Did Vanunu Intend To
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."