icmisban.gif (3901 bytes)

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

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. August 1997, Israeli soldier Guy Hever disappeared near the Syrian border. On October 7, 2000 Israeli soldiers Adi Avitan, Binyamin Avraham and Omar Souad were kidnapped by Hezbollah while on patrol in the Israeli territory of Har Dov. While the Israeli army has declared the soldiers dead, Hezbollah refuses to return the bodies for burial.

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.

Syria - 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. The Hezbollah organization, that holds Adi Avitan, Binyamin Avraham, and Omar Souad operates in Lebanon with Syrian permission.

Iran - Iran is Hezbollah's sponsor, providing Hezbollah with money, weapons and training.

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.

Reciprocity -- Since 1993 Israel has released thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners. All Israel has received in return is half a dog tag.

Why Should Your Government Care?

Western Responsibility: in 1990-91 Israel played a central role in securing the release of the European and American hostages that were held in Lebanon. Israel was complied with various terrorist demands that were a critical component in an international effort to gain the release of the western hostages. Israel were assured that the MIAs would not be forgotten. Israel's MIA families are still waiting.

Peace Process: 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.

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