Eileen Fleming / Arabisto.com – 2010-08-13 00:48:18
â€¢ Please Sign the Petition to Free Mordechai Vanunu Here:.
(August 11, 2010) — During my first of seven trips to Israel Palestine in 2005, I was in the midst of writing my first book, Keep Hope Alive. If all goes as planned I will be in Iran this November researching for my fourth book, What YOU Were Doing When My Gods Were Beatles and Dylan.
My third book, Beyond Nuclear: Some of my Experiences of Mordechai Vanunu and the Holy Land: 2005-2010 would not, could not have been written without stumbling into a meeting with Mordechai Vanunu, who became my muse. That led me to become a reporter who stumbled into documenting Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH TRIAL, since it began on January 25, 2006, which was just a few weeks before Vanunu spoke about his first years in solitary confinement:
It was while researching for my first book-KEEP HOPE ALIVE- in 2004, that I stumbled upon Mordechai Vanunu’s incredible story and wrote him into a chapter; and then I crossed paths with him a few months after.
In the Chapter: “Thanksgiving Eve, 1987” from KEEP HOPE ALIVE, Dr. Jake Hunter, a fictional character says:
“I have yet to read or heard a word from the American press about Vanunu who had worked in a very compartmentalized position in the secret underground Dimona nuclear research center in the Negev. The nuclear plant had a sign outside claiming it was a Textile factory and it seems that when Vanunu finally realized he was involved in the horrific work of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, he shot two rolls of film inside of the restricted areas. Seems security was very lax and this low level tech was able to obtain the keys in the shower room that opened the doors to what Israel has not admitted to.
“Vanunu quit the job and leaves Israel and carried around the undeveloped film for nearly a year as he traveled throughout Europe. He ended up in Sydney, Australia and converted to Christianity. A few weeks after he shared his story with a British reporter and Vanunu and the reporter returned to London. While the London Sunday Times was verifying his story, Vanunu mysteriously disappeared. The photos proved the fact that Israel had become a major nuclear power, but not a word has been heard from my government or press!
“The Sunday Times reports this incredible news that Israel’s underground plutonium plant has material for two hundred nuclear warheads of advanced design, but not a word have I read about it or heard from the US media! It makes me wonder about all the iron curtains the media and government have raised as a shield from the truth.”
After five years of petitioning the Israeli government, I received a reply on July 29, 2010:
My most recent open email reply to them:
Dear Sirs/Madams of the State of Israel Ministry of Justice,
Thank you for your reply to my FAX of July 14, 2010:
Please know that I was not a reporter until after my first of seven trips to Israel Palestine in 2005. I was inspired to become one after listening to Mordechai Vanunu tell me some of his childhood stories and how he stumbled into Christianity.
When Vanunu’s Freedom of Speech Trial began on January 25, 2006, I stumbled into being the reporter who followed it from day one.
All Vanunu has wanted since he emerged from 18 years in a tomb-sized windowless cell on April 21, 2004, has been the right to leave Israel and fade into the world, to have a job, a home and family.
An International Petition written by Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, and Gerry Grehan, Chair of the Peace People, Northern Ireland, to President Barak Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and other world leaders and prominent personalities, asking for help in obtaining the lifting of all the restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu and for him to be granted full freedom to leave Israel is seeking co-signers:
MAIREAD CORRIGAN MAGUIRE’S LETTER:
(July 28, 20100 — We are writing to you on behalf of a good man, a man of peace and conscience, who was returned to prison for three months on 23 May 2010.
He will not be aware that we are writing this appeal, but we do so in the hope that, with your help, it will produce his freedom, and not (and this we must risk) cause yet more punishment to be inflicted upon him.
On Sunday 11 July 2010, his brother, Meir, was granted a 30 minute visit. There was a glass window between them and they spoke via the phone. He is held in solitary confinement in the harshest isolation wing there is in any Israeli prison.
He is in a cell by himself for 24 hours a day, no window except fora small wire covered crack at the top of one wall. He has about an hour’s walk a day in a very tiny yard. He was simply thrown in a cell by the security agents, the door locked, and left to suffer there all alone Of course his spirits are down as a result of being put in such harsh, inhuman and cruel conditions again.
