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Israel: Anti-Semites Said We Stole Organs from Dead Palestinians -- By the Way: We Did

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."

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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."
Neri,

Thank you for providing this information, which was contained in the article posted.
it is sad you choose the hateful title:

while it say that such things been done it does show that the israeli system correct itself the title hints that the Anti-Semites who Said Israel Stole Organs from Dead Palestinians is right.

there was a wrong process and it was corrected as the Israeli people are against such procedures.

if you take responsibility to publish messages, you are responsible to the way you present it.
Dear Jeffrey,

your title say to us "Anti-Semites are right with what they say and so it hints that jews who drink the blood of non jews."

Your Jewish background, as mine do not give you the freedom to insult mepeace members who are Zionist & Israeli. The came here to communicate and create activity with the other side and not to be educated that Israel is an Evil state that need to be destroyed for the crimes you think it does. this approach is not "non violence" it is a call for violence.

I am addressing that to your general human responsibility and not for your journalistic ethics. you come here to spread hate or you see a solution that include all people who live here from child of Hamas activist to a child born in WB Settlement.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-ha... is the original source of this article.

Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent is now the published title of this article.

This paragraph now appears at the end of the article:
• 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.

Jeffrey Levy may know what the real original title was. If he does, I hope he will tell us all. Jeffrey Levy's title for this article may well be accurate because the original title was changed.

The implication of the article is that the Israelis' crimes must be emphasised for spurious reasons:
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."

It seems irrelevant that there were and are many other such cases organ harvesting around the world. One example in the United Kingdom also from The Guardian, is
Alder Hey organs scandal: the issue explained
by David Batty and Jane Perrone
Friday 27 April 2001
http://society.guardian.co.uk/alderhey/story/0,,450736,00.html

Ian Black is either unaware of other organ harvesting cases, even those readily available to him from his own newspapers archives.

And so given the above lack of context and the spurious justifications for publishing out-of context claims and the change of title, I think that for the wrong reasons the first part of Jeffrey Levy's provocative title Israel: Anti-Semites Said We Stole Organs from Dead Palestinians may well be really accurate.

The second part of Jeffrey Levy's provocative title, By the Way: We Did was and is known to be accurate.

Considering all of Jeffrey Levy's provocative title, Israel: Anti-Semites Said We Stole Organs from Dead Palestinians -- By the Way: We Did, it is obvious that Jeffrey Levy simply wants to sanctimoniously incite people against Israel and Jews, possibly to prove his PEACEmaking credentials.

See also related article below.

== PmR.
Well Mr. Jeffrey Levy?

If Mr. Jeffrey Levy does not respond to the above satisfactorily then, it is very obvious that Mr Jeffrey Levy simply wants to misleadingly and sanctimoniously incite people against Israel and Jews.
[Comment: A version of Ian Black's article above was published the Arab News. This is a current example of how insidiously Jew-hate and malicious anti-Israeli propaganda is promulgated by naive or malicious and bigoted activists on the internet. Please read the article and then comments below. Draw your own conclusions. Then comment as you think apt. == PmR]

Israeli doc admits harvesting organs
by Mohammed Mar’i
Arab News
20 December 2009

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=129893&am...

RAMALLAH: The chief Israeli pathologist and director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, professor Yehuda Hiss, has admitted harvesting organs from the bodies of dead Palestinians without the consent of their families. Hiss said that he and doctors who worked under him took parts from bodies — including skin, corneas and heart valves — in the 1990s for transplantation. He also admitted that the same parts were taken from dead Israelis for the same purpose.

Hiss’ remarks came in an interview with Nancy Sheppard-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley who tracks the organ trade worldwide. The one-hour interview was recorded in 2000 as part of Sheppard-Hughes’ study at Abu Kabir and was broadcast on Israeli television on Friday night.

The report said Sheppard-Hughes decided to publish the interview after the leading Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported in August that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians to trade in their organs.

The Israeli pathologist said “the skins were taken from the bodies and transmitted to Hadasah hospital in Jerusalem on the request of Israeli Army to be transplanted to wounded soldiers and in case of disaster.”

Sheppard-Hughes said the taking of organs “was not only from Palestinians and the bodies of terrorists, but all people. The symbolism is of taking the parts from a population which is considered enemy for military uses. This has to be reconsidered.”

In August, Aftonbladet quoted Palestinians as saying that young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israeli forces and that their bodies returned to their families with missing organs.

“’Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,’ relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Ra’ed from Jenin as well as the uncles of Mahmoud and Nafez from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied,” wrote author Donald Bostr?m in his report.

Bostr?m also cited an incident of alleged organ snatching in 1992 during the first intifada.

