‘I Am Happy and Proud to Do What I Did’

Excerpts from the news conference with Mordechai Vanunu held upon his release from an Israeli prison after serving 18 years for disclosing Israel’s nuclear secrets.

I have a statement to tell you. I’m speaking only in English. I’m not speaking in Hebrew. If Israel don’t let me to speak to foreigners, I’m not speaking in Hebrew.

I have a statement to read: I am Mordechai Vanunu, the man behind The Sunday Times article from October 5, 1986, the article about Israel’s nuclear weapons.

I was kidnapped in Rome, Italy, by Israel’s spy on September 13, and I was brought to Israel, arrived to Ashkelon prison on October 7. I was here, I am here in the prison, in this prison Ashkelon prison from October 7 1986, until today, 17 and a half years, in very cruel barbaric treatment by Israel’s spy Mossad, Shabak.

This prison is guided and controlled by Shabak Mossad. The prisoners, the guards, the guards are only obeying orders of Shabak Mossad. In this prison you have a section seven by the Shabak Mossad. …

(In Hebrew): I tell the Israelis if you discriminate and prevent me from talking to citizens abroad then I am also not talking to you in Hebrew. If you decide who, and discriminate between Jews and foreign citizens then you are a dictatorship and an apartheid country. You yourselves are conducting a racist policy.

(In English): To all those who are calling me traitor, I am saying: I am proud, I am proud and happy to do what I did. I am very glad I succeed to do what I did. I don’t have any secrets. All this bull****, blah blah blah about secrets is dead. My case is dead. Since the article was published, there is no more any secrets. All the secrets were published in the hand of all the world, all the world, all the states, 180 states received these secrets and now I am ready to start my life, to do for my life.

I am not harming Israel, I am not interested in Israel. I am, I want to tell you something very important. I suffered here 18 years because I am Christian, because I was baptised into Christianity. If I was a Jewish, I wouldn’t have all this suffering here in isolation for 18 years only because I was a Christian.

I say Vanunu Mordechai saying he don’t need a Jewish state. Vanunu Mordechai don’t want to live in Israel and don’t need a Jewish state. I said Israel don’t need nuclear especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons, Iraq don’t have a nuclear weapons, Libya … Egypt. All the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons.

My message today to all the world is open Dimona reactor for inspection, open Dimona reactor for inspection. I said to the Shabak Mossad you didn’t succeed, you didn’t succeed, you didn’t succeed to break me. You didn’t succeed to make me crazy, the target of 18 years of isolation is to make me crazy.

This will be a symbol that a free man can survive, a free spirit can exist. There is no human being that can destroy the freedom of speech, the will of freedom, the man who want to be free. I’m a hero? I think that all those who are standing behind me and supporting me, all those who continue to be my friends for 18 years, all are heroes.

What I want to say is that this day I am free but not total free. I hoped that after 17 and a half years I can leave Israel. My symbol as I said is about the will of freedom, the human spirit. I am a symbol of the will of freedom that you cannot destroy the human spirit. …

I will continue to speak against all kinds of nuclear weapons, against all democracies nuclear weapons. I want to say this day, I want the President of the United States, George Bush, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schroeder, Vladimir Putin, all the leaders to do for my release from Israel, to leave Israel, and now all those leaders should deal and speak about Israel nuclear secrets. I come to end this silence and secret cooperation by the West: United States, Canada and all Europe helping Israel, co-operating with Israel. …

Of course, I’m free to speak. They found some papers that I wrote about what I worked, but I wrote it in 1991 when I had nothing to do, I wrote it for myself. They have nothing to fear from me. I don’t have any secrets, I don’t want to harm Israel, I want to leave Israel and start new life. I want to go to the United States to start my life to study history to teach history.

They take all the copies of all my letters to my friends, all my copies of my letters to my friends. I am going to the church to give thanks to my friends and to God, Jesus Christ for the support for 18 years. I am going to the St. George Church in Jerusalem and later I will start my life.

I was kidnapped immediately after we land in Italy. We went to an apartment as soon as I went into the apartment they attacked me, one Israeli and one Frenchman. They drug me, they drug me, they drug me, they took me in a car, from the car we went to the beach, an isolated beach, a commando boat, from the commando boat to a small yacht. There I was chained for seven days, we speak only English. I ask them: “Who are you?” They say we are here Israelis, French English. After seven days we arrived near to Caesaria beach.