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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted:
April 8, 2006 - י' בניסן, תשס"ו
 
 

Pidyon Shevuyim:
The Redemption of  Captives
Maurice Ostroff
About the Author


Jews around the world are again asked to remember our 5 MIA's at the Passover Table

         
Zachary Baumel Tzvi Feldman Yehuda Katz Ron Arad Guy Hever

Zachary Baumel

Tzvi Feldman

Yehuda Katz

Ron Arad

Guy Hever

Very sadly no progress has been made since last Passover, in assuaging the TERRIBLE INJUSTICE suffered by the families of our five missing in action soldiers, Although much publicity has been given to the fate of missing airman Ron Arad, it is important to treat all five equally.

It was for this reason that we started a  campaign last Passover, to draw attention of the world to the fact that there are  FIVE, not just one MIA. When world Jewry was struggling for the release of Soviet Jews, we set aside an empty place at our seder tables to represent our missing kin.  This Pesach we will again be placing a prominent figure 5 on the seder table to symbolize five MIA's, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz  who have been missing for 22 years  Ron Arad for 17 years and  Guy Hever who went missing a few years after Arad.

The suggestion to place the figure 5 on seder tables is being circulated by email lists to protest the deliberate withholding of information about the MIA's by Syria, Iran and the PA. The case of Zachary Baumel epitomizes the suffering and anxiety which the families of the MIAs endure.  In an exquisite refinement of torture in 1993, Yasir Arafat acknowledged that he knew details of the fate of the soldier's and handed one half of Baumel's identity tag to Yitzchak Rabin, with a firm promise that more information regarding the MIA's would be forthcoming. He never kept his promise, but it is believed that other members of the PA shared the knowledge and that they should be pressed to disclose whatever information they have, especially when are negotiating the release of Palestinian prisoners.

In 1998 two Dutch women Christa Rhodius, 49, and Jeannet Van Duuren working for the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers met with Yasser Arafat hoping he would hand over some of the missing soldier's personal belongings they believe to be stored in a safe that was originally held by Abu Jihad (Khalil al-Wazir) in Tripoli, Lebanon and transferred to Gaza. Arafat stonewalled and they did not succeed.   The two Dutch women asked Arafat where the other half of Baumel's tag was, but he did not respond.

AP and others have reported claims over the years by Lebanese and Palestinian militias about the fate of the MIA's. That Syria knows the fate of at least some of the soldiers is evident from the fact that soon after the battle at Sultan Yaqub in which Baumel, Feldman and Katz went missing, three Israeli soldiers were publicly paraded  through the streets of Damascus. Palestinian and Syrian officials have made many references to information in their possession regarding the MIAs and one may hope that the USA will follow its pressure on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, with a demand for full and frank disclosure of information about our missing boys.

See also http://www.mia.org.il/stories.html


Read more articles by Maurice Ostroff

 

 
     
 
 
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