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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.

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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 February 2010 arrow February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010
February 6, 2010: What You Need To Know So We Can Change The World

What You Need to Know so We Can Change the World: Part 1


A few of my SABEEL experiences and related articles follow. 

On November 3, 2006, Reverend Naim Ateek, a modest soft-spoken man, 21st century prophet and the Founder and Director of Sabeel/The Way Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, addressed over 330 international ecumenical Christians who had gathered in Jerusalem in the Notre Dame Conference Center for Sabeel’s 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful.

He sent chills through me when he stated, “Israel will not survive unless it does justice! The situation is deteriorating and we must frustrate Israel’s plans and actions because they are not built on justice. All we are asking for is that they honor International Law! Israel is afraid of International law and this proves something is very wrong with Israel. We want Israel to live in peace and with security. The only way is honoring International law. That is the bottom line and what we work and pray for.”

Reverend Ateek’s classic Justice and Only Justice laid the foundation of a theology that addresses the conflict over Palestine and explores the political as well as the religious, biblical and theological dimensions. From a position of faith, Reverend Ateek seeks solutions based on justice, peace, nonviolence and reconciliation.

On November 8, 2006 Reverend Ateek spoke again, “In Israel officially speaking of Palestinians is taboo: we are referred to as Arab Christians. When I say the Holy Land I include both Israel and Palestine. Ultimately only God knows about the future of Christianity in this place. We live in the scientific world and God has given us wisdom, knowledge, technology to be used for good and our future and destiny are in Gods hands.

“There are many red lights; external and internal dangers. What can we do at the grass roots level? The Palestinian Christian community must rise above petty denominational differences. The impending dangers force us to ask what can we do, what must we do?

“There is no future in isolation or passivity. Our futures are all linked together. There is an urgent need to articulate and work with other faiths, especially Islam. Our future depends on good relations with all our brothers and sisters. We need a Committee of Christian and Muslim leaders to dialogue and work together to confront militant extremist fundamentalism.

“Our relation with Israel is the most important issue for there can be no peace without justice. There can be no effective policy without ending the occupation in accordance with all UN Resolutions. The city of Jerusalem must be shared and there must be a just solution for refugees.

“Pressure on Israel must be done with nonviolent needs and the way is the way Christ taught: nonviolent and forgiving. The achievement of peace is not the end; but the beginning of reconciliation. The survival of Christianity in the Holy land is through true democracy. We must avoid the minority complex. We cannot depend on the good will of people in power. We want to be protected by a constitution with full citizenship and nationality must be combined. Only in Israel is there a distinction between nationality and citizenship. Only good democracy can guarantee all citizens are treated equally under the same law.”

“What can the West do? There is an urgent need for education about the roots of Christians in Palestine and to challenge the myths. Seek out Palestinian Christians in your midst and relate to them. Be aware of Palestinian concerns for justice and human rights. Work for a just solution of the conflict which is equal human rights for all. Support projects to increase the Christian witness: visit the Holy land and meet with Palestinian Christians. Forge closer links with churches in the West and in the Holy Land. Challenge Christian Zionism. Think Creatively!

“In the beginning the Jesus movement was very small. It began with 12 committed citizens. It began with love and Christ addressed his followers: FEAR NOT little flock! You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To capture the essence of what Christians should be is to be salt and light. You don’t need a lot of salt to add flavor and even a small light can illuminate the way for many.

“To be salt and light is to be truthful, honest, have integrity and to be of service and do it with humility. Salt affects change: it is active, never passive. To be a light is a global challenge and when the light is seen clearly so is the glory of God. Sabeel means the way, and the way is to love all your neighbors and labor on with God.”

Every birth begins with labor and pain but joy and love follow. Only when there is justice for Palestinians will there be security for Israelis and that will be the beginning of the way to win the “war on terrorism.”

The morning of March 18, 2006, began with a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem.

A sacred hush filled the cypress canopied stone streets of The Noble Sanctuary that lead us to the Dome of The Rock, the site where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son and where it is reported Mohammed ascended to heaven.

We all removed our shoes and all the women covered their hair with scarves, then we silently tread the crimson carpet inside the Mosque.

I was awed by the domed mosaic ceiling, geometric designed stained glass and massive crystal chandeliers above my head and the silence although the mosque was filled with people.

Our group was split into two: some took the basic tour but a few Dutch, Japanese, Canadians, two Brits and I went the political route.

Our guide is Mahmoud whose father was from Chad, his mother Palestinian and he was born in Jerusalem.

Mahmoud tells us with a smile, “I was at the Ambassador Hotel for the public meeting the other day and was arrested and detained for eight hours. The Israelis will not allow Hamas and the PFLP to have public meetings at all. At that same time they claim this is a democracy, but how can that be if they do not allow political groups to meet and discuss the situation and search for solutions?

“When I was nineteen I was arrested for being a member of the PFLP/Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and spent the next 17 years in jail. I was nervous when I got there and I was tortured for months. Then a strange thing happened. They gave me a shower, clean clothes, then put me in a clean room and spoke to me like a human being. Then the French Ambassador came in and told me he could get me out because my father had French citizenship. He asked me where did I want to go and I answered; Jerusalem! He said it was impossible, I was not allowed. I told him I would rather remain in prison if I could not go home and so I spent 17 years and that is where I learned there is no justification for anyone to take another life. Those who kill are not Muslims.

“I was an eyewitness on October 8, 1990 when a group came to put a cornerstone where they want to rebuild the Temple. The Dome of The Rock is also what the Israelis call The Temple Mount, [the site where Abraham went to sacrifice his second born son, Isaac]. They want to destroy our Holy site but no archeologist has been able to say exactly where The Temple had originally been and they have been digging for seventy years.

“On that day they came I heard women shouting and crying. They were fainting from the tear gas! People got angry and threw stones at the soldiers and guards. Then hundreds of guards came onto The Noble Sanctuary and started shooting and 17 people were killed and 1,500 injured. They claimed we were throwing stones at the Wailing Wall but a Rabbi who had been over there said it wasn’t true at all.”

We walked the narrow stone streets that wind around and into an alley and come to a site known as the “Little Western Wall”, which is in the heart of the Muslim quarter. Construction had begun for a synagogue for women that will also prevent access in and out of the inner area, which is an apartment building where two or three Muslim families share one toilet.