He said Israeli soldiers seized a young man known for throwing stones at Israeli troops in the Nablus area. The man had been shot in the chest, both legs and the stomach before being taken to a military helicopter which transported him to “a place unknown to his loved ones.”

Five nights later, Bostr?m says, the young man’s body was returned, wrapped in green hospital sheets.

RETI’s comments:

I’ve seen copies of the above article accompanied by hysterical condemnations of Israel. Here is one such example:
Hi Paul R "Reports in a Swedish newspaper falsely accused Israeli soldiers of selling organs of slain Palestinians and Swedish officials responded with the claim that it’s “freedom of the press”. PS. when Muslims protested the Muhammad cartoons, it was also said 'freedom of the press'. why freedom of the press should be accepted by one group and not by others?

Another copy I received had the title “Israel admits harvesting organs” rather than ”Israeli doc admits harvesting organs” implying that it was formal Israeli policy (to kill Palestinians) in order to harvest those Palestinians’ body parts. Now that is just a disgusting and bigoted and ignorant blood-libel.

The Jewish Tradition considers all parts of the human body to be sacred. Normally the body of a deceased person must be buried whole and if that is not possible, then all parts of the body including blood must be buried. Because the sanctity of current life is considered to be more important than the sanctity of the human body, the use of body parts for transplants are approved by, I think, all Rabbinic Authorities.

To return to the shameless article published by Arab News...

Here are related comments I left on someone’s Facebook page:

A friend sent me "Some crucially relevant information re that organ harvesting story (from The Guardian):
  1. It was the Israeli media that broke the story (a sign of a strong, independent media and an open society, no?)
  2. Corneas etc were taken, reported The Guardian, from "Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives". So, as the source of the story, Prof Nancy Sheppard-Hughes, stated, "Palestinians were 'by a long shot' not the only ones affected".
  3. The Guardian notes that "there was no evidence that Israel had killed Palestinians to take their organs, as [Aftonbladet] reported.
  4. The Guardian mentions at the bottom of its report this very telling piece of information: "Hiss was removed from his post in 2004, when some details about organ harvesting were first reported".

So what we have here is a disgraceful practice which was exposed some five or six years ago resulting in the dismissal of the senior person responsible. This practice, while indefensible, bore no similarity to the antisemitic blood libel spread by the Swedish and Arab media and anti-Israel polemecists. In fact it is more akin to the scandals which hit Britain's National Health Service a few years ago when it became apparent that body parts had been removed from the dead without relatives' permission and stored away for research (see attached article)."

http://society.guardian.co.uk/alderhey/story/0,,450736,00.html is the link to a story about similar malpractice in the United Kingdom. At least in Israel and the UK the malpractice was exposed and (hopefully) stopped.

The story above, as written in the Arab News, is just hysteria-stirring blood libel. ISRAEL ADMITS? Garbage! Malpractice by some? Yes! This story is a malicious and misleading propaganda rehash of malpractice exposed by Israeli media a long time ago. Such malpractice was and is not unique to Israel. The public exposure of such malpractice is rare. Israel's (and Great Britain's) exposure of and condemnation of such malpractice is a credit to those societies.

Those who consistently (naively?) believe and promulgate such stories tend to lose my respect. I find it increasingly difficult to trust the ethics of such people.

For the real story without the malicious, hysteria-stirring and blood-libellous Palestinian propaganda read
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091220/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_organ_...

== PmR
Paul,

You have condensed a large amount of silliness into a short space, so I will leave most of it alone.
What is to the point is this: You are correct that the "blood-libels" of Palestinian "propaganda" have turned out to be true, as they so often are. This is -- obviously -- precisely why the article was posted.
Part truth, especially if it simply misleads, is no defence or justification.

See http://www.mepeace.org/xn/detail/661876:Comment:398215.

Besides, why is the content "news" now? It WAS news many years ago.
By your standards, then, we need no longer discuss events like the Holocaust, which happened many years ago -- in fact quite a long time before Israel began harvesting organs from Palestinians and lying about it.
Please stop the silly mind games. Jeffrey, and please stop using part truths to mislead and to incite.

Part truth, especially if it simply misleads, is no defence or justification.

Please see and respond to http://www.mepeace.org/xn/detail/661876:Comment:398215.

Thank you.
Hi Paul and Neri,

I have just looked again at the way this article was posted, and see now that you do have a fair and important point about the title I gave.

I had intended to post the satirical title at the head of the discussion, but to post the original title in the article box, so that both would appear. The intention was to provide the original article, then, with my own ironic introduction. I see now that I did not post the story's original title, and this is what created the impression that I was intending to hide the source.

I will correct that in the next few minutes.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this up. You are in the right and I was wrong.

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