The Campaign for a Nuclear Free Middle East write: You may not be aware that, last summer, Mordechai moved to new accommodation in Tel Aviv. He told us, at the time, his new place was small but that he was really enjoying the chance to swim every day in the Mediterranean; and as far as we know he has not been getting any extra hassle from living in Tel Aviv, which is good news.

Then, since the move, and from out of the blue, we heard that the prestigious German International League of Human Rights had awarded Mordechai their Carl-von-Ossietzky peace medal. In their press release they said; “Vanunu’s courageous conduct unquestionably recalls Carl-von-Ossietzky’s undaunted resistance against armament and war during the Weimar Republic”*.

The award ceremony was to be on 12 December, in Berlin, two days after the International Day of Human Rights. The International League lobbied the Israeli Government to release Mordechai so he could receive the award. Appeal letters were written and signed by many well known international names. When contacted for comment, Vanunu, in contrast to the refusal he offered to his most recent Nobel Peace Prize nomination, was pleased to accept the award. And, perhaps, knowing the Israeli authorities better than the International League, he suggested that, if he wasn’t allowed to receive the award, personally, maybe the award ceremony could be postponed until he was eventually allowed to leave Israel. There was no response from Israel. Breaking with tradition the League agreed to Mordechai’s suggestion and it is now planning a continuing campaign to get Mordechai released so he could receive the award. Opportunities for this will arise during the build up to the 2011 Pugwash Conference, in Berlin, and the planned conference on a Nuclear Free Middle East in 2012.

The League has asked us to bring these details to your attention, so by email, letter, phone calls or other methods -tell your MP – you can help draw attention to these forthcoming events linked to the fact that, Mordechai was brutally kidnapped after being lured from England; and that he is still being held in Israel despite having completed his 18 year prison sentence, over six years ago, for telling the truth.

You may also have seen that Mordechai has been getting mention regarding the WikiLeaks saga, alongside other well known and unrepentant whistleblowers: Daniel Ellsberg, the late Philip Agee and the latest recruit Julian Assange. Where you can, in letters and phone-ins, for instance, please take advantage of this to keep raising the fact that Vanunu is still being punished for revealing Israel’s nuclear weapons capacity, over 24 years ago.

Meanwhile Mordechai remains in Israel under multiple restrictions. If you have time to send him greetings for Christmas or the New Year or both, please do. Mordechai is still using, POBox 20102, Salah Adin Street – post office, East Jerusalem 91384, Israel. 

His email is:  vanunuvmjc@gmail.com

* Carl-von-Ossietzky was a German journalist and pacifist, who campaigned against the aggressive policies of the Weimar Republic. He was arrested as a traitor in the early 1930s and executed before the start of the Second World War.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935.

Our very Best Wishes for Christmas and 2011

For and on behalf of The Campaign for a Nuclear Free Middle East,