Mordechai Vanunu Jailed Again 72

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.

72 thoughts on “Mordechai Vanunu Jailed Again

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  • Vronsky

    I have to confess that I’m snob and not much of a fan of popular music, but I keep stumbling into difficulties because I can’t see the borders. You can google Victor Jara so I’ll say no more about that. Stripped to basic visceral humanity, here is The Great Song. We should all be singing it. Maybe we do a bit. Shit, I’m starting to sound like tony_opmoc.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Great song. Great poem.

    Victor Jara, great Chilean poet and songwriter tortured and murdered by the Pinochet regime. Augusto Pinochet, great friend of Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. Pinochet, the mass murderer whom Jack Straw infamously let off the hook.

    General Pinochet, along with Ernest Guinness, was one of only two people in the entire history of humanity to recover spontaneously and miraculously from Alzheimer’s Disease. That moment, for me , was emblematic of the essential global malevolence of the ‘New Labour’ project.

    Indeed, Jara, Vanunu, it is all one struggle: !Venceremos!

  • writerman

    Vanunu’s arrest is indicative of trend in Israel, a move away from… let’s call it “liberal democracy”, towards a harsher, stronger type of state, where opposition to the government and its policies is increasingly defined as “subversion”, edging towards treason.

    At the same time that Vanunu has been detained, two leading Palestinian human rights activists have also run foul of the Israeli regime, for their supposed links with “terrorists”.

    Increasingly the Israeli regime is targetting peaceful opposition elements, which are regarded as a potentially greater threat to the Zionist, colonial project in the occupied territories, than those devoted to armed resistance.

    If the Palestinians where able to organize a mass, peaceful, movement, along the lines of the opposition to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, this could have serious implications for the Israeli state. Therefore the need to crush peaceful opposition. In fact the Israeli regime prefers a terrorist movemnent to not-negotiate with, rather than any alternative.

    But in a larger perspective the shift in Israel is part of the preparations for the coming regional war. The attempt to crush what’s left of the Palestinian opposition in Gaza, smash Hezbollah in Lebanon, topple the regime in Syria and, finally, destroy the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

    Inside the right in Israel all of these separate conflicts are seen as part of a larger whole; the war against terrorism and terror states, that threaten Israeli interests and hegemony over the region.

    Vanunu, by his very existance, is a reminder that Israel has several hundred nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them and wipe almost every arab nation off the map, if it needs to in a war. Increasingly it’s becoming difficult for Israel to deny the existance of its massive nuclear arsenal, and at the same time pretend that it is threatened by its neighbours and namely Iran. Keeping Vanunu quite is part of the pre-war strategy of denial.

    What will be interesting is how will the Liberal Democrats react to the momentum towards another Israeli war of aggression in the Middle East, given some of the attitudes expressed by Nick Clegg.

    Given that the Tories are even more pro-Israel than New Labour, and incredibly loyal to Washington and its plans for the future course of its empire, I think the Liberals will fold and meekly support US/Israeli policies.

    I wonder if Craig will finally realize, along with many others, that he’s been conned; that all the main parties are fundamentally neo-liberal and neo-conservative, and the entire system is an elaborate charade, a form of dictatorship hiding behind the veil of democracy?

  • MJ

    “Israel has several hundred nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them and wipe almost every arab nation off the map”.

    Us too. It’s always useful to remember that a substantial portion of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is trained on Europe.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    I reluctantly agree, although I dislike the word ‘conned’ more mistaken. But that’s not a bad thing when aware of the strength of mind at grass-roots. I await the inevitable back-lash, the driving force that exists like a coiled spring behind patience and humility, dormant for years, now positioned to change the course of history.

  • technicolour

    I’ve been posting here for a while. Larry: Suhayl may, understandably, be at the end of his tether with you; but that’s because you’ve not engaged with him one whit, except to insult him. You come on here for a fight. Sometimes you’ve made some points, but you’ve also been senselessly insulting (calling dreoilin a cunt, for example, and contributing to her leaving the board) and now you’re insulting Suhayl. And your other insults are often so repetitious & dull that they might be computer generated. I used to quite enjoy your somewhat anarchic presence on the board but now, oddly, I don’t. You do not, I note, ever apologise.

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    “General Pinochet, along with Ernest Guinness, was one of only two people in the entire history of humanity to recover spontaneously and miraculously from Alzheimer’s Disease.”

    You mean Ernest Saunders, Suhayl, athough he was convicted in the Guiness share trading fraud trial, so it’s an understandable error.

    I haven’t read Stephen Dorril’s book, but I’ll look out for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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