Congressman Chris Smith Pens Letters to Secretary of State, Israeli Ambassador in Regards to Aaron Sofer

congU.S. Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4), who personally attended the Lakewood press conference, penned the following letters on Wednesday to both Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as to the Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer in reference to missing Lakewood resident Aaron Sofer. The text of the letters are below.

 

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry,

In the five days since New Jersey yeshiva student Aharon Sofer disappeared in the Jerusalem Forest last Friday, Israeli police have found no sign of him despite what is described as a “massive search.”  His parents, who currently are in Israel, are very appreciative of the police resources that have been put to use in the search for Aharon, but they have become increasingly convinced that the police have exhausted their capacity to resolve this disappearance.

At this point, we certainly cannot be assured of what has happened to Aharon.  If injured and incapacitated, with each passing day it is less likely that he can survive any injury without maximum assistance.  Similarly given the competent search by the police and thousands of volunteers, it becomes increasingly conceivable that Aharon is not in the forest any longer – a point his parents are making.  The possibility that he may have been kidnapped exists, given the previous kidnappings of Jewish youth in Israel, which continues to be in conflict with Hamas.  That terrorist organization has constructed concrete tunnels into Israel, and despite an Israeli campaign to destroy those tunnels, Hamas brags that some remain in operation.

Therefore, I am writing to urge you not only to use all appropriate resources available to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and our consulate in Jerusalem to assist in the resolution of this case, but also to appeal to the Israeli government to utilize its intelligence and military resources in this effort as well.  Specifically, I am requesting that you instruct the U.S. Ambassador to Israel to recommend that Israel’s Prime Minister create a Task Force of the Israeli Defense Force, Israeli National Police, and the Israeli intelligence service, to coordinate on next steps for the search, if Aaron is not in the forest.  I am making a similar request to the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. in a separate letter.

Whatever has happened to Aharon, it is in the interest of the United States Government to find this American citizen especially given what has happened to other U.S. citizens in the Middle East in recent weeks. Your continued leadership and support in leaving “no stone unturned” is greatly appreciated and critical.  I thank you in advance for your further assistance and look forward to hearing from you or your designees in Washington and Israel on their expanded efforts in this regard.

Sincerely,

 

CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH

Member of Congress

 

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August 27, 2014

 

His Excellency Ron Dermer
Ambassador to the United States from the State of Israel
Embassy of the State of Israel
3514 International Drive NW
Washington, DC 20008

Your Excellency,

In the five days since New Jersey yeshiva student Aharon Sofer disappeared in the Jerusalem Forest last Friday, Israeli police have found no sign of him despite what is described as a “massive search.”  His parents, who currently are in Israel, are very appreciative of the police resources that have been put to use in the search for Aharon, but they have become increasingly convinced that the police have exhausted their capacity to resolve this disappearance.

At this point, we certainly cannot be assured of what has happened to Aharon.  If injured and incapacitated, with each passing day it is less likely that he can survive any injury without maximum assistance.  Similarly given the competent search by the police and thousands of volunteers, it becomes increasingly conceivable that Aharon is not in the forest any longer – a point his parents are making.  The possibility that he may have been kidnapped exists, given previous kidnappings of Jewish youth in Israel, which continues to be in conflict with Hamas.  Despite the Israeli campaign to destroy Hamas tunnels into Israel, Hamas brags that some remain in operation.

I am, therefore, writing to urge you to recommend that your Prime Minister consider creating a Task Force of the Israeli Defense Force, Israeli National Police, and the Israeli intelligence service, to coordinate on next steps for the search, if Aharon is not in the forest.  I am making a similar request to Secretary John Kerry in a separate letter.

Whatever has happened to Aharon, it is in the interest of both the Israeli Government and the United States Government to find this American citizen. The efforts of the Israeli police are truly appreciated, and more must be done. I thank you for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you or your government’s officials in Washington and Israel on expanded efforts in this regard.

Sincerely,

 

CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH

Member of Congress

[TLS]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Chris Smith is one of the few people in this country who both cares about his constituents and is in a position to do something about it. He actually uses the power of his position to help people time after time. We should make a call in/ email campaign to recognize this & thank him. And of course vote!

  2. The Congressman should be thanked for all his efforts. He has always been there to assist in our time of need. We are truly blessed to have such a caring representative in Washington!

Comments are closed.