Released Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu said on April 21 he had been persecuted by the authorities in Israel because of his conversion to Christianity. “I want to tell those who say I am a traitor, I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian,” Vanunu said after his release from 18 years in jail. He had been convicted of treason for giving information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in 1986.
Vanunu emerged from prison flashing victory signs and waving to a crowd of cheering supporters who waited to greet him. He said he was treated harshly, including being placed in solitary confinement for 12 of his 18 years in prison, because he abandoned Judaism to become a Christian. He complained of “cruel and barbaric treatment” during his incarceration.