DEERFIELD, MA - August 17 - Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli who spoke the truth about nuclear weapons, spent 18 years in prison for doing so. Vanunu spent eleven and a half years in a small cell only 6 x 9 feet, and for thirteen years he endured solitary confinement. After years of cruelty he was released from prison on April 21st of 2004 and has a room now at an Anglican church, St. George Cathedral in East Jerusalem.
Speaking to media, Vanunu again defies restrictions imposed by Israel by speaking to foreigners He has been prohibited from doing so for six months following his release. He also has been ordered not to leave the country for one full year.
Vanunu initially defied the Israel authorities when he revealed to the Sunday Times in London in October of 1986 that the Israeli government was using a reactor provided through the Atoms for Peace program to produce fuel for nuclear weapons. Vanunu said the Israeli arsenal contains 100 to 200 nuclear weapons, including powerful hydrogen bomb and neutron bombs. Neutron bombs are designed to kill people while minimizing damage to buildings.
Vanunu says, "... (The) hydrogen bomb has no justification, nor any real excuse for Israel's defense. It's a real holocaust weapon, a hydrogen bomb, and it only can be used against civilians in cities ... "
As a worker at the Dimona reactor, Vanuau claims that emissions there were released only when the wind was blowing toward Jordan. Vanunu objects to the reactors being operated for forty years without inspections from abroad, or from the Israeli government or Parliament, saying, ³No one was discussing what was going there.²
After his revelation to the Sunday Times, Vanunu was lured to Rome by an American young woman. He says that Italian, French, and English kidnappers were waiting for him, representing some of the governments that promoted nuclear proliferation during the cold war.
Vanunu hopes to leave Israel as soon as possible. 'I cannot feel safe. There are some threats to my life' He hopes to visit supporters, including adoptive parents in Minnesota, and people throughout the U.S. whom he came to know through correspondence and through communications during visits with his younger brother, Meir Vanunu, and other family members during his captivity. The right to travel and to swim in the ocean remain a hope for Mordechai, alongside his hope for a world not threatened by nuclear annihilation by any country.
Hear his August 14th interview and see the transcript at http://www.traprockpeace.org/mordechai_vanunu.html