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Friday, March 12, 2010

Mordechai Vanunu does not want Peace Nobel

For the first time in the history of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a preemptive request to withdraw a nomination—by the nominee—was made

This nominee is no other than Israeli Peace activist Mordechai Vanunu, the man who has been so severely punished for letting the World know of the nuclear arsenal of the Zionist regime, the only such arsenal in West Asia so far, the man whom I described once as the only true Jewish hero... even if he is a Palestinian by choice now.

The main reason seems to be that Vanunu doesn't want his name mixed to that of Shimon Peres, the creator of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, who was given this discredited "Peace Prize" without any merit whatsoever other than being a leading Zionist.

Read more at Counterpunch.

Vanunu was arrested again in December for allowing himself to be interviewed by Basque newspaper Gara. Exceprts from that interview can be read, translated to English, here at Leherensuge.


DocG said...

Oy! With all due respect and in the full awareness that I could be totally wrong, I have to say that there is something fishy about this whole story from beginning to end. Not that I have the slightest interest in whitewashing the Israeli gov't, which as you know I do not. As I see it, not only does Israel have no right to exist, it also has no reason to exist and as a result, and for the greater good of all concerned, including the Israelis themselves, should simply leave the land to its rightful owners, the Palestinians.

However. The ONLY reason for any state to hold atomic weapons is as a deterrent. And if the existence of such weapons is a secret, that defeats the whole purpose of having them in the first place. Which is why most countries with such weapons openly conduct tests, to display their existence to the world and put the world on alert that there will be a very real cost for attacking them. There is nothing to be gained by keeping them a secret, because the last thing a legitimate state wants is to actually have to use them, an act that would immediately leave them vulnerable to massive retaliation and worldwide condemnation. (Unless, of course, their intention is to hand them over to terrorist groups, which would be utter folly for all sorts of reasons.) So the bottom line is that it is more important that everyone think you have tham then for you to actually have them.

Contemplating the above and putting it together with what little I know of the actual history (and I could of course be completely off base since I am far from an expert), my own inclination is to assume that Israel probably does not have atomic weapons after all, and that the whole story is a charade, designed to convince potential attackers that they would suffer horrible retaliation if Israel is ever brought to its knees through any means, nuclear or conventional.

In which case, Mr. Vanunu would be an Israeli agent, and NOT a whistle blower. Which could explain his reluctance to accept a Nobel prize as this might invite too close a scrutiny of his activities and his claims (including the claim of having been imprisoned).

I'm sorry if the above casts a shadow on the reputation of someone who might actually be a hero. For all I know he really is. But I'm sorry, because it's impossible for me to believe that if Israel actually had nuclear weapons it would have really wanted to keep that fact a secret.

Maju said...

But developing nuclear weapons, very specially in the context when it happened (Cold War, widespread antimilitarism and antinuclear feelings, NPT, anti-Apartheid movement, growing antizionism) was most politically incorrect, very specially for a state like Israel, so much on the spot of public opinion (back then maybe even more than today, I'd say: apartheid South Africa's best friend, Panarabism still hot, etc.)

Also Israel does not feel too threatened by any foreign power (US/NATO total protection no real big enemies since Nasser), so it was unnecessary to disclose nuke ownership until such threat became clear.

Whatever the case, Vanunu is clearly a honest person who has suffered repression for his revelations.

... "my own inclination is to assume that Israel probably does not have atomic weapons after all"...

I don't think that's a realistic belief considering the evidence (incl. photos of nuclear warheads being built). However the arsenal may be smaller than normally believed.

"In which case, Mr. Vanunu would be an Israeli agent, and NOT a whistle blower".

That's not realistic either: he has been in prison for long and has been imprisoned again each time he speaks to foreign media. He has converted to Christianity (well, his choice) and lives at a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. His photos always show a very sad, suffering soul.

If he's an agent, he's the best agent ever. And he would not have declined the possibility of the Nobel Prize (What for? Only Sartre did that before... and was the Literature Prize).

If he was an agent he'd be either missing or living a discreetly good life at some golden exile. It's an absurd claim, IMO.

"... it's impossible for me to believe that if Israel actually had nuclear weapons it would have really wanted to keep that fact a secret".

North Korea also kept them a secret... until they were ready to disclose. And then it was the foreign minister who did it in a quite funny declaration, which was in the line of: "They call us the axis of evil, they have us blockaded, sanctioned and isolated... Do you think we are not developing nuclear weapons? Of course we are!"

But Brazil under the dictatorship, apartheid South Africa, India, Pakistan and very possibly other countries like Iran, Iraq, Lybia in the past, etc. have got secret nuclear programs, only disclosed when it was the correct time to do it. Because these programs, before military nuclear capability really exists, are a diplomatic liability and, after this military capability really exists, you only need to let know in case of threat (so Pakistan showed off its nukes after India did - and only then).

For me there's no doubt.

DocG said...

You have a good point. It's possible that they'd want to develop a nuclear weapon and keep it secret until the right moment.