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Report from East Jerusalem

September 6th
Adeline O'Keeffe

Adeline O'Keeffe, a member of the British Campaign Committee, recently visited Mordechai in Jerusalem and found him to be in great spirits, fit and healthy. He swims every day for an hour and has made some friends locally who are supportive and caring towards him. He has many visitors at St. George's where he is most welcome. One of his regular responsibilities is to ring the Cathedral bells, which he takes great delight in doing, because he knows the chimes can be heard by the people in the neighbouring District Court - which is where he was sentenced 18 years ago - and that they know he is now the bell ringer. However, he is longing to leave Israel and meet his supporters from all over the world; Mordechai especially wants to come to England to walk the streets of London unhindered and finally lay the ghosts of the kidnapping to rest.

Mordechai is adept at working with technology and has 2 mobile phones as well as an apple mackintosh laptop computer purchased by the Campaign. He is kept busy answering phone calls and emails as well as giving interviews to international media, both over the phone and in person. The restrictions forbid him to do this, but Mordechai is clearly determined to uphold his right to free speech.

When walking in the streets of East Jerusalem he is constantly greeted warmly by Palestinians and often invited into shops for coffee. He seems not to be fearful of leaving the Cathedral despite the many threats he has received. Once in the post office the woman behind the counter wrote "good luck" on his transaction sheet and on another occasion an elderly Jewish couple approached him in a restaurant and thanked him for all he had done and the courage he had shown. The love he receives is palpable.

So, Mordechai is enjoying the life he has made for himself since leaving prison on 21st April this year; he is making the best of his current situation even with the many restrictions placed on him. There is a feeling of quiet urgency about his efforts to leave Israel and most of Mordechai's day is focused on any communication that will help him attain that goal. He constantly looks outwards and forwards to the real freedom that will come when he leaves Israel.


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