The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 20, 2010

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 21:24:10
From: moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: Letter of Appeal to the Jewish People from Nobel Laureate Mairead

Open Letter of Appeal to the Jewish people from Nobel
Laureate Mairead Maguire News and Commentary on the Middle East
July 18, 2010

Dear Friends,

I write to ask for your help in gaining the freedom of
a good man, a man of peace, and a man of conscience.

In the Jewish scriptures there is great emphasis on
justice and freedom and it is for such, for one man,
that I write to seek your help.

He will not be aware that I am writing this Appeal, but
I do so in the hope that, with your help,  it will
produce his freedom, and not (and this I must risk)
cause yet more punishment and cruelty to be inflicted
upon him.

However, I feel when I tell you the story, it will
touch your hearts and there will be those amongst you
who will be able to help him gain his freedom.

In May, 2010, this man was returned to prison to serve
three months for allegedly breaking his prison release
restrictions and speaking to Foreign Media.   On Sunday
llth July, 2010, he had  his first visit in seven
weeks.   His brother, Meir, was granted a 30 minute
visit.  There was  a glass window between them and they
spoke via the phone.  He wore a prison uniform.  He is
held in the hardest prison section there is in the
prison.  It has the most notorious criminals in the
country, well known hard murder cases.  All about a
dozen are in severe isolation conditions.  He is in a
cell by himself for 24 hours a day, no window but a
small wire covered crack at the top part of one wall.
He has about an hour's walk a day in a very tiny yard.
He was simply thrown in a cell by the security agents,
the door locked, and left to suffer there all alone.
He has not spoken to anyone in all the seven weeks and
this visit was (apart from a short visit of his lawyer
6 weeks ago) the first conversation he had in seven
weeks.  His food is limited in quality and quantity,
and his reading material two books he has with him.  Of
course his spirits are down as a result of being put in
such harsh, inhuman and cruel conditions.

His name is Mordechai Vanunu, and he is in an Israeli
prison cell.  Mordechai is no stranger to prison.  In
l986 Mordechai Vanunu told the world that Israel had a
Nuclear Weapons Programme and he was given 18 years
imprisonment for doing so.  He is the Israeli Nuclear
whistle blower and 24 years later continues to be
punished for trying to warn the Israelis and protect
both Israel and the world from a Nuclear weapons
disaster.   Mordechai Vanunu served the full 18 years
of his sentence (eleven years in solitary ) and upon
release, instead of allowing him to leave Israel, the
Israeli Government put severe restrictions upon him,
including forbidding him to leave Israel and not to
speak to foreign media.  It was the allegedly breaking
of these restrictions and speaking to Foreign media,
which resulted in Mordechai being returned to prison
for 3 months.   He has 6 weeks left to serve in these
harsh prison conditions, and even upon release from
prison will still have to remain in Israel until next
April, 2011 when the restrictions will be reviewed and
probably renewed yet again, as they have been renewed
each year for the past 6 years.   Some people say
Vanunu will never be allowed to leave Israel but will
die there, if indeed in the meantime his spirit is not
broken by his ill treatment and he losses his sanity.

The Shabak continues to tell the Israeli Government he
is a security risk and must not be released and the
Israeli Judiciary and Government obey them and keep him
imprisoned. Vanunu is no risk to Israeli National
Security. He has no nuclear secrets.  I have asked some
Israelis why they think Israel refuses to allow
Mordechai Vanunu to leave Israel. Various reasons are
given but the most frequent answer is they feel the
Israeli Government does not trust its citizens and
holding Mordechai Vanunu, forever, if necessary sends
out the signal to Israeli Citizens to behave

It seems, if this is so, that the strategy is working.
To date only a few courageous Jewish people have raised
their voices against such cruelty and injustice
perpetrated upon Mordecai, and called for him to be
allowed to leave Israel. But I don't believe Mordechai
will never be allowed to leave Israeli and will die in
Jerusalem.   I have met Mordechai many times since he
was released from prison on 2lst April, 2004.   He is a
good man, a man of peace, and a true Gandhian  spirit.
Instead of punishing him, Israel should be proud of
Mordechai Vanunu, and I believe that future generations
of Israelis will look back and realize that there lived
amongst them a great visionary and man of peace, not
only for Israel, but for the human family.  It was with
great joy I nominated him several times for the Nobel
Peace Prize, as did many other prominent names during
the past 24 years.  He richly serves the NPP as he
lives and acts in the true spirit of Alfred Nobel, who
left his prize for those who would work for peace and

However, it is with the deepest sadness that I
acknowledge that in spite of world campaigns by many,
including Amnesty International (and personal letters
from myself  to President Obama, President Shimon
Peres,) Mordechai Vanunu continues 24 years later to be
most cruelly imprisoned and punished by Israel.   Most
Political and Spiritual leaders, and International
Bodies,  of our time are silent in the face of Israel's
abuse of Vanunu's basic human right to freedom of
speech and liberty, which is in violation of many
International Laws.

