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Magda Hassan
08-19-2009, 04:10 AM
Israeli troops 'kidnap' Palestinians for organs
Tue, 18 Aug 2009 18:29:24 GMT

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A leading Swedish newspaper claims Israeli soldiers kidnap Palestinians to steal their organs and sell them in the black market.

In an article titled They plunder the organs of our sons, the daily Aftonbladet said Israeli soldiers abduct young Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and return their bodies to their families after removing their organs.

"Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors," relatives of Khalid a Palestinian man from Nablus told Donald Bostrom who authored the report.

He also reported the accounts of other Palestinians whose relatives are fallen the victim of the organ smuggling operation.

According to the report, all of the victims were killed and their bodies were autopsied.

The report also cited another similar incident in 1992, in which a young Palestinian activist was captured by Israeli soldiers in the Nablus area. The man was shot in the chest, both legs and the stomach and then transferred to "an unknown distention."

The man's body was found five nights later. "When Bilal was put into his grave, his chest was revealed and suddenly it became clear to the present what abuse he had been put through. Bilal was far from the only one who was buried cut-up from his stomach to his chin and the speculations about the reason why had already started," read the article.

The article also links the issue to a recently discovered crime syndicate in New Jersey, which was involved in organ smuggling. Several American rabbis were arrested in connection to the case.

Mark Stapleton
08-19-2009, 05:42 AM
My God. Comes a time when you discover so much unpleasantness about a country that you think there can't be any more. And then there's more. I knew hardly a thing about Israel before I became interested in the JFK assassination 20 or so years ago.


It looks like it's true. Blogger John E thinks so:


http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090724122833AAQbLmT


In addition to the New Jersey bust a few weeks ago, there was another case in Brazil in 1992 where organs were being shipped to Israel. I don't know if a site called Shia Chat can be regarded as impartial, but this article paints a very ugly picture:


http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234967324


Apparently the rabbanical trade in organs was carried out with the full support of the FBI.


No wonder so many wealthy, ageing criminals from Eastern Europe and the US move to Israel.

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2009, 08:41 AM
Sick, Sick, Sick!.....wherever it happens and while I don't mean to lessen in any way this story, if it is so, remember it has also been going on in the Former Yugoslavia, USA [Allister Cook was a famous victim post mortum] and many other places. There is even a living form - where people have a kidney or such removed without their permission when in hospitals in India and other countries for operations that are unrelated.... As organs bring more than drugs for size and weight, they are the new target of different corrupt groups - all over. However, after what Israelis and Jews went through during the Holocaust, it is almost beyond belief. Maybe the species name should be changed to Homo horribilus

Magda Hassan
08-19-2009, 09:50 AM
Link to original Swedish article referred to above and and Google translation below.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab
"Our sons plundered for their organs'

Palestinians accuse the Israeli army to steal body parts from his victims.
It tells Donald Boström of the international transplant scandal - and how he himself became a witness to the assault on a 19-year-old boy.

I am what you might call a "match maker," said Levy Izhak Rosenbaum from Brooklyn, USA, in a secret recording with an FBI agent he thought was a customer. Ten days later, at the end of July this year Rosenbaum was arrested in connection with a large tangle of corruption uncovered in New Jersey: rabbis, elected and trusted officials had for years engaged in money laundering and illegal organ, which was now rolling up like a Soprano network. Rosenbaums matchmaking was allltså not about romance but about buying and selling kidneys from Israel on the black market. According to its own statement, he buys bodies from the needy people in Israel for 10 $ 000 and sell them to desperate patients in the U.S. for 160 $ 000. The legal waiting time for kidneys is an average of nine years.

The accusations have shaken the American transplant industry. If this is true, it is the first time organ trafficking documented in the U.S., said experts in the magazine New Jersey Real-Time News.

Asked how many bodies he has sold Rosenbaum responds: Quite a lot. Many. And I have never failed, he brags on. His business has been going on for a very long time.

Francis Delmonici, Harvard Professor of Transplantation Surgery, and a board member of the National Kidney Foundation's Board of Directors, said in the same newspaper that similar organ trafficking in Israel is also under way elsewhere in the world. Roughly, it is 10 percent of the 63 000 kidney transplant in the world made illegal, says Delmonici.

Hot countries for this illegal activity is Pakistan, the Philippines and China, where it is believed that organs taken from executed prisoners. But the strong suspicion is also among Palestinians that their young men were caught in, and as in China and Pakistan involuntary act had body spare before they were killed. A very serious suspicion that has enough questions to ICJ, International Court of Justice, should definitely open an investigation into whether it is about Israeli war crimes.

Israel recurrent ended up in blowing weather for their unethical way of dealing with organs and transplantation. Countries including France, cut off the body cooperation with Israel as early as the nineties, and the Jerusalem Post wrote "to other countries in Europe expected to follow France's example soon."

Half of the new kidneys that Israelis had implanted since the early 2000's have been purchased illegally from Turkey, Eastern Europe or Latin America. Israeli health authorities have full knowledge of the business, but do nothing to stop it. 2003 revealed at a conference that Israel is the only Western country whose medical profession does not condemn the illegal organ trade or take any legal action against the doctors involved in the criminal process. On the contrary, the chief doctor at the major hospitals involved in most illegal transplantations, according to Dagens Nyheter (December 5, 2003).

In an attempt to overcome organ shortage in the country was Israel's then health minister, Ehud Olmert, in a major campaign in summer 1992 to get the Israeli population to set up as organ donors. Half a million pamphlets were distributed in local newspapers where citizens were invited to write in to donate their organs after their death. Ehud Olmert was the first to write on.

Already a couple of weeks after the Jerusalem Post wrote that the campaign has given a successful outcome. No less is 35 000 people had written on, usually it is 500 a month. In the same article the journalist wrote Judy Siegel that the gap between supply and demand was still high. Sex for kidney transplants was 500 people, but only 124 people could undergo surgery. Of the 45 persons in need of a new liver had only three people the opportunity to undergo surgery in Israel.

While this body campaign lasted disappeared young Palestinian men who came back at night to their villages five days later, dead and uppsprättade.

Talk about the uppsprättade cells terrified population in the West Bank and Gaza. There was talk of a dramatic increase in young men who disappeared with subsequent nocturnal funerals of autopsy young men.

I was in the area and worked on a book when I several times was contacted by UN staff who were concerned about the development. Those who contacted me felt that body theft actually took place, but that they were unable to act. On behalf of a television company, I then went around and spoke to a large number of Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza, which meant that their sons become bestulna the bodies before they were killed. One of the examples I saw of this eerie trip was the young stone's Bilal Achmed GHANAIAN.

The clock was approaching midnight when the engine sounds from the Israeli miltärkolonnen was heard on the outskirts of the village Imatin in the northern West Bank. The village's two thousand inhabitants remained a man wake up and stood as silent shadows in the dark. Some were on rooftops, others were behind their curtains, houses or trees, which gave protection in the dark during utegångsförbudet but still offered a clear view of what would become a graveyard for the village's first martyr. The military had broken all the electricity around the village and the area was off military area - not a cat could move outdoors without risking lives. Mörkrets deafening silence was broken only by quiet sob and I can not remember if it was the cold or excitement we Hutt total. Five days earlier, May 13, 1992, was an Israeli special force put themselves in ambush in the village craftsmen. The person that special forces had been instructed to destroy the 19-year-old Bilal Achmed GHANAIAN, one of the active Palestinian stone-throwing young people who made life difficult for the Israeli occupying power.

GHANAIAN Bilal was one of the leading stone are called for since a couple of years. This meant that he along with other wanted stone throw guys lived under the sky up in Nablusbergen. To be captured meant death, and all the previous stories about the torture did not improve matters. Thus did they in the mountains. But for some reason took Bilal down from the mountains one day and wandered unchecked through the village past the carpenter house this unfortunate day in mid-May. Why he came down just this day could not even Talal, his older brother to answer, perhaps it was the food end and stores needed refilled.

Everything went according to plan for the Israeli special forces. The cigarette butt, who relinquished the Coca-Cola cans and sieved calmly through the broken window. When Bilal was sufficiently close, only to pull the trigger. The first shot hit in the chest. According to villagers who witnessed the incident, he was then with a shot in each leg. Then ran two soldiers from snickeriet and shot him once again in the stomach. Finally, they took Bilal in the feet and dragged him up the 20 steps snickeriets stone staircase. Villagers tell then that people from both the UN and Red Crescent who were nearby and heard the shots unloading had gone to the spot to take care of the injured. The argument about who would take care of the victim ended up on the Israeli force loaded in the severely injured Bilal in a jeep and drove off to the village's outskirts. It foresaw a militärhelikopter proposed off Bilal towards his relatives unknown destination.

Five days later he came back in the dark, dead and wrapped in green hospital fabrics. When military column as downloaded from Bilal Abu Kabir autopsy center outside Tel Aviv stop at the place of final rest Bilal knew someone again the Israeli military leader of Group Captain Yahya. "The most difficult of them all" the person whispered in the darkness in my ear. When Captain Yahya men loaded the body and changed the green fabric with a light cotton fabric, was chosen a few male relatives to perform the job - to dig soil and mix cement.

Together with the sharp sounds of shovels were heard occasional laughter from the soldiers that until they have to go home came a few jokes to each other. When Bilal spent in the tomb uncovered in his chest and suddenly it became clear to the few currently the abuse he suffered. Bilal was far from the first buried uppskuren from the abdomen up to the chin and speculation about the intention had been taken off.

The affected Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza was sure what happened to their sons. Our sons are used as forced organ donors, said relatives of Khaled from Nablus to me, as the mother of Raed from Jenin and uncles to Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, all of which were missing a number of days and come back at night, kill and dissect.

- Why did they keep the bodies of up to five days before we can bury them? What happened to the bodies in the meantime? And why is the autopsy when the cause of death is obvious, and in all cases against our will? And why will the bodies back at night? And why the military card? And why are closed areas of the funeral? And why break the electricity? The questions were many and outraged by Nafes uncle.

The families of the killed Palestinian men had no longer any question about it.

The spokesman for the Israeli army said contrary to allegations of organ theft were fabrications by the Palestinians. All Palestinians who were killed are routinely subject to autopsy, he said.

Bilal Achmed Ghanem was one of 133 Palestinians killed in various ways that year. According to Palestinian statistics were dödorsakerna following: shot in the street, explosions, beatings, tear gas, deliberately hit, hung in the jail, shot in the school, killed at home, etc.. Of the 133 killed persons aged four months to 88 years was the 69 pieces of autopsy, ie only half of the dead. The routine autopsy of killed Palestinians, the army spokesman told is not true in reality in the Occupied Territories. Questions remain.

We know that the need for organs in Israel is large, that an extensive illegal organ is ongoing, that there has been a long time, that it is done with the blessing of the authorities, the senior doctor at the major hospitals involved, as well as officials at various levels. And we know that the Palestinian young men disappeared, they were back five days later in secrecy at night, uppsprättade and sewn.

Time to shed light on this macabre activity on what is going on and what has passed in the Israeli occupied territories since the intifada started.

Ed Jewett
08-20-2009, 06:10 AM
North Jersey: epicenter of 'Kosher Nostra' and Mossad activity
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Jul 30, 2009, 00:22

The recent rolling up of a Syrian Jewish criminal syndicate that was involved in buying off local elected and appointed government officials in north Jersey is but one in a long series of law enforcement operations directed, sometimes unsuccessfully due to the immense power of the Israel Lobby in the United States, against Jewish criminal networks in the New Jersey-New York region. These criminal networks also have one important thing in common: close connections to Israeli politicians and businessmen.
The FBI used a confidential witness to identify a number of Syrian Jewish rabbis who were using synagogues and yeshivas as money laundering fronts reportedly for the illegal sale of knock-off designer handbags and even human organs. The witness, Solomon Dwek, is a major real estate developer and gambling boat owner who was arrested in 2006 for trying to pass a bad check and defraud PNC Bank of $25 million. Dwek is a member of the powerful Syrian Jewish clan in New Jersey and New York, which has been called the SY Empire” and the “Dwek clan.”


Dwek’s father, Isaac Dwek, is a rabbi of a synagogue and yeshiva school in the Syrian Jewish enclave of Deal, New Jersey, on the Jersey shore. Deal is a nexus for the radical Israeli right that is opposed to any peace agreement with the Palestinians and the ultra-orthodox Israeli Shas Party, a member of the current Israeli coalition government, has held fundraisers in Deal. The Syrian Jewish community is also heavily involved in worldwide Chabad Houses, which WMR has previously linked to drug smuggling and money laundering, particularly in Mumbai, Bangkok, and other Asian cities. In 1992, the Syrian government lifted travel restrictions and limits on the disposition of property for the Syrian Jewish community. Syrian Jews were relatively free to travel, including to the United States.


Among the rabbis arrested was Saul Kassin, the 87-year-old chief rabbi of the 80,000-member Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Rabbis from Brooklyn and Deal were also arrested for money laundering operations that used the tax-exempt status of Jewish religious organizations to avoid detection and reporting to the government.


The mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus, and Ridgefield were also arrested as part of the bribery probe of the Syrian Jewish syndicate, as well as a Jersey City state assemblyman and an Ocean Township mayor and assemblyman. A member of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s cabinet was also arrested, along with appointed officials in Bayonne, Hoboken, and Jersey City.


The latest reported criminal activity among the region’s Syrian Jewish community is nothing new. One prominent member of the community, which traces its origins back to the Syrian city of Aleppo, was Eddie Antar, the owner of a regional chain of consumer electronics stories called “Crazy Eddie’s,” who fled the United States for Israel after being indicted for fraud. Antar had laundered some $80 million through Panamanian and Israeli banks, much of it ending up at the Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, Swiss banks, a “folding tent” Liberian company, and a Liechtenstein foundation. Antar used a fake passport and the alias of David Jacob Levi Cohen to enter Israel. Antar also used the alias of Alexander Stewart. Antar was eventually arrested near Tel Aviv and was extradited back to the United States where he eventually received an eight-year prison sentence. The chief federal prosecutor against Antar was Michael Chertoff.
Syrian-Jewish businessman Norman Jemal, the head of another influential Syrian-Jewish family and a consumer electronics competitor of Crazy Eddie, saw his store chain Nobody Beats the Wiz, collapse into bankruptcy in 2003.


Another prominent Syrian Jew was Edmond Safra who founded Banco Safra in Brazil in 1955. The Beirut-based Safra family had long served as important bankers for the Ottoman Empire. Safra eventually became a billionaire banking and investment tycoon. Safra founded the Republic National Bank in New York in 1966. In 1999, Safra was killed in an arson attack on his Monte Carlo home. Safra’s U.S.-born nurse, Ted Maher, a former U.S. Army Green Beret, was arrested and charged with starting the fire but his conviction was overturned. Safra’s killer or killers still remain at large. Safra’s security chief, Shmuile Cohen, had recruited a number of Israeli military special forces personnel to guard Safra, but Shmule and the guards were given the night off by Safra’s wife. Before his death, Safra was negotiating the sale of Republic Bank to HSBC. Safra was also cooperating with the FBI in its probe of the use of U.S. banks by the Russian-Israeli mafia to launder billions of dollars. There is speculation that Safra was murdered by the Russian-Israeli mob to keep him from divulging more details of their operations to the FBI.


After the recent bust of prominent Syrian-Jews in New Jersey and New York, the FBI and Justice Department revealed their investigation had lasted for 10 years. The Safra murder occurred 10 years prior to the recent corruption arrests. WMR has learned that the FBI is actually probing a much bigger criminal syndicate, one that involves more powerful politicians and businessmen involved in real estate and financial services in New York and New Jersey. The arrest of mayors, other small-time politicians, and rabbis may lead to higher-ups if there is cooperation from those already arrested from plea deals with prosecutors.


One prominent member of the Syrian Jewish community is Joseph Cayre, the real estate business partner of Larry Silverstein and Lloyd Goldman in the pre-9/11 lease of the World Trade Center from the New York-New Jersey Port Authority and the subsequent redevelopment of the “Ground Zero” site. Silverstein, Cayre, Goldman, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have recently been feuding with the Port Authority over the terms of the redevelopment scheme. Part of the redevelopment strategy is central to the “Cornerstones Project,” a project to establish four mega-entertainment and sports complexes in Manhattan connected to two other such centers on Coney Island and at the Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment and shopping complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, next to Secaucus. The Xanadu project is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs and is a favorite of Governor Corzine, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs.
In the criminal complaint against Rabbi Eliahu “Eli” Ben Haim (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/downloads/20090726/download) of the Ohel Yaacob congregation in Deal, a co-conspirator only identified as “I.M.,” who is based in Israel and was a principal source of cash for Ben Haim, is cited. It is odd that “I.M.” is only identified by initials when two other co-conspirators of Ben Haim are identified by their full names: Schmulik Cohen of Brooklyn and Arye Weiss, also of Brooklyn. “I.M.”s modus operandi is described in the criminal complaint:


“Defendant BEN HAIM also mentioned that he owed another individual $495,000. This individual, according to defendant BEN HAIM, had wired money from Hong Kong to Israel, and stated that ‘he has money in Hong Kong from his -- the kickbacks from the factories.’ Defendant BEN HAIM also further described the activities of Coconspirator I.M. in the following terms: ‘the head contact’s in Israel . . . He has different people, he has, . . . he has a hundred cus-, no customer in New York [u/i] [unintelligible] money in Israel [u/i] real estate investments, they, they want to hide their money. They don’t want it to show. So they give the cash here to him and he gives me the cash . . . You see the merry-go-round? This guy’s been doing it for 20, 30 years.’ Defendant BEN HAIM also indicated that he would pick up cash, as coordinated by Coconspirator I.M., at locations in Brooklyn. The CW [confidential witness] offered to pick up the cash that defendant BEN HAIM anticipated would be available to him the following week.”


The complaint provides even greater details of “I.M.’s” money laundering activities:


“Defendant BEN HAIM told the CW about ‘customers from two, three years ago that are calling me,’ and indicated that “[t]hat’s a signal that the market is tight.’ Defendant BEN HAIM also discussed his source for cash, Coconspirator I.M., and stated that he spoke to Coconspirator I.M. ‘[e]very day - every other day.’ Referring to Coconspirator I.M., defendant BEN HAIM then asked the CW ‘[d]id you know that he had me in the last 4 years send out wires every time to a different place in the world to a different name? It’s unbelievable. I never saw anything like it.’ When the CW asked whether defendant BEN HAIM was referring to different locations in only Israel, defendant BEN HAIM replied ‘[n]o, all over the world . . . All over the world. From Australia to New Zealand to Uganda. I mean [u/i] every country imaginable. Turkey, you can’t believe it. . . . All different names. It’s never the same name. . . . Switzerland, everywhere, France, everywhere, Spain. . . . China, Japan.’ Defendant BEN HAIM also explained that the market for cash was tight ‘only in the beginning of the year and the end of the year.’”


It appears that the FBI was being careful about naming “I.M.” due to his extensive contacts from Israel to countries around the world, an indication that “I.M.,” unlike the rabbis and the New Jersey politicos, is a big fry who is laundering large sums of money, possibly from gambling operations, through synagogues and Jewish charities. It is known that Solomon Dwek was involved in a casino boat business and that jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff was similarly involved in taking control of Sun Cruz Casino boats in Florida. Abramoff also funded radical Israeli settler movements on the West Bank.


WMR has learned from a reliable source that the identity of “I.M,,” if revealed, would serve as a body blow to the Likud government of Netanyahu and his major coalition partners, Yisrael Beiteinu of extreme right-wing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-orthodox Shas Party. The revelation of “I.M.’s” identity, we are told, will also provide encouragement to the Palestinians to stand their ground against Israeli encroachment in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. In fact, the timing of the recent arrests in New Jersey and New York may be directly tied to Israel’s move to build a residential complex in east Jerusalem over the objections of President Barack Obama.


On July 26, 2009, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Rabbi David Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader and former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, left the Long Branch, New Jersey, home of Ben-Haim for Israel just hours before the FBI raid that saw the arrest of Ben-Haim. In May, Aryeh Deri visited the Syrian-Jewish community in the New York-New Jersey region seeking funds for a new political party. Deri’s successor as the head of Shas, Eliyahu “Eli” Yishai, currently serves as interior minister and a deputy prime minister of Israel.


Ovadia Yosef recently condemned President Barack Obama for pressuring Israel on the freeze of settlements. Yosef also called for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple on the site of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites. Yosef complained that there “are Arabs there.”
The North Jersey/Brooklyn area has long been a hub for intelligence and criminal activities by Israeli nationals. In many cases, those arrested have gotten off with light or no sentences. WMR has reported extensively on these, including:




On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, New Jersey police arrested five Israeli employees of Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, New Jersey, which is nestled between Jersey City and Hoboken, near Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, next to Secaucus. The Israelis were earlier seen celebrating, high-fiving, jumping up and down, and videotaping the first and second plane attacks on the World Trade Center.
The five Israelis were later linked to an Israeli-owned office moving company called Urban Moving Systems headquartered in Weehawken, New Jersey at 3 West 18th Street. Another Urban Moving office was located on West 50th Street in Manhattan. Urban Moving’s owner, Dominik Otto Suter, identified by the CIA and FBI as a Mossad officer, fled to Israel shortly before he was to be re-questioned by the FBI. The five Israelis, after being jailed for five months, were quietly deported to Israel without criminal charges being filed.



Information Spectrum, Inc. (ISI) of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a subsidiary of the Fairfax, Virginia-based defense contractor, Anteon, took over the operation of the Jersey City police computer system that handled all incoming emergency phone calls on September 11 . . . According to Jersey City Police officials, after the emergency call system was changed from a Wang to a Windows environment, 8,000 emergency 911 system calls registered on September 11 were scrubbed from the archives. In fact, archives dating back to 1989, including those dealing with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, were similarly affected.
In October 2000, an Israeli veteran of the Israel Defense Force overheard a conversation between three men in the Gomel Chesed Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey. The three men speaking in Hebrew were discussing the “planes hitting the twins,” a reference to the 9/11 attacks some 11 months later. The FBI Newark office was informed of the conversation. There was no follow-up by the FBI.



