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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  • ingo

    I hope that some Lib dems will read this page and make representation to Vague Hague. Mordechais incarceration was wrong and so is his continued harrassment, a vindictive signal send out by Israel, as it has no other way of showing its disapproval of international concerns against nuclear arsenals.

    It also shows the pettyness inside the Government, attitudes that have led Israel to where it is today.

    Feeding on and using Hollocaust guilt to grow into what has now become a reactionary rogue nation, as yet without internationally declared borders, occupying the west bank,the Gholan and sheeba farms, it has not shown any longterm capacity to deal peacefully with its neighbours and seemingly has no intentions to do so, rather favouring attack and occupation to a steady relationship.

    It has an undisclosed secret nuclear arsenal under no one’s scrutiny but itself.

    We cannot see Israels undisclosed, unscrutinised weapons of Mass destruction in a different light to that of any other state.

    Que sera sera

  • Hatari

    I agree with Amnesty that Mordecai is a prisoner of conscience. Imagine if he was an Iranian or Libyan whistle blower kidnapped form London and tortured. Our government’s consciences would be reactivated pretty fast by the Israelis to secure his release and hail him as a Hero.

  • Ishmael

    They will harass him until he dies. Hey, lets focus on Iran cause they are bad people and if they weaponise their nuclear stock we are all done for. There are other ways to create a nuke, and it does not require a reactor. Missing nukes, missing cruise. To be accurate no country has any idea what Iran are doing, or intentions. There are three points in time as far as the Yanks are concerned,

    They have known for some time

    have just found out

    will find out in future

    Everything else is garbage. An attack on Iran will be very bad, an extraordinary event in our history. Talking to Iran is positive, imposing sanctions is not and counterproductive.

    But the yanks like to weaken a country before they go in. This one will be different.

    They found out previously what Iran really is doing

    They have just found out

    They will soon find out

    If anything coming out does not match the above the information is cu

  • ingo

    The Key, Craig!!! der Schluessel, hallo, send it off please, they are waiting for it.

    Its the most complicated key in your collection, made from brass and its in one of your pockets.

  • Control


    I share your thoughts on this. Shame on the Times for not taking more care of him back when he blew the whistle. It should have been clear that he would be a target. An unfortunate consequence of the hitler diary debacle was that they held off and in his frustration Mordechai went to the Sunday Mirror. Big mistake! Queue maxwell tipping off the mossad. And hatari – he wasn’t kidnapped from London – they just used the honeytrap (US blonde student ‘cindy’) in London – meeting in trafalgar square. It wasn’t until they got to Rome that the kidnapping took place. El Al planes are seen as israeli territory so once drugged and on the gurney in the ambulance to the airport his fate was sealed.


  • Friends of Israel

    Israel is a criminal, racist, terrorist and thuggish state with friends in this country’s government and that of every other western nation.

    That means something.

    It means that when you attack it you must expect the response of the terrorist thug.

    You wouldn’t walk up to a gang of thugs late at night on your own and tell them off.

    Why would you expect with words to make any impression upon the most powerful terrorist state on the planet?

    This is the world in which we live.

  • tony_opmoc

    Friends of Israel,

    I might talk to some dodgy characters down the pub, but I don’t go on “holiday” with them – with them paying ALL my expenses – like MP’s from ALL our main parties do.


  • Tony Rogers

    Careful Craig! You don’t want to be in some mysterious car accident now. Pity you don’t seem to mind state-thuggery so much when your Austrian ideological opponents are murdered by the same brigade though.

  • Friends of Gaza


    You’re obviously an anti-semite.

    I demand that Craig remove your noxious comments from the forum with forth.

  • Friends of Dosh

    Don’t worry Tony.

    That Friends of Gaza poster is obviously an imposter.

    Gaza has no friends.

  • Ian M

    Israel has one of the most punitive, vindictive regimes anywhere. Vanunu is no threat, has no more useful information, yet in order to teach him, and others, a lesson, he will be punished until the day he dies.As will Palestinian peaceful demonstrators, Israeli peace groups, human rights organisations etc etc. This also includes any group in the west who dare bring to light the appalling racist and aggressive policies which are routine in Israel. The nuTory regime will of course tut tut and do absolutely nothing to stand up for human and civil rights in Israel/Palestine.Really, they make the white South African government that was look almost benign.

