EXPLORE THE NONVIOLENCE WEB
Did Vanunu Intend To Injure Israel?


        When Mitch Berkowitz of Bronx, New York, asked his U.S. Representative, Eliot Engel, to co-sign a letter from Congresswoman Lynn Rivers of Michigan requesting presidential intercession in support of Mordechai Vanunu, Engel responded in part:


        "I fully understand your opinion that Mr. Vanunu should be treated as a political prisoner due to his jailing for otherwise protected political speech which informed the world about Israeli nuclear weapons. However, as does the United States, all nations, including Israel, have the right to protect military secrets, which Vanunu revealed against Israeli law. Please know that I remain concerned about the Vanunu case and will keep your thoughts in mind if Congress considers legislation about his case."


        To which Berkowitz replied:


        "Vanunu did not reveal military secrets. The illegal Israeli nuclear program is, and was, known worldwide.
        "Vanunu was not convicted according to Israeli penal law under which he was charged, which specifically requires proof of intent to impair the security of the state or to assist an enemy. Vanunu took no money and scorned any contact with representatives of foreign powers. The vital element of intent was ab-sent and merely presumed by a secret military tribunal.
        "I'm glad you remain concerned about the Vanunu case, and hope that in time you will become convinced that you should help to rectify a monstrous wrong."