Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

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Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby fjafjan » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:38 pm UTC

Killing people, wrecking homes and farms, stealing land and bombing schools and hospitals is not quite enough. No afterwards you really should harvest the organs.

Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent

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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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby BoomFrog » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

I didn't see anything in there that they are still doing it. It seems like they are open about the fact that it happened 10 years ago. Also they harvested anyone's organs not just palastinians. The claim that someone was killed for their organs sounds like reactionary hyperbole.

Seems bad, but also a problem that's already been fixed.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby tzvibish » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:48 pm UTC

Firstly:

Wikipedia wrote:The author of the article, Donald Boström, spoke to Israel Radio on 19 August 2009 and said he was worried by the allegations he reported: "It concerns me, to the extent that I want it to be investigated, that's true. But whether it's true or not — I have no idea, I have no clue."[34] Boström told CNN that the purpose of his article was to call for an investigation into the claims about stealing organs in the early 1990s.[35] In an interview to the Arab media site Menassat, Boström said there was "no conclusive evidence" that organ harvesting was a systematic IDF practice, but that there is a "collection of allegations and suspicious circumstances". He was quoted as saying: "The point is that we know there is organ trafficking in Israel. And we also know that there are families claiming that their children's organs have been harvested. These two facts together point to the need for further investigation". Aftonbladet's editor, Jan Helin, said in response to the accusations: "I'm not a Nazi, I'm not anti-Semitic", and described himself as "a responsible editor who gave the green light to an article because it raises a few questions" but noted that , however, that Aftonbladet had no evidence that Israel practices organ harvesting. Aftonbladet published a follow-up to Boström's article, which defended his report and said that the organ-harvesting allegation "should be investigated, either to stop the relentless Palestinian rumors, or, if the rumors prove to be true, stop the trade in body parts". It called Bonnier's condemnation of the original article a "disgrace".[36]

Boström told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot: "I am not an anti-Semite, and that's what saddens me most in this whole story. I've been a journalist for 25 years and I've always written against racism and segregation". He said that he had not meant to imply that IDF soldiers were killing Palestinians for their organs, and that "Even the Palestinians don't say that. What they said is that when the Israeli army returned the bodies, 62 of them had been autopsied and 20 Palestinian families I spoke to were certain that their sons' organs had been harvested". He acknowledged he had not personally seen evidence of organ harvesting, since the bodies that were returned to the families were never examined to determine whether organs had been taken: "As far as I know no one examined the bodies. All I'm saying is that this needs to be investigated". He also said that "Sweden supports Israel as a country and a people, and I am a part of this. There are many people, I among them, who condemn the Israeli government's policy of occupation and violation of international law. Israel needs to withdraw to its borders and evacuate the settlements. If Israel does this, support for you will reappear".[37]



It's a tabloid, and it's unsubstantiated rumor. Would you jump to investigate anything the National Enquirer reports? Aso, gotta love that twist at the end. Truly a gem of objective reporting.

Also:

Wikipedia wrote:In December 2009, Israel admitted there had been organ harvesting from dead bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives, in the 1990s[60] and some of the dead Palestinians from whom organs were harvested were killed during military raids.[61]

While Dr. Jehuda Hiss was head of Israel's L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine (known colloquially as the "Abu Kabir" Forensic Institute) he gave an interview on the subject of organ harvesting in 2000 to an American academic. Parts of the interview were broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 TV and in it, Hiss said, "We started to harvest corneas ... Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family." The report continued that in the 1990s, there had been harvesting of skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers. Hiss was fired from his position as director of the forensic institute in 2004 for "repeated body-part scandals”[62] but remains Israel's chief pathologist.

While Palestinians were not the only ones affected "by a long shot" according to Ms Scheper-Hughes of Organ Watch, 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."[63] According to Scheper-Hughes, interviewed by CNN in 2008 while in the final stages of writing a book on organ trafficking, much of the world's illicit traffic in kidneys can be traced to Israel. "Israel is the top," she said. "It has tentacles reaching out worldwide."[64] In a lecture to 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."[65]

In response to the TV report, the Israeli military admitted that the practice took place, but claims it had ended a decade earlier. 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."


