Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vanunu: ‘Shame on you, democracy’

Vanunu: ‘Shame on you, democracy’
By Jerry Mazza

May 25, 2010,

After serving 18 years in solitary for leaking secrets about Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev to the London Times in 1986, nuclear technician Mordecai Vanunu is now about to serve another three months for violating the terms of his “parole,” apparently under an endless house arrest.

“Shame on you, democracy” was his response not just to Israel but obviously the US that has sat by from day one and let this selfless hero be imprisoned by the Zionist powers.

In a Haaretz article, Vanunu was quoted outside the Jerusalem District court, saying "I survived 18 years - I could survive another six . . . Are you trying to discipline me? You cannot take my freedom of expression away. . . . Freedom is freedom. You won't get from me in three months what you didn't get in 18 years."

He warned that the Shin Bet secret service “controls the prisons” and that once more they will use psychological torture on him as they did last time he was incarcerated.

“Shame on you, Israel,” Vanunu exclaimed. “The stupid Shin Bet and Mossad spies are putting me back in prison after 24 years of speaking nothing but the truth. Shame on you. Shame on democracy, the Knesset, synagogues and the world media. Shame on you all the Arabs that are allowing me to be put back in prison. Shame on you, Senate, congress, and the chairman of the international Atomic Energy Agency for not protecting my freedom. Shame on you all the world’s religions, the stupid spies, the Jews, Christians and the Muslims.”

As an orthodox Jew who became a Christian after release from his first jail-term, one can understand his disaffection with the three faiths with which he has familiarity. He went on to say, “Everyone knows that Israel has nuclear warheads,” (between 200 and 300) “but no one is talking about it . . . The world doesn’t want nuclear weapons -- not in Israel, not in the Middle East and not anywhere in the world.”

Yet Israel and the world persist in escalation, not to mention the use of depleted uranium, which is made from the nuclear isotope U238, is radioactive, devastating to the human immune system, including the reproductive system, and is used ubiquitously in armaments since Gulf War 1. See my article Depleted uranium is destroying life.

It contains a link to another article from Haaretz, dated March 21, Study: Quality of Israeli sperm down 40% in past decade. This is in addition to the large number of birth defects of children in the Middle East region, from Palestine to Iraq, and damage done to American, Iraqi, and Israeli soldiers in the Gulf Wars. Yet the world plunges ahead blindly as if the death and mutilation facts to all sides of the various conflicts were fairy tales.

Moreover, a panel of Israel High Court Judges returned the 56-year old, Moroccan-born Israeli to jail on the thin charge of “not fulfilling a community-service order, punishment for breaching his parole terms by contacting foreigners without authorization.” Yet, here is a man giving his lifetime to serve and protect Israel and the world against nuclear proliferation and by contacting, most probably, journalists to communicate what must be the world’s “best-known secret,” i.e., Israel’s nuclear arsenal, under judicial and political wraps.

The ex-nuclear technician Vanunu, who worked extensively at Dimona, the plant and reactor built by Israel with assistance from the French in the late 1950s, and with the knowledge of American President Lyndon Johnson, from the mid 1960s on, has to now return to community duties in Arab-majority East Jerusalem, after risking attack by angry Israelis, many who regard him as a traitor in the city’s Jewish-populated west. This is beyond irony. This is a disgrace, as pernicious as the veiled Israeli nuclear program was and is today, particularly as Prime Minister Netanyahu hypocritically preaches about Iran’s nuclear energy projects and threatens to bomb it for them. Where do we draw the line between sanity and insanity here?

Furthermore, as the New York Times reports, No Worries, Israel Insists, Defense Drill Is Just a Drill. “As Israel embarked on a large-scale civil defense exercise on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to reassure Israelis and some jittery Arab neighbors that the nationwide drill was not meant to signal a deterioration in security or an imminent war.

“’This is a routine exercise that has been scheduled for some time,’ Mr. Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. ‘I would like to make it clear that it is not the result of any exceptional security development. On the contrary, Israel aspires towards calm, stability and peace.’”

Of course the story is slanted so that at its end it appears that it was an “extremist” (read Muslim) faction that burned down a UN summer camp (described in the story) used by some 250,000 Gaza children. Why could it not have been a Mossad act? Well, purportedly, “Hamas camps have strict, bearded men, sometimes waving sticks, teaching children the basic tenets of Islam.” And what are they exactly? At the more popular UN camps, kids’ activities include painting, singing and swimming. Uh huh. And welcoming ethnic cleansing.

The Times continues, “The five-day exercise, designed to test the readiness of citizens, the emergency services and the local authorities in the case of war, is taking place for the fourth consecutive year. It comes amid growing concern in Israel about the rocket and missile capabilities of militant groups on its borders, and the potential threat of a nuclear Iran.”

And so on, all about the potential threat of a nuclear Iran, not the known fact of Israel’s nuclear weapons since 1986 and their effect on surrounding nations, or the UN rejection of Judge Richard Goldstone’s report condemning Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza, calling them excessive, deadly and extreme.

And here is another fact you should know, i.e., the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear facility under construction in 1981. It was bombed to the ground under the orders of Prime Minister Menachim Begin, using US F-15s and F-16s. Fortunately, the plant was not completed, nor did it contain any nuclear material. But no other country in the world has ever bombed a nuclear facility in any state of construction. Yet Begin was exultant in his world-threatening triumph.

So, who really should be going to prison here? Shame on those who look the other way out of a misguided loyalty to Israel. Shame on those who do not speak out on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu, one of the bravest men on the planet!

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City.