For many years now, I have been dealing with different Israeli government
representatives in order to request assistance in the search for Raoul
A Swedish diplomat, Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of
Jewish persons during the Holocaust in Budapest. He was arrested in 1945 by the
Russians, and since then his fate is unknown. Sunday was his 101st birthday. He
is also an Honorary Citizen of Israel.
About a year ago, Louise Von
Dardel, Wallenber’s niece, was invited by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin to speak
at the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial event at the Knesset.
myself were also invited to have lunch with Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur, diplomatic
adviser to the speaker. Since then I have been speaking to Ben-Hur about
appointing a contact person for the case.
A contact person is crucial in
this case. Such a person would be a gobetween for some of Raoul’s family
members, Wallenberg activists and the Knesset.
In the beginning of April
I wrote to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, with an official request for the
appointment of a contact person. A bit later, I received a beautifully written
letter, in which Edelstein highlighted the importance of the humanitarian work
He wrote “our diplomats abroad will continue to cooperate and
assist in any efforts needed in order to uncover the truth about his
Unfortunately the speaker did not answer my question about
appointing a contact person, who is so necessary, in order to inform about any
progress in the case. I followed up again with Ben-Hur.
He referred the
case to Kobi Tzoref, adviser to the speaker.
Tzoref was kind enough to
write me a letter. Again no mention in this letter of a contact person. I then
turned to Gila Rothschild, internal auditor and responsible for public
complaints in the Knesset, with a request to know why Tzoref had not answered
all my questions.
Rothschild replied, saying “This is to inform you that
I have spoken to Mr. Tzoref and he assured me that he will be replying to you in
Finally I thought I got what I had asked
Surprisingly, Mr. Tzoref did not reply. Instead, I received a letter
from Dan Marzuk, Knesset advocate, who wrote on behalf of the Knesset Speaker’s
office and its internal auditor. Unfortunately in Marzuk’s letter there was
still no answer to my request to appoint a contact person.
As in any
other “missing in action” case, the appointment of a contact person is
standardized procedure and in this case the solution is simple.
Edelstein, please just do it.
It is my sincere wish that if you are a
member of the Knesset and you would like to help, that you please offer your
assistance to appoint a contact person for this righteous man.
Grunberg is the founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Honorary Citizen Committee,
Ra’anana, and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org