A Syrian Jew named Rimon Alkatri was indicted by a New York City grand jury for phoning a false terrorist threat to the New York City police in May 2006. The indictment charged Alkatri with making a false terrorist threat in the first degree. Alkatri was arrested on July 31, 2006, a little over a week from the hype generated by the “great airplane liquid bombing hoax.” Alkatri, who owns the El Castillo de Oro jewelry store on Knickerbocker Avenue in Brooklyn and who arrived in the United States in 1996, was arrested by police while he was leaving his apartment in a Syrian Jewish neighborhood on East 9th Street. In May, Alkatri, using the alias Jose Rodriguez, and claiming to be from Israel, said he overheard five Syrian employees of his store use the phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and that they were plotting to hide explosives in hollowed-out jewelry and perpetrate a suicide bombing in the New York subway system on the Fourth of July. Police later discovered that the five Syrian “conspirators” identified by Alkatri were not even Muslims, but Christians and Jews. Alkatri, who could have been sentenced to seven years in jail, was given a six-month sentence.
In 2003, Yehuda Abraham, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, global diamond dealer, and native of Afghanistan, was charged with money laundering for an Indian weapons smuggler named Hemant Lakhani who was attempting to purchase Russian portable missile launchers to bring down American passenger planes, including Air Force One, in the United States. Abraham was later convicted in the scheme that also involved a Malaysian bagman associated with the Southeast Asian Al Qaeda offshoot Jemaah Islamiya. Abraham and Lakhani conducted their meetings near Newark International Airport. Abraham was sentenced to home detention.



In 2003, Israeli-born Mark Brener, proprietor of Emperor’s Club VIP and three money laundering firms -- QAT Consulting Group, QAT International, and Protech Consulting -- moved from South Brunswick, New Jersey, to an affluent condo in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, with his 19-year-old girlfriend Cecil (“Ceci”) Suwal. Emperor’s Club VIP was the escort service that enmeshed New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and, which more recently is said to involve another governor, reportedly Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. Brener received a 30-month prison sentence.
The targeting of New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, a former mayor of Woodbridge, New Jersey, by Israeli intelligence operative Golan Cipel in a homosexual “honey trap” resulted in McGreevey’s sudden resignation from office in 2004. McGreevey appointed Cipel to a top homeland security job for the state of New Jersey. The Emperor’s Club VIP expose about Spitzer came on the same day that it was reported that emails from the McGreevey administration were erased from the state’s computer systems. Cipel today works as an independent consultant.
In December 1995, Israeli Interior Minister Haim Ramon barred from entering Israel six U.S. citizens, all members of the terrorist Jewish Defense League, as well as Rabbi Abraham Hecht of the Syrian Jewish community in New York, for involvement in illegal activities in Israel. Hecht had suggested that assassinated Prime Minister Rabin could have been a “moser,” a Jew who handed over Jews or Jewish property to non-Jews, and deserved the death penalty.



* * * * *

WMR has also learned from sources in China of a significant Turkish angle to the illegal Israeli-run human organ smuggling trade. Apparently, Turkish military surgeons have worked with ethnic Uighurs to harvest organs from young Chinese. The center of the human organ trade is in Israel. Recently, police in Shenzen, China raided a Uighur-run restaurant where younger customers had a habit of disappearing. Police then discovered the restaurant had a grisly secret business: that it was an organ harvesting center, operated with medical expertise from Turkish military surgeons who identified usable organs for wealthy Israelis, as well as Arab potentates. The Turkish military surgeons apparently got their start after the 1999 Izmit-Istanbul earthquake, the first major operation for the organ harvesters.


The Shenzen eatery’s refrigerators were primed for cryogenics, the storage of human organs until transport to customers. The human remains -- limbs, spines, and heads . . . were boiled down and dumped into the sewer or sold to pig farmers for slop. Bones were crushed and likewise went down the sewer pipes. Police were originally stymied in collecting evidence in their investigation of the criminal enterprise.




Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/).



Copyright © 2009 WayneMadenReport.com (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/)

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/) (subscription required).
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http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_4963.shtml

Mark Stapleton
08-20-2009, 08:41 AM
Interesting research from Madsen, Ed.

It pretty much shows how interconnected the criminal, political and Jewish elites are.

I hope the identity of "IM" is revealed. I suspect his days are numbered.

Magda Hassan
08-23-2009, 09:26 AM
Sweden has turned down a demand that it condemn the recent publication of an article that links Israeli soldiers to the death of Palestinian civilians with the motive of obtaining their organs.

In an article published earlier in the week, Sweden's best-selling daily Aftonbladet recounted grotesque incidents dating as far back as 1992 in which Israeli soldiers allegedly abducted Palestinian youths and returned their bodies mutilated a few days later.

The publication infuriated Israeli officials who labeled the news piece as 'blatantly racist' and full of 'vile anti-Semitic themes'.

In response to the publication, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, to officially rebut the 'shocking and appalling' piece.

Tel Aviv's envoy to Sweden, Benny Dagan, was to make a similar request during a Friday meeting with the kingdom's deputy foreign minister.

Bildt, however, responded that he would not condemn the article, asserting that such a measure would be in violation of freedom of expression and counter to the Swedish constitution.

Condemnation of anti-Semitism is "the only issue on which there has ever been complete unity in the Swedish parliament", the Swedish minister wrote in a blog post on Thursday, apparently rejecting the idea that disapproving criminal conduct amounts to anti-Semitism.

The Swedish refusal to denounce the allegations against the Israeli army by the high-circulation daily may shake diplomatic ties between Tel Aviv and Stockholm.

There is media speculation that Israel might respond by canceling the Swedish foreign minister's visit to the occupied West Bank scheduled for the next 10 days.
http://www.presstv.com/classic/detail.aspx?id=104128&sectionid=351020605

Mark Stapleton
08-24-2009, 12:41 AM
Sweden has turned down a demand that it condemn the recent publication of an article that links Israeli soldiers to the death of Palestinian civilians with the motive of obtaining their organs.

In an article published earlier in the week, Sweden's best-selling daily Aftonbladet recounted grotesque incidents dating as far back as 1992 in which Israeli soldiers allegedly abducted Palestinian youths and returned their bodies mutilated a few days later.

The publication infuriated Israeli officials who labeled the news piece as 'blatantly racist' and full of 'vile anti-Semitic themes'.

In response to the publication, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, to officially rebut the 'shocking and appalling' piece.

Tel Aviv's envoy to Sweden, Benny Dagan, was to make a similar request during a Friday meeting with the kingdom's deputy foreign minister.

Bildt, however, responded that he would not condemn the article, asserting that such a measure would be in violation of freedom of expression and counter to the Swedish constitution.

Condemnation of anti-Semitism is "the only issue on which there has ever been complete unity in the Swedish parliament", the Swedish minister wrote in a blog post on Thursday, apparently rejecting the idea that disapproving criminal conduct amounts to anti-Semitism.

The Swedish refusal to denounce the allegations against the Israeli army by the high-circulation daily may shake diplomatic ties between Tel Aviv and Stockholm.

There is media speculation that Israel might respond by canceling the Swedish foreign minister's visit to the occupied West Bank scheduled for the next 10 days.
http://www.presstv.com/classic/detail.aspx?id=104128&sectionid=351020605


Israel gets really mad when the truth about them is revealed. They call it anti-semitism. The diplomatic pressure against Sweden won't work because Sweden doesn't owe Israel a thing. Quite the reverse, actually. Israel still has to answer for the assassination of Sweden's Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN's first mediator and a man who negotiated the release of 31,000 prisoners from concentration camps in Germany during WW2.

When he travelled to Israel in 1948 in his role as UN mediator, the Lehi showed their gratitude by shooting him dead in the street like a dog. Most of the assassination squad were captured by the Israeli Government, then promptly pardoned and freed. Yitzhak Shamir went on to become Prime Minister.

That's justice, Israeli style. One law for us--a different law for everyone else.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folke_Bernadotte

Mark Stapleton
08-25-2009, 12:59 AM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14885


A Palestinian who was a detainee thinks the claims about Israeli organ harvesting are true. Secret detention facilities, 'numbers graveyards', and a blatant refusal by Israel to co-operate with the Red Cross are factors lending credibility to the grotesque claims. Also, Israel has a policy of withholding the bodies of slain Palestinian and Arab fighters.


The diplomatic row between Sweden and Israel which Magda alluded to is heating up. Israel is now demanding an apology from Sweden for not punishing the newspaper Aftonbladet which first published the claims:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14890


The article quotes the Israeli Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz claiming that "it's an unacceptable behaviour of the Government of Sweden..."


WTF? A country founded on genocidal murder and ethnic cleansing is criticising someone else for "unacceptable behavior"?


As usual, they've wheeled out that tired old canard of days long gone, anti-semitism. Talk about desperation.

Magda Hassan
08-25-2009, 03:14 AM
The Body Snatchers of Israel

Kawther Salam



http://www.uruknet.de/pic.php?f=23numbered_graves.jpg (http://www.uruknet.de/pic.php?f=23numbered_graves.jpg) August 23, 2009

(click on pictures to see them bigger)



Independently of the recently published article of the Swedish (http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab) journalist Donald Boström about the Israelis murdering Palestinians in order to harvesting of organs for sale, and independently of the hysteric screeching and http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/1321-5/born+to+kill_jpeg.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID _DI_NOISSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/1320-2/born+to+kill_jpeg.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID _DI_NOISSES_PMT)denials by the Israelis, I want to present my readers what I witnessed, saw, observed and heard during my 22 years of journalistic work under the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. My personal experience confirms what Mr. Boström wrote: while I do not know the particular case which he describes, it is typical for what the Israelis do in Palestine all the time, what is "normal" since the early seventies.

The Israeli military occupation started in the early 1970s to capture and keep the bodies of the Palestinians who they murdered. Since the early seventies, thousands of Palestinians have been buried in http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/suture02a-150x109.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/suture02a.jpg)secret and number graves of the Israeli military. Since the early seventies, thousands of Palestinian victims of the occupation were "autopsied", and many of their bodies kept in military numbered graves. Most members of the resistance who were killed were taken for "autopsy", and also those who were wounded were abducted from the hospital by the Israelis. This practice became somewhat less widespread only when the PA came to power, meaning that people murdered in areas controlled by the PA were not "autopsied" any more, but this would still happen to people murdered or wounded in areas controlled by the Israelis.
The Israeli military leadership, the Central Command and the so-called "defense" Ministry cannot hide these well- and widely known facts: the Israeli military murders people all the time, and most if not all of the murdered are taken for "autopsy", many of them are buried in Israeli military cemeteries in numbered and secret graves. These facts cannot be hidden by the fancy statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, by the deranged terrorist and war criminal Ehud Barak and the corrupt extremist Benjamin Netanyahu.

In many cases, the so-called "civil administration", military commanders and http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/4639-5/Didj05.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES _PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/4638-2/Didj05.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES _PMT)officers were returning to their families the bodies of Palestinians who they had murdered after the middle of the night, and after a few days "detention" of the bodies. The military officers would call the families of the victim after the middle of the night (usually at 1-3 in the morning), demanding that a few relatives, "not more than 10", wait on the street for burying the body.

The first condition of the military "civil" administration was that the burial should take place immediately after receiving the body, in the dark of the night, for "security reasons", the second condition of the Israelis was that women should not participate in the secret funeral, also for "security reasons" (actually they wanted to avoid that the screams of grieving mothers, sisters, daughters of the victim would be heard, so alerting the neighbourhood to the crime). The Israeli officers always used "security reasons" to justify and cover up their criminal activities!

On each such occasion returning the body of one of their murdered victims, the http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/33083-3/Dibg03_01_001.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_ NOISSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/33082-2/Dibg03_01_001.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_ NOISSES_PMT)"civil" military administration officers would follow the funeral procession, driving their armored grey cars and waiting until the end of the burial. A number of other military vehicles filled with soldiers would surround the funeral, watching the burial of their victims, always ready to shoot the small number of participants in the funeral. Of course, the officers would always insistently make it clear to the family that they were doing them a great favor in returning the body of their beloved one and allowing them to bury it.

Empty Bodies, Stuffed With Cotton

What is the reason to bury somebody in middle of the night, with a company of IDF soldiers and the Israeli military "civil" administration officers surrounding the procession? If the burial is normal, and the organs of the victims were not stolen, then why should they be buried in the dark of the night? The families of the victims all knew that they were receiving empty bodies, filled with cotton, to be buried in the middle of the night.

The deranged war criminal Ehud Barak and his corrupt "state" should better http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/ehud-barak-107x150.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/ehud-barak.jpg)stop denying what the Swedish writer Donald Boström published in Aftonbladet. I personally was witness of the Israeli soldiers and military vehicles kidnapping the bodies of dead Palestinians from the emergency rooms of hospitals, in some other cases I saw the soldiers following the Palestinians to the cemetery, to steal the body from the family before the burial. This vile practice became so widespread that many people started carrying the bodies of the murdered to be buried at home, in the garden, under the house or under trees, instead of waiting for the ambulance to take them to the hospital.

The Israelis always murder or gravely injure some people at demonstrations, and first the Israeli soldiers themselves would take the bodies, then they would http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/numbered_graves-150x116.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/numbered_graves.jpg)besiege the hospitals where the bodies were taken by Palestinian ambulances – finally people present at demonstrations started taking the murdered and injured directly to their families. Everybody in Palestine knows that the Israeli soldiers besiege the hospitals in order to kidnap the bodies. The most disgusting thing I witnessed was when the criminal soldiers of Barak and Netanyahu were following Palestinian funeral processions to the cemetery to kidnap the bodies.

The issue of stealing the Palestinian organs is known to everybody in Palestine. I reported several times about this crime. In many cases my reports were rejected by the criminal military censorship of the occupation, these reports are until this moment stored at the military censorship office in "Bet Agron" in occupied Jerusalem.

I know that the criminal "state of Israel" was harvesting the organs of Palestinians who were kidnapped by the Israeli military from the emergency http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/suture01a-150x109.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/suture01a.jpg)rooms of the Palestinian hospitals in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, and everywhere in the West Bank and Gaza, and transferred to the Israeli hospital (or rather, butchery) of Abu Kabir in Tel Aviv. The families of the victims know the criminal israeli officers of the so-called "civil administration" who were covering this crime. Everybody knew Captain Eyal, Col. Fuad Hahul, Col. Amnon Cohen (now head of the "infrastructure department" of the "civil" administration in occupied Palestine), Rafi Geoli, "Alex", and many other officers whose name I don’t know, but who were always present.

Everybody knew the higher commanders, above them brigadier general http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Gadi.Zohar-107x150.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Gadi.Zohar.jpg)(res.) Gadi Zohar, (former head of the civil administration, and IDF intelligence officer for 30 years), brigadier general (res.) David Shafi (former head of the civil administration), Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2007/06/04/the-israeli-general-whom-i-met-in-hebron) (former IDF brigade in Hebron and the current head of the central command), Col. Baruch Goldstein (formerly with the IDF "civil" administration in Hebron and currently with the municipality of Jerusalem), Lt.Col. Baruch Nagar (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/terrorists/baruch-nagar) (former head of the civil administration and the current head of the water administration for the West Bank and Gaza), Col. Yigal Sharon (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/v/Military/YgalSharon/), (former brigade of Hebron and the current, Coffee Salesman), Brigadier General (res.) Dov Sedaka (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/v/Military/Sedaka/), (former head of the civil administration and the current head of the zionist Chairman of the steering committee), Maj.Gen. Matan Vilnai, Brigadier General Noam Tivon (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/v/Military/NoamTivon/), Col. Yehuda Fuchs (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/v/Military/Yehuda+Fuchs/) ,
Lt. Col. Udi ben Muha, (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2008/09/03/a-war-criminal-from-gaza-to-hebron) the military commander of Hebron, and others. And everybody knew that these people were involved in the harvesting of organs of their victims.

Captain Eyal, Col. Fuad Halhal (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2009/01/29/israeli-war-criminals-in-jenin-lebanon), Col. Amnon Cohen (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/v/Military/ACohen/), Rafi Geoli and http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13185-5/sniper_kawther.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI _NOISSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13184-1/sniper_kawther.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI _NOISSES_PMT)many of those mentioned above and many others were the ones calling the families of the murdered Palestinians, in the middle of the night to inform them about the bodies of their loved ones. These criminals were telling the Palestinian families that they "had worked hard to make it possible to release the bodies of their relatives from the military headquarter" – implying that it was a favor, and that the military commanders Shamni, Goldstein, Nagar, … had ordered that the bodies should be buried in the dark and that "not more than ten persons" were allowed to be present at the funeral.

Often the relatives of the murdered people were screaming and shouting, as they had received an empty body stuffed with cotton. These criminal officers and their soldiers forced them to shut up.

All this criminal activity is not only a clear violation of the human rights, a horrendous crime against humanity, but a disrespect of the sanctity of life which can only be explained with mental deficiencies of the perpetrators.

If Israel did not steal the ORGANS of the murdered Palestinians, and if Israel did not want to cover up their inhuman crimes, and if Israel respects the Geneva conventions and other humanitarian laws, in peace and in war, then Israel would not kidnap and transfer to the Abu Kabir "hospital" in Tel Aviv hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians bodies of people who were murdered during PEACE demonstrations in the cities of the West Bank.

If it is not true that Israelis are harvesting the organs of murdered Palestinians, then why were they transferring the bodies of their victims to be butchered at Abu Kabir? The reasons of the death were known. The victims all received bullets in the head, or in the chest by Israeli snipers.

After all the whining and screeching of the Israelis after the Swedish newspaper article, the fact stands that hundreds, perhaps thousands of bodies and even people known to have been alive were transferred to the Abu Kabir autopsy center and returned to their families stuffed with cotton. Hundreds of victims who were buried in the dark by their families, and hundreds or thousands more bodies which Israel keeps in their numbered graves.

During the first Intifada and during the so called peace time I personally http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13817-4/Occupation.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOI SSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13816-1/Occupation.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOI SSES_PMT)witnessed how the Israeli military were kidnapping Palestinian bodies and gravely injured people from the emergency room of Princess Alia hospital in Hebron. Some years later I also witnessed how the Israeli army kidnapped the bodies of the Palestinian dead from the then new Al-Ahli hospital: All the area would be declared military zone, the hospital surrounded and invaded by troops, nobody was allowed to move inside the building. All these kidnapped bodies of Palestinians, and also people known to have been living, were killed before taken to Abu Kabir for "autopsy".

Taking in consideration these facts, everything I know, and until Israel comes clean on who are the members of the organ harvesting mafia, the only conclusion is that:


All the Israeli officers and civil personnel of the so-called civil administration who served in the West Bank since the early seventies were involved at least covering up the harvesting of organs from Palestinians, at the very least conniving, but probably taking part in the racket for money.
All the Israeli doctors and other personnel who worked in Abu Kabir since the early seventies were involved in harvesting and selling organs from Palestinians.
All the IDF snipers and other soldiers who shot Palestinian (and foreigners) at peace demonstrations are and were involved with the mafia which harvests and sells the organs of murdered Palestinians, at least some of the involved in the crimes are given money.
The IDF central command and most if not all officers in the chain of command until the field fully know what is going on, and they connive with the harvesting of organs from Palestinians they murder, they offer planning and logistics for the commission of the crimes, and make the families of the victims shut up. All the Israeli State and the whole Israeli Nation who accept the continued military occupation are involved in crimes against humanity.
Most if not all the Israeli medical establishment knows what is going on, and they keep silence because they either get money, or they are rewarded in other ways for conniving in these crimes. This is confirmed because of repeated complaints of doctors from other countries because Israel is one of the few jurisdictions which does not forbid commerce with human organs and body parts.
The Israeli health ministry is fully informed of what goes on. This would be corroborated by reports that organ traffickers captured in Brazil and South (http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/fraud/israel/news.php?q=1248891363) Africa in 2003 stated as much as that they had been given "business contacts" by "people from the Israeli government", and that the Israeli government financed organ transplants.


I think that the Israeli government and all those suspected of being involved have some hard questions to answer, rather than complaining about a well written report in a Swedish newspaper which speaks about only one case among thousands:


Where are the bodies of the two brothers Imad and Adel Awad Allah from Al-Bireh in the district of Ramallah, who were murdered on 10 September 1998 on the farm of Akram Maswadeh near Hebron?
Where are the bodies of Hani Ahmad Kharboush and Adel Mohammad Hadaideh who were murdered on 6 June 2003 in "Ateel", a town north of Tulkarem in the West Bank?
Where is the body of Sarhan Borhan who was murdered on 4 October 2003 in the Tulkarem refugee camp?
Where is the body of Hasan Isa Abbas who was murdered on 9 October 1994, in Jerusalem?
Where is the body of Hisham Hamad who was murdered in Gaza on 11 November 1993?
Where is the body of Salah Jad Allah Salem who was murdered on 14 October 1994?
Where are the bodies of the two Japanese citizens who were murdered in 1972?
Can Israel prove that the organs of these people, and those of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians which are buried in numbered graves of the Israeli military, were not stolen?
Why does Israel bury the victims of their occupation in secret, numbered graves, if their organs were not stolen?


I know the answer of the criminal sophists of Israel in advance: they will say http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13176-4/practicing+the+killing+duties.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TM P_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13175-1/practicing+the+killing+duties.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TM P_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES_PMT)that all these people buried their numbered graves were "terrorists or unknown". But I say that these are LIES and the usual propaganda which Israel uses to cover their crimes. Many people who were buried in these graves were not "terrorists" but legitimate resistance, many of them were peace demonstrators, and none of them were unknown. The only thing unknown or silenced until now is that the israelis are murderers, thieves of organs, a criminal occupational state which commits to all kind of crimes against humanity for fun and profit.


Dr. Yehuda Hiss Butchered Three Teenagers From Gaza

Another issue about which the Israelis have some explaining to do is the story of three teenagers from Gaza. On the evening of Sunday 30 December 2001 the Israeli military occupation fired several artillery shells towards these three north of Beit Lahiya in Gaza. They were Ahmed Mohammed Banat, 15 years, Mohammed Abd El-Rahman Al- Madhoun, 16 years and Mohamed Ahmed Lebed, 17 years.

