Vanunu still has more nuclear secrets to spill, Israeli court declares
On the last Tuesday of 2021, Israel’s Haaretz reported “Israel Thinks Nuke Spy Vanunu Still Has More Secrets to Spill.” An Israeli judge recently suggested to defense officials that they meet with Mordechai Vanunu, but the former spy’s lawyer is being banned from the meeting, for security reasons. Once again, the High Court is acting as a rubber stamp for the defense establishment.
By Eileen Fleming
It’s no secret that “SECURITY” is the blanket excuse Israel claims to deny basic human rights to Vanunu, his Attorney, and Palestinians.
Attorney Avigdor Feldman constitutes a danger to state security. That is the conclusion that must be drawn from the positions of the director of security of the defense establishment (known by its Hebrew acronym, Malmab) and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) – a position that has recently been ratified by the High Court of Justice. All of these bodies have banned Feldman from being present at an interview representatives of Malmab plan to hold with nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.
Vanunu has lived under house arrest for the last 17 years, and that is on top of the 18 years he endured behind bars for the crime of providing London’s SUNDAY TIMES two rolls of film he shot in 1985 from top secret locations within Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility. Vanunu told me about his position as a mid level technician and the harrowing hours during a night shift, which I enshrined for history’s sake HERE.
On the topic of secrets and Mordechai Vanunu, Mid East commentator Richard Silverstein wrote:
The State has made the even more preposterous claims that there may be secrets Vanunu isn’t even aware that he knows, which could somehow be exposed. Further proof that this is State-sponsored revenge rather than any semblance of justice is that Dimona of the year 1986 has no resemblance to Dimona today … There isn’t a shred of similarity between the secrets he “stole’ and Israel’s current nuclear infrastructure.
According to Silverstein, “Vanunu’s lawyer, Avigdor Feldman appeared eighteen times to the Supreme Court Justice for relief from the parole restrictions…Feldman asked the ministry to permit him, Vanunu’s lawyer, to attend the meeting. It refused, saying that the lawyer might hear a secret that could endanger national security. Keep in mind that the attorney has the highest security clearance, permitting him to see even the most highly classified Israeli security documents in representing his clients.”
Uri Avnery was an Israeli writer, politician, and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. A member of the Irgun as a teenager, Avnery sat for two terms in the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981.
On 24 April 2004, Uri Avnery wrote:
“Everybody understands that Vanunu has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?
“But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel’s nuclear armaments.
“This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for ‘arms control’, Under-Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power.
“The Americans, it seems, are very worried. The Israeli security services have to dance to their tune. The world must be prevented by all available means from hearing, from the lips of a credible witness, that the Americans are full partners in Israel’s nuclear arms program, while pretending to be the world’s sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation.”
I was NOT a reporter when I met Vanunu in 2005, but I became one because he told me:
“President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.
“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.”
During another interview Vanunu told me, “All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.”
At Vanunu’s closed-door trial, Barnaby testified:
“I found the fact that Vanunu was able to smuggle a camera and films into and out of Dimona and photograph highly sensitive areas in the establishment astonishing. 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.
“Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Isreal’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985 and the design of today’s Israeli nuclear weapons will have been considerably changed since then…Modern nuclear weapons bear little relationship to those of the mid-1980.”
Mordechai Vanunu’s name came up in America’s Congress in April 1999, when thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Vanunu’s release from prison because they believed “we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity.”
Ever since the silence from D.C. has been deafening and thus enables Israel to persist in lying to the world about their nuclear arsenal as they continue torturing Vanunu by preventing him from realizing the Norwegian asylum granted him after his 2015 marriage to a Norwegian Professor of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Perhaps one day Israel will allow Vanunu his right to fade into the world; but that would require they actually listen to their prophets such as Micah, and “Do what the Lord requires: be just, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
Eileen Fleming produced the freely streaming videos:
30 Minutes with Vanunu, and We Americans and the USS LIBERTY
READ more HERE
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