Newsletter : 5fax0420.txt
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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
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
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
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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