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Copyright 1998 Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Post - City Notes

HEADLINE: Bring Them Home...

BYLINE: Greer Fay Cashman

If Missing Israeli Soldiers Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz could see a video of the tribute dinner held in their honor last week at the Jerusalem Renaissance Hotel, they would need no convincing that they have not been forgotten.

Some 850 people affiliated with The International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers packed the hotel's huge banquet room where each received a dog tag engraved with the names of the four MIAs and a journal detailing the manifold activities undertaken to draw their plight to ever greater worldwide attention.

Former Prisoners of War Hezi Shai, Assaf Yaguri and Shlomo Erdynast urged all those present to keep pressing for the repatriation of the four men. Shai, the former tank commander of Baumel, Feldman and Katz, who for two of the three years he spent in a Damascus prison was considered missing, said that what kept him going throughout the whole of his captivity was his certainty that the government of Israel was doing everything in its power to bring them home. "There is nothing more important than knowing that," he asserted.

Saluting the families of the MIAs, Assaf Yaguri, who during the Yom Kippur War was taken prisoner by the Egyptians, recalled that during his own ordeal, he was glad that his mother was no longer alive to suffer as the mothers and families of the MIAs are suffering now.

Shlomo Erdynast who was also taken prisoner by the Egyptians during the Yom Kippur war spoke of how he had dreamed of coming home. "I'm sure that those boys dream as I did," he said. "We must not disappoint them. We must continue to fight to bring them home. I hope that just as my dream was realized, another dream will be realized and we will witness their return this year."

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