The Missing Israeli Returns Home.
Missing? Was he lost? I'd never even heard his name before last night's late news report. No one I've asked has ever heard his name before. I googled his name in Hebrew and English, "Missing Israeli Gavriel Dwait".
The deafening response from Google was "Your Search for "Missing Israeli Gavriel Dwait" did not match any documents."
Had Google been a bit more honest, it would have added the following recommendation for a "better" search result.
Yet, no one has ever heard of Gavriel Dwait.
Beersheva resident Gavriel Dwait, a Jewish immigrant from Ethiopia, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on January 20, 2005. He was 27 at the time. His parents have been searching and waiting for 2 years and 7 months.
So why haven't we heard of him before? The Israeli police told the family, "eventually, he'll show up." The family hired buses to bring volunteers to look for him on Israel's Northern shores, but to no avail. His body must have washed upshore to Lebanon.
Truth be told, I doubt that anyone in Israel's government had any clue he was missing, and it was probably Hizbollah that surprised Israel with the offer. To make matters worse; this exchange has been in the planning for a few months now, yet no one bothered to even inform Gavriel's family.
You can be sure that the Goldwasser, Regev, Shalit and Arad families are updated all the time from the government on the status of their missing loved ones.
The dirty reason is wrapped up in one word.
Proteczia. noun. protection. essential for survival in Israel.
A family of new immigrants from Ethiopia living in Beersheva has little hope of knowing how to pressure the Israeli police, how to contact the media, or even how to find a Member of Knesset.
Had Gavriel's family been more connected, you can be sure we would have heard his name before...or at least Google would have found a reference to him.
Oh, and the fact that he was Ethiopian probably played a part as well.