I'll apologise now if you're getting sick of all the
emails from me. I do promise you that they'll start
becoming less frequent from now on. Today though
Morde Vanunu was set free, and I'm sure you'll want
to hear about it first hand.
A number of you will have already seen Morde's
release on the TV. That was me on the right-hand side
of the crowd, right up near the gate, snuggled in
alongside my mate Louie the ABC camera-man.
Actually, 'snuggled' is not the word. 'Packed together like
sardines' would be a better explanation. I managed to manoeuvre
myself right on to the edge of the crowd near the gate, and was
hoping to duck under the locked arms of the security guards to
run out and meet my friend. Then all of a sudden a new set of
policemen threw themselves into their line of comrades like the
second row of a great scrum, driving us into one great agonising
heap, unable to move a limb.
Things moved with great energy from that point. Morde scaled
the front gate an put both hands in the air, like a prize-fighter
finally claiming victory after so
many long, hard rounds. He then turned back into the
forecourt of the prison and gave a spirited press
conference - dispelling the myth that he had 'more
secrets to reveal that could damage the state of Israel'
and claiming that his persecution had all been
because he had become a Christian.
When Morde's car finally emerged from the gate, the
seething and densely packed heap around me finally
burst its bounds, and for a moment we wondered if the
car would clear the compound. Thanks to the industry
of the police though (who conducted themselves very
professionally) both Morde and the car escaped,
showered only with eggs and abuse.
The streets then teemed with the chaos of unspent
aggression. I tried to make my way back to my bus,
but couldn't escape the verbal assaults of the anti- Vanunu protestors.
Then a local TV reporter tried to grab me for a few comments,
only to suddenly find herself surrounded by the angry mob, with
shouting at her and then at me. Rough hands were being placed
on my body and some people were kicking me in the lower legs
and the knees. Then I felt the spittle landing on my face amidst
words that I was glad I wasn't able to translate. I slipped my
way out of
that crowd, and I trust that the reporter girl got out
OK too. I found my way back to my bus.
All in all it's been a very emotional time for me.
Morde is free now, at least in part. I stood within a
few feet of him, though I wasn't able to catch his
eye. Tonight though we will see eachother again
properly, as we are all having a celebration dinner
together, and yet he may not be allowed to talk to me.
I was hoping that today would be a day when a lot of
these issues would be resolved. Well ... it is a day
of new beginnings for Morde.
I'll leave it here for today. I'll write again soon
to tell you about the dinner, and also to tell you
about things you might be able to do to help Morde
as he tries to readjust to life outside prison.
Till then, may God bless and strengthen you for the
work to whcih you have been called.