Parents of 12-Year-Old Israeli Boy Found in Thai Monastery Respond to Criticism
by Zach Pontz
The parent’s of a 12-year-old Israeli boy thrust into the media spotlight after it was discovered he was living with Buddhist monks in Thailand responded Thursday to the criticism that has been leveled at them.
“In the end, the truth will be brought to light. This whole story is going to shrink like an inflated balloon,” the boy’s father said in an interview with Israel Hayom.
The story was initially reported in the Israeli press earlier this week when several tourists came upon the boy at a Thai monastery. He immediately began speaking Hebrew with them and explained his story. According to the boy, his parents sent him to live with the monks after Israeli doctors were unable to treat his blood cancer, which he was diagnosed with at the age of three, with the hope that the monastery could provide a healing environment. Reports in the media framed the decision by the boy’s parents in terms of them having become disenfranchised with their son’s medical treatment. But in the interview with Israel Hayom the boy’s parents rejected those claims.
“We appreciate and value what physicians treating our son have done. We think highly of their work,” the child’s parents said on Thursday.
The boy’s father added: “We know that they [Israeli doctors] are working with dedication, day and night. Everything we said until now against the [Israeli] medical system or medical approach was taken out of context in the press. Despite the ignorance and general lack of knowledge of certain people, I don’t harbor anger or resentment.”
The Welfare and Social Services Ministry expressed concern when the story surfaced, and told Israel Hayom that it continues to monitor the child’s condition.
“We are continuing to talk with the child’s parents about finding a suitable solution,” a senior official and family care specialist in the Welfare Ministry said. “At this point, his parents remain steadfast in their decision, which basically means the child is going to stay at the Thai monastery. Still, we are checking together with them whether at least one parent can stay with him regularly at the monastery, or whether we can bring the child back to Israel to continue medical treatment for his illness in an Israeli hospital. It’s their decision.”