260 families, around 1,600 people altogether, live in the community of Yitzhar in Samaria, and before we tell you why they deserve to be included in the Guinness Book of World records as the most charitable people on the planet, I should tell you that these people have been described as radical settlers, deadly stone throwers, violent protesters, and, as the New York Times once put it: “…an extremist bastion on the hilltops commanding the […] Palestinian city of Nablus [where] a local war is already being waged.”
Their community was dubbed by their Arab neighbors Jable el Majnun, Mount Crazy.
Have you heard of Price Tag, the campaign to exact revenge from Arab terrorists? Israel’s clandestine police, the Shin Bet, reported this campaign was initiated by some 100 extremist youth, mostly from Yitzhar.
The residents of Yitzhar have sued the IDF magazine Bamachaneh and won an apology in an out of court settlement, with the court’s urging, for distortions, lies, and generalized, baseless slander, intended to damage the settlement’s reputation. And the Israel police lost a 50,000 shekel libel suit to four Yitzhar plaintiffs.
It so happens that Yitzhar has also been home to the largest number of people who have donated their kidneys.
Over the past five years, ten Yitzhar residents donated their kidneys, and they did it to save perfect strangers.
A local couple, parents to 10 children, donated one kidney each in the same week.
In comparison, in 2015, in all of Israel, 174 kidneys were donated from the living, when the waiting list for kidneys stood at 843 patients.
Do the math: roughly 0.625 percent of the residents of Yitzhar have donated a kidney. If a similar percentage of the population of Tel Aviv alone – about 436 thousand – had followed their example, the yield would reach thousands of kidneys, enough to heal all the kidney patients in Europe and then some.
As to the Guinness Book of World records for charity, we looked it up: they acknowledge largest money donations, most hair donated in 24 hours, even most crayons donated in 8 hours, but so far, no record of kidney donations in a single community.