In A Grave'
21 April , 2004
Dear Susannah York
I want to thank you very very much for your long letter with many details
from your vacation in Paxos. It is very kind from you to spend time
thinking [about] and writing to me. The first time I felt that someone
"speaking" to me, devoting himself to making my life here
bearable or forgettable for a few hours. You took me on a very short
vacation behind these walls.
I am the last one
who could live in prison. Because I loved the freedom to feel the environment.
So it was very difficult for me in the first year. I felt in part of
my mind, I cannot live like this. But human being is an "animal"
who can learn to live and survive.
My first year here
reminded me [of] tigers in a zoo, walking and walking in a room 3x2m.
And now after nine and a half years I am part of this cell. Part of
my brain learned to live in this very small space. I called it "living
in a grave".
I need to raise
myself above all this suffering. I don't want to continue on this subject,
on my suffering, on their cruel behaviour toward me. I have everything
in my mind and I overcome it.
I don't know what
will be interesting to read, to hear from me. And don't bother yourself
with those who are reading my letters. I learned to live with this no
If you will write
more I'll write you more. Take care. And have a good life and stay young
until I'll come to London to meet you.
I forget what does
it mean to be free. To have the freedom to choose. There are many simple
things that I have forgotten and lost in this very barbaric, brutal,
cruel and concrete life. How am I going to be free? This is my main
concern. I am in prison but I am like a hostage, since they kidnapped
me. I should be more strong and believe, as I [did] in the first year.
To go on and not bow to corrupt power. That is my way.
Thank you for all
your work. And I want to tell you that I don't know how to thank you.
So I am sending you All My Love. And include two poems.
I have now a video
and I received a videocassette with the event in the 10th anniversary
of the campaign [in London]. First I want to thank you very much. But
I know very well that there is a lot of frustration to end each time
such a meeting and to go home without getting any tangible result. To
work and hope and nothing is moving. Exactly like my life here for the
last 10 years. Time is moving and I am yet in the same small room cell.
Examples of what
they are doing. They recruited all the warders here. And they can use
them for their own mission any time they want. Saying sentences near
my window. Disturbing my sleep at any hour they want. Making me angry
by any possible [means]. They can delay to bring my food or to let me
go outside. Or keep my mail for long time. They control everything.
Other important things are the radio and TV. Those instruments are very
helpful for a man in solitary to "run away" from this small
cell. They know very well how much it is important, and their task is
to disturb any programme.
The other subject
is what I am calling "blackmail" ... they try to blame me
[for] all kinds of crimes, from murdering to drugs, from money to sex.
They take a very small event [from my history] and they give it another
interpretation, as they want. Here in prison, repeating that blame 24
hours every day, that for a man in solitary becomes Huge... [But] only
I know what I did in my history and what I thought when I did some very
small wrong acts.
So these are part
of my psychological torture. Sufferings that I am not writing about
because not many can understand. Part of it is that I myself lose my
trust in all my supporters, to become paranoid. Now I want to thank
you very much for all your devotion of time, efforts, to bring my freedom.
With my LOVE.
Thank you very much
for your last letter from Feb 1998. So now as you may heard they ended
my solitary after 11 and a half years. But yet not absolutely free to
meet and speak with everyone. At least now I am free to move freely,
and meet some people. I can have fresh air. Now I can meet my brothers
like a human being, not see them through a grille of iron. This period
of solitary ended and new era in my life began. The most hard and difficult
journey in my life, I passed. From now on until my release it is the
matter of time.
Last Sunday April
19 they published an "interview" in the Sunday Times, [made
up of] all those views that I [have been] saying to my brothers. And
here in the prison they were in shock. So they punished my brother Asher
[by forbidding him from] visiting me for a half year. I decided if he
will not be allowed to visit me, no one will visit me.
Until now I have
not received from you any video cassettes of movies or plays. Instead
they send by the Sunday Times [some] Shakespeare plays from the 1960s
in black and white. Not very interesting.
Hope to see you
and meet this year. Lots of love.
They denied my release
after two-thirds of my sentence. They said I am not any more in solitary,
but yet I am not allowed to meet you and others. And yet I must keep
on my spirit, be optimistic. No matter what they are doing I should
keep on my struggle each day until my release. Thanks.
October 1 1999
Thank you very much
for your card from Paxos with the view of Paxi Lakka.
So today I complete
13 years in captivity since being kidnapped. Now I have lost 13 years
of my best period of life. This lament is to bury 13 years that had
passed - died - and now I can take another breath to begin another year
I hope you are very
well, continue to work and produce. Hope to meet you soon. As my hope
is always to be free and leave this "Ashkelon Concentration Camp"
and leave Israel [for the] US and London.
With respect, affection
Happy New Year 2000.
