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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Israeli whistleblower's freedom nears Register and log in to post!
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Gavintzu
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#1 Posted on 17.4.04 1333.25
Reposted on: 17.4.11 1333.26
Click Here (wrmea.com) for a good read about the man who blew the whistle on Israel's WMD programs. He is due to be released on Wednesday.

AFTER SERVING nearly 18 years in an Israeli prison—11-1/2 of them in solitary confinement—Mordechai Vanunu should be a free man on April 21. Now 49 years old, he has spent the prime of his life locked in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell in Ashkelon prison for blowing the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal.

Vanunu’s friends and enemies alike worry about what will happen next.

As his release date nears, Vanunu is said to be in good spirits. He knows he did the right thing by telling Israelis and the rest of the world what his country was up to, and he looks forward to a new beginning—perhaps moving to the United States, where his adoptive parents live, and becoming a history teacher ...

... the then 31-year-old Vanunu was lured from London to Rome by “Cindy”—in real life Cheryl Ben Tov, a blonde American Mossad agent who now lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Ofer, a former major in the Israeli intelligence service. On Sept. 30, 1986, he was kidnapped, drugged, hustled onto a ship, and spirited from Rome back to Israel. After a seven-month secret trial, Vanunu was found guilty of espionage and treason and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The Israeli government has kept Vanunu in conditions Amnesty International called “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” For years Vanunu’s human contact was restricted to his prison guards, and infrequent visits with his siblings, a lawyer, or a priest ...

Over the years, Mordechai repeatedly was denied parole or early release because, the courts charged, he could divulge secrets. Those secrets, however, Nick pointed out, have disappeared or now are nearly 18 years old.

The latest allegation appearing in Israeli papers, Eoloff added, is that if Mordechai is allowed to speak he may slander the State of Israel ...

According to unnamed security sources, the Justice Ministry may refuse to issue Vanunu an Israeli passport in order to prevent him from leaving the country, and may subject to military censorship any press interviews he gives. If Vanunu attempts to discuss state “secrets” he could face arrest and a new trial, the Haaretz report warns.

In 1986 the international community allowed Israel to kidnap Vanunu on foreign soil, try him in secret and incarcerate for 18 years a man guilty only of whistleblowing. The world is watching now to see if Israel will allow Vanunu, who has paid a heavy price for his convictions, to enjoy life and freedom.



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MoeGates
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#2 Posted on 17.4.04 1510.26
Reposted on: 17.4.11 1512.28
One man's whistleblower is another man's traitor.

I don't know the ins and outs of the thing that well. I do know, however, that any other country in the same situation (with the possible exception of India) would have chopped his head off without thinking twice about it.

Jesus, brought down by a blond bimbo. Guys are so easy.

His name's Mordechai and he wants a Priest?

Edit: Give a little background on the Washington Report on Middle-Eastern Affairs, will you? I don't go around quoting an article from AIPAC without noting that's it a pro-Israel lobby.

(edited by MoeGates on 17.4.04 1621)
Gavintzu
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#3 Posted on 17.4.04 1630.43
Reposted on: 17.4.11 1631.41
Well, if he had secretly gone to Iran or Iraq or Syria with the information, I would gladly call him a traitor. But he went to the Sunday Times instead, so all the world would know what the Israeli government and military was up to. That's definitely whistleblowing, but maybe traitorous whistleblowing.

If an Iranian worker fled the country and revealed to the world the Iranian WMD programs, the mullahs would denounce him as a traitor, sure. I would applaud.

As for the WRMEA, their website says:

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is a 100-page magazine published 10 times per year in Washington, DC, that focuses on news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region.

The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.

AET's Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET's Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services.


Having said that, I dug quite a bit through their website and they seem to be pretty pro-Palestinian in their analysis of the current conflict, and some of their linked articles are very anti-Sharon. Take that as you will.

The original article I linked to seemed to be biased, but not outrageously so. Good fodder for the Politics forum, thought I.



Iago
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#4 Posted on 18.4.04 0531.02
Reposted on: 18.4.11 0532.06

I remember one of the more syndicated newspaper pundit types commenting on how people who didn't approve of actions done by the Israeli government were often labeled as Anti-Semetic. This being said after he wrote an article towards that end, and was labelled one himself by readers, and other pundits. The joke being that he is Jewish.

