Israeli nuclear whistleblower says he does not regret his actions

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison for disclosing Israeli nuclear secrets, said in his first Israeli television interview that he does not regret his actions.

He also called on the state to allow him to leave the country permanently.

In an interview broadcast Friday night on Israel Channel 2, which was approved by the Israeli military, Vanunu said he revealed the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program “for the citizens of t he world – including Israel.”

“I came to the conclusion that the public and the world and the Middle East know about the existence of such a powder keg,” he said during the interview at a friend’s apartment in Tel Aviv.

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Vanunu, 60, who was released from prison in 2004, was jailed in Israel for discussing details of his work as a technician at the Dimona nuclear facility with the Sunday Times of London. He reportedly revealed Israeli nuclear secrets and gave the newspaper photographs of the plant’s operations.

Under the terms of his parole, Vanunu is prohibited from leaving Israel, visiting the West Bank, or approaching foreign embassies and speaking with foreign nationals.

Vanunu has appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court to allow him to leave the country, and has been denied permission several times.

“I married my Norwegian wife three months ago. She can’t live here. I want to start my life, I’m done with all this,” he said.   “I became a Christian, I want to live far away from Israel, I have no connection to Israel, I do not share the views of Israel and Israel’s policies, do not understand why they keep me here. I want to go.”

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