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Read your comments Friday, 14 March, 2003, 17:47 GMT
Read your comments
Mordechai Vanunu
Israel has enforced Vanunu's silence for 16 years
Israel's Secret Weapon was broadcast on BBC Two on Monday, 17 March, 2003 at 2320 GMT.
Because of the high volume of correspondence we receive, we cannot guarantee to publish every single e-mail.

Have your say



Vananu may be a traitor or a courageous activist for peace in the Middle East, but his treatment is inhumane and degrading and should not happen in a modern civilised world.
Alan Williams, UK

It highlights the double standard that exists in the world today. We have just fought a war with Iraq for possibly possessing WOMD that we are certain that Israel has. Israel is certainly not any more democratic than Iran is, for example, so democracy is not an excuse for this double standard.
Colin, Ireland

Excellent and revealing programme giving insight into the very worrying situation in Israel with its unacceptable nuclear policy. We are full of admiration for Mordechai Vanununu and horrified at the treatment he has received from officials in this so-called democracy.
Rosalind Urion, UK

To compare Israel to Iraq is to draw fallacious similarities between the two countries

Edward & Florence Brill

To compare Israel to Iraq is to draw fallacious similarities between the two countries. One is a democracy fighting to protect its citizens from the scourge of terrorism, the other is a terrorist dictatorship. This is not the same thing, and to suggest that it is reeks of anti-Semitism.
Edward & Florence Brill

Your programme, "Israel's Secret Weapon", was a brilliant documentary that lifted the lid on the violent secrecy that has surrounded Israel's nuclear capability which has hitherto remained outside the bounds of international law and inspection. I want to say a big thankyou to the producers of the programme for their courage, honesty and integrity.
Miss D Holden

Why is it that one can not criticise Israel without being labelled anti-Semitic? When people criticise Pakistan or any other Muslim nation they are not charged with being Islam phobic - One can dislike the actions of Israel without being anti-Semitic.
Noah, UK

I have no strong objections to Israel having these weapons but, to consider themselves as part of Western democracies, they should be honest about them and, at least, let inspectors in to check safety factors.
Jill Holloway, England

Britain has nuclear weapons, but does anyone from abroad inspect them

Rona Hart
The comments here are almost as illuminating as the film. The argument in defence of Israel's secret nuclear weapons program appears to amount to "Israel is a democracy". If I lived there then I might consider the sinister and authoritarian cover-ups of accidents and illnesses surrounding Dimona, not to mention the nauseating scenes of people poisoned by the Israeli army using unidentified poison gas, as grounds to seriously re-consider the political party I would want to represent me.
Sean, Australia

Does every country that has nuclear weapons have to agree to inspections? I know Iraq is subject to inspections, but that's a result of the invasion of Kuwait and the Gulf War of l99l. Britain has nuclear weapons, but does anyone from abroad inspect them? If not, why the question on Israel, I wonder.
Rona Hart, UK

I am astonished that your programme could be broadcast on national television. I find it very distressing to know that my taxpayer's money goes towards paying / financing a documentary that is instrumental in fomenting racial hatred and in particular to rekindle the flame of old anti-Semitic prejudices. Film making offers a far too easy, and dangerous, opportunity to show one-side of a coin and omit the flipside of it. The editorial body of Correspondent and the supervisory bodies of the BBC who allowed the broadcast will have on their conscience the next anti-Semitic attacks in this country.
Marc Blanga, London

all weapons of mass destruction in the area must be treated equally

Hatem Atawy
One question no one has asked. Everyone else builds nuclear power stations next to abundant sources of water for cooling. Why did Israel build theirs in a desert and what risks does that pose?
Zadok, UK

It is encouraging that someone is still trying to remind the world that the country that has nuclear arms in the Middle East is Israel and not Iraq (at least not yet) - all weapons of mass destruction in the area must be treated equally.
Hatem Atawy, US

This programme demonstrates the level of hypocrisy that exists in the West. It clearly exposes the duplicitous nature of foreign policy with regard to the Middle East. This is the root cause of Islamic fundamentalism which we all abhor. It totally nullifies our stance on Iraq; the spurious claims about Iraq's WOMD and the urgent need for military action. The net effect is that we are being turned from illegitimate to legitimate targets of anger and frustration of the dispossessed in the region.
Abi Bilesanmi,

