Now On-Line: Vanunu's Photos of Israel's Secret Nuclear Arsenal

A series of dramatic photographs taken surreptitiously by nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu can now be viewed for the first time on the Internet. Fifteen full-color images captured shortly before he left his job at the Dimona site reveal the machinery of the advanced factory producing Israel's nuclear weapons.

The photographs provide the documentary evidence behind Vanunu's historical revelation of Israel's secret nuclear arsenal. Many of the internet images are presented in the public domain for the first time. In October, 1986, the London Sunday Times published just a few of the 60 photos Vanunu took in 1985.

The selected internet photographs show reactor and production control panels; laboratory prototypes of nuclear weapon cores; glove boxes for handling radioactive plutonium and uranium; and machine tools that produce critical parts for what many experts believe to be the world's fourth largest nuclear weapons arsenal. The photo gallery can be seen on the website of the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu at www.nonviolence.org/vanunu/photos.html.

Mordechai Vanunu's unprecedented documentary photography of Israel's secret nuclear arsenal deserves new scrutiny in light of the current climate of a so-called "war against terrorism." It is important to present these photos because they show that a significant threat from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East comes from a country that still does not officially acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons but in fact is one of the world's top nuclear powers.

It is time for Israel to open Dimona to international inspection, and allow its citizens to consider the health, environmental and national security consequences of the nuclear weapons factory in their country. And it is time for Israel to free Mordechai Vanunu, who should not have to spend one more day in prison for his courageous act of whistleblowing.