After murdering them with flechette shells, a military vehicle drove http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Yehuda_Hiss-108x150.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Yehuda_Hiss.jpg)over one of them, and their bodies were delivered to Abu Kabir in Tel Aviv, for "autopsy", without the consent of their families, and without the issuance of a warrant to conduct an autopsy according to the law. The chief pathologist at Abu Kabir (the so-called "Israeli forensic institute") Dr. Yehuda Hiss, said that they received the children without knowing their names, they had all been found killed by nails which the tank shell contained (flechettes).

Hiss broke the law Israeli when he accepted the bodies of the children without knowing who are were and without the knowledge of their families, but that is of no concern. The bodies the three were given to the PA stuffed with cotton several days after their murder.

The director of the Jerusalem Center for Democracy and Human Rights (http://www.anhri.net/en/), Salim Khalleh, stated that their organization has been able to document 270 cases of Palestinian bodies "reserved" in hands of the Israeli occupation, which are buried in numbered graves in secret military cemeteries, or in numbered compartments of cooling facilities. Among these cases, 24 are of Palestinian citizens of the city of Tulkarem. On 8 April 2009 the families of these persons whose bodies are still in the power of the israelis held a demonstration in Tulkarem. The demonstrators presented a petition to the director of Red Cross, in which they demanded that the international organizations make pressure on Israel to release the bodies of their sons.

http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Mashur_Arori-132x150.jpg (http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/Mashur_Arori.jpg)What follows are some of the names of Palestinians published by the Jerusalem Center for Democracy and Human Rights and whose bodies still in the hands of Israel, among other hundreds. The question is, where are these bodies? Are they in the refrigerated facilities, or were they buried in numbered graves after their organs were harvested? Why are they not returned to their families if not because Israeli crimes must be covered up?


Abdel-Fattah Mohamed Badir – murdered near Jericho on 15-7-1975.
Murad Mohammed Abu Assal – murdered on 30-1-2002.
Sarhan Burhan Sarhan – murdered during the invasion of the Tulkarem refugee camp on 4-10-2003.
Saif Allah Bashir Badran – murdered near the illegal Mawr colony on 1-1-2003.
Adel Mohamed Hadaydeh – murdered in "Atteel", a town north of Tulkarem on 16-6 -2003.
Tarek Samir Sfaqeh – murdered in the illegal Hermesh colony on 30-10-2002 .
Faiz Mohammed Awad – murdered in Lebanon on 17-8-1967.
Ramzi Fakhri Ardah – murdered on 3-4 – 2004 in the illegal Avnei Hefetz colony.
Khalid Ahmed Abul-Ezz – murdered on 30-10-2002 in Zeita near the Apartheid wall.
Khaled Subhi Sandjak – murdered in the illegal colony of Sha’ar Ephraim.
Muaiad Mahmoud Salah Al-Din – blew himself up on 8-11-2001.
Abed El-Basset Mohamed Odeh – blew himself up on 27-3-2002.
Ahmed Sami Gawi - murdered in Netanya on 12-7-2005.
Mohammad Jamel Faraj.
Ahmed Ibrahim Abed Allah – murdered in Jerusalem June 1967.
Iyad Naeem Radad – murdered on 15-7-1979 in Al-Zawieh near Salfit.
Rami Mohammed Idris – murdered in Netanya on 31-3-2002.
Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash – blew himself up on 18-5-2001.
Mufed Mohammad Asrawi – murdered at Baqa Al-Garbiah on 21-2-2002.
Muhammad Ali Abu Zeneh – murdered in the Jordan Valley on 12-5-1969.
Lutfi Amin Abu Saada – blew himself up in Netanya on 25-12-2006.
Omani Ahmad Kryosh – murdered in "Atteel" town near Tulkarem on 5-6-2003.
Mashhour Aruri - murdered on 18 May 1976 together with other three persons from Lebanon.
The bodies of 88 Palestinian from Gaza who are known to be in the hand of Israel (no names given).
Abed Allah Kallab and his friends Mohamed Abed El-Qader Abu Al-Zulof and Mohamed Hanafi – all from the Rafah refugee camp, disappeared on 7 March 1988.
Fadi Ahmed Al-Amoudi age 22 years from Beit Hanoun – murdered on 17 April 2004 at the Erez military checkpoint


Abed Al-Naser Farawneh, a former prisoner and researcher about Palestinian prisoners of Israel, a competent speaker for prisoners affairs, said that the number of Palestinian prisoners who were murdered after their arrest and detention in the Israeli jails sharply increased during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. They are in sum the double of the number of people who the Israelis murdered in a quarter of century since they occupied the West Bank and Gaza. The bodies of these murdered prisoners are also kept in the secret Israeli cemeteries, in a few cases the dead are released two weeks the Israelis murder them. This is a new proof that the Israelis harvest their organs according to Farawneh.

http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13182-4/Sabri+Alrojoub.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI _NOISSES_PMT (http://www.kawther.info/ga2/d/13181-1/Sabri+Alrojoub.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI _NOISSES_PMT)The deranged criminal Ehud Barak, the people from the Israeli Central Command, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the others involved in these subhuman crimes should stop threatening Swedish journalist Donald Boström with criminal complaints, as they are the first persons who should be investigated not only for these monstrosities, but also for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The time of silencing journalists and curtailing freedom of speech is over.

The public opinion of the world is loath the criminality of Israel and the repetitive and stupid screeching of "anti-semitism" whenever one of their crimes is uncovered. Constant and inappropriate invocation of the holocaust is boring to the point where nobody cares anymore, and it does not help anymore to cover up their crimes. The criminal sophists of Israel would better clarify were all these bodies are buried, and were their organs are.
If the Israelis go forward and cause troubles for Donald Boström in court, I will volunteer to testify in his favor about these disgusting crimes of the Israelis, and I appeal to all Palestinians who have such a case in their family, to also offer to testify in favor of Mr. Boström should this become necessary.
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m57246&hd=&size=1&l=e

Myra Bronstein
08-25-2009, 03:35 AM
If true, I wonder why they would even return the bodes with the missing organs. Why not just dispose of the remainder of the "donors"?

Magda Hassan
08-25-2009, 04:08 AM
I think there are several thing in play here. Would it occur to the families that their loved one has been gutted and organs removed? The Israeli authorities say that the surgical marks are autopsies which they are and can be but this does not preclude organ removal as well. Even if it had occurred to the families that this may have occurred how are they going to know and prove it unless they spend lots of money to have another post mortem examination. Money that the vast majority of Palestinians do not have. I doubt that they are going to put their beloved on the kitchen table and open them up themselves and in any case there would be by laws for this sort of thing. Plus there are religious and cultural and just plain old visceral limits and taboos to what people will subject their deceased and living families to. Given the presence of the IDF agents and others at the burials and in the handling of the body before hand the family is made to feel they are lucky to even have a body to bury.

There are many cases were the remains of the bodies have not been returned to the families. But if this were to be standard practice this would also cause much bureaucratic black holes which could lead to unpleasant consequences for the IDF as a whole. Bodies have to be accounted for. Too many missing people raises too many questions. As it is there are too many questons. Better to return the body to the family and have a burial under the control of the IDF as seems to be happening according to the previous post from Uruknet.

Magda Hassan
08-26-2009, 04:23 AM
The family and relatives of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem, the Palestinian at the center of the organ-theft story in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, said on Monday that they didn't know if the accusations were true or not.

The family lives in the tiny village of Imatin in the northern West Bank. Ghanem, 19, was killed by IDF soldiers during the first intifada on May 13, 1992.
He was a Fatah activist who was wanted by the IDF for his involvement in violence.
His mother, Sadeeka, said he was shot by an IDF sniper as he walked out of his home. "The bullets hit him directly in the heart," she said.
Ghanem's younger brother, Jalal, said he could not confirm the allegations made by the Swedish newspaper that his brother's organs had been stolen.
"I don't know if this is true," he said. "We don't have any evidence to support this."

Jalal said his brother was evacuated by the IDF in a helicopter and delivered to the family only a few days later.
The mother denied that she had told any foreign journalist that her son's organs had been stolen.
However, she said that now she does not rule out the possibility that Israel was harvesting organs of Palestinians.
Jalal and two cousins who claimed that they saw the body said the young man's teeth were missing. They also said they saw stitches that ran from the chest down to the bottom of the stomach.
"Obviously, they performed some kind of an autopsy on the body," the brother said. "When the army handed us the body, we were ordered to bury him quickly and in the middle of the night."
Jalal said that he and other villagers recall that a Swedish photographer was in the village during the funeral and that he managed to take a number of pictures of the body before the funeral. "That was the only time we saw this photographer," he recounted.
Ibrahim Ghanem, a relative of Bilal, said that the family never told the Swedish photographer that Israel had stolen organs from the dead man's body.
"Maybe the journalist reached that conclusion on the basis of the stitches he saw on the body," he said. "But as far as the family is concerned, we don't know if organs were removed from the body because we never performed our own autopsy. All we know is that Bilal's teeth were missing."
Jalal and other members of the family said that "rumors" about Israel killing Palestinians to steal their organs have been circulating for a long time.
"I can't tell you if these rumors are true or not," the brother said.
"But in light of the investigative report in the Swedish newspaper, we are demanding an international commission of inquiry into the case."

Jerusalem Post

Myra Bronstein
08-26-2009, 05:55 AM
The family and relatives of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem, the Palestinian at the center of the organ-theft story in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, said on Monday that they didn't know if the accusations were true or not.

The family lives in the tiny village of Imatin in the northern West Bank. Ghanem, 19, was killed by IDF soldiers during the first intifada on May 13, 1992.
He was a Fatah activist who was wanted by the IDF for his involvement in violence.
His mother, Sadeeka, said he was shot by an IDF sniper as he walked out of his home. "The bullets hit him directly in the heart," she said.
Ghanem's younger brother, Jalal, said he could not confirm the allegations made by the Swedish newspaper that his brother's organs had been stolen.
"I don't know if this is true," he said. "We don't have any evidence to support this."

Jalal said his brother was evacuated by the IDF in a helicopter and delivered to the family only a few days later.
The mother denied that she had told any foreign journalist that her son's organs had been stolen.
However, she said that now she does not rule out the possibility that Israel was harvesting organs of Palestinians.
Jalal and two cousins who claimed that they saw the body said the young man's teeth were missing. They also said they saw stitches that ran from the chest down to the bottom of the stomach.
"Obviously, they performed some kind of an autopsy on the body," the brother said. "When the army handed us the body, we were ordered to bury him quickly and in the middle of the night."
Jalal said that he and other villagers recall that a Swedish photographer was in the village during the funeral and that he managed to take a number of pictures of the body before the funeral. "That was the only time we saw this photographer," he recounted.
Ibrahim Ghanem, a relative of Bilal, said that the family never told the Swedish photographer that Israel had stolen organs from the dead man's body.
"Maybe the journalist reached that conclusion on the basis of the stitches he saw on the body," he said. "But as far as the family is concerned, we don't know if organs were removed from the body because we never performed our own autopsy. All we know is that Bilal's teeth were missing."
Jalal and other members of the family said that "rumors" about Israel killing Palestinians to steal their organs have been circulating for a long time.
"I can't tell you if these rumors are true or not," the brother said.
"But in light of the investigative report in the Swedish newspaper, we are demanding an international commission of inquiry into the case."

Jerusalem Post

Well, regardless of the truth it says a lot about Israel that the story is even remotely believable.

Myra Bronstein
08-27-2009, 03:19 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8222732.stm

China is trying to move away from the use of executed prisoners as the major source of organs for transplants.
According to the China Daily newspaper, executed prisoners currently provide two-thirds of all transplant organs.

The government is now launching a voluntary donation scheme, which it hopes will also curb the illegal trafficking in organs.

But analysts say cultural bias against removing organs after death will make a voluntary scheme hard to implement.

Thriving black market
About 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only about 10,000 operations are performed annually, according to the health ministry.
The scarcity of available organs has led to a thriving black market in trafficked organs, and in an effort to stop this the government passed a law in 2007 banning trafficking as well as the donation of organs to unrelated recipients.

But in practice, illegal transplants - some from living donors - are still frequently reported by the media and the Ministry of Health.
Human rights groups have often criticised China for its lack of transparency over organ donation, but critics have focused particular concern on the use of body parts from executed prisoners.

In a rare admission of the extent to which this takes place, China Daily - citing unnamed experts - said on Wednesday that more than 65% of organ donations come from death row prisoners.

China executes more people than any other country. Amnesty International said at least 1,718 people were given the death penalty in 2008.

The China Daily quoted Vice-Health Minister Huang Jiefu as saying that condemned prisoners were "definitely not a proper source for organ transplants".

The new scheme is therefore designed to reduce the reliance on death row inmates, as well as regulating the industry by combating the illegal trafficking of organs.

The system will be piloted in 10 provinces and cities, and a fund will be started to provide financial aid to donors' families.

Magda Hassan
08-29-2009, 02:02 AM
Israel admitted at least one case of Organ harvesting...

Report by Mazin Qumsiyeh (qumsi001@hotmail.com)
Published: 25/08/09

In this digest: I report on a 2002 Israeli admission that a pathologist in an Israeli hospital was harvesting organs without authorization, on the hopeful sign of the start of the academic year, the beginning of Ramadan in Palestine, a video on the free Gaza movement, on follow-up to Rafah clashes (in Arabic), and on growth of religious fundamentalism in Israel.
A big tempest in a tea pot is brewing as Israel and Sweden enter a diplomatic fray because a Swedish newspaper suggested investigations are needed on cases of removal of organs from Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. There has been thousands of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces and families in many cases explain how the injured and killed are taken to medical facilities and returned ordered to be buried immediately without uncovering why their bodies were opened “for autopsies” and stitched back with missing organs.
Now there are so many documented Israeli atrocities and I do believe it is important that activists get their stories right before adding another to the long list of (far better) documented atrocities. There have been well-documented massacres, ethnic cleansing, use of white phosphorous on civilians, mass execution, torture, extrajudicial execution, bombing of crowded refugee camps, and many more. So I will not here add to this storm.
I did notice missing from the discussion the fact that Israeli authorities themselves have acknowledged at least one pathologist harvesting organs but that story from 2002 was never followed up and we do not know what happened to this investigations (like hundreds of other “investigations” before it):
Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse. By IsraelNationalNews. com
www.allbusiness.com/middle-east/israel/102662-1.html (http://www.allbusiness.com/middle-east/israel/102662-1.html)

By IsraelNationalNews.com
Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse.

Publication: Israel Faxx
Date: Friday, January 4 2002 (http://www.allbusiness.com/israel-faxx/20020104/2987097-1.html)
State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein ordered police to launch an investigation against Prof. Yehuda Hiss, the nation's senior pathologist and director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.
Hiss is accused of a long list of charges from inappropriate behavior
as a medical professional to criminal acts such as the illegal sale of and dealings in organs and body parts, removing organs from deceased persons without consent, and misrepresenting organs in returned bodies. Allegations made against Hiss in some cases include his taking organs without consent, placing the cardboard center of toilet paper rolls and metallic rods in their place to fill the voids in the body and hide the theft of the organs.
A court-ordered search of the institute revealed large supplies of stored organs taken illegally from bodies. Over the past years, heads of the institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a "storehouse" of organs at Abu Kabir.
Organs belonging to soldiers killed in various circumstances were found in the institute during a surprise search this week. After consulting with Chief Chaplain Brig. Gen. Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, it was decided that in concert with the bereaved families, graves would be opened and the organs buried along with the remains of each soldier involved.
My suggestion to the Swedish government is that it should respond to Israel by demanding that an independent commission look into the allegation and that Israel (for a change) stop stymieing International investigations into human rights abuses. If they have nothing to hide, let independent commissions look into the allegations.
http://www.labournet.net/world/0908/israel1.html

Magda Hassan
09-02-2009, 01:53 PM
Israeli Organ Harvesting

By ALISON WEIR
Last week Sweden’s largest daily newspaper published an article containing shocking material: testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years.
Worse yet, some of the information reported in the article suggests that in some instances Palestinians may have been captured with this macabre purpose in mind.
In the article, “Our sons plundered for their organs,” veteran journalist Donald Bostrom writes that Palestinians “harbor strong suspicions against Israel for seizing young men and having them serve as the country’s organ reserve – a very serious accusation, with enough question marks to motivate the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to start an investigation about possible war crimes.”1/ (http://www.counterpunch.org/weir08282009.html#_edn1)
An army of Israeli officials and apologists immediately went into high gear, calling both Bostrom and the newspaper’s editors “anti-Semitic.” The Israeli foreign minister was reportedly “aghast” and termed it “a demonizing piece of blood libel.” An Israeli official called it “hate porn.”
Commentary magazine wrote that the story was “merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of European funded and promoted anti-Israel hate.” Numerous people likened the article to the medieval “blood libel,” (widely refuted stories that Jews killed people to use their blood in religious rituals). Even some pro-Palestinian writers joined in the criticism, expressing skepticism.
The fact is, however, that substantiated evidence of public and private organ trafficking and theft, and allegations of worse, have been widely reported for many years. Given such context, the Swedish charges become far more plausible than might otherwise be the case and suggest that an investigation could well turn up significant information.
Below are a few examples of previous reports on this topic.
Israel’s first heart transplant
Israel’s very first, historic heart transplant used a heart removed from a living patient without consent or consulting his family.
In December 1968 a man named Avraham Sadegat (the New York Times seems to give his name as A Savgat) (2) died two days after a stroke, even though his family had been told he was “doing well.”
After initially refusing to release his body, the Israeli hospital where he was being treated finally turned the man’s body over to his family. They discovered that his upper body was wrapped in bandages; an odd situation, they felt, for someone who had suffered a stroke.
When they removed the bandages, they discovered that the chest cavity was stuffed with bandages, and the heart was missing.
During this time, the headline-making Israeli heart transplant had occurred. After their initial shock, the man’s wife and brother began to put the two events together and demanded answers.
The hospital at first denied that Sadegat’s heart had been used in the headline-making transplant, but the family raised a media storm and eventually applied to three cabinet ministers. Finally, weeks later and after the family had signed a document promising not to sue, the hospital admitted that Sadagat’s heart had been used.
The hospital explained that it had abided by Israeli law, which allowed organs to be harvested without the family's consent. (3) (The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime includes the extraction of organs in its definition of human exploitation.)
Indications that the removal of Sadagat’s heart was the actual cause of death went unaddressed.
Director of forensic medicine on missing organs
A 1990 article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs entitled “Autopsies and Executions” by Mary Barrett reports on the grotesque killings of young Palestinians. It includes an interview with Dr. Hatem Abu Ghazalch, the former chief health official for the West Bank under Jordanian administration and director of forensic medicine and autopsies.
Barrett asks him about “the widespread anxiety over organ thefts which has gripped Gaza and the West Bank since the intifada began in December of 1987.”
He responded:
"There are indications that for one reason or another, organs, especially eyes and kidneys, were removed from the bodies during the first year or year and a half. There were just too many reports by credible people for there to be nothing happening. If someone is shot in the head and comes home in a plastic bag without internal organs, what will people assume?” (4)
Mysterious Scottish death
In 1998 a Scot named Alisdair Sinclair died under questionable circumstances while in Israeli custody at Ben Gurion airport.
His family was informed of the death and, according to a report in J Weekly, “…told they had three weeks to come up with about $4,900 to fly Sinclair's corpse home. [Alisdair’s brother] says the Israelis seemed to be pushing a different option: burying Sinclair in a Christian cemetery in Israel, at a cost of about $1,300.”
The family scraped up the money, brought the body home, and had an autopsy performed at the University of Glasgow. It turned out that Alisdair’s heart and a tiny throat bone were missing. At this point the British Embassy filed a complaint with Israel.
The J report states:
“A heart said to be Sinclair's was subsequently repatriated to Britain, free of charge. James wanted the Forensic Institute to pay for a DNA test to confirm that this heart was indeed their brother's, but the Institute's director, Professor Jehuda Hiss refused, citing the prohibitive cost, estimated by some sources at $1,500.”
Despite repeated requests from the British Embassy for the Israeli pathologist's and police reports, Israeli officials refused to release either. (5,6,7)
Israeli government officials raise questions
Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh reports in an article in CCUN:
“In January, 2002, an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted that organs taken from the bodies of Palestinian victims might have been used for transplants in Jewish patients without the knowledge of the Palestinian victims’ families.
“The minister, Nessim Dahan, said in response to a question by an Arab Knesset member that he couldn’t deny or confirm that organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli army were taken out for transplants or scientific research.
“‘I couldn’t say for sure that something like that didn’t happen.’”
Amayreh writes that the Knesset member who posed the question said that he “had received ‘credible evidence proving that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute of Abu Kabir extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bodies of Palestinian youth and children killed by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank.” (8)
Israel’s chief pathologist removed from post for stealing body parts
For a number of years there were allegations that Israel’s leading pathologist was stealing body parts. In 2001 the Israeli national news service reported:
“… the parents of soldier Ze’ev Buzgallo who was killed in a Golan Heights military training accident, are filing a petition with the High Court of Justice calling for the immediate suspension of Dr. Yehuda Hiss and that criminal charges be filed against him. Hiss serves as the director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute….According to the parents, the body of their son was used for medical experimentation without their consent, experiments authorized by Hiss. (9)
In 2002 the service reported:
“The revelation of illegally stored body parts in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute has prompted MK Anat Maor, chairman of the Knesset Science Committee, to demand the immediate suspension of the director, Prof. Yehuda Hiss."
Alisdair Sinclair’s death had first alerted authorities to Hiss’s malfeasance in 1998, though nothing was done for years. [I]The Forward reported:
“In 2001, an Israeli Health Ministry investigation found that Hiss had been involved for years in taking body parts, such as legs, ovaries and testicles, without family permission during autopsies, and selling them to medical schools for use in research and training. He was appointed chief pathologist in 1988. Hiss was never charged with any crime, but in 2004 he was forced to step down from running the state morgue, following years of complaints.” (10)
Harvesting kidneys from impoverished communities
According to the Economist, a kidney racket flourished in South Africa between 2001 and 2003. “Donors were recruited in Brazil, Israel and Romania with offers of $5,000-20,000 to visit Durban and forfeit a kidney. The 109 recipients, mainly Israelis, each paid up to $120,000 for a “transplant holiday”; they pretended they were relatives of the donors and that no cash changed hands.” (11)
In 2004 a legislative commission in Brazil reported, “At least 30 Brazilians have sold their kidneys to an international human organ trafficking ring for transplants performed in South Africa, with Israel providing most of the funding.”
According to an IPS report: “The recipients were mostly Israelis, who receive health insurance reimbursements of 70,000 to 80,000 dollars for life-saving medical procedures performed abroad.”
IPS reports:
The Brazilians were recruited in Brazil’s most impoverished neighbourhoods and were paid $10,000 per kidney, “but as ‘supply’ increased, the payments fell as low as 3,000 dollars.” The trafficking had been organized by a retired Israeli police officer, who said “he did not think he was committing a crime, given that the transaction is considered legal by his country's government.”
The Israeli embassy issued a statement denying any participation by the Israeli government in the illegal trade of human organs but said it did recognize that its citizens, in emergency cases, could undergo organ transplants in other countries, "in a legal manner, complying with international norms," and with the financial support of their medical insurance.

