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Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Risks Arrest, Again An Interview with Mordechai Vanunu

An Interview with Mordechai Vanunu

by AMY GOODMAN

Mordechai Vanunu worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel’s secret nuclear installation from 1976 to 1985. He worked there at a time when Israel was insisting it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. What Vanunu discovered is that Israel had secretly developed an extensive nuclear program, hiding its existence from the Israeli people and parliament, and the world.

Vanunu leaked information and photos of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the Sunday Times in London. He was subsequently kidnapped by Israeli spy agency Mossad in Italy and then jailed. He would go on to spend 18 years behind bars including 11 in solitary confinement.

He was released on April 21 under strict government restrictions.

Democracy Now!’s AMY GOODMAN reached Vanunu on his cell phone in East Jerusalem where he has been staying since his release in April. He defied the Israeli government’s restriction on speaking with foreigners to talk with us.

The nationally syndicated radio and TV program Democracy Now! aired the first part of its interview with Vanunu on its Aug. 18th broadcast. (The remaining portions of the interview will be aired on Aug. 19th)

Below is a transcript of the first part of the interview.

AMY GOODMAN: Hello? Is this Mordechai Vanunu?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Hi. This is AMY GOODMAN from Democracy Now! And I would like to be able to talk to you. We are a public radio and television program in the United States.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Good evening.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to be with you.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: How does it feel to be free? How does it feel to be out of prison?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well it is wonderful to be free. But I am not allowed to speak to foreigners and I am not allowed to leave the country. So I’m not so happy. But on the other side I am very glad that I can at least enjoy some freedom.

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli government has called you a traitor. What is your response to that?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, I answer this. When I get out of the prison, I am saying many, many times that I am very glad, happy and proud to reveal its nuclear secrets to all the world and to let all the world to see the stupidity of Israel’s nuclear weapons policy and the danger of a nuclear weapons policy in secret by Israel. And I was not a traitor. The real traitors are Israel’s government who was behind this nuclear weapons policy for 40 years, and continues. They are betraying the Israeli citizens, and betraying the Arab community, and betraying all of humanity and the world, the human beings of all the world. They are the real traitors.

AMY GOODMAN: What are the secrets that you reveal that you think were most significant?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Excuse me, but I could not understand, hear you.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain, Mordechai Vanunu, the secrets you feel were most significant for the world to know? You were imprisoned 18 years ago. Can you say what you were trying to reveal to the world?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, it was very open and very clear: the secrets that were published by the Sunday Times in 1986. The main points were: one, the amount of Israel’s nuclear weapons, how many Israel had, that no one could predict or know, including the CIA. They were thinking about a number like 10 or 15. But I came out with a number between 150 to 200. Second point is no one here could predict or know that Israel was involved or started producing the hydrogen bomb — the most advanced and powerful atomic bomb that can kill millions of people. And that has no justification — no need for Israel’s existence. They don’t need hydrogen bomb. That was my revelation that was proved, with photos, to all of the world. That was the very important news that I brought to the world.

AMY GOODMAN: And how did you know this?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I knew that because I worked in the place, in the building where my job was producing the materials for nuclear weapons. My job was to produce plutonium that was used for atomic bomb. I knew how much they produced every day, every year. So I could make out the amount and see exactly how many bombs can they do. I also was producing, working on other materials for the hydrogen bomb. They call it lithium-6 and tritium. I was working on these and the only use for lithium-6 is the hydrogen bomb. And I also take photos of hydrogen bomb, from another part of the building. It was not part of my job, but I succeeded to go and take photos of the hydrogen bomb. My revelation was Israel [had] started producing a neutron bomb. I succeed to take photograph of the model of the neutron bomb. This means Israel was ready to use nuclear weapons in the next war, in 1986 if it had war with Iraq, or Iran or Syria. It could use them against armies. That means the beginning by Israel using atomic bomb…. That was the most dangerous point in the Middle East: Israel, they could have used nuclear weapons like no other state there…

AMY GOODMAN: So, Mordechai Vanunu, you say that they had 150 to 200 atomic bombs, that they had developed them. That they were building a hydrogen bomb, and a neutron bomb?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: And have they done that at this point? It’s 18 years later.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I don’t know what they did in 18 years. We can just assume they have much more and powerful, more advanced technology, all the new computers, everything could be much more easier and help them to build much more and many more nuclear weapons. I just assume. I don’t have any new information, what happened in 18 years.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you describe what you did at that point? You took photographs, you wanted to get the information out. How did you end up doing that? And how did you end up being captured?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: When I worked in Dimona in 1980’s, I decided I was going to bring this information to the world. Because they were lying, cheating and no one predicted or knew what exactly was happening. So, all the information was in my brain. In my mind. I worked every day there, so I knew all the details. But I needed only some proof. So the proof was photos. I smuggled the camera, it was no problem to smuggle the camera there. And I took 60 photos, two films, during the time when there was no one in the control room, in the building. Night shift or Saturday shift there are less people. After that I didn’t develop the films. I keep them closed because I knew that if I develop them, someone can report me to the Shin Bet. So I decided the only place I can speak to the world is from outside Israel. So decided immediately to leave Israel as soon as possible. And with the two films went on my way towards the United States. But I decided then to take them to the far east because I knew with speaking these secrets there would be danger to my life and could end my freedom. So that was then. And I also did not have much experience with the media. But on the way, I met someone who brought me to the Sunday Times. And the Sunday Times made the story. And I gave them the films, the photos. And that’s how we had the Sunday Times article.

AMY GOODMAN: And how, Mordechai Vanunu, were you ultimately captured?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: When they heard, when they receive the information about what I am doing in London. Even before London they come, two agents of the Mossad come to Sydney, Australia, when I first meet Peter Hounam, the Sunday Times journalist, they started to follow me. They continued to follow me in London and tried to stop the article by all they could do. So, what they decide to do is to kidnap me. The way is to send someone to bring me to Rome, because they did not want to kidnap me in England. They sent an agent, a woman and American citizen working for some US secret organization. They used her. They convinced her to bring me to Rome. I decided that I should leave London because I knew that they followed me in London. I said I should run away from London. So after the Sunday Times published the article I decided to go with her to Rome. When we arrived to Rome, they were waiting for me in her home, and immediately they jump on me and drug me and took me by car from that home to an abandoned ditch — where there was a yacht waiting in the sea. From the sea came a boat with some Israeli commando soldiers who took me by the commando boat to the yacht and put me on the yacht. In the yacht I asked people, who are you. And they said we are Israelis, French and British. I saw French men who speak only French, I saw Israeli men who speak English, I never saw any British. But they say there are British. There are much more involved. Many more countries involved in the kidnapping. Like, the Italian driver who drove us from the airport, the American woman, Cindy. She is not Jewish. She is not an Israeli woman. She is an American woman from Philadelphia. All these, this cartel of spies who kidnapped me was the same group also involved in the nuclear proliferation during the Cold War. They tried to [inaudible] the man who tried to reveal their nuclear proliferation to Israel and to try and stop this nuclear proliferation. So they kidnapped me and sent me back to Israel. Israel silenced me for 18 years.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you know Cindy’s full name?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: No. She just used the name Cindy. But if there is any real investigation, they can go to the British airport and find the files they filled in 1986 in October. The airplane is British Airways Flight 405 to Rome. There are files that can reveal her own identity. I have the airplane ticket from London to Rome with her signature. But Israel’s Shin Bet, the Mossad do not want to give it to me. They are holding it [inaudible] at the moment.

AMY GOODMAN: So you weren’t suspicious of her from the beginning? Are you saying that she lured you with a physical relationship?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I wasn’t suspecting her, because I thought what they can do in Rome they can do anywhere. They should not bring me to Rome. But her task was to lure me to Rome. And I went with her to Rome.

AMY GOODMAN: So, when they captured you, you contend that they drugged you, they brought you to Israel. Talk about the famous photograph of you in the back of an Israeli vehicle with your hand up. You’d written a number on it.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: When I arrived to Israel, they told me you are not allowed to speak about the kidnapping, just secret. I was very angry. I don’t accept such rule. I said the kidnapping is a crime. I have the right to speak about the crime done against me. They didn’t like me to speak about this crime. So I decided to reveal it to the public. I also was worried that they are spreading lies. They tried to say that I wasn’t kidnapped. I’d come back. It means if I’d come back to Israel, it means I was a spy, a Mossad spy who had revealed some secret and come back. So the kidnapping is the proof that what I said was true… So I decided to let the world know this truth. So when I had the opportunity to come to talk to public after 7 weeks in the ShinBet jail, I wrote on my palm hand, Vanunu Mordechai kidnapped in Rome. So I used the word hijacked, not kidnapping, because I didn’t know English very well at the time. And then we now added to the press, I put my palm on the ground, and they saw the message. And that message destroyed another conspiracy to cheat the CIA and many [others] who didn’t know the truth about how I ended up in Israel. And those spies who kidnapped me tried to save their face or their game, their spy game, by cheating the world telling them the men who kidnapped you would return. So I destroyed another cheating by the palm hand destroyed by a very big game.

AMY GOODMAN: We are talking to Mordechai Vanunu, who is speaking out for the first time on a national broadcast in the United States on Democracy Now!, the largest public media collaboration in the country. You were imprisoned for 18 years. Can you talk about your treatment in jail.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, the Shabak Mossad, ShinBet Mossad were very very angry upset with my revelations. After making a mockery [of them] to all the world… They were very angry and they tried to destroy this man who made them zero in all the world. The spy organization who was respected in all the world find themselves naked. So they decided to get him to give themselves the chance to change this man to destroy him to make him … to prove that they are still strong, this spy organization. So from the beginning they put me in total isolation for seven weeks after my kidnapping they even didn’t admit I am in an Israeli prison. No one knows where I am. Only by my standing against the judge and all the Israelis who wanted to keep me in administrative arrest. I demanded I should be in trial-no administrative arrest– so that forced them to admit I am in an Israeli prison.

Next they decided to put me in total isolation. The first two years, they keep me in a small room, filled with light 24 hours and camera inside. I couldn’t sleep for two years, they tried to break my nerves. They used a lot of psychology to brainwash. I demanded to meet a priest. They give me a priest, but without able to speak to him or him speak to me, only through notes. A ShinBet man sitting near the priest, reading the notes. I’m sending him notes, they’re reading them. We couldn’t meet as a human being. A woman came to Israel from U.S. I had a girlfriend. She came to see me. And again they did not let us meet, they said only by notes, you cannot speak to her, touch her nothing, so I refused to this condition.

During the 11 and half years I was in total isolation alone in a cell, only for two hours everyday to go to walk in a courtyard also alone. The cell was also isolated from all the prison. I was allowed to meet my family every two weeks for a half hour. I wasn’t allowed to use the phone. My mail was delayed for three months and censored. Some of it disappeared, some destroyed. The Ashkelon prison was controlled by Shabak Mossad, because they have a section inside the prison. Could you believe Shabak Mossad are sitting inside the prison hiding themselves from the people. They used the guards to control the prison so the real people who control the prison is the Shavak Mossad

AMY GOODMAN: Where is the Ashkelon Prison?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Ashkelon prison is… about 40 miles from Tel Aviv or 20 miles from Dalia .

AMY GOODMAN: How did you maintain your sanity? You were completely isolated for how many years in solitary confinement?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: 11 years in total isolation. I decided from the first weeks that it’s going to be a big war between me and the Shabak-Mossad who are now my enemy, and they will do all they can to destroy me, and I shall do all I can to survive. So I use my simple brain, and my initiative. Like if they say I cannot speak to anyone, I decided I can speak, I spoke by reading in a loud voice from the New Testament in English… I used to do a lot of psychology exercises or physical exercise, I did Yoga. I hear the BBC World Service, I hear the Voice of America. I read books, and I used to follow anything that happened to me there, anything that come by food, by letter, anything I knew. The Shabak Mossad psychologic spy are fighting me and I should follow them. That was my way, and I also use the music after five years, I started hearing opera, opera, it was very good instrument to keep the spirit very strong because you feel like you are yourself singing opera, and I used to hear a lot of opera, they send me tapes. I used to hear the opera Fidelio. That was similar to my story. I used a lot of psychology for my initiative.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Mordechai Vanunu. He is now out of jail after 18 years. Are you allowed to speak on the telephone?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I’m allowed to use the phone, but I’m not allowed to speak to foreigners. Now when I am speaking is contrary to the restriction. But I think because I have given interview to the BBC and the day passed, nothing happened and I think – what I’m talking is about my humanity, my human rights and I think it’s the government, or either a spy, who looks very stupid to fight someone who is speaking about his freedom of speech, freedom of movement, his human being, human rights. So I don’t think they will be stupid [enough] to arrest me or to question. But if they can do anything – it is Israel. Israel, all of the world knows, they’re [able] to do anything.

AMY GOODMAN: Mordechai Vanunu can you talk about the restrictions on you right now since you have left prison. First of all where are you?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Since I left the prison April 21st, I took straight car from the prison to Saint George Cathedral in East Jerusalem, so I’m staying now in the Saint George Cathedral guest house. The Bishop accepted me and is expecting me to stay here, and since that day until now I’m sitting here, and the restriction is not to speak to foreigners for 6 months, that is a very stupid restriction. I can speak to any Israeli citizen about anything, but not to foreigners. And I rejected this restriction by speaking English to everyone. The other restriction is if I want to move from Jerusalem to another city, I should [notify] the police. Anywhere I want to move, I should [notify] the police. If I want to sleep in other home, I should [notify] the police. I am not allowed to go to any embassy, because they are afraid I will go ask for asylum. Another important, very danger- or important restriction is not to leave the country for one year, I’m not allowed to leave Israel for one year, they are not giving me a passport. So, those are the restrictions. We appealed to the Supreme Court. The leader of the Supreme Court followed the Shabak Mossad demand in fact they just give them another stamp. The Supreme Court again proved to be injustice, and not respecting the basics of democracy, the basics of human rights – to have the right of movement and the right of movement and the right of freedom of speech.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you like to leave Israel?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Absolutely. I want to leave Israel after suffering seventeen and a half years in total isolation and very cruel , barbaric treatment by the Mossad Shabac inside the prison. Also because Israeli media damaged my image in all of Israel amongst the Jewish people, and some of them hate me, some of them threatened my life when I was released. Some of them are anti-Vanunu because I became a Christian, so I am not free and I am not safe in Israel. And I am demanding to leave Israel to be free… It could only happen in a free state, the United States or Europe.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you like to move to the United States?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes. I would like to move to the United States. I have adopted parents in Minnesota. I have many, many friends in the United States, who used to write to me and send me letters and cards for many years during eighteen years. I read a lot of your history of United States and am very appreciative of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. freedom.

AMY GOODMAN: What date were you released from prison, Mordechai Vanunu?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: April 21.

AMY GOODMAN: So it’s April 21, and now we’re coming on the end of August. May, June, July, August. Four months later, why have you decided to speak out at this point? Which could well risk your having access to a telephone or – well, it’s not clear what will happen now that you are violating the restrictions that have been placed upon you.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: When I came out of prison, I was ready to speak. But what happened is we met a very large riot of rightwing people, religious Jewish people who threatened my life. Then my brother was staying with me, and others say "Don’t speak. Stay in the center. Don’t get out. Don’t have any access to the media." But I am now, since my two months of work start speaking after the BBC interview, I am ready to speak. Why does the media didn’t come to me? I was ready to speak. Then I start giving my phone number and meeting people… So I am ready to speak because I used all my fight and want in seventeen and a half years in prison was the demand for freedom of speech. I believe the human being have the right to freedom of speech. I don’t have any secrets. All what I’m speaking about is my view. My political view as a human has a right to express his view in any subject. That is my risk speaking again and again, as I am not speaking about secrets, because all the secrets have been published by the Sunday Times. And all what I have to say is my political view. And I have the right to speak them if Israel is a real democracy. And I hope you in the United States will support me, and support my right to freedom of speech. It does not damage Israel. I have a right to say my view, and anyone want to hear me, it’s OK. If any one doesn’t want to hear, they have the right to not to hear.

AMY GOODMAN: The foreign affairs and defense committee chair Yuval Steinitz of Likud party, said that you should be returned to prison or placed in administrative detention or house arrest to prevent you from revealing more of Israel’s nuclear secrets. He said that you broke the law by giving an interview to the Arabic newspaper al Hayat and should be prosecuted for it. He said that it’s unfortunate that the defense establishment doesn’t take the committee’s recommendation to place you under house arrest as was done with Marcus Klingberg who was convicted of espionage. And then you have the member of Knesset, Ophir Pines-Paz of Labor, who said you are playing with fire and continuing to hurt Israel’s security, saying I don’t know why this phenomenon is being treated with equanimity. He said this is a professional provocateur who’s making a joke of the legal system. Your response.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: My view, there is people who make jokes is they – those who put the stupid restriction not to speak to foreigners, that I am allowed to speak to Israel, but then not allowed to speak to foreigners. If they had said I have secrets, then they should say you are not allowed to speak to anyone, not only to the foreigners. If there is danger, they should say from the beginning, "Don’t speak to anyone." So they make joke from themselves, not me. Second point, Marcus Klingberg, the spy, was released from freedom before ending his sentence, so he was under restriction because he was freed five years before the end of his sentence, so they gave him this privilege to get out and to live in freedom. If they had want me, they should have done the same with me, take me out of prison five years ago. But in my case I am after seventeen and a half years in prison, served all my sentence, and I should be free and should be allowed to leave the country. And the main point is I have the right to speak my views. I’m speaking my political view, my analysis. I have not revealed any new secrets. I do not have any secrets. All that I’m saying it was repeating what have been published at least eighteen years ago.

AMY GOODMAN: You said that Israel had 100 to 200 atomic bombs and was developing a neutron and hydrogen bomb but at that point didn’t have it.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: The hydrogen bomb was started to be built in 1986 or 1985. I took the photo of part of the real hydrogen bomb which was published by the Sunday Times.

AMY GOODMAN: [And Israel] had already made 100 to 200 atomic bombs?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes. They used to produce about 40 kilograms of plutonium each year which is enough for 10 atomic bombs.

AMY GOODMAN: And what was your job at the Dimona plant?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: At the Dimona plant my job was producing plutonium, producing lithium-6, tritium and I also worked part-time in the nuclear waste area where they are dealing with nuclear waste. But my main job was to produce this material: plutonium, lithium, tritium.

AMY GOODMAN: And how long did you work there?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Nine years.

AMY GOODMAN: When you spoke with your co-workers, did other people share your feelings?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: No. No one. Maybe some of them were concerned that Israel was producing nuclear weapons. But no one there doubted what was the policy. Maybe some of them in their hearts they were worried what was going on. But no one would dare to go and speak. That is the difference.

AMY GOODMAN: And who did you see at that plant? Did you see people from other countries coming through — visitors or even working there? Or government officials, perhaps from the United States?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: No. I have no information about foreigners working there… When I worked there they brought the prime minister Shimon Peres in September 1985. In 1984 I saw… the Defense Minister. Every new prime minister and new defense minister came, the head of Mossad, the head of Shabak came to visit to see Israel’s nuclear power, not foreigners. Maybe there were but I didn’t know about it.

AMY GOODMAN: And how do you think Israel being a nuclear power effects the Middle East?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: My view: the nuclear weapons Israel built make it very aggressive and powerful. In 1962 Israel was ready to deal to make real peace with the Arab world after the independence war in 1948… But then I believe some people had the idea to get Israel nuclear weapons, to build the French reactor in Dimona. That power made Israel free not to make real peace with the Arabs; made Israel free not to solve the Palestinian refugee problem. … they [took] the West Bank, Golan Heights and Sinai and keep them until now. Now Israel is much more aggressive, not to give anything to the Palestinians or to make real peace with Syria or Lebanon or Jordan or the Palestinians. So the nuclear weapon is used as a political power. Without even using nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons help Israel do what it wants without respecting international law or respecting the Middle East states… But my view is that my revelation in 1986 it prevented Israel from using nuclear weapons. Otherwise it is my view that they were ready to use nuclear weapons in their next war, it could have happened in the Cold War. My revelation let the world see what they had and made it impossible for Israel to use nuclear weapons.

AMY GOODMAN: Has Israel ever admitted that it had nuclear weapons?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: You and others can find out. I am like you, reading the newspaper, hearing the media. You and others can see what they said. Everyone in fact thinks they have, but they are playing games. My view is that they are cheating themselves. Israel continues to cheat themselves and with the United States play this cheating game — to play like no one is watching them. The king is naked but no one wants to see the king is naked. That is the truth. And Israel is succeeding to impose on the United States and all the world to play this game.

AMY GOODMAN: Did they ever tell you at the Dimona plant not to speak about what you saw inside? AV: I signed a secret document not to speak about anything. More than that no one at Dimona were telling you that you are producing nuclear weapons. No one mentioned the word ‘atomic bomb.’ Some of them there don’t know what they are doing –they are producing materials without knowing exactly what those materials are used for. Everything you are watching there you are not allowed to speak about.

AMY GOODMAN: if they do end up putting you back in detention, if they jailed you again, how do you feel about that?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I would feel very bad but I will continue to demand to be a human being, to believe and to behave as a human being; to have the right to speak; the right to have freedom of speech. And I will continue to demand my total freedom to leave Israel. I hope they will not do not do such a mistake and someone — possibly from abroad, from the United States or Europe — will tell them that they should respect the human rights of this man. And to end this game of tricking the world by claiming there is no atomic bombs when all the world knowing exactly what they do and exactly what they saw when I gave photos to all of the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Mordechai Vanunu, do you have any regrets about what you have done?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, what do you expect, if I am strong enough to survive all that they have done to me, it means that I have never regret. And much more, I all the time always was convinced and convinced that I did the right thing. That I was following my conscience and the right of the people in all the world to know such teaching and the most danger atomic bomb subject. And also when I saw the cold war ended and Russia collapse and South Africa become free and the nuclear race ended and the United States and Russia started destroying nuclear weapons from 100,000 nuclear weapons to twenty nuclear weapons, all this only was encouraging me that I did the right thing. And also I think what Israel spy Shabak did to me in prison fighting me that make it very clear that I did the right thing. I’m very happy and glad that I revealed the true face of Israel and let all the world and the Israeli people see the true face of Israel who used to remind the world "holocaust, holocaust" every hour, every day, but in fact Israel have a holocaust factory. This Jewish state was producing holocaust weapons and they have no right to speak about holocaust so I was very happy to reveal this truth.

AMY GOODMAN: Mordechai Vanunu now your life every day, are you confined to the house you are in? How do you spend your days?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Now I’m staying in St. George Cathedral guest house in East Jerusalem, I decided not to visit the West Jerusalem, not to visit any Israel state because if I’m not allowed to leave Israel, I’m not allowed to speak to foreigners, so I too will not go see Israel. So I’m staying in East Jerusalem, walking around, going to restaurants outside, going to the old city, meeting a lot of Palestinians. Many Palestinians are happy to see me, and very – appreciate what I did, they saw me as a hero. I’m staying in St. George, doing emails, trying to learn computer, trying to read newspaper, watching TV and this summer also enjoy to go to swim – it’s very good psychological treatment to swim everyday. And very happy and glad to meet human beings, I like to meet human beings, to speak and to eat with them and to be among the people. And point – the issue I want to remind you why the Shabak-Mossad will not do anything because if I am staying here in East Jerusalem among the Palestinians, those Palestinians who are recognized by Israel as the enemy, so if I have any secrets I could have passed to this enemy. So if I am staying among Palestinians for three months, four months, the Shabak-Mossad give up, they cannot expect from me anything – so what they can do? So I am staying here in East Jerusalem among Palestinians.

AMY GOODMAN: Mordechai Vanunu, you said that after six months they would lift the restriction on you speaking on the cell phone to foreigners and after a year you could travel. So you’re only two months away from that restriction being lifted and yet you are risking a lot now by speaking on the cell phone to a foreigner. Why take that risk now?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I don’t know if they will lift the restriction after another two months, they have the right to extend them or to end them, I don’t know what they will do on October 21st. Especially after the supreme court rejected my appeal now they can do anything they want, no one can say anything, they can extend them. The Supreme Court give them a blank check to do what they want so I don’t know. Again, I am not risking anything because what I am telling you, I told to many Israeli people here from the left who come to see me. I said the same to the BBC that was broadcast in Israel TV. So all what I am telling you is repeating what I already said and what I already published 18 years ago. So that was the way to see it and I will not see it as risking anything. I’m only trying to bring my case to the United States to raise the awareness to my case in the United States because I have no chance here in Israel that someone will help me to get out or to receive my rights. I would like that someone in the United States to do for me – to demand my human rights. Imagine if a man like me was in another state. Imagine, or remember what the United States – when Sharansky was in Moscow. What you do, what the Congress in Washington – Senate did – to Russia for nine years when Sharansky was in prison. But when it comes to a man like me in Israel, all the Congress, Senate in Washington is ignoring me and not doing [anything] for my release, or [fighting] for my human rights. So I hope you and others can bring my case and raise the awareness to these situations and demand my human rights.

AMY GOODMAN is the host of Democracy Now! and author of the new book, Exception to the Rulers.