Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Vanuna released.

Today saw the release of Mordechai Vanunu after 18 years in an Israeli jail. His crime? He blew the lid on Israel's secret nuclear stockpile. A stockpile that they had long refused to confirm.

Now as a free man he was able to speak about the brutal treatment he received in prison, which included a 12 year stint in solitary confinement. "You didn't succeed to break me, you didn't succeed to make me crazy," he said.

Vilified by some as a traitor, his plight is yet another example of the hypocrisy of the state of Israel. Let us imagine another nation, in breach of UN resolutions for many years. Let us imagine that a scientist from this nation escapes to spill the beans on a nuclear weapons program. What would the international community do? What would the United States and Britain do?

The sad truth is, that it depends on the nation. In a world which has just seen lie upon lie thrown at us regarding a non-existent nuclear weapons program in Iraq, why is it that Israel, long in breach of UN resolutions can be permitted to hold a man in brutal conditions while such men who come forward from other nations (like Iraq, Iran and Syria) are considered brave heroes?

The world is changing, and many of us will no longer stay quiet about the disgrace that is Israel. I am not anti-Jewish. I am well aware that the Jews have suffered perhaps more than any other community in history. But to throw this in my face and call me anti-Semitic every time I criticise Israel, does nothing more than cast a great shadow over the memory of the 6 million Jews who died under Hitler.

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