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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Is Morde Vanunu a prophet?

A reflection by Eileen of

I once wrote an OPED and stated that Vanunu was a prophet.

When he read it, he emailed me and in bold letters wrote:“DON’T CALL ME THAT!”

I can't help myself, I think Vanunu is a modern day prophet.

Prophet’s do NOT predict the future-as much as they point out impending doom.Vanunu pointed out that WMD are underground in the Middle East and spent 18 years in prison for it.

Israel locked up Vanunu for telling the truth, yet Israel has NOT ever admitted to having nukes and has NOT signed the NPT. Israel continues to keep Vanunu under house arrest claiming he is a security risk while ignoring the risk to the public health caused by the Dimona, a leaking dinasour of a nuclear plant.

Israel claims Vanunu still has a secret that could hurt them. The only way Vanunu can harm Israel is with bad PR!

Anyone who visits east Jerusalem and invites Vanunu out for a beer or dinner can listen to this soft spoken, gentle man speak about the nearly 18 years of confinement, 11 1/2 in solitary.

Imagine if you can, the first TWO years Vanunu endured with a light on constantly above his head and a video camera recording his every move. Vanunu told me that sometimes, as often as every half an hour a guard would come into his cell with a brighter light shining into his face and mutter: “Just checking if you had committed suicide yet.”

Imagine if you can, being freed after 18 years, but NOT really, for you are now forbidden to speak to foreigners or the media and you cannot leave town. That is what life is like for the Christian convert in Jerusalem.

Vanunu has lived under house arrest in Jerusalem since his release in April 2004 after 18 years in jail, essentially for telling the truth.

Vanunu shares a few things in common with the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, who also spent much of his life under house arrest in Jerusalem, essentially for telling the truth.

We know more about the personal life and struggles of the Hebrew prophet, Jeremiah than any other Hebrew prophet. Jeremiah-translates as “The Lord throws”-as in hurling!

Jeremiah had few friends and is considered primarily a prophet of doom.

Jeremiah was intensely introspective, self-critical and timid by nature but honest and open about his feelings towards God. Jeremiah never married and began prophesying in Judah from 604-586, a time of “storm and stress when the doom of entire nations-including Judah itself-was being sealed...[for Judah was a only a] pawn in the power plays of imperial giants…[Jeremiah was] once the kings friend and confident, but the prophet soon entered a dreary round of persecution and imprisonment, alternating with only brief periods of freedom, and lived under virtual house arrest.”[Introduction to Jeremiah: NIV Study Bible, Zondervan]

When I met Vanunu last June for the first time, I asked him had he ever considered that the anti-Christ may NOT be a man at all, but nuclear weapons.

After all, nuclear weapons are promoted by governments as instruments of peace-and the understanding of the anti-Christ is one who comes in peace- but both will ultimately bring only destruction and doom.

When I told Vanunu that I cannot imagine God intended for humans to blow up this planet but rather that we learn how to share it he responded:

“The only way to peace is peace; the only way is non-violence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peace-full 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, if media does not report the truth, all we can do is follow our conscience. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The USA 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 WMD’s. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians, right here in Israel.”

During my trip to Jerusalem in March 2006, I asked one of this years Noble Peace Prize nominee’s Jeff Halper, [Founder and Coordinator of The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions]/ if he thought Israel was a democracy and he told me: “NO, it is an ethnocracy: full rights to Jews but nobody else.”

When I was in Nazareth, I learned from Fuad Farah, Board member of Sabeel and the Chairman of the Orthodox National Council in Israel that, "90% of Christian pilgrims never even meet Palestinian Christians!"

Since 1948, the Christian population in the land called Holy, has gone from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% and continues to shrink fast. The Christians are leaving in droves to escape the oppression and violence resulting from 40 years of occupation. If things do not change soon, there will be no Christian witness in the land where Christ promised: “The Peacemakers are the children of God.”

Millennium ago, Jeremiah was considered a traitor by many, today his words still ring new:

“I cannot keep silent…Disaster follows disaster; the land lies in ruins…My people are fools; they do NOT know me..." [Jeremiah 4:19, 20, 22]

Which reminds me of Micah 6:8

“He has showed you, O man, what is required. Be just, be merciful and walk humbly you’re your God.”
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Deadly Art of Lap Goch

A letter that came in response to the article on "Lap Goch and the American Presidency" from Dewi Evans (Director,Welsh Centre for Peace, Justice, and Controlled Aggression)

dear Pastor Smith,

Thank for your promotion of our national heritage sport.You may like to know the following additional data on Lap Goch:

the second most used weapon, after the brochfael is the lleach , known to us as the leek, which is of course the national vegetable of Wales (true!!)

the leek is dried over several weeks until it becomes a hitting instrument with sharp edges. Lap Goch classic lleach movements are:

"taking a lleach"- removing the weapon ceremonially from its bag, prior to........

"springing a lleach"- jumping on one's opponent from behind and striking him, prior to......

"plugging the lleach"-replacing the weapon in its protective covering.

The leek is relatively rare in Texas. Rumour has it that George W. Bush experimented with holding a prickly pear instead, but this resulted in severe hand injuries and a preference for tactical "nucular" weapons instead.


Dewi Evans
Director,Welsh Centre for Peace, Justice, and Controlled Aggression
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Action vs Contemplation

A Post from Rob (from Tasmania):

I got Father Dave's heads-up about this forum.

He says: "Here's a reasonably sobering statistic for you:

In the four days since I sent out my update on the Fighting Fathers Forum, more than 400 people have visited it! How many of those persons do you think have actually made a posting? The answer: two."

I say (and I think Chauncey Gardener would agree): "We like to watch."

This reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary. As you will remember, Jesus was visiting the sisters of Lazarus. Mary (sister of Lazarus) bathed Jesus' feet with oil and sat there adoring him. Meanwhile, Martha (the other sisiter) was fussing with the housework, attending to the guests, etc. Martha got annoyed with Mary and said, "Don't just sit there adoring, do something to help." And Jesus said, "Fair go, Martha, I like what Mary is doing better."

What is going on here in this story? Certain commentators have said there are three spiritual paths. The first is the way of Mary: adoration. The second is the way of Martha (and of the apostles): action. The third is the way of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: contemplation. Is any one of these better than the other? Jesus said adoration was the preferred way, yet he was a man of action and of contemplation. So what are we to make of that?

I think the starting point is to work out which of the three paths is the one for you. Maybe, like me, you would be 80% contemplation, 20% action, 0% adoration; maybe your percentages would be different.

I like Father Dave because he makes me bump up the action percentages. Left to my own devices, I think I would drift towards 100% contemplation. How about yourself? If nothing else, put a reply on this site nominating which is your dominant tendency: adoration, action or contemplation.

Dave, I got the ball rolling with one vote for contemplation. Are you going to step up to the plate?

Rob in Tasmania
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Paradise Now

A Post from Pavel (from the Czech Republic)

Thank you Dave for giving us the opportunity to see the problem of terrorism from the other side (for me the only way how to resolve this problem is to understand what is behind).

The Palestinian movie PARADISE NOW, which you was screening last week, was really great example of what is going on in the heads of those who commit these suicide attacks......saddly, still seems to me, most of the people dont care about these reasons (to watch the movie came just few of us.....even just 3 of my friends from all I told them about).

For most of them is still easier to decry all muslim world and care more about their full stomachs, pocket full of money and having some beer to drink .....really know what I am talking about.... living in Surry Hills and working in King Cross, I really know what is priority for most of the people during the friday nights.

I already tried to talk about this topic with some of my friends.....but only feedback i have recieved from them was nickname Taliban.