ADL Honors Israeli Journalist for Heroic Actions in Gaza
Jerusalem, July 18, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today honored an Israeli journalist for his heroism in stepping in to save the life of a Palestinian teenager during a violent assault in the Gaza Strip. At a ceremony in Jerusalem, ADL presented its "Do The Right Thing Award" to Yedioth Achronoth correspondent Itzik Saban, citing his "heroism, integrity and humanity" in rendering aid to 18-year-old Palestinian Hilal Majidi during a violent attack that threatened his life.
Because Saban was reporting from Gaza the award was accepted in his stead by the head of Yedioth's Jerusalem Bureau Gad Lior.
On June 29, during clashes between anti-disengagement Israeli protestors and Palestinians in Gaza, a handful of extremist Israeli protestors began attacking Majidi. Israeli television broadcast images of the Israeli extremists throwing stones and pieces of iron at the bloodied youth as he lay helpless on the ground. Mr. Saban, who was covering the clashes on assignment at the time, ran behind a soldier and pulled the injured Palestinian to safety.
"Itzik Saban did not act because it was his job, nor did he act out of political conviction," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Itzik Saban acted because as a human being, he saw that it was his responsibility to save another human being. We salute Itzik for doing the right thing and saving the life of Hilal Majidi."
In his first-person account of the episode, Mr. Saban later recounted that as he witnessed the attack unfolding he could not stand by and do nothing while the injured youth was being beaten. "For the first time in my long journalistic career, I decided to stop being a journalist observing from the sidelines," he recalled in Yedioth. "Before my eyes lay the wounded Palestinian teenager. I realized that if I did not abandon the journalistic work and come to his rescue, he would bleed to death."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.