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Sarah Netanyahu 'Called Me and Cried,' Says Bereaved Dad

As media bashes Sarah Netanyahu, the father of a child who died of cancer speaks up for her.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/25/2014, 11:52 AM

Tom z"l with Netanyahus
Tom z"l with Netanyahus
GPO / Doron Svirsky
As the Israeli press continues to bash Binyamin Netanyahu by playing up unflattering depictions of his wife Sarah, a man whose son recently died of cancer felt the need to speak up for the first couple.

"My name is Doron Svirsky, and I am the father of Tom z”l, and I have two more children – a boy aged seven and a one year old girl,” he wrote on Facebook.

"These days, when everyone is slinging mud at the prime minister's household for the way it conducted itself vis-a-vis the household manager, I want to present  to you the nobility of character, the sensitivity and the caring nature that Binyamin and Sarah display.

"I would like to say that I usually do not vote for the right wing, but irrespective of my political views, I appreciate and respect the Netanyahus so much and I know that they do everything with sensitivity, wisdom and care – for any person, and certainly for the state.

"My son Tommy fell sick with cancer and passed away after ten months at the age of 4 and eight months.

"Today I am in the process of establishing an NGO that will be called the Tommy Foundation, which will provide financial assistance to families that have a child who is sick with a prolonged illness,” he added. “In the NGO's website, I featured a passage about the Netanyahus that I would like to share with you:

"We will not forget the prime minister, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, and his wife, Mrs. Sarah Netanyahu, who organized and participated in the event for cancer-stricken children with the Barcelona soccer club. Their care and empathy for the sick children around them left no room for cynicism. They are human, warm and charming. Tommy, who was the smallest participant, received a lot of warmth and love. They made sure to protect him; Mrs. Netanyahu made sure he would not be harmed by the ball or by the hubbub, and Mr. Netanyahu was careful to watch over him during the photo shoot, just as if he were a relative of his.

"The Netanyahus did not forget to follow Tommy's medical condition. When they learned that Tommy had died, Bibi called us before Tommy's funeral but of course, we could not talk. Afterward, he called us to the shiva and spoke to my wife, Naama. Then he sent us a letter of condolence.”

"I am especially incensed by the gossip-oriented reports about Mrs. Sarah Netanyahu, whose sensitivity and kindness were so touching. Sarah Netanyahu is the one who initiated the meeting and one could not avoid noticing that she was paying an emotional price.

After Tommy's death, Svirsky added, "Sarah called me on the phone and even cried, and told me that her father had also died of the same accursed disease – and that was just a short time earlier – and she mentioned moments from the event with Messi, and also did not forget to give me advice as a psychologist about my older son, for whom Tom was the entire world, and who now had to deal with his death. She really was amazing.

"I also remember that she said at the event that the greatest gift they could receive is for the children to get well, but that did not happen for everyone...”

Tom z"l in the arms of the prime minister. GPO / courtesy of Doron Svirsky