Who is Mordechai Vanunu?

Vanunu is certainly one of the most and longest persecuted human beings on the planet. Following are some excerpts from Wikipedia...

Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו‎; born 14 October 1952),[1] also known as John Crossman,[2][3] is an Israeli former nuclear technician and peace activist[4] who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986.[5] He was subsequently lured to Italy by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, where he was drugged and abducted.[5] He was secretly transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors.[5] [...]

Vanunu has been characterized internationally as a whistleblower[8][9] and by Israel as a traitor.[10][11][12][13] Daniel Ellsberg has referred to him as "the preeminent hero of the nuclear era".[14] In 1987, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "his courage and self-sacrifice in revealing the extent of Israel's nuclear weapons programme."

[...]

A number of prohibitions were placed upon Vanunu after his release from jail and are still in force:

he shall not leave Israel
he shall not speak to any foreigner unless granted approval to do so by Shin Bet[88] he shall not come within 550 yards of a border crossing or airport[89] he shall not come within 100 yards of a foreign embassy[89] his phone and Internet use shall be subject to monitoring[90] he shall notify authorities of any change in his place of residence, and whom he intends to meet[91] [...]

In 2006, Amnesty International's British branch chief, Kate Allen, wrote that Microsoft handed over the details of Vanunu's Hotmail email account by alluding that he was being investigated for espionage. This happened before a court order had been obtained.[95] [...]

Yossi Melman, an Israeli journalist, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz "Vanunu's harassment by the Israeli government is unprecedented and represents a distortion of every accepted legal norm."[85] Vanunu was denied parole at a hearing in May 1998.[108] Five years later, parole was again refused. At this parole hearing, Vanunu's lawyer Avigdor Feldman maintained that his client had no more secrets and should be freed. But the prosecution argued that the imminent war with Iraq would preclude his release. After the hearing, Feldman said, "The prosecutor said that if Vanunu were released, the Americans would probably leave Iraq and go after Israel and Israel's nuclear weapons - which I found extremely ridiculous." The real force blocking Vanunu's release, who had been known only as "Y", was exposed in 2001 as Yehiyel Horev, the head of Mossad's nuclear and military secrets branch.[109]

Following his release in 2004, Vanunu appeared in Israeli courts on numerous occasions on charges of having violated the terms of his release. He was arrested and detained for attempting to go to Bethlehem, on at least one occasion his room in St. George's Cathedral was raided by policemen and his belongings were confiscated.[110]

Yehiel Horev, the strictest of all the security chiefs in Israel, especially in regard to the protection of institutions such as the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center and the Israel Institute for Biological Research, is apprehensive that if Vanunu goes abroad, he will continue to be a nuisance by stimulating the public debate over Israel's nuclear policy and the nuclear weapons he says Israel possesses.

[...]

In September 2004, Vanunu received the LennonOno Grant for Peace, a peace prize founded by artist and musician Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon, her late husband.[citation needed]

In December 2004, he was elected by the students of the University of Glasgow to serve for three years as Rector.[155] On 22 April 2005, he was formally installed in the post but could not carry out any of its functions as he was still confined to Israel. The Herald newspaper launched a campaign for his release.[156]

In 2005 he received the Peace Prize of the Norwegian People (Folkets fredspris).[157] Previous recipients of this prize include Vytautas Landsbergis (1991), Alva Myrdal (1982), Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams. On 24 February 2010, Nobel Institute Director, Geir Lundestad, announced that for the second year in a row, Mordechai Vanunu had declined the honour of being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.[citation needed]

On 21 September 2010, the Teach Peace Foundation recognized Mordechai Vanunu for his courageous actions to halt the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by the Israeli government.[158]

On 4 October 2010, the International League for Human Rights announced that Vanunu was awarded the Carl von Ossietzky Medal for 2010[159] and, on 16 November, sent open letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, seeking Vanunu's free departure out of Israel to allow him to receive the medal at the Award Ceremony in Berlin on 12 December 2010.[160] Nobel laureates cited as co-signatories to the letter include Mairead Maguire, Günter Grass, Harold W. Kroto and Jack Steinberger.

The request was refused and the 12 December Berlin medal ceremony was restyled as a protest event in support of Vanunu and nuclear disarmament. On this occasion a musical composition, The Dove,[161] was dedicated to Vanunu and given its premier performance.[162]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *