I Am Your Spy
Vanunu: The Terrible Secret

May 17, 2004

Arrested at the age of 32, Mordechai Vanunu spent 6,413 days behind bars and in solitary confinement for his act of conscience.
'I Am Your Spy'
by Mordechai Vanunu (a statement smuggled out of Ashkelon Prison)

I am the clerk, the technician, the mechanic, the driver, whom they told, do this or do that.

Don't look to the right, to the left, don't eye the page. Don't look at the whole machine. You are responsible for one bolt only. You are responsible for just one rubber-stamp. Concern yourself with one matter only. Don't bother with things that are above you. Don't think for us. Drive. Keep driving. On. On.

The great, the wise, those who understand our future, thought: There's nothing to worry about. No fear. Everything works, clicks.

Our little clerk is a diligent worker. He's a simple technician. He's the little guy. Like all the low-ranking clerks, ears have they, but they hear not. Eyes have they but they see not. We have a head; not the little guys.

Answer them, he thought to himself--just between him and himself-- the little citizen.But the man with the head is not little.

Who is the boss here, who knows where the train is headed? Where is our head? I too have a head. Why do I see the abyss? Does this train have an engineer?

The clerk-driver-technician-mechanic raised his head. Retreated a bit, saw a monster Unbelieving, returned, rubbed his eyes and indeed-- they're fine. I'm just fine. I really do see a monster.

I am part of the system I signed this form. And only now am I reading the text. This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me. How did I not see and how do others go on bolt-tightening. Who else knows? Who saw, who heard? The emperor is indeed naked.

I see him. Why me. This is not for me. It's to big for me. Rise up and cry out. Rise up and proclaim to this nation. You can. I the bolt, the mechanic, the technician. Yes, you. You are the secret agent of this nation. You are the eyes of the state. Spy-agent, reveal what you've seen. Reveal to us what those who understand, the wise, hide from us.

If you are not with us, the void awaits us. A holocaust awaits us. You and only you sit at the wheel and see the void. I have no choice. I am a little guy, an ordinary citizen, one of the common folk, but I will fulfill my commitment. I have heard the voice of my conscience. And there's nowhere to run.

The world is small. Small compared to big brother. Here I am, on your mission. Here I am fulfilling my role. Take this from me. Come and judge. Lighten my load. Carry it along with me. Carry on my messenger-mission.

Stop the train. Get off the train. The next stop is nuclear holocaust. The next book, the next machine, no. There is no such thing.

Inside the plutonium separation plant control room at Dimona. Insert: Vanunu's damning snapshot of the plutonium core of one of Israel's secret nuclear weapons. To see more of Vanunu's photos, go to: www.nonviolence.org/Vanunu/photos.html
Vanunu: The Terrible Secret
Uri Avnery / Arabic Media Internet Network (www.amin.org)

(April 24, 2004) -- In the darkness of a cinema, a woman's voice: "Hey! Take your hands off! Not you! YOU!" This old joke illustrates the American policy regarding nuclear armaments in the Middle East. "Hey, you there, Iraq and Iran and Libya, stop it! Not YOU, Israel!"

The danger of nuclear arms was the main pretext for the invasion of Iraq. Iran is threatened in order to compel it to stop its nuclear efforts. Libya has surrendered and is dismantling its nuclear installations. So what about Israel?

This week it became clear that the Americans are full partners in the creation of Israel's "nuclear option." How was this exposed? With the help of Mordechai Vanunu, of course.

Throughout the week, a festival was being celebrated around the prisoner, who was released on Wednesday.

The Security Establishment has not stopped harassing him, even after he has sat in prison for 18 years, 11 of them in complete solitary confinement -- a treatment he himself described on leaving the prison as "cruel and barbaric." After he was "set free." far-reaching restrictions were imposed on him (e.g. he is forbidden to leave the country, is restricted to one town, cannot go near any embassy or consulate, may not talk with foreign citizens). All this under the colonial British emergency regulations that were condemned at the time by the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine, as "worse than the Nazi laws."

Not, God forbid, because of any desire for revenge!

The security people declared from every podium that this is not revenge for all the shame Vanunu caused the security services, and is by no means just more persecution, but an essential security requirement. He must not be allowed to leave the country or to speak with foreigners and journalists, because he is in possession of secrets vital to the security of the state.

Everybody understands that he has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?

The Real Fear: America's Hidden Involvement
But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel's nuclear armaments.

This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for "arms control," Under Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power. The Americans are afraid of sounding like the lady in the dark cinema.

(By the way, this John Bolton is an avid supporter of the group of Zionist neo-cons who play a central role in the Bush theater. He opposes arms control for the United States and its satellites and was installed in the State Department against the wishes of the Secretary of State himself.)

In the short address Vanunu was able to make to the media immediately on his release, he made a strange remark: that the young woman who served as bait for his kidnapping, some 18 years ago, was not a Mossad agent, as generally assumed, but an agent of the FBI or CIA. Why was it so urgent for him to convey this? ....

Vanunu's Perilous Path to Principle
I have no doubt that his personality was shaped by his background. He is the son of a family with many children, who were quite well-to-do in Morocco but lived in a primitive "transition camp" in Israel, before moving to Beer-Sheva, where they lived in poverty.

In spite of this, he succeeded in getting into university and got a master's degree, quite an achievement, but suffered, so it seems, from the overbearing attitude and prejudices of his Ashkenazi peers. Undoubtedly, that pushed him towards the company of the extreme left, where such prejudices were not prevalent.

The bunch of "security correspondents" and other commentators who are attached to the udders of the security establishment have already spread stories about Vanunu "imagining things," his long stay in solitary confinement causing him to "convince himself of all kinds of fantasies" and to "invent all kinds of fabrications." Meaning: the American connection.

Against this background one can suddenly understand all these severe restrictions, which, at first sight, look absolutely idiotic. The Americans, it seems, are very worried. The Israeli security services have to dance to their tune. The world must be prevented by all available means from hearing, from the lips of a credible witness, that the Americans are full partners in Israel's nuclear arms program, while pretending to be the world's sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation.

And the lady cried: "Not you! YOU!"

Uri Avnery is an Israeli author and activist and the head of the Israeli peace movement "Gush Shalom."

A Partial List of the International Delegates who Greeted Vanunu on his Release from Prison

  • Nick and Mary Eoloff: Mordechai Vanunu's adoptive parents since 1997, from St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

  • Mairaed Maguire: Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1976 for her work towards building peace in Northern Ireland.

  • Gideon Spiro of the Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle East Free of Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons

  • Issam Makhoul, Member of Knesset.

  • Reverend Ed Browning: Retired Bishop Episcopal Church, USA

  • Felice Cohen-Joppa: Coordinator, US Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu. Tucson, Arizona, USA

  • Jeremy Corbyn: Labour Party Member of Parliament. Vice chair of House of Commons Human Rights Committee.

  • Bruce Kent: Past chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, present vice chairman. Member of the International Peace Bureau.

  • Susannah York: International actor and Trustee of Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.

  • Art Laffin: Associate coordinator, US Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu, Washington, DC, USA.

  • Barry Roth: Psychiatrist, peace and anti-nuclear activist, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

  • Colin Breed: Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.

  • Ben Birnberg: Internationally known Civil Liberties and Human Rights Lawyer.

  • Ernest Rodker: Coordinator, British Campaign to Free Vanunu

  • Fredrik S. Heffermehl: lawyer, writer, translator and political organizer, Honorary President of the Norwegian Peace Alliance, Vice President of the International Peace Bureau, Vice President of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, Norway

  • Pat Arrowsmith: Active in Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons since 1950's. Active in the Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.

  • Ole Kopreitan: executive director, Nei til atomvaapen (No to Nuclear Arms), Norway.

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