Mordechai Vanunu. Time for his release is long overdue

When I was in the Palestinian territories and Israel in early 2004 we discussed Mordechai Vanunu who was still held in prison where he had served 18 years, much in solitary confinement. This after being lured to Rome where he was kidnapped (presumably illegally by Mossad who seem to be immune to international law) and smuggled back to Israel. He has spent 8 further years restricted to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He is widely regarded as a spy and traitor and so continues to be harassed.
Now is the time for the Israeli government to show good will. I seriously wonder if it is capable of doing this. Any report you read on this bunch shows them laying into everybody and anybody, except that is the settlers to whom Netanahyu continues to give away Palestinian land and property. Extreme is not the word to describe these actions, but since the US appears powerless to deal with him it continues,
The following are letters published in the Guardian which coincide with a day of action called by the Free Mordechai Vanunu cause on Facebook, supported by 5,500 people.

Israel, Iran, nuclear weapons and a Shakespearean invitation, Friday 20 April 2012 20.59 BST
Article history
Amid all the talk of Iran is aiming to equip itself with nuclear weapons (Report, 14 April), it seems too often ignored that the one Middle East country that indisputably has nuclear weapons is Israel. The person who, in 1986, produced the conclusive evidence for Israel having these weapons was Mordechai Vanunu. For this “crime” he has suffered 26 years loss of freedom: 18 years in prison – 12 of these in solitary confinement – followed by eight years of being forced to live in Israel against his wishes, under stringent limitations on his freedom of movement, speech and association. If an Iranian scientist came forward with firm evidence that Iran was secretly equipping itself with nuclear weapons this would be regarded as a brave act worthy of praise not punishment; surely Mordechai’s identical action in relation to Israel’s nuclear weapons should be regarded in a similar light? Today, 21 April, is the eighth anniversary of Mordechai’s release from prison, when the annual restrictions on his freedom come up for renewal. We call for these restrictions to be lifted and for him to be allowed to leave Israel. We also call for negotiations to be initiated towards achieving a nuclear free Middle East, negotiations which must include Israel’s nuclear weapons.
Ben Birnberg, Julie Christie, Bruce Kent
Campaign for a Nuclear Free Middle East
Lord Eric Avebury
Steve Bell
Jim Boumelha President, International Federation of Journalists
Victoria Brittain
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Maggie Hambling
Mike Hancock MP
Jeremy Hardy
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Caroline Lucas MP
Michael Mansfield
Miriam Margolyes
Kika Markham
Michael Randle
Venessa Redgrave
Michael Rosen
Michelle Stanistreet General secretary, NUJ
Alexie Sayle
Mark Swerotka General secretary, PCS union
Benjamin Zephaniah
• We notice with dismay that dozens of prominent members of the UK theatre and film industry are calling for a boycott of Israel’s national theatre, Habima, in London’s Globe to Globe festival, on the grounds that Habima have performed in established cultural halls in two large Israeli settlements (Letters, 30 March). It is widely accepted that any peace accord is likely to result in the larger settlement blocs, on land close to the 1967 line, becoming part of Israel, through a process of land swaps; a concept that has already been endorsed and reiterated by international leaders.
In any case, Habima’s cultural contribution to the festival ought to be celebrated and enjoyed away from the politics of the region. We commend the Globe’s management for honouring the invitation to Habima. They rightly state that “Habima are the most well-known and respected Hebrew-language theatre company in the world, and are a natural choice to any programmer wishing to host a dramatic production in Hebrew.”
We oppose any boycott of Israel. This sort of activity gives a green light to those who wish to promote the delegitimisation of Israel. It does nothing to help the Middle East peace process which will be solved when leaders on both sides can reach agreement on a two-state solution. It is unfortunate, due to the seriousness of the accusations levied against this non-government affiliated theatre group, that crucial facts have been overlooked. We call on the signatories of the letter to withdraw their remarks and become part of a more constructive debate on the future of the peace process.
John Whittingdale MP Chairman, Commons culture, media and sport select committee, Louise Mensch MP, Philip Davies MP, Damian Collins MP Members, CMS committee
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

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