A Sunday with Vanunu eileen fleming
Occupied East Jerusalem, June 15, 2009- Mordechai Vanunu and I, first crossed paths on the first day of summer in 2005, which was five days before my return to the USA from my first 16 Days in Israel Palestine 
On my last evening of my seventh trip to occupied east
I ordered a Vodka tonic and 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
For the first eight days of my ten day trip, I was embedded with CODE PINK activist's, but missed their June 14th demonstration during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at
"Heavy handed police treatment of the CODEPINK: Women for Peace delegation began immediately after members of the group unfurled several pink banners that read “Free Gaza” and “End the Occupation.” CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin and New York activist Zool Zulkowitz were physically dragged across the street…A French journalist who was a member of the CODEPINK delegation, was arrested as she crossed a small street in an attempt to take photos of the demonstration…Israeli police and military violently shoved the group back into a wall. Delegation member Tighe Barry from
"When President Obama spoke in Cairo on June 4, a separate CODEPINK delegation that had just returned from six days in Gaza in early June, held a demonstration right outside Cairo University holding signs that read “Stop funding Israeli War Crimes.” Egyptian police allowed the demonstration to take place.
“Is this the great democracy that the
Although I missed all that action, I had the blessed opportunity to reconnect with Vanunu after suffering a major failure of communication last year; and now, that is all water under the bridge.
Vanunu admitted, "I was isolating myself from my supporters" but the times have changed and he is meeting with anyone who stops by his table between the hours of 3-5 PM, in the garden restaurant of the American Colony, in occupied east
Vanunu was smiling and 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 out loud- but not surprised- and 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 replied, "Anyone can. Just read KEEP HOPE ALIVE."
The day before, I had given him a copy inscribed that he appears on page 102 and throughout Chapter 11, and I speak through Jack, Jake, Terese, Brother Harold, Kat and Riad.
However, it was Vanunu who inspired me to became a citizen journalist, and three weeks after my first trip to occupied east Jerusalem I established my website and have been reporting from day on Vanunu's historic FREEDOM of SPEECH trial in the 'democracy' of Israel which began on January 25, 2006.
On July 2, 2007,
Vanunu began talking the day he emerged from 18 years in a tomb sized cell, on April 21, 2004. He was sentenced for treason, but all he did was tell the truth and provide the proof that
Two days before President Bush's first trip to
"In light of (Vanunu's) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country's security in jeopardy, we believe his sentence should be reduced."
Reuters quoted his attorney, Michel Sfard, "Vanunu was convicted by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court of 15 violations of a military order prohibiting him from talking to foreign journalists and leaving
On November 24th, 2006 Vanunu wrote:
"My lawyer succeeded to reveal a few very important facts:
1. This General of the Army also was not allowed to see all the secrets that he is required to protect by these restrictions that they claim I know them. So, he gave orders of restrictions without knowing what he is protecting or that he is also following orders blindly, and Mossad Sheen Bet using its authority for just punishing me.
2. He testified that it is not a crime for me to talk with foreigners in general anywhere.
3. He testified that I can speak freely to any Israeli citizens about anything; it is not his concern what I am saying to them. These Israelis can give this information to any foreigners. It was difficult for the Judge to understand why this dichotomy exits between foreigners and Israelis. It means that it is not about secrecy but about something else."
Something else indeed, is how Vanunu has endured the last twenty-three years: Opera:
"Opera inspires me, it gives me strength. When I was twenty-two I stopped listening to pop; The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan. I like challenges and began listening to opera. It builds skyscrapers in my mind. Opera is nutrition for the brain. Opera enlarges and develops the brain. Opera speaks to my brain…Every morning I am in my room until eleven listening to opera. I find ways to enjoy myself as my way of resistance. I transform anger into positive energy."
Vanunu also vents his righteous rage in daily 2 ½ hour walks at the most brutally hot hours of the day as he travels the streets of occupied East Jerusalem to the checkpoints at
Every Wednesday he plays coed volleyball and has dinner with the community of the
I attended both services with him and then we had lunch on the roof of Papa Andreas restaurant. I reminded Vanunu of the lunch we had there last November on the final day of Sabeel's Nakba Conference: Read more... 
Vanunu had consented to give a video interview update, but he was a no show on the roof where the videographer had set up to tape. Vanunu now admitted, "I was isolating myself from my supporters…I have felt bitter and held a grudge. But I realized that is not helping me. I am pragmatic and I will do what serves me and others.
"They renewed the restrictions to not speak to foreigners until November. I meet foreigners every day. I am talking with people every day. But I am not writing or announcing the appeal until after it happens. It was scheduled for January, then May 6th and June 18th. Now, I am waiting for a new court date.
"The Central Commander of the General Army testified in court that it is OK if I speak in public as long as I do not talk about nuclear weapons.
"I think the court will realize even if they send me back for three months-what will they do after that?
"It is all about freedom of speech and they cannot keep me here forever…They want revenge because I survived the system…The isolation in prison made me feel like I was loosing my mind. I felt like I was dieing.
"Jesus Christ's strong message to the Israelis of 2,000 years ago is that they were wrong in rejecting him. By going to church I am reminding Israel of JC. JC and I both did a good job for humanity.
"Obama needs to wake up and talk and walk. But
Read More: THAT DAY and This 9/11
Eileen Fleming, is the Founder of WAWA: http://www.wearewideawake.org/
Author "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in
She produced "30 Minutes With Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" because corporate media has been MIA all during a Freedom of Speech Trial in
Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine