I am re-reading another time the article about the uncertain fate and uncertain news of Zachary Baumel.
Zachary Baumel, captured in Lebanon in 1982, turned 46 on Friday, surpassing the milestone at which he has spent more time in captivity than in freedom if he is indeed still alive.While reading these words, one thought keeps buzzing in my head: what is it I can learn or understand about our enemies: the Hezbollah, the Syrians, the Iranians that keep our POWs hidden from their loving family, friends, their country for so many years?
Baumel, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was taken along with two Israeli members of his tank crew, Yehuda Katz and Tzvi Feldman, during Israel's foray in the Lebanon War. All three were photographed in Damascus on the day of their capture, and several eyewitnesses, including a Time magazine reporter, said they watched a parade in which the tank and crew were led through a major street in Damascus and flaunted to cheering crowds. The ceremony was the last occasion the soldiers were seen publicly.
In March 2005, Yona Baumel told WND that sources he cultivated in Syria told him they visited his son that year at a Syrian military installation just north of the border with Iraq. Baumel was also given a book from a confidante of a family in Syria that contains coded messages Baumel says could have been written only by his son.
I can understand an enemy that is generous or, at least, correct in treating it prisoners, whether for some ulterior motive or not.
I can understand an enemy that is mistreating the prisoners, making their lives living hell - Geneva convention or not.
I can even understand an enemy soldier that, in the heat of the battle, seeing his friends dying, kills a prisoner.
All of the above is human, whether we accept it or not. But I experience an absolute void trying to get into the minds of people that hide a prisoner of war for years without a snippet of information coming out, like it has happened with Zachary Baumel, Ron Arad, Yehuda Katz, Tzvi Feldman and others that have disappeared - alive or dead - without any trace. There is nothing human, whether benign or malignant, that I can detect. Just a void.
There is nothing to learn and nothing to know.
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