The reason I bring this up is that this is sorta the way things work when we look at Israel. On a personal note towards this, I avoid arguing about who is the "good" or "right" side in the Israeli/Palestine struggle. At this point it's just a huge, wasteful cycle, that seems endless. So choosin' a side is... well it's involving yourself in that struggle, and therefor the idiocy of it.

But let's get to the thread's original subject. Israel has looser human rights' laws, and is a more militant society, this is by perceived necessity. It's kinda hard, for me, to agree with what they did to this guy, but why they did it I can understand. I do, however, agree with what Vanunu did, even if a government is entitled to have secrets, some are potentially harmful ones and should be exposed. Though I am of the mind of no one possessing nukes is the best possibility.

If Vanunu simply wishes to live a life away from politics, and in another country then it would in Israel's best interest to allow it. They're image isn't sterling, so doing anything to tarnish it further might not be worth it's perceived and actual benefits.
MoeGates
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#5 Posted on 18.4.04 1116.43
Reposted on: 18.4.11 1117.31
Israel has looser human rights' laws, and is a more militant society.

Than who?
The Thrill
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#6 Posted on 18.4.04 1122.21
Reposted on: 18.4.11 1122.47
Wow, big newsflash. Israel has nuclear weapons. We had NO IDEA...wait a minute, yes we did. For about 20 years or so.

Gotta love how that report whines "For too long the world has turned a blind eye to Israel's nuclear arsenal." Let's review...the Jewish state is surrounded by hostile countries in 3 directions that have started multiple wars with them, and terrorist organizations at home, all sworn to Israel's destructions...yet for having weapons, Tel Aviv is the bad guys? Puh-leeze.

So they don't want international inspections, and therefore won't sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Fine by me...those controls are in place to keep rogue states in check. Israel's tough military posture, unlike Libya, Iraq, or what have you, is defensive in nature.

The possibilites of neglect at biological plants is a bad thing, mind you. But those who think Israel is evil for having nukes is naive.

The kidnapping-on-foreign-soil stuff ain't the nicest, but I'm sure that's nothing the CIA or KGB hasn't done in the past. Remember, these guys conduct business with the mantra of "Never again" in the back of their heads.
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#7 Posted on 18.4.04 1200.37
Reposted on: 18.4.11 1201.36
First thing:

    Originally posted by The Thrill
    Wow, big newsflash. Israel has nuclear weapons. We had NO IDEA...wait a minute, yes we did. For about 20 years or so.


    Originally posted by The Article
    AFTER SERVING nearly 18 years in an Israeli prison


What an amazing coincidence!

Secondly, Israel has a lot in common with all the other rogue states in the Middle East when you look at their militarism, so the distinction seems just a bit arbitrary sometimes. I mean hell, Iraq shared borders with four enemy nations! Saddam was much worse than Sharon or anyone in the Israeli government, but I'd still like to have much wider distinctions between the countries we give bombs and the ones on which we drop bombs.

-Jag
MoeGates
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#8 Posted on 18.4.04 1420.56
Reposted on: 18.4.11 1422.46
The United States certainly never gave Israel nuclear weapons. I don't know how you can inply that.

The issue is not really defensive or offensive or what diplomatic position they're in. The issue is that, more or less, Israel played by the rules of the times when they got nukes.

Israel should be treated the same as France, China, Pakistan, and India, which are all other countries that refused to sign the initial non-proliferation treaty and developed nukes around the same time as Israel. After this happened is when the UN got serious about proliferation and started offering incentives for other countries to dismantle their nuclear development technology.

If the UN wants to get serious about dismantling nukes, I would hope they would call on all nuclear powers to dismantle their nukes. Or at least the ones that developed them after the initial non-proliferation treaty. Somehow I think that's not going to happen.

