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Home arrow Blog arrow January 2008 arrow January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008
WAWA Blog January 8, 2008: LIBERTY, Vanunu, Dylan and Doors

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.-Bob Dylan


On January 7, 2008, I received the following good news email from Mordecahi Vanunu:

Hi There,

The news:

The court hearing today postponed. Israel Gov' by their prosecutor agree to change the 6 months prison sentence to community service. Next the prosecutor will discuss with us which community service I will do. So all this trial and sentence for the last 3 years come to nothing.

Wishing you to see me free very soon,
vmjc


Ever since Vanunu was convicted in July 2007 and sentenced to six more months in jail for the interviews he gave foreign media in 2004, this civilian journalist has suffered a guilty conscience because I have been streaming 2005 and 2006 video of Vanunu on my site and YOUTUBE. I figured if Israel would send Vanunu back to jail for interviews nobody is reading anymore, what would they do to him for videos that are currently freely streaming on the World Wide Web?

This civilian journalist also owes her very career to Vanunu, so I am in his debt for he inspired me to realize my childhood dream of growing up to be a Brenda Starr- a red headed ace investigative journalist of the Sunday comics. Because of a chance crossing of paths with Vanunu in June 2005 that led him to share with me about his childhood and journey into Christianity, I was inspired to imagine an adult hope; of becoming a 21st century Dorothy Day- the radical Christian who birthed The Catholic Worker newspaper that gave voice to the poor and oppressed in the 20th century.



Because I had been reporting on Vanunu's historic year and a half long freedom of speech trial in Jerusalem I was asked to speak in California on October 13, 2007-Vanunu's 53rd birthday- at the NO More Wars for Israel Conference, which had been dedicated to him. I went with the hope and desire to raise some funds for Vanunu's Defense before his January 8, 2008 appeal.


And another door opened to me when I heard another speaker there say,

 "It was God that kept us afloat."

That speaker was Phil Tourney, a USS LIBERTY Veteran who has now become a brother, a friend and comrade in the good fight for justice for the USS LIBERTY.

Liberty also means freedom from captivity.

When Phil spoke those seven words, I immediately knew in my heart/gut, I had to do something. In less than three months, I have heard those same words affirmed by every USS LIBERTY survivor and supporter, I have thus far spoken with; and I have only just begun.

Although Vanunu's and the LIBERTY Vet's situations are very different, they are also very connected in my heart/gut. In both instances governments that claim to be democracies told truth tellers to SHUT UP and both governments have lied and covered up........




I made a phone call on January 5, 2008, to LIBERTY CENTRAL/Rich Schmucker. I thought I was just doing another USS LIBERTY article, but another door opened up to me.

Rich wasn't on the USS LIBERTY, the spy ship that Israel attacked and tried to destroy during the Six Day War, but he has been a supporter and accumulator of records galore about that day in infamy when the USA Government failed to support the troops, Congress went limp and the MSM went MIA.

Rich told me, "From 1963 until 1969, I was a CT, a Communications Technician stationed at the Naval base in Wahiawa, Hawaii. CT's are apart of the intelligence community and our work was classified. I never heard a word about what happened on June 8, 1967 in the Mediterranean until I was in a library in Auburn, Nebraska in 1979 and came across Jim Ennis's book, ASSAULT ON THE LIBERTY.

"I checked it out and after reading it, I became so dang angry because I hadn't heard anything about it while in the Navy, or in the newspapers or on TV, so I began doing research. Through the years I have obtained over two hundred pounds of documents and I have stuff the crew never even knew about. What I read opened more doors and I was led to contact Russians, Egyptians, Israelis and others and my phone bill was higher than a kite.

"I got the USA documents using the Freedom of Information Act and most of the time I got what I asked for, but sometimes, I was completely ignored. I signed a secrecy agreement when I entered the Navy and I think one of the reasons our government has ignored me was because they didn't want to give me any credibility. The only negativity I met with was when I received a package from Paris, France. Two hours after opening it up, I landed in the hospital because it had some kind of poison in it. Apparently somebody in France didn't like me because I was asking questions about the USS LIBERTY. I have gotten a couple of phone threats, but it's the one's who won't talk to you, you have to worry about. "

Rich's comment caused me to reflect upon the link I have to my website that affirms that the USA Government, Israel [and France!] are consistently in the Top 20 out of 70+ countries that hit on WAWA every day. Nobody from any of those governments ever email me, but I have been and remain grateful they are interested in this little sister of Christ, for Big Brother is out of control and it is empire that I am challenging on the web.

Rich continued, "It's not the Jewish people or the Jewish religion I have a problem with. It's the governments of America and Israel that colluded in the cover-up that I have a problem with…This is off topic, but I want to tell you that one day I was just sitting there looking at a picture of the Star of David and I realized it had six little triangles, six sides in the center and six points and I wondered if it was the Mark of The Beast; you know 666 from the Book of Revelation."

I had never heard of such a thing but I do know that some modern day Biblical scholars contend that the number 666 was code for the Roman Emperor Nero. The ancients used numerical codes of the alphabet and writers were thus able to name without actually naming those contemporary figures that were politically dangerous to openly criticize.

Some current day Christian fundamentalists believe that 666 is a code for the letters of a name or title of the Antichrist. A particular cult of modern day USA fundamentalist Christians who are pro-war, pro-torture, pro-military occupation and lust for Armageddon best exemplify what centuries of theologians understood to be what the term anti-Christ is really all about.


