The Martyrdom Of Mordechai Vanunu

Linked with Mordechai Vanunu – Israel.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Eileen Fleming, 10 March, 2009.

… Alfred Nobel’s intention was to reward people with a moral backbone. Nobel had hoped to create icons and examples to humankind.

Annually since 1986, Vanunu has been nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize. When Bishop Tutu nominated him in 2007, Vanunu told me that he didn’t want the award if Israel refused him the liberty and freedom to go and accept it.

In April 1999, thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Vanunu’s release from prison because they believed “we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity.”

President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards, and ever since the silence has been deafening; but the times are always a changing.

Vanunu’s inspired refusal of his 23rd nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize scored a direct hit at the hypocrisy of the claim that Israel is a democracy. It also delivered a left to the liver of Peres …

… Instead, Vanunu sat in silence in a windowless tomb sized jail cell while his brother Meir read the above statement at the ceremony for the Right Livelihood Award. The award was established in 1980 to honor personal courage that inspires social transformation and supports those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”

One of last year’s recipients was journalist Amy Goodman, whose infamous interview with Vanunu in 2004 was used as major testimony against him in his ongoing freedom of speech trial that began in January 2006.

Not until after the July 2007 sentence of six more months in jail, did Amy Goodman phone Vanunu for a follow up interview, but he wouldn’t talk to her. When I saw Vanunu in Jerusalem a few weeks later, he told me he refused to speak to Amy because “the media has never helped me.”

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, Goodman 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.”

The silence of the media regarding Vanunu’s trial and conviction for speaking to them and the silence regarding the undemocratic restrictions that forbid him the RIGHT to speak to foreigners and the RIGHT to leave the state should end by April 21, 2009. That is when the 5th year of restrictions that deny Vanunu his inalienable human right of speech and movement expire. Silence in response to wrong is complicity with it … (full long text).

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