Nobody was killing for organs, and the fact that corneas, bones, and skin was removed from dead bodies was accounted for, and the guy in charge was released from his position.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Telchar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

Yeah, it's shitty and the people responsible should be held accountable. Next?
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Diadem » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:57 pm UTC

The implication that they specifically targeted Palestinians also seems false. Looks more like a case of 'use whatever dead body we can find'.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Spacemilk » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

Why, why, WHY would you post this?! You HAD to choose today, when I forgot to bring my flame-retardant suit for the war!
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby nowfocus » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

So, in shocking news, someone in Israel did something illegal to both Israelis and Palestinians..
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Spacemilk » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:14 pm UTC

nowfocus wrote:So, in shocking news, someone in Israel the world did something illegal to both Israelis and Palestinians other people in the world..

fixed for you. evil stuff is pretty universal and no one race/class/sex/political viewpoint has the monopoly on it by any means.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Lumpy » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:00 pm UTC

I think that they called the charges anti-Semitic is worse than the act itself.

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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby nowfocus » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Lumpy wrote:I think that they called the charges anti-Semitic is worse than the act itself.


The news paper charged that Israel has been killing Palestinians and harvesting their organs without any evidence whatsoever. This seems to echo the whole "Jews put the blood of islamic virgins in hamentashen" sentiment. If you haven't heard about that you can read about it in the next article fjafjan posts.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Lumpy » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

It's a tabloid, and it's unsubstantiated rumor. Would you jump to investigate anything the National Enquirer reports?


I had the impression that The Guardian was one of the UK's major newspapers. I took the phrase "the Israeli military confirmed to the programme" as good enough for me.

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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby tzvibish » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

Lumpy wrote:
It's a tabloid, and it's unsubstantiated rumor. Would you jump to investigate anything the National Enquirer reports?


I had the impression that The Guardian was one of the UK's major newspapers. I took the phrase "the Israeli military confirmed to the programme" as good enough for me.


It was the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that reported it originally.

They didn't comfirm that they were killing for organs, just that certain people were taking organs form dead bodies. That whole thing was dealt with and has been taken care of.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby yoni45 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:...The claim that someone was killed for their organs sounds like reactionary hyperbole...


Because that's surprising... :roll:
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Indon » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

So was the Israeli government actually involved in this, or was this a couple pathologists just following the military around asking to examine the bodies?
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby tzvibish » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

Indon wrote:So was the Israeli government actually involved in this, or was this a couple pathologists just following the military around asking to examine the bodies?


Just sounds like some people misbehaving. It also sounds like the IDF didn't give credence to the allegations, and when they did investiagte, found the people responsible, and punished them.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby fjafjan » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:32 pm UTC

Wow this turned into a shit-storm of assumptions pretty quickly.

Okey first some notes, the reason that this turns out to be true is so horrible is the fact that after this article was printed the Israeli government at high levels condemned the article as anti-semitic, blood-libel and that the government should intervene. And then they admitted to
Now first of all, let's be clear about what the original article states because it seems people have an incorrect image of what it actually says.

Original article, spoiler'd for long
Spoiler:
Aftonbladet wrote:Palestinians accuse the Israel Defense Forces of taking organs from their victims.
Donald Boström writes about an international organ trafficking scandal – and about the time he saw the cut-up dead body of a nineteen-year old Palestinian.

You could call me a ”matchmaker”, said Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from Brooklyn, USA, in a secret recording with an FBI-agent whom he believed to be a client. Ten days later, at the end of July this year, Rosenbaum was arrested and a vast, Sopranos-like, imbroglio of money-laundering and illegal organ-trade was revealed in New Jersey: Rabbis, politicians and trusted civil servants had for years bin involved in money laundering and illegal organ-trade.

Rosenbaum’s matchmaking had nothing to do with romance. It was all about buying and selling kidneys from Israel on the black market. Rosenbaum says that he buys the kidneys for 10 000 dollars, from poor people. He then proceeds to sell the organs to desperate patients in the States for 160 000 dollars.

The accusations have shaken the American transplantation business. If they are true it means that organ trafficking is documented for the first time in the US, experts tell the New Jersey Real-Time News.

On the question of how many organs he has sold Rosenbaum replies: ”Quite a lot. And I have never failed,” he boasts. The business has been running for quite some time.

Francis Delmonici, professor of transplant surgery at Harvard and member of the National Kidney Foundation’s Board of Directors, tells the same newspaper that organ-trafficking, similar to the one reported from Israel, is carried out in other places of the world as well. 5 – 6 000 operations a year, about ten per cent of the world’s kidney transplants are carried out illegally, according to Delmonici.

