The Vanunu Lie

Morde Vanunu – the man who blew the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal – faces another six months in prison for the crime of talking to the press!What did he say that so upset the authorities? Did he protest the mistreatment of the Palestinians? Did he complain about being tortured through 11.5 years in solitary confinement? It’s anyone’s guess! Certainly it had nothing to do with security. The claim that Vanunu is a threat his nation’s security is simply a lie.

It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion”

Joseph Goebbels (Nazi minister of propaganda)

June 25th 2007: Morde Vanunu has been sentenced to another six months in prison, and you can hear the chorus of angels howling in lament.

Morde is a mate of mine. We spent many hours sharing meals, prayers and a common love of existentialist philosophy back in 1986 when we first met. Since then our friendship has been somewhat hampered by Morde’s 18-year prison term, eleven and a half of which was spent in solitary confinement!

For anyone who knows me and doesn’t know Morde, they’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘ah, that’s Dave all over – making friends with the violent riff-raff of society. That mate of his must be a serial killer or something worse’. Those who know Morde though know that nothing could be further from the truth!

Morde is a quiet man, naturally humble and self-effacing. He is also a very gentle man, who has never understood my fascination with the sport of pugilism. Of course he has been labelled as a spy, a traitor, and even as an anti-Semite, but that’s all a lie. Indeed, it‘s all part of a series of lies that come together to make up one great big lie – a lie that I’m referring to here as ‘the Vanunu lie’.

Those who know the story know that the only crime Morde ever committed was that he spoke out about Israel’s secret stockpile of WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction).

Morde gave out photos, taken during his employment as a junior nuclear technician, proving that Israel had been lying to the world when it repeatedly stated, “we will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East”. It was a lie. They were the first, and they are still the only country in the Middle East to have developed a nuclear arsenal.

Many had suspected that Israel had nuclear weapons hidden somewhere in the Negev desert but no one knew for sure, and few had guessed the horrific size of their arsenal – at least 200 tactical nuclear warheads – enough destructive power to turn every city, farm and village of all their Middle Eastern neighbours into one enormous car park. Yet we’re not allowed to talk about this. We must pretend that it’s not true. We must pretend that the state of Israel has spoken honestly to the world just as they deal justly with Morde. This is all a part of the lie.

It sickens me, and not only because Morde is a mate. It sickens me because it’s an act of pure vindictiveness being sold as something legal, moral and legitimate – an act of primitive violence being perpetrated by a state that the American President holds up as the sole example of true democracy in the Middle East!

Can we imagine for a moment how different things would be if Morde had been an Iranian, unmasking some hidden nuclear stockpile in Iran?

We know full well the response he would have received – hailed as a hero of the free world, decorated as a defender of democracy, a friend of the persecuted and an example of true patriotism – a man who overcame his fear of punishment from his tyrannical government in order to help protect the free world from the threat of terrorist aggression.

But the problem is that Morde blew the whistle on the state of Israel and not on the nation of Iran – a state that is above reproach, for as we all know, if you criticise the policies of the state of Israel, you risk not only being labelled as politically incorrect, but as anti-Semitic! This is all a part of the lie!

It would be almost funny if it wasn’t so terrible. In years to come people will look back and say, “how did everyone fail to see what was going on?”, just as we look back today at Nazi Germany and scratch our heads, wondering how such a historically great nation ever allowed the holocaust!

How is it that Israel just carries on with its systematic genocide of the people of Gaza and nobody dares question how it could really be self-defence? How does the state of Israel manage to break United Nations resolutions without censure and thumb its nose at the ruling of the International Court of Justice by building a separation wall that fences in territory that doesn’t belong to it? How did opponents of these draconian policies ever get labelled as racists? And why on earth won’t they just let poor Morde Vanunu go, so that he can leave the country and retire quietly into the back-blocks of Australia where his friends are waiting for him?

It’s all tied in to the lie – the Vanunu lie – and if we are going to maintain our integrity in this world, we must see this lie for what it is.

For the Vanunu lie is bigger than Morde himself. It is an evil perpetrated by governments and the media that exemplifies all that is wrong with our world. Powerful men play God and our media outlets lionize them. The truth is twisted, the masses are kept in fear, Christ is crucified and Morde Vanunu gets another six months in gaol for daring to speak the truth!

Remember the Vanunu lie!

Next time you’re tempted to believe that the 9/11 tragedy was a declaration of war by the entire Arab world upon the West, remember what they said about Morde Vanunu. Next time you’re told that an Islamic tyrant has weapons of mass destruction, remember Vanunu. Next time you’re tempted to cower in fear from the imminent threat of terrorist attack, remember the Vanunu lie.

Remember that things are not always as they seem. Terrorism is not the greatest threat to our freedom. Islam is not the enemy of the West. Opposing the policies of the State of Israel does not make you anti-Semitic, and Morde Vanunu is not, was not and never will be a criminal.

Rev. David B. SmithMorde and me after his release in 2004

Parish priest, community worker, martial arts master, pro boxer, author, father of four.


About Father Dave

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four
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