Producer of “30 Minutes with Vanunu”, Author of “Mordechai Vanunu’s Freedom of Speech Trial, and Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s The Arab Daily News Responds.
By Eileen Fleming
Monday’s Google-alert for “Vanunu” announced the Irish Times and The Jewish Press reported on Israel’s nuclear whistle-blower’s latest petition to Israel’s Supreme Court seeking to end the restrictions against his speech and movement instituted the very day he emerged from 18 years behind bars in April 2004.
December 16 2019 Google Alert- Vanunu
Nuclear whistleblower Vanunu denied permission to leave Israel
Irish Times: The justices ruled that based on the material shown them, Mr Vanunu … Mr Vanunu, a low-level technician at Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant, first hit the …
High Court Denies Petition of Convicted Israeli Nuclear Spy to Scale Back Limitations on Him
The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com: Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition by Mordechai Vanunu, who was convicted of revealing Israel’s nuclear secrets,…
This reporter provided both media outlets further information published below; following this translation by Google from Hebrew of December 2019’s Mordechai Vanunu Supreme Court Petition
Before: Honorable President A. Animals
The Honorable Judge N. Solberg
Honorable Judge D. Barak-Erez
Petitioner: Mordechai Vanunu
- Attorney General
- Home Front Command
- The Minister of the Interior
Petition for probation
Date of sitting: The Lord in His Prophecy (3.12.2019)
On behalf of the petitioner: Attorney Avigdor Feldman; Attorney Ben Marmley
On behalf of the respondents: Adv. Enar Hellman
Judgment Judge N. Solberg:
Petitioner, Mordechai Vanunu (hereinafter: Vanunu), was convicted in 1988 of serious offenses against the security of the state, after giving confidential information to media outlets regarding the nuclear research activities of the Nuclear Research Center. Following his conviction, Vanunu was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Beginning with his release in 2004, orders restricting his activities were imposed on him, with the aim of alleviating the fear of further disclosure of confidential information he had kept inside. The limitation orders are renewed from time to time, as needed. The nature of the restrictions, and the validity of the orders, have been subject to judicial review many times before, most recently in HCJ 8927/18 Vanunu v. Attorney General (11.4.2019) (hereinafter: the previous petition).
- The purpose of this petition – similar to the previous petition – was the request by Vanunu to cancel the Reduction and Supervision Order set out therein by Regulations 110-108 of the Defense Regulations (Emergency), 1945, and the Prohibition of Departing the Land Regarding it under Regulation 6 of the Emergency Regulations ( Departure Abroad), 1948. The validity of these two orders was extended in July 2019, until May 31, 2020, according to the decisions of Respondents 3-2, the Home Front Command and the Minister of the Interior. Miscellaneous, including: Prohibition of leaving the country; Reporting duty to police in case of change of residence, 48 hours in advance; Prohibition of residence, without prior authorization, within 500 meters of the number of places listed An order through which to leave Israel, prohibiting contact with citizens or foreign residents, except for occasional and one-time calls not exceeding 30 minutes.
- Vanunu claims that the restraining orders do not comply with the clause of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, as they disproportionately violate the core of his constitutional rights – his freedom, privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of religion. In this context, Vanunu emphasized the dimension of time, arguing that as time went on, the intensity of his rights violation – a serious violation anyway – increased, while the danger posed by him decreased. In this context, it is argued that the restrictions on Vanunu have been in place for 15 years, and cannot be regarded as a temporary step designed to address a specific problem. Regarding the security considerations for which the orders were extended, it is alleged that Vanunu has no additional information regarding the nuclear research curia, which was not previously disclosed as part of the provision of information for which he was convicted. Vanunu added that the risk assessment for him is based on information he was exposed to 34 years ago, when he finished his work in Nuclear Research, and has not been exposed to new information since. In this state of affairs, Vanunu argued that “he will never be able to refute the axiomatic claim” as to the danger of revealing the stored information in his memory.
- Respondents argued in their preliminary response that the extension of orders is essential for the protection of the state. According to them, there is a level of probability of certainty that if the restrictions are removed, Vanuno will act to reveal relevant confidential information stored in his mind, an exposure that will severely compromise the security of the state. In this regard, the respondents referred to a number of ‘posts’ published by Vanunu in his Facebook account, which in their view indicate an explicit intention on his part to act to expose the information he holds. It is also alleged that Vanunu has sensitive confidential information that has not yet been released, and therefore the danger posed by his exposure is still present. Given the sensitivity of the information, it is argued that the administrative restrictions imposed on Vanunu are reasonable and proportionate, and that there is no other limitation by which the fear of its danger can be relieved. Respondents also mentioned that Vanunu had violated in some cases some of the restrictions imposed on him, violations which, in their view, underlie the essential need to extend the validity of the orders.
- On 3.12.2019, we held a hearing on the petition, during which the parties discussed the main points of their claims. Nuclear weapons. It was also alleged that the restraining orders were allegedly imposed for temporary periods, but the de facto temporary restrictions became permanent, and there was no justification for that. The Respondents, on the other hand, argued that Vanuno’s personal circumstances were known and known to the respondents, Change the balance and cancel the restriction orders, given the magnitude of the damage that would be done to the security of the state if the confidential information is published Here we go. The respondents also contended that the argument should not be accepted that the limitations became permanent. The orders require a periodic periodic review at most every year, and these are periodically reviewed according to the circumstances.