Countries suspected of these activities are Pakistan, the Philippines and China, where the organs are allegedly taken from executed prisoners. But Palestinians also harbor strong suspicions that young men have been siezed, and made to serve as organ reserve, just as in China and Pakistan, before being killed – a very serious accusation, with enough question marks to motivate the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to start an investigation about possible war crimes.

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 nineties. 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, -03).

In the summer of 1992, Ehud Olmert, then minister of health, tried to address the issue of organ shortage by launching a big campaign aimed at having the Israeli public register for postmortal organ donation. Half a million pamphlets were spread in local newspapers. Ehud Olmert himself was the first person to sign up.

A couple of weeks later the Jerusalem Post reported that the campaign was a success. No fewer than 35 000 people had signed up. Prior to the campaign it would have been 500 in a normal month. In the same article, however, Judy Siegel, the reporter, wrote that the gap between supply and demand was still large. 500 people were in line for kidney transplant, but only 124 transplants could be performed. Of 45 people in need of a new liver only three could be operated on in Israel.

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 Palestininan families in the West Bank and Gaza – meeting parents who told of how their sons had been deprived of organs before being killed. One example that I encountered on this eerie trip was the young stone-thrower Bilal Achmed Ghanan.

It was close to midnight when the motor roar from an Israeli military column sounded from the outskirts of Imatin, a small village in the northern parts of the West Bank. The two thousand inhabitants were awake. They were still, waiting, like silent shadows in the dark, some lying upon roofs, others hiding behind curtains, walls, or trees that provided protection during the curfew but still offered a full view toward what would become the grave for the first martyr of the village. The military had interrupted the electricity and the area was now a closed-off military zone – not even a cat could move outdoors without risking its life. The overpowering silence of the dark night was only interrupted by quiet sobbing. I don’t remember if our shivering was due to the cold or to the tension. Five days earlier, on May 13, 1992, an Israeli special force had used the village’s carpentry workshop for an ambush. The person they were assigned to put out of action was Bilal Achmed Ghanan, one of the stone-throwing Palestinian youngsters who made life difficult for the Israeli soldiers.

As one of the leading stone-throwers Bilal Ghanan had been wanted by the military for a couple of years. Together with other stone-throwing boys he hid in the Nablus mountains, with no roof over his head. Getting caught meant torture and death for these boys – they had to stay in the mountains at all costs.

On May 13 Bilal made an exception, when for some reason, he walked unprotected by the carpentry workshop. Not even Talal, his older brother, knows why he took this risk. Maybe the boys were out of food and needed to restock.

Everything went according to plan for the Israeli special force. The soldiers stubbed their cigarettes, put away their cans of Coca-Cola, and calmly aimed through the broken window. When Bilal was close enough they needed only to pull the triggers. 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. Villagers say that people from both the UN and the Red Crescent were close by, heard the discharge and came to look for wounded people in need of care. Some arguing took place as to who should take care of the victim. Discussions ended with 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 came back, dead and wrapped in green hospital fabric.

A villager recognized Captain Yahya, the leader of the military column who had transported Bilal from the postmortem center Abu Kabir, outside of Tel Aviv, to the place for his final rest. ”Captain Yahya is the worst of them all,” the villager whispered in my ear. After Yahya had unloaded the body and changed the green fabric for a light cotton one, some male relatives of the victim were chosen by the soldiers to do the job of digging and mixing cement.

Together with the sharp noises from the shovels we could hear laughter from the soldiers who, as they waited to go home, exchanged some jokes. As Bilal was put in the grave his chest was uncovered. Suddenly it became clear to the few people present just what kind of abuse the boy had been exposed to. Bilal was not by far the first young Palestinian to be buried with a slit from his abdomen up to his chin.

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 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? Nafe’s uncle was upset and he had a lot of questions.

The relatives of the dead Palestinians no longer harbored any doubts as to the reasons for the killings, but the spokesperson for the Israeli army claimed that the allegations of organ theft were lies. All the Palestinian victims go through autopsy on a routine basis, he said. Bilal Achmed Ghanem was one of 133 Palestinians killed in various ways that year. According to the Palestinian statistics the causes of death were: shot in the street, explosion, tear gas, deliberately run over, hanged in prison, shot in school, killed at home etcetera. The 133 people killed were between four months to 88 years old. Only half of them, 69 victims, went through postmortem examination. The routine autopsy of killed Palestinians – of which the army spokesperson was talking – has no bearing on the reality in the occupied territories. The questions remain.

