Secrecy News

Letter: Israel Should Allow Vanunu to Emigrate

Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed aspects of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the press three decades ago and served a lengthy prison term as a result, is again entangled with Israeli legal authorities over the contents of a recent TV interview. See “Nuclear Whistle-blower Vanunu Arrested Over Channel 2 Interview,” Haaretz, September 10.

Vanunu should be allowed to emigrate from Israel, as he has requested, wrote Charles D. Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, and Frank von Hippel of Princeton University.

“We realize that Vanunu’s past actions are susceptible to different interpretations, including negative interpretations, and that he in fact violated the laws of the State of Israel. But the essential fact is that upon conviction he served his full sentence in prison, as he was required to do. Under the circumstances, we believe it is unjust for Israel to continue to punish him over and over for the same crime,” Ferguson and von Hippel wrote in an October 12 letter to the Government of Israel.