Throughout the tour of the Muslim quarter Mahmoud points out the many cameras on the ancient stone walls and where the colonists/settlers have illegally confiscated Palestinian homes.

“Within the Muslim and Christian quarters there are 70 locations where 1,000 Jews now live. We are under occupation and trying to have a better life and we have had some success. Before 1967 we had no universities and now we have twelve in the West Bank. I am a citizen of the Universe, but I live in Jerusalem.”

We climbed to the roof of Al Quds University in Jerusalem where short courses in Arabic are taught. The ancient stone buildings are marred by satellite dishes and lookout towers.

After saying goodbye to my Sabeel group at our final dinner at The Tent Restaurant on March 20, 2006, I traveled alone three hours away from the Little Town in Occupied Territory of Bethlehem to the Mount of Beatitudes in Israel.

This awe inspiring site sits above the shimmering Sea of Galilee where Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount. The Sabeel Reality Tour had concluded and I needed to be alone and silent.

But I ended up delivering my own Sermon on the Mount!

Four Franciscan Sisters, one each from Syria, Jordan, Malta and Italy care for the shrine and the pilgrim guests at the Hospice Center where I spent two nights and a day of silent reflection of all I had witnessed the previous nine days.

At dinner a Catholic Pentecostal from Scotland introduced himself and asked me why I was there and what church I was from. I responded I have Irish Roman Catholic, Polish Jew, Russian Orthodox and Episcopal roots but that my rock is The Beatitudes.

He looked even more perplexed when I told him I came to the Mount of Beatitudes to decompress and reflect upon my nine days in Occupied Territory. I asked him if he were aware of the work of Sabeel, the Palestinian founded organization that promotes a theology of liberation based on justice, peace, non-violence and reconciliation for all, regardless of faith path or nationality.

He sternly admonished me, “God gave this land to the Jews! The Bible never mentions Palestine, and that is that! God gave this land to the Jews and that is that!”

I responded just as fervently that the Palestinian Christians are the descendants of those who first followed Christ and they have been denied inalienable human rights by the Israeli government. I told him the Christians in the Holy Land have shrunk from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% since 1948 and if things don’t change soon, there will be no Christian witness in the land where Christ promised that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God.

He sputtered, “But the Jews have suffered! God gave this land to the Jews and that is that!”

This really got my Irish up and I retorted, “Yes they did because good people did nothing for far too long, and now the oppressed have become the oppressors. In the 21st century good people are unaware, ignoring or are in total denial of the injustice in the Holy Land. And what about all the Hebrew prophets, such as Micah who reminded the Jews of what the Lord requires: To be just, to be merciful and to walk humbly with your God!”

I could NOT shut up although I knew that that Scotsman was trying to get away-he also looked a bit terrified! But, I was on a tear and barely took a breath as I told him that instead of staying in Israel for his entire visit, he should go and witness life in the occupied territories; go and see the effects of The Wall on his spirit and see what it has done to the Palestinian economy. I told him he should go and tour some of the 58 year old refugee camps and see the ruins of all the uncompensated home demolitions. I brought it on home by telling him that I also doubt that God was ever in the real estate business!

His eyes had bugged out and his mouth had dropped open while the torrent of words spewed out of me. After I finally shut up, he stammered, “But there is suffering everywhere!”

“Yes there is and Christ always stood up for the poor and the oppressed. And he told us what ever we do or don’t do for the least and the outcast; we do it or don’t do it unto God.”

He shook his head and turned and walked quickly away and never again looked my way. Nobody else spoke to me the rest of the evening or the next day. That was fine with me, for I was listening to the voice within and what I kept hearing was Luke 23:34: “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

But when you know, if you are of good will, you must do something. The fastest growing cult in the USA-and also perhaps in Scotland: is the cult of Christian Zionism.

What is Christian Zionism?

Christian Zionism is an extremist Christian movement which supports the claims of those who believe that the State of Israel should take control of all of the land currently disputed between Palestinians and Israelis. It views the creation and expansion of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy toward the second coming of Jesus.

Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

What is the Christian Zionist connection with the Holy Land?

Believing that God fights on the side of Israel, Christian Zionists call for the unqualified support for the most extreme political positions related to the Holy Land. Christian Zionist spokes persons have attributed Hurricane Katrina to God’s wrath over our failure to stop Israel from pulling out of Gaza. They consistently oppose any moves towards a solution to the conflict which would validate the political aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Who Supports Christian Zionism?

Christian Zionism has significant support within American Protestant fundamentalists, who number between 10 and 20 million. Its reach is broad, by virtue of its favorite themes related to the “End Times” and an Israel-fixated Christian media.  Christian Zionism is both a political movement and a way of interpreting current events. Its focus is on Israel and the Middle East, as much an ideology as a “movement.” Its promoters share many beliefs but are not organized through any one institution.

Throughout history Christians have at times twisted scripture to justify violence: for the Crusades, for Anti-Semitism, and for slavery. Too often the church has been slow to respond to these biblical distortions with disastrous results.

Today Christian Zionists - particularly those with dispensationalist leanings - are at it again. Although their motives are couched in terms of compassion toward the Jewish people based on a literal reading of scripture the political agenda of territorial expansion advocated by Christian Zionists has given rise to injustice against Palestinians and added fuel to the fire of conflict in the Middle East. For some time, individuals, and theologians have spoken out against Christian Zionism. In the past few years, whole church bodies are adding their official voices to the distortions and injustices perpetuated by Christian Zionism.

The GOOD NEWS is that some mainstream churches have spoken out against this inherently anti-Semitic theology. What follows are but a few words from some of those who have.

The Presbyterian Church in the USA at its July 2004, National General Assembly issued a statement on Confronting Christian Zionism: “Christian Zionism promotes a theology that justifies grievous violations of basic rights of people who are also made in the image of God, and is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The United Church of Christ in July 2003, at its National General Synod offered An Alternative Voice to Christian Zionism: “We believe that the tenets of Christian Zionism neither reflect the intention of the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, nor promote peace in the Middle East, and respectfully recommend …an alternative voice to this theology.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in June 2005 at its Chicago Metropolitan Synod issued a Resolution to Encourage the Study of Christian Zionism: “the movement of Christian Zionism based on these biblical interpretations seeks to influence U.S. policy toward Israel in a manner that would arguably facilitate mistreatment of Palestinians, continued occupation of the land, opposition to a two-state solution, and exclusive Israeli control of Jerusalem.”

