As momentum increases behind the call for the release of the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, today in Tablet Magazine Liel Leibovitz makes the case for the freedom of another Jewish betrayer of state secrets: Mordechai Vanunu, the Moroccan-born Israeli Christian (he converted) who in the 1980s revealed secrets behind Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British media before being lured to Italy (by an American-born Mossad agent), kidnapped, and tried and convicted in Israel, where he served an 18-year sentence. He is now free, except, as Leibovitz describes, he is not:
The terms of his release are draconian: He is forbidden from using telephones or the Internet, forbidden from approaching foreign embassies, forbidden from leaving Israel. He has also repeatedly been arrested for various infractions—some real, some imagined—often on symbolic dates, including two arrests on two separate Christmas Eves. European governments and international human-rights organizations continue to lobby on his behalf.
Leibovitz says he found himself swayed by Gil Troy’s essay last week in Tablet Magazine advocating for Pollard’s release, but that fairness demands Vanunu’s freedom—his true freedom—as well.