Arab states calling for the Middle-East to be a "nuclear-free zone" is like Israel calling for the Middle-East to be a "oil-free zone." It's really easy to call for your enemies to give up a strategic advantage and not give up a damn thing yourselves. If Israel didn't have nukes you'd have seen 10x the bloodshed you've seen in the last 30 years.
Jaguar
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#9 Posted on 18.4.04 1432.20
Reposted on: 18.4.11 1434.20
I didn't mean to imply that Israel got its nukes from America, just that we are on their side (and we do sell them weapons) while not on anybody else's side (in the Middle East). Now, I have no wish for the anti-Israelists to get their way and wipe it off the face of the Earth. I support the defense of Israel because they were not the aggressor in the first place. The only beef I have with Israel is that I think their policies do nothing to help bring about peace, and when you're one of the stronger powers in the region an you aren't trying to broker a peace it starts to look like you're the 'aggressor'.

-Jag
Iago
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#10 Posted on 19.4.04 0023.53
Reposted on: 19.4.11 0026.51
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    Israel has looser human rights' laws, and is a more militant society.

    Than who?


Well than the US for example. There is compulsory civil service (one can get out being in the military), and Israel still uses torture.

I mean the idea that Israel is a land given to a people by God is... well when taken in fundamentalist terms does not make you a nice neighbor, and can lend to a moralistic high ground that might not be evident through the actions taken.

And Jag the formation of Israel was like some big gentile orgasm of guilt over all the crap flicked to the Jewish people up to, and through WWII, well that and the powers that be didn't want them around either, but not in the way Hitler didn't want them around. Palestines were forced out of their homes, and well I know I'd be a bit pissed if some people force me out of mine. Now I cannot condone any actions either side makes now. It's a self-perpetuation victim role.

"We kill you because you kill us!"
"Oh yeah, well we kill you because you kill us!"
Ad nauseum.
Guru Zim
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#11 Posted on 19.4.04 0029.15
Reposted on: 19.4.11 0029.42
    Originally posted by Iago
    Palestines were forced out of their homes, and well I know I'd be a bit pissed if some people force me out of mine. Now I cannot condone any actions either side makes now. It's a self-perpetuation victim role.

    "We kill you because you kill us!"
    "Oh yeah, well we kill you because you kill us!"
    Ad nauseum.


Wait, so right after World War II only Jews lived in Israel, because everyone else had been forced out of their homes? Well, the Jews had it coming for letting all of the Palestinians sneak back into their country.

The above is sarcasm.

You may want to read up on the formation of Israel. Many people would point out that much of the land in question had been purchased by Jews before the formation of Israel.

I'm certainly not an expert in Jewish history or the formation of Israel, but I do know that your simplified version is pretty off.
Iago
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#12 Posted on 19.4.04 0059.37
Reposted on: 19.4.11 0100.00
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by Iago
      Palestines were forced out of their homes, and well I know I'd be a bit pissed if some people force me out of mine. Now I cannot condone any actions either side makes now. It's a self-perpetuation victim role.

      "We kill you because you kill us!"
      "Oh yeah, well we kill you because you kill us!"
      Ad nauseum.


    Wait, so right after World War II only Jews lived in Israel, because everyone else had been forced out of their homes? Well, the Jews had it coming for letting all of the Palestinians sneak back into their country.

    The above is sarcasm.

    You may want to read up on the formation of Israel. Many people would point out that much of the land in question had been purchased by Jews before the formation of Israel.

    I'm certainly not an expert in Jewish history or the formation of Israel, but I do know that your simplified version is pretty off.



For the first part oif what was quoted of me, my understanding of the formation of Israel isn't that great. I was aware of purchases of land by Jews. But I also know that not all of the land that would then make up Israel wasn't purchased. Yes I did oversimplify things, so sarcasm, scorn, and all that towards what I said was justified.

As for the comment of the self-perpetuation of the victim, well that was not aimed totally towards the past, though the only way I can see there being an end of the problems will be for both sides to let things go. And that doesn't look probable.

And the quotes, and the ad nauseum line, well... that seems to be the nature of things now. One side kills some people, so in retaliation another side kills some more, and then the other side responds, and... well you can get the picture.

But yeah, my knowledge of what is goin' on down there isn't great, neither is my knowledge of the history of this sordid little affair. So shame on me for posting before thinking. But the gist I was trying to get across, and failed gloriously mind you, was that neither of side of the conflict has an enviable position, and neither is "right." Those, however, being more subjective statements, then ones based on objective facts.
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