The United Methodist Church, in June 2005 at its Illinois Conference on Unwrapping the Rapture warned, “Every household should give prayerful consideration as to how God will actually judge us for our silence about and complicity in the crushing of the Palestinian people.”

The Episcopal Church, in November 2004 at its Diocese of Chicago Confronted Christian Zionism: “A partial response to Christian Zionism would be to say that we read Scripture in light of [Jesus’] two great commandments - to love God and our neighbor.”

In 2006, The Nation reported that Christians United For Israel/CUFI pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, to refuse aid to the Palestinians and to give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah.

The White House has not revealed the names of the officials who met with the CUFI lobbyists, which is a venomous tentacle from the Armageddon-based foreign-policy view of its founder, John Hagee.  Hagee is a fundamentalist, fire-and-brimstone preacher and a leader of the fastest growing cult in America: Christian Zionism, which is inherently anti-Semitic.

While Jewish Zionism began with the hope that all Jewish people would have a safe and peaceful dwelling place, these corruptors of the gospel Christ preached, adhere to a 200 year old convoluted interpretation of disparate scriptures that they have chosen to weave together to support their fear based judgmental narrow minded doctrine.

Hagee has mesmerized nearly 18,000 misled Christians at his Cornerstone Church with his take on whom the anti-Christ is. He also hosts a major TV ministry where he explains his views of how the end times will unfold. He blatantly corrupts and denies the message that Christ preached. Hagee, Hal Lindsay and the Left Behinder’s are doomsday false prophets who believe that the only way to defeat-what they and the Bush Administration refer to as- “Islamist fascists” is with a full-scale military assault.


John Hagee Zionists
John Hagee CUFI
conference in Miami

The cult of ‘Christian’ Zionism is what the concept of the Anti-Christ is all about.

This heretical theology of Premellenial Dispensation worships a god of Armageddon and not the God of love, forgiveness and compassion that Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace modeled even while being nailed to a cross.

The Left Behind series of fiction is the epitome of what millennium of theologians have always understood to be what the term anti-Christ is truly about.

The term “antichrist” only appears five times in the Bible, but a cult not based on sound theology has created an urban legend that seeks Armageddon. The term “antichrist” never appears in John’s Revelation or Daniel, two disparate works of literature written three centuries apart and under very different circumstances, yet the Left Behinder’s weave them together.

The small texts that mention the “antichrist” were written to attack the Gnostic understanding of who Christ was. A Gnostic relies on intuition and not on dogma and doctrine. Gnostic’s were most certainly free spirits and most all of the writings we have about Gnostics, have been the attacks upon them. That all changed when the Nag Hamadi Library was translated and published, for what had been deemed heretical by those in power in the fourth century can now be read in most every language.

Have you heard the true tale of the Bedouin named Mohammed Ali? Read more...

Biblical scholars today agree that many books of the Bible were written by others in the name of an apostle, for the quickest way to gain credibility is to trade on another’s reputation. We may never know if the author who coined the term “antichrist” was actually the apostle John who wrote I John and 2 John-the only sources where the term appears.

John also say’s much more: “Dear Children, as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many have come.”- I John 2:18

“This is how we know who the children of God are not: anyone who does not do right; nor anyone who does not love his brother.”-I John 3:10

“If anyone has material possessions and see’s his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Let us love with actions and in truth.”-I John 3:17

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment [and God is love].”-1 John 4:18

The theology promoted in the Left Behind fiction is a theology based on fear and punishment. These misinformed Christians worship a punitive father as God. They do not have eyes to see that nature is God’s primary temple, and war the greatest abomination.

During the time when John was writing about the spirit of antichrist, Gnosticism was still in its evolution and far from the intricately developed system of the second and third centuries when the church and its institutional hierarchy became firmly established. During the time John was writing against false teachings, the Gnostics were by and large libertines who denied Christ’s humanity. Some Gnostics claimed that Christ only appeared to have a body; others said the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at his baptism and left him when he died.

The Gnostics left no testimony in their behalf, so all we have to go on is what was written against them until the discovery of the Nag Hamadi Library. These Gnostic texts offer no new information, they provide no answers, but they do illuminate us to the fact that 2,000 years ago that follower’s of Christ were very diverse and engaged in lively debates on who he was and what was his purpose.

The Armageddon groupies believe they will be lifted out of the misery of the world, and neglect to reflect upon the antichrist within their own heart. The term anti/against Christ means to be anti/against his teachings. A neglected and ignored fact is that Christ is quoted in fact Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, and Luke 12:10 which are all simpatico with the Gnostic gospel of Thomas saying 44:

Jesus said: “Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.”

The Holy Spirit has always been understood to mean the spark of the Divine within all beings, for the spirit of God is within all created things. One should wonder what spirit is driving those that want to bomb another, for just who would Jesus bomb? Just who would Jesus torture?

Jesus has been hijacked by right wing fundamentalists and the time has come to liberate him!

Christ was no Christian, in fact, that term was not even coined until three decades after Jesus walked the earth.

Jesus was born, lived and died under a brutal military occupation and remained a NONVIOLENT Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior.

Jesus was a social justice radical revolutionary who rose up[intifada in Arabic] and challenged the job security of the temple priests by teaching the Hebrews they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or for performing animal sacrifice's to be OK with God; for God already loved them just as they were:

Poor, oppressed, diseased, widows, orphans, prisoners and refugees all enduring under a brutal military occupation.

Jesus was crucified for disturbing the status quo of the occupying forces of Rome by teaching subversive concepts such as: all people are equal and that God preferred the
poor, oppressed, diseased, widows, orphans, prisoners and refugees above the elite and arrogant!

Christ taught that to be his sister and brother one must forgive to be forgiven and that one must love ones enemies.

He modeled that one must always work for peaceful resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with forgiveness and compassion as he did while being nailed to a cross.

Christ always dealt compassionately with sinners and outcasts, but hypocrites received his wrath.

