Nuclear whistleblower asks to renounce citizenship

Mordechai Vanunu tells 'Post' no country has offered him asylum but that if he is allowed to leave "I will get on first flight anywhere out of here."

May 7, 2011 21:47
2 minute read.
Mordechai Vanunu

vanunu 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu on Saturday demanded that Israel rescind his citizenship in keeping with a new law that strips Israelis convicted of treason of their citizenship.

In a letter written to Interior Minister Eli Yishai and released to the media on Saturday Vanunu, a Beersheba native, says "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don't want to go on living here."

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Speaking to the Jerusalem Post Saturday, Vanunu said "If they allow me to be released, I will go to the Tel Aviv airport and get on the first flight anywhere out of here. I will go wherever it will take me."

Vanunu, who is not allowed to grant interviews, said that no countries have offered him asylum and that all further questions can be answered by his letter.

Vanunu, who was released in 2004 after spending 18 years in prison for revealing secrets about Israel's nuclear weapons program to the London-based Sunday Times, said in his letter released Saturday that "recently, the Knesset passed a law authorizing the revocation of Israeli citizenship for those convicted of espionage and treason. For 25 years I am waiting and demanding the restoration of my complete freedom. I am asking the State of Israel to revoke my citizenship. This wish for revocation of citizenship is neither new nor recent. Now, however, it is supported by the new Citizenship Revocation Law, passed on March 28, 2011."

"I am asking and expecting that this law be enforced to the letter, and that my citizenship be revoked here and now, under the spirit of the law. I have no other citizenship, but I can easily get one, even during my enforced sojourn in Israel, and certainly if I leave the country. After the treatment and "care" which I got from this country and its citizens, I cannot feel myself a wanted citizen here," Vanunu said in his letter.

Since his release, Vanunu has been banned from traveling abroad, coming into contact with foreigners and granting interviews. A convert to Anglican Christianity, Vanunu has been very vocal in the past about his desire to leave Israel but the government has refused these requests, arguing that the former Dimona nuclear plant worker could expose further state secrets while abroad.


"I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I do not want to live here. I ask that you revoke my citizenship here and now. I request that you set me free of Israel, since Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel. All that I knew I told, already in 1986, to the English newspaper. I have no further confidential information. The time has come to let me leave Israel, after 25 years of imprisonment, a full quarter of a century!" Vanunu's letter concluded.

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