Wednesday, September 27, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Wen Ho Lee–New York Times Apologizes
2000-09-27

Mordechai Vanunu–Still in Jail

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

We move now to another story that involves nuclear secrets: Israeli nuclear plant worker, Mordechai Vanunu. He was convicted of treason and aggravated espionage for providing a British newspaper with classified information on Israel’s nuclear program in 1986.

For three decades Israel declared it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. During this time it was secretly developing an extensive nuclear program, hiding its existence from the Israeli people and parliament, and from the international community. Mordechai Vanunu tried to break this wall of silence.

Vanunu worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel’s nuclear installation, from 1976 to 1985. In 1986 he revealed the facts to the world in the London Sunday Times. Based on his evidence, experts concluded that Israel had stockpiled up to 200 nuclear warheads making it the world’s sixth largest nuclear power.

On 30 September 1986, days before his information was published, Vanunu was drugged and kidnapped from Rome by Israeli agents. He was tried in total secrecy and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. Since then he has been kept in complete isolation in conditions described by Amnesty International as "cruel, inhuman and degrading." The European Parliament has repeatedly condemned the behavior of the Israeli authorities and called for his release. But Mordechai remains in prison, facing five more years of an 18-year sentence for blowing the whistle on his government’s nuclear arsenal. He says that it is a secret arsenal built by Israel and protected by the United States.

Guests:

  • Sam Day, leading the US campaign to free Mordechai Vanunu.
  • Daniel Ellsburg, formally of the RAND Corporation and the Pentagon. He released the Pentagon papers, thousands of pages of top secret documents on the Vietnam war.
  • Mary Eoloff, the Adoptive mother of Mordechai

Related links:

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    2014-0730_siegman1
    "A Slaughter of Innocents": Henry Siegman, a Venerable Jewish Voice for Peace, on Gaza
    Today, a special with Henry Siegman, the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation’s "big three" Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. Henry Siegman was born in 1930 in Frankfurt, Germany. Three years later, the Nazis came to power. After fleeing Nazi troops in Belgium, his family eventually moved to the United States. His father was a leader of the European Zionist movement, pushing for the creation of a Jewish state. In...

Headlines

    There are no headlines for this date.


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.