Compassion, which is sorrow for the suffering of others accompanied by the urge to help, is what should define the Christian attitude.

If there is no compassion within a Christian, then it is the spirit of the antichrist that rules. Christian Zionists desire to convert the Jews to Christianity or leave them behind to perish in a nuclear holocaust, for they believe that is Gods desire.

A short history on where this corruption of Christ’s message came from:

In 1891, Christian fundamentalist and lay-preacher, William Blackstone appealed to President Benjamin Harrison to help establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Blackstone was a disciple of Dwight L. Moody and they both were influenced by the father of premillenial dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby.

Darby had great success in connecting with the post-Civil War survivors and was able to transmit his new heretical theology into the heartland of America. Despite the horrifying news of Czarist pogroms that could have been the catalyst to establishing a Jewish state before the Holocaust, the Christian fundamentalists moved onto the Scope’s Trial and forgot about the Jews for a while. OIY!

Fifty years later and after six million innocents were cold bloodedly murdered because good people did nothing for a very long while-and only after the British Mandate ran out, Israel was born.

Most evangelicals interpreted the establishment of Israel to be the fulfillment of -how they understood and interpreted- certain prophetic scriptures. They interpreted the Israeli victory in the 1967 War and the capture of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights to be an act of God and never considered the fact of Israeli superior military might and USA Intelligence.

The American Bi-Centennial in 1976 was a watershed year for the religious right. While mainline churches declined evangelical fundamentalist churches became the fastest growing sector of American Christianity. TIME magazine named 1976 as The Year of The Evangelical and suddenly they became a legitimate political and religious force.

Following the War of 1967, Israel gained an increased portion of USA foreign aid and military budgets, becoming the ‘western pillar’ of the USA strategic alliance against Soviet incursion into the Middle East...During this period AIPAC and other pro-Israeli lobby agencies began their ascent to power in shaping USA foreign policy. The Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations began to develop a more balanced approach to the Middle East, bringing them closer to the international consensus on the Palestinian question. Pro-Israel organizations interpreted this shift as being Anti-Israel and in turn began to court the conservative Christians.

In 1977, when President Carter stated “The Palestinians deserve a right to their homeland,” the Christian fundamentalists and Israeli lobby responded with full page ads stating: “The time has come for evangelical Christians to affirm their belief in biblical prophecy and Israel’s divine right to the land...and affirm our belief in the Promised Land to the Jewish people.” [Ibid]

The Reagan White House hosted a series of seminars from the Israeli lobby and Christian right. This was when Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Moral majority infiltrated the West Wing.

Falwell received a Lear Jet from the Israeli government for his personal travel...When Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981, Prime Minister Begin called Jerry Falwell -before he called Reagan- to ask him ‘to explain to the Christian public the reasons for the bombings.

In 1996, Netanyahu and Likud ideology dominated Israeli policy and 17 evangelical USA pastors pledged their support of the illegal colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and full support for a Jerusalem under sovereignty of Israel.

The Christian Zionists launched a PR campaign under the banner: “Christians Call for a United Jerusalem.” They ignored the fact that they were in conflict with American policy and the Oslo process as well as a direct attack on Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant unity with the Churches for Middle East Peace that called for a Shared Jerusalem.

“The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty,” Hagee wrote in 2006, in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. “Israel and America must confront Iran’s nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide.”

The theology of the fictional Left Behind series is the epitome of the spirit of the anti-Christ:  which is the evil within ones own heart that leads one to fear “the other” and compels them to violence.

Thomas Jefferson did America and the world a great service when he penned The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth which illuminates just how far these Christians have strayed from the message Christ delivered and modeled with his life:

Which was consistently compassionate and nonviolent and to be just: for justice comes from virtue which comes from the heart.

To treat people the way we want to be treated.

To always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with COMPASSION.

To consider valuable the things that have no material value.

Do not judge others, do not bear grudges, be modest and unpretentious.

To give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid and that being true to ones self is more important than being loyal to ones family,

And those who think they know the most are the most ignorant.

According to Christ, to be his follower, one must do what the Father requires. The Hebrew prophet Micah summed it up best: “What does the Lord require? He has already told you o’man: Be Just, Be Merciful and walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8:

To be just is to be fair and reasonable.

To be merciful means to treat all people the way we want to be treated.

To be humble is knowing oneself; the good and the evil, for both cut through every human heart.

Christ taught that the only way to resist evil is with good and he modeled that one must always work for peaceful resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness. Jesus did just that, even after being mocked, whipped and nailed to a cross for he prayed:  “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

A Review of A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation by Rev. Naim Ateek

Dwight Eisenhower understood that "people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our government. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days, governments had better get out of their way and let them have it!"

One of those people on the forefront is the Anglican Reverend Naim Ateek, who has been seeking peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land by seeking justice; an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and equal human rights for all people.

The Palestinian Ateek, became a refugee in 1948. He founded the Jerusalem based and internationally supported SABEEL organization in response to his experiences in 1948, the 1967 War and the first intifada [translates to: rise up and cast off] that erupted on December 9, 1987.

The theology of Sabeel is a theology that arose from the oppression of Palestinians under the state of Israel and also a theology of liberation from the watered down theology that keeps many Christians too comfortable.

Sabeel's liberation theology is rooted in righting the injustices inflicted upon the indigenous people of the Holy Land.

Sabeel offers an ecumenical and interfaith theology that seeks to unite the World Wide Body of Christ to the suffering of their sisters, brothers and cousins in the family of Father Abraham in Israel Palestine.

Sabeel is supported by Christians, Muslims and Jews who work together for peace in the Holy Land by seeking justice; equal human rights for all and an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.

Rev. Ateek speaks of how-when the Bible is correctly read- points to a God of justice. Ateek seeks the liberation of all people, in particular those Christians who have been misled and misinformed by the heretical and anti-Christ theology of Christian Zionists who seek Armageddon and who support the illegal settlers but not their sisters and brothers in Christ: the forgotten faithful, the Palestinian Christians.

Jesus promised it is the Peacemakers who will be called the children of God and not those that starve, bomb, torture or occupy others.

Sabeel's theology is based on Jesus' example of non-violence and on what he taught; that one must forgive to be forgiven, one must pray for and do good towards ones enemies; and NOT to impose sanctions upon innocent people, not to starve, bomb, torture or occupy any other-but to see The Divine in all people and all situations.

When Jesus went to the cross he was saying: ENOUGH! The violence of man against man stops here with my broken body! 

Over a thousand years prior, in Genesis 9: 5-6, it was written:

"And from each man, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. If anyone sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has man been made."

"You shall not murder."-The 6th Commandment

"From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught...that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, 'vomit you out' if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: "When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' but also 'you shall love the other.'" - Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007

Sabeel reminds us that God is not a racist; God does not play favorites, chooses or loves any ethnic group over any another.

Sabeel sees Jesus in his divinity and in the fullness of his humanity as a Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior, who was born, lived and died under the brutal Roman Military Occupation and who only responded to evil with good.

"Sabeel develops an anti-imperial theology. It stands in the tradition of the anti-imperial theologies of Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, and applies this critique of ancient empire to modern empires, such as the American empire. It rejects a Son of David imperial Christology, rooting itself in a Suffering Servant Christology of the early Church, in its non-violent way of the cross.  It is a theology that aims at reconciliation and peace, through a social, economic and political transformation of relationships between Israel and Palestinians that makes it possible for these people to co-exist in genuine justice." –Author and Feminist Theologian, Rosemary Radford Ruether

In November 2008, I attended SABEEL's [Arabic for The Way] 7th International Conference in the Holy Land: THE NAKBA:  MEMORY, REALITY AND BEYOND, 

Reverend Ateek shepherded my group through his boyhood village and told us how the Zionists came and forced all the Palestinians to flee under threat of death.

His father the town's only and very successful Jeweler response to the Israeli soldiers who ordered all the townspeople to vacate their homes and board a bus that would make them into refugees, "Naked I came into this world and naked I will leave it."

That spirit without any bitterness was also expressed by Rev. Ateek and his family members who walked my group through the streets of their once thriving Palestinian neighborhood that had become 100% Israeli in 1948.

It is Reverend Ateek's faith that enables that spirit to rule and fuel his desire for justice and reconciliation between the cousins in the dysfunctional family of Father Abraham via a paradigm shift:

"The Christian faith…points to two superior levels that can lead to reconciliation and forgiveness…repentance is a precondition; it must precede reconciliation and forgiveness…Repentance calls for the admission of guilt, crime and injustice…In the conflict between Israel and Palestine, repentance would correspond to an admission of guilt by the government of Israel of the injustice it has dealt to the Palestinians in its confiscation of land, violation of human rights, and its systems of domination and oppression…there is the divine paradigm of revolutionary forgiveness even when no admission of guilt [is expressed]. Christians are suppose to practice forgiveness of others because it is how God deals with us: as God forgives continually, we must forgive others." [Ateek, Page 183-184]

That kind of forgiveness is radical and revolutionary and exactly what Jesus demonstrated as he hung upon the Roman Empire's Cross of Corporal Punishment.

After he quoted from Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus ended with a plea for reconciliation: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing." [Luke 23:34]

For decades, Naim Ateek has been crying out for JUSTICE and only JUSTICE as the only way to peace and security for all the people of the Holy Land. 

"Justice is done when international law is implemented…So long as the injustices persist, hate and its derivatives have the upper hand…justice and peace begins when the oppressor becomes aware of its violations of the other's humanity. Justice is done when the international community, through nonviolent methods, forces Israel to put an end to its injustice…justice tempered by mercy and compassion. The doing of justice must not crush the enemy but hold the enemy accountable…no hope for change is possible until the occupation ends." [Ateek, Page 185]

Israel has no constitution but does have a Declaration of their Establishment:

"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.

Imagine what a world it would be, if Israel held to its own declaration.

The ancient Hebrew prophets were never valued in their day, for they provoked the people to remember God as they pointed out danger.

In A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation, Ateek spins a few ancient stories of Hebrew prophets for the 21st century.

Ateek names Samson: The first Suicide Bomber and Jonah: The first Palestinian liberation Theologian.

The word martyr is understood as one who chooses to suffer even die rather than renounce their principals.

A martyr is also one who has given themselves up as a WITNESS!

The essence of Christianity is to bear witness to what Jesus was always on about; forgiveness and love.

"Christians must condemn violence and terrorism whether it is recorded in legendary stories or in history being written today…We condemn suicide bombings as a crime against God. It is a crime to shed another's blood, it must also be equally criminal, if not more so, to shed ones own blood…Those who love God do not kill themselves for the sake of God…nothing justifies the killing of people. "[Ateek, Page 123-124]

"Jonah, an ardent nationalist who harbored deep contempt for the Assyrians, wished for their total destruction. As an Israelite nationalist…Jonah wished to celebrate [their] destruction…God had to teach Jonah the great lesson of obedience…

[The book of Jonah's] "deeper meaning emphasizes God's care and concern for Jews, but equally for non-Jews-in other words the inclusive nature of God…radical and revolutionary…no one can hide from God…there was no place in the universe where Jonah could escape the presence of God…Gods love encompasses all of humanity...The story of Jonah is a description of God that critiques any narrow or nationalist understanding." [Ateek, Pages 69, 71, 72, 74]

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."-Jeremiah 19:11

"HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

"No hope for change is even possible until the occupation ends...the first step is to confront and analyze the roots of the conflict and its development…to move toward a solution in Israel-Palestine, the illegal Israeli occupation must come to an end and Palestinian violence must stop…Justice [will be] done when international law is implemented…Once justice is done, peace will not be far off." [Ateek, page 185]

Godspeed on that and God bless Reverend Ateek, a 21st century prophet.


"Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing......Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers." -Dorothy Day

About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.

How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven't got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

God's name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, "My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours." -Isaiah 55:8

Christ proclaimed more: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled."

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what "God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord."-Micah 6:8

"Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy."

 In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your 'enemy.'

"For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you" Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God."

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.

"Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God."

And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven."

And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more and that is the Kingdom of God.

November 26, 2008: THE Ongoing NAKBA


June 21, 2009: SECURITY and Loose Canons 

All that remains of the Orwellian "PEACE BE WITH YOU" sign on the Jerusalem side of The Wall that is choking Bethlehem are a few tatters at the top edge of the thirty foot high concrete edifice. The Israeli Minister of Tourism is replacing the image captured on the cover of my second book with bland views of the Old City.