I enjoyed to read
your letter Aug 12 about Edinburgh Festival. At least it is good news
to read how much you are busy working, performing.
You wrote about
your 90-year-old father - great and wonderful. I wish I'll live many
years to compensate for the lost years here.
Here they will have
an election for a new PM, but I'm not expecting much even if the next
PM will be from the right[wing] parties. They will not make more severe
my life conditions or release. It could be even good surprise by the
Sending you my support,
strength and LOVE.
Now with all the
[latest] turmoil in all the world with that terrorism attack on NY and
Washington ... By this new terror the ME [Middle East] has been raised
to become a threat to all world peace. This barbaric attack will wake
up all the world to deal with it seriously. They brought the Gulf war
to end mass destruction in Iraq. Now they [have] brought a "terrorism
war" to end all kind of terror.
So I am here watching,
following news but not free yet. [It is as if] I am living on another
planet watching the earth news, it looks a crazy world.
Well, I hope to
hear good news. Here, no changes. I saw another movie with you playing
with Roger Moore - good acting. Interesting.
Many thanks. Much
Here, no changes.
That is the only news in my letters now. The life continues to go on.
Good to read that
you are coming to Israel in November and will perform in Israel. Yes,
good to try to meet me. Maybe a miracle will happen and we'll meet.
· May 25
The board meeting
took place and make a decision not to release me before my sentence
ended. So I'll be here until April 2004. That is the bad news now. But
we'll overcome the last move. As I survived here for 16 years, I can
survive another 1.5 years.
I am in the same
cell. The same conditions. No changes. Continue to read and write, watch
TV or videos and other tapes ... The news in Israel, as you know, is
on all the war against Palestinians with many killing and destruction
so no one here interested in this case.
Be strong even if
it didn't help to bring my early release. We'll win when I'll be free.
When you will get
this letter it will be less and less months and days to my release.
You began your letter
by [urging me] not to say anything that will jeopardise my leaving as
fast as possible this Israeli state. Well, I don't know what you have
in mind but I am strong enough, experienced enough, that I will not
give Israel spies any chance to play with me again. I don't think they
will kidnap me again so don't worry. Anyway, I am not a politician nor
head of any movement to give statement declaring war. After they steal
17 and a half years from my life I can not receive it back by words.
Next you wrote about
travelling to LA and NY, about plays and Baz Luhrmann. I have received
Moulin Rouge. Very, very disappointed. Huge wasting of work. Good actress.
Kidman. Total zero. "Bullshit". Sorry for this word but it
makes me really angry [that] such a movie [should be] nominated for
Now the war [is]
almost over. I didn't watch it on TV, don't know what really happen,
but it seems not a big war. The big issue is what will happen after
the war... We'll see and judge, the history will judge this event.
As I wrote in the
past, my plans [are] to live in the US. I hope to meet good people and
... my future partner. What I'll do, what kind of work, I don't know
- maybe try to write some book. The other activity I want is travelling
around the world to many, many places and meeting people. One thing
is very clear. I'll be a free man and human being. That is a huge, big
Wait for my release,
only a few months.
Great and wonderful
to hear from you again. Letter Jan 22. With three photos. You look very
good and still young with energy. Interesting how you chose this hairstyle.
Here it's very hot
warm and I have become very tan, and still more hot months until November,
then [the] last winter in this very long, dark age. The end of my long
test, my last test.
I am interesting
to find a permanent place [after my release], a life partner to start
my life. [Thank you] for all your good love heart that you show me.
Well I am after
17 and a half years walking in isolation soon will be surrendered by
many friends. April 21 will come and go very fast. I can imagine I'll
come to all my friends who are there outside the prison; I'll shake
hands. Hugs, kisses, the media will video. I'll say a few words. My
first free speech. Will be careful not to say something that will cause
problems. The opposite, will use this event for some good words that
will help peace.
You are great and
wonderful to keep all the[se] years optimistic and willing to support
I'll be glad to
Much love, big kiss
waiting for you, Love
'Here is a hero
for our times'
I became involved
in the Mordechai Vanunu campaign about 12 years ago when I read his
poem I Am Your Spy at a benefit for him in London which came about because
of my involvement in the peace movement. The poem explained how he was
just a cog in a vast machine.
We started corresponding
- I am one of very many people around the world who has been writing
to and receiving letters from Mordechai over the years.
People ask me what
I feel about him. I like him, I like this man. You feel that here is
a hero for our times. Inside this interesting grown-up man there is
also a child that believes in faith and hope and charity.
I gradually became
part of the campaign and then eventually a trustee and this is my third
visit to Israel on Mordechai Vanunu business. This is obviously the
most important and the most joyful of the visits.
I am going to be
back in Bristol on Friday doing a concert for Mordechai and for Shakespeare's
birth and it is good to welcome him back to the world. · SY