Vanunu Slams Nobel War Prize

The following article is reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 955 (26 March).

The International Communist League has always honored and defended former Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu. In 1986, Vanunu exposed to the world that the Israeli Zionist rulers had produced enough nuclear weapons and delivery systems not only to incinerate every Arab capital but to bomb major cities in the Soviet Union as well. For his service to humanity, he was kidnapped in Italy by Israeli Mossad agents, whisked back to Israel, tried before a secret military court and then locked away in prison for 18 years—12 of them spent in solitary confinement.

Now, Vanunu has ripped the veil of hypocrisy from the bourgeoisie’s venerated Nobel Peace Prize, for which he had been nominated. In a February 24 announcement, Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, revealed that for the second consecutive year Vanunu wrote letters “where he stated explicitly that he did not want to be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. The reason he gave was that Simon [sic] Peres had received the Nobel Peace Prize, and Peres he alleged was the father of the Israeli atomic bomb and he did not want to be associated with Peres in any way.” In one of these letters, Vanunu wrote that “Peres was the man who ordered the kidnapping of me in Italy.”

Shimon Peres, whose paternity of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is well documented in his 2007 authorized biography by Michael Bar-Zohar, shared the 1994 “peace” prize with his fellow Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat for their role in negotiating the 1993 Oslo accords. This imperialist-brokered pact was portrayed as laying the foundation for a Palestinian “mini-state” in part of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. In fact, it has led only to greater oppression, impoverishment, terrorization and degradation for the Palestinians. For his part, Peres, an early supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has the blood of countless Palestinians on his hands. He was Israel’s prime minister twice, and during his second reign ordered the 1996 attack on a UN refugee camp near the southern Lebanese village of Qana in which over 100 civilians were slaughtered.

Vanunu is the first nominee to request that his name be withdrawn from consideration. But in 1973, Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho refused to accept the “peace” prize. It had been jointly awarded to him and Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor for the U.S. imperialists, who had the blood of over three million Vietnamese on their hands. In refusing to remove Vanunu’s name from the list of nominees, Lundestad made clear that Vanunu had little chance of winning. Not surprising, since the award is a model of Orwellian “war is peace” Newspeak.

Peace Prize recipients have included Elihu Root, U.S. Secretary of War during the Spanish-American War through which the U.S. colonized Cuba and Puerto Rico and then occupied the Philippines, slaughtering up to a million people; Charles Dawes, architect of the imperialist victors’ reparations that bled Germany following World War I; Columbia University president Nicholas Murray Butler, an early supporter of Italian fascist Benito Mussolini and Hitler’s Nazis; United Nations general secretary Dag Hammarskjöld, who was involved in the assassination of Congo nationalist Patrice Lumumba; Menachem Begin, who had been a leader of the Zionist terrorist Irgun which carried out bloody slaughter and mass expulsions of Palestinians in the 1940s; and U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who came to office with appeals for “ethnic purity” and engineered U.S. imperialism’s funding and arming of the reactionary, woman-hating Afghan mujahedin in their war against the Soviet-backed Afghan government.

The most recent honoree is U.S. Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, who seemed to be rewarded for not being George W. Bush, though his acceptance speech differed little from a Bush presentation, except for its sophistication. Obama invoked the virtues of a “just war” in defense of a barbaric occupation that has resulted in the deaths of untold thousands of Afghans and the pounding of villages through aerial bombardment. He also took the occasion to rattle sabers at capitalist Iran and the North Korean deformed workers state for their work toward developing nuclear capability in defiance of imperialist threats and sanctions.

Since his release from Israel’s dungeons in 2004, Vanunu has been barred from leaving the country, talking to non-Israelis, going near airports and is under 24-hour surveillance. Last December he was placed under house arrest after meeting a Norwegian woman in a Jerusalem hotel (see Workers Vanguard No. 950, 15 January). As Vanunu recently wrote to a Norwegian journalist, “What I want now, I need now, is freedom, passport, not any awards.” Hands off Mordechai Vanunu! Let him leave Israel!