Scottish Terror Victim's Family Is Happy That Kidney Went to Arab Girl

The family of 19-year-old Scottish terror victim Yoni Jesner is "happy and delighted" that one of his kidneys went to a 7-year-old Arab girl, Ari Jesner, Yoni's eldest brother, said yesterday.

"The principle of saving a life is one of the greatest values of Judaism and one of the greatest values on which the state of Israel is based," Jesner told a news conference in Jerusalem. "The fact that in this instance it was an Arab girl from East Jerusalem is of no consequence ... race, religion, culture, creed is not what's important here."

Jesner added the family's duty extended only to deciding to donate the organs and it had no role in deciding who receives them. Yoni's second kidney and pancreas went to a 33-year-old diabetic man, his liver went to a 54-year-old man, and both his corneas were also donated. About 1,000 Israelis are waiting for organ transplants.

The decision also reflected the life plan that Thursday's suicide bus bombing in Tel Aviv prevented Yoni Jesner from fulfilling. Jesner was spending a second year of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion before studying medicine in London next year and then planning to practice as a doctor in Israel. "Arab and Jewish doctors work side by side, and nobody chooses the patients they take care of," said Ari Jesner, 26, a London lawyer who last saw Yoni at Ari's wedding in July.

Yoni's love for Israel was the reason his family decided to bury him here, and his grave "now ties us all the more to Israel." He expressed the hope that his whole family - his mother, who lives in Glasgow, one brother and two sisters - will eventually live here, as his father already does.

The family is not sitting shiva since Yoni's funeral was Sukkot eve and the biblical holidays cancel the traditional seven-day mourning period. They are trying to cope with their bereavement by "sticking together and spending time together," Jesner said.