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.

The article is not an amazing piece of journalism, but the Journalists tries to look at several concurrent developments and sees that there is reason to believe that there might be an illegal organ trade. He cites interviews with several (understandably) grieving family members who claims that Israel are stealing organs, the actual article does not make the claim, even though certainly you might suspect that it's the case after reading it, but outside of the testimony of Palestinians appears to feature nothing incorrect or false (the interviews are (as far as I know) not untrue either, but clearly what they say might be untrue).

But still, it caused a massive ruckus. Only now, a few months later, it turns out the illegal organ trade mentioned in the article did extend to deceased Palestinians. This does not prove (though certainly not disprove) the claim made by the Palestinians that they were killed because of their organs, but still leads credability to the idea. And more importantly


The Guardian wrote: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.

So this antisemitic article actually helped uncover this bit of history.


tzvibish wrote:
Indon wrote:So was the Israeli government actually involved in this, or was this a couple pathologists just following the military around asking to examine the bodies?


Just sounds like some people misbehaving. It also sounds like the IDF didn't give credence to the allegations, and when they did investiagte, found the people responsible, and punished them.

Except they admit that they did know about it, but before this lady published this interview of course they never admitted anything of the sort. And by "Punish" you mean demote one guy. Harsh


They didn't comfirm that they were killing for organs, just that certain people were taking organs form dead bodies. That whole thing was dealt with and has been taken care of.

Is what the officials say. The same officials who up until yesterday(three days ago? Whatever) denied anything of the sort taking place. Not like they would lie again, they promised this was the truth!



The news paper charged that Israel has been killing Palestinians and harvesting their organs without any evidence whatsoever. This seems to echo the whole "Jews put the blood of islamic virgins in hamentashen" sentiment. If you haven't heard about that you can read about it in the next article fjafjan posts.

Now that I've posted the article you could tell me where it
1 Does not have any evidence. I mean it's a newspaper article, they're unlikely to go citing specific articles, but I can do that for you if you want me to clarify any of the non-controversial (in the fact sense, not in that people are not objecting to them. You know like how evolution is non-controversial for any reasonable person)
2 It is incorrect that Israel has been killing Palestinians (you probably didn't mean to imply this, but whatever)
3 That the article states that Israel is killing Palestinians and harvesting their organs. Reporting what Palestinians say is not anti-semitic, especially if your conclusion is "Their statements, based on relevant events, don't seem to be too unbelievable, we really should look into this" it's not anti-semitic, it's reasonable.

As for "Jews put the blood of Islamic virgins in the hamentashen"

Don't throw around accusation of anti-semitism, okay?

It might be that my sources are inaccurate or that my logic is unsound, but they are never motivated by hatred or distrust towards Jews. In almost every debate about Israel (though not so much here, anymore) it's claimed that those who accuse Israel of committing heinous acts, like the ones reported by B'Tselem or HRW or Amnesty of the UN, are anti-semitic, and to someone who has argued with actual racists this is an utterly infuriating libel. I will never accuse anyone of being racist until they make prejudiced judgements based on race, I suggest you do the same.
nowfocus wrote:So, in shocking news, someone in Israel did something illegal to both Israelis and Palestinians..

Guardian wrote:The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute

Yeah, that's just "some guy". And it's not like it was going on for an extended period of time or anything. So clearly you should not be prosecuted for desecrating bodies, no that's a misdemeanor.

tl;dr: Aftonbladet prints an article where a journalists speculates about connections between Israeli organ trade and Palestinians being killed and returned reportedly lacking organs, Israel gets panties in a twist and want government action against the newspaper for printing such anti-semitic garbage, a few months later It's shown that Israel did in fact steal organs from dead Palestinians, but Israel does not admit to having killed people with the explicit purpose of organ theft. The guy responsible got demoted.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:32 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:Wow this turned into a shit-storm of assumptions pretty quickly.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the sensationalist non-descriptive topic title.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby yoni45 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:45 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:2 It is incorrect that Israel has been killing Palestinians (you probably didn't mean to imply this, but whatever)
3 That the article states that Israel is killing Palestinians and harvesting their organs. Reporting what Palestinians say is not anti-semitic, especially if your conclusion is "Their statements, based on relevant events, don't seem to be too unbelievable, we really should look into this" it's not anti-semitic, it's reasonable.

