March 19, 2010

Poem for a noble man: Vanunu

Filed under: opinion article,poetry — newritings @ 10:08 pm

Vanunu refuses to speak Hebrew. He lives alone, in east Jerusalem. Israeli Jewish society considers him a traitor. Only one member of his large family will speak to him. The Palestinians are friendly to him and often invite him into their homes, but he politely refuses, explaining that he can’t tell who is a collaborator and who isn’t. He knows the state is following him, and he knows there are many Palestinians who – for money or drugs or to keep the silence of a blackmailer – help the state. What he does all day, every day, is walk – “from the checkpoint to the wall, from the wall to the checkpoint.”


The popularity of the piece “Let’s inspect Dimona” has provoked some sharp responses. The latest two, see them, reflect the current debate between two opposing camps: those who see justice as indivisible and therefore Israel must be included in all inspections, and those who see Israel as an exception, a protector of Western values and democracy in a world that knows only lawlessness and terror. The questions often not asked by those who subscribe to this view, is whose lawlessness and terror exercised upon whom? The masses of Palestine inside Israel, and in Gaza and the West Bank have clear answers, if the powers that be really want to listen.

The editors of this blog really believe that Israel, 60 years trying to be a respected member of the world community, must subscribe to laws, policies and practices that guide all countries and not only those preserved for some. It is in part of a handful of countries that have weapons of mass destruction (others being Pakistan, India, France, United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and North Korea) but Israel practices what the diplomatic community in Propaganda speak call Nuclear Ambiguity, not affirming or denying the existence of Nuclear warheads.

However, the world knows that it has them, long before Modechai Vanunu exposed this to public attention in the 1980’s. This honourable man took another giant step forward when he asked the beginning of this year that he be removed from the list of nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace prize. This was announced by the Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad, who said that the reasons given for the rejection were contained in a letter to them adding that: “The reason he gave was that Shimon Peres had received the Nobel Peace Prize, and Peres he alleged was the father of the Israeli atomic bomb and he did not want to be associated with Peres in any way.” (Haaretz, February24, 2010)

Often comparisons are drawn between Israel and Apartheid South Africa and very few commentators point out that South Africa not only turned its back on racist and Bantustan policies whilst Israel has not yet, but most importantly, South Africa voluntarily gave up its Nuclear potential and arms in the early 1990’s (no doubt, in part, concerned at the advent of a Black government) and thereby becoming the first nation in the world to do this.

It is also a signatory of the Biological Weapons Convention since 1975, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1991, and the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1995. So if South Africa can do it, why not Israel and all the other countries?

In response to our comments we reaffirm it is never too late to inspect DIMONA… and to end I have this little poem called DIMONA.

D __ Destrustive

I_ Israel




A­­_Agreements (on arms, etc.)



PS. To read a poem by Vanunu, go to his website.

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