However, IPS reports that the commission chair termed the Israeli stance “at the very least ‘anti-ethical’, adding that trafficking can only take place on a major scale if there is a major source of financing, such as the Israeli health system.” He went on to state that the resources provided by the Israeli health system "were a determining factor" that allowed the network to function. (12)
Tel Aviv hospital head promotes organ trafficking

IPS goes on to report:
“Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who heads the Organs Watch project at the U.S. University of California, Berkeley, testified to the Pernambuco legislative commission that international trafficking of human organs began some 12 years ago, promoted by Zacki Shapira, former director of a hospital in Tel Aviv.

“Shapira performed more than 300 kidney transplants, sometimes accompanying his patients to other countries, such as Turkey. The recipients are very wealthy or have very good health insurance, and the ‘donors’ are very poor people from Eastern Europe, Philippines and other developing countries, said Scheper-Hughes, who specialises in medical anthropology.”
Israel prosecutes organ traffickers
In 2007 Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reported that two men confessed to persuading “Arabs from the Galilee and central Israel who were developmentally challenged or mentally ill to agree to have a kidney removed for payment.” They then would refuse to pay them.
The paper reported that the two were part of a criminal ring that included an Israeli surgeon. According to the indictment, the surgeon sold the kidneys he harvested for between $125,000 and $135,000. (13)
Earlier that year another Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported that ten members of an Israeli organ smuggling ring targeting Ukrainians had been arrested. (14)
In still another 2007 story, the Jerusalem Post reported that “Professor Zaki Shapira, one of Israel's leading transplant surgeons, was arrested in Turkey on Thursday on suspicion of involvement in an organ trafficking ring. According to the report, the transplants were arranged in Turkey and took place at private hospitals in Istanbul.”
Israeli organ trafficking comes to the U.S.?
In July of this year even US media reported on the arrest of Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from Brooklyn, recently arrested by federal officials in a massive corruption sweep in New Jersey that netted mayors, government officials and a number of prominent rabbis. Bostrom opens his article with this incident.
According to the federal complaint, Rosenbaum, who has close ties to Israel, said that he had been involved in the illegal sale of kidneys for 10 years. A US Attorney explained: "His business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 which he would turn around and sell for $160,000." (15)
This is reportedly the first case of international organ trafficking in the U.S.
University of California anthropologist and organ trade expert Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who informed the FBI about Rosenbaum seven years ago, says she heard reports that he had held donors at gunpoint to ensure they followed through on agreements to “donate” their organs. (16)
Israel’s organ donor problems
Israel has an extraordinarily small number of willing organ donors. According to the Israeli news service Ynet, “the percentage of organs donated among Jews is the lowest of all the ethnic groups… In western countries, some 30 per cent of the population have organ donor cards. In Israel, in contrast, four percent of the population holds such cards. (17)
“According to statistics from the Health Ministry’s website, in 2001, 88 Israelis died waiting for a transplant because of a lack of donor organs. In the same year, 180 Israelis were brain dead, and their organs could have been used for transplant, but only 80 of their relatives agreed to donate their organs.”
According to Ynet, the low incidence of donors is related to “religious reasons.” In 2006 there was an uproar when an Israeli hospital known for its compliance with Jewish law performed a transplant operation using an Israeli donor. The week before, “a similar incident occurred, but since the patient was not Jewish it passed silently.” (18, 19)
The Swedish article reports that ‘Israel has repeatedly been under fire for its unethical ways of dealing with organs and transplants. France was among the countries that ceased organ collaboration with Israel in the 1990s. Jerusalem Post wrote that “the rest of the European countries are expected to follow France’s example shortly.”
“Half of the kidneys transplanted to Israelis since the beginning of the 2000s have been bought illegally from Turkey, Eastern Europe or Latin America. Israeli health authorities have full knowledge of this business but do nothing to stop it. At a conference in 2003 it was shown that Israel is the only western country with a medical profession that doesn’t condemn the illegal organ trade. The country takes no legal measures against doctors participating in the illegal business – on the contrary, chief medical officers of Israel’s big hospitals are involved in most of the illegal transplants, according to Dagens Nyheter (December 5, 2003).”
To fill this need former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, then health minister of Israel, organized a big donor campaign in the summer of 1992, but while the number of donors skyrocketed, need still greatly surpassed supply.
Palestinian disappearances increase
Bostrom, who earlier wrote of all this in his 2001 book Inshallah, (20) reports in his recent article:
“While the campaign was running, young Palestinian men started to disappear from villages in the West Bank and Gaza. After five days Israeli soldiers would bring them back dead, with their bodies ripped open.
“Talk of the bodies terrified the population of the occupied territories. There were rumors of a dramatic increase of young men disappearing, with ensuing nightly funerals of autopsied bodies.”
“I was in the area at the time, working on a book. On several occasions I was approached by UN staff concerned about the developments. The persons contacting me said that organ theft definitely occurred but that they were prevented from doing anything about it. On an assignment from a broadcasting network I then travelled around interviewing a great number of Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza – meeting parents who told of how their sons had been deprived of organs before being killed.”
He describes the case of 19-year-old Bilal Achmed Ghanan, shot by Israeli forces invading his village.
“The first shot hit him in the chest. According to villagers who witnessed the incident he was subsequently shot with one bullet in each leg. Two soldiers then ran down from the carpentry workshop and shot Bilal once in the stomach. Finally, they grabbed him by his feet and dragged him up the twenty stone steps of the workshop stair… Israeli soldiers loading the badly wounded Bilal in a jeep and driving him to the outskirts of the village, where a military helicopter waited. The boy was flown to a destination unknown to his family.”
Five days later he was returned, “dead and wrapped up in green hospital fabric.” Bostrom reports that as the body was lowered into the grave, his chest was exposed and onlookers could see that he was stitched up from his stomach to his head. Bostrom writes that this was not the first time people had seen such a thing.
“The families in the West Bank and in Gaza felt that they knew exactly what had happened: “Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,” relatives of Khaled from Nablus told me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin and the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who had all disappeared for a number of days only to return at night, dead and autopsied.”
Why autopsies?
Bostrom describes the questions that families asked:
“Why are they keeping the bodies for up to five days before they let us bury them? What happened to the bodies during that time? Why are they performing autopsy, against our will, when the cause of death is obvious? Why are the bodies returned at night? Why is it done with a military escort? Why is the area closed off during the funeral? Why is the electricity interrupted?”
Israel’s answer was that all Palestinians who were killed were routinely autopsied. However, Bostrom points out that of the133 Palestinians who were killed that year, only 69 were autopsied.
He goes on to write:
“We know that Israel has a great need for organs, that there is a vast and illegal trade of organs which has been running for many years now, that the authorities are aware of it and that doctors in managing positions at the big hospitals participate, as well as civil servants at various levels. We also know that young Palestinian men disappeared, that they were brought back after five days, at night, under tremendous secrecy, stitched back together after having been cut from abdomen to chin.
It’s time to bring clarity to this macabre business, to shed light on what is going on and what has taken place in the territories occupied by Israel since the Intifada began.” (21)
The new “Blood Libel”?
In scanning through the reaction to Bostrom’s report, one is struck by the multitude of charges that his article is a new version of the old anti-Semitic “blood libel.” Given that fact, it is interesting to examine a 2007 book by Israel’s preeminent expert on medieval Jewish history, and what happened to him.
The author is Bar-Ilan professor (and rabbi) Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, a religious leader so famous that an Israeli journalist writes that Toaff’s father “is to Italian Jewry as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.” Ariel Toaff, himself, is considered “one of the greatest scholars in his field.” (22, 23)
In February 2007 the Israeli and Italian media were abuzz (though most of the U.S. media somehow missed it) with news that Professor Toaff had written a book entitled "Pasque di Sangue" (“Blood Passovers”) (24) containing evidence that there “was a factual basis for some of the medieval blood libels against the Jews.”
Based on 35 years of research, Toaff had concluded that there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper (the book was published in Italy), Toaff says:
“My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children.” (25)
(Incidentally, an earlier book containing similar findings was published some years ago, also by an Israeli professor, Israel Shahak, of whom Noam Chomsky once wrote, “Shahak is an outstanding scholar, with remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value.” ) (26)
Professor Toaff was immediately attacked from all sides, including pressure orchestrated by Anti-Defamation League chairman Abe Foxman, but Toaff stood by his 35 years of research, announcing:
"I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me… One shouldn't be afraid to tell the truth."
Before long, however, under relentless public and private pressure, Toaff had recanted, withdrawn his book, and promised to give all profits that had already accrued (the book had been flying off Italian bookshelves) to Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. A year later he published a “revised version.”
Donald Bostrom’s experience seems to be a repeat of what Professor Toaff endured: calumny, vituperation, and defamation. Bostrom has received death threats as well, perhaps an experience that Professor Toaff also shared.
If Israel is innocent of organ plundering accusations, or if its culpability is considerably less than Bostrom and others suggest, it should welcome honest investigations that would clear it of wrongdoing. Instead, the government and its advocates are working to suppress all debate and crush those whose questions and conclusions they find threatening.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rather than responding to calls for an investigation, is demanding that the Swedish government abandon its commitment to a free press and condemn the article. The Israeli press office, apparently in retaliation and to prevent additional investigation, is refusing to give press credentials to reporters from the offending newspaper.
Just as in the case of the rampage against Jenin, the attack on the USS liberty, the massacre of Gaza, the crushing of Rachel Corrie, the torture of American citizens, and a multitude of other examples, Israel is using its considerable, worldwide resources to interfere with the investigative process.
It is difficult to conclude that it has nothing to hide.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. A version of this article containing citations and additional information is available at http://ifamericansknew/cur_sit/sweden.html
Notes.
1/ There are two English translations; this article uses the first:
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en
http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/SwedishTrans.html
The original Swedish article in Aftonbladet can be viewed at
http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab
2/ New York Times, Feb. 3, 1969, p. 8, Column 6 (53 words)
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1046041.html
3/ 40 years after Israel's first transplant, donor's family says his heart was stolen
By Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz Correspondent, Dec. 14, 2008
http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0490/9004021.htm

4/ Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 1990, Page 21, The Intifada: Autopsies and Executions
http://www.jweekly.com/ (http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9384/bizarre-death-of-scottish-tourist-involves-suicide-missing-heart/)

5/ October 30, 1998,Bizarre death of Scottish tourist involves suicide, missing heart
by NETTY C. GROSS, Jerusalem Post Service
http://www.forward.com/articles/112915/

6/ The Forward, Illicit Body-Part Sales Present Widespread Problem, By Rebecca Dube, Aug. 26, 2009
http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg114437.html

7/ Masons, Muslims, Templars, Jews, Henry and Dolly.
http://ccun.org/Opinion (http://ccun.org/Opinion%20Editorials/2009/August/20%20o/Israeli%20Murdering%20of%20Palestinians%20for%20th eir%20Organs%20By%20Khalid%20Amayreh.htm)

8/ Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding, Khalid Amayreh, August 20, 2009

9/ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/12699 (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/12699)

10/ http://www.forward.com/articles/112915/ (http://www.forward.com/articles/112915/)

11/ http://www.economist.com/ (http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12380981)

12/ The Economist, Organ transplants: The gap between supply and demand, Oct. 9, 2008

12/http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=22524 (http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=22524)
BRAZIL: Poor Sell Organs to Trans-Atlantic Trafficking Ring
By Mario Osava, IPS, Feb. 23, 2004
13/ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/935092.html
Haaretz, Two Haifa men sentenced to jail for organ trafficking, By Fadi Eyadat, Dec. 18, 2007

14/ http://www.jpost.com/Police uncover illegal organ trade ring
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL, July 23, 2007

15/ http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/671687 (http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/671687)
Sting rocks U.S. transplant industry, David Porter, Carla K. Johnson, ASSOCIATED PRESS, july 25, 2009

16/ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1102799.html (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1102799.html)
U.S. Professor: I told FBI about kidney trafficking 7 years ago
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, August, 3, 2009

17/ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388529,00.html (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388529,00.html)
A mitzvah called organ donation, Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg, 10.6.07

18/ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3265889,00.html (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3265889,00.html)
Orthodox in uproar over organ donation incident, Neta Sela, 06.22.06

19/ http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Body_Snatchers.htm (http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Body_Snatchers.htm)
The Return of the Body Snatchers, By Israel Shamir,

20/ http://www.bokus.com/b/9789170370939.html (http://www.bokus.com/b/9789170370939.html)

21/ http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en (http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en)
22/ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/829381.html
Ha’aretz. The Wayward Son, by Adi Schwartz, March 1, 2007
23/ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
Ha’aaretz, Bar-Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press, Feb 11, 2007

24/ http://www.bloodpassover.com/toafftableofcontents.htm (http://www.bloodpassover.com/toafftableofcontents.htm)
Israeli writer Israel Shamir reports that some years ago “…a leading Chabad rabbi, Yitzhak Ginzburgh (http://www.israelshamir.net/English/blood.htm), gave his religious permission for a Jew to take a liver from a non-Jew even without his consent. He said that ‘a Jew is entitled to extract the liver from a goy if he needs it, for the life of a Jew is more valuable than the life of a goy, likewise the life of a goy is more valuable than the life of an animal.’
25/ http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
Haaretz, Bar Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book, by Ofri Hani, Feb. 11, 2007.
26. http://www.wrmea.com/archives/august-september01/0108011.html
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August/September 2001, page 11, In Memoriam: Israel Shahak (1933-2001), By Norton Mezvinsky
http://www.counterpunch.org/weir08282009.html

Ed Jewett
09-04-2009, 09:01 PM
a video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXl3tSYPhuU

and then:

#1)

Prof Yehuda Hiss: The Missing Link in the Theft of Palestinian Organs?

The Autopsy Surgeon Aftonbladet Forgot
by Jonathan Cook / September 4th, 2009

The hyperventilating (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1109437.html) by Israel’s leaders over a story (http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en) published in a Swedish newspaper last month suggesting that the Israeli army assisted in organ theft from Palestinians has distracted attention from the disturbing allegations made by Palestinian families that were the basis of the article’s central claim.
The families’ fears that relatives, killed by the Israeli army, had body parts removed during unauthorised autopsies performed in Israel have been overshadowed by accusations of a “blood libel” directed against the reporter, Donald Bostrom, the Aftonbladet newspaper, as well as the Swedish government and people.
I have no idea whether the story is true. Like most journalists working in Israel and Palestine, I have heard such rumours before. Until Bostrom wrote his piece, no Western journalist, as far as I know, had investigated them. After so many years, the assumption by journalists was that there was little hope of finding evidence — apart from literally by digging up the corpses. Doubtless, the inevitable charge of anti-semitism such reports attract acted as a powerful deterrent too.
What is striking about this episode is that the families making the claims were not given a hearing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during the first intifada, when most of the reports occurred, and are still being denied the right to voice their concerns today.
Israel’s sensitivity to the allegation of organ theft — or “harvesting”, as many observers coyly refer to the practice — appears to trump the genuine concerns of the families about possible abuse of their loved ones.
Bostrom has been much criticised for the flimsy evidence he produced in support of his inflammatory story. Certainly there is much to criticise in his and the newspaper’s presentation of the report.
Most significantly, Bostrom and Aftonbladet exposed themselves to the charge of anti-semitism — at least from Israeli officials keen to make mischief — through a major error of judgment.
They muddied the waters by trying to make a tenuous connection (http://www.slate.com/id/2223559/) between the Palestinian families’ allegations about organ theft during unauthorised autopsies and the entirely separate revelations this month that a group of US Jews had been arrested for money-laundering and trading in body parts.
In making that connection, Bostrom and Aftonbladet suggested that the problem of organ theft is a current one when they have produced only examples of such concern from the early 1990s. They also implied, whether intentionally or not, that abuses allegedly committed by the Israeli army could somehow be extrapolated more generally to Jews.
The Swedish reporter should instead have concentrated on the valid question raised by the families about why the Israeli army, by its own admission, took away the bodies of dozens of Palestinians killed by its soldiers, allowed autopsies to be performed on them without the families’ permission and then returned the bodies for burial in ceremonies held under tight security.
Bostrom’s article highlighted the case of one Palestinian, 19-year-old Bilal Ahmed Ghanan, from the village of Imatin in the northern West Bank, who was killed in 1992. A shocking picture of Bilal’s stitched-up body accompanied the report (http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab).
Bostrom has told the Israeli media that he knows of at least 20 cases (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3766093,00.html) of families claiming that the bodies of loved ones were returned with body parts missing, although he did not say whether any of these alleged incidents occurred more recently.
In 1992, the year in question, Bostrom says, the Israeli army admitted to him that it took away for autopsy 69 of the 133 Palestinians who died of unnatural causes. The army has not denied this part of his report.
A justifiable question from the families relayed by Bostrom is: why did the army want the autopsies carried out? Unless it can be shown that the army intended to conduct investigations into the deaths — and there is apparently no suggestion that it did — the autopsies were unnecessary.
In fact, they were more than unnecessary. They were counterproductive if we assume that the army has no interest in gathering evidence that could be used in future war crimes prosecutions of its soldiers. Israel has a long track record of stymying investigations into Palestinian deaths at the hands of its soldiers, and carried on that ignoble tradition in the wake of its recent assault on Gaza.
Of even greater concern for the Palestinian families is the fact that at around the time the bodies of their loved ones were whisked off by the army for autopsy, the only institute in Israel that conducts such autopsies, Abu Kabir, near Tel Aviv, was almost certainly at the centre of a trade in organs that later became a scandal inside Israel.
Equally disturbing, the doctor behind the plunder of body parts, Prof Yehuda Hiss, appointed director of the Abu Kabir institute in the late 1980s, has never been jailed despite admitting to the organ theft and he continues to be the state’s chief pathologist at the institute.
Hiss was in charge of the autopsies of Palestinians when Bostrom was listening to the families’ claims in 1992. Hiss was subsequently investigated twice, in 2002 and 2005, over the theft of body parts on a large scale.
Allegations of Hiss’ illegal trade in organs was first revealed in 2000 by investigative reporters at the Yediot Aharonot newspaper, which reported (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1173179) that he had “price listings” for body parts and that he sold mainly to Israeli universities and medical schools.
Apparently undeterred by these revelations, Hiss still had an array of body parts in his possession at Abu Kabir when the Israeli courts ordered a search in 2002. Israel National News reported (http://www.israelfaxx.com/webarchive/2002/01/2fax0104.html) at the time: “Over the past years, heads of the institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a ‘storehouse’ of organs at Abu Kabir.”
Hiss did not deny the plunder of organs, admitting that the body parts belonged to soldiers killed in action and had been passed to medical institutes and hospitals in the interests of advancing research. Understandably, however, the Palestinian families are unlikely to be satisfied with Hiss’ explanation. If the wishes of a soldier’s familiy were disregarded by Hiss, why not Palestinian families’ wishes too?
Hiss was allowed to continue as director of Abu Kabir until 2005 when allegations of a trade in organs surfaced again. On this occasion Hiss admitted to having removed parts from 125 bodies without authorisation. Following a plea bargain with the state, the attorney general decided (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518) not to press criminal charges and Hiss was given only a reprimand. He has continued as chief pathologist at Abu Kabir.
It should also be noted, as Bostrom points out, that in the early 1990s Israel was suffering from an acute shortage of organ donors to the extent that Ehud Olmert, health minister at the time, launched a public campaign to encourage Israelis to come forward.
This offers a possible explanation for Hiss’ actions. He may have acted to help make up the shortfall.
Given the facts that are known, there must be at least a very strong suspicion that Hiss removed organs without authorisation from some Palestinians he autopsied. Both this issue, and the army’s possible role in supplying him with corpses, needs investigation.
Hiss is also implicated in another long-running and unresolved scandal from Israel’s early years, in the 1950s, when the children of recent Jewish immigrants to Israel from Yemen were adopted by Ashkenazi couples after the Yeminite parents had been told (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518) that their child had died, [9] usually after admission to hospital.
After an initial cover-up, the Yeminite parents have continued pressing for answers from the state, and forced officials to reopen (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518) the files. The Palestinian families deserve no less.
However, unlike the Yemenite parents, their chances of receiving any kind of investigation, transparent or otherwise, look all but hopeless.
When Palestinian demands for justice are not backed by investigations from journalists or the protests of the international community, Israel can safely ignore them.
It is worth remembering in this context the constant refrain from Israel’s peace camp that the brutal, four-decade occupation of the Palestinians has profoundly corrupted Israeli society.
When the army enjoys power without accountability, how do Palestinians, or we, know what soldiers are allowed to get away with under cover of occupation? What restraints are in place to prevent abuses? And who takes them to task if they do commit crimes?
Similarly, when Israeli politicians are able to cry “blood libel” or “anti-semitism” when they are criticised, damaging the reputations of those they accuse, what incentive do they have to initiate inquiries that may harm them or the institutions they oversee? What reason do they have to be honest when they can bludgeon a critic into silence, at no cost to themselves?
This is the meaning of the phrase “Power corrupts”, and Israeli politicians and soldiers, as well as at least one pathologist, demonstrably have far too much power — most especially over Palestinians under occupation.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books).

