Because I am married to the black sheep of the Memphis Dr. Fleming Family, I will be on vacation in Memphis until next week and I leave you dear reader with this, because if I can't laugh and "IF I can't dance it is NOT my REVOLUTION!" -Emma Goldman
The Beatles - Revolution (Live)
REVIEW of Beyond
Nuclear: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of
Speech Trial and My Life as a Muckraker
By Mark John Maguire
Eileen Fleming ' s book Beyond Nuclear: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial and My Life as a Muckraker is a fascinating insight into the life and mind of an activist pursuing a moral crusade against the might of a nation - in this case Israel.
It also provides a journal of such an individual's experiences in the complex and protracted struggle of the Middle East. Her journey of faith and belief in support of the Palestinian cause - and in particular that of Vanunu Mordechai, the Israeli dissident who served 18 years in prison for revealing Israel's illegal nuclear program - has been a remarkable one: she clearly believes she has a purpose and that she is guided by a higher will and perhaps this is the secret to the huge radical energy she exudes.
Her book is an expression of that energy and of the uncompromising commitment she shares with Vanunu in attempting to right the injustices she sees in the daily lives of Palestinians.
which is charted in the book - and to a lesser extent Vanunu's - has been the wider Palestinian
problem and the human rights abuses of the Israeli State.
Her visits to Israel and her meetings with Vanunu and others in her efforts to publicize the story the mainstream media largely ignore - especially in the US - is inspiring.
There are few who
would doubt the hardships and injustices suffered by the Palestinian people in
Israel and its adjacent lands, nor the inadequacy of the international
community's efforts to lessen their plight,
but Beyond Nuclear brings this sharply into focus.
It also puts the Vanunu
Mordechai case in the spotlight - the story of his abduction, his incarceration
and the subsequent restrictions placed upon him are all recorded here.
But it is the humdrum indignities that are suffered by Vanunu, the petty restrictions, the heavy handed reactions of the authorities that are most striking: the sense of isolation which Vanunu endures daily, an outcast from his own people - a man on the outside - which has become a metaphor for the Palestinian situation: the Middle East has always been a cauldron of tension and conflict - it is the story of the Old Testament - but it has never been more complex than it is now; a web of related issues: nuclear, racial, religious and geopolitical are stirred into an explosive mix. Vanunu's plight seems to epitomize this concoction: he is a Jew who converted to Christianity, a stranger amongst Palestinians, a man with whom the international community is ill at ease.
Nor are the
problems of the Middle East likely to be resolved soon - the international
resolve, as well as that of the immediate combatants is simply not there: in
August 2009 - in the wake of a long catalog of such wrongs - Fleming recounts
how the eviction of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem drew
international censure from the European Union, the UN, Britain and the USA: yet
nothing has been done to this day to address such breaches of international
Indeed, one of the recurring themes in Eileen Fleming' s book and in Mordechai's many interviews given since his release from prison in 2004 has been the fact that although the international community tacitly acknowledges Israel 's nuclear capability, it has never subjected Israel to a single Atomic Weapons Authority Inspection. It is the white bear in the corner no-one will speak of.
There is much to
exercise activists like Eileen Fleming. In some ways Beyond Nuclear is a
dispiriting tale of episodic and endemic complaisance by the international
community to serious abuses of international law, an unending cycle of
oppression, resistance and terrorism; but it is also an affirmation of the
ability of human beings to speak out, their willingness to take enormous risks
with their own personal safety and to refuse to be cowed by the might of the