In an article entitled “Foreign Office says no to MIA report” (16 December 2010 ) the Jewish Chronicle reported that:
“The British government is refusing to release documents which could shed light on the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982 because it says sensitive information could harm diplomatic relations with Syria.“
This statement seems to intimate that the Syrians have a hand in the 28-year ongoing travesty of human morality and decency. This is not surprising, given Syria’s track record of human rights. The fact that the British government is a partner to this travesty is somewhat more surprising.
Don’t assume that the British are the only ones withholding information about the three Israeli soldiers missing in action. On 2 August 2009 I submitted a formal request from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Security Service (CSS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding the Israeli MIAs. In the request I wrote:
Persuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), I hereby request the following information that exists or is archived in NSA:
- Information related, or pertaining, to all Israeli MIAs (“Missing In Action”) in the Sultan Yakoub (or Sultan Yaqub) battle in Eastern Lebanon on June 11, 1982, the sixth day of the Israel-Lebanon War.
- Intelligence reports related to any of the Israeli MIAs referred to, from 1982 to the present date.
- The request is specific to all, or all, of the following MIAs:
- Zack Baumel
- Zachary Baumel
- Zecharia Baumel
- Tzvi Feldman
- Zvi Feldman
- Yehuda Katz
“We have determined that the fact of the existence or non-existence of the materials you request is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Order 12958, as amended. Thus, your request is denied … the FOIA does not apply to matter that specifically authorized under criteria …”
I suspect that behind the legalese lies the fact that NSA/CSS is privy to information regarding the Israeli soldiers, but political expediency prevents the Americans, like the British, from doing what is morally correct.
It remains to be seen if WikiLeaks will shed any further light on this perversion of human decency. In any case, here’s one person who wishes Miriam Baumel the best of success in releasing the British report on her son and the other MIAs.