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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     April 20, 1995, V3, #73
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Israeli-Russian Spy will Remain Prison

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israel's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a Russian immigrant convicted six years ago of spying for the former Soviet Union, but the court has allowed details of the case to be published for the first time.

According to court papers released by Israel's Justice Ministry, the convicted spy is Gregori Kalman Lundin, a 65-year-old former engineer who immigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union in 1973.

An Israeli court convicted Lundin in 1989 of spying for the Soviet intelligence service -- the KGB -- for 15 years. The court documents say he was arrested in 1988 and offered to cooperate with the Israeli authorities. But the following year the Israelis accused him of continuing to pass messages to Moscow from prison through a woman who visited him. In one of those messages Lundin allegedly reported the presence of an Israeli agent inside the KGB apparatus in Moscow.

After that incident, the Israeli authorities prosecuted Lundin and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. In the decision rejecting his appeal, issued Sunday and made public on Wednesday, the Supreme Court judges acknowledge that it is a harsh sentence. They also acknowledge Lundin's claims that his situation is particularly bad because he has an unspecified illness and has no family members in Israel. But the judges refuse to reduce the sentence, saying Lundin's spying hurt Israel gravely and he is a dangerous man.

Israeli news reports say many immigrants from the former Soviet Union are under investigation for possible connections to the former-Soviet or Russian intelligence services. Officials will not discuss such cases. Israel has absorbed more than half a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union since 1989, and took in more than 100,000, including Lundin, in the 20 years before the Soviet Union collapsed.

Another Israeli spy story also made news on Wednesday. Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu had a letter published in an Israeli newspaper. Vanunu is serving an 18-year sentence for treason for giving London's Sunday Times newspaper information about Israel's nuclear facility, and several pictures of it. In the letter to the editors of Ma'ariv, Vanunu asks them to stop calling him a "nuclear spy," saying he never worked for any intelligence service.
Vanunu is being held in solitary confinement for his entire sentence, a situation Amnesty International has called "cruel, inhumane and degrading."


Egypt and the Non-Proliferation Treaty

By Nick Simeone (Washington)

Egypt's deputy ambassador to Washington doubts his country will support an indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty which is up for renewal in New York. The 25 year-old treaty is designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology. But some third world nations, Egypt included, are arguing the world's nuclear imbalance should not be made permanent by an unconditional extension of the treaty.

Egypt is pointing to Israel's undeclared nuclear capacity as being its chief argument for opposing the treaty's permanent extension.

Egypt was one of the first countries to sign the 1970 treaty and has also sponsored a United Nations resolution that called for establishing a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

But with talks underway in New York to extend the treaty, Egypt appears set to join non-aligned nations in opposing a permanent NPT extension. Egypt's Deputy Ambassador to the US Ramzy Ramzy says it would be difficult for his government to accept a nuclear freeze given the current array of nuclear haves and have-nots. He means Israel, which refuses to sign the treaty or be bound by its terms.

Israel will not commit to signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Although it has never admitted having a nuclear weapon, Israel does have a plutonium-producing reactor and some experts say it could have as many as 200 nuclear weapons already stored. Israel maintains that as long as its enemies are committed to wiping it from the map, it will give its neighbors little reason to believe it is not nuclear armed.

Steven Dolley, research director at Washington's independent Nuclear Control Institute believes it would be unrealistic to expect Israel to disarm before a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement is reached.

"It's important that Israel be brought into the nuclear disarmament process. I think the odds of them coming on board the NPT, without a comprehensive regional settlement, are almost nil. That's not to say they should not be doing that. But just in terms of their flexibility, I just don't think it's there. And I don't know that the Arab nations are really trying to leverage the right people within the NPT extension process because Israel is not a member of the NPT and they are not participating in the NPT extension process."

Experts say Israel is still likely to resist the treaty even if it does reach a settlement with all its neighbors. Threats will still lurk from Iran and Iraq, two nations that oppose the peace process and one of which has already shown it can strike Israeli soil with a warhead of its choice.

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