A typical conspiracy!
Rizal, Malaysia

Israel never has and never will pose a threat to world peace

Joanna
In response to Mr Nir from Israel: I am Greek and I found you comments deeply offensive and ungrateful. During the Second World War my country housed a large number of Jewish immigrants. Although we were under German occupation and we had food rationed and our people were dying from hunger, we housed a lot of Jewish immigrants in our homes, made them part of our families and we hidden them from the Nazi's by issuing fake identity passes to them. As a result of this, these people have stayed in Greece and are regarded as compatriots today. So I would urge not to generalise things when you talk about Nazis.
George, Greece

Why is it so terrible that Israel has nuclear weapons? - America has them, and so does Britain! They are not attacked for it - Israel needs nuclear weapons to deter undemocratic nations such as Iraq from attacking them, as they did in the Gulf War. America knows that Israel has atomic capabilities, but feels no need to disarm her, because they know that Israel never has and never will pose a threat to world peace, democracy and freedom, unlike Iraq.
Joanna, England

We haven't all forgotten Mordechai Vanunu as stated in your programme last night. Years ago I asked Amnesty International to intervene on his behalf, apparently he wasn't worthy of such intervention not being a prisoner of conscience. It was however interesting to see that Israel unlike any other country except Iraq and Russia uses toxic gases on its' people. I guess they are not really people though are they, because they are Palestinians, like the Kurds in Iraq and the Chechens in Russia. How quick they forget how much their people suffered and inflict similar suffering on others.
John Freslov, UK

People need to know the hypocrisy that is going on

Dinah Rahman
One of the most interesting comments in this documentary was made by an Israeli peacenik. He pointed out that although the "official" line in Israel is that they are besieged by enemies, in fact the standards by which Israeli actions are judged in the West are always more lenient than those afforded to other countries. The culture of militarism has corrupted Israeli civic society: it undermines democracy, it allows military thinking to dominate foreign policy and it suppresses free speech. In the end real victim of this leniency is Israel itself.
Tom, UK

To compare Israel to Iraq is to draw fallacious similarities between the two countries. One is a democracy fighting to protect its citizens from the scourge of terrorism; the other is a terrorist dictatorship. Such comparisons do not encourage those many, many Israelis that do want to live in peace with her Arab neighbours.
Craig Sumberg Rockville, MD

Thank you for the courage in airing the truth about the nuclear capabilities and weapons programme in Israel. It is an absolute disgrace that Vanunu's story has been smothered for so long. People need to know the hypocrisy that is going on.
Dinah Rahman

Supported by the US, Israel is not prone to inspections by the UN

Marianne Andrea
Do not compare Israel to Irak. Israel is a survivor. Irak is a monster.
Alberto Padron

So this proves that Israel has weapons of mass destruction, does that mean that the US along with the British and other countries that are for war ...will they invade Israel, basically do what they are doing in Iraq? ....
Jane, Netherlands

The UN Security Council regularly calls on Israel 'urgently to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.' Israel has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, but is one of only four countries in the world - with Cuba, India and Pakistan - not to have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty .But of course, supported by the US, Israel is not prone to inspections by the UN.
Marianne Andrea, Nazareth

We are a peace seeking people who just wish to be left to live

David
I'm sick of hearing about Israel being a democracy. The land was stolen from the Palestinians and settled by foreign bellicose colonists, who deem it their right to deny the Palestinians basic human rights. Ask the Palestinians how "democratic" Israel is!
Jerard, England

As far as we the Israelis are concerned, Vanunu should remain forgotten, abandoned and rotting in jail for eternity!! As for the rest of the world, hear this: We are a peace seeking people who just wish to be left to live but don't let that fool you as to our very serious intention to remain alive and by that we mean a free people in our promised land!
David, Israel

The only reason that Israel needs to defend itself is because it has pursued a policy of taking land by stealth for many years.
Anon, UK

UN inspectors should search for weapons of mass destruction in Israel

Jamil
I'm glad somebody has taken the courage to point out this double-standard that exists in the Middle-East. I'm sure that pro-Israel groups will label this program as "anti-Semitic", but it is important to shake-off those kinds of ridiculous accusations. It is important for people to know about these things.
Stuart Shillington, Canada

