Lennon Ono Peace Award Acceptance speech
By Mordechai Vanunu
Delivered on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu by Nick and Mary Eoloff New York, Oct 7 2004
In the 21st century, people all over the world are beginning to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of the whistleblower. The one who has the courage to take responsibility on behalf of all humanity, the one who has the courage to act on behalf of all humanity. The whistleblower has in mind the safety of life on this earth, the people. He or she acts to prevent catastrophe by informing the public directly through the mass media - such is the combined power of knowledge and of conscience. In this age of mass communications information should no longer be secret, and in a democracy it should be open and available to the people. It is the task of the individual, who later becomes a whistleblower, to be the eyes and ears of the people, even if it will cost him his liberty.
A whistleblower pays a heavy price by putting their freedom at risk for refusing to remain silent by telling the truth. When a government intentionally keeps the public in the dark about nuclear secrets, it falls on the individual who is prepared and ready to sacrifice their life in order to shed light and let the people know. In the case of Israel, it fell on me to take the risk of revealing the extent of their nuclear weapons programme. It was not an easy decision to make but one that I knew I must make. I am very happy that I succeeded, despite all the war Israel made, and continues to make, against me.
I have no regrets. I am proud and happy to publish israel NWs secret to all the world through the mass media. I have stood firmly behind this act of truth-telling for 18 years, and I continue to do so. Despite the personal suffering I have endured,kidnapped in Rome, being isolated from the world and feeling no respect or honour for my actions, I continue to believe that the public has a right to know, and must know the truth about Israel’s nuclear weapons secrets. I was released after 18 years, 11 and half years in the most appalling conditions of solitary confinement, and I deserve to be able to speak now, but Israel is not ready to respect the freedom of speech and the rights of the people to know about the catastrophic nuclear weapons that Israel continues to clothe in secrecy. That is the point of a whistleblower; the world needs these phenomena of WHISTLEBLOWERS.
I would also like to say a few words about Israel's nuclear weapons. By 1986, Israel had produced in secret, beyond the imagination of the public or foreign governments, a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Approximately 200 atomic bombs including the new production of Hydrogen bombs and, undoubtedly, much more in the last 18 years. I believe that governments have a duty to inform the public about weapons being produced in their name. The Israeli government did not even inform their own parliament, the Knesset, never mind the neighbouring Arab states that will bare the brunt of any accident in the future.
My reason for speaking out was to bring this news to the people, to inform them and encourage active questioning of Israeli weapons policies. In addition to the threat posed by the use of such weapons, a stockpile of nuclear weapons without inspection, such as at the Dimona reactor, is a danger to the health of the people of the region as well as the environment of the Middle East and beyond.
My message to the United Nations and to influential democratic governments is "Open Dimona for inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency and take all necessary steps to prevent the use of nuclear weapons in any war". Al Baradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency should insist they have a right to inspect. Next, take all steps to make Israel a nuclear weapons free zone, and all the Middle East free from nuclear weapons.
I believe the UN should now have the courage to pass a resolution calling for the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction by making them illegal. BAN the production, possession and use of atomic bombs - that is potentially the greatest gift the United Nations and the UN Secretary General could give on behalf of 6 billion people in this fragile world. We cannot continue to exist with the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
Introduction to "I am your spy", written from Ashkelon Prison, 1987 Israel
I Am Your Spy by Mordechai Vanunu
I am the clerk, the technician, the mechanic, the driver.
So they thought, the big ones, the smart ones, the futurologists.
Answer them, said he to himself, said the little man,
The clerk driver technician mechanic looked up.
This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me. How
Rise and cry out. Rise and tell the people. You can.
I have no choice. I'm a little man, a citizen, one of the people,
Come and see for yourselves. Lighten my burden. Stop the train.
Finally, I would like to say that it is an honour to receive this award. I very much appreciate that Yoko Ono found me worthy to receive it. This award acknowledges publicly what I have endured over 18 years in an Israeli jail. I am committed to helping bring about peace between Palestinians and Israelis and the abolition of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. I follow in the footsteps of Yoko Ono who for many years has brought a message of peace, non-violence and the abolition of nuclear weapons. The way to peace is by disarmament and by respect for all human beings in all the world.
I would like to complete this acceptance speech by respectfully mentioning the work of John Lennon, who tirelessly campaigned for peace during his short life. Together with Yoko Ono, he brought the message of peace alive through his determination, strength, courage and integrity.
You may say I'm a
one world free from all kinds of NWs,
Vanunu Mordechai John Crossman.