“Israel and Jordan are on the edge of a human and ecological disaster that could have consequences all the way to Greece,” said Mordechai Vanunu Monday in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro in Jerusalem.
“The Dimona nuclear reactor should have had a lifespan of 25 years and this makes 40 years that it is in service,” said Vanunu. “It isn’t for nothing that the government distributed pills to the people who live near Dimona.”
Vanunu was released from prison six months ago after serving 18 years for divulging state secrets regarding Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.
In his interview, Vanunu defended his views that have been received as anti-Semitic and claimed that anti-Semitism is no longer an issue for Jews.
“Certain people accused me of anti-Semitism,” he said. “But as long as you are Jewish, you are considered Israeli in this country.
“During the first half of the 20th century there was a real problem of anti-Semitism. Today refugees of all the wars are spread around the world and the Jews aren’t anything but a minority. They are no longer in danger. They no longer need refuge.”
Vanunu lambasted Israel’s method of approaching the current conflict with the Palestinians, and explained his reasoning for giving away state secrets.
“In Israel, the Bible became a tool to take the land from the Palestinians. The slightest prescription of the Torah is respected in every aspect of our daily life without having the least respect for the life of the Palestinians. I had to free myself of that.
“What Israel needs is a real democracy. The day when there will be a Palestinian prime minister and head of Mossad, I will be proud to belong to this country. But for now, Israel is a racist Jewish state where an anti-Palestinian apartheid reigns. I no longer want live in Israel. ”
Vanunu is currently forbidden from leaving the country and talking to foreign journalists, although this is not the first interview that Vanunu has given to the foreign press
In the interview to the French newspaper Vanunu challenged the French government to absolve itself of responsibility for augmenting Israel’s nuclear capabilities.
“If France hadn’t offered the reactor, Israel wouldn’t have developed the nuclear capacity that pushed Israel to feel so strong vis-a-vis its Arab enemies,” Vanunu said.
“Israel wouldn’t have dared to fight the whole Arab world and would have understood that to survive in the Middle East it should have made peace with its neighbors.
“Because of the atom, the Hebrew state is taken for a nuclear superpower. France gave the reactor. France has the right today and the obligation to reclaim inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency. This would be its contribution to peace.”
Vanunu suggested that war would be imminent if, instead of France, Israel is able to control nuclear inspections.
“If Israel reclaims inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Iran, it isn’t because they feel menaced, it’s only to turn the attention away from its own nuclear program. Then, it will attack Pakistan.”
Vanunu also described how he spent his time in prison with a focused and steady mind.
“The Israelis wanted to burn me,” confided Vanunu calmly, the interview with Le Figaro said. “They tried to make me crazy, to discredit me. But I never cracked. I read, studied, listened to opera. For Yom Kippur I put on Wagner in my cell. This was my method of staying free, of showing them that I wasn’t theirs and was, therefore, sturdy.”
“Israel tricked the entire world by making them believe that the Dimona nuclear reactor was used only for peaceful ends,” explained Vanunu. “As a result of my revelations the world understood that Israel was no longer a good enemy, weak compared to the Arab strengths. The world also saw that Israel had cheated.”
“I felt a moral need to tell the truth. Certain people think that I did a service to Israel by revealing its true strength. I also maybe prevented Israel’s nuclear suicide”.