Mordechai Vanunu

We have received two letters from Mordechai Vanunu. Portions of both appear below.

I want to thank you for raising my case in Peace Magazine and also for sending me the magazine. I also want to thank many people in Canada who are writing me; I have not been able to answer each one. I am very encouraged by your actions in Canada trying to bring my freedom. Unfortunately, anti-nuclear campaigners have not been able to reach even such a small target - to release one man from prison. But a huge movement in all the world could defeat this state, force Israel to end her nuclear weapons secret, become nuclear-weapons-free, release me, and end secrecy on this subject.

I am still in prison, with no changes, living alone in the same cell as over the past 12 years, despite the declaration that they have ended my solitary confinement. I am not living among the prisoners because I do not want to live with the Jewish criminals. They have treated me as a real enemy, a traitor. In that case, I should be living with Palestinian prisoners of war - those who fought against the occupation by Israel in the Arabs' Palestinian land. They are also regarded as Israel's enemies, despite the peace accord with Arafat. So I am awaiting the judge's sentence on this question. Instead of dealing with nuclear weapons, they are wasting time on this matter, which is not the real problem, and thereby continue to silence me, despite declaring that they have ended my solitary.

I am still concerned about India's and Pakistan's nuclear tests. If the five nuclear powers had succeeded in ending Israel's nuclear weapons, as they did with South Africa, states like India and Pakistan would not have demonstrated such nuclear power. Now they have opened the door for any state to acquire nuclear weapons. The world has no choices. The only way is to ban nuclear weapons in all the world. The end of communism has not ended the history of nuclear weapons. Now we can see what the world needs: an absolute ban on illegal nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

The world and the United Nations need a new direction - a new agreement that demands one policy for all the world. If nuclear weapons are illegitimate they should be made illegal for all the world under any circumstances, exactly as are chemical weapons. There are no five superpowers who may keep chemical weapons; the same should be the case with nuclear weapons. Colonialism has gone. We are now living in the age of one Global Village - no more of some obscure nation-state flags.

India and Pakistan by their nuclear weapons test ended a very dangerous policy that Israel and Simon Peres invented: cheating and lying about nuclear weapons. They call it ambiguity. The real policy should be clear and open. If they have nuclear weapons they should let all the world see them now. They don't even need nuclear weapons tests. Since the 1950s the secret policy has been dangerous, undemocratic, and unnecessary.

The superpowers who have nuclear weapons could now declare they will go toward zero nuclear weapons and impose that same policy on those states who have nuclear weapons - like Israel or even India and Pakistan. The world needs a ban on nuclear weapons. Make them illegal, so that no state will produce or possess them. If any state does produce them, then the U.N. will have the right to destroy its nuclear facilities.

Mordechai Vanunu
Ashkelon, Israel

On Cuba Again

I can agree with much of what Professor Nelson Valdes wrote in "On Cuba" in the Jan/Feb issue; however, I wish to argue against his conclusions regarding democracy.

For all its claims to be a paragon of democracy, the U.S. is actually a plutocracy where access to wealth is the determinant of electoral success and where well-heeled lobbyists representing special interests distort democratic values. Where are the poorer elements of society, or left-wingers, represented? They cannot challenge the system where wealth predominates. Canada is not far behind when considering Chretien's brusque refusal to meet with representatives of protesting homeless and poor people. Universally the poor get short shrift. Such a system would not work in Cuba.

In the U.S. the Communist Control Act of 1954 - unique in the whole world - is still in the criminal code, although many people are unaware of its existence.

The U.S. should end its embargos throughout the world, including Cuba, and abandon its slanderous campaigns against countries following their own pathways to societal development.

Ed Simpson
Apsley, Ontario

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1999

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1999, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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