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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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