Response to Senator Chuck Schumer Re: Israel’s nuclear weapons and Mordechai Vanunu

A day before President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer spoke at the National Press Club Newsmaker on February 27.

About 50 minutes into this video, Sam Husseini, a D.C.-based independent journalist and communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, questioned Senator Chuck Schumer about Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal:

SH: You voted for the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, claiming Iraq was vigorously pursuing nuclear weapons. Do you acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons? Senator Schumer—on Israel’s nukes—do you acknowledge . . .

Chuck Schumer: I didn’t get your question.

SH: Do you acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons, sir?

Chuck Schumer: I’m not—you can—go read the newspapers about that. [The Senator walks away from podium]

SH: You can’t acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons, sir?

Chuck Schumer: It is a well known fact that Israel has nuclear weapons, but the Israeli government doesn’t officially talk about what kinds of weapons and where, etc.

SH: Should the U.S. government be forthright?

Chuck Schumer: Ok, that’s it.

Regarding Senator Chuck Schumer’s comment at the National Press Club for reporters to “read the newspapers” to learn of Israel’s nukes this American who reads The New York Times, laughs out loud!

As a reporter I have submitted multiple news-tips and letters to all editors regarding the human rights struggle of Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s nuclear whistle blower since meeting him in 2005 (while I was in east Jerusalem researching for my first historical fiction). I have received auto-replies from The New York Times but other than book reviews The NYT does not mention Israel’s nuclear weapons.

In a New York Times book review by Ethan Bronner published in 2010 on Vanunu’s birthday October 13 (not Oct. 14 as Vanunu’s Wikipedia page insists) he writes:

“Israel’s nuclear status had been widely assumed for years, but the specifics provided by the technician, Mordechai Vanunu—secret photographs as well as details of tritium production and plutonium processing—laid the groundwork for an intense international debate.

“That debate occurred everywhere but in Israel. The Israeli news media were all over the Vanunu story: his defection and treason, his conversion to Christianity and his seduction and capture by a Mossad agent code-named Cindy. But they didn’t go near the policy implications.

“The prime minister at the time, Shimon Peres, the man most responsible for building Dimona in the 1950s and ’60s, appealed to media chiefs, saying that the country’s security concerns far outweighed the public’s right to know. They did not need much convincing . . .”

THE DEBATE that has never occurred in ‘the land of the free and home of the brave’ is about Made in the USA WMD and polices that collude in Israel’s nuclear deceptions.

My meeting Mordechai Vanunu in 2005 was the catalyst for me to realize my childhood dream of being a reporter in the moment Vanunu tells me about the JFK, LBJ and Nixon connections to Israel’s nuclear deceptions. Read that story HERE.

Mordechai Vanunu and Eileen Fleming, Nov. 13, 2013.

I last saw Vanunu in Jerusalem in 2013, and since a treasure trove of declassified documents about what the USA government knew about Israel’s nuclear weapons dating back to the Eisenhower administration have been published and are now entwined with Vanunu’s saga HERE.

Worldwide intelligence agencies estimate that Israel began production of nuclear weapons in the 1960s.

In 1976, Mordechai Vanunu was 22-years-old and needed a job on the night shift so he could attend university classes in the daytime. Vanunu applied for a job at a “textile plant” which in reality was Israel’s Nuclear Research Center known as Dimona.

Vanunu was trained to be a nuclear plant technician beginning in 1977. He quit on 27 October 1985, with $7,500 severance pay, a reference letter describing his departure as a layoff and two rolls of undeveloped film he had shot over a few harrowing hours inside of top-secret locations within Israel’s seven-story underground WMD facility in the Negev Valley.

Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped by Mossad from Rome and after a closed door trial convicted of treason and espionage in 1986.

Nuclear Physicist Frank Barnaby was hired by London’s Sunday Times to vet Vanunu’s story (just before he was kidnapped by Mossad) and he testified at Vanunu’s closed-door trial:

“I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically. Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985.”

On January 30, 2017, Vanunu wrote on Facebook, regarding his latest appeal to end the restrictions that have held him under 24/7 surveillance since he emerged from 18 years behind bars in 2004: “Nothing Change. Today the court heard my appeal; asking the 3 judges to intervene to, allow me to leave this country. The Israel govt. by its lawyer repeat the same accusations, that I am a security risk for them because of all the nuclear secrets from 35 years ago. So the court will make its decision in the next weeks . . .”

As of this writing (6 PM in Jerusalem 2 March 2017) Vanunu is still waiting.

However you can view uncensored “30Minutes with Vanunu” (taped a few weeks after his freedom of speech trial began in 2006 which concluded with 78 days in solitary in 2010) in which Vanunu addresses USA “occupied media and congress, the apartheid wall” and state torture by solitary confinement.

Eileen Fleming is THIS AMERICAN; aprolific Author, FULL-TIME VOLUNTEER Health and Senior NON-Arab Correspondent for TADN; producer of “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Israel’s nuclear whistle blower. Contact her HERE.

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One Response to Response to Senator Chuck Schumer Re: Israel’s nuclear weapons and Mordechai Vanunu

  1. This is a story that most of the world never gets to hear. Thanks for shining a spotlight on it. You might have considered including the fact that Israel never signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and refuses to allow nuclear inspectors on Israeli territory.
    Mortdechai Vanunu is one of those modest unassuming and unsung heroes that paid a big price for his integrity and moral beliefs. He is in the same league as the Russian Submarine captain in 1963 who refused the order to launch during the Cuban Missile blockade thus preventing a premature WW3.
    The flip side of the Vanunu story is Scooter Libby, who claimed yellow cake uranium was sold to Sadaam so that a war could be launched on Iraq that left over a million civilians dead. Scooter, for his misguided moral convictions, received a Presidential pardon.
    This unfortunately is the world in which we live.