One can even travel to Ben Gurion Airport and remain oblivious to the concrete separation wall which is obfuscated from view in Israel by faux painting and buildups of massive landscaping.

However, The Wall is never out of my minds eye, even as I traveled at night from occupied east Jerusalem to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport at 9 PM last Sunday night, for my seventh departure since June of 2004. I cleared SECURITY at 11:25; fifteen minutes before the doors were locked, but due to a blown generator in one of the engines we waited on the run way until 4 AM before repair and take off.

But, I was still smiling as I approached the first SECURITY agent in the queue who smiled back at me and then asked, "What was your purpose in Israel?"

"To get to Gaza, but I only made it as far as the Erez Checkpoint. For eight days I was embedded with CODE PINK activists who had been invited by the UN to see the facts on the ground and meet the people who try to have a life there. A CODE PINK contingent got through from Egypt and built three playgrounds in Gaza. Did you know that over half of the 1.5 million open air prisoners in Gaza, are kids younger than sixteen years old? Did you know that?"

He shook his head negative and asked, "Do you have your Press Card?"

I laughed, and replied, "I am not card carrying press! I am an Internet Journalist, a member of the New Fourth Estate. My career began in 2005, after my first of seven journeys to Israel and occupied Palestine. Everything I write is published first on my site, and I am a feature correspondent for Arabisto and The Palestine Telegraph, which by the way was founded and is based in Gaza. I work with them and am also published by The Peoples Voice, Oped News and other sites."

"Any American media?"

"All are USA, except for The Palestine Telegraph. By the way, today I was in occupied east Jerusalem meeting with Mordechai Vanunu-you know the ex-Orthodox Jew who turned Christian in 1986 and provided the photographic proof and told the truth about Israel's Weapons of Mass Destruction Program twenty-three years ago. Did you know that the democracy that you have in Israel actually sentenced him to three months in jail just for talking to non-Israeli citizens, who happened to be media back in 2004? Incredible but true, and Israel now does not know what to do with him, so they keep rescheduling his Supreme Court appeal. I am the reporter who has been following Vanunu's freedom of speech trial since it began January 25, 2005, which by the way was the same day Hamas was democratically elected. Did you know that?"

The SECURITY man backed away from me, but he kept his eyes on me as he made a phone call. I was still smiling, but my buzz was not chemically induced from the two vodka tonics I had sipped before I arrived at Ben Gurion that night. I could not suppress a giggle at the surreal sight of three twenty-something year olds wearing nearly identical suits and similar ties who were rapidly approaching me as they studied me intently, and when they arrived, the man in the middle asked me, "What is the problem?"

"I haven't any problems at all! In fact I am most happy to inform SECURITY that I am an internet reporter meaning one who does not take assignments from editors or paychecks from conglomerates. And by the way, reporters like me cannot be censored or secured into silence and we report from occupied territory."

They all appeared dazed and confused but remained silent as I was led to the front of the line at the luggage x-ray machine. I apologized to the other travelers for cutting in and explained it was only because I was a SECURITY risk for being a reporter from occupied Palestine. As I waited for my luggage to pass the inspection, I began writing the dialogue that had transpired between me and SECURITY ever since I had arrived at Ben Gurion Airport. Within a minute one of the suits reappeared and asked me what I was writing about.

"My experience's here."

"You cannot write about SECURITY!"

I laughed, sighed and replied, "Sure I can. I have and I will. There is no way any state or SECURITY machine can stop the free flow of information. Nor can SECURITY deny people of their conscience."

He walked away and I kept writing. My checked bag made the trip through x-ray three times before I remembered what I had stowed among my dirty laundry and reading material. As soon as I apologized to SECURITY for what might look like a b-o-m-b to them- but in reality was only a bottle of Russian vodka- I was then told where to take all my luggage and stand and wait my turn to have all the contents of my luggage examined, probed and swabbed. After that thorough inspection and repacking, I was led to the same office I have been before where one is "checked for metal."

Previously, I had been told to remove my shirt and drop my jeans, but this encounter I was allowed to remain fully clothed for my thorough pat down and wanding.

Being an American, I can never fully understand what every Palestinian must endure daily from Israeli SECURITY; but I have heard enough of their stories, seen enough of effects of The Wall and far too many eyes of children who only know Israelis through the barrel of a gun, to ever shut up in trying to educate and agitate the status quo; for experience is all about what you do with what happens to you.

On November 15, 2005, Senator Hillary Clinton stood on the Jerusalem side of The Wall and was quoted in Ha’aretz, expressing support for The Wall because it “is against terrorists” and “not against the Palestinian people.”

On New Years Eve Day of 2005, I visited a family who had just rebuilt their home in Dasheish, one of three a 100% Muslim refugee camps in Bethlehem.

The Habib [not their real name] family had rebuilt on the very same spot after the Israeli Forces blew their former home up without any reason or compensation.

Since 1967, Israel has demolished over 18,000 dwellings [averaging eleven people per unit] which were bulldozed by Israeli forces using USA made caterpillar bulldozers and Israel attempts to justify their home demolitions with three distinct categories:

1. Collective Punishment: Homes of suspected terrorists-which in reality is anyone who opposes the occupation of Palestine- and the families of suicide/homicide bombers. These punitive actions amount to 15% of the over 18,000 homes destroyed since 1967.

2. Administrative Demolitions: For lack of building permits- which Israel refuses to issue-account for 25%. In occupied east Jerusalem there are now 22,000 more homes [one out of four Palestinian homes]with a demolition order over them.
3. SECURITY: The blanket response to all of Israel’s injustices and illegal actions.

Mr. Habib told me that in 2004, Israeli Forces banged on his door and informed the family that their home would be demolished within fifteen minutes. The family all got safely out, but their home was but a memory a few moments later.

“No one in our family had ever been in any trouble with the Israeli government before and no family member had ever been arrested. They picked us to be an example of the power and control that Israel has to deny basic and inalienable human rights,” Mr. Habib informed me without any bitterness.
An Uncle, who lived down the stairs from the Habib’s also, had his home blown away on the very same day. Relatives took them all in, for the poor in Palestine take care of the poor and don’t look to the government to do what people of good will, will do automatically: care for the ill, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners.

