Israeli Mountain Climber to Receive Medal of Honor

May 29, 2012  

Israeli mountain climber Nadav Ben Yehuda, who saved the life of a Turkish climber during an excursion on Mount Everest, will receive the Presidential Medal of Honor at an official ceremony in Jerusalem next month.

Ben Yehuda, who was only 300 meters away from reaching the peak of Everest before he noticed Aydin Irmak lying unconscious on the ground, abandoned his climb and risked his own life in order to save his fellow climber.

He reportedly did not regret being unable to complete his climb and to become the youngest Israeli to reach Everest’s peak, because he saw saving a life as more important.

“You never leave a friend in the field,” he said at the time.

The 24-year-old climber reportedly tried to convince authorities not to award him the medal as he does not believe his actions warranted such an esteemed award.  

Turkish-Israeli relations became increasingly hostile in May 2010 when Israeli naval commandos sought to prevent the Mavi Marmara flotilla from breaking Israel’s legal maritime blockade of Gaza.

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