Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Does He Know It's Christmas?




Mordechai Vanunu is a brave man who helped to publicise the Israeli clandestine nuclear programme (which remains to this day uninspected and totally unregulated, unlike those of for example Iran and Saddam's Iraq). For his services to humanity he was rewarded by being kidnapped, illegally abducted to Israel, tried in secret and locked up as a prisoner of conscience for 18 years. He made it into the Guinness Book of Records as having spent more time in solitary confinement than anyone else in the modern era (if one can use that phrase with regard to Israel). On the expiry of his sentence*, he was rearrested on charges of having attempted to exercise his rights under the UN Universal Charter of Human Rights to freedom of expression and to attempting to leave his country. In all, Vanunu has been treated by Israel in just the way the Russians and East Germans used to treat their dissidents.

Here is the text of a motion to the Scottish Parliament from Margo MacDonald asking for the government's support to end the persecution of Vanunu; along with a list of the responses received. I'm not terribly surprised that my constituency MSP David McLetchie didn't bother to reply, as he has never replied to anything I've sent him either (the phrase "waste of space" might have been invented for him). Of course, he may have had pressing financial business to arrange.

You may form your own opinion of the few MSPs who refused to support the motion. I know I have.

Other links from this page take you to calls from Scottish University rectors and religious leaders for Vanunu's release, as well as an online petition which I urge you to sign.

Mordechai Vanunu will never be free until he escapes from Israel: there will always be some trumped-up reason to jail him. One can only hope, though that once he has escaped from its clutches even the shameless Ehud Olmert will hesitate before having him illegally kidnapped again.

At this time of year we celebrate the birth of another Jewish hero who found that speaking the truth doesn't make you popular in the short term. Let's celebrate, then, the good things that can come out of Israel: and try to ensure that Vanunu can, indeed, come out of Israel.

(* Benjamin "Cunt" Kerstein considers it a "disgusting miscarriage of justice" that Vanunu was released when his sentence ran out, thus showing that his comprehension of justice and sentencing is no better than his knowledge of physics, writing, Noam Chomsky or, well, anything except Hebrew obscenity. "Needless to say", anyone Kerstein despises is likely to be a more than usually decent human being. But, hey, Christmas spirit and all: you can't help being an ignorant dick, Benjamin, so have a happy Christmas.)

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