While acknowledging that Vanunu violated his secrecy oath as a nuclear weapons worker, thousands around the globe regard him not as a spy or traitor but as one who gave his information freely and without compensation for the sake of others. In countries throughout the world he is honored for his courage and integrity in telling the simple truth at great personal risk.
Vanunu has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, Nuclear Free Future Award, and an honorary doctorate from Tromsų University in Norway. The European Parliament has called on Israel to release him on humanitarian grounds, as have the Federation of American Scientists, a task force of the American Physical Society, the International Peace Bureau, the Episcopal and Jewish Peace Fellowships, and religious, scientific, and cultural leaders and others concerned about human rights violations and the spread of nuclear weapons. Campaigns for his release are active in the U.S., U.K., Israel and other countries throughout the world.
The American campaign was founded and coordinated by veteran peace activist Sam Day until his death in January, 2001. Former associate coordinator Felice Cohen-Joppa now coordinates the campaign. Associate coordinators are Art Laffin and Jack Cohen-Joppa. The campaign publishes a quarterly newsletter; maintains an updated website; sells books, videotapes, T-shirts, and other educational materials about the case; provides speakers; organizes demonstrations at Israel's embassy in Washington and consulates around the country; works closely with campaigns in other countries, and provides subsistence support for Vanunu in prison.
In calling for the release of Vanunu and acknowledgement of Israel's nuclear arsenal, the U.S. Campaign also focuses critical attention on U.S. nuclear weapons policies. One problem is the double-standard which undermines the government's official stance against nuclear weapons proliferation. While opposing the nuclear aspirations of Third World countries like Iran and North Korea, successive Presidents have turned a blind eye to the major transgressions of Israel, our close Middle East ally. The other problem is our own government's continued reliance on nuclear weapons as a way of projecting U.S. power and influence around the world. The campaign's ultimate goal, inspired by Mordechai Vanunu's example, is a nuclear-free world.