The parents of a Jewish boy who was declared brain dead after falling from a fourth floor window have donated his kidney to a 10-year-old Palestinian boy thus saving his life.
Three-year-old Noam Naor fell from the fourth floor of his parents’ apartment building and was rushed at critical condition to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. His injuries were so extensive they had caused him irreparable brain damage forcing doctors to declare him brain dead.
After consulting the matter with rabbis, Noam’s parents, both religious, decided to donate their son’s kidneys.
Given Noam’s young age there was no choice but to donate the kidney to a child as the organ could not be transplanted in anyone weighing over 30 kilograms.
A tissue test run through the national waiting list found only one match – a 10-year-old Palestinian boy.
Yakoub Ibhisad had been treated at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for the past seven years for kidney failure. None of his family members were a match.
The transplant center asked Noam’s parents’ permission to give the kidney to a non-Israeli, and was given their consent.
“I thought about Shimon Peres’ efforts for peace with our neighbors and realized I was making the right decision,” Noam’s mother Sarit said.
“Knowing I saved a life gives me great comfort and the power to go on,” she added. “It was not an easy choice, but I today I am happy I made it. It doesn’t matter that it’s a Palestinian boy, I wish it would bring us peace.”
Having been made aware of the mother’s wish to speak to President Peres, the transplant center arranged a call between with the president who conveyed his condolences and expressed his support for the family’s decision.
“It’s one of the most moving contributions to peace,” Peres told the mother. “It shatters all prejudices.”
The transplant was performed at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, where Yakoub is still hospitalized. He is scheduled to be discharged soon.
Samir Ibhisad, Yakoub’s father said, “I haven’t the words to thank the family that saved my son’s life. We’ve been through many years of suffering when my son was on dialysis and his life was in danger.
“We are grateful for the donation and hope that God willing the couple will be blessed enough to have another child.”
Health Minister Yael German said, “Noam’s parents are noble and inspiring people. Their donation is a source of pride and an example of humanity and kindness. ”
An article by a journalist who immigrated to Israel was recently published on a website dealing with Middle East news. It caught the eye of Queen Noor of Jordan, widow of King Hussein, and ended up quoted on her Twitter feed.
In “The most dangerous myths about women and war,” writer Leigh Cuen claims that there cannot be peace without involvement of women in the process of mediation and leadership. The full article was published in several languages, including Hebrew.
Cuen told Ynet that the article was the result of years of research and writing on conflict. She said that women must be involved in conflict resolution processes in order to reach viable solutions, and this is now a common theme in the academic world.
According to Cuen, this is “good news for anyone who cares about ending disputes, regardless of the connection to feminism.” According to Cuen, the formula to increase the chances of success is clear, “To involve women in addition to men, to support mothers in leadership roles, and not to ignore violence against women.”
She said the queen’s tweet was flattering and she was happy it raised the subject and exposed the issue to audiences that may not have read the work of an Israeli or a Jew under other circumstances.
On the other hand, Cuen said that she was also called a “Nazi” on Twitter and suffered abuse from strangers, so she takes things in perspective. “You cannot take Twitter too seriously.”
*The views expressed in this video do not represent SDM
President Shimon Peres has no intention of continuing on to an additional term. Although rumors are spreading, Peres has indicated that he will be satisfied with the seven years the law has granted him as president. “I received seven years, and I think that is fair,” he said in a special interview to Ynet ahead of Israel’s 65th Independence Day.
“I think that the president should be switched, and I have no intention of asking to stay. I think that it is hard to show restraint for so many years, and moreover, everyone knows my opinion. I want to run forward, to return to the new world.”
Such is our president: Even prior to his 90th birthday, which he will celebrate in splendor and grandeur, he has no intention of retiring. He still dreams of peace with the Palestinians, of good relations with the entire Arab world, and is pushing the world and Israeli science in the direction of brain research.
A conversation cannot be conducted with the president without the issue of brain research being mentioned at least five times. The buzz in Washington is that US President Barack Obama decided to allocate millions to brain research in the United States after hearing what Peres had to say on the subject.
