A few days before my first of seven journeys to Israel Palestine, a Palestinian American friend warned me, “Don’t visit Mordechai Vanunu, if you see him; don’t speak to him. He’s not allowed to speak to foreigners and you could cause him trouble.”
I responded, “OK, I won’t track him down, but Jerusalem is a small town and if our paths cross, I will speak to him. What kind of government is that, that will tell a human being who they can and cannot talk with?”
It was while researching for my first book-KEEP HOPE ALIVE- in 2004, that I stumbled upon Mordechai Vanunu’s incredible story and wrote him into a chapter; and met him a few months after.
In the Chapter: “Thanksgiving Eve, 1987” Dr. Jake Hunter, a fictional character says:
“I have yet to read or heard a word from the American press about Vanunu who had worked in a very compartmentalized position in the secret underground Dimona nuclear research center in the Negev. The nuclear plant had a sign outside claiming it was a Textile factory and it seems that when Vanunu finally realized he was involved in the horrific work of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, he shot two rolls of film inside of the restricted areas. Seems security was very lax and this low level tech was able to obtain the keys in the shower room that opened the doors to what Israel has not admitted to.
“Vanunu quit the job and leaves Israel and carried around the undeveloped film for nearly a year as he traveled throughout Europe. He ended up in Sydney, Australia and converted to Christianity. A few weeks after he shared his story with a British reporter and Vanunu and the reporter returned to London. While the London Sunday Times was verifying his story, Vanunu mysteriously disappeared. The photos proved the fact that Israel had become a major nuclear power, but not a word has been heard from my government or press!
“The Sunday Times reports this incredible news that Israel’s underground plutonium plant has material for two hundred nuclear warheads of advanced design, but not a word have I read about it or heard from the US media! It makes me wonder about all the iron curtains the media and government have raised as a shield from the truth.”
On 8 August 2010, a few hours after he was released from 78 days from a high security Israeli prison in strict solitary confinment, punsihment for speaking to foreign media in 2004, Vanunu wrote on my Youtube Wall:
NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE FROM YOU YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, ESPECIALY NOT ME.
On 11 October 2010, Israel denied Vanunu's appeal to leave the state and speak freely to foreigners.
On 12 December 2010, Vanunu is expected to be in Berlin to receive the 2010 Carl von Ossietzky Medal awarded for courageous dedication to human rights by the International League of Human Rights:
Excerpted from BEYOND NUCLEAR: