Thursday, July 09, 2009

PBS Wide Angle: "Heart of Jenin": organ transplation crosses over the Israel-Palestinian conflict

PBS “Wide Angle” aired a 45 minute film July 9 “Heart of Jenin”. The organs of a Palestinian boy “Ahmed” killed by Israeli soldiers (who mistook a toy gun) are donated to save the lives of several Israeli children. Even the heart is transplanted, and the boy had said he would use his mind rather than emotions on this issue. The link for the episode is here.

There are checkpoint issues, and eventually the Palestinian father visits the Israeli family benefiting from the donation.

After the film, there is a discussion of why the two sides are so far apart. Palestinians believe their property and lives are expropriated, and Israel believes it needs the buffer to guarantee its security and that its claim on the land goes back to ancient times. Religious claims enter the “debate.” Israel’s government is said to be so unstable that it cannot approach peace “rationally.”

It’s interesting to me how openness to participate (posthumously or sometimes while alive) in organ transplantation is coming to be seen as part of “living in a community”. It may transcend conflict.

Picture: Shrine Mont (Episcopal) at Orkney Springs, VA

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