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

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

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.”


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