  • Craig

    Tony Rogers,

    I am against state killings full stop. But it is true I don’t waste my tears on dead Nazis.

  • eileen fleming

    As a US citizen journalist, I too feel your frustration with The Media!

    My May 13, 2010 email to Amnesty International:

    [email protected]

    Dear Amnesty International,

    Thank you for your PRESS RELEASE of May 12, 2010 regarding Mordechai Vanunu.

    I offer you a few more facts:

    The restrictions that have held Vanunu captive come from the Emergency Defense Regulations which were implemented by Britain against Palestinians and Jews after World War II.

    Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel’s Minister Of Justice, described the Emergency Defense Regulations as “unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany.”

    Israel kidnapped Vanunu in 1986, but Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “No one shall he subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”, including abduction of a person by agents of one state to another state.

    Vanunu was charged with and convicted of treason and espionage.

    Section 99 of the Israeli Penal Code, treason is defined as “an act calculated to assist (an enemy) in time of war…delivering information with the intention that it fall into the hands of the enemy.”

    Section 113 defines aggravated espionage as “deliver(ing) any secret information without being authorized to do so and with intent to impair the security of the state” and a sub-clause provides for a penalty of seven years for the unauthorized collection, preparation, recording or holding of secret information; if this is done with intent to impair the security of the state and then, the penalty is increased to 15 years.

    Vanunu served 18 years in jail and has been subjected to 24/7 surveillance ever since 21 April 2004.

    Frank Barnaby, the Nuclear Physicist, who was hired by the London Sunday Times to interrogate Vanunu, testified at his closed door trial, “I very vigorously cross-examined Vanunu, relentlessly asking the same questions in a number of different ways and at different times…I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.”

    But, Vanunu was rendered defenseless during that closed door trial when the court ruled that his motivations were not ideological and they refused to allow Vanunu’s own statements regarding his intentions to even be considered in his defense.

    During my interviews with Vanunu, he informed me that, “All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.”

    On November 24th, 2006 Vanunu wrote:

    “My lawyer succeeded to reveal a few very important facts: This General of the Army also was not allowed to see all the secrets that he is required to protect by these restrictions that they claim I know them. So, he gave orders of restrictions without knowing what he is protecting or that he is also following orders blindly, and Mossad Sheen Bet using its authority for just punishing me. He testified that it is not a crime for me to talk with foreigners in general anywhere. He testified that I can speak freely to any Israeli citizens about anything; it is not his concern what I am saying to them. These Israelis can give this information to any foreigners. It was difficult for the Judge to understand why this dichotomy exits between foreigners and Israelis. It means that it is not about secrecy but about something else.”

    Israel’s statehood was contingent upon upholding the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

    Article 19 affirms: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 13 guarantees: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    On September 23, 2008, the Jerusalem District Court reduced Mordechai Vanunu’s six month jail sentence for speaking with foreign media in 2004, to three months, “In light of (Vanunu’s) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country’s security in jeopardy.”

    In light of the fact that it has been 20 months since that verdict came down, please continue to pressure Israel until they are led to to show mercy and do justice: FREE Vanunu.

    Most sincerely,

    Eileen Fleming,

    Founder of

    A Feature Correspondent for

    Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”

    Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

    Learn More at The Vanunu Saga: 2005-2010

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    “A week ago two Israeli Arabs, Ameer Makhoul from Haifa, the director general of the Ittijah charity, and Omar Said, a member of the Balad political party, were arrested by the Shabak and heavily armed anti-terror squads during night raids on their family apartments.

    The two have been accused of passing on information to the Lebanese resistance organisation, Hezbollah. The Shabak again placed a gag on the arrests until a few days ago with some of the details still remaining secret.

    Critics argue that the allegations are flimsy at best and have more to do with Makhoul supporting a boycott of Israeli settlement goods and his campaigning for equal rights for Israeli-Arabs.

