Tami Arad, wife of missing aviator Ron Arad, published an article in the Calcalist newspaper on Thursday in which she slammed Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin's decision to dedicate the lighting of the torches on the eve of Independence Day to Gilad Shalit "and the rest of the IDF's missing solders".
"In his speech, Rivlin honored Gilad Shalit and the rest of the IDF's missing soldiers, and I received a punch in the heart. This year, thanks to the Knesset speaker, we finally receive the unique name of 'the rest'," she wrote.
She went on to say, "How could I not understand that my Ron, Yuval's father, Ron Arad, the man that I have painfully carried in my heart for my entire adult life, would lose his name and become buried with the rest. How could I not understand that after 24 years, Ron has expired just like Yehuda Katz, Zvi Feldman, Zacharia Baumel, Guy Hever and Majdi Halabi."
In response, Rivlin said he understands Arad's pain, and that he plans to invite her for a meeting in his office.
He said he wishes to "bring the painful matter to the public agenda, along with our commitment to bring all missing IDF soldiers home, so that Shalit's fate does not come to resemble Ron's.
"Until recent years, Ron Arad was a symbol, but today, due to the circumstances, Shalit also symbolizes our collective concern for the wellbeing of the missing. The choice in this instance was between mentioning Shalit as a symbol for all of the IDF's missing soldiers, or not to mention the matter at all," the Knesset speaker said.