It was after the outpost was demolished that the people began the weekly ritual marches every Friday afternoon after prayers at the mosque. On my last visit to Bilin in 2009 with Code Pink activists, the Israeli forces had taken to blasting the nonviolent demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets and sound bombs the moment we approached the Wall/Fence which is on legally owned Palestinian property. On my previous demonstrations to the Wall/Fence, there had at least been a few minutes of dialogue between the Palestinians and Israeli forces, but the times had changed.
The day after getting gassed again in Bilin, I saw Vanunu for the first time in seven months and was struck that he had let his hair grow so long and how his pants had gotten so worn. It was good to reconnect after suffering another major failure of communication month's prior. It hadn't been our first communication break down nor was it our final. I am writing this on Palm Sunday 2010, and Vanunu is not speaking with me at this time again and he officially returned to atheism on 22 November 2009.
But, on that Sunday in June in 2009, Vanunu and I attended the English and German services at the Lutheran church where Vanunu has been a member for three and a half years, and afterwards he admitted, "I was isolating myself from my supporters."
I took comfort that he was however active and engaged with his local community, and every day Vanunu walked for hours to the furthest points of east Jerusalem and weekly played volleyball, shared a dinner and attended a Bible study with his church friends.
Vanunu was confident he would soon be released from open-air captivity and traveling the world. In particular he mentioned going to Ireland and staying a while with Mairead Maguire the Nobel Peace Laureate. He intended to travel to London, America and Norway before settling down.
As we sat in the garden restaurant at the American Colony, Vanunu told me that Tony Blair had rented the entire second floor for one million a year and Jimmy Carter was at that moment having a meeting with Israeli peace activists, Uri Avnery and Adam Keller.
Vanunu was smiling but hesitant when he said, "I have to ask you something that I thought sometimes. That you were FBI or CIA. With all these things you write, I thought someone else is telling you to write all these things."
I laughed, but not surprised, for we had been through this before but I replied, "In a way, someone does tell me what to write down. I only write what I hear in my heart and that is where I hear God; what ever He-She is, I don't know, but I have no doubt That Mystery is guiding me. Everything is connected and God is within every situation."
Vanunu leaned back and scanned the garden, then leaned in and said, "I don't really know you."
I laughed again and said, "Anyone can. Just read KEEP HOPE ALIVE..."