    Speculation is also rife that Makhoul’s brother Amir’s (a former member of the Israeli Knesset) speech to the Knesset, about Israel’s clandestine nuclear armaments and his comments that Israel should begin nuclear disarmament, had already focused security attention on the family.

    Makhoul’s arrest comes at a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is slated to discuss Israel’s nuclear programme for the very first time ever at its forthcoming June meeting.

    A number of other Palestinian grassroots activists, involved in the Boycott, Disinvestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign and protests against Israel’s separation barrier, remain incarcerated in Israeli jails in administrative detention or without trial. Abdullah Abu Rahme, a member of Bili’in’s village committee against Israel’s separation barrier, which has expropriated large swathes of the village’s land, has been held for more than five months in administrative detention.

    The Israeli authorities accuse him of incitement in planning weekly non-violent demonstrations, supported by Israeli and international activists, against the wall as well as possession of arms.

    The latter accusation relates to his arrangement of used teargas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets into a peace sign after the IDF had fired them at protestors.

    Another Shabak gag order was placed several weeks ago on the arrest in the West Bank of Turkish national Izzet Shahin, a volunteer for the Turkish NGO Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH).

    Izzet is accused of belonging to IHH, an Islamic group outlawed by Israel, and of helping to organise an aid boat to Gaza as part of the flotilla of humanitarian relief which is heading towards the coastal territory at the end of May.

    The deportation several weeks ago of a famous Spanish clown from Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport on the grounds he intended to make contact with “terror organisations” while in Ramallah has seen some Israeli commentators calling the Shabak “the real clowns”.

    Ivan Prado had planned to take part in an international clown festival in Ramallah but after six hours of interrogation by the Shabak he was refused entry to Israel and deported to Spain on “security grounds”.

    The incident caused embarrassment at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and heightened tensions with the Spanish government.

    Meanwhile, a number of Israeli leftists are facing trial for “rioting and assaulting police” during a non-violent protest in the East Jerusalem suburb of Sheikh Jarrah. They were protesting Israel’s building of illegal Jewish settlements and Judaisation of the neighbourhood at the expense of the Palestinian locals.

    The protestors claim the charges are trumped up and they were arrested after they refused to disperse during a demonstration approved by an Israeli court.

    In another development, IDF military intelligence has also caught flak for over-ruling an Israeli court decision to fully open a main highway in the West Bank to Palestinian motorists.

    Highway 443 has been used by Jewish settlers exclusively for years even though it is built on Palestinian land and it runs alongside many Palestinian villages.

    Despite the court ruling the IDF will only open parts of the highway to Palestinian motorists and only after extensive security checks at roadblocks at the highway’s entrance.

    In further breaking news several Palestinian medical students have been refused entry permits to Jerusalem to continue their studies at Jerusalem’s Al Quds University after they refused to spy for the Shabak on student activity there.

    The Shabak declined to discuss the issue other than to say the permits had been denied “on security grounds.”

    Courtesy IBS

    Insider Tip:

    Control orders to be expanded – Conservative proposal.

    The government will push ahead with control orders despite damning judgments from the courts and hostile criticism from civil liberties campaigners.

    The draft order to renew control orders was put before parliament today by Alan Johnson, home secretary. The government must renew the control order legislation each year.

    Lib Dem opposition? Ha! Non-existant

  • tony_opmoc

    From Eileen Fleming’s website…

    “Vanunu will return to jail on May 23, 2010. The ‘justices’ refused his offer to do community service in occupied east Jerusalem, because they do not view that side of town to be a part of their community. ”

    Do Something:

    Send Vanunu a message of support through his website @


  • Fulano

    This new government will ignore the mistreatment of Vanunu. Remember that our new Foreign Minister is a Friend of Israel along with at least another 80 Tory MPs. This is the biggest disappointment of the election. Westminster remains Israeli-occupied territory. The neo-consensus has been preserved.

  • Roderick Russell

    Two of my children worked for Amnesty International only to find that when we needed help they ran the other way. For those who hold Amnesty International in high regard, have a look at this.

    It shows clear evidence that a human rights organization has been penetrated by the intelligence services

  • tony_opmoc

    I learnt the secret to life, when I was 3 years old. If he is trying to steal your girlfriend and you are obviously physically inferior, there are always ways to defeat your enemy.

