danger to the security of the State.


The President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, said that there is no need to hear these secret testimonies as their position was well accepted by the previous bench of the court and 'it is accepted on this bench too'. The Attorney for the State disputed Feldman's statements 'Vanunu is still a danger to the State Security, he has more unpublished information and he wanted to make it public". He also said that it is not true that Vanunu did not breach the restrictions in the past eight months and that he has material on that but he wants it to be heard in closed door. Mr. Feldman said only if the state has a proper order to make it closed doors evidence. In the end the court asked the Sate to obtain the certificate for secrecy and make a new date to continue the hearing of the appeal.


One thing was clear from both the State attorney and from the Judges statements in the court, that with our without Vanunu breaching the restrictions, eight months or a years time (since the previous decision of the court) is not enough time to end restrictions. The President of the Court said that 'the court in its decision left the term 'time' undefined' and asked the State what is their position to how long more the restrictions could continue but there was no clear answer, from the State Prosecutor how long was long enough!


As I sat in the Israeli Court I was surprised at one of the comments by President Beinisch to the effect that two year's restrictions do not seem too long!


I though to myself, that it is, two and a half years restrictions, plus 18 years in prison (12 solitary) and every day that goes by now, as Mordechai Vanunu is a virtual prisoner, whose life is constantly in danger, being repunished again and again (itself an action forbidden by law). How long is it going to be before it is finally long enough! Vanunu has no secrets; Israel and the world know it. His situation is now worse than a prison term, when at least he could look forward to getting out at a given time.


Now he knows the Israel Gov. directed by the Security Services of Israel, can keep him in Israel forever if they like, and no one outside Israeli, or inside, apart from the Israeli Supreme Court if they really are a Court of justice, can do anything about it! Vanunu has gone (yet again as this is the 3rd appeal!) to the Israeli Court to ask for its help, and the question is, will they help give him Justice NOW, and if not now, WHEN? or must he live out the rest of his life incarcerated within Israel, a victim of secret court hearings, and securocrats, and an victim of an allegedly democractic country with a sham justice system, offering no hope to Vanunu or any of its citizens who come looking justice from their Courts of Justice.


Both inside Israeli and many in the International community, wait and watch, to see if President Beinisch and her 2 Justice colleagues, will have the courage to uphold International Laws and basic common decency and justice, and restore Mordechai Vanunu's right to his basic freedom of speech and movement. The result of this Appeal will indeed give us an indication of the future strength of Israeli justice for those who go to ask for its help. We wait in hope that we may yet see JUSTICE IN JERUSALEM."-Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and Hon.President, Peace People, N.Ireland.

Please read more:
http://www.peacepeople.com/




On Sept. 6, 2006, I also wrote:

 

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.-UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, Article 19.


On September 6, 2006, Mordechai Vanunu was once again inside of the Israeli Supreme Court.

He returned this time, regarding an appeal against the renewing of the restrictions against him which have forbidden him to leave Israel and to speak to media or foreigners, ever since he was released from 18 years in jail on April 21, 2004.

The restrictions have been imposed in the name of Security, for the Israeli government has maintained Vanunu could still have a secret he has not yet told about the underground nuclear weapons facility in the Dimona.

Vanunu has not been there in 20 years, and International Atomic Energy Agency Inspectors never have.


On 9/30/86, Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped by the Mossad and sentenced on 3/27/88 to eighteen years in jail, most of it in solitary. Vanunu was charged with treason because he broke down the wall that proved Israel had gone nuclear when he shared photos and his story with the London Sunday Times in 1986.


Released from Ashkelon Prison on 4/21/04, Vanunu has lived under the draconian restrictions of the British Emergency Defense Regulations that forbid him to leave Israel, to speak to media or foreigners. He is currently on trial for the interviews he gave the media after his release in 2004.


The media has been a no show for his current trials, but Vanunu will soon be posting what transpired in Supreme Court on September 6, 2006 on his site http://www.serve.com/vanunu/


When Israel became a state in 1948, it was contingent on upholding The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. Article 19 states:
 
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.



Lennon Connection:


On 9/18/04 in London, Yoko Ono awarded Mordechai Vanunu a peace prize founded in memory of and in the spirit of John Lennon's "Give Me Some Truth" released in 1971. The award is given biennially, and was instituted in 2002, when Israeli Zvi Goldstein and Palestinian Khalil Rabah each won for artistic contributions to peace in their homeland.

 
In 2004, Yoko Ono also awarded $50,000 to New Yorker magazine correspondent and author Seymour Hersh, whom she described as "a staunch seeker of truth" for his investigative journalism.

 
In 2004, Ono was quoted by Reuters that Hirsh and Vanunu were honored as "people who have spoken out for the benefit of the human race by overcoming extreme personal difficulties and, in doing so, have 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."

 
Long time friend and supporter of Vanunu, the Anglican Father Dave from Sydney, Australia wrote in 2004:
 
"Good news and not-so-good news this month regarding our brother Morde Vanunu.
The good news: Morde has been awarded a Yoko Ono Peace Prize…The not-so-good news is that Morde seems to be flouting the ban placed upon him, preventing him from communicating with foreign media…The danger is that the Israeli authorities will re-arrest Morde for making contact with foreign media. Having spoken to Morde though, he is confident, and is sick of being told who he is not allowed to talk to. Indeed, he has asked me whether I will set up a community web cast for him, where he can talk to you, his online supporters, via webcam. He has asked me to organize this for his birthday, October 13..."  

 
That web cast still has not happened and
Fr.Dave's words proved accurate, as Vanunu is now on trial for speaking to the media in 2004 and that trial resumes on 9/21/06.
 
Vanunu is a hero to Palestinians and many Internationals, but is surrounded by many who despise him as a traitor.

Vanunu has consistently maintained that he spoke out twenty years ago and continues to do so under threat of more jail time, because he only wants to save Israel from a "New Holocaust."
 
Israel claims that they must detain Vanunu for security reasons, but they have failed to secure the safety of the citizens that work and live near the leaking dinosaur that is the Dimona.

 
In a March 2006 interview with this reporter, Vanunu stated, "When I decided to expose Israel's nuclear weapons I acted out of conscience and to warn the world to prevent a nuclear holocaust…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.”
 
In June 2005, he told me, "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... Israel is not a democracy unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find WMD's. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians, right here in Israel."
 

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."-LENNON , McGraw-Hill, 1984. pgs -374-381.
 

So does Vanunu and he has always insisted, "My Christian conversion was also considered as treason and led to me receiving more time in jail than any murderer has ever served. 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."


Article 18 of the UDHR affirms:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change one’s religion.

Article 13 of the UDHR affirms:


(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.
 

 
Love him, or loathe him, one thing remains certain: Vanunu will continue to give us some truth, if we have ears to hear him.


Sources:

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/478559.html

http://www.fatherdave.org/ezine-express/view.php?item=get&id=22#a5


   
 
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