Daily Archives: May 14, 2010

Mordechai Vanunu Jailed Again

The British government, mainstream parties and the mainstream media never mention Israel’s nuclear weapons, even when pontificating about the effect of potential Iranian nuclear weapons on the balance of power in the Middle East.

Consistent with that, no amount of googling brings up any British mainstream media mention of the fact that whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has just been jailed again in Israel. This is for breaching the terms of a military edict – not a court order – restricting his movements and contacts.

One slight ray of light is that Amnesty International, an organisation I generally hold in high regard, is finally adopting Mordechai as a prisoner of conscience:

“If Mordechai Vanunu is imprisoned again, Amnesty International will declare him to be a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release,” deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa Philip Luther said in a statement.

“The ongoing restrictions placed on Mordechai Vanunu have meant that he has been unable to move to the USA to live with his adopted family, placing a huge strain on his mental and physical health,” Luther said.

“They are not parole restrictions since he served his full 18-year term. They arbitrarily limit his rights to freedom of movement, expression and association (and) are therefore in breach of international law.”


Mordechai had suffered the obscenity of eleven years in solitary confinement, and over twenty years in all in prison. Nothing I can say is of consequence compared to that, but I have a particular feeling for Mordechai as a fellow whistleblower – in his case on Israeli nuclear weapons, and in my case on CIA and MI6 torture and extraordinary rendition. I know something of what it is to be called a traitor and have the establishment crush down on you, though obviously Mordechai has suffered much more. I also share with Mordechai the honour of being a former Rector of a Scottish university.

Next time you see our political “leaders” banging on about Iranian nuclear weapons, remember Mordechai and consider why Israeli nuclear weapons are never mentioned.

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