- Further to the discussion of the status of the parties, we held a discussion of one-party status, in closed doors, during which the security officials presented the classified materials, which are beautiful silence, and naturally we can not elaborate on them. We examined the materials at length, discussed and discussed with the security officials, asked for and received clarifications on their position; Both about the relevance of the information contained in Vanunu’s mind, about the fear of disclosing this information in the light of Vanunu’s conduct, and about the damage to state security.
Discussion and decision
- Having considered the parties ‘arguments from time to time, those in writing and those who are oral, and impressed directly with the classified materials presented to us by the security agencies, we have come to the conclusion that there is no cause for interference in the respondents’ decisions to extend the validity of the reduction and supervision order and the order to delay leaving the country. As in the previous petitions, also in this case, the extension of the validity of the orders was based on two interconnected arguments: Vanuno’s possession of relevant confidential information, the publication of which would seriously harm the security of the state; There is a concern about the probability of closeness to the certainty that if the restrictions imposed on Vanunu are removed, he will act to publish this information.
- Concerning the relevance of the information provided by Vanunu, although we are dealing with the information to which he was exposed some 34 years ago, according to the material presented to us, and in accordance with the position of the security officials, Vanunu treasures confidential and sensitive information in his mind. The danger posed to the security of information, if disclosed and announced, is tangible, arbitrary and existent, despite the considerable time elapsed since the disclosure.
- As for Vanunu’s intentions to act to disclose the confidential information, we were convinced by the Respondents ‘position as presented in their preliminary response and discussion of the parties’ status, and the evaluations of the security agencies presented to us in a one-party hearing. The evidence presented by the respondents shows in their accumulation of Vanunu’s desire to publish the information he holds, and raises a level of near-certainty that in the absence of restrictions – he will do so. This is what we will learn from his publications in his Facebook account, along with conclusions drawn by the respondents based on Vanuno’s violations of the warrants in previous years, and pay attention to the security services’ assessments about him.
- A long time has passed since the restrictions were first imposed, and this justifies reconsideration from time to time; Commits an honest examination, considering the passage of time and the changing circumstances over the years. Along with this, taking into account Vanunu’s past and the sensitivity of the information in question, caution and gradual action must be taken. Indeed, “the history of the petitioner justifies a great deal of caution in this case, and in view of the many years of history, not only of the petitioner’s actions, but also of his subsequent course – a beautiful walking aunt, without ‘multiple seizures'” (HCJ 4949/14 and Annuno v. Attorney General, para. T. (Jan. 25, 2015). Therefore, we did not find any justification for interfering with decisions extending the validity of the orders. However, given the time that has elapsed, during the hearing before us, we told respondents to continue trying to find ways to relieve Vanunu Across the country, without increasing the danger posed by it, the respondents strongly believe that they will.
- Therefore, the petition is dismissed. [End Vanunu Dec. 2019 Petition]
As I read “petition is dismissed” I immediately recalled an April 2015 email Vanunu sent me stating “You are dismissed” as in firing me as a supporter and disrespecting me as a reporter, and that became the inspiration for the publication of Heroes, Muses and the Saga of Mordechai Vanunu from which I now excerpt:
…A brief background of unfortunate facts:
On 29 March 2015, Vanunu reactivated his Facebook and Causes connections and immediately deleted me as an Administrator.
Vanunu also blocked me from posting at Free Mordechai Vanunu at Facebook and he renamed TNT/Telling Nuclear Truths after himself: causesVanunu.com
Vanunu also deleted my five years of work at TNT which also destroyed his opportunity to reach the over 21,000 supporters with a new campaign. I had established over 80 campaigns during my five years as administrator but when Vanunu deleted the Information Wall at TNT he deleted the mission statement, which wiped out his ability to issue a new campaign….
Vanunu also altered this Petition by deleting my name from the paragraph beginning “Vanunu told Eileen Fleming”…
Up until Vanunu decreed I was no longer his supporter I had forwarded all proceeds to him received for the paperback edition of “Beyond Nuclear: Mordechai Vanunu’s Freedom of Speech trial and My Life as Muckraker 2005-2010” of which only 400 editions were printed and donated as a fundraising vehicle for Vanunu…[end book excerpt]
The information sent to the Irish Times and The Jewish Press from this reporter they obviously dismissed:
In 2005 I was just an American in Jerusalem when I met Mordechai Vanunu, and we began a series of interviews that stream at Youtube such as “30 Minutes with Vanunu“
Published at Amazon, at USA’s TheArabDailyNews and in the screenplay: “This American and Israel’s Nuclear Whistleblower VANUNU Mordechai”
I am compelled to publish because in 2005 Vanunu told me:
“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’
“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.
“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.
“In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.
“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year…
Contact Eileen Fleming
Eileen Fleming produced:
“30 Minutes with Vanunu”
- Pollard Free in Israel: Vanunu Remains Captive - January 3, 2021
- Response to Israeli expert on whistleblowers and The Matter of Mordechai Vanunu - September 19, 2020
- America’s 19th 9/11, Stand or Fall - September 3, 2020