As for "Jews put the blood of Islamic virgins in the hamentashen"

Don't throw around accusation of anti-semitism, okay?


Oh boy... let's take a look at an excerpt...

OriginalArticle wrote:...The person they were assigned to put out of action was Bilal Achmed Ghanan, one of the stone-throwing Palestinian youngsters who made life difficult for the Israeli soldiers.

As one of the leading stone-throwers Bilal Ghanan had been wanted by the military for a couple of years. Together with other stone-throwing boys he hid in the Nablus mountains, with no roof over his head. Getting caught meant torture and death for these boys – they had to stay in the mountains at all costs.

On May 13 Bilal made an exception, when for some reason, he walked unprotected by the carpentry workshop. Not even Talal, his older brother, knows why he took this risk. Maybe the boys were out of food and needed to restock.

Everything went according to plan for the Israeli special force. The soldiers stubbed their cigarettes, put away their cans of Coca-Cola, and calmly aimed through the broken window. When Bilal was close enough they needed only to pull the triggers. 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. Villagers say that people from both the UN and the Red Crescent were close by, heard the discharge and came to look for wounded people in need of care. Some arguing took place as to who should take care of the victim. Discussions ended with 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 came back, dead and wrapped in green hospital fabric.

A villager recognized Captain Yahya, the leader of the military column who had transported Bilal from the postmortem center Abu Kabir, outside of Tel Aviv, to the place for his final rest. ”Captain Yahya is the worst of them all,” the villager whispered in my ear. After Yahya had unloaded the body and changed the green fabric for a light cotton one, some male relatives of the victim were chosen by the soldiers to do the job of digging and mixing cement...


Not the greatest of journalistic pieces? That would be like calling Godzilla not the most harmless of creatures...

An IDF platoon that was stationed to take out... "one of the leading stone-throwing boys"...? Who was wanted for a few years...?

Are you serious? Like, really? It would take an iota of background (let alone common sense) to recognize just how questionable that is on the spot. Yet this journalist chose to actually believe that Israel was running a manhunt across a number of years for a stonethrower...?

Of course, it only takes a few more lines to recognize the obviously fictional account... the soldiers "...stubbed their cigarettes, put away their cans of Coca-Cola, and calmly aimed...". Hum. You'd have thought the journalist was sitting there alongside them. Except it's supposedly not even his account (and he's not even questioning an account that's providing detail that's obviously dubious). Even though it's being reported as fact...

In fact, I somehow highly doubt it's IDF practice to drop off the bodies and force the family members to dig their graves... seems rather... Nazi-ish... I'm sure that's not what the author was aiming for though. Not at all.

EDIT: Actually, it looks like the bit on the grave digging was the journalist's actual account.

So, to get this right... We have an author who is essentially presenting what is obviously a largely fictional account as fact. And yes, the article does make the claim that this event happened. And coincidentally, the article also manages to attribute to the IDF one of the most sinister of crimes (with rather Nazi-ish overtones) using a largely fictional story. That's reported as fact.

You can wave the mod-stick all you want, but the claims of a blood libel or antisemitism regarding that article are quite apt.

As for your offer to find the corroborating evidence that should have been there? Sure. The article claims that UN and Red Crescent personnel were out there within minutes during that incident. I'd love to see a record of that occurring. I'm more than sure the newspaper in question spoke to them to corroborate the story.

EDIT: In light of the above note on it being the journalist's account as far as the grave digging, I'd also love to see some corroboration on this being regular practice. I'd imagine that if this was regularly done, it wouldn't be hard to find...
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby Philwelch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:08 am UTC

This thread gave me a mischievous idea….
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:41 am UTC

Basically, yoni's accusation of anti-Semitism rests on these grounds:

1. Israelis are depicted doing cruel, brutal things. The assumption being that Israelis could not possibly be so cruel and Nazi-ish, and only a racist could possibly think so.

And yet Israeli soliders have shot civilians waving white flags, bombed schools and hospitals, and carried out mass executions of defenseless civilians (see the Qibya massacre, the Kafr Kassem massacre, the Khan Yunis massacre, etc.) They also have a long history of forcing Palestinian civilians to do dangerous and/or humiliating things like sing Zionist songs in Hebrew, or lick the dirt. So while a particular account of brutal behavior by Israeli soliders may be true or untrue, their behavior, past and present, has in no way been so far above reproach as to justify attributing motives of racism to those who make accusations of brutality.