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/09/prof-yehuda-hiss-the-missing-link-in-the-theft-of-palestinian-organs/

#2)

Obama Regulation Czar Advocated Removing People’s Organs Without Explicit Consent
Friday, September 04, 2009
By Matt Cover


CNSNews.com) – Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has advocated a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.

Under such a policy, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.

Outlined in the 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” Sunstein and co-author Richard H. Thaler argued that the main reason that more people do not donate their organs is because they are required to choose donation.

Sunstein and Thaler pointed out that doctors often must ask the deceased’s family members whether or not their dead relative would have wanted to donate his organs. These family members usually err on the side of caution and refuse to donate their loved one’s organs.

“The major obstacle to increasing [organ] donations is the need to get the consent of surviving family members,” said Sunstein and Thaler.

This problem could be remedied if governments changed the laws for organ donation, they said. Currently, unless a patient has explicitly chosen to be an organ donor, either on his driver’s license or with a donor card, the doctors assume that the person did not want to donate and therefore do not harvest his organs. Thaler and Sunstein called this “explicit consent.”

They argued that this could be remedied if government turned the law around and assumed that, unless people explicitly choose not to, then they want to donate their organs – a doctrine they call “presumed consent.”

“Presumed consent preserves freedom of choice, but it is different from explicit consent because it shifts the default rule. Under this policy, all citizens would be presumed to be consenting donors, but they would have the opportunity to register their unwillingness to donate,” they explained.

The difference between explicit and presumed consent is that under presumed consent, many more people “choose” to be organ donors. Sunstein and Thaler noted that in a 2003 study only 42 percent of people actively chose to be organ donors, while only 18 percent actively opted out when their consent was presumed.

In cases where the deceased’s wishes are unclear, Sunstein and Thaler argued that a “presumed consent” system would make it easier for doctors to convince families to donate their loved one’s organs.

Citing a 2006 study, Thaler and Sunstein wrote: “The next of kin can be approached quite differently when the decedent’s silence is presumed to indicate a decision to donate rather than when it is presumed to indicate a decision not to donate. This shift may make it easier for the family to accept organ donation.”

The problem of the deceased’s family is only one issue, Sunstein and Thaler said, admitting that turning the idea of choice on its head will invariably run into major political problems, but these are problems they say the government can solve through a system of “mandated choice.”

“Another [problem] is that it is a hard sell politically,” wrote Sunstein and Thaler. “More than a few people object to the idea of ‘presuming’ anything when it comes to such a sensitive matter. For these reasons we think that the best choice architecture for organ donations is mandated choice.”

Mandated choice is a process where government forces you to make a decision – in this case, whether to opt out of being an organ donor to get something you need, such as a driver’s license.

“With mandated choice, renewal of your driver’s license would be accompanied by a requirement that you check a box stating your organ donation preferences,” the authors stated. “Your application would not be accepted unless you had checked one of the boxes.”

To ensure that people’s decisions align with the government policy of more organ donors, Sunstein and Thaler counseled that governments should follow the state of Illinois’ example and try to influence people by making organ donation seem popular.

“First, the state stresses the importance of the overall problem (97,000 people [in Illinois] on the waiting list and then brings the problem home, literally (4,700 in Illinois),” they wrote.

“Second, social norms are directly brought into play in a way that build on the power of social influences [peer pressure]: ‘87 percent of adults in Illinois feel that registering as an organ donor is the right thing to do’ and ’60 percent of adults in Illinois are registered,’” they added.

Sunstein and Thaler reminded policymakers that people will generally do what they think others are doing and what they believe others think is right. These presumptions, which almost everyone has, act as powerful factors as policymakers seek to design choices.

“Recall that people like to do what most people think is right to do; recall too that people like to do what most people actually do,” they wrote. “The state is enlisting existing norms in the direction of lifestyle choices.”

Thaler and Sunstein believed that this and other policies are necessary because people don’t really make the best decisions.

“The false assumption is that almost all people, almost all of the time, make choices that are in their best interest or at the very least are better than the choices that would be made [for them] by someone else,” they said.

This means that government “incentives and nudges” should replace “requirements and bans,” they argued.

Neither Sunstein nor Thaler currently are commenting on their book, a spokesman for the publisher, Penguin Group, told CNSNews.com.

In a question-and-answer section on the Amazon.com Web site, Thaler and Sunstein answered a few questions about their book.

When asked what the title “Nudge” means and why people need to be nudged, the authors stated: “By a nudge we mean anything that influences our choices. A school cafeteria might try to nudge kids toward good diets by putting the healthiest foods at front.

“We think that it's time for institutions, including government, to become much more user-friendly by enlisting the science of choice to make life easier for people and by gently nudging them in directions that will make their lives better,” they wrote.

“…The human brain is amazing, but it evolved for specific purposes, such as avoiding predators and finding food,” said Thaler and Sunstein. “Those purposes do not include choosing good credit card plans, reducing harmful pollution, avoiding fatty foods, and planning for a decade or so from now. Fortunately, a few nudges can help a lot. …”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/53534

Danny Jarman
10-01-2009, 04:22 AM
Here are outstanding reports about the mystery of The Missing Yemenite Children.


For the first time, the Commission of Inquiry on the Kidnaping of Yemenite Children in the 1950s heard specific testimony concerning a Yemenite child that had been stolen from its parents and later identified by the them.

Iris Machlouf told the Commission that her sister, Adina, was kidnaped as a baby after being taken to a hospital. The family was told that the baby had died and was buried, but later they learned that Adina was alive and living in Israel. When their contacts with their daughter were discovered, the child was smuggled to Italy, where she later married and took the name Edna Yisraelovitch.



The "adopting" family then threatened the Machloufs that if they continued to agitate, the Italian mafia would cause them harm. Iris Machlouf told the Commission that she now speaks with her sister occasionally on the phone.
Arutz-7's reporter remarked that a deafening silence overcame the chamber when Ms. Machlouf delivered her testimony.


Selections from her testimony appear at the end of this report.



Following the exclusive Arutz-7 radio report, the Lavi family from Netanya contacted the station claiming that the daughter is their true biological daughter and not adopted.

http://web.archive.org/web/19980115052431/www.arutz7.virtual.co.il/news.jan4-96.htm



Graves of `dead' Yemenite Jewish children found empty (http://www.expressindia.com/news/ie/daily/19970818/23050223.html)


JERUSALEM, AUG 17: Investigators reportedly opened several graves of Yemenite Jewish babies and found them to be empty -- a discovery that might support claims that Yemenite children were taken from their parents for adoption decades ago.

The issue of missing Yemenite babies was supposed to get a boost from a new kind of DNA testing. But as Sarah Tsifroni reports, the tests only led to more suspicions and distrust - and now the bones of babies dug from Israeli graves are in England.

Most of the parents were told that their children died, although these children were likely kidnapped by hospital staff and infant care workers. . . There was neither a death certificate, nor any proof of a death given. . . . there were no known graves.

http://stop-abuse.net/ym3.htm

Herein an outstanding excerpt from The NY Times as of December 1974, alleging about corruption in the Israeli National Religious party, Mafdal. The shocking testimony of Rabbi Avidor Ha`Cohen may show that Children from Israel were likely "exported" to the United States for adoption and sold for about $5,000 each.

http://stop-abuse.net/ym5.htm (http://stop-abuse.net/ym5.htm)

Conclusion:

It is reasonable to believe that none of the Israeli governments was directly involved in the kidnapping of Yemenite children. Some of the children really died, others were adopted with the apparent consent of their families, but many others were kidnapped by independent criminals. Moreover most of these criminals were holding high ranked positions, and this enabled them to evade punishment. Accordingly it makes the establishment quite liable (according to Israeli law). Needless to say that had the babies been Ashkenazi, the investigation of their disappearance would have been held long ago, and without court orders.

More at this link: http://stop-abuse.net/ym.htm

Magda Hassan
12-21-2009, 11:55 AM
Israel harvested organs in '90s without permission
By MARK LAVIE (AP) – 18 hours ago
JERUSALEM — Israel has admitted that in the 1990s, its forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without permission of their families.
The issue emerged with publication of an interview with the then-head of Israel's Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr. Jehuda Hiss. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic, who released it because of a huge controversy last summer over an allegation by a Swedish newspaper that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. Israel hotly denied the charge.
Parts of the interview were broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 TV over the weekend. In it, Hiss said, "We started to harvest corneas ... Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family."
The Channel 2 report said that in the 1990s, forensic specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.
In a response to the TV report, the Israeli military confirmed that the practice took place. "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer," the military said in a statement quoted by Channel 2.
In the interview, Hiss described how his doctors would mask the removal of corneas from bodies. "We'd glue the eyelid shut," he said. "We wouldn't take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids."
Many of the details in the interview first came to light in 2004, when Hiss was dismissed as head of the forensic institute because of irregularities over use of organs there. Israel's attorney general dropped criminal charges against him, and Hiss still works as chief pathologist at the institute. He had no comment on the TV report.
Complaints against the institute, where autopsies of dead bodies are performed, at the time of Hiss' dismissal came from relatives of Israeli soldiers and civilians as well as Palestinians. The bodies belonged to people who died from various causes, including diseases, accidents and Israeli-Palestinian violence, but there has been no evidence to back up the claim in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians for their organs. Angry Israeli officials called the report "anti-Semitic."
The academic, Nancy Sheppard-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley, said she decided to make the interview public in the wake of the Aftonbladet controversy, which raised diplomatic tensions between Israel and Sweden and prompted Sweden's foreign minister to call off a visit to the Jewish state.
Sheppard-Hughes said that while Palestinians were "by a long shot" not the only ones affected by the practice in the 1990s, she felt the interview must be made public now because "the symbolism, you know, of taking skin of the population considered to be the enemy, (is) something, just in terms of its symbolic weight, that has to be reconsidered."
While insisting that all organ harvesting was done with permission, Israel's Health Ministry told Channel 2, "The guidelines at that time were not clear." It added, "For the last 10 years, Abu Kabir has been working according to ethics and Jewish law."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h6I8H32kJbxHmG__nQrcVSOcRmUQD9CN62LO2

Ed Jewett
12-23-2009, 06:00 PM
Corrections and clarifications




Corrections and clarifications column editor
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian), Tuesday 22 December 2009
Article history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/dec/22/corrections-clarifications#history-byline)

•?We should not have put the headline "Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs)" on a story about an admission, by the former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv, that during the 1990s specialists at the institute harvested organs from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers without getting permission from the families of the deceased (21 December, page 15). That headline did not match the article, which made clear that the organs were not taken only from Palestinians. This was a serious editing error and the headline has been changed online to reflect the text of the story written by the reporter.
•?A leader in praise of Cumbrian spirit (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/10/in-praise-cumbria-flooding-community) said that the county council's motto, Ad montes oculos levavi, translated strictly as "I shall lift up mine eyes to the hills". That should have been "I have lifted up mine eyes to the hills" (10 December, page 36).
•?A diary (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/dec/18/hugh-muir-diary-ashcroft) item expressed the view that an actor playing Michael Martin, former Speaker of the House of Commons, would keep the place looking nice, though he might not excel at the Woolsack. Quite right: he would be in the wrong chamber – the Woolsack is in the House of Lords (18 December, page 37).


http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/dec/22/corrections-clarifications

###

« The Beat Goes On (http://blog.z-word.com/2009/12/the-beat-goes-on/)

Guardian Retracts Organ Harvesting Headline (http://blog.z-word.com/2009/12/guardian-retracts-organ-harvesting-headline/)

Published by Ben Cohen (http://blog.z-word.com/author/bcohen/)
on December 23, 2009
in Britain (http://blog.z-word.com/category/britain/), anti-Zionism (http://blog.z-word.com/category/anti-zionism/), antisemitism (http://blog.z-word.com/category/antisemitism/) and bad journalism (http://blog.z-word.com/category/bad-journalism/)

Now here’s one item (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/dec/22/corrections-clarifications) in The Guardian that’s really worth reading:
We should not have put the headline “Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs)” on a story about an admission, by the former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv, that during the 1990s specialists at the institute harvested organs from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers without getting permission from the families of the deceased (21 December, page 15). That headline did not match the article, which made clear that the organs were not taken only from Palestinians. This was a serious editing error and the headline has been changed online to reflect the text of the story written by the reporter.

How, I wonder, could such an error have been made?

Jan Klimkowski
12-23-2009, 07:10 PM
Here's the new Guardian headline:


Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs

:hmmmm2:

Here's the revised article:


Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent
Ian Black, Middle East editor The Guardian, Monday 21 December 2009

Israel has admitted pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families – a practice it said ended in the 1990s – it emerged at the weekend.

The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called "antisemitic".

The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. Iran's state-run Press TV tonight reported the story, illustrated with photographs of dead or badly injured Palestinians.

Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP, said the report incriminated the Israeli army.

The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between Israel and Sweden over a report in the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet.

Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.

The Israeli military confirmed to the programme that the practice took place, but added: "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer."

Hiss said: "We started to harvest corneas ... whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family."

However, there was no evidence that Israel had killed Palestinians to take their organs, as the Swedish paper reported. Aftonbladet quoted Palestinians as saying young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israeli forces and their bodies returned to their families with missing organs. The interview with Hiss was released by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley who had conducted a study of Abu Kabir.

She was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that while Palestinians were "by a long shot" not the only ones affected, she felt the interview must be made public, because "the symbolism, you know, of taking skin of the population considered to be the enemy, [is] something, just in terms of its symbolic weight, that has to be reconsidered."

Israel demanded that Sweden condemn the Aftonbladet article, calling it an antisemitic "blood libel". Stockholm refused, saying that to so would violate freedom of speech in the country. The foreign minister then cancelled a visit to Israel, just as Sweden was taking over the EU's rotating presidency.

Hiss was removed from his post in 2004, when some details about organ harvesting were first reported, but he still works at the forensic institute.

Israel's health ministry said all harvesting was now done with permission. "The guidelines at that time were not clear," it said in a statement to Channel 2. "For the last 10 years, Abu Kabir has been working according to ethics and Jewish law."

• This article was amended on 21 December 2009. The headline was changed as it did not reflect accurately the contents of the story. Nancy Scheper-Hughes's name was misspelled as Nancy Sheppard-Hughes in the original text.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs

Ed Jewett
12-24-2009, 05:51 AM
Thanks, Jan. Not being British or in Britain, or having any sense of how news, politics and things like this are seen in that part of the world, this correction struck me as some "spin" aftermath as various entities battled in the information wars. It is clear from other sources that there is a lot of that going on. I also am personally a little bit more clear on how Judaism and Jewish law sees the issues of organ retrieval, but I live in the USA where law and attitude currently see organ donation as a strictly voluntary procedure (though there is a good deal of pressure to change that). I also find the issue disconcerting to say the least when it involves state/cultural/religious enemies who have been dehumanized in other ways whose faith also requires voluntary approval. There probably is some appropriate song or poem (or hymn?) that ought to be noted here, though I can't think of it, that says "Mother and Father, this is not the world I grew up in".

Magda Hassan
12-24-2009, 10:19 AM
Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine

By Alison Weir

In August Sweden’s largest daily newspaper published an article containing grisly evidence suggesting that Israel had been taking Palestinian internal organs. The article, by veteran photojournalist Donald Bostrom, called for an international investigation to discover the facts.1
http://www.wrmea.com/images/stories/Nov_2009/weir.jpg
In this photograph taken March 22, 2007, Vasile Dimineti holds a picture of his 24-year-old son, who died a year after selling his kidney. The family lives in the impoverished Moldovan village of Mingir, where about 40 of its 7,000 residents are thought to have sold a kidney. AFP photo/Daniel Mihailescu/Files
Israel immediately accused Bostrom and the newspaper of “anti-Semitism,” and charged that suggesting Israelis could be involved in the illicit removal of body parts constituted a modern “blood libel” (medieval stories of Jews killing people for their blood).2
Numerous Israeli partisans repeated these accusations, including Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin, who asserted that the story was “merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of European funded and promoted anti-Israel hate.”3 Others suggested that the newspaper was “irresponsible” for running such an article.4
The fact is, however, that Israeli organ harvesting—sometimes with Israeli governmental funding and the participation of high Israeli officials, prominent Israeli physicians, and Israeli ministries—has been documented for many years. Among the victims have been Palestinians.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Chancellor’s Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, the founder of Organ Watch, and the author of scholarly books and articles on organ trafficking. She is the pundit mainstream media call upon when they need expert commentary on the topic.5
While Scheper-Hughes emphasizes that traffickers and procurers come from numerous nations and ethnicities, including Americans and Arabs, she is unflinchingly honest in speaking about the Israeli connection:
“Israel is at the top,” she states. “It has tentacles reaching out worldwide.”6
In a lecture last year sponsored by New York’s PBS 13 Forum, Scheper-Hughes explained that Israeli organ traffickers, “had and still have a pyramid system at work that’s awesome…they have brokers everywhere, bank accounts everywhere; they’ve got recruiters, they’ve got translators, they’ve got travel agents who set up the visas.”
Lest this sound simply like a successful international concern, it’s important to understand the nature of such a business.
As Scheper-Hughes describes it, organ trafficking consists of “paying the poor and the hungry to slowly dismantle their bodies.”
Organ traffickers prey on the world’s poorest, most desperate citizens—slum dwellers, inhabitants of dying villages, people without means or hope. Traffickers promise them what seem like astronomical sums of money (from $1,000 to $10,000)—which they frequently don’t even deliver—in return for vital internal organs.
For traffickers, human body parts are commodities, to be cut out of the bodies of the poor and sold to the rich. The organ “donors” receive no follow-up care and end up worse off on many levels—physically, financially, psychologically, socially—than even their original tragic situation. Sometimes they are coerced into such “donations.”
Organ sales have been illegal in most countries for years. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which covers prevention, enforcement and sanctions in trafficking of humans, includes in its definition of human exploitation the extraction of organs for profit.7 Israel finally passed legislation against organ trafficking in 2008.8, 9
In her Forum 13 lecture Scheper-Hughes discussed the two motivations of Israeli traffickers. One was greed, she said. The other was somewhat chilling: “Revenge, restitution—reparation for the Holocaust.”
She described speaking with Israeli brokers who told her “it’s kind of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We’re going to get every single kidney and liver and heart that we can. The world owes it to us.’”
Scheper-Hughes says that she “even heard doctors saying that.”
For many years Israelis in need of an internal organ have gone on what experts call “transplant tourism”—traveling to other nations to obtain internal organs. Sometimes body parts are obtained from those freshly dead; more often from the desperately needy. While affluent people from numerous countries and ethnicities engage in this practice, Israel is unique in several significant ways.
First, Israelis engage in this at an extraordinarily high rate. According to a 2001 BBC report, Israelis buy more kidneys per capita than any other population.
Second, Israelis have the lowest donor rate in the world—one-fifth that of Europe, according to BBC. This is in part because there has been a widespread impression that Jewish religious law prohibits transplants as a “desecration of the body.”10 The Israeli news service Ynet reports, “the percentage of organs donated among Jews is the lowest of all the ethnic groups.”11
Third, the Israeli government has enabled the practice. For many years the Israeli health system subsidized its citizens’ “transplant holidays,” reimbursing Israelis $80,000 for medical operations abroad. Much of the remaining costs could often be obtained from government-subsidized12 Israeli insurance plans.13 In addition, Israel’s Ministry of Defense was directly involved.
Scheper-Hughes discussed Israeli organ trafficking in detail in 2001 in published testimony to the Subcommittee on International Relations and Human Rights of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.14 In her extensive testimony, Scheper-Hughes stated that although Israel had become a pariah for its organ policies, Israeli officials exhibited “amazing tolerance…toward outlawed ‘transplant tourism.’”
She described an international syndicate which was “organized through a local business corporation in conjunction with a leading transplant surgeon, operating out of a major medical center not far from Tel Aviv,” and which had forged links with transplant surgeons in Turkey, Russia, Moldavia, Estonia, Georgia, Romania, and New York City.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense was directly involved in what Scheper-Hughes called Israel’s “‘illicit national ‘program’ of transplant tourism…Members of the Ministry of Defense or those closely related to them” accompanied transplant junkets.
In her Forum 13 lecture, Scheper-Hughes said that investigating Israeli organ trafficking over the past decade had taken her “from country to country to country to country.”
One of these is Moldova, the poorest country in Europe—and homeland of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman—where 90 percent of the people earn less than $2 a day. A 2001 BBC report on organ trafficking described the situation: “Hundreds of Israelis have created a production line that starts in the villages of Moldova, where men today are walking around with one kidney.15
Another is Brazil, where a legislative commission found that 30 Brazilians from impoverished neighborhoods had sold their kidneys to a trafficking ring headed by Israelis, with Israeli citizens receiving almost all of the organs, and the Israeli government providing most of the funding.16
The ring had also begun inquiring about buying other vital organs from poor residents, including lungs, livers and corneas.17
An Inter Press Service (IPS) news story from the time reported that Scheper-Hughes testified to the commission that international trafficking of human organs had begun some 12 years earlier, promoted by Zaki Shapira, head of kidney transplant services at Bellinson Medical Center, near Tel Aviv.
Scheper-Hughes reported that Shapira had performed more than 300 kidney transplants, sometimes accompanying his patients to other countries such as Turkey. The recipients were very wealthy or had very good health insurance, and the “donors” very poor people from Eastern Europe, the Philippines and other developing countries.
The chairman of the Brazilian commission, physician Raimundo Pimentel, was outraged at Israeli policies, pointing out that trafficking can only take place on a large scale if there is a major source of financing, such as the Israeli health system. Pimentel charged that the resources provided by the Israeli health system “were a determining factor” in enabling a network that preyed on society’s poorest populations.
In 2004 there were reports that Israeli traffickers had added China to their target donor populations.18 In one recent case an Israeli paid an organ broker $100,000 for a kidney transplant in China from an 18-year-old Chinese girl. She received $5,000 and died following surgery.19
[I]New York Times reporter Larry Rohter pointed out that allowing brokers to operate with few restrictions benefited Israel “by exporting Israel’s organ shortage overseas.” Rohter cites a kidney specialist at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem who explained that patients who go abroad “‘save the country a lot of money; not only in terms of what doesn’t have to be spent on dialysis, but also by opening places for other people who are on the list.’”20
Many people find governmental complicity in organ trafficking deeply troubling on moral and philosophical grounds.
As Scheper-Hughes testified: “The sale of human organs and tissues requires that certain disadvantaged individuals, populations, and even nations have been reduced to the role of ‘suppliers.’
“It is a scenario in which only certain bodies are broken, dismembered, fragmented, transported, processed, and sold in the interests of a more socially advantaged population...of receivers.” She believes that the risks and benefits of organ transplant surgery should be more equally distributed among nations, ethnic groups, and social classes.
Organ theft

