Pain and Political Outreach

There’s been a simmering debate over whether or not it is appropriate to accept aid from rival powers in times of hardship. The debate was pretty fierce in some quarters after 9/11, came up again after the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Pakistan.

My view is that recognizing the pain of others and donating, or from the other side, acknowledging one’s own fragility and vulnerability and accepting aid, isn’t a sign of weakness, but of strength and courage.
(Yeah, yeah… sounds ‘touchy-feely’, right? Check out what Machiavelli (hardly a soft touch) says about extending a hand to a rival caught in the river.)
Gestures that might not mean much in the grand scheme of things can have immense symbolic value and snowball into something that provides momentum to move in a positve direction.

Here’s a great example. A minute gesture in the grand scheme of things, but a tremendous gift for the particular individuals involved.

Any thoughts on the morality of this individual man’s act? As the action of an individual, it is different than the act of a state, but the principle is the same. Thoughts on the potential political impact (and this guy is clearly aware of the political dimensions) of such an act?

Israelis receive organs from Palestinian boy shot by troops

[quote]The father of a Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers has donated his son’s organs to Israelis waiting for transplants.

Ismail Khatib said the spirit of his 12-year-old son Ahmed is now alive in every Israeli and that he’s proud of his decision.

He said he understands some Palestinians may be angered by the move.

“No one can tell me what to do,” Khatib told the Associated Press. “I feel very good that my son’s organs are helping six Israelis … I feel that my son has entered the heart of every Israeli.”

Ahmed was shot during a raid in Jenin. Israeli troops said he was carrying a toy rifle and they mistook him for a militant.

He died of his wounds late Saturday at an Israeli hospital.

His kidneys, liver, lungs and heart were transplanted to recipients, ranging in age from a seven-month-old baby to a 58-year-old woman. Those who received organs included Jews, Arabs and a Druze girl.

Khatib said his decision was made in part by experiences with his brother, who died at the age of 24 while waiting for a liver transplant. He said it’s his family’s desire to help others regardless of their nationality.

“We’re talking about young children. Their religion doesn’t make a difference,” he said.

Israel has a chronic shortage of donor organs. Medical officials attribute it to Jewish religious taboos against such donations.

Khatib said he received a call from Israel’s acting finance minister, Ehud Olmer, who apologized for the boy’s death and invited him to Jerusalem. Khatib said he had not decided whether to accept the offer. [/quote]

It’s just giving the Israelis an incentive to kill more Palestinians. Sort of like China’s death-penalty organ donors.

Not to rain on your parade, but didn’t the family also get paid 10k for being nice?

Jdsmith, the 10k came to the family, unasked, after the fact and didn’t play a role in their decision.

[quote=“YNetNews”]Chairman of the ADI foundation for the promotion of transplants and organ donation in Israel, Gad Ben-Dror informed Ahmed’s parents that Adi intends to grant them NIS 10,000 for their “exceptional deed.”

Grants for donors

[b]Israel currently has no law that regulates the issue of granting money to organ donors, although a bill on the matter has been in discussion for over a year.

Members of ADI have been working to advance the bill’s approval. For the time being, the group funds grants to donors’ families.[/b]

“Because of the complexity of the situation, we decided to contribute money to the Khatib family, although they did not carry our donor card. The whole of society benefits from organ donations, and we have a moral obligation to express significant gratitude, which can also take the shape of a financial contribution,” Ben-Dror said.

Ben-Dror said he spoke with Ahmed’s uncle, Mustafa Makhamid Sunday afternoon, to inform him of the grant.

“I thanked the family for their donation, and he said they did not do it for the money. I told him it was obvious, because they did not know of the contribution beforehand,” he concluded.[/quote]

MaPoSquid, online, I’ve learned not to expect any other sort of response, though I still hope to see one. An incentive to kill more Palestinians? Maybe. And I don’t know anything about the source cited below, but it is reflective of what I’ve seen elsewhere in the past. Does it sound like there’s an incentive to continue acting in this manner?

[quote=“Palestinian Report”] Who will protect the children of "Aida Refugee Camp?

“The organ donation bothers the Israelis,” says Khaled, a family friend. “They kill the boy and the father turns around, before the entire world, and donates his son’s organs to people who could possibly be Jewish. It is embarrassing to the Israelis.” Perhaps it is the embarrassment which prompted the Israeli Minister of Health and the Minister of Defense to call Ali’s father to extend their condolences. “Mohammed spoke to them briefly, saying he was in no shape to talk, and hung up,” says Ahmed Jawariesh. “In one phone call, he was asked to go meet with some high-level military person on November 17, who wanted to apologize to him. When Mohammed refused, they tried to urge him by saying that they had a gift for him but we have no idea what they meant by that.”

The donation of Ali’s organs was the talk of the week in Bethlehem. Some people considered the father’s decision courageous, others thought it was against the teachings of Islamic religion, but all followed the news to learn the identity of the organ recipients who, as it turned out, were all Israeli Arabs.[/quote]
So again, how about the issue of whether or not such acts are politically significant, and what positive impact they may have.

If more people were as generous, wise and forward thinking as this man there would be less violence in the world, that is for sure.