In an e-mail response to me, Mordechai Vanunu, a political prisoner of Israel who revealed the existance of Dimona and the Israeli nuclear weapons program, rejected any nomination of him for the Nobel Peace Prize. His letter to the Nobel Committee follows:
Dear Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo,
I am Vanunu Mordechai, who has been nominated several times to Nobel Peace Prize, also this year's 2009 award. I am asking the committee to remove my name from the list for this year's list of nominations. My main reason for this is that I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres. He is the man who was behind all the Israeli atomic policy.
Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel. Exactly like Dr. Khan did in Pakistan, Peres was the man behind the atomic weapon proliferation to South Africa and other states. He was also, for instance, behind the nuclear weapon test in South Africa in 1978. Peres was the man who ordered the kidnapping of me in Italy Rome, Sept. 30, 1986, and for the secret trial and sentencing of me as a spy and traitor for 18 years in isolation in prison in Israel. Until now he continues to oppose my freedom and release, in spite of my serving full sentence 18 years.
From all these reasons I don't want be nominated and will not accept this nomination. I say No to any nomination as long as I am not free, that is, as long as I am still forced to be in Israel. WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM.
vmjc (his signature--KHB)
Mr. Vanunu remains under house arrest in East Jerusalem and forbidden to talk to any foreigner (non-Israeli) or to leave the country. A letter writing campaign to President Obama, asking that he intervene on Mr. Vanunu's behalf with the Israeli government, has been organized and is accessible on Facebook.com.
Several Jewish and pro-Israeli groups have tied Mr. Vanunu's release to the Jonathon Pollard case in the United States, asking that Pollard receive a full pardon and release in exchange for Mr. Vanunu's freedom. This is unacceptable, since Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States on behalf of israel and other foreign nations, while Mr. Vanunu was a journalist providing information that was in the public interest.
Several Americans, including Eileen Fleming of We Are Wide Awake and Daniel Ellsberg, have rallied to Mr. Vanunu's cause. His status will be reviewed by the Israeli government not later than April 21, when it must be decided under Israeli law whether the detention order can be renewed. He also has an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, but no date for a hearing has been announced.