News Release

Israel’s Re-Arrest of Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu


“Heavily armed police commandos stormed a Jerusalem church compound Thursday and arrested nuclear whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu,” the Associate Press reports. Vanunu had been restricted from speaking to non-Israelis or media and had openly violated such prohibitions, including appearing on a news release of the Institute for Public Accuracy on Sept. 17.

The following are available for interviews:

Cohen-Joppa is the coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu; Laffin is associate coordinator of the group. Cohen-Joppa said today: “It is an outrage that Israel has re-arrested nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu only six months after his release from prison. The unjust and severe restrictions that have forced Mordechai Vanunu to remain in Israel following his release last April, and intend to muzzle his voice for nuclear disarmament, are grave violations of his human and civil rights. These violations are now magnified as Israel has hidden behind news of the death of Yassir Arafat to increase its punishment of Mordechai Vanunu. After 18 years in prison, he has no secrets to reveal. Israel must stop punishing this man who has already suffered so much for letting the world know about Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”
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Author of the book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg said today: “The only secret Mordechai Vanunu has left to tell the world is the one he revealed on the day of his release from 18 years in prison, April 21, 2004: ‘I am a symbol of the will of freedom, that the human spirit is free. You cannot destroy the human spirit.’ That is indeed the most dangerous secret in the eyes not only of Israel but of every state that withholds vital information from its own citizens, including the U.S. and U.K. Israel should let the foremost prophet of the nuclear age go forth to be honored throughout the world — and we call on them to do so — but even if it returns him instead to his 6-by-9 foot cell, Mordechai Vanunu will remain the most free man on earth.”
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Mordechai Vanunu’s adoptive parents, the Eoloffs live in St. Paul, Minn. They said today: “We are horrified that today armed Israeli special police forces entered St. George’s Cathedral compound in order to kidnap Mordechai Vanunu for the second time. It is further proof that the security forces have no respect for an individual’s human rights and dignity nor respect for a religious site which is a sacred place of sanctuary. Mordechai has always acted from a moral belief that nuclear weapons are immoral and illegal and that all nations should begin the process of their disarmament.”

Gaffney is author of a book about Israel’s nuclear program, Dimona — The Third Temple: The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation. He also wrote the recent article “The Case of Mordechai Vanunu: Preeminent Hero of the Nuclear Age.” He said today: “Israel has been pressing for attacking Iran while it is suppressing the truth about its own nuclear weapons program — the only program which has come out of the Mideast and has actually developed nuclear weapons and is driving other countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction.”
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Background on Israel’s nuclear capacity
A letter from the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem on Vanunu’s re-arrest today

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167