    O.K., it might have been a bit nasty and caused a bit of an outrage, but he didn’t come back.

    My Mum too was a Childminder.

    You’ve got to stand up to the bullies even if you end up all bruised, bloodied and battered.


  • Suhayl Saadi

    Now let us await the arrival of the disruptors…

    As I said on another thread, it’s about human beings, and Vanunu is a wonderful human being. Good on you, Craig, for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

  • Larry from St. Louis


    Let me take a moment to commiserate with you.

    Chemtrails everywhere, following me around. I look up – there they are. Why am I being targeted?

    I’ve brought this to the attention of NASA, the JPL, UNICEF, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the Liverpool City Council, George Clooney, Medecins Sans Frontieres, We Are Change Glasgow and my former kindergarten teacher.

    They rarely write back. And if they do write back, it’s the same run-around that Amnesty gave you.

    So I’ve concluded what you’ve concluded – they all must be in collusion with those unseen forces that are polluting my mind with their atmospheric manganese sulfite.

    In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if George Clooney himself were flying an MSF airplane bought and paid for by NASA.

    They’re all out to get me!

    We really need to stick together!

  • tony_opmoc

    I did however use a different technique in Israel…

    Well it wasn’t really Israel, but the Sinai Peninsular – which they had occupied after one of the previous wars.

    To be perfectly honest, the diving and snorkelling was absolutely Brilliant…

    But we went there for our Kids – cos they are like Fish

    The security was absolutely aweful…

    We had to go through a security scanner to get in our hotel…

    And my wife and I like to mix with the local people and travel freely…

    So when our kids were off on a diving trip…

    We just walked, and kept on walking…

    For miles and miles along the beach

    We got well out of the security zone

    “You will have no protection beyond this point”

    “We do not want any fucking protection”

    And so my wife was wearing just her bikini and a sarong…

    And this bloke came up to us on his Camel…

    And my wife has a thing about Camels…

    He said – “Can I give you a ride”

    I said – well you can take her, but I will walk if you don’t mind (We had both previously done this stuff in the South of Tunisia – way beyond Matmata where they Filmed Star Wars)

    So she had her ride on his Camel…

    And then he asked for a ridiculous amount of money to return my wife to me…

    I said no – you can keep her…

    And then this bloke on a Camel got out his Mobile phone and said..

    He won’t pay…

    He says we can keep her…

    So eventually I paid about £3 to get my wife back

    He was a Bedouin – and this time he didn’t invite us back to his tent – unlike other Bedouin’s we have met in Morocco…

    We knew it was all a game


  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    Very sad to see the persecution of Vanunu is continuing still, long after having served his inhuman and disproportionate sentence of prolonged solitary confinement. Glad to see Amnesty is finally taking up his case. I hope those who manage to find the time to write hundreds of words here in the comments section will take the trouble to write a few to their MPs regarding the plight of both Mordechai Vanunu and Maksim Popov.

  • writerman

    States… are beasts. That is when they feel threatened, they crush the threat, without mercy. Both Craig and Vanunu know how this feels.

    One is either, loyal and on the inside, where much is tollerated, and protection is given; or one is on the outside, and fair game.

    The whistleblower, or “traitor” is particularly at risk, because the Great Beast hates the “traitor” most of all, because one has rejected the “love” of the state and spurned it, probably the worst crime of all, and therefore examples have to be seen to be made.

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    Larry, what is it in your own personality that makes you feel the need to give your opinions on the mental competence of others? I know where I stand on these issues and it’s probably pretty close to what you believe, but given what we do know about the way our governmemnts behave and how they regularly lie to their electorates, I also undestand why some people come to believe in conspiracy rather than cock up as their default position.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Exactly, writerman. If I were the government of an imperial state/ military alliance, I would be hiring people to do precisely what some individuals appear to be doing on this site. It ought not to be a surprise to anyone. It’s how the dynamic works in cyber-space. These are facets of the larger cyber-wars which go on between states.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Owen, thanks for your sanguine comment. Btw, ‘Conspiracy’ emphatically is not my default position. My comments are directed very specifically.

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