To Vanunu Supporters,
On November 24, Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot published parts of the trial protocols and investigation material in the case of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, following the release for publication of more than 1,200 pages of material by the Jerusalem District Court. This material has been secret for the past 13 years, since Vanunu was kidnapped and tried in camera.
Members of the Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu are now working on translating the revelations that started appearing in Yediot Ahronot. All of the translations will reflect the material as it appeared in Yediot Ahronot, and not the positions and views of the Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu.
On November 24, when the publication of the newly released material began, Gideon Spiro, a founder of the Committee for Mordechai Vanunu was interviewed on Reshet Bet radio station; Vanunu's brother, Asher, was interviewed on the afternoon news program on television and called for his brother's immediate release. This call was seconded by Attorney Amnon Zichroni, a prominent Israeli jurist.
One of the sole voices in Israel opposing the new revelations was that of former prime minister Shimon Peres, who ordered Vanunu's kidnapping and illegal transfer to Israel. Peres termed the publications, that were approved by the Justice Ministry, the Jerusalem District Court and the security establishment, "a provocation that endangers Israel's security."
On November 25 the Yediot Ahronot continued its coverage of documents and testimonies that were recently released for publication by the Ministry of Justice.
A MAJOR FACT THAT WAS REPORTED IN YEDIOT AHRONOT ON NOV. 25 IS THAT THE PAROLE COMMITTEE WILL CONVENE NEXT WEEK TO DISCUSS - FOR THE SECOND TIME - RELEASING MORDECHAI VANUNU FROM PRISON. THIS WILL BE A HEARING OF VANUNU'S APPEAL AGAINST THE COMMITTEE'S PREVIOUS DECISION NOT TO GRANT HIM PAROLE.
Other November 25 Yediot Ahronot articles about the affair (some translated and published on this site):
1) The editorial, written by editor-in-chief Moshe Vardi, responded to Shimon Peres' attacks against the paper for publishing the new information. The last paragraph of the editorial reads as follows: "In the last few years Mr. Peres has time and again presented to us bold visions of the "new Middle East." He must understand, that in the new Middle East, the old press will not work. Not only the hi-tech industry and computers are knowledge-intensive, but also the press - and the press is entitled and obliged to provide that knowledge to its readers."
2) A front-page article by military correspondant Ron Ben-Yishai, with the headline "He's Done it Again", alleging that Vanunu gave Hamas prisoners notes with information concerning the building of conventional bombs. The article is based on unnamed sources in the Prisons Service. The head of the Prisons Service said in a radio interview on the same day, that the article was completely false and that none of the facts were true. The allegation was not repeated by other media.
3) "Vanunu is satisfied with the publication". According to reporters David Regev and Yoram Yarkoni, Vanunu told prison officials that he is satisfied with the new revealtions. Vanunu's attorney, Avigdor Feldman, stated that the transcripts that were published were censored, and only represented the position of the Shin-Bet. He said that the published transcript represented only 40 percent of the entire document.
4) The testimony of the Commissioner for Security in the Ministry of Defense, a position so highly classified, that his name is kept secret. The CSMD is in charge of securing Israel's secret facilities, including the Dimona reactor. In his testimony, the CSMD stated: "The system simply failed, we did not detect Vanunu in time."
5) The paper dedicated two pages to the public debate on Israel's policy of secrecy on nuclear issues in general, and about the Vanunu case in particular, and the new revelations, quoting politicians, government officials and academics.
6) An interview with Sunday Times journalist Peter Hounam.
7) The Dalai Lama, who is currently visiting Israel, did not directly address the case of Mordechai Vanunu, but like every other person in Israel these days, he could not avoid hearing about the issue. The Dalai Lama said on Nov. 24 that he supported nuclear disarmament in the Middle East and gradual disarmament of all other weapons in the region.
As new light is shed on the case of Mordechai Vanunu and demands for his release are intensifying in Israel and abroad, please remember to send Mordechai Christmas and New Year cards. If these are mailed now, they might reach him in time for the holidays.
PO Box 17
Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu
THE U.S. CAMPAIGN
THANKS THE ISRAELI COMMITTEE
FOR THEIR DEDICATED WORK IN TRANSLATING THESE ARTICLES!