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 some modern day Christian fundamentalists have woven them together and have left behind what the author who coined the term 'antichrist' actually penned. The writer of 1 John and 2 John-the only sources in the Bible where the term appears wrote:"...as you have heard that the antichrist is coming; even now many have come..."- I John 2:18


To be anti anything is to be against something. To be anti-Christ is to be against what Jesus was all about; and Jesus was all about forgiving, blessing and loving one's enemies and remaining nonviolent even while being nailed to a cross.

Nuclear weapons and military occupation are in direct conflict with what Jesus taught and lived.  

Jesus also taught liberation from the bondage of the corrupt teachers of The Law, who made their bread off of the poor. The Temple priests made their living by convincing the people that God would only accept them after they paid for ritual baths and sacrificing livestock, that only the Temple priests could perform.

 
Jesus was a dissident, a subversive, social justice radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who challenged the job security of the Temple priests by teaching the people that they didn't need to pay the priests a dime to be OK with God, for God already loved them, just as they were; sinners, diseased, outcasts, refugees, prisoners all living under Roman Military occupation.

What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces because he taught the people that in God's eyes everyone is equally valuable and Caesar only had power because God allowed it.

2,000 years ago the cross has NO religious symbolism. When Jesus said: "Pick up your cross and follow me," everyone then understood he was issuing a political statement. The Roman Empire crucified thousands of agitators, rebels, dissidents and any others who disturbed the status quo, and the road to Jerusalem was lined with the Roman Occupying Forces method of the death penalty.

Jesus did not speak Hebrew, he spoke Aramaic. The word Nero, written in Aramaic was valued at 666 in the Hebrew numbering system. The Roman Empire oppressed Jews and Christians and both communities used codes, symbols and numerology understood by their members, but not the empire.

I asked Rich had he ever considered that the anti-Christ might actually be nuclear weapons. Had he ever considered that the anti-Christ is not a man at all but is the evil that comes from a heart that seeks power, control and empire. I asked Rich had he ever wondered about how governments promote nuclear weapons as instruments of peace, but nukes only reap destruction and instability for they fill others with the desire to obtain them.

Rich hadn't thought of such a thing and neither had Vanunu when I raised the very same question to him in June 2005.

But Vanunu did reply, “The only way to peace is peace; the only way is nonviolence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, and the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peaceful 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, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The United States needs to wake up and see the truth that 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 nuclear weapons.

"America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians: right here in Israel.The time has come for the United States to see the truth of Zionism. It began as a secular nationalist movement, not a religious one. Then some Christians believed that when Israel became a nation, it was the beginning of the second coming. They are deluded if they believe peace will come through atomic weapons. Atomic weapons are holocaust weapons. Christians should be the first people against them.

"The Christians in America should be helping the Christians here. America needs to wake up to this fallacy that Jesus will come back by nuclear war. America needs to wake up to the fact that the Palestinian Christians here have no human rights. Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about other Christians? Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about all the poor and oppressed?”


I totally agreed with Vanunu and told him, “It is non-negotiable: all of that stuff Jesus said about doing for the least and the oppressed. It is non-negotiable for Christians; we must forgive our enemies, and we must love those who hate us. Whatever we do or do not do, we do it unto God. Every time I went through a checkpoint, saw The Apartheid Wall, or heard a story of oppression, I wondered how God can stand this situation. I can’t. I also think you were crucified for telling the truth."

Vanunu agreed, “My human rights have been denied me because I am a Christian. When I was on trial, I was treated just like a Palestinian: no human rights at all, and cruel and unusual punishment, all because I told the truth. The government spread slander about me, that I was a homosexual, that I hated Jews, that I wanted fame and money. What I did was sacrifice my life for the truth. In prison, I really began to feel like Jesus and Paul. When Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, it was like me in Dimona, exposing the Israelis’ dirty secrets. I felt like Paul, being thrown in prison for speaking the truth.

"The only real way to worship is in loving one’s enemies. It was not easy to love my tormentors; it was only because I felt so much like Jesus crucified on the cross, and as if I was crucified in prison, that I could do it. It was not ever easy. I have forgiven but not forgotten anything, and I never will. In Israel, a life sentence is twenty-five years. Even murderers go free after seventeen. They imposed the same restrictions on me that Palestinians receive: no human rights at all; no phone; no visitors, except family, and only through an iron grill; no vacation; no holidays; and no gifts. Even murderers get out for vacations! I was locked up for eighteen years and still cannot go on vacation; I cannot leave, and that is all I am asking for, just to leave here. For eighteen years in prison, they even attempted to control my thoughts on paper. I would write exactly what I wanted and they would censor words like kidnapped and atomic bomb. They would show me how they chopped up my letters, but I continued to write exactly what I wanted. They held my body, but never my spirit or mind.”




......After I said good bye to Rich I immediately flipped my Bible open to the Book of Revelation as I prayed for a revelation of my own. What jumped out at me was:

"The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words…to blaspheme God and to slander his name and his dwelling place…He who has an ear, let him hear…If anyone kills…he will be killed."  Rev.13: 5-10

"I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven…and I heard a loud voice saying, "There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21: 1-4





Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

   
 
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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
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