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Mordechai Vanunu's Crime

VANUNU'S crime was far more serious than espionage or treason. He had broken faith with his country. The Holocaust experience, which tinges every aspect of Israeli society, has left most Israelis uncomfortable with the knowledge that they could inflict such a monstrous horror on another people. But the nightmare of the death camps is also a compelling reason for ensuring their ultimate survival, even if that requires a nuclear arsenal. Israelis were relieved of the grim task of reconciling their conflicting emotions by the government's policy of ambiguity, which allowed them to simply ignore the nuclear issue. For most, it was enough to assume the bomb was in the basement. There was no reason to go down to look at it. But Mordechai Vanunu not only turned on the lights, he invited the world over for a peek. In a state where security and secrecy are a way of life, Mordechai Vanunu talked.

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