Nuclear Whistle-blower Vanunu Is Israel’s Edward Snowden

September 18, 2015
Avner Cohen

The following is an excerpt from an op/ed originally published in Ha’aretz.

The interview Channel 2 conducted with Mordechai Vanunu earlier this month was fascinating and informative. This was the first time that the Israeli public got a look at the life and the world of the person who in Israel is considered the ultimate traitor. For the first time, Vanunu was making an appearance on an Israeli media outlet as a flesh-and-blood human being.


More than 30 years ago, Vanunu and I worked at the small philosophy department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. I was a young lecturer who had just returned from the United States with an interest in the nuclear issue and ethics, and Vanunu was a teaching assistant and Master’s degree student interested in existentialism and political philosophy. We encountered one another in the department from time to time, but he wasn’t one of my students, and to the best of my recollection, I never had a serious conversation with him. […] One way or another, in my eyes, Mordechai Vanunu was the original Edward Snowden, but the world of the 1980s, still in the midst of the Cold War, was then foreign and alien to Snowdens. […]

Read the full-text article at Ha’aretz (free registration required).

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