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Vanunu and Pollard: Time for Compassion and Common Sense

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Jonathan JayPollard was born in 1954 inTexas and grew up in an affluent family in Indiana. Until 1998 Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy, although it granted him citizenship in 1995. Last week the relentless campaign to release Pollard was reignited with a letter circulated by Rep. BarneyFrank and signed by more than 30 Democratic members of the U.S House of Representatives calling on President BarackObama to grant clemency to the confessed spy. This was topped off by Israeli Prime Minister BinyaminNetanyahu also requesting Obama release Pollard, who was arrested a quarter century ago on the steps of an Israeli embassy while spying for Israel.

The letter from congress was written in coordination with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, National Council of Young Israel, B'nai B'rith International, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Zionist Organization of America, Agudath Israel and former presidential candidate GaryBauer, who is a fundamentalist ChristianZionist. They wrote:

"It is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-five years that Mr.Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence. In summary, we see clemency for Mr.Pollard as an act of compassion justified by the way others have been treated by our justice system. We urge you to use the clemency power in this case."

According to Ian Williams' article in the July/Aug., 1993 Washington Report, "although Pollard insists he was motivated by concern for Israeli security, he was paid (and is still being paid) a handsome salary by the Israeli government. His Israeli handlers also provided gifts and trips to Europe for Pollard and his wife, Anne. The severity of Pollard's sentence was based on secret testimony by [then-Defense Secretary] Caspar Weinberger, who is on record as saying that Pollard was lucky--he should have received three life sentences. Pollard provided Israeli intelligence with more than 1,000 classified U.S. documents, some consisting of hundreds of pages, comprising overall some 360 cubic feet of paper.

"According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, Pollard sold information on nuclear targets in the Soviet Union to Israel. U.S. defense sources suggest that what caused the most bitter anger against Pollard in the Pentagon and throughout the American intelligence community was the fact that the information compromised human agents in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. U.S. intelligence sources have concluded that the Israeli government bartered this information to the Soviet Union." [1]

Whatever information Pollard sold a quarter of a century ago is old news now, as is everything Vanunu knew about Israel's Dimona plant where he worked the night shift as a lowly technician twenty-four years ago.

In April 1999, thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Vanunu's release from prison because they believed "we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity."

President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards.

During Vanunu's closed door trial, Defense witness and the Sunday Times journalist who broke Vanunu's story, Peter Hounam, testified that "We did not pay him money, but only covered his expenses... Money did not motivate him."

Sunday Times journalist Wendy Robbins wrote, "Mordechai never asked for nor received a single penny for his information... he blurted out the whole tale without first setting out any financial preconditions. Mordechai got nothing out of the whole episode. He never "sold' Israel's secrets -- he told them."

Vanunu told me, "All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East."

Barnaby testified, "I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel's secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.

"Israel's political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel's nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel's nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985." [2]

Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, DougBandow wrote in Trade Mordechai Vanunu for Jonathan Pollard that Vanunu "immigrated to Australia, converted to Christianity and traveled to Great Britain after meeting a journalist for the Sunday Times who was interested in his story. Vanunu's account made the paper's front page, but a Mossad agent convinced him to join her in Rome, from which he was kidnapped, drugged and returned to Israel. Shimon Peres, usually seen as a liberal peacenik, apparently insisted on Vanunu's seizure."

Before quitting the Dimona, Vanunu shot 56 photos in top-secret locations and also exposed how lax SECURITY was, for he obtained the keys to the top-secret locations when a supervisor carelessly left them in the shower room.

Vanunu's photos and testimony proved to nuclear physicists that Israel had become a major nuclear power by stockpiling between 100 and 200 atomic bombs within the seven underground levels where plutonium production and secret nuclear weapons were assembled without any knowledge, debate or authorization from its own citizens. Israel has yet to allow International Inspectors into the aged Dimona plant, which is leaking and endangering the health of its own citizens.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
 
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@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }@font-fa... by eileen fleming on Friday, Nov 26, 2010 at 11:56:20 AM