Thursday, December 31, 2009

No Freedom for Israeli Whistleblower

Nobody has questioned that Israel has nuclear weapons for decades, making the following article particularly offensive.

mordechai-vanunu Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison after he revealed Israel's secret nuclear program, has been placed under house arrest pending criminal charges for allegedly breaching the terms of his 2004 release, which includes a ban on contacts with foreigners.

A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said Vanunu was accused of meeting with "a number of foreigners". The spokesman, however, did not specify who the foreigners were or where they came from.Vanunu's lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, said his client had been arrested because his romantic attachment to an unnamed Norwegian woman had come to the attention of the authorities.

"Vanunu was arrested [for] a relationship between a man and a woman, with a Norwegian citizen," he told Reuters. "He is not being accused of giving any secrets. She is not interested in nuclear business - she's interested in Mordechai Vanunu [and he] is probably interested in her."

The woman has reportedly been interrogated by police but has not been charged with any offence.

Vanunu has fallen foul of the no-foreigners rule before. In 2007, he was sentenced to six months in jail for talking to non-Israelis.

Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear plant, was first jailed in 1986 after he passed on information about Israel's nuclear program to the Sunday Times. The Israeli authorities argue that he may have kept back some information which could still be of use to a hostile foreign power.

His dilemma is compounded by the fact that most Israelis do not approve of his actions and want no contact with him. Vanunu says the feeling is mutual and he would prefer to live abroad, but is banned from doing so...

...After talking to the Sunday Times, Vanunu was tracked down in Rome where he was kidnapped by Israeli intelligence agents and brought back to Israel to stand trial.

Israel has never publicly acknowledged its nuclear weapons arsenal… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

At the time of Vannu spilled the beans on Israel’s nuclear weapons program, nobody credible had doubted it's existence for several years.  While Vannu did break the law, he did so as an act of civil disobedience, occasioned by Israel’s lack of integrity by continuing to deny what we already knew.  For Israel, letting Vannu go now would prove far less damaging than continuing to expose their own hypocrisy through vengeance.  It is also an embarrassment for the US.  How can Muslim nations take us seriously when we tout nuclear nonproliferation, while winking at Israel’s nukes?


Lisa G. said...

I don't think that even 20 years ago there was any doubt about Israel having nukes. They are just making themselves look stupid by continuing this farce.

TomCat said...


Oso said...

The Israeli's are like a party guest who showed up in Palestine empty-handed and bitched about the inedible food while going back for second and third helpings, overflowed the toilet and stole the hostess earrings.

TomCat said...

...and knocked up the dog?