Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vanunu returns to prison

Today is the second day of Mordechai Vanunu's renewed detention.

Twenty-four years after he was kidnapped in Italy and placed, handcuffed and drugged, in the belly of a ship which made its way secretly to the coast of Israel, he is back behind bars.

Six years after having served, to the very last day, the draconian 18-year sentence imposed on him by the court, most of them in total isolation, he is back behind bars..

Exactly on the week when the opinion was voiced, more widely than ever before, that Israel should end its policy of "Nuclear Ambiguity" and explicitly admit to possessing the kind of weapons that the entire world knows to be in Israel's possession, he is back behind bars.

Exactly on the day of the disclosure about the kind of weapons which were offered to Apartheid South Africa by the man who was then Foreign Minister of Israel, who later won the Nobel Peace Prize and who is now President of Israel, he is back behind bars. Vanunu, not the president...

Yes, Mordechai Vanunu was put back behind bars, this time "only" for three months.

He was not imprisoned because he had revealed more secrets. He has no more secrets to reveal.

He was imprisoned because the government of Israel insists that he continue to live in a country which he despises, which he heartily wishes to leave and never to come back. A country where many citizens hate him because their communications media told them that he is a spy and a traitor.

He was imprisoned because he has much more in common with peace-seeking citizens of other countries than with most of Israel's citizens, but the State of Israel has forbidden him to speak to foreigners.

He was imprisoned because in the view of the State of Israel, when Morderchai Vanunu forms love relations with a woman who happened to be Norwegian and takes a hotel room together with her, this is a crime that merits and requires the immediate intervention of the police.

He was imprisoned because the system graciously offered him a chance to perform community service instead of going to jail - but only on condition that he perform this service within a community whose members had repeatedly heard on their media that Mordechai Vanunu is a despicable spy and traitor, and who never got a chance to hear otherwise.

He went to prison, with hardly anyone at his side. Only his attorney Michael Sfard and the dedicated activist Gideon Spiro.

A moment before the prison gates closed, Mordechai Vanunu recited a poem which he had written recently. A very angry poem.


We all deserve Mordechai Vanunu's anger.