Arad's wife to gov't: Don't repeat same mistakes

Wife of missing navigator in letter to PM: Don't deny Schalit's parents chance of reuniting with him.

ron arad 88 (photo credit: )
ron arad 88
(photo credit: )
Tami Arad, the wife of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad, has written an impassioned letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pleading with him to exert greater efforts to free Gilad Schalit, abducted by Hamas in June 2006. In the letter, which was includded in the material submitted to the High Court of Justice Sunday as part of the Schalit family's petition against the cease-fire deal, Arad asked the prime minister not to repeat the mistakes made in negotiations over her husband. "Twenty-two years after Ron vanished into the Lebanese abyss, I allow myself to take advantage of the rights of [the families of the] the eternally missing to join the cry of Aviva and Noam Schalit," she wrote. "Don't destroy Gilad's hope to return to his family. Don't deny Noam and Aviva the chance of reuniting with Gilad." Arad also spoke of her own pain: "I look into the mirror every morning and, contrary to you and your ministers, I live with guilt. I failed - I didn't manage to influence your predecessors at a time when Ron could possibly have been brought home alive." But, she said, "Gilad's pleas for his life seem to be falling on deaf ears." "I don't presume to walk in the shoes of the suffering, bereaved families whose children's lives were severed by murderers who are now candidates for release…I can appeal only on my behalf, to confess the feelings of loss and of missed opportunities when your living, breathing dear one - who yearns for his family - is abandoned to his fate. "Israel's deterrence will not rise or fall at her prisoners' expense," she said. "The more time passes, the price rises and the prospects diminish - and in the end we pay for the dead too." "Captivity is not a terminal illness," Arad stated. "Recovery from it is in your hands."