2. Israelis are depicted as devoting lots of time and energy to chasing stone-throwers.

In fact, Israeli forces have killed hundreds of people who did nothing but throw stones. They have done this publicly; there's no question about it. Stone-throwers have been imprisoned for years; random Palestinians used to be regularly electrocuted when Israeli troops would force them to remove Palestinian flags from power lines. Many occupiers, including Israel, have shared the experience of not being able to come to grips with the resistance, and choosing to strike out viciously at every manifestation of it, however trivial. So chasing stone-throwers for years is consistent with their prior behavior.

The accusation of racism is serious and shouldn't be made without evidence. Some people like to whip out the anti-Semitism card for any criticism of Israel; they don't expect to be believed but they expect the accusation to be uncomfortable enough for the person targeted to discourage them from speaking out again. Bullying people with allegations like that shouldn't be tolerated.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Lumpy » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:48 am UTC

Truthfully, this is why I hesitate to read these threads or form opinions on any of this sometimes.

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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby yoni45 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:49 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Basically...
...
...


So much text for so little content.

We'll make it simple: feel free to provide me with the last time Israel ran a manhunt across numerous years because someone was throwing stones.

Perhaps then your diatribe might have some semblance of being useful. Actually, probably still not. But at least you'll actually have made a point.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby fjafjan » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:55 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
fjafjan wrote:Wow this turned into a shit-storm of assumptions pretty quickly.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the sensationalist non-descriptive topic title.

I agree, it was a bad choice. It's been changed.


Of course, it only takes a few more lines to recognize the obviously fictional account... the soldiers "...stubbed their cigarettes, put away their cans of Coca-Cola, and calmly aimed...". Hum. You'd have thought the journalist was sitting there alongside them. Except it's supposedly not even his account (and he's not even questioning an account that's providing detail that's obviously dubious). Even though it's being reported as fact...

Dramatization of the story. This is common with magazines, like for example "Time". It has no relevance to the story other than make it a more interesting read. If you read the precursor to that section you'll notice the journalist is saying how he was traveling around interviewing people about these cases and this is one of them. But yes it's dramatized and yes it's stupid, but you're being obtuse.
It is rather clear the story begins after
meeting parents who told of how their sons had been deprived of organs before being killed. One example that I encountered on this eerie trip was the young stone-thrower Bilal Achmed Ghanan.


and ends with
The families in the West Bank and in Gaza felt that they knew exactly what had happened:

In between is trying to make the reader "feel like he's there" in the account of the families he talked to.

As for your offer to find the corroborating evidence that should have been there? Sure. The article claims that UN and Red Crescent personnel were out there within minutes during that incident. I'd love to see a record of that occurring. I'm more than sure the newspaper in question spoke to them to corroborate the story.

I don't think you know how the Red Crescent or similar organization works. They don't release diaries or twitter whatever is going on, possibly if I contacted the people on the ground, but then it is doubtful they would remember one night 15+ years ago. I was referring to the various statements about organ trade that were made earlier in the article.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby yoni45 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:14 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:Dramatization of the story. This is common with magazines, like for example "Time".


Really? I'd love an example for where TIME describes obviously questionable events and claims them as matters of fact.

fjafjan wrote:I don't think you know how the Red Crescent or similar organization works. They don't release diaries or twitter whatever is going on, possibly if I contacted the people on the ground, but then it is doubtful they would remember one night 15+ years ago. I was referring to the various statements about organ trade that were made earlier in the article.


Don't worry -- I'm not expecting you to actually talk to the Red Crescent or the UN. I'm assuming the author did, and I'm asking you to find that account. I mean, the claims are quite significant... I'm sure any journalist worth his salt would latch onto any piece of official corroboration they could get...

Otherwise, it'd look like they were just making stuff up...
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:19 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
So much text for so little content.


So little text, for so little content. I guess you have no answer to the points raised, and, since it's a little awkward right now to use your go-to excuse that all your critics are racists, you're just going to limp away in what you hope is a dignified fashion.

Don't hide your crappy argument behind baseless accusations of anti-Semitism. They make you look weak and desperate. That, my friend, would be the point.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby fjafjan » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:20 am UTC

What? Again, that the presense of UN and Red Crescent was alleged by the villagers. He'll it's even right there in the god damn sentence.