When ever I need a taxi while in Bethlehem or Jerusalem, I usually phone Samir-but I always call him Sam.

Sam can comfortably transport eight in his van and he has an excellent sound system. Sam is an Orthodox Christian in the Syrian Church and has a gorgeous wife and two beautiful kids. Sam has VIP papers which enable him to chauffeur the Patriarchs around town without as much hassle as a regular Palestinian would have to endure at the checkpoints.

Sam, his wife and I rode to the Ben Gurion Airport, three hours prior to my 1 AM flight home on January 5, 2006, the final day of my second of seven journey's to Israel and Palestine. We talked a little but mostly we listened to the music of Bob Marley. When we arrived at the checkpoint at the entrance of the airport, Sam rolled down his window and smiled at the young soldier and said, “Shalom” but it sounded more like “Salaam.”

Sam’s VIP pass meant nothing to the soldier and we were all ordered to disembark and pull out all of my luggage. My passport was demanded without a smile and Sam was led into the interrogation room while his wife and I remained out in the cold trying to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Another soldier examined and probed the van looking for b-o-m-b-s and I wondered about the paranoia apparent in so many Israeli’s. I have discerned that it is a holocaust hangover that has blinded many to the fact that the once oppressed have now become the oppressors.

After Sam’s van was thoroughly examined for b-o-m-b-s, I received my passport back marked with a red sticker upon it. Back in Sam’s van his wife expertly removed the sticker and all the glue from my passport. The sticker brands one as having come through occupied territory and Sam informs me that my third degree would be by airport SECURITY.

Sam smiled wryly as he told me, “This is what the Nazi’s did to the Jews before the Holocaust when they made them wear the Star of David. They marked them as the enemy. Now anyone who knows Palestinians or visits occupied territory gets a sticker on their passport to label them as friends of the enemy.”

Then Sam turned up the volume on his Bose system and Bob Marley and the Wailers erupted:

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight.

My luggage had been filled with Arabic nonviolent literature but Sam cautioned me to leave it all with him to avoid the extra hassle it could cause me during the routine questioning by airport security. So, I left everything  that I could get on the Internet except for books, a CD and a DVD. Sam warned me on what I should and shouldn’t say when I undergo my interrogation from the inquisitive employees at the Ben Gurion Airport.

While in Bethlehem I shared with many about my experience of having my computer confiscated by EL AL employees at JFK Airport, during my December 2005, pre-flight checking in process. Every Palestinian told me “don’t worry about it.”

But every American I spoke with during my time in Israel and Palestine, freaked out when I told them about El Al confiscating my lap top for over an hour before I boarded the plane at JFK for my second trip to the Holy Land. Every American believed that they had downloaded my files, read my emails and perhaps even injected a Trojan into my soft ware.

I had no fear of airport security and I always honestly and briefly answer every question with a smile. Every employee I encountered smiled back at me, except for one, and nobody asked me any ‘explosive’ questions that evening. Three different young women examined and swabbed every item and surface in my luggage and then I knew frisson: the chill in the thrill of the rush you experience in a moment of delight, excitement or fear.

It happened just as the unsmiling young woman examiner came upon the book from the Holy Land Trust conference I had attended from December 27-30, 2005 entitled: "Celebrating Nonviolent Resistance."

She never looked my way, but she read the cover and scanned all the pages most thoroughly. She then walked away with the book and had a conversation with another young woman, who returned with her. After my luggage passed that inspection, the new SECURITY agent told me to follow her. She led me to a small dressing room and I was told me to strip down to my bra and panties. I kept a smile on my face and my pat down and wanding was over a few moments later.

I crashed for five hours out of the thirteen hour flight to JFK and when I awoke, it was to vivid images of The Wall that remain brutally fresh four years later. My mind's eye still see's a thirty foot high and miles long wide concrete boa constrictor and barbed wire fence as dividing, separating, humiliating, dominating, controlling and denying inalienable human rights to every Palestinian in the so called holy land which is in pieces; Bantustans.

When I landed at JFK Airport, Terminal Two to wait three hours for my connection home, all I could think about was The Wall and all the injustice’s I had witnessed during my trip to the occupied territories. Every local, taxi driver, would be terrorist, and I knew of ways around The Wall which had gaps that led to the way to avoid the checkpoint that divides the sister cities of Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

The Israeli government and Senator Clinton have all claimed that The Wall is all about SECURITY.
 The International Court of Justice in The Hague deemed The Wall illegal and that it must come fall where ever it lies on Palestinian property-which is most all of it!

Just weeks after his FREEDOM OF SPEECH TRIAL began Vanunu sent this 1:19 minute message to Senator Clinton and USA Christians Excerpted from "30 Minutes with Vanunu" freely streaming @ VANUNU ARCHIVES: WeAreWideAwake

The concrete boa constrictor and barbed wire fence is a Machiavellian Orwellian Master Plan to divide, separate, humiliate, dominate, control and deny inalienable human rights to the indigenous people of the Holy Land so that they will give up, give in and leave. But, they never will and although The Wall has destroyed over one million fruit bearing trees on Palestine property and in the Palestinian/'Arab'-Israeli Unrecognized Villages of Israel where ancient olive trees can still be found, for olive trees will live for thousands of years- if they are not plowed down.

Twenty five olive trees can support a typical family in Gaza, the West Bank and in the Unrecognized Villages of Israel, where every little child knows the names of the trees-and they always be- names of mommies, sisters and favorite aunts, for olive tree are a member of their family.

Upon The Wall from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, The Minister of Tourism had hung the Orwellian sign, “Peace be with you.”

By the 6th century the conflicts in the Middle East were already old news, and a prophet stated the obvious:

“Peace, peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace.”-Jeremiah 6:14

For twelve days of Christmas in 2005, I lived in the Little Town of Bethlehem: occupied territory. For twelve days of Christmas, I walked “through streets that were dead” [Bob Dylan] in the morning, noon and night and everywhere I did go, shops were closed, restaurants empty. A few locals would be around and many tour buses did quickly come and go for the pilgrims to snap photos at the Church of The Nativity. But stores remained closed and restaurants empty because most people do not want to see, hear or know about life in occupied territory.