However, I have hope that he will be free and I place
my hope in those Jewish people who read this story and
are moved to right a wrong continuing to be done to
Mordechai Vanunu, and they will demand that their
Government give him his freedom, and allow him to leave


Mairead Maguire
Nobel Peace Laureate



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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 21:24:33
From: moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: Howard Zinn's The Bomb

Howard Zinn's The Bomb

By David Swanson

The late Howard Zinn's new book "The Bomb" is a
brilliant little dissection of some of the central
myths of our militarized society.  Those who've read "A
Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the
CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments," by H.P. Albarelli
Jr. know that this is a year for publishing the stories
of horrible things that the United States has done to
French towns.  In that case, Albarelli, describes the
CIA administering LSD to an entire town, with deadly
results.  In "The Bomb," Zinn describes the U.S.
military making its first use of napalm by dropping it
all over another French town, burning anyone and
anything it touched.  Zinn was in one of the planes,
taking part in this horrendous crime.

In mid-April 1945, the war in Europe was essentially
over.  Everyone knew it was ending.  There was no
military reason (if that's not an oxymoron) to attack
the Germans stationed near Royan, France, much less to
burn the French men, women, and children in the town to
death.  The British had already destroyed the town in
January, similarly bombing it because of its vicinity
to German troops, in what was widely called a tragic
mistake.  This tragic mistake was rationalized as an
inevitable part of war, just as were the horrific
firebombings that successfully reached German targets,
just as was the later bombing of Royan with napalm.
Zinn blames the Supreme Allied Command for seeking to
add a "victory" in the final weeks of a war already
won.  He blames the local military commanders'
ambitions.  He blames the American Air Force's desire
to test a new weapon.  And he blames everyone involved
-- which must include himself -- for "the most powerful
motive of all: the habit of obedience, the universal
teaching of all cultures, not to get out of line, not
even to think about that which one has not been
assigned to think about, the negative motive of not
having either a reason or a will to intercede."

When Zinn returned from the war in Europe, he expected
to be sent to the war in the Pacific, until he saw and
rejoiced at seeing the news of the atomic bomb dropped
on Hiroshima, 65 years ago this August.  Only years
later did Zinn come to understand the inexcusable crime
of the greatest proportions that was the dropping of
nuclear bombs in Japan, actions similar in some ways to
the final bombing of Royan.  The war with Japan was
already over, the Japanese seeking peace and willing to
surrender.  Japan asked only that it be permitted to
keep its emperor, a request that was later granted.
But, like napalm, the nuclear bombs were weapons that
needed testing.  The second bomb, dropped on Nagasaki,
was a different sort of bomb that also needed testing.
President Harry Truman wanted to demonstrate nuclear
bombs to the world and especially to Russia.  And he
wanted to end the war with Japan before Russia became
part of it.  The horrific form of mass murder he
employed was in no way justifiable.

Zinn also goes back to dismantle the mythical reasons
the United States was in the war to begin with.  The
United States, England, and France were imperial powers
supporting each other's international aggressions in
places like the Philippines.  They opposed the same
from Germany and Japan, but not aggression itself.
Most of America's tin and rubber came from the
Southwest Pacific.  The United States made clear for
years its lack of concern for the Jews being attacked
in Germany.  It also demonstrated its lack of
opposition to racism through its treatment of African
Americans and Japanese Americans.  Franklin D.
Roosevelt described fascist bombing campaigns over
civilian areas as "inhuman barbarity" but then did the
same on a much larger scale to German cities, which was
followed up by the destruction on an unprecedented
scale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- actions that came
after years of dehumanizing the Japanese.  Zinn points
out that "LIFE magazine showed a picture of a Japanese
person burning to death and commented: 'This is the
only way.'"  Aware that the war would end without any
more bombing, and aware that U.S. prisoners of war
would be killed by the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, the
U.S. military went ahead and dropped the bombs.

Americans allowed these things to be done in their
name, just as the Germans and Japanese allowed horrible
crimes to be committed in their names.  Zinn points
out, with his trademark clarity, how the use of the
word "we" blends governments together with peoples and
serves to equate our own people with our military,
while we demonize the people of other lands because of
actions by their governments.  "The Bomb" suggest a
better way to think about such matters and firmly
establishes that --what the U.S. military is doing now,
today, parallels the crimes of the past and shares
their dishonorable motivations; --the bad wars have a
lot in common with the so-called "good war," about
which there was little if anything good; --Howard Zinn
did far more in his life for peace than for war, and
more for peace than just about anybody else, certainly
more than several Nobel Peace Prize winners.

David Swanson is the author of "Daybreak: Undoing the
Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union"


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to people on the left that will help them to
interpret the world and to change it.

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Darkness, as immediately the negative of light, is the opposition to
light's abstractly identical ideality; it is this _opposition_ in its own
self. (Hegel)

Light and dark have _no relationship,_ no dispersion in relation, no mul-
tiplicity in relation; as idealities they reference the wake of organism,
phenomenology of perception. Forget either; read granularity in the wake
of organism; perceive chaos in the stridency of the mother and fathers of
light and dark.

Dark and light in _relation,_ confluence of relationship, singularity
obviating relation; concrete, they inhabit inert and obdurate materiality,
existential memory. Remember both; write clarity in clay, protocol in the
suppleness of the sons and daughters of dark and light.

war con/tracked in circles

here and there just a plane landing

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