Socialist Worker

Vanunu defies new attacks

by SabSagall
Issue No. 1928

THIRTY HEAVILY armed Israeli police last week invaded the Anglican cathedral compound in Jerusalem where Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear whistleblower, was granted sanctuary in April of this year. He was dragged before an Israeli magistrate and faced a day of interrogation.

But Mordechai remains defiant. Speaking to Socialist Worker after the raid he said, “My rearrest was contrary to all human rights.

“If the Israeli authorities do not respect these it opens the way to much graver crimes against humanity.

“We, the people of the world, have the right to know what Israel has produced.

“We demand the opening up of the Dimona nuclear plant for inspection and the abolition of Israel’s nuclear weapons as the first step in the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East.”

Mordechai has just been released after completing his 18-year prison sentence for revealing the truth about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme to the Sunday Times in 1986.

His laptop and papers were confiscated by police during the raid, and he was accused of breaking the conditions of his release—that he should not talk to foreigners, in particular the foreign media.

He was also accused of revealing sensitive information to the press. The truth is that he was thoroughly debriefed by the Sunday Times in 1986 and has no new information to divulge.

As for the restriction on talking to foreign journalists, Mordechai took the decision that it was better to talk than to remain silent, since it would then be patently obvious that he has nothing new to reveal.

The Israeli government’s accusations are pathetic excuses.

The reality is that Israel’s intelligence service and defence lobby want revenge on the man who caught them unawares in 1986.

The magistrate who interrogated Mordechai threatened to indict him with fresh charges if he refused to abide by the conditions of his release.

A decision will be taken, perhaps next week, by Israel’s attorney general.

Actor and campaigner Susannah York, who represents the Vanunu Trust, told Socialist Worker, “To breach the sanctuary of a church is outrageous—it recalls Henry II and Thomas a Becket.

“Mordechai has served his sentence and to go on punishing him is utterly immoral.

“We will do all we can to free him from these merciless policies and enable him to leave Israel.”

You can send messages of support to Mordechai Vanunu via St George’s Cathedral, PO Box 19018, 20 Nablus Road, Jerusalem 91191, Israel.

Sabby Sagall is on the committee of the Campaign to Free Vanunu and for a Nuclear Free Middle East.

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Sat 20 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1928
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