'An Arab breathing with the lungs of a Jew'

President Reuven Rivlin hosts event for organ donors and praises them for bringing the country together.

Tzvi Lev,

President Rivlin with organ donors
President Rivlin with organ donors

President Reuven Rivlin hosted an event honoring organ donors and expressed praised the Adi organ donation organization. The event was attended by those who had donated organs over the last year and a slew of notables from the medical field, including Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov and the head of the National Transplant Center.

In his speech, Rivlin praised organ donors as part of "an Israel that supports each other. You have come here today from all over the country: secular and religious, Jews and Arabs, left-wing and right-wing, rich and poor," Rivlin told the assembled guests. "You have all chosen to donate life, to donate organs knowing that they will be transplanted to those who need them, regardless of religion, race, or sex."

"We have a Jew with an Arab heart beating in his chest, an Arab breathing with the lungs of a settler, and a haredi Jew who gave a kidney to a secular kibbutznik from the Hashomer Hatzair movement. This is the Israel which is united, which is close together, comforting and supporting [each other]. This is an Israel that supports each other with a sense of joint destiny," said Rivlin.

"In recent years the Israeli public has changed their attitude towards organ transplants," the President continued, stressing the high importance he holds in signing an Adi organ donation card. "I have an Adi card, I signed it a long time ago, I carry it in my pocket and I am proud of it. I call on all Israeli citizens to get one as well and save lives."

While well respected across Israel, Adi was the focus of controversy this past summer after the media reported that an application had been filed on behalf of Saeb Erekat, a senior PA official, for a lung transplant in Israel.

In response, over 50 soldiers and officers who fought in Operation Defensive Shield and who hold organ donor cards petitioned the Health Ministry and the National Transplant Center to immediately remove Saeb Erekat from the list of transplants in Israel, due to the fact that Erekat has repeatedly slandered IDF soldiers, called for the boycott of the State of Israel, campaigned for sanctions against it, and led the BDS movement to isolate and harm the State of Israel.

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