UN inspectors should search for weapons of mass destruction in Israel as it is doing in Iraq. Israel is a threat to Middle East and world peace
Jamil, USA

So many people, the world over, see this as glaring double standards in disarmament in the Middle East. Many people are baffled by the fact that this issue has not yet been addressed throughout all the turmoil surrounding disarming Iraq. Hypocrisy?
K, USA

Israel has nuclear bombs for defensive reasons

Tim
I agree that Israel has a right to have nuclear weapons. As one person said, they live in a rough neighbourhood. However, Iran lives in the same tough neighbourhood. I therefore reject the claim that Iran does not have the same right as Israel does to protect itself. After all, we are surrounded by enemies too.
Masood, Iran

Israel is democratic, Iraq is a dictatorship. Another difference is that if Iraq had a nuclear bomb they would use it (we have to thank Israel for bombing the Iraqi nuclear plant back in 1981). Israel has nuclear bombs for defensive reasons as they are surrounded by sworn enemies.
Tim, UK

Enough Israel bashing. Arab nations have been calling atomics the "sword of Islam" for years. The Muslim world still preaches conversion by force to Islam. You never hear Israel calling nuclear weapons the sword of Judah. Britain has Nuclear weapons too. If you're all so keen on seeing Arabs with Nukes why don't you give them some.
Joseph, USA

To compare Israel to Iraq is a dangerous and inflammatory comparison

Jonny Rothman
While hailing your efforts in producing Vanunu's documentary, I cannot but express my sadness, helplessness and bitterness, towards this world of today.
Nachoua, Egypt

We're in a rough neighbourhood - you have to protect yourself. We already counted on Europe once. Six million of us died.
Nir, Israel

Although not supporting the treatment of Vanunu, there is no evidence to even suggest Israel has ever used their weapons. To compare Israel to Iraq is a dangerous and inflammatory comparison to make and only fuels those who have ulterior and racist motives. I look forward in the near future to a 'Correspondent' breakthrough story on how the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' are here amongst us!
Jonny Rothman, UK

We hear nothing of war or sanctions being used against Israel

Dr. Ismail Zayid
This should be a revealing program that highlights gross violations of human rights along with countless UN resolutions. A pariah state sponsoring terrorism supported by the US government. In recent years it's alleged that Israel has used chemical weapons against Palestinian populations and yet the world media some how is immune to it when carried out by IDF.
Anon, UK

Iraq - Sadam - Israel - We have the only democracy in the Middle East - this the only difference
Liz, Israel

Without having any deterrents Israel has no chance of surviving

Anon
Israel is the only democratic country in the region, which makes the whole difference! These weapons are the only things that protect her from being destroyed by its neighbours. Israel never used these weapons, and it's a very modern civilized country that makes a huge difference! After all, most if not all of the countries in the world won't help Israel if the Arab Terrorists will attack her. So how can Israel rely on these countries to protect her?
Zohar, USA

I do appreciate your deep and genuine concern for Mr. Vanunu, but would like to enquire - why don't you protest against nuclear force in the hands of the UK for example?
Guy Azriel, South Africa

War is being orchestrated against Iraq, as it is accused of holding weapons of mass destruction [WMD], though there is no convincing evidence for this. On the other hand, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons as well as chemical and biological weapons. Yet we hear nothing of war or sanctions being used against Israel. Is there no limit to this practice of double standards?
Dr. Ismail Zayid, Canada

Even if Israel does have nuclear power, it will never be a threat like Iraq is. Besides, without having any deterrents Israel has no chance of surviving. Do you care about it?
Anon, USA


It was unfortunately necessary to postpone the billed programme "Israel's Secret Weapon" on Sunday night due entirely to the overrun of an unscheduled news bulletin about the Azores summit.

It is sometimes necessary to make last minute scheduling changes, and with events around the Iraq conflict so fluid at present, this is particularly the case.

The programme was transmitted at the first available opportunity and the BBC trailed and promoted the new schedule to direct audiences to the programme from Sunday night and through Monday.

There is no suggestion that any political pressure affected a scheduling decision by the BBC.


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