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redbut.gif (179 bytes) Writing Your Member of Knesset

The following are suggested points to include in your letter to your representative:

What Happened?

On June 11, 1982 three Israeli soldiers - Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Tzvi Feldman -- went missing in battle with Palestinian and Syrian troops near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub. In 1986, Israeli air-force navigator Capt. Ron Arad was also captured in Lebanon. Arad's family received pictures and letters from him a year after his capture.

Who is Responsible?

Arafat - his forces fought at Sultan Yaqub, and in 1993 he returned half of Baumel's dogtag to Prime Minister Rabin promising more information that he has yet to disclose. By not cooperating Arafat is in violation of Article XIX of the May 4, 1994 Cairo Agreement.

Assad - the Sultan Yaqub MIAs were captured in battle with Syrian forces in Syrian- controlled Lebanon. The Amnesty International Report of 1988 (page 254) stated that three soldiers from Sultan Yaqub "were alive and in Syrian custody." The Syrians are violating International Law by holding these soldiers incommunicado. Ron Arad was also held by militias in Syrian-controlled Lebanon with Syrian knowledge and approval.

Why Are You Concerned?

Humanitarian Issue -- we are not talking about land or guns. Resolution of the issue has no strategic loss to any side. Denied all rights under international law, these men cannot really be considered regular MIAs or POWs. They are being treated like hostages - being denied all the rights of POWs.

Reciprocity -- Since 1993 Israel has released thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners as part of the peace process. All Israel has received in return is half of Baumel's dogtag. Israel should reconsider future concessions particularly in the area of prisoner release.

Consensus - The MIA issue may be the only issue in Israel where there is almost complete consensus. A November 1999 Gallup poll demonstrated that 75.2% of Israelis feel that resolution of the issue should be a precondition to signing peace agreements. For Israelis, who have made enormous concessions for peace, there can be no meaningful peace for without closure on the issue.

Confidence in the army/government -- as parents or relatives of Israelis in the army you are concerned about the issue with regards to the well-being of our own children.

Priority -- Although the PA has publicly placed Palestinian prisoners at the top of their list of demand, the Israelis have not done so. Why not?

The following are links to your representative's address:
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Members of Knesset.

Members of Knesset (HEBREW).

Israeli Government Email Addresses.


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