Monday, May 09, 2011

Vanunu demands revoking of his Israeli citizenship

MARK WEISS in Jerusalem, The Irish Times, May 9, 2011

MORDECHAI VANUNU, the man who revealed Israel’s nuclear secrets to the world in 1986, has demanded that Israel rescind his citizenship and allow him to leave the country.
In a weekend letter to Israeli interior minister Eli Yishai, the nuclear whistleblower cited a new law passed in March under which Israelis convicted of treason automatically lose their right to citizenship.

“I request that you set me free of Israel, since Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel,” he wrote. “I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don’t want to go on living here.”

Mr Vanunu, a low-level technician at Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant, first hit the headlines in 1986 when he leaked details with photographs he took surreptitiously to the British Sunday Times .

The revelations marked the first concrete proof that Israel had the capacity to manufacture nuclear bombs. Israel maintains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity”, neither confirming nor denying foreign reports of its nuclear potential.

Partly based on the secrets he revealed, foreign experts concluded that Israel was the world’s sixth-largest nuclear power.

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