Israeli journalist and right-wing activist donates kidney, but only to Jews

Arnon Segal says when it comes to saving lives, he respects everyone, and that the recipient of the kidney can be secular, left-wing or from the LGBTQ+ community

Dr. Itay Gal|
Israeli journalist Arnon Segal underwent an operation on Monday at the Rabin Medical Center to donate his kidney, but he had one condition for the altruistic deed.
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"My only condition for me was that the kidney would go to a Jew," said Segal, 43. "It is my people and it is my community."
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ארנון סגל
ארנון סגל
Israeli journalist Arnon Segal ahead of his operation to donate a kidney
(Photo: Rabin Medical Center)
The National Transplant Center said in response to Segal's remarks: "From our perspective, saving lives is a supreme value regardless of the donor's religion, gender or any other characteristic. We manage the organ donation system and allocation of organs in Israel professionally and according to waiting lists. When it comes to living donors, the donor has the right to choose the recipient."
Dr. Tamar Ashkenazi, director of the National Transplant Center said that: "Our cross-matching database proves itself time and again, providing an opportunity for families who do not find a match among themselves for compatible pairs and undergo transplantation. Recently, a successful cross-match was performed between a couple from Dubai and an Israeli couple hospitalized at Hadassah Medical Center, and this week another international cross-match will take place, involving the Czech Republic and Austria."
Segal, a resident of Jerusalem and a father of eight, is a right-wing activist and a journalist who advocates for Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount. In the last elections he ran on the candidates' list for the Religious Zionist Party and secured the ninth position.
"I wanted to donate a kidney for a long time," he said before the surgery. "A few years ago, I filled out forms, but somehow it got delayed. In the past year, I saw an advertisement about a father in need of a kidney donation, so I decided to take action and initiated the process."
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השתלות צולבות סורוקה
השתלות צולבות סורוקה
Surgeons perform a kidney operation
(Photo: Soroka Medical Center)
It's not a simple process to donate part of your body, especially to a stranger. Weren't you afraid? "I personally wasn't afraid. My children had concerns, but I was confident and determined. Many people contribute to the country in various ways, whether it's through serving in the IDF or volunteering. I wasn't there, so I wanted to do a small good deed for society."
It's possible that the kidney will go to someone whose beliefs or lifestyle you don't agree with. Are you aware of that? "The only condition for me was that the kidney would go to a Jew. It's my people, and it's my community. My wife works as a nurse at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and takes care of everyone, both Jews and Arabs. But when it comes to a part of my body, I want to donate it to a Jew. I don't know who it will be. I respect everyone. We're all brothers, and even with disagreements, they remain within the family."
How would you react if it turns out that the recipient of the kidney is secular, left-wing or LGBTQ+? "My father wrote a book called 'Just Not a Civil War' about the near-fratricidal conflict during the War of Independence. A brother of my grandfather was killed due to the struggle within the Jewish community at that time. Our commitment is to be there for one another, despite all the differences, and it overrides any contentious issue. I don't compromise: I'm a journalist, dealing with the Temple Mount on a daily basis, and my opinions are known. But when it comes to saving lives, I respect everyone."
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