An Interview with Karnit Goldwasser
Ehud Goldwasser, a Technion graduate student, was kidnapped along with Eldad Regev on July 12, 2006. Since then there has been not one word about their condition or even of their survival. Karnit and the Goldwasser and Regev familes as well as the family of Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped in Gaza on June 25, 2006, have traveled the globe speaking to many groups and individuals on the soldiers’ behalf. Karnit recently met with American Technion Society
supporters and friends in Washington, D.C. and in New York, where she described her ordeal and shared ways for us to help.
Q. Tell us about your history with Udi. Where did you meet?
I have known Udi for nine years now. We were together in the Technion Mechina (pre-academic) program but we already knew each other by sight since our junior high school days in Nahariya.
Both of us got our first degree at the Technion in environmental engineering and we both are working on our master’s degree in environmental engineering.
Q. Tell us some things about Udi.
He likes mountain biking; photography; he just received his sailing license; we both are certified for scuba diving; loves nature and animals (they have two cats and a big dog); we traveled to the Far East together (Laos, Cambodia and Nepal).
Q. What is the latest information you have about Udi?
We have not received any word since Udi and Eldad Regev were kidnapped. We don’t have anything new since then. Israel assumed while they were kidnapped they were injured but we do not know if they are alive. In September/October, a letter was received from Gilad Schalit but nothing since then. Israel fulfilled its part of the UN Resolution 1701 and withdrew from Lebanon but Lebanon did not do its part and release the captive soldiers. All the families are working together to try to get some word from our loved ones.
Q. How many speaking engagements have you been on?
Q. Have you been able to resume your studies at the Technion, or are you taking a leave of absence? What is your area of study?
Yes, I am trying, but it is hard. I am working on my master’s degree in “watershed modeling,” in which we qualify and quantify the water coming out of the Kinneret watershed. No one has done this previously. (note: she works with Prof. Avi Ostfeld) I try to work as a teaching assistant but it is hard to meet this commitment while advocating for Udi at the same time.
Q. What is the hardest part of what you are going through?
Lack of basic communication rights is very difficult. It’s very tough getting things - anything - through. We’ve sent letters in bibles through the Red Cross, but they are still sitting in the Red Cross’ Lebanon offices. We sent bibles because they are religious people and we assumed they would do anything for them. These rights are in stark contrast to those afforded prisoners of Israel who regularly receive correspondence from their families and such. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah does hear our voices, though. He sends messages acknowledging them, so we know that our messages are getting through on some level. I am trying to meet with Lebanese women - mothers, wives, etc. - in an appeal for them to raise their voices to be heard by their government to help us.
Q. What can we do?
Don’t forget. Don’t stop raising your voice; keep awareness up with government, with leaders, with supporters. Help is needed from all over the world to demand their release. We need to stay in public eye. You can visit
Our website or
Free The Soldiers
for more information and ways to help.
Q. What is the Technion doing?
Coler Visitors’ Center is setting up a place so that visitors know right away what is going on with the kidnapped soldiers and efforts to bring them home. The Technion is supporting me very well. They know Udi is in the fight of his life. I know I have the strong support of the Technion behind me.
Q. If you could send one message to Udi, what would it be?
I would tell him how much I love him, and to be strong. And that we are preparing to have a big party when he comes back. Udi promised me he would never leave me alone. I’m just helping him keep his promise.
Reprinted with permission of the American Technion Society.
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