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    The World Today - Reporter: Jonathan Lucraft ELEANOR HALL: Mordechai Vanunu made headlines around the world when he blew the whistle on Israel s secret nuclear
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2004
      The World Today - Reporter: Jonathan Lucraft

      ELEANOR HALL: Mordechai Vanunu made headlines around the world when
      he blew the whistle on Israel's secret nuclear weapons program in the

      The Israeli nuclear technician was arrested soon after in a Mossad
      operation, was tried in secret, convicted of treason and spent 18
      years in prison, 11 of them in solitary confinement.

      In April this year he was released from prison, but his freedom has
      remained restricted, with Israeli authorities forbidding him from
      speaking to foreigners.

      Despite this, Mr Vanunu this morning gave his first interview to an
      Australian media outlet, speaking to the community radio station,
      Radio Adelaide's Jonathan Lucraft.

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: The restrictions are not working and unreasonable
      and not according to the human rights and the democratic system and
      they will finish them in six months â€" at least the restriction not
      to speak to foreigners and not to travel really inter-state.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Are you taking a chance by talking to us?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: I'm not taking a chance, I'm making a very good
      calculation and according to the human rights and freedom of speech
      that everyone as a human being should have and I'm exercising it and
      I believe the Israel Government and Israel organisations are
      realising that what they decided is not good.

      They will not do anything wrong with my speaking to you either.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: When the restrictions are lifted, what will you do

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: If they will let me go I would leave Israel
      immediately, I would like to see the world, to exercise my freedom.
      If they will not let me go, let me speak, then I will speak much more
      to the media and to the people around the world and here.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Now, 18 years in a Mossad prison, 11 of those years
      in solitary confinement. How did you fight the effect of those years
      on your mind?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: The effect was very hard and strong, but I was firm
      and strong from the beginning to protect my freedom, my free will, my
      humanity, that was my struggle from the beginning.

      The power organisation of Israel gives what they can to fight me, to
      cause me some harm, damages in health, mind, and they succeed little
      bit, but I survived and I am now free, but it was very hard, a very
      difficult time and I wish no one would suffer what I suffered, and
      then when I speak to you and try to be human being like everyone.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Do you feel though that those years in solitary
      confinement had an effect on you?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: I think no. The only effect is maybe some part of
      my health has been damaged. We see in the future how my health will
      react and how my health will survive in the next future.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Now, you converted from Judaism to Christianity.
      Did this help, or did it make it harder for your captors?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: My conversion to Christianity was in Sydney,
      Australia, in 1986, it was before this case. So when I find myself in
      prison I decided my Christianity is going to be my way to freedom, my
      boundary, my defence against Israel's power organisation, brainwash
      or psychologic warfare. So in some way, in many ways it helped me
      very much.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Do you believe that you're a traitor to Israel?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: Five million Jews are regarding me as a traitor,
      but six billion people around the world think me as a hero and a good
      man who bring the message to all the human beings that we should
      survive and prevent the use of nuclear weapons and to prevent the
      nuclear preparations and to prevent nuclear war in the future.

      JONATHAN LUCRAFT: Now, any knowledge that you had of the Israeli
      nuclear weapons program is now, it's nearly 20 years old and it's
      well out of date.

      Why do you think the Israeli Government is still, apparently,
      frightened of you?

      MORDECHAI VANUNU: Maybe the real fear is that my free spirit, my free
      belief to express my views in politics, in everything, not only
      nuclear secrets, I have many interesting views and I'm telling them
      without fear and expressing that to anyone in all the world, in all
      the media, and that is not good for Israel.

      They don't like it, and also, the Israel Government and state have
      teached all the world, especially the west, Europe, United States,
      Australia, Canada, they teach them to fear and now to be under
      blackmail by Israel propaganda of Holocaust and all this propaganda.

      Now come a man and speaking from inside about their crimes, their
      mistakes, their stupid policy of nuclear weapons and all the world's
      watching all this, and that is their real concern.

      ELEANOR HALL: Mordechai Vanunu speaking to Radio Adelaide's Jonathan




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