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Life Arts

Headline Story of Oct. 5, 1986 and what's happened since

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"Children are brought into this world to live in it, not to fight. It is not true that war is an inevitable state of affairs - on the contrary, what is essential is peace.

"It is a question of listening to your conscience, to the voice of Jesus telling you, yes, this is what you must do--sacrifice yourself, your personal freedom: in the nuclear era, and with the nuclear threat hanging over us, the answer to this challenge is obvious, one may not evade such a responsibility, one must accept the mission in order to warn against the danger."
[1]

At that point in Vanunu's 1987 statement the Israeli censors: censored the rest.

Amy Goodman was awarded the Alternative Nobel, for "developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media."

In reply, Amy affirmed, "I strongly believe that media can be a force for peace. It is the responsibility of journalists to give voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken and beaten down by the powerful. It is the best reason I know to carry our pens, cameras and microphones out into the world. The media should be a sanctuary for dissent. It is our job to go to where the silence is." [2]

Exactly my sentiment and a major reason for producing and streaming three video interviews on my site with Vanunu from 2005, 2006 and 2008 and reporting on his historic trial.

I saw Vanunu for the last time in June 2009, and a few weeks there after; he posted on his website- and added to his email signature: "FROM NOW ON, FOR $1,000,YOU CAN MEET ME HERE, VANUNU."

How fortunate for me that a few weeks prior, Vanunu was open to meeting with the press, friends, supporters and strangers. We had attended a chamber music performance, two church services where Vanunu had been a member for 3 years, and all it cost me was lunch and a Taybeh beer, which is produced in the last remaining self-sufficient and Christian village in the entire West Bank.

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I ordered a Vodka tonic at the American Colony garden restaurant after we attended a reading by a Palestinian poet, just a few hours before I departed Jerusalem for America for the seventh time.

Vanunu warned me, that I should never have more than one shot a day. I replied, it was only my first and I had my last in the taxi on my way to Ben Gurion Airport. I knew it would be hours before I cleared SECURITY and the game we played had gotten tiresome for me, and I imagine it a death unto them who make a paycheck for interrogating those who tell the truth at Ben Gurion.

For the first eight days of my seventh trip to Israel Palestine, I was embedded with USA CODE PINK activists, who joined with Women for Peace and the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace and over 100 who had been invited by the United Nations to build pink playgrounds in Gaza.

I had previously made it as far as Erz Checkpoint, which is a quassam throw away from Sdeot.

On 18 November 18, 2008, I was one among forty seven international ecumenical Christians and other people of faith who rolled out of bed before 5 AM to travel from Jerusalem to the Erez Crossing to stand up as a united people of conscience in NONVIOLENT Solidarity with the people of Gaza and in support of all the NGO's that have been denied access into the Gaza Strip.

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We went in love and for love of all of God's children;
Be they the oppressed or the oppressors
Those imprisoned by walls and those who erect them,
Those who are denied clean water and their deniers,
Those whose fears rule their hearts and the heartbroken,
Those whose ideology, greed, apathy, and power blind them to their culpability, responsibilities and obligations.
We went with hope to arouse the consciences of the leaders of the world to seek peace through justice; equal human rights for all.

What I learned in Sderot from the residents I spoke with; was that they would be just as happy to live in Las Vegas as Israel. A five-minute car ride from the Erez Checkpoint is Sderot, where bomb-shelters are more common than gas stations.

Across from the cinema was a crowded open-air community center, furnished with beanbag pillows and padded benches. As I passed by many people made eye contact and smiled. I stopped aside a plump 53 year old Russian immigrant who did not want to give me her name but smiled all the time we conversed via my English-Hebrew-Russian speaking translator who introduced me as an American reporter wanting to know about life in Sderot.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
 

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