A Letter from the U.S. Campaign's Coordinator
Ten months to go.
After nearly 17 years locked inside Ashkelon Prison, the end is in sight for Mordechai Vanunu. His official release date is April 22, 2004. Although parole was again denied in February, Mordechai is in very good spirits, looking forward to the time of his release, and very much focused on the future.
As Mordechai's release date nears, media interest in his case continues to grow. A Canadian filmmaker is producing a program on Mordechai. Mordechai's adoptive parents, Nick and Mary Eoloff, were interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio, and an interview with their local newspaper produced a story that went out over the AP wire. From Tucson, I joined the St. Paul couple on a telephone interview with Irish National Radio.
The most significant of the recent flurry of media interest resulted in an excellent documentary produced for the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Correspondent series, about Mordechai and Israel's nuclear weapons. "Israel's Secret Weapon" aired amidst some controversy on the eve of the U.S. - British invasion of Iraq. (See the full report at 'Israel's Secret Weapon'.)
The Eoloffs and I met in London with other activists from the international campaign. The Eoloffs arrived directly from Israel and a visit with Mordechai. We continued our discussion of ideas and proposals for the coming year as well as matters regarding the time of Mordechai's release and afterwards. While we and the international campaigns continue to demand his immediate freedom, and work to promote public awareness of Vanunu, his brave act of whistleblowing, and the necessity of nuclear disarmament, we are also discussing practicalities such as passports, trust funds, and Mordechai's plans for his future.
This coming year is a crucial one. In addition to our planned activities, we are preparing for whatever else might come up along the way, including at the time of Mordechai's release.
Now more than ever, we need your financial support. Your contributions will help to ensure that we will have the funds to do everything we need to do during the year and in April 2004. After Mordechai is out of prison, the remainder of campaign funds will be given to him to help him rebuild his life. So please give as generously as you can!
There are many other ways you can help in the coming year:
* Frequent flyer miles donated to the campaign would help get the Eoloffs to Israel for their next visits with Mordechai.
* Sign the online petition, and encourage others to do so.
* If there is an Israeli embassy or consulate near you, join a September 30 Free Vanunu vigil already planned or help to organize one. Contact the campaign for more information.
* Speak about Mordechai, and recite his poem I Am Your Spy at anti-nuclear and peace events.
* Hold a benefit, large or small, in your community to raise awareness and money for the work of the U.S. Campaign.
* We will soon have an updated version of the basic campaign brochure. Order now to distribute at meetings, conferences and demonstrations.
Let me know what you'd be interested in doing, and what information or resources you might need from the campaign. And please share other ideas you may have!
Also, please write to Dr. Mordechai Vanunu, Ashkelon Prison, Ashkelon, Israel. Let's shower him with many cards and letters of support during these last months of his long ordeal. It will help keep his spirits up and remind the prison authorities of the breadth and depth of support for Mordechai from around the world.
Felice Cohen-Joppa, Coordinator
P.S. If you'd like your donation of $50 or more to be tax-deductible, please make the check payable to the Progressive Foundation, our fiscal sponsor. Other checks should be made out to the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu. Thank you!