Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama's Mandate from and Vanunu's letter to 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Committee

Obama's Mandate from and Vanunu's letter to 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Committee
eileen fleming

In his congratulatory message to President Obama upon being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated:

"Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such profound impact. You provided all of humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a Lord in heaven and believers on earth. Under your leadership, peace became a real and original agenda. And from Jerusalem, I am sure all the bells of engagement and understanding will ring again. You gave us a license to dream and act in a noble direction." [1]

Within days of the announcement for 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize, twenty-two time nominee, Mordechai Vanunu declined the honor in a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo:

"I am asking the committee to remove my name from the nominations…I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres…Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel…Peres was the man who ordered [my] kidnapping…he continues to oppose my freedom and release…WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM….FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM I NEED NOW." [2]

In 1994, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat and Peres were all awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for playing a part in achieving the Oslo Declaration of Principles. According to the preamble of the DOP, peace was to be based on mutual respect and reconciliation. 

Alfred Nobel’s intention was to reward people with a moral backbone and he hoped to create icons and examples to humankind. Here's hoping President Obama seizes his Nobel Prize as a mandate from Oslo and also hold Israel accountable for past sins of omission and obfuscations.

In 1963, when Vanunu was nine years old the Zionists came to his home town of Marrakech, Morocco and convinced his Orthodox father to abandon his general store and pack up the first seven of his eleven children for the land of milk and honey. Instead, the Vanunu's were banished to the desert of Beesheva. A few months later, Shimon Peres, then Israel's Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, at the White House.

Kennedy told Peres, "You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?"

Peres replied, "I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first."

Ghassan Khatib, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said Palestinians hope the prize "will provide an additional incentive" for Obama to keep striving for an end to the decades-old conflict while Reuven Rivlin, speaker of Israel's parliament, called the Nobel decision "very strange." [3]

The Nobel committee "stressed that it made its decision based on Mr. Obama’s actual efforts toward nuclear disarmament as well as American engagement with the world relying more on diplomacy and dialogue." [4]

President Obama, is now the third sitting American president to win the award, and his peers include Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who won the Nobel for helping end the Cold War which raged from 1945 to 1991, and Nelson Mandela, who fought for the end of Apartheid in South Africa.  

Instead of repenting and abolishing nuclear weapons after the terrorism inflicted on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American government upped the ante of nuclear insanity and thus bears the most responsibility for the political conflict and economic competition that ensued during those 46 years.

The apartheid regime in South Africa existed from 1948 until 1994; but it was not until the late 1980's that the American government got on-board with the over twenty years of a global call for boycott, divestment and sanctions that finally brought that apartheid system to its knees.

The Norwegians are way ahead of US in regards to people power and human rights activism for justice in Israel Palestine.

The Norwegian government dropped the Israeli firm Elbit Systems Ltd. from the government pension fund, because regular people brought to the attention of their government Elbit's involvement in building the Apartheid Wall in the Occupied West Bank.

"Norway's Council of Ethics cited the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling that declared the Separation Wall to be illegal. Elbit Systems supplies essential components for the building of the Wall, including surveillance technology, and is also a manufacturer of weapons used to sustain Israel's Occupation of Palestine… [and] because of the firm's material support for the illegal Occupation and crimes against the Palestinian people… [and because they] supplied arms to Israel in the full knowledge that these weapons would be used against civilians in Palestine and Lebanon." [5]

Knowledge always brings responsibility and there are no secrets on the World Wide Web!

On October 2, 2009, The Washington Times reported that "Obama agrees to keep Israel's nukes secret [and] reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections."

In 2005, Vanunu, told me:

"President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Prime Minister Ben Guirion said, 'The nuclear reactor is only for peace."

"Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

"When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

"Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year."

On April 5, 2009, President Obama stood on the world stage in Prague and admitted, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act…When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also cowardly thing to do. That’s how wars begin. That’s where human progress ends…the voices of peace and progress must be raised together…Human destiny will be what we make of it…Words must mean something."

Here's hoping President Obama will courageously pursue the mandate issued from Oslo with an unrestrained audacious daring and that President Peres is ready to ease his conscience and allow Vanunu the right to leave occupied east Jerusalem.

Here's hoping too, that together they will pursue the dream of a nuclear free world.

"HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine






Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine

Eileen Fleming, A Feature Correspondent for The Palestine Telegraph and
Founder of
Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"  
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


No comments: