Some of you may recall an earlier post
which translated a piece that had appeared in a major Swedish newspaper. That controversial article alleged that Israel had, in the early 1990s, harvested the organs of captured Palestinians who had died while in Israeli custody. In the resultant international uproar, there were many knee-jerk accusations of anti-Semitism -- for example, the Huffington Post automatically presumed that the Swedish author, Donald Bolstrom, had been motivated by hatred of Jews. The Israeli government compared Bolstrom's story to the notorious "blood libel" claims of yore.
I came in for some rather severe criticism when I offered my translation, because I found Bolstrom's report credible. Other respected authors, including David Yallop, had written quite similar accounts. One of my commenters dismissed the Bolstrom story as "occupation porn" -- a memorable phrase indeed.
Well, guess what? I was right, Bolstrom was right, Yallop was right -- and the jackasses at HuffPo and elsewhere who brayed about "anti-Semitism" were wrong, wrong, wrong. From the Guardian
Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that 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 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.
We've mentioned Hiss in previous posts.
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.
what Bolstrom had claimed.
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.
That's a horse of a different color. We are talking about victims of opportunity.
The interview with Hiss was released by Nancy Sheppard-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."
Actually, her name is Nancy Scheper-Hughes and she is one of the most heroic individuals alive today. She was the first to inform the FBI of the Israeli organ harvesting ring being run in New York/New Jersey by Isaac Rosenbaum.
As she noted in a radio interview, the operations were conducted at some of the toniest hospitals in that area -- yet none of the doctors involved have been prosecuted or, to my knowledge, even investigated.
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.
Dig it: The Israeli government demanded that Sweden censor an article which it knew to be true
. The correct term for such behavior is, I believe, chutzpah
The Israeli government has shown that it possesses formidable reserves of the stuff. Think about it: Very few people outside of Sweden would have known of Bolstrom's article if the Israelis had not publicized it.
So I guess we owe them our thanks.