The Common Good
July 2004

I am Mordechai Vanunu

by Rose Marie Berger, Brian Bolton | July 2004


Anti-nuclear activist Mordechai Vanunu was released from an Israeli prison April 21 after completing an 18-year sentence for telling the world about Israel's previously secret nuclear weapons program. Vanunu exited Shikma Prison saying: "I am Mordechai Vanunu, the man behind The [London] Sunday Times article from October 5, 1986, the article about Israel's nuclear weapons."

The Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, Riah Abu El-Assal, accompanied Vanunu, an Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity in 1986, to the Cathedral of St. George in East Jerusalem to pray and celebrate communion with clergy from around the world. Due to concerns for his safety, El-Assal has offered Vanunu temporary sanctuary.

"I am inspired by Vanunu, who has prophetically sounded a warning to the world to end the nuclear peril," Catholic peace activist Art Laffin told Sojourners from Israel. "Having witnessed his release and meeting him for the first time after years of correspondence," Laffin said he's convinced that "Vanunu is truly a man of great faith and courage. Despite Israeli authorities placing unprecedented security restrictions on him, Vanunu's spirit is free."

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