by Roy Tov
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
On June 6, 2012, Israel Supreme Court, gathering as the High Court of Justice, denied nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu’s petition to renounce his citizenship, saying that it wasn’t submitted through the appropriate channels. Sitting in Jerusalem, the Israel Supreme Court of Justice is an unusual law establishment. It usually operates as the highest appellate court in the country, but it features also a special operational mode as a court of first instance, called in Hebrew bagatz (acronym for High Court for Justice, not to be confounded with the formal name of the court: The High Court). In this instance, everybody under the jurisdiction of the court can initiate a process against the State of Israel, if he feels that one of his rights has been legitimately oppressed by the state. This can happen because Israel lacks a Constitution; thus, the Knesset can legislate laws that anywhere else would be considered illegitimate (for example, Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People). In other words, if the Knesset passes the Fatherland Law, a Christian Palestinian with Israeli citizenship may petition the High Court asking for the nullification of the law since it obviously discriminates against non-Jewish citizens. Thus, the court has the power of a regular high court and a constitutional court combined. Mordechai Vanunu appealed to this court asking his citizenship to be nullified.
I sat in jail, I was freed, and after 26 years they still won’t let me go, I want them to revoke my citizenship so that I can begin my life,” he said after the strange court ruling.
Double Bind and Vanunu
In May 2011, I published “What Israel Won’t Get: On Burger King and Vanunu,” after Mordechai Vanunu was returned to jail for a few months. “Shame on you, democracy,” he said on that opportunity and added that the Shin Bet will continue to torture him psychologically. Three central chapters in The Cross of Bethlehem II are dedicated to psychological torture methods, providing—probably for the first time ever—descriptions in accessible language on how is that achieved. One of the main tools used by states in order to achieve this evil goal is known as “Double Bind,” and is related to Vanunu’s claims and recent experiences.
In its narrow meaning, Double Bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in which an individual receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. A successful response to one message causes a failed answer to the other, so that the person will be automatically wrong regardless of response. The classical example is of an employer telling his employee to do a job, but doesn’t allow enough time for that. If the employee is in danger of losing the by questioning the situation, then the employee is in a Double Bind situation. This can be expanded into a whole range of daily situations. Look at the picture above; it was taken from the “Matrix.” A grandmotherly lady is offering cookies. At first sight, everything looks good and nice. Then, one notes that the cookies are shaped as Nazi Swastikas. This is disturbing, on the verge of being defined as horrific by some. There is a double bind, a double message implied in the event. The only target of this double message is to disturb the victim. This can be easily implemented by governmental organizations, effectively creating a torture that cannot be complained about in the type of courts existing nowadays.
In this context, Vanunu’s words quoted above:
“I was freed, and … they still won’t let me go,”
..get a new meaning. He is in a Double Bind torture illegitimately imposed by the Israeli government and its organizations.
Last month, Tim C.—a reader of this website and of deLiberation—put forward the concept of Diaspora Jews publicly renouncing their illegal “right of return” and giving it back to the Palestinians. deLiberation took up the call, creating on May 26 a page called “Transferring the Right Of Return.
I was approached by Tim, and deLiberation on the issue; this is easy to understand, after all I still am an Israeli citizen. Inadvertently, a potential Double Bind was created here towards the State of Israel. Poetical justice may be achieved, a counterweight to Israel’s immoral and criminal torture of Vanunu and others.
On the most basic level, I must say that renouncing the citizenship implies recognition of the State of Israel, a state that at best, can claim only to a very incomplete sovereignty (see Is Israel Sovereign?). That alone forces us to consider such a step carefully. With every renounce to the “Right of Return,” Israel would be able to claim “that person recognizes me.” Instead of giving such a gift to the Zionists, can we transform the situation into a Double Bind? Can we force the Israeli Administration to face an ambiguous situation in which no matter how it reacts, it would be wrong?
There are plenty of people in the world who fall under the categories defined by the Israeli Administration for having the “Right of Return.” Most of them have no interest in it, and are publicly inactive. They should publicly renounce to the Right of Return.
Then, using military terms, there are a few persons that are “force multipliers.” Due to their circumstances, they have additional public weight. Mordechai Vanunu is one of them. The son of Rabbi Meshulam and Shahar Hlinovski are two others. Rabbi Meshulam protested against the Israeli administration crimes against Yemenite Jews. His son managed to escape Israel after the protests, and is leading a quite vociferous campaign in Canada. Against all odds, one of the police officers sent to attack Meshulam became a refuge himself and has faced persecution also in Canada and Austria. I have also experienced violence by the State of Israel in several countries. Other Israeli refugees exist. As of now, we are spiky thorns in Israel’s flesh, hurting it with every move it attempts towards us. Agreed, we cause little damage. We are not weapons of mass destruction. However, we exist, and damage Israel’s false claim of being a democracy. If we renounce to our citizenship and to our Right of Return, we will lose the moral weight gained by being insiders to the monster. Israel will say: “bah, it’s just another goy speaking against us!” Why should we give Israel such a prize? I beg my Brother in Faith—Mordechai Vanunu—to stand firm despite his torture; we’ll have time to rejoice once we reach Celestial Jerusalem. Until then, we have the opportunity to force Israel to face its crimes. Until then, we will mutilate Zionist propaganda. This alone is worth one hundred years of solitude.
Let me end this article with a personal message to Mr. Netanyahu: “Here I am, being tortured by you, in La Paz, Bolivia. Can you stand in front of me as a man of honor and answer my claims? Can you justify your tortures towards your own citizens? Can you justify your claims of being the only democracy in the Middle East? I am here, Mr. Netanyahu, and I will keep tearing your flesh mercilessly until you recognize your own crimes and injustice.”