With all due respect to the brain, we told Peres that the main problem is peace with the Palestinians. “I think there are no two ways about it, and there will be peace,” said the president. “No on can live in the current intermediate situation. But look what is happening: There is no intifada in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas is losing public support.
“You ask yourselves when peace will come. I do not know. I have a handless clock. It doesn’t matter what time it is, because tomorrow morning you can wake up and see a new reality. No one has any idea, but I do think that by the country’s 70-year celebrations, there will be peace. I want to hope. It is not just optimism,” he told Ynet.
Peres believes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is considered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a refuser of peace, is actually capable of signing a peace agreement with Israel. According to Peres, “we have already arrived at a line of unprecedented agreements with Abu Mazen (Abbas). His situation has improved because for the first time he has someone to lean on – he has his security-related power, and that is important since political support in the Arab countries comes from the military.”
The president added: “I don’t believe that the Jordanian army and the Palestinian security forces will agree that Hamas will come and take control over them. Therefore, an anti-Hamas force has been created and I believe that Abu Mazen (Abbas) is strong enough to make serious decisions. He understands that he must decide between terror and peace – there is nothing else. He chose peace and he demonstrated courage…and there is an agreement on how to end the conflict – two states for two nations.”
Peres refrains from publicly criticizing Netanyahu . He only broke this rule once, when he truly feared that Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Ehud Barak would lead Israel to a military adventure in Iran.
An Israeli team of 17 minor hockey players, aged 10 to 14, was in Winnipeg last week and, despite their religious differences, their only opposition was the team at the other end of the rink.
“It is very exciting,” said Itamar Melzar, 10, from Metula, Israel, with the help of a translator. “There are so many opportunities for hockey here.”
They are students of the Canada Israel Hockey School based in the northern Israeli city of Metula and, on Sunday, they faced off against the Corydon Comets Pewee A3 team.
The team consists of 12 Jewish and five Muslim children from the Galilee region, said Shelley Faintuch, community relations director for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
“These kids wouldn’t have an opportunity otherwise to play hockey together. They don’t all live in the same town,” she said. “The Muslim kids actually travel over two hours by car to get to the ice rink in Metula twice a month. It is an entire outing and it mobilizes the entire family.”
Mike Mazeika, a Canadian, has been living and teaching hockey at the Metula school for 13 months.
“It is so rewarding,” said Mazeika. “I’m actually getting emotional… some of these kids could barely skate five days ago and today they played so well.”
DJ Schneeweiss, the Israeli consul general, flew in from Toronto to watch the students take on the local team on Sunday. He said bringing the students to Canada can educate Canadians about the culture of Israel that is often misinterpreted.
“It brings a young face of Israel into Canada and very completely human face,” said Schneeweiss.
Schneeweiss said with conflict in the Middle East, playing hockey in Metula can be a healthy distraction.
“When you go into an area like that, it’s all self-contained. It’s sort of its own world. And I think that’s probably a good thing; it allows them to sort of shut out what may be going on outside.”
While in Winnipeg, the students played and practised their hockey skills for 90 minutes each morning. In the evenings, they participated in different Canadian activities such as bowling, curling and sledding before returning to their billet families.
Marla Vittera hosted the two youngest visitors, Amit Vinegrad, 11, and Itamar.
“It’s been exhausting but very rewarding,” said Vittera. “They have been doing so many things but they are enjoying themselves.”
Vittera said they enjoy the basic Canadian food.
“I took the time and made a great spaghetti dinner and no response,” said Vittera.
“I made chicken fingers and fries the next night and I’m a hero.”
Itamar’s favourite Canadian food on his visit has been pizza. While in Winnipeg, not only has his appetite improved, Itamar said his hockey skills have improved, too.
“They taught me a few new things that I didn’t know before,” said Itamar through his translator. “There a lot more opportunities here, so I feel that I am better.”
Itamar’s team is called the Macabi Young Metula.
By the end of the first period they were down 1-0 to the Comets. By the end of the second, it was 2-2. But in the third period, the Israeli team succumbed to the Comets 5-2.
It didn’t matter to the fans though. The cheers were loud for every save and every goal.