He is Mordechai Vanunu the Israeli nuclear whistle blower. In October l986, Vanunu told the world that Israel had a Nuclear Weapons Programme. He was kidnapped and given 18 years imprisonment for espionage and treason. Twenty four years later he continues to be punished.
In the Jewish Scriptures there is great emphasis on justice and freedom. He served the full 18 years of his sentence (twelve years in solitary confinement,described by Amnesty International as “cruel, inhuman and degrading”).
Upon his release, the Israeli Government put severe restrictions upon him, including forbidding him to leave Israel and speak to the foreign media. It was the breaking of these restrictions, in summer 2004, by speaking to the foreign media, (mainly a long interview to the BBC), which resulted in his being returned to solitary confinement again this May.
Last month Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience and called on the Israeli authorities to lift the restrictions immediately.
“The restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu arbitrarily limit his rights to freedom of movement, expression and association and are therefore in breach of international law. They should be lifted and he should be allowed to start his life again as a free man.
“Mordechai Vanunu should not be in prison at all, let alone be held in solitary confinement in a unit intended for violent criminals.
“He suffered immensely when he was held in solitary confinement for 11 years after his imprisonment in 1986 and to return him to such conditions now is nothing less than cruel, inhuman or degrading.” — June 18, 2010 Amnesty International.
Yet, when he is released from prison he will still have to remain in Israel and the restrictions will be reviewed and probably renewed yet again, as they have been renewed each year for the past 6 years.
Vanunu is seen as a traitor by some, a hero by others. One thing is clear, he has been punished and served the full sentence and it is time after 24 years to do the human thing and let him live as a free man.
The Israeli Supreme Court continues to accept the Secret Services’ claims that he still has secrets, but a December 20, 2009 report by Reuters, shows that he does not:
“… Uzi Eilam, a retired army brigadier-general who ran the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission between 1976 and 1986, said anything that Vanunu — a cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre among disarmament campaigners — might still disclose about Dimona is of little relevance. “I’ve always believed he should be let go,” said Eilam. “I don’t think he has significant things to reveal (about Dimona) now.”
However, we believe that he will be free and our hope is that you will in some way facilitate his early release which would be welcomed by a world waiting and watching for a peaceful and secure future for Israel and its people.We would greatly appreciate your advising us of any action you take-
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
Gerry Grehan,Chair of the Peace People
Vanunu has been nominated year after year for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The many prominent names who have called for his release and respect of his human rights over the last 24 years include:
The late Nobel Laureates Joseph Rotblat and Harold Pinter; Nobel Laureates Former President Jimmy Carter; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Mary Ellen McNish (on behalf of AFSC); Betty Williams; Adolfo Perez Esquival; Rigoberta Menchu; Shirin Ebadi; Wangari Maathai; Mairead Maguire; John Hume
Kidnap victims: Brian Keenan; Anthony Gray
Politicians and human rights activists: the late Robin Cook, former UK Foreign Secretary; former Israeli Minister Shulamit Aloni; Helen Bamber; Simon Hughes; Daniel Elsberg; Bruce Kent; Noam Chomsky; Rabbi Philip Bentley (USA); Michael Mansfield QC; Dr Paul Oestreicher; Baroness Helena Kennedy QC; Tariq Ali; Jeremy Corbyn; Ken Livingstone; Ben Birnberg; David Goldberg QC; Alex Salmund
Actors, writers, musicians and artists: Emma Thompson; Julie Christie; Susannah York; Vanessa Redgrave; the late Corin Redgrave; Yoko Ono; Bono; Peter Gabriel; the late Graham Greene; the late Yehudi Menuhin; Janet Suzman; Gilad Atzmon; Richard Hamilton; Michael Rosen; David Gilmore; Benjamin Zephaniah, Alexie Sayle; Maggie Hambling; Tom Conti; Simon Callow; Jeremy Hardy; Miriam Margolyes; Prunella Scales; Arnold Wesker; John Williams; Roger Lloyd-Pack; Christopher Logue; the late Adrian Mitchell / Arabisto.com
Journalists: Andrew Neil; Jon Snow; John Pilger; Robert Fisk; Duncan Campbell; Victoria Brittain; Richard Norton-Taylor
Eileen Fleming, Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org is a Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com, a staff member of Salem-news.com and producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu.” She is author of “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl’s Life in Occupied Territory.”