The Curious Case of Prisoner X and Vanunu’s Solitary Connection

Copyright ABC TV Australia Prisoner X had been held in secret in solitary confinement in a high SECURITY Israeli prison. His existence was first revealed to an Israeli reporter by a whistleblower from the prison who could not understand why an inmate with no name was being held in total isolation in a cell designed to hold Yigal Amir, the man who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin.

On Tuesday, Australia's ABC reported Prisoner X was Australian-born Ben Zygier who died at 34 from "asphyxiation caused by hanging" in 2010 while in his cell.

Why Prisoner X was even jailed remains a closely guarded secret, but he is also known as Ben Alon a former Mossad agent. As reported by ABC in Australia, it is alleged that he also traveled on another Australian passport in the name of Ben Allen. As Ben Zygier he moved to Israel, married, had two children, changed his name and was jailed--and the reasons why remain top secret.


Journalists in Israel are required to agree to abide by military censorship rules when they apply for accreditation from the Israeli government press office. If reporters violate regulations they risk being denied press cards and if they are foreigners they will loose their work visas.

Haaretz newspaper reported that following the publication of the ABC story, "The Prime Minister's Office called on Tuesday an emergency meeting of the Israeli Editors Committee, an informal forum comprised of the editors and owners of major Israeli media outlets, to ask its members to cooperate with the government and withhold publication of information pertaining to an incident that is very embarrassing to a certain government agency."

Avigdor Feldman, an Israeli attorney who also represents nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu told Reuters, "People in the state, in the Shin Bet (internal security agency) and the courts conduct themselves as if we were still in the Stone Age. These things are ultimately revealed. People talk, and not just on the Internet. The tight-lip that once typified this country is no longer...all the gag orders just shame the courts and the country." [1]

In this YouTube, Vanunu shames the state for torturing by solitary confinement in this excerpt from "30 Minutes with Vanunu" that did NOT go through Israeli Military Censors because no government can control the free flow of info on the WWW:

Mordechai Vanunu addresses State Torture by SOLITARY Confiement


Gad Shimron, a former Mossad officer who writes on intelligence matters, told Reuters he had no knowledge about Zygier, "but in the 21st century, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, I simply don't believe such secrecy can be maintained". [Ibid]

Case in Point is the Facebook Cause Free Mordechai Vanunu which has nearly doubled in members since Vanunu departed Facebook on May 1, 2012.

Interesting fact is that on the very day before he did, Israeli press reported that the Military Censor announced that the Israeli Defense Forces launched a new system to monitor information on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and news sites. [2]

And the day before that report I received this Facebook private message from Vanunu: “Hi. Today they sent first notice, they will renew the restrictions.sent to my Lawyer. Now you are free,we can close the Cause.either you do it or I will do it. I am going to deactivate my Facebook,very soon.”


A few hours later, Vanunu Mordechai’s image at Free Mordechai Vanunu had become a ghost.

Currently Free Mordechai Vanunu supporters number over 9,500 and new members join daily. No doubt the least we are doing is being a gnat in the eye, a mosquito on the neck and a royal pain in the ass to all who want the world to forget that all Vanunu did twenty-six years ago was tell the truth and provide the photographic proof that led nuclear physicist, Frank Barnaby to testify at Vanunu’s closed door trial:

"I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel's secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.

"Israel's political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel's nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel's nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985." [3]


I met Vanunu in June 2005 while researching for my first book-an historical fiction based on the memories of a 1948 Palestinian Muslim refugee entwined with my spiritual journey.

I became a reporter because Vanunu told me:

"President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.

"When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

"Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year." [IBID]


Photograph copyright ABC TV Australia



3. BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010


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