'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Here's details on the re-arrest of Vanunu via the BBC:

The bishop of the Jerusalem church where Vanunu has lived since his release said he saw him seized by between 30 and 50 men, many armed with machine guns.

Anglican Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal told the BBC News website that Vanunu's room had been searched and his mobile phones, laptop, camera and notebooks seized.

The bishop said some Swedish pilgrims visiting St George's Church had been shocked to tears by the police operation.

"They invaded the cathedral close," he said. "Some of them climbed over the fences, others came through the main gate.

"They terrified, terrorised the guests and the pilgrims, none of whom knew why this invasion happened with machine guns."

The bishop said he was "very angry" at the way Vanunu was seized. He was not allowed to speak to him, but was told he was being taken for interrogation.

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman told the Reuters news agency that Vanunu would be charged at a court hearing on Friday.

Some commentary from Zeynep over at Under the Same Sun:

The whole world knows Vanunu has no more secrets to reveal; he has already told the world all that he knew from his time as a technician at the secret Israeli nuclear plant in Dimona.

His real crime is that he wasn't broken by the prison, by the solitary confinement. He wasn't even bitter: he emerged from the long ordeal as a calm, confident believer in peace, a steady opponent of nuclear weapons. The Israeli goverment slapped on him ridiculous restrictions: can't talk to foreigners, can't talk to press, can't leave the country, can't do this, can't do that. It's obvious that what they are afraid of is not some alleged secrets that he possesses, but his brave voice.

Vanunu did not seek to be a hero, he was just looking for a job when he landed at the heart of Israel's nuclear program. He has, however, more than lived up to the challenge life thrust upon him. His rearrest is a crucial test for all of us. It's clear his arrest was timed to take place when most news organizations were covering Arafat's death. They are betting we will ignore this outrage.

If we let Mordechai Vanunu once again be disappeared into the Israeli jails, who will want to fight for our freedom again? If he can be snatched by "20 police commandos wearing bulletproof vests and wielding machine guns" without worldwide outrage, who will want to be a whistleblower again?

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