It is difficult to know how often Israeli trafficking involves outright theft of vital organs from living human beings.
It is not rare for the “donor” to receive little or none of the compensation promised. For example, in 2007 Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that two Israelis had confessed to persuading Palestinians “from the Galilee and central Israel who were developmentally challenged or mentally ill to agree to have a kidney removed for payment.” According to the Haaretz report, after the organ had been taken the traffickers refused to pay for them.
On occasion, people are coerced into giving up their organs. For example, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, the alleged Brooklyn trafficker recently arrested in an FBI sweep in New Jersey, reportedly carried a gun. When a potential organ seller would try to back out, Rosenbaum would use his finger to simulate firing a gun at the person’s head.
The Rosenbaum case, reportedly part of a ring centered in Israel, is the first case of trafficking to be prosecuted in the US. His arrest and the substantial evidence against him may have surprised State Department Countermisinformation Director Todd Leventhal, who had characterized organ trafficking as an “urban legend,” stating, “It would be impossible to successfully conceal a clandestine organ-trafficking ring.” Leventhal called such reports “irresponsible and totally unsubstantiated.”
More often organ theft involves dead bodies—or those alleged to be dead.
Israel’s very first successful heart transplant, in fact, used a stolen heart.
In 1968 Avraham Sadegat unexpectedly died two days after being hospitalized in Beilinson Hospital in Israel’s Petah Tikva for a stroke. When his family finally was able to retrieve his body (the hospital initially refused to release it) they found his chest covered with bandages; odd, they thought, for a stroke victim. Upon removing these they discovered that the chest cavity was stuffed with bandages and the heart was missing.21
During this time, the Israeli press was heralding the historic heart transplant, performed by a team of surgeons who were to become some of Israel’s most celebrated physicians, among them Dr. Morris Levy, Dr. Bernardo Vidne, and Dr Jack Solomon, who harvested the heart.22
When the family began to ask questions, the hospital denied any connection. After the man’s wife and brother had raised a media furor, petitioned three cabinet ministers—and agreed to sign a document that they would not sue—the hospital finally admitted it was Sadegat’s heart that had been used.
Haaretz quoted Sadegat’s tearful wife: “They treated him like an alley cat. From the moment he entered the hospital, they apparently saw him only as a potential source of organs and not as a man in need of treatment. They only thought about how to do the deed without us knowing.”
Sadegat’s medical condition before his heart was removed has not been made public. It is possible—perhaps probable—that up until his heart was removed it was still beating; according to an Israeli media report, “once a heart stops beating, it is no longer fit for transplantation.”23
Even if he was what is now termed “brain dead,” the general view is that family members should at least be a party to decisions regarding the patient: first, whether to “pull the plug,” and, second, whether to donate an organ. At the time, however, Israeli law allowed organs to be harvested without the family’s consent.
Forty years later the hospital held an anniversary celebration of the transplant, despite the fact that, according to Haaretz, the heart had been obtained “through deceit and trickery.” The festivities, which honored surviving members of the transplant team, featured balloons and a red, heart-shaped cake.
In this incident of organ theft (and from a possibly living body), the family was Israeli. Had the wife and brother been Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza, they would not have possessed the power to force a confession from the hospital, and it is likely that those individuals today calling the Swedish article a “blood libel” or “irresponsible journalism” would have applied the same epithets to journalists reporting questions concerning the historic Israeli heart transplant—if any reporters even bothered or dared to do so.
Yehuda Hiss, keeper of the morgue

Perhaps one of the most long-term and high-level cases of organ theft—and one that involves Palestinian as well as Israeli organs—concerns an extraordinarily high official: Dr. Yehuda Hiss, Israel’s chief pathologist and, from 1988 through 2004, director of Israel’s state morgue, the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.
An early indication of malfeasance came to light in 1998 and concerned a Scottish man named Alisdair Sinclair, who had died under questionable circumstances after being taken into custody at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.
The Israeli story, as reported by the Israeli news magazine Jerusalem Report, is that Sinclair had confessed to transporting drugs, even though none were found, although he was in possession of 9,000 German marks ($5,000). He then, the police claim, hanged himself by looping his shoelaces and T-shirt around a towel bar about a meter off the ground and slipped the improvised noose around his neck. From a squatting position, the police story goes, he repeatedly threw his bodyweight downward, choking himself.
Sinclair did not die, however, and medics were able to restore a heartbeat. He was transferred to a hospital where, according to the magazine report, the hospital’s associate director, Dr. Yigal Halperin, said that Sinclair “had suffered irreversible brain damage, and there was little doctors could do for him. Left in a corner of the emergency room, he died at 7 p.m. [It’s unknown whether he had been put on life support.] His corpse was transferred to the Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir for an autopsy.”
Afterwards, Israeli authorities located Sinclair’s family and gave them three weeks to dispose of the body. They suggested that he be buried in a Christian cemetery in Israel, pointing out that this would be one-third the cost of shipping the body back to Scotland. However, the grieving family scraped up the money to bring him home.
They had a second autopsy performed by Glasgow University, only to discover that Sinclair’s heart and a small bone in his throat called the hyoid were missing. The British Embassy filed a complaint with Israel, and a heart was sent to Scotland. According to the Jerusalem Report, the family “wanted the Forensic Institute to pay for a DNA test to confirm that this heart was indeed their brother’s, but the Institute’s director, Prof. Jehuda Hiss, refused, citing the prohibitive cost.”
Despite a protest from the British government, Israel refused to supply Hiss’s pathology findings or the police report. According to the British government and a report in the Israeli media, around the time of Sinclair’s death a doctor at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital put in a request for a hyoid bone for research purposes—and eventually received a bill for shipping costs.24 Israel retained Sinclair’s $5,000.
Through the years Hiss and the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic medicine continued to be accused of organ theft. In 2000 the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot published an investigative report alleging that Hiss had been extracting organs without permission and then packing the bodies with broomsticks and cotton wool to fill in cavities before burial. The report charged that under Hiss the institute had been involved in organ sales of body parts—“legs, thighs, ovaries, breasts and testicles,” allegedly to medical institutions.
In 2001 a district judge found the Institute had performed hundreds of autopsies and had removed body parts without the families’ permission—and sometimes in direct opposition to their expressed wishes.25 One report described a “museum of skulls” at the institute.
Little was done, however, and complaints continued—often by the parents of dead Israeli soldiers horrified to discover that body parts had been taken from their sons. Finally, in 2004 Israel’s health minister transferred directorship of the morgue itself away from Hiss. Hiss, however, retained his position as Israel’s chief pathologist, a post it appears he holds to this day.26, 27
Hiss had also been connected with two previous national scandals, both of which may have involved powerful people in Israel, which may account for his longevity in Israel’s medical establishment despite years of proven wrongdoing.
The first controversy concerned the “Yemenite Children’s Affair”—a situation, largely from the early 1950s, in which a thousand babies and small children of recent immigrants to Israel had “disappeared.”
When the immigrants had arrived as part of Israel’s “ingathering of the exiles,” babies were immediately taken from their mothers and placed in children’s houses. Many were hospitalized for a variety of ills, and hundreds died, their deaths coming in such large numbers that they were announced over loudspeakers.
The distraught parents often never saw the body or received a death certificate, and there were growing suspicions that not all had died—some, it was believed, had been “given” to Ashkenazi parents. One author writes: “It was a well-known fact within the Jewish community in the United States that if a family wanted a child they could go to and simply pay the necessary fee.”28
Some Israeli investigators have found considerable evidence for these charges, and indications of complicity at multiple levels of the power structure. In fact, one researcher charges: “People in positions of power at the time that the State of Israel was established profited from the abduction and sale of children from poor immigrant families.”29
Hiss’ connection comes in 1997, when Israel finally had formed a committee to investigate the disappearance of Yemenite and other Jewish children in the years 1948-1954. Among those testifying before this committee was a California woman who had come to Israel searching for her biological mother—and, according to DNA testing by a geneticist at Hebrew University, had found her.
The committee demanded that another DNA test be conducted at the Abu Kabir forensic institute. As at least one observer predicted ahead of time, Hiss’s test came up negative, and the government was allegedly exonerated, despite the fact that the geneticist who had conducted the first tests stood by his results.30
Hiss also plays a role in some conspiracy theories regarding the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, who had begun a peace process with Palestinians. In March 1999 a group of academics presented findings alleging that Hiss had submitted false evidence to the commission that investigated the killing.31
[B]Palestinian Victims

Israelis have also targeted Palestinians, a particularly vulnerable population on numerous levels.
In her congressional subcommittee testimony, Scheper-Hughes reported that before he moved overseas, Israeli hospital transplant head Zaki Shapira had located kidney sellers “amongst strapped Palestinian workers in Gaza and the West Bank.” She said that his “hand was slapped by an ethics board,” and he moved his practice overseas.
For decades numerous Palestinians and others have charged Israel with taking body parts from Palestinians they had wounded or killed.
In her subcommittee testimony, Scheper-Hughes testified that toward the end of the apartheid period in South Africa, “human rights groups in the West Bank complained to me of tissue and organs stealing of slain Palestinians by Israeli pathologists at the national Israeli legal medical institute in Tel Aviv.”
A Washington Report for Middle East Affairs article by Mary Barrett (see “Autopsies and Executions,” April 1990 Washington Report, p. 21 (http://www.wrmea.com/component/content/article/126-1990-april/1189-autopsies-and-executions.html)) reported “widespread anxiety over organ thefts which has gripped Gaza and the West Bank since the intifada began in December of 1987.”
Barrett quotes a forensic physician: “There are indications that for one reason or another, organs, especially eyes and kidneys, were removed from the bodies during the first year or year and a half. There were just too many reports by credible people for there to be nothing happening. If someone is shot in the head and comes home in a plastic bag without internal organs, what will people assume?”
A 2002 news story from IRNA reported that three Palestinian boys aged 14-15 had been killed by Israeli forces on Dec. 30, their bodies finally being returned for burial on Jan. 6. According to the report: “shortly before burial, Palestinian medical authorities examined the bodies and found out that the main vital organs were missing from the bodies.” In an interview on Al Jazeera, President Yasser Arafat held up photos of the boys, saying, “They murder our kids and use their organs as spare parts.”
Journalist Khalid Amayreh, recently investigating this topic further, found that “several other Palestinians gave a similar narrative, recounting how they received the bodies of their murdered relatives, mostly men in their early twenties, with vital organs taken away by the Israeli authorities.”
Israel has consistently characterized such accusations as “anti-Semitic,” and numerous other journalists have discounted them as exaggerations.
However, according to the pro-Israel Forward magazine, the truth of these charges was, in fact, confirmed by an Israeli governmental investigation a number of years ago.
In a recent story critical of the Swedish article, the Forward actually confirmed its main point, that Israel had been taking the body parts of slain Palestinians. The Forward article reported that one of the governmental investigations into Hiss had revealed that “he seemed to view every body that ended up in his morgue, whether Israeli or Palestinian, as fair game for organ harvesting.”32
Over the years, a great many Palestinian bodies have “ended up” in the Israeli morgue. In numerous cases Israeli occupation forces have taken custody of wounded or dead Palestinians. Sometimes their bodies are never returned to their grieving families—Palestinian NGOs say there are at least 250 such cases.
In other cases the bodies have been returned to the families days later, with crudely stitched naval-to-chin incisions. On many occasions Israeli soldiers have delivered the bodies late at night and required the bereaved families to bury their children, husbands, and brothers immediately, under Israeli military guard, sometimes with the electricity shut off.
In 2005 an Israeli soldier33 described a military doctor who gave “medics lessons in anatomy” using the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. Haaretz reports: “The soldier said that the Palestinian’s body had been riddled with bullets and that some of his internal organs had spilled out. The doctor pronounced the man dead and then ‘took out a knife and began to cut off parts of the body,’ the soldier said.
“‘He explained the various parts to us—the membrane that covers the lungs, the layers of the skin, the liver, stuff like that,’ the soldier continued. ‘I didn’t say anything because I was still new in the army. Two of the medics moved away, and one of them threw up. It was all done very brutally. It was simply contempt for the body.’”34
While most Israeli investigations into organ theft have largely ignored the Palestinian component, a number of significant facts are known:


Palestinian organs were harvested during years of an astonishingly lax system in which the body parts even of Jewish Israelis were extracted illicitly at the national morgue by the chief pathologist and exchanged for money.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are largely a captive population. Numerous reports by highly reputable Israeli and international organizations have documented a situation in which Palestinians have few if any real rights; Israeli forces have killed civilians with impunity, imprisoned massive numbers of people without benefit of trials, and routinely abused prisoners.
Israeli authorities have conducted numerous autopsies of Palestinians without permission of their families, without even a semblance of public transparency, and without, it appears, accompanying reports. For example, the families of those who were taken while still alive are not provided with a medical report stating time and cause of death.
A very small but significant minority of Israelis, including military officers and governmental ministers, hold extremist supremacist views relevant to organ extraction. In 1996, [I]Jewish Week reported that Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, a leader of the Lubavitch sect of Judaism and the dean of a religious Jewish school in a West Bank settlement, stated: “If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that.” Ginzburgh elaborated: “Jewish life has infinite value. There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life.” [The Jewish Week, April 26, 1996, pp. 12, 31]

While most Israelis strenuously repudiate such beliefs, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, an Israeli scholar on Jewish scriptural views on racism and ethnic chauvinism, has said, “The sad thing is, these statements are in our books.” Greenberg, who was a professor at Hebrew University, pointed out that such Talmudic texts were “purely theoretical” at the time of their writing, because Jews did not have the power to carry them out. Now, he pointed out, “they’re carried over into circumstances where Jews have a state and are empowered.”
While it is impossible to know whether any Israelis have ever acted on such religious permission to kill a non-Jew in order to provide body parts to Jews, some observers have considered this a possibility.
Dr. A. Clare Brandabur, a distinguished American scholar who has lived and traveled extensively in Palestine, writes that the information published in the Swedish article “resonates with reports from Palestinians in Gaza which I heard during the first intifada.”
She comments, “When I interviewed Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi, head of the Red Crescent in Gaza, I mentioned to him reports of shootings of Palestinian children at times when there were no ‘clashes’ going on—a solitary 6-year-old entering his schoolyard in the morning with his bookbag on his back. The soldiers abducted the wounded child at gunpoint, then his body would be returned a few days later having undergone an ‘autopsy at Abu Kabir Hospital.’”
She says: “I asked Dr. Shafi if he had considered the possibility that these killings were being done for organ transplant, since (as Israel Shahak notes in Jewish History, Jewish Religion), it is not allowed to take Jewish organs to save a Jewish life, but it is allowed to take the organs of non-Jews to save Jewish lives. Dr. Shafi said he had suspected such things but since they had no access to the records of Abu Kabir Hospital, there was no way to verify these suspicions.”
Scheper-Hughes, in her congressional testimony, describes the danger of “organs got by any means possible including (I was told by one guilt-ridden practitioner) chemically inducing the signs of brain death in dying patients of no means and with access to minimal social support or family surveillance.”
Whether or not there have ever been organ-inspired murders in Israel as it appears there have elsewhere, numerous groups around the world are urging an international investigation into Israel’s handling of Palestinian bodies in its custody.
However, the Israeli government and its powerful advocates abroad, who regularly block investigations into Israeli actions, are doing their utmost to prevent this one.35, 36 Several lawsuits have been filed against the Swedish newspaper, the largest by Israeli lawyer and IDF officer Guy Ophir, who filed a $7.5 million lawsuit in New York against the newspaper and Bostrom. Ophir declared that Israel must “silence the reporter and the newspaper.”37
International investigations, of course, have two results: the innocent are absolved, the guilty discovered.
It is clear which category Israel believes it falls into.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew and is on the board of the Council for the National Interest.

An Internet petition calling for an investigation can be viewed at

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/investigateorgantheft/


Footnotes:

1 Bostrom, Donald, “Our sons plundered for their organs,” Aftonbladet, Aug. 17, 2009 , translated by Tlaxcala.
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en
(Original Swedish version at http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab )
2 Israel Insider, “Netanyahu to press Sweden to condemn blood libel,” Aug. 23, 2009
http://israelinsider.ning.com/profiles/blogs/netanyahu-to-press-sweden-to
3 Tobin, Jonathan, “Swedish Anti-Semites Dig Up a Blood Libel,” CommentaryMagazine.com, Aug. 20, 2009
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/tobin/76522
4 Cassel, Matthew, “Baseless organ theft accusations will not bring Israel to justice,” The Electronic Intifada, Aug. 24, 2009
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10730.shtml
5Scheper-Hughes, Nancy, “The Organ of Last Resort,” UNESCO, www.unesco.org, July, 2001
http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_07/uk/doss34.htm
University of California Berkeley Anthropology Faculty CV: Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Chancellor’s Professor in Medical Anthropology, Head, Doctoral Program in Medical Anthropology, Critical Studies in Medicine, Science and the Body, Director, Organs Watch
http://anthropology.berkeley.edu/nsh.html
6 Griffin, Drew and David Fitzpatrick, “Donor says he got thousands for his kidney,” CNN Special Investigations Unit, CNN, Sept. 2, 2009
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/09/01/blackmarket.organs/index.html
7Osava, Mario, “BRAZIL: Poor Sell Organs to Trans-Atlantic Trafficking Ring,” Inter Press Service (IPS), Feb. 23, 2004
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=22524
8 Yeshiva World News, “CNN: Israel a Leader in Organ Trafficking,” Sept. 3, 2009
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/38973/CNN:+Israel+a+Leader+in+Organ+Trafficking.html
9Chabin, Michele, “Organ Donation: Legal, But Still Controversial,” Jewish Week, April 9, 2008
http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c40_a7588/News/Israel.html
10Rohter, Larry, “Tracking the Sale of a Kidney on a Path of Poverty and Hope,” The New York Times, May 23, 2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/international/americas/23BRAZ.html?th=&pagewanted=print&position=
11Shapira-Rosenberg, Efrat, “A mitzvah called organ donation,” Ynet News, June 10, 2007
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388529,00.html
12 Rohter, Larry, op. cit.
13Ibid.
14 “Organs for Sale: China’s Growing Trade and Ultimate Violation of Prisoners’ Rights,” Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, 107th Congress, First Session, June 27, 2001, Serial No. 107–29
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa73452.000/hfa73452_0f.htm
15 Lloyd-Roberts, Sue, “Europe’s poorest country supplying organs to its neighbours,” BBC Newsnight, 9/7/01
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/newsnight/1437345.stm
16 “BRAZIL: Poor Sell Organs to Trans-Atlantic Trafficking Ring,” Mario Osava, IPS, Feb. 23, 2004
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=22524
17New York Times
18 “Israeli organ traffickers shift operations to China,” BioEdge, June 4, 2004
http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/7726/ http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/international/americas/23BRAZ.html?th=&pagewanted=print&position= (http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/7726/%20http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/international/americas/23BRAZ.html?th=&pagewanted=print&position=)
19 “CNN: Israel a Leader in Organ Trafficking,” Yeshiva World News, Sept. 3, 2009
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/38973/CNN:+Israel+a+Leader+in+Organ+Trafficking.html
20“Tracking the Sale of a Kidney on a Path of Poverty and Hope,” New York Times, Larry Rohter, May 23, 2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/international/americas/23BRAZ.html?th
21 “40 years after Israel’s first transplant, donor’s family says his heart was stolen,” Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz, Dec., 14, 2008
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1046041.html
22“40 years on, medical staffers from Israel’s first human heart transplant reminisce about the feat,” Judy Siegel, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 2008
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P1-159077338.html
23“Shas swing vote pushes through organ donor law,” Shahar Ilan, Haaretz, March 25, 2008
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/968084.html
“With top rabbis’ blessing, Knesset approves organ donation law,” Shahar Ilan, Haaretz, Aug. 7, 2008
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/967871.html
24 “Scottish Tourist’s Family Rejects Out-of-Court Settlement,” Netty C. Gross, The Jerusalem Report, Jan. 29, 2001
25“Attorney-General lodges complaint against Abu Kabir coroner,” Dan Izenbert, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2003
26 “Hiss fired for repeated body-part scandals,” Judy Siegel, Jerusalem Post, May 11, 2004
27 “Infamous Chief Pathologist to Once Again Evade Punishment,” Ezra HaLevi, Arutz Sheva Israel National News, Sept. 26, 2005
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518
28 “Were the Children Sold?” Yechiel A. Mann, Stop-Abuse.net
http://stop-abuse.net/ym5.htm
29 “The Missing Children,” Yechiel A. Mann, Stop-Abuse.net
http://stop-abuse.net/ym1.htm
30 “Infamous Chief Pathologist to Once Again Evade Punishment,” Ezra HaLevi, Arutz Sheva Israel National News, Sept. 26, 2005
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518
31“Infamous Chief Pathologist to Once Again Evade Punishment,” Ezra HaLevi, Arutz Sheva Israel National News, Sept. 26, 2005
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518
32“Illicit Body-Part Sales Present Widespread Problem,”
By Rebecca Dube, Forward, Published Aug. 26, 2009, issue of Sept. 4, 2009
http://www.forward.com/articles/112915/
33“Palestinian corpse used for IDF anatomy lesson,” Amos Harel, Haaretz, Jan. 28, 2005
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=533018
34 “The Swedish canard—not only smoke, but also fire,” Shraga Elam, Aug. 25, 2009 (posted Sept. 4, 2009)
(Hebrew: http://cafe.themarker.com/view.php?t=1192567 )
http://shraga-elam.blogspot.com/2009/09/swedish-canard-not-only-smoke-but-also.html
35 “Israeli lawyer sues Swedish paper,” JTA, Aug. 27, 2009
http://jta.org/news/article/2009/08/27/1007480/israeli-lawyer-sues-swedish-paper
36 “Israeli lawyer sues ‘Aftonbladet’ in NY Court,” E.B. Solomont, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 26, 2009
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1251145124980&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
37 “Israeli Reservists To Sue Swedish Newspaper,” David Bedein, The Bulletin, August 30, 2009
http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/09/04/news/world/doc4a9aa59f46ce3700709743.prt
http://www.wrmea.com/component/content/article/321-2009-november/6602-israeli-organ-trafficking-and-theft-from-moldova-to-palestine.html
(http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/09/04/news/world/doc4a9aa59f46ce3700709743.prt)

Chris Bowen
02-03-2010, 07:50 PM
Focus on Israel: Harvesting Haitian Organs

January 26th, 2010 6:20 AM http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/skins/custom/img/redPrint.gif (http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/01/26/focus-on-israel-harvesting-haitian-organ?tempskin=basic)

by Stephen Lendman
On January 15, Haaretz reported that:
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/media/blogs/blog/15/israel_usa_genocide_states.jpg
"The Israel Defense Forces' aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight (January 14) with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers (were) in the delegation, including 120 medical staff (to) operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince."
According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it includes "40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an internal department and a maternity ward (able to) treat approximately 500 patients each day," including in two surgery rooms.
On January 20, Lebanon's Al-Manar TV reported on the mission, citing a damning You Tube video posted by an American named T. West from a group called AfriSynergy Productions.
"The video presents something to think about while exploiting the horrible tragedy that has befallen Haiti where Israeli occupation soldiers are engaged in organ trafficking."

continues with lengthy re-cycling of previous article at :http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/01/26/focus-on-israel-harvesting-haitian-organ (http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/01/26/focus-on-israel-harvesting-haitian-organ)

Chris Bowen
02-13-2010, 06:20 PM
Nick Clegg fires 'distasteful' LibDem frontbencher over Haiti organ-trafficking claims



By Daily Mail Reporter (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Daily+Mail+Reporter)
Last updated at 12:25 AM on 13th February 2010

A Liberal Democrat frontbencher was sacked today after calling for an inquiry into allegations that Israeli soldiers in Haiti had been involved with organ-trafficking.

