Vanunu Calls For Civil Disobedience

(Excerpts from a heavily censored letter from Ashkelon Prison. It was written in early October, 1999, and received in late February,2000.)

by Mordechai Vanunu

I have received a cassette and photos from the vigil near the Israeli Embassy [in Washington last September]. I want to thank you and each one who took part in that event, and all those who helped you in your work in Washington, like Tim Rieger [the campaign’s Capitol Hill representative]…. And thanks to [Daniel] Ellsberg, and others.

Another year has passed, and now, after 13 years, with all these activities in the U.S. and Europe, I am still here and they didn’t end my isolation. So what else needs to be done? Or maybe whatever you do it will not help.That is what they [the Israelis] are trying to prove during all these years. I only can thank you very much for all this activity. You are free to do as you think, because here I have no choice but to stand firm and confident in my beliefs…

I decided not to have any computer until they change my situation here, ending my isolation. [Editor’s note: This refers to a dispute with the prison over use of a computer as a word processer. The prison offered to let him use a computer if he would return the memory before his departure. Vanunu refused, saying he would need the computer memory for his use after release.]

I need to be free. The time for the computer was in the first years. It is time for me to leave Israel. Thirteen years is enough. It is time for them to end my isolation-at least to let me meet my friends and supporters. This double punishment of being in prison and not being able to meet my friends is cruel and barbaric.

You and others should demand to end my isolation, or obtain my release…. If Israel will not release me [CENSORED], then it needs your intervention with others…to raise this subject in the public media. The only way to do it is by going [CENSORED] and cutting the fence [a reference to suggestions from American activists] or inspecting the reactor, that will lead to the arrest and trial of people. And this act needs to be repeated by many, many volunteers from many states, so that this issue will be raised in their countries, parliaments, and governments.

Next the Jews and Arabs will also start acting, taking this problem into their own hands, leading to many trials and many prisoners.