Noam Naor was just 3 years old when he fell from the fourth floor apartment of his parents’ home. He was rushed to Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv where doctors fought to save his life, but he had suffered irreversible brain damage and was subsequently declared to be clinically dead.
As is normal in such cases, the medical team approached his parents to obtain permission for his organs to be used in transplant surgery. After consulting their rabbi, they decided to give their consent.
“It was a difficult decision for us,” his mother Sarit is reported as having said, “but I am pleased that we went ahead with it.”
Since Noam was so young, his kidney could only be transplanted into a patient weighing less than 65 lbs. As it turned out, the most appropriate recipient was a Palestinian child named Samir, aged 10 from Bethlehem, who had been receiving treatment at Sha’arei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for the previous seven years.
When Noam’s parents were informed, they responded that it did not matter where the recipient came from or who he was. “I knew I was making the right decision,” said Sarit.
The transplant went well and Samir will shortly be released from Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikvah. His father Yakoub is reported as having said: “We went through many years of suffering with my son undergoing dialysis and his life being in danger. We are deeply grateful.”
As noted earlier, Samir is a child from Bethlehem, which is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Neverthless, he has received his medical care over many years in hospitals which are inside Israel itself.
The foreign media are quick to report on unrest in the Middle East and to comment on the security fence and barriers that cause hardship to Palestinians. However, little is told of the success stories and joint ventures between Israelis and Palestinians.
Alongside those who encourage boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and those who do everything in their power to delegitimize the Jewish State, there are others who seek to build bridges.
This article is based on a report that appeared today on Ynet, the internet edition of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot
great story of human compassion and I think of MLK who worked for justice and built bridges – the two are not exclusive
Sent from my iPad
This is a wonderful and important story. Reading it on “We Are for Israel” makes me wonder why we never receive such positive stories about Israel from groups like J Street and the New Israel Fund. It is proper to criticize Israel when she makes poor decisions and engages in questionable actions, but those who claim to criticize out of love should also be lauding Israel when her actions shine with the light of nobility and grace.
this would be a standard medical practice in any country that is not beset by racism. Once the decision is made to donate an organ, the donor’s family does not get to say anything about the recipient. The fact that this ordinary event is considered a wonderful story tells us about the endemic racism in the country. That’s from someone who lived there many years and served in the army.
You are, of course, right, David. But in a world where many delegitimize Israel and call it an “apartheid state”, it is important to show people that such a simplistic and dishonest depiction of the situation is far from the truth.
Of course, the Israeli control of the West Bank presents many ethical problems, but these can only be resolved in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Unfortunately, as you know, Abbas has yet to agree to meet with Netanyahu.
Given the political reality on the ground, I would hope that you would agree that this is nevertheless an encouraging story.
Does anyone think that a Jewish child would get similar treatment in an Arab hospital or in an Arab country? Sad to say, but I really do not think so, and it is those differences which make this such a compelling story.
to Ravkarp, I could not have said it any better.