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From November 19 through 24, this leader and reporter will be back in Jerusalem for my 8th trip since 2005 in support and to report on Sabeel's 9th International conference.
A few of my readers and Vanunu supporters have entrusted me with their personal correspondence to deliver to Vanunu which I will along with a copy of my two page letter to Pope Francis and an excerpt follows with hope to inspire YOU to write one too!
His Holiness, Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
Dear Pope Francis,
Regarding your March 2014 trip to Jerusalem and because you have repeated the call for a "Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction" I am impelled to write you the following........
Dorothy Day has been the 'patron saint' of my internet newspaper WeAreWideAwake.org since its inception and the mission has been to tell the Palestinian Christian and Muslim side of the story in the Holy Land since 1948 as my work is to change USA policies that collude in Nuclear deceptions and sustain a brutal, immoral and illegal occupation of indigenous people.
In 1948, 20% of the population of the Holy Land was Christian. Today they number less than 1.3% due to low birth rates and their mass Exodus because of the Occupation, which denies their basic human rights to access their land, jobs, resources, families and holy sites..........
After we hiked up the Mount of Olives and sat down under an olive tree I asked Vanunu, "How was it–being crucified for telling the truth?"
Vanunu readily replied, "My human rights have been denied me because I am a Christian. When I was on trial, I was treated just like a Palestinian: no human rights at all, and cruel and unusual punishment, all because I told the truth. The government spread slander about me, that I was a homosexual, that I hated Jews, that I wanted fame and money. What I did was sacrifice my life for the truth. In prison, I really began to feel like Jesus and Paul. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple, it was like me in Dimona, exposing the Israelis' dirty secrets. I felt like Paul, being thrown in prison for speaking the truth.
"The only real way to worship is in loving one's enemies. It was not easy to love my tormentors; it was only because I felt so much like Jesus crucified on the cross, and as if I was crucified in prison, that I could do it. It was not ever easy. I have forgiven but not forgotten anything, and I never will. In Israel, a life sentence is twenty-five years. Even murderers go free after seventeen. They imposed the same restrictions on me that Palestinians receive: no human rights at all; no phone; no visitors, except family, and only through an iron grill; no vacation; no holidays; and no gifts. Even murderers get out for vacations!
"I was locked up for eighteen years and still cannot go on vacation; I cannot leave, and that is all I am asking for, just to leave here. For eighteen years in prison, they even attempted to control my thoughts on paper. I would write exactly what I wanted and they would censor words like kidnapped and atomic bomb. They would show me how they chopped up my letters, but I continued to write exactly what I wanted. They held my body, but never my spirit or mind.........
"The only way to peace is peace; the only way is nonviolence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, and the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peaceful voice. When I became the spy for the world, I did it all for the people of the world. If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The United States needs to wake up and see the truth that Israel is not a democracy, unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find nuclear weapons. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians: right here in Israel.........###
YOU can leave a message to Vanunu in the Comment section below OR through his website HERE
Vanunu in 2007 at St. Stephens Church, Jerusalem. Photo Copyright Meir Vanunu