Monday, July 9, 2007
As I was driving with Dr Attalah yesterday a Hamas security force member came up to our vehicle and kindly asked if we were intending to turn right, as we were lined up on the right side of the street. Upon admitting this was the case the armed policeman politely requested we turn our blinkers on.
Hamas is astoundingly improving traffic with religious zeal and is continuing its program of law and order and yet its leadership seems to show no signs of having any strategy to break Gaza’s economic deadlock. Gaza’s new realities may be causing Gazans to flock to the beach and yet are doing little to quench Palestinians deep fear of what the future is to bring.
This from Rannie Amiri,
It thus behooves us to retell this man’s remarkable story, lest we forget what a person of conscience can achieve.
Mordechai Vanunu was the first to expose Israel’s dirty little secret: it was a major atomic power. He worked as a technician at the Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev desert from 1976 - 1985. Then, in a 1986 interview with London’s Sunday Times, he disclosed pictures that not only proved Israel had the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, but was actually in possession of them.
Just prior to the publication of his interview on October 5, events unfolded as if they came straight off the pages of a Robert Ludlum thriller. On September 30, Vanunu was lured by a female Mossad agent from London to Rome, where he was captured and scurried off to Israel. Behind closed doors he stood trial for treason, was quickly convicted and sentenced to an 18-year term. If the Israeli government had hoped he would quietly and contritely fade away, they were sadly mistaken.
Vanunu vociferously renewed his call for Israel to come clean regarding its nuclear arsenal (reportedly the world’s fifth largest) and open the Dimona reactor to international inspection. Israel still remains the only country in the Middle East to be a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has likewise barred entry to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel.
Although the term “whistleblower” is often used to describe Vanunu, it is a rather weak and understated characterization. He was a siren, alerting the world that nuclear weapons had found their way into the Middle East, shattering Israel’s official policy of nuclear ambiguity.