On April 21, 2009, restrictions on Israeli nuclear whistle blower, Mordechai Vanunu, preventing him from leaving Israel and speaking to non-Israelis expired. And yet the Israeli government still will not allow Vanunu his freedom. Mordechai Vanunu has spent over a quarter of his life in prison for exposing Israel's violation of international [nuclear] arms control agreements.
Mordechai Vanunu was a technician in Israel's Negev Nuclear Research Center, south of Dimona, where Israel manufactures its nuclear weapons. Israel neither acknowledges nor denies that it posesses nuclear weapons. Vanunu was laid off in 1985, and in 1986 went to London and, as an act of conscience, revealed his knowledge (with photographs) of Israel's nuclear weapons activities to The Sunday Times of London (he was not paid for the information he provided to The Times).
After being lured to Italy - the Israelis had an agreement not to conduct operations in Britain - by an American Mossad agent who had begun an affair with him, Vanunu was drugged, abducted and taken back to Israel by Mossad agents. Shortly after his abduction, on October 5, The Times ran the article based on the information provided by Vanunu, and in it estimated Israel's nuclear arsenal to contain at least 100 warheads (and as many as 200). In a secret trial Vanunu was charged with treason and espionage, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Even after his release in 2004, Vanunu has been hounded by the Israeli government, has had severe restrictions placed on his travel and contacts, and has been arrested multiple times. Finally, on April 21, 2009, the travel and contact restrictions were to expire. The date passed quietly and nothing has changed. Why will the Israelis not set Vanunu free??? What have they to fear? Mordecahi Vanunu showed great courage in bringing to the world the truth about Israel's nuclear arsenal. Do the Israelis fear truth?
We can advocate for Mordechai Vanunu. Check out The U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu (ended in 2005, but still full of good information). In the U.S. you can contact President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton and ask them to press the Israeli government to release Vanunu without conditions.
Here is a poem written by Vanunu during his 11 years of solitary confinement in Ashkelon Prison.
'I AM YOUR SPY' - Ashkelon Prison, 1987
I am the clerk, the technician,
the mechanic, the driver.
They said, Do this, do that,
don't look left or right,
don't read the text.
Don't look at the whole machine.
You are only responsible for this one bolt.
For this one rubber-stamp.
This is your only concern.
Don't bother with what is above you.
Don't try to think for us. Go on, drive.
Keep going. On, on.
So they thought, the big ones, the smart ones,
There is nothing to fear.
Not to worry.
Everything's ticking just fine.
Our little clerk is a diligent worker.
He's a simple mechanic.
He's a little man.
Little men's ears don't hear, their eyes don't see.
We have heads, they don't.
Answer them, said he to himself,
said the little man, the man with a head of his own.
Who is in charge?
Who knows where this train is going?
Where is their head? I too have a head.
Why do I see the whole engine,
Why do I see the precipice-- is there a driver on this train?
The clerk driver technician mechanic looked up.
He stepped back and saw -- what a monster.
Can't believe it.
Rubbed his eyes and -- yes, it's there all right.
I'm all right. I do see the monster.
I'm part of the system.
I signed this form.
Only now I am reading the rest of it.
This bolt is part of a bomb.
This bolt is me.
How did I fail to see,
and how do the others go on fitting bolts.
Who else knows?
Who has seen?
Who has heard? -- The emperor really is naked.
I see him.
It's not for me.
It's too big.
Rise and cry out.
Rise and tell the people.
I, the bolt, the technician, mechanic? -- Yes, you.
You are the secret agent of the people.
You are the eyes of the nation.
Agent-spy, tell us what you've seen.
Tell us what the insiders, the clever ones,
have hidden from us.
Without you, there is only the precipice.
I have no choice.
I'm a little man, a citizen, one of the people,
but I'll do what I have to.
I've heard the voice of my conscience
and there's nowhere to hide.
The world is small, small for Big Brother.
I'm on your mission.
I'm doing my duty.
Take it from me.
Come and see for yourselves.
Lighten my burden.
Stop the train.
Get off the train.
The next stop -- nuclear disaster.
The next book, the next machine.
No. There is no such thing.
Mordecai Vanunu's Web site: http://www.vanunu.com