MEMORANDUM from Israel Information Office in Scotland Jan 16, 2005
"MORDECHAI VANUNU: RELEVANT FACTS
The following facts regarding the case of Mordechai Vanunu are apposite in consideration of the motions and petition concerning him which have been seeking Parliamentary consideration:
Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli citizen, worked for the Atomic Research Reactor in Dimona in southern Israel. He surreptitiously collected information, photographs and materials that, under Israeli law, were secret. He smuggled the information abroad where it was published in the Sunday Times on October 5, 1986.
S2M-2180.1 (Robert Brown)
S2M-2180 (Patrick Harvie)
S2M-2042 (Rosie Kane)
S2M-2017 (Chris Ballance)
S2M-1424# (Mark Ballard)
S2M-1396 (Rolsie Kane)
E-petition (Mick Napier)
Vanunu claims he acted solely in opposition to the development of nuclear weapons in the world, and in Israel in particular.
The information which Vanunu made public and claimed to be true, concerned the activity at the site, the security arrangements for the reactor, procedures for hiring personnel, the routes that employees took to work every morning, and the exact place where workers were picked up by buses. The details he chose to reveal had the effect of setting up the reactor and its workers for military or terrorist attack.
Following the publication of Vanunu's article, a group of PLO terrorists hijacked a bus transporting employees to the reactor. Three of Vanunu's co-workers were killed, eight other women employees were wounded in the hijacking. The details about security and personnel which he revealed had no connection to his alleged anti-nuclear objectives.
Mordechai Vanunu was not tried for his anti-nuclear views or actions, but for violating sections of the Israel Penal Law. Every modem nation, not least Britain, has similar laws which prohibit the gathering and publication of information classified as secret.
Vanunu's trial opened before the Jerusalem District Court in December 1986 and concluded in March 1988. During all of the proceedings, Vanunu was represented by defence counsel of his choice. Vanunu was found guilty on each of the charges and was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment.
Because Vanunu repeatedly declared his intention to make public additional secret information, the Commissioner of Prisons decided that the prisoner should remain in solitary confinement; it was also necessary to prevent other inmates from harming him in light of the type of crimes he had committed. Petitions by Vanunu to discontinue solitary confiement were rejected by the court. Vanunu's cell was larger than the standard and had its own adjoining lavatory and shower. He had a radio, a tape player with many cassettes. a television and a video. He was allowed to receive, without any limitation as to subject matter, as many books and newspapers as he wished, spent time outdoors daily and received visitors regularly.
The licence for his ultimate release stipulated that he was forbidden to speak to foreign newsmen, a condition he circumvented almost immediately.
Until his election as Rector of Glasgow University, Mordechai Vanunu had no known connection with Scotland. Matriculated students are entitled to vote for the Rector as their representative on the governing body of the University. There are almost 16,000 undergraduates and 4,000 post-graduate students at Glasgow University. Only 1,918 in all voted and Mordechai Vanunu's winning (third) count of 1,033—Johnny Beattie came second with 793—represents about 5% of the electorate.
Israel Information Office
222 Fenwick Road
Glasgow G46 6UE
RESPONSE & REBUTTAL from Scottish PSC
An old libel resurrected: the Tel Aviv - Giffnock axis of villification
Nuclear-armed Israel is clearly rattled by Glasgow students' election of Israeli whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu. That is why the Israeli Office in Giffnock, Glasgow, is recycling verbatim old slanders about the newly-elected Rector of Glasgow University, lies which they know to be lies and which they steadfastly refuse to repeat on any public forum where they can be questioned.
Israeli spokesperson Golombok is parrotting previous emmissions from the Israel embassy in London, which claim that "The information which Vanunu made public and claimed to be true, concerned the activity at the site, the security arrangements for the reactor, procedures for hiring personnel, the routes that employees took to work every morning, and the exact place where workers were picked up by buses. The details he chose to reveal had the effect of setting up the reactor and its workers for military or terrorist attack."
This is a brazen lie, mere sand in our eyes, and can easily be proven to be false. The entire collection of the original Sunday Times Insight team articles published between Sunday October 5, 1986 and Sunday December 28, 1986 carry no information whatsoever on Dimona staff or staff movements. Nor did Mordechai Vanunu, in exposing Israel's illegal nuclear WMD programme, make any such information public at any time. He had no reason or intention to. The allegation is simply intended to draw our attention away from the primary facts of Israel's illegal WMD programme.