Party leader Nick Clegg removed Baroness Tonge as a LibDem health spokeswoman in the House of Lords, describing her remarks as 'wrong, distasteful and provocative'.

It is the second time she has been fired for making controversial comments about Israel.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/13/article-0-009012711000044C-180_468x326.jpg
Baroness Tonge has been sacked over her controversial comments about Israeli soldiers in Haiti

The latest row followed accusations in the online Palestine Telegraph - of which Lady Tonge is a patron - that members of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had been harvesting body parts in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
She subsequently told the Jewish Chronicle: 'To prevent allegations such as these - which have already been posted on YouTube - going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti.'

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/13/article-0-03C4F4BC000005DC-628_233x423.jpg
Mr Clegg said Baroness Tonge's comments were 'wrong, distasteful and provocative'

Fellow Lib Dems were said to have complained to Mr Clegg about her comments.

In a statement issued this evening, the leader said the peer 'apologises unreservedly'.

He said: 'Following discussions with the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord McNally, I have decided that Jenny Tonge will stand down as Liberal Democrat health spokesperson in the Lords following her unacceptable comments suggesting an inquiry into highly offensive allegations against the IDF humanitarian operation in Haiti.

'The comments were wrong, distasteful and provocative and I recognise the deep and understandable distress they have caused to the Jewish community.

'While I do not believe that Jenny Tonge is anti-semitic or racist, I regard her comments as wholly unacceptable. Jenny Tonge apologises unreservedly for the offence she has caused.'
Lady Tonge was a Lib Dem MP between 1997 and 2005, when she entered the Lords.

She has regularly run into controversy for her critical stance towards Israel.

In 2004, she was sacked as a LibDem spokeswoman on children's issues after suggesting she could consider becoming a suicide bomber.

Then leader Charles Kennedy dropped her after she told a pro-Palestinian meeting in Westminster: 'If I had been a mother and a grandmother in Palestine living for decades in that situation, I don't know, I may well have become one myself.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250708/Liberal-Democrat-leader-Nick-Clegg-fires-distasteful-Baroness-Tonge-Haiti-organ-trafficking-claims.html#ixzz0fRQhO97B (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250708/Liberal-Democrat-leader-Nick-Clegg-fires-distasteful-Baroness-Tonge-Haiti-organ-trafficking-claims.html#ixzz0fRQhO97B)

Christer Forslund
12-02-2010, 08:06 PM
Nancy Scheper-Hughes – Counter Punch (October 25, 2010)


Editorial Note: Nancy Scheper-Hughes is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she directs the doctoral program in medicine and society. Since 1996, she has been involved in active field research on the global traffic in human organs, following the movement of bodies, body parts, transplant doctors, their patients, brokers, and kidney sellers, and the practices of organ and tissue harvesting in several countries – from Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba, to Moldova, Israel and Turkey, to India, South Africa, and the United States. She is a co-founder of Organs Watch, an independent, medical human rights, research and documentation center at UC Berkeley.

What follows is her detailed report on the tissue, skin, bone and organ harvesting conducted for many years at Israel’s L. Greenberg National Institute of Forensic Medicine, a.k.a. The Abu Kabir Institute, under the aegis of its former director and current chief pathologist, Dr. Yehuda Hiss. Long before Donald Boström leveled allegations of organ-harvesting from Palestinians in the Swedish tabloid, Aftonbladet, in August 2009, causing furious accusations of “blood libel,” Dr. Scheper-Hughes had already interviewed Dr. Hiss and had on tape the interview that forms part of her report here.

Dr. Scheper-Hughes says her purpose here is to refute the controversial official statements of the Ministry of Health and the IDF that while there may have been irregularities at the National Forensic Institute, they have long since ended. To this day, she says, they have failed to acknowledge, punish, or rectify various medical human rights abuses, past and present at the National Forensic Institute. While many of the allegations are widely known, the testimony by Israeli state pathologist and IDF (reserve) Lt. Col. Chen Kugel has never been published in English and his allegations are known only within Israel. Dr. Scheper-Hughes invited Dr. Kugel to speak publicly on this topic in the U.S. on May 6, 2010.

There are three lawsuits ongoing in Israel at the present moment concerning the Forensic Institute and Dr. Hiss. Two concerns alleged abuses against the dead bodies of Israeli citizens. The third concerns Rachel Corrie, a U.S. citizen who was killed in Gaza in 2003 while protesting the demolition of houses. Transcripts of court proceedings show that Corrie’s autopsy was conducted in contravention of an Israeli court order that an official from the U.S. Embassy be present. These transcripts also show Dr. Hiss conceding that he had kept samples from Corrie’s body without her family’s knowledge. Dr. Hiss also testified that he was uncertain where these samples now are. For his part, Dr. Kugel asserts that abuses at the Institute continue to this day.

The Scheper-Hughes article takes care to note Dr. Kugel’s description of his former mentor, Dr. Hiss, as a man who saw himself as willing to take great personal and professional risks “to serve a noble end… to help the war-wounded victims of terrorist attacks,” with his actions “as something sublime, or even heroic, as a modern-day Robin Hood.” AC/JSC

In July 2009, I was identified as the “whistle-blower” in the arrest by New Jersey FBI agents of a Brooklyn organs trafficker, an orthodox rabbi, Isaac Rosenbaum,1,2 whose unorthodox business activities I had uncovered several years earlier while investigating an international network of outlaw transplant surgeons, their brokers, lawyers, kidney hunters, insurance and travel agents, safe house operators, and “baby sitters” to mind sick and anxious international “transplant tourists.” The particular criminal network, in which Rosenbaum played a bit part, originated in Israel through a “company” run by a well-known crime boss Ilan Peri, who had over the years established shady transplant deals and kidney transplant outlets and connections in Turkey, Moldova, the Ukraine, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, the Philippines, China, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Columbia, and the United States.3

The arrests, amidst gunfire in the operating rooms, of two of Ilan Peri’s transplant associates – Dr. Zaki Shapira, formerly of Rabin Medical Center, Petach Tikva, Israel, and his Turkish associate Dr. Yusuf Sonmez – in a private hospital in Istanbul in 20074 gave pause to the Israeli Ministry of Health which, until then, had permitted Israeli sick funds (medical insurance) to reimburse living donors overseas with transplants, many of them trafficked from the former Soviet Union countries. The kidney sellers captured in the Turkish shootout, however, were two Palestinians, Omar Abu Gaber, age 42, and Zaheda Mahammid, age 26. The organ recipients were an Israeli man of 68, Zeev Vigdor, and a younger South African man, John Richard Halford, who were filmed on Turkish TV being carried out of the operating room on stretchers and taken to another hospital before being returned home, without the transplants they had so desired.
After his release from a German prison in 2007, Peri returned to Israel, where he was investigated for tax fraud,5 detained, but released because Israel’s organ-transplant laws were murky with respect to the legality of “brokering” overseas transplants using paid donors. In 2008, two new laws were passed by the Israeli Parliament (Knesset): one that paved the way for applying brain death criteria that would satisfy the ultraorthodox, and the other that outlaws buying, selling and brokering organs for transplant.6 The Ministry of Health no longer reimburses overseas transplants unless they are legal. Peri continues to organize transplant tours, but today, he claims, using only deceased donor organs and legal pathways.

In its heyday (1997-2007), the Israeli transplant tourism/organ-trafficking network was an ingenious and extremely lucrative multimillion-dollar program that supplied a few thousand Israeli patients and diasporic Jews worldwide with the “fresh” organs and transplants they needed. With Rosenbaum’s arrest, the U.S. media were suddenly interested in the Israeli-based transplant-trafficking scheme, now that there was a proven link to hospitals in New York City.

The NYC Commissioner of Health and the FBI, whom I alerted years earlier about the Rosenbaum transplant gang, had dismissed the information as lacking credibility. How could patients and kidney sellers from two different countries be smuggled into hospitals for illegal transplants? How would they get through the red tape required for any transplant operation? It sounded like an old wives’ tale, an urban legend, or a blood libel against Jewish surgeons and their patients. And that was the worst suspicion of all.

Although the criminal justice system refused to believe the story I gave them, transplant surgeons working in hospitals in the U.S. who had been approached by Ilan Peri and his associates, including Isaac Rosenbaum, knew it to be true and knew that some of their colleagues were complicit in transplant crimes that ranged from violating the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) in the buying and selling organs, to fraud, deception, money laundering, taking bribes, participating in organized crime and human trafficking. The Rosenbaum case, still in preparation, will be the first U.S. federal prosecution of crimes related to organs trafficking.7


The Aftonbladet Story Breaks
Then, in August 2009, another organ-trafficking story broke, one that linked Rosenbaum’s U.S.-Israel organ-brokering and money-laundering schemes with much older allegations of organ-and-tissue stealing from the bodies of Palestinian “terrorists” and stone throwers’ following autopsy at Israel’s National Forensic Institute in Abu Kabir, a neighborhood of Tel Aviv. These allegations, dating back to the early 1990s, were recycled by a Swedish journalist Donald Boström in a left-leaning Swedish tabloid, Aftonbladet, on August 17, 2009.8

Headlined “Our Sons Plundered for Their Organs,” Boström’s feature story was a mix of organ-theft accusations, seemingly coincidental connections, and political rhetoric. The information was based on Boström’s research in Israel and the Occupied Territories during the first Intifada, and his award-winning book, Inshallah,9 published in 2001, where Bostrom first introduced the allegations of body tampering and organ-and-tissue theft from Palestinian dead brought for autopsy to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. Boström’s article suggested that Palestinian bodies were being harvested as the “spoils of war.”

The Aftonbladet story, instantly translated into Hebrew and English, created a firestorm of protest that included a libel lawsuit by anti-defamation lawyers in New York City and a boycott of Swedish industries. Boström was labeled an anti-Semite, and the story he “dredged up from the sewer” was labeled a despicable “blood libel” against Israel and the world’s Jews.

I read these news reports with mounting dread. Like Boström, I was once greeted during a research visit to Israel in 2003 with an ugly headline and centerfold ( “New Blood Libel on French TV – Israel Steals Kidneys of Orphan Children in Moldova”) in Makor Rishon, a right-wing tabloid.10 The feature story reviewed an hour-long TV documentary by French filmmaker Catherine Bentellier, Kidneys Worth their Weight in Gold. I had traveled with the filmmaker to Moldova in 2001, where we interviewed people in villages that had been ravaged by organs traffickers targeting young men and trafficking them to Turkey, the Ukraine and Georgia as paid, sometimes coerced, kidney providers to Israeli transplant patients. The “blood libel” accusation featured medieval woodcuts and a blurry photo of me patting the hand of a Moldovan orphan in his crib.

With respect to the Swedish “blood libel” against the National Forensic Institute at Abu Kabir, the main issue that wasn’t raised in the avalanche of articles, editorials, and news columns published in Israel, Europe and the United States was one simple question, “Was the organ theft story true?” And were there any grounds for linking the tissue theft from the dead to the organization of illicit transplant tours for Israeli patients? Were there any grounds for linking the one story with another?


Introducing Dr Yehuda Hiss
I knew the answer. In July 2000, while studying the growth of organized transplant tours run by underworld brokers in Israel, I conducted a formal, audiotaped interview with the director of Israel’s National Forensic Institute, Dr. Yehuda Hiss, at Abu Kabir, in which he openly and freely discussed the “informal” procurement of organs and tissues from the bodies of the dead brought to the Institute for examination and autopsy. Hiss described a kind of “presumed” consent, one invented by him and shared with no one except, by example, with his medical students and residents and interns. He pursued a quiet policy of aggressive tissue, bone, skin, and organ harvesting, purportedly for the greater good of his country, a country at war, and for the good of his countryman. Professor Hiss, viewed by many Israelis and by the New York Times as a hero because of his service to the nation in handling bodies killed by terrorists and suicide bombers, deemed his behavior as patriotic. He was, in his own mind, not so much “above the law,” as representing the law, a much higher law, his law, supremely cool, rational, and scientifically and technically correct. The country was at war, blood was being spilled everyday, soldiers were being burned, and yet Israelis refused to provide tissues and organs needed. So, he would take matters into his own hands.
The taped interview was a smoking gun, but I feared the unintended consequences of making it public. The tape sat, more or less untouched, in my archives for ten years. But now it was necessary to set the record straight. But before I did so, I wanted to give professor Hiss a chance to explain, or even to correct, the things he had admitted to in the 2000 interview. Prior to leaving for a research trip in September-October 2009, accompanied by Dan Rather and his team for a news report on the criminal networks built around organ trafficking in Turkey, Moldova, and Israel, I contacted Yehuda Hiss in Israel (through one of my several Israeli research assistants) requesting a follow-up interview.

The Ministry of Health thwarted his initial acceptance. A private interview in his home was proposed, but Hiss (and his lawyers) wanted to review beforehand any questions I wished to raise. Then the Ministry of Health denied Hiss permission to speak with me at all, under any circumstances. While being interviewed about the effects of the changes in transplant laws and practices, several medical and transplant colleagues in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem often interjected disparaging references to the “despicable blood libel by the Swedish media,” even though they knew full well – and knew that I knew – that tucked inside Boström’s tabloid story was a real medical and political scandal of international proportions. I understood their nervousness about the topic, but not their denial of a known fact that was being manipulated into a global political tool of the Israeli government.

Just before returning to the United States, I met with Meira Weiss, a distinguished anthropologist and former professor at Hebrew University, and Chen Kugel, M.D., a forensic pathologist who had worked side by side with his mentor, Yehuda Hiss, at the Institute. Both Weiss and Dr. Kugel urged me to write a rebuttal to those in Israel who were “crying wolf” and using blood libel accusations to bludgeon their critics into submission. Weiss reminded me of the taped interview, done in 2000, with Dr. Hiss, as she herself had arranged the interview and was present during it, and she was as stunned as I was at the boldness and arrogance of Hiss’ revelations. Chen Kugel, a military officer (reserve) and former forensic pathologist at the Institute, agreed that the truth should be told to the global community, though perhaps not by them. Both had suffered enough. Both had been forced out of their jobs.

My interview with Yehuda Hiss at the Institute had come about in the following circumstances. In July 2000, three years into the Organs Watch project, I was given a file and a photo by an Israeli human rights lawyer, Lynda Brayer, at her organization’s headquarters in Bethlehem. The Society of St. Yves was created to provide legal assistance to Palestinian families, whose relatives had suffered the demolition of their homes, forced removals, and other abuses. The organization was then representing the family of Abdel Karim Abdel Musalmeh, who was shot in the head on November 8, 1995, by IDF snipers. The single bullet that killed Abdel is clearly indicated in the photo, which was part of the autopsy record. A military order for the demolition of Musalmeh’s home in Beit Awa, a village outside of Hebron, preceded his murder by the IDF as a “wanted person on the run.” The lawyers were arguing a case to allow the home to stand, so that Abdel’s widow and their six children would not be homeless. If murder and dispossession were not enough, Musalmeh’s body was returned to his wife in tatters. The autopsy report attributed death by rifle shot to brain. Why, then, was the body subjected to a total dissection and the removal of cornea and skin? I agreed to look into it.

When I first shared this information and the graphic photo with Meira Weiss, she reassured me at that time that there was no organ or tissue harvesting at the Institute. She had witnessed hundreds of autopsies – of Israelis, Arabs, Arab-Israelis, Russian immigrants, foreigners, and Palestinians. While bodies were opened and organs examined, they were returned to the body, except for small tissue samples as needed for forensic examination in the laboratories above the morgue. There were practices Weiss had observed that were not in compliance with international codes of ethics and internal law, the 1975 Helsinki Accords on the use of human subjects.11 There were acts of deviance by certain staff members. Tattoos, for example, were sometimes removed with a knife from the bodies of new immigrants to Israel, mostly Russian and Ukrainian, always suspect of nor being Jewish enough. Tattoos gave them away, and so they were treated with hostility. Penises might be circumcised, postmortem, without the knowledge or consent of relatives. The bodies of Jews and Muslims were treated differently. When Palestinians were brought in, following conflict, they were subjected to a complete autopsy, as required to produce information for the Palestinian Authority. On the other hand, the bodies of Israeli soldiers were respected, and autopsies were often discreet and partial.


Allegations About the Forensic Institute
The National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, a Tel Aviv suburb, is Israel’s national depository of dead bodies requiring identification, examination, and autopsy. It serves two purposes, on the one hand, as a scientific institute affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine (Tel Aviv University), through which it operates a state-of-the-art genetics laboratory. On the other hand, the Institute is controlled and closely supervised by the chevra kadisha – the orthodox religious organization has a virtual monopoly on all burials in Israel, except for the military. The Institute is a civil organization working under the Ministry of Health. On the other hand, it is an arm of the security police and the military.
The Institute is then both a traditional medical-legal mortuary and, off the record, Israel’s primary source of tissues, bone, and skin needed for transplantation, plastic surgery, research and medical teaching. The illicit traffic in organs, tissues, bone and the stockpiling of assorted body parts at the Institute is what anthropologists call a public secret, something that every one inside the society knows about but which is never discussed, and certainly never admitted to those outside the society. But, in fact, allegations and official investigations of organ-and-tissue trafficking at the Forensic Institute have been ongoing in Israel since 1999 up to the present day. Yehuda Hiss has been, off and on, the focus of public scrutiny. He has been sued, and he has been decorated. He has been both upbraided and rewarded, fired from his position as director of the Institute, and given a new title, senior pathologist, with a higher salary.
Allegations of Hiss’ confiscation of organs, tissues and other body parts date back to November 1999, with an investigative report in the local Tel Aviv newspaper Ha’ir, which stated that medical students under Hiss’ direction were allowed to practice on bodies sent to the Institute at Abu Kabir for autopsy, and that body parts were transferred for transplant and other medical uses without permission from the families concerned. In 2000, the newspaper Yediot Aharonot published a price list for body parts that Hiss had sold to university researchers and to medical schools. A committee of international forensic experts was appointed by the Minister of Health to investigate practices at the Institute. It took two years for the investigation to be completed, during which time, according to Hiss’ former assistant and protégé, Chen Kugel, much of the evidence was destroyed. Nonetheless, according to Kugel, Hiss still had a huge collection of body parts in his possession at Abu Kabir, when the Israeli courts ordered a search in 2002. Israel National News reported at the time, “Over the past years, heads of the Institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a ‘storehouse’ of organs at Abu Kabir.” Hiss was reprimanded but allowed to continue his activities, which he defended as necessary for medicine, for the defense of the Israeli state, and for the advancement of science.

In 2005, new allegations of organs trafficking at Abu Kabir surfaced, and Hiss admitted to having removed parts from 125 bodies without authorization. Following a plea bargain with the state, the attorney general decided not to press criminal charges, and Hiss was given only a reprimand, and he continues on as chief pathologist at Abu Kabir, that is, the state of Israel’s official head pathologist. Illegal harvesting of bodies was simultaneously prohibited and tolerated. Hiss was, in fact, the state’s answer to the chronic scarcity of tissues and organs. He recognized the need produced by the deep cultural reluctance of families to tamper with the bodies of the dead, which allowed him to cross a line and to do as he pleased with the bodies entrusted to him.


Interviewing Dr Hiss
When I met professor Yehuda Hiss for the first and, as it turned out, the only time, the pathologist struck me as a formidable, frightening, and brilliant man. A Polish immigrant to Israel, with striking blue eyes, short beard, wiry body, and a tense, hypervigilant and belligerent demeanor, he commands attention. The interview took place on July 21, 2000, in Hiss’ office at the Institute, in the presence of a staff member and Meira Weiss. We were all, I think, shocked by his revelations. Hiss allowed the interview to be audiotaped, but parts of our conversation were off the record, and the tape was turned off at those moments. What follows now is a transcription of the audiotape pared down, some asides deleted.