On July 28, 2007, I left occupied east Jerusalem at 8 AM in Sam's van but this time, he did not have to leave his car and go into the interrogation building. SECURITY did ask me politely for my passport and to exit the van to identify my luggage that was in the trunk.  I did as I was told and then SECURITY returned my passport with a round blue sticker and the number 78 pasted on the back cover. The sticker marked me as being with a Palestinian and I told Sam, "I am not removing the sticker this time. I am livid to the point of over boil at all I have seen and heard these past two weeks and I will not shut up until I get it all out. I will be writing for the next week about what I have learned and I am going to tell airport security exactly where I have been and that I have been reporting it all on the web. I am flaming mad at my government and pathetic mainstream media who do not tell the truth about what is really going down in the Holy Land, which is all in pieces; Bantustans!

"Bush and Olmerts concept of a contiguous Palestinian state means connecting the unconnected enclaves with underground tunnels while the illegal settlers; colonists; squatters get to use the well paved apartheid roads and my tax dollars support this occupation and injustice! I am totally pissed off and whipped and worn out with misery and grief at all I have seen, heard and it has gone to my gut- my heart in other words- and I will not be silent and I cannot shut up."

Sam shrugged and remained silent as I fumed until I encountered my first Ben Gurion employee. She was the very same young trainee I had crossed paths with in November 2006. I didn't tell her that I remembered her from eight months prior. She had been hesitant and apologetic in her questioning then, but she had now mastered the routine, and there was no joking around. She was most concerned if anyone had given me anything that could be a bomb.

I told her nobody gave me anything except coffee, tea, water, soda, cookies, fruit, hummus and bread during my visits in Palestinian homes in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and in the Dasheish, Aida and Jenin refugee camps.

"How many times have you been to Israel?"

"This makes my fifth."

"Do you have family here?"

"Not blood family, but friends who have become like family."

"What was the purpose for your trip?"

"I am an Internet reporter and I came to investigate what my government and the USA media doesn't talk about."

"So, have all your trips here been for business?"

"You could say that."   

She then led me to the first x-ray machine, and after my bags passed through, she returned to me accompanied by another young woman and a young man in a suit.

He asked me; "How many times have you been to Israel?"

"This was my fifth trip and I spent all my time in occupied territory."

"Where have you been?"

"East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jenin. I am an Internet reporter and you can read all about my journey on my website," I replied as I handed him my card.

He looked at it carefully, smiled and replied, "Very nice, very interesting."

"Thanks. I hope you will read what I have to share."

"Oh, I will. May I keep your card?"

"Of course, it is yours and please tell all your friends at SECURITY to read me too."

"Thank you for your cooperation. There was a problem with your bags; they must go back through the x-ray machine."

"OK," I said and returned once again to where I had just been.

After the bags came back out, the young man in the suit informed me, "Your bags need to be further examined."

He led me to the next phase, a large rectangular space of tables with x-ray equipment in the middle and delivered me to station number 9, where three females were waiting for me. They asked me to open up all my bags and with plastic gloves on their hands; they swabbed and examined every surface and every article. My sunscreen lotion and Pink IPOD shuffle caused them much concern, but what really got them nervous was a stain on an old suitcase and they wanted to know, "How long had it been there?"

I had no clue as I borrowed the bag from my daughter and hadn't even noticed it until they brought it up. It took another 35 minutes for them to go through all my stuff and all my careful packing had been for naught. They were all pleasant enough, but nobody responded to me when I stated, "All of this happens just because I have been to occupied Palestine? Oh well, every experience is writing material."

After they were satisfied I had no explosives in my luggage, one of them offered to help me repack, but I declined. As soon as I was zipped back up, one of them told me without making any eye contact, "Now I have to check you for metal."

"OK, sure, but I think you mean a strip search?"

She didn't respond and led me to the examining room where my shoes, belt, and jewelry came off and she told me to sit down and she would return soon. After my shoes and belt passed the x-ray inspection, she told me to extend my legs so she could pat them down. Then she instructed me to stand up and hold my arms out so she could wand me all over. The wand kept alarming in the vicinity of the metal buttons and rivets on my jeans. She said, "Have a seat; I must get my supervisor."

She returned with a young woman, who never made eye contact with either of us as she commanded, "You need to drop your pants around your knees."

I complied and after she wanded me all over, she turned and exited as I spoke to her back, "Did I pass the inspection? Can I get dressed?"

She never responded but my first 'companion' said "Yes."

I was then led back to my luggage and another female; one who did make eye contact and smiled a lot said, "Come with me," and I did.

She led me to the front of a line of about twenty travelers' at the Continental check in desk. Two American women had been first in line and behind them was an angry man who yelled at my 'companion' in Hebrew.

She responded without a smile in Hebrew back to him, but did smile as I said to the Americans, "I get to cut in front of you, because I am a security risk. I have been to occupied territory and have been writing what I witnessed and learned on the World Wide Web." I handed out some cards and added, "I hope you will read all about it and tell all your friends."

 After receiving my boarding pass, my 'companion' led me on, and as soon as we were out of ear shot from the line of travelers she remarked, "Israelis can be so very rude."

I passed up the bait and responded, "So, all this personal attention is just because I told the truth?"

She smiled again but made no comment until we passed through the employees security check and arrived at Passport control. "Sorry to have put you through all this, but it's just our job."

"I know how that is, and I have just been doing mine."

Message from Ministry of Homeland Security:

You write what you're told!
Thanks corporate news!
We couldn't control the people without you!
 Yes, we control both sides of the "debate."
We make the economy dance where we like.
We control your television.
We control your churches.
We control your children.
We track your movements.
We profile your purchases.
We control your patriotism.
We control your munitions industries.
We frame the debate.
We demonize the target of the week.
We cull your numbers.
Trust us.-Ministry of Homeland Security, Author Unknown


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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

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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Vanunu's Message to

Hillary Clinton re:
The Apartheid Wall

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"Memoirs of a Nice
Girl's Life in
Occupied Territory"

"Keep Hope Alive"
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Articles Can Be Read Under VANUNU ARCHIVES  


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.


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 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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posted 3/25/2009

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