John Lennon could have celebrated his 72nd birthday this Tuesday.
Two days shy of his 35th birthday, the New York State Supreme Court reversed his deportation order, which allowed Lennon to legally remain in the United States.
The former Beatle, had become a thorn in the side of the Nixon Administration for speaking up against the Vietnam War and he penned the unofficial anthem of that generations Peace Movement with Give Peace a Chance:
In the 2006 documentary ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’, Geraldo Rivera reported, “There was a fear that John could imperil the political existence of Richard Nixon.”
The FBI investigation against Lennon turned up nothing in the way of illegal activities so the deportation was based on a 1968 drug-related charge in England.
Leon Wildes, John’s attorney said that Lennon “understood that what was being done to him was wrong. It was an abuse of the law, and he was willing to stand up and shine the big light on it.”
Judge Kaufman ruled that, “The courts will not condone selective deportation based upon secret political grounds. Lennon’s four-year battle to remain in our country is testimony to his faith in this American dream.”
On 5 October 2012, it was announced that this years honorees of this October 9th’s LennonOne Grant for Peace include John Perkins, Christopher Hitchens, Lady Gaga, Pussy Riot and Rachel Corrie [Remembering Rachel and Israeli Injustice].
A Little History:
On 18 September 2004, Yoko Ono awarded Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu a peace prize founded in memory of and in the spirit of John Lennon’s “Give Me Some Truth” released in 1971.
“I’m sick and tired of hearing things from uptight short sided narrow minded hypocrites all I want is the truth, just give me some truth. I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians all I want is the truth, just give me some truth.”-John Lennon
The award was instituted in 2002, when Israeli Zvi Goldstein and Palestinian Khalil Rabah each won for artistic contributions to peace in their homeland.
In 2004, Yoko Ono awarded $50,000 to New Yorker magazine correspondent and author Seymour Hersh, whom she described as “a staunch seeker of truth” for his investigative journalism.
In 2004, Reuters quoted Ono stating that Hirsh and Vanunu were honored as “people who have spoken out for the benefit of the human race by overcoming extreme personal difficulties and, in doing so, have allowed the truth to prevail. Hopefully [Vanunu] can come and receive the award himself. He did complete his sentence, it’s not as though he’s a criminal. The point is that it’s another statement, a statement that the whole world can share and think about. People power is stronger than the power of institutions.”
To this day, Vanunu remains waiting for his right to leave Israel and recently quipped that he “would be happy to get from the interior ministry of Israel the title ‘persona non grata’ and they can send me out of Israel.” [Vanunu Responds to Gunter Grass and My Question to SECURITY].
In Ray Coleman’s biography of John Lennon, he quotes the artist circa 1969, “I’d like to be like Christ, [he described himself as a Christian communist] in a pure sense, not in the way Russia or Italy think of Christianity or communism. Every body’s uptight and they’re always building these walls around themselves. All you can do is try to break down the walls and show them that there’s nothing there but people. I only know that peace can exist, and the first thing is for the world to disarm…I think I’ll win because I believe in what Jesus said.”
Within minutes of emerging from his windowless tomb sized cell on 21 April 2004, Vanunu announced, “I am not harming Israel. I am not interested in Israel. I want to tell you something very important. I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian, because I was baptized into Christianity. If I was a Jew I wouldn’t have all this suffering here in isolation for 18 years. Only because I was a Christian man.”
In the summer of ’66, it was reported in the U.S. that John Lennon had made a comment to a friend and reporter that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus was.
I agreed with him because my friends and I knew every lyric to every Beatles song, but nobody ever quoted Jesus.
Lennon made me think about my own hypocrisy, and on a Saturday afternoon in July, immediately after the ritual of weekly confession while I knelt at the altar and mindlessly repeated the same old prayers as the week prior, in the middle of the three Our Fathers and ten Hail Mary’s, it hit me like a light! Those words that I uttered never changed anything, and I got up and walked out, convinced I was doomed for hell, for I had failed at Confession!
I never doubted there was a God, but as Lennon said and I still believe;
“That what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong…Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me…
“You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate…All we are saying is give peace a chance…All you need is love…Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one…Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
In 2005, Vanunu told me, “My Christian conversion was also considered as treason and led to me receiving more time in jail than any murderer has ever served. The Israelis have this very beautiful article about freedom and liberty but they want to destroy anyone who criticizes them for revealing the truth to the world. The world must look and see what kind of democracy Israel is when one speaks out the truth.”
A few days before my first of seven journeys to Israel Palestine, a Palestinian American friend warned me, “Don’t visit Vanunu, if you see him; don’t speak to him. He’s not allowed to speak to foreigners and you could cause him trouble.”
I responded, “OK, I won’t track him down, but Jerusalem is a small town and if our paths cross, I will speak to him. What kind of government is that, that will tell a human being who they can and cannot talk with?”
It was while researching for my first book-KEEP HOPE ALIVE– that I stumbled upon Vanunu’s incredible story, wrote him into a chapter and met him a few months later while in east Jerusalem.
In the Chapter: “Thanksgiving Eve, 1987” Dr. Jake Hunter, a fictional character says:
“I have yet to read or heard a word from the American press about Vanunu who had worked in a very compartmentalized position in the secret underground Dimona nuclear research center in the Negev. The nuclear plant had a sign outside claiming it was a Textile factory and it seems that when Vanunu finally realized he was involved in the horrific work of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, he shot two rolls of film inside of the restricted areas. Seems security was very lax and this low level tech was able to obtain the keys in the shower room that opened the doors to what Israel has not admitted to.
“Vanunu quit the job and leaves Israel and carried around the undeveloped film for nearly a year as he traveled throughout Europe. He ended up in Sydney, Australia and converted to Christianity. A few weeks after he shared his story with a British reporter and Vanunu and the reporter returned to London. While the London Sunday Times was verifying his story, Vanunu mysteriously disappeared. The photos proved the fact that Israel had become a major nuclear power, but not a word has been heard from my government or press!
“The Sunday Times reports this incredible news that Israel’s underground plutonium plant has material for two hundred nuclear warheads of advanced design, but not a word have I read about it or heard from the US media!
“It makes me wonder about all the iron curtains the media and government have raised as a shield from the truth.”
I am still wondering!
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.