YH: My name is Yehuda Hiss. I am a forensic specialist. Here we do forensic medicine, as well as anatomical pathology. I do both. The main issue, here, as compared to other countries, is that we have only one [forensic] Institute for the entire country. And it is very conveniently located in the center of Israel, so that the bulk of the population is located very near to us….There are another twenty medical centers in various places, each with its own department of pathology. But very few complete autopsies are performed in Israel.
I began my training in anatomical pathology in 1974, in Sheba (Tel Hashomer). We had only three residents, and we would perform about 850 complete autopsies [each year]. Today, there are 6-8 residents, and the hospital that trains residents in anatomical pathology is three times as big, but residents today perform only 40-50 mostly incomplete autopsies [per year]. So, this is representative of what is going on in the state of Israel. We did 800 per year 25 years ago with fewer residents, and only 40-50 per year today with many more resources. The only place where complete autopsies are conducted in Israel happens to be here.
Now, about the question of harvesting organs – it’s strange. Not only here, in Israel, but elsewhere it all depends on the personal approach of those in charge of pathology or organs harvesting. In my case, when I was a resident in Tel Hashomer – a hospital linked to the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) – we would collaborate with the army and we would provide the army with grafted (harvested) skin for burn victims, and, from time to time, they would ask us for cornea. So, I would be involved in it because I was in charge, with two others, and we would provide this.

NS-H: Why cornea to the military?

YH: For injuries perhaps. Maybe it was easier [for the military] to make this request of us, and, once we had gotten permissions to perform – and the family agreed – to the autopsy, we would take some skin and take the cornea. For autopsy, we always had to ask permission of the family, unless it was a court order [a criminal case].

NS-H: There is some resistance here, in Israel, to autopsy – both Jewish and Arab – right?

YH: Yes. We did everything off the record, highly informal. We never asked for the families’ permission.
Then we started harvesting cornea for several Israeli hospitals, initially for Tel Hashomer, because I had friends there who knew me well. I suggested this to them at various meetings. I was amazed because no one had ever come to us to ask. Why are you not coming over to us? I told them how it worked at Case Western Reserve Hospital [in Cleveland]. So, then they started to come from hospitals in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Everything was done on a friendly basis between us and our colleagues in various departments. I felt strongly that these corneas should go to public patients and not to private clinics. We were not paid for harvesting, but we weregiven some donations, equipment that we needed.
Whatever was done here was off the record, highly informal. We never asked permission of the family. But we would harvest only from bodies that the family agreed to allow an autopsy. So, we would never harvest where there were objections to the autopsy.

NS-H:[I] The law allows this?

YH: The law demands permissions for autopsy, but not for harvesting. I read this in the law books….There was an addendum to the law in 1981, that you should ask the permission of the family – for autopsy…. We were free to take skin from the back of legs. We took cornea. We would not take cornea from those bodies where we suspected that the families might want to open the eyelids. There are some Orthodox and some Oriental [Arab] families who open the eyelids and throw sand on top of them. We knew whom to avoid. Also we only removed the cornea, not as we did in Teleshemer [hospital], the whole eyeball. And we would close and glue the eyelids, and we would cover any place where we had removed something. And, similarly, we would take [skin] only from the back of the legs. In the beginning of the 1990s, we began to take some long bones from the legs. Then we were asked for cardiac valves, and we did a few of them, because of the lack of collaboration between us and major thoracic departments. Then, beginning in 1995, we started to do it more formally. It was done according to a certain list of priorities, established by various medical centers and specific departments. It was done as a kind of semi-legal thing. At that point, we would inform the Ministry of Health. Before that time [1995], it was only between me/the Institute and the various departments and medical centers – informally. Later, we decided that it should be done through the Ministry of Health.

NS-H: Your chief is the Minister of Health, but you were free to do quite a lot without any interference from them?

YH: Yes, correct, but there are things that really should be done with some instruction and through the Ministry of Health. It was unclear for many years.

NS-H: In some countries of Latin America, the IMF [Forensic Institutes] is under the jurisdiction of the police, but in others, like Cuba, it is under the Ministry of Health. In the old South Africa, it was under the military police – and here?

YH: Independence is very important. This institution was established in 1954 under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Then, in the early 1970s, it came under the police department. Then, in 1975 or ’76, it came under the Ministry of Health. We are now part of the Ministry of Health, and the director-general of the ministry is our boss, but we are actually completely independent. Until a few years ago, all medical centers were under the Ministry of Health, but in the late 1990s they have become independent. There are only a few still directly under the Ministry of Health. Since then, they are more interested in what we are doing here and in our capacities [to harvest tissues], and so we now get more demands and we feel that it should be regulated. We want to be on record, too, for the various costs that are involved in the harvesting of skin and cornea, bones, pulmonary values and so forth… . But until then, this was just between us and the various hospitals that we serviced, but we wanted there to be some control over this.

NS-H: How were the prices set?

YH: In 1996, we made up a list of the various medical services that we provided, a list of hundreds or thousands of shekels – there were expenses that we wanted to recoup. We would collaborate only with public hospitals. On one occasion, about ten years ago, there was a case of a head of a department who used one or two corneas donated to the hospital from a pathology Institute – and he used them for his private patients. This is the only case known to me – where tissue donated for general use was used privately. Since 1998, because of popular pressure, there was a sharp decline in autopsies, and we were made to ask permission of all families for autopsy and for harvesting, or for dissection, or for training of military medical students. It was all because a man went to the newspapers just recently to scream that his son, who died in military service, was used for medical experimentation and medical training. And a furor resulted in the country and permissions for autopsies declined. Since then – about two years ago [1998] – we were told to ask permission for everything. [This is a reference to the late Sergeant Zeev Buzaglo of the Golani Brigade, who was killed in a training accident in April 1997. When his father, Dr. Haim Buzaglo, a pediatrician, came to see his son’s body, he saw that it had been harmed at the Institute – NS-H].

NS-H: Why [is] the military [involved in this]?

YH: There is a special relationship between the Institute and the army because of the current political situation in Israel. All Israelis feel that we all have an obligation to help out in some way, and because we all served in the army, we all have a personal stake in the army ever after. We are all linked to the army. And because of this, we took it for granted. We never asked. We thought it was part of the duty of all Israelis to cooperate.

YH [pointing out data from his files]: Look, here is the data. Since January–April we received here 705 bodies. Of these, 500 were not suitable for harvesting. Either the bodies were too decomposed, or because of infections. Only 175 were adequate for harvesting. We called all of them, and 98 refused. Twelve we could not locate the next of kin. Only 65 out of them agreed. So, I would say we have an acceptance rate of less than one-third.
When we cannot find the next of kin, we do not harvest by law. Originally, the law required only that we inform the family that harvesting is going to take place. Now, we not only inform, we have to ask them for permission. So, because of this one bad incident, the backlash is overriding the Parliament and the law of the land.

[Here NS-H explains how in some states in the U.S. there is “presumed” consent for cornea harvesting, as in California, but most people were totally unaware that it was going on. The law was more or less kept a secret.]

YH: Yes, this was our policy for many years, and then one case, one bad scandal, and it is all over for us. Now, young military medical personnel no longer can get the training they need and, when they are sent to Lebanon or to the Palestinian territories – and there are injuries, they have to intervene without proper training, so that they are actually experimenting on living soldiers. That is what all this has brought us. No previous experience, no training whatsoever with the human body. They have to practice [surgery] on dogs – but never on humans! This is an absurdity! I would not want anyone to perform a tracheotomy or colostomy on me without any previous experience or training. Would you? Today, they do virtual training on computerized bodies and so on, but it’s not the same thing.

NS-H: So, no biotech firms that want your material?

YH: In Israel, 100 per cent of the skin harvested goes to Hadassah Hospital’s skin bank – it is for military purposes only – no biotech firms have access. There is another skin bank in the south of the country, to which the Institute is not linked – but I know that if something happens – if one of the burn centers need skin for a private patient, say, they can take skin from the Hadassah skin bank, but they have to repay it. Logistically, we are only linked to Hadassah.
Since six months ago, we have a new man working with us downstairs, who is a kind of mortuary assistant, and he is harvesting skin, bones, cornea, and bones. Before him, there was only an arrangement with the army – they used to send us here every week a plastic surgeon, who would come here to harvest skin for the skin bank in Hadassah. This lasted for many years. More than 12 or 13 years he did this. Since 1987-1988, every other week, a plastic surgeon would come here to harvest skin. But now we no longer have this direct relationship with the army since this latest scandal. Now, we have our own mortuary assistant, who is paid to harvest for us all the skin, bone, cornea, etc., that is needed. He helps out in other activities as well.

NS-H: When you ask permission, do some say you can take this and not that organ?


YH: Some say do not touch the heart or the brain – some are afraid you might want to take the skin. But it is not like you are skinning a rabbit or something, and we say, no, it is not like that – it is gentle, there is no blood – we are not peeling the skin off. It is not like scalping a person. We take only a superficial layer off – from the back and the legs. And we tell them, too, that we are only taking the thin tissue [from the eye] and not the globe.
In order to fulfill both Jewish and Muslim laws about the disposal of the dead, everything is done immediately. We start working here at about 6 in the morning. By 7 a.m., we have the whole list of all the bodies that are going to be coming in that day. Only some of these are going to be autopsied. And then this person here draws up a list about what will be done to whom. And then we are on the phone.

NS-H: Are there special techniques for how to present this request to people?

Staff member: We have to know how to read people.

YH: – Yes, but this is not for me. From the very beginning, I said, “Please free me from this! I cannot possibly talk to people about these things.” I am not patient like this.

Staff member: He loves the dead. But not the living! [Laughter]

YH: Yes, I switched to forensics from clinical medicine because I wanted the patients to shut up already! So, we say that X will do it – but she is too busy – and, really, we need a social worker to do this …

NS-H: Any other body parts taken – like pituitary glands?

YH: When I was a medical resident, we would take pituitary glands. Today, we have chemical substitutes, but when I was a resident, I used to rush to the refrigerator to deposit pituitary glands in a bottle with water. I would collect them – sure, of course! Also, tiny bones from inside the ear – these are very good for some surgical procedures. We would do this about twice a year.

NS-H: Some of these small bones were used for training NASA astronauts for space travel, and its effects on balance? And what about transnational sales?

YH: You can buy cornea from Russia for $300 each, I think…. In Moscow, you can get a kidney for $20,000 and cornea for a few dollars, because they really don’t care… At every autopsy, they take what they want, and they have a tremendous stockpile of organs that they can draw on. They have skin and cornea. In some large medical centers in Russia, you can get fresh kidney that they get from auto accidents – and in Turkey as well. So, in both places you can get transplanted organs for just $20,000 – including the kidney – because they have a stockpile of them. I know because I was part of a transplant procurement organization, and we studied this. It is very cheap. It is well done by very good surgeons there. In fact, there is a surplus of kidneys in Russia. They have surplus because fewer people there can afford transplants.

NS-H: There is some doubt about whether Russia was using the international standards for determining brain death.

YH: Yes, sometimes our surgeons would accompany our Israeli patients to Russia, and they would perform the surgery there and the kidney was from a Russian. The surgery would be performed by Israeli doctors in Russia, with Russian kidneys. Some are leading transplant surgeons from Israel…

NS-H: Yes, transplant tourism, some of this has been reported in the newspapers.

YH: Right. They would go once a month for a few days and would perform five or six surgeries there, and the patient would come back here to recuperate.

NS-H: The UCSF medical ethics board decided that if people who want to break the law and travel to China or the Philippines to be transplanted, then we will not provide you with follow-up care – you can go to a private institution.

YH: Many things in Israel are done on a personal basis and through connections… I think that in Israel everything should be as equitable as possible. One should not have to depend on connections or money. If advertising and the media would only persuade the Israeli population to donate organs from deceased victims from trauma… [ and even though there is nothing in Talmudic law against organ harvesting from the dead], a religious family will find a rabbi who will agree with them. I try to tell them how important it is to donate, and they will say, “I need to discuss this with my rabbi” – and nine times out of ten they come back with a negative answer. That is, the answer that they want….


Dr Chen Kugel, Whistleblower
As can be seen from the transcript, Hiss readily admitted to the non-consensual, informal tissue, skin, bone and organ harvesting to serve the needs of the country. Until he arrived in 1987 as chief pathologist at the Forensic Institute, there was no organ or tissue harvesting. He explained to his staff that this practice was common elsewhere in the world, in the U.S., at Case Western Reserve, where he had studied, and in other forensic Institutes he had visited. It was a “presumed consent” without the backing of the population, or the law. Although it was in violation of tissue and organs laws, Hiss thought it could be justified for a war-torn and traumatized country like Israel. Hiss admitted that the organs-and-tissue harvesting was “informal” and its legality unclear. From his perspective as a state pathologist, little harm was done by the careful removal of some organs that would never be missed by the deceased and about which the family would never have to know. Medical students in military training were brought into the morgue after Hiss and his team completed their legally mandated autopsies, to be trained in the removal of organs.

After my tape was released in Israel, on December 19, 2009, to Israeli TV’s Channel 2, government officials for the army and the Ministry of Health admitted that organs and tissues were harvested from the dead bodies of both Palestinians and Israelis throughout the 1990s, but that the practice ended in 2000. Dr. Hiss, however, publicly denied everything on tape – including his words to me. Today, he says that he denies it all – the stockpiling of body parts, the perjury, and the organ harvesting. He denies everything. He says that everything was all done in agreement with and by law, and that families consented to harvest for transplantation. No organs were taken for studies, he said, none at all.

In May 2010, Dr. Chen Kugel and Meira Weiss spoke at a special conference I organized at the University of California, before a working group of experts, including anthropologists, transplant surgeons, pathologists, detectives, prosecutors, and human rights activists.
Chen Kugel, the unheralded and original (unnamed outside of Israel) whistle-blower on the Forensic Institute, said that the situation was much worse than what Yehuda Hiss admitted in his interview with me in 2000. Kugel’s comments stand as a first-person account from a military officer and a forensic pathologist. When he returned to Israel to work at the Forensic Institute in 2000, after several years in the United States, where he was working in various hospitals and forensic programs, he says he immediately realized that something was terribly wrong. He tried to address the problems with three medical residents, and with them together to have a meeting with the director. Kugel was the spokesperson, and he told Hiss that it was wrong to harvest organs and tissues without permission, and that “giving false evidence in court is also not okay.” This went nowhere, and so the group wrote a letter of complaint to the Ministry of Health, outlining the illegalities. The Ministry of Health reacted with alacrity: they fired the three residents and punished Kugel, who, as a military officer working for the IDF, could not be fired. Then they went to the media and spilled the entire story about what exactly was going on.


Kugel: “Organs were sold to anyone”
In fact, according to Kugel, “Organs were sold to anyone; anyone that wanted organs just had to pay for them.” While skin, heart valves, bones, and corneas were removed and used for transplants, solid organs – hearts, brains, livers – “were sold for research, for presentations, for drills for medical students and surgeons.”

There was a price for these organs, low – $ 300 for a femur, for example – and should a client want all the organs from a body, that could be arranged, not the body itself, but all the organs removed and sold, Kugel said, for about $2,500.

Amid the uproar prompted by the whistle-blowers, Hiss waged his own media campaign and tried to convince the public that everything that was done was to serve a noble end, to help the war-wounded victims of terrorist attacks, and the sick. He presented his conduct, in Dr. Kugel’s descripton, “as something sublime or even heroic, as a modern-day Robin Hood. Taking from the dead and giving to the innocent victims.”

So, whom were the organs taken from? Kugel asked rhetorically. The answer was they were taken from everyone, from Jews and Muslims, from soldiers and from stone throwers, from terrorists and from the victims of terrorist suicide bombers, from tourists and from immigrants. There were only two considerations – the physical condition of the body and its organs, and the ability to conceal what they were doing.

Most of the victims of illegal organ harvesting, according to Kugel, were not even subject to autopsy, they were simply harvested. They hid the damage by putting pipes and glass eyes, and broom sticks, and toilet paper and plastic skull caps to cover the place where the brain was removed, and so on. The Institute, Kugel said, was counting on one thing: that most Israelis do not view the body after death except once, to verify that the body is the right one. The body is wrapped in a winding sheet, or might be wrapped in plastic sheets for the burial company to come for it. In that case, the staff would warn the burial employees, who were not well educated, not to open the sheet because the body was contaminated with an infectious disease. It was more difficult to take organs from soldiers because their bodies were supervised by the military, which was more difficult to fool. “But organs were taken from soldiers,” Kugel said. It was easier to take tissues and organs from the new immigrants, and, needless to say, easiest of all to take from the Palestinians. They would be going back across the border, and, “if there were any complaints coming from their families, they were the enemy and so, of course, they were lying and no one would believe them”.

What Kugel found most amazing was the uproar around the Boström article, when there was abundant detail in the Israeli press about the Institute whose affairs were discussed heatedly by commissions, finding blatant evidence of illegalities despite the attempts to destroy all the evidence. After these things were exposed, it took two years for the judge, or the head of the special inquest, to decide whether or not Hiss should be sued. Then, it took the police two years to begin a serious investigation. The end result was that Hiss was removed as director of the Institute but, as previously noted, retained as senior pathologist and given a salary increase. Kugel was dismissed from his post because, during the investigation, he spoke with one of the witnesses who had buried evidence – human body parts – and thus was seen as interfering with the trial. He was censored and blacklisted from teaching at all but one of Israel’s universities. To Dr. Kugel the prime issue had nothing at all to do with science: it was about disrespect, about hoarding body specimens, about turning the Institute into a factory of bodies. The Institute’s conduct was motivated by money, by power, and by authoritarian paternalism of the sort that says, “We know what’s good for you, we’ll decide what happens to you, the person who doesn’t know anything. We’ll decide.” And that’s the reason why that happened, and Dr. Kugel asserts it is happening to this day.


Questions About Rachel Corrie’s Autopsy
On March 14, 2010, the Haifa District Court heard testimony in the civil law suit filed by the family of the slain U.S. citizen and Gaza peace activist, Rachel Corrie, against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Corrie, an American college student and human rights activist, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer.

During the hearing, Dr. Hiss, who conducted the autopsy of Rachel Corrie at the request of the Israeli military, admitted that he had violated an Israeli court order that required an official from the U.S. Embassy to be present as a witness. Hiss stated that it was his policy not to allow anyone who is not a physician or a biologist to observe autopsy. Hiss admitted that he had retained samples of tissues and organs from Corrie’s body for examination and testing without informing the Corrie family. Hiss was uncertain about whether the samples had been buried with other body samples from the Institute. Corrie’s parents, Cindy and Craig, were shocked by these chilling admissions and really do not know quite what to make of them or what, if anything, they should do about it. They are seeking, they told me, only the truth and symbolic damages of $1.00. The prevention of harm to others is, they say, far more important than money.

Finally, what links the story of Yehuda Hiss at the National Forensic Institute and Isaac Rosenbaum and the international network of organs traffickers in Israel? Perhaps only the same sad fact that hysteria about organs scarcities – whatever that chilling phrase evokes – have driven both the medical abuses of the dead and the medical abuses of those who were trafficked to service transplant tourists from Israel to New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, among other sites. When Dr. Zaki Shapira began putting out feelers for kidney sellers in the early 1990s to serve the needs of his transplant patients at Bellinson Hospital in Tel Aviv, he found them close at hand, Palestinian guest workers. Palestinians were, he told me in Bellagio in 1996 at a conference on organ trafficking, “pre-disposed” to sacrifice their organs. Or, perhaps, to be sacrificed. It works both ways.

CP

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is the author of several books on poverty and health, including Death without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0520075374/counterpunchmaga) – listed by CounterPunch in its top 100 non-fiction books published in English in the 20th Century. She can be reached at:
nsh@berkeley.edu

Footnotes

[1]. N. Mozgovaya, US Professor is whistle blower in Rosenbaum arrest. Haaretz 26 July, 2009. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1102799.html.
[2]. M. Daly Anthropologist’s ‘Dick Tracy moment’ plays role in arrest of suspected kidney trafficker. New York Daily News 24 July 2009.
[3] Nancy Scheper-Hughes,2008,“Illegal Organ Trade: Global Justice and the Traffic in Human Organs” in Living Donor Organ Transplants, edited by Rainer Grussner,M.D. and Enrico Bendetti, MD. New York: McGraw-Hill; N. Scheper-Hughes,2006,“Kidney bKin: Inside the Transatlantic Kidney Trade”, Harvard International Review (winter) 62-65; “N. Scheper-Hughes, (2004) “Parts Unknown: Undercover Ethnography in the Organ Trafficking Underworld”, Ethnography 5(1): 29-73; N. Scheper-Hughes,2000, The Global Traffic in Organs, Current Anthropology 4192): 191-224
[4] “Israeli doctor said detained in Turkey for illegal organ transplants. Three other Israelis said detained, including 2 alleged kidney donors and a recipient;15 people held.” Haaretz News Service, January 1, 2007.
[5] In several detailed email exchanges (2006-2008) from a criminal lawyer (name withheld on request) I learned that the government of Israel decided to pursue the international crimes of transplant surgeons and brokers operating out of Israel by means tax fraud investigations.
[6] http://www.health.gov.il (http://www.health.gov.il/)/trans” plant/about_adi.html “Knesset approves new organ donation law”, http//www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3523461,00.html (http://www.counterpunch.com/http//www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3523461,00.html)
[7] United States District Court of New Jersey: criminal complaint: United States of America v. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, : Mag. No. 09-3620 a/k/a “Issac Rosenbaum”, July 2009
[8] English translation of Donald Bostrom’s article can be found at: http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5691805.ab
[9] Donald Boström, 2001. Inshallah : konflikten mellan Israel och Palestina. Stockholm: Ordfront.
[10] Zeev Galilee, 2003. First Source (Makor Rishon) –“Pangs of Conscience” (Musar Klayot) New Blood Libel on French Television: Israel Steals Kidneys of Orphan Children in Moldavia, 24 October 2003.
[11] Meira Weiss, personal communication and paper read at Organs Watch conference combating traffic in organs and tissues, UCBerkeley, May 7, 2010.
For an audio link for the Hiss interview go to nhnotes.html (http://www.counterpunch.com/nhnotes.html).