The Israeli Office in Giffnock also repeats that, "Following the publication of Vanunu's article, a group of PLO terrorists hijacked a bus transporting employees to the reactor. Three of Vanunu's co-workers were killed, eight other women employees were wounded in the hijacking. The details about security and personnel which he revealed had no connection to his alleged anti-nuclear objectives."
Anyone in receipt of this press release should invite the Israelis to specify how and where and when Mordechai Vanunu "revealed" these "details". They should also be asked to provide a source for one of their other outright lies, still used to "justify" his continued detention in Israel, that Mordechai "Vanunu repeatedly declared his intention to make public
Glasgow University students ought to summon Mr. Golombok to support his accusations against their Rector in front of a student forum and respond to related questions. It is worth noting that the Israeli special forces database makes no reference to Vanunu in its record of the hijacking and firefight of March 7, 1988: available at XXXX
The site reports how three armed Palestinians had entered from Egypt earlier that day, penetrated Israeli border security, hijacked a passing Israeli Army vehicle and driven further north. Expecting to be attacked and killed at any moment, they had hijacked a bus that came along, which happened to be carrying workers to Israel's nuclear weapons factory. They then opened negotiations with Israeli police before being killed. Three passengers on the bus were also killed before the stand-off ended.
Golombok's smears come up against the testimony of Deputy Chief Officer of the regional police force, Hayim Ben-Ayun, who negotiated with the three armed Palestinians, men from families ethnically cleansed by the Zionist militias in 1948. He scoffed at any idea of information from Mordechai Vanunu being used by the Palestinian hijackers, and later told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, "I don't know why the public is being fed with disinformation." Ben-Ayun participated in all the debriefing and investigations that followed. He said: 'I stood very close to them as I was conducting the negotiations. I gained the impression from their conduct, from the way they spoke and inexpert way they handled their weapons, as well as from other details, that they were not particularly sophisticated...low- grade amateurs.'
Ben-Ayun told the newspaper that throughout all the debriefings and investigations following the incident the possibility had never been raised that the terrorists made use of information revealed by Vanunu. 'I just do not understand why the public has to be fed with such incorrect and irrelevant information." (Yediot Ahronot Dec 02, 1993)
We, however, do understand why an Israeli official here in Scotland is feeding the public this disinformation. Scots are fully in line with wider European opinion, where a poll commisssioned officially by the EU found 59% in all 15 countries in November 2003 put Israel at the very top of a list of countries posing "a threat to peace in the world". Equally bad news for the dwindling band known as the pro-Israeli lobby come from the YouGov poll earlier this month, commissioned by the Telegraph, which shows that UK citizens have finally grasped the undemocratic nature of Israel, and now see it as one of the world’s “least democratic” countries. They also consider the apartheid state of Israel as the country least deserving of “international respect”. As the Telegraph, a staunch supporter of Israel's ethnic-cleansing regime, concluded, Israel's massive "violence and Israel's continuing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza appear to have done immense damage to its standing." Not before time.
The attempt to smear Vanunu as a facilitator of "terrorism" is a desperate act. The fact is that Israel's powerful allies in this country are failing in the battle for public opinion, an army of media and political Goliaths defeated by un-named Palestinian Davids, sometimes with actual slingshots in hand against British-supplied tanks. These heroic people have successfully persuaded millions of people in this country that Israel should be accorded the status of pariah state. Sharon's Israel should know that they can no longer continue to massacre Palestinian men, women and children with impunity: their licences to kill from Bush and Blair can be withdrawn by an aroused public opinion, already disgusted with Israel's never-ending ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. An increasingly enraged public opinion will demand serious punishment of this failed, apartheid state, a state which is lethal for the native Palestinians and a terrible danger to Jews who live there.
Space does not permit a detailed rebuttal of the Israeli authorities other claim that a man criminally kidnapped from a European capital later received a fair trial at the hands of the Israeli security establishment. In any case, it is Israel that has been in the dock of world opinion for the last four years of the intifada. That world-wide jury has already delivered its stinging verdict.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign