Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Wikipedia describes Mordechai Vanunu as a former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad spy, where he was drugged and kidnapped by Israeli intelligence agents. He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors. Regarded by peace activists as a hero for taking a stand against weapons proliferation, Vanunu has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize many times.

Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement. Released from prison in 2004, he became subject to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for violations of those restrictions, including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel.

In 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to six months in prison for violating terms of his parole. In response, Amnesty International issued a press release on 2 July 2007, stating that "The organisation considers Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release." In May 2010, Vanunu was arrested and sentenced to three months in jail on suspicion that he met foreigners in violation of conditions of his 2004 release from jail.

The Associated Press reports that an August 8 letter, signed by Arab League head Amr Moussa, calls on world powers to endorse a draft resolution noting "concern" over Israeli nuclear activities and pressing the nation to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and allow International Atomic Energy Agency audits. The Arab countries are expected to present the proposed resolution, titled "Israeli nuclear capabilities," at next month's IAEA General Conference meeting.

The letter was submitted to top diplomatic officials in China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, said diplomats affiliated with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Barack Obama warned in July that efforts to place unique pressure on Israel over its presumed nuclear arsenal could scuttle plans for a meeting on establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's 189 member nations agreed in May to schedule a 2012 conference aimed at creating such an area.

Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month indicated they would "work together to oppose efforts to single out Israel" at next month's IAEA meeting. "Any efforts to single out Israel will make the prospects of convening [a regional nuclear weapon-free] zone conference unlikely," the leaders added in a statement.

The Arab League, though, contended it does not seek to single out Jerusalem.

"Singling out a state assumes that there are a number of states in the same position and only one state was singled out," the organization's letter states. "The fact is that all the states in the region have acceded to the NPT except Israel."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home