Villagers say that people from both the UN and the Red Crescent were close by, heard the discharge and came to look for wounded people in need of care.


second, even if he did claim he talked to the Red Cross, the UN, the red Crescent or a similar organization that would most likely not be a part of a publicly available document (unless they chose to make release one because of this row) and no I am not going to start doing "original research", ie start calling people up. If you think I am somehow "cheating my promise" or whatever you're holding this article to unreasonable standards.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby yoni45 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:44 am UTC

EMTP wrote:So...


You're off track. You're supposed to be looking for the last time the IDF had dedicated a manhunt that lasted a few years because someone was throwing rocks. Then again, I'm assuming you actually had a point worth the bandwidth it took to transfer. I could be wrong.

fjafjan wrote:What? Again, that the presense of UN and Red Crescent was alleged by the villagers.


Yes... and as a respectable journalist (or, just a journalist), I'm certain that he or she went to the UN or Red Crescent to corroborate the story.

You know, with something like "...the Red Crescent confirmed..."

fjafjan wrote:If you think I am somehow "cheating my promise" or whatever you're holding this article to unreasonable standards.


Expecting basic fact checking and corroboration is holding an article to 'unreasonable' standards?

I'm still awaiting the examples of TIME making up highly inflammatory and dubious accounts for 'dramatization' in their reporting...
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Hawknc » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:22 am UTC

If you kids don't stop fighting I'm going to turn this whole forum around and then nobody gets to go to Disneyland. Be civil and for the love of the deity of your choice use decent, reasonably unbiased sources, or I'm just going to have to stop Israel/Palestine threads because EtS needs something else to focus on.

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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:47 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
You're off track.


Yoni, it's up to you to prove your assertions, not to others to disprove them. You made the assertion that Israel doesn't investigate stone throwers over an extended period of time (although they certainly have no problem putting them in jail for a long time, or killing them outright), while the source said it did. You prove it.

In general, you've made a lot of assertions, none of which you have backed up with any evidence at all, and to try and cover that, you demand that others find you this or that.

Until you provide support for your assertions -- chief of which, if you don't remember, was not that the story isn't accurate, but that it is so obviously absurd that it must be the result of anti-Semitism -- you're just blowing smoke.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:23 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:If you kids don't stop fighting I'm going to turn this whole forum around and then nobody gets to go to Disneyland. Be civil and for the love of the deity of your choice use decent, reasonably unbiased sources, or I'm just going to have to stop Israel/Palestine threads because EtS needs something else to focus on.

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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Outchanter » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:26 am UTC

It's obviously unethical for someone to harvest organs or tissue parts without permission. But I must admit some sympathy for someone who, surrounded by dead bodies, considers the long recipient waiting lists and wonders whether respect for the dead really outweighs the needs of the living.

Of course, the solution is to have enough voluntary donors, and on that note, this story reminded me to sign up as one. Apparently you can do that online now :mrgreen:

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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:53 am UTC

Outchanter wrote:It's obviously unethical for someone to harvest organs or tissue parts without permission. But I must admit some sympathy for someone who, surrounded by dead bodies, considers the long recipient waiting lists and wonders whether respect for the dead really outweighs the needs of the living.

Of course, the solution is to have enough voluntary donors, and on that note, this story reminded me to sign up as one. Apparently you can do that online now :mrgreen:

*tries not to think of the relevant Monty Python sketch*


Good points all. When you've seen the patients that need organs up close, the thought of putting usable one in the ground is really disturbing. Of course, one story like this of doctors stealing body parts does I hate to think how much damage to people's willingness to donate.
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Re: Israel: More Evil than previous thought

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:26 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:I didn't see anything in there that they are still doing it. It seems like they are open about the fact that it happened 10 years ago. Also they harvested anyone's organs not just palastinians. The claim that someone was killed for their organs sounds like reactionary hyperbole.

Seems bad, but also a problem that's already been fixed.

Yeah, it's shitty and the people responsible should be held accountable. Next?

Why, why, WHY would you post this?! You HAD to choose today, when I forgot to bring my flame-retardant suit for the war!

You can wave the mod-stick all you want, but the claims of a blood libel or antisemitism regarding that article are quite apt.

Most everyone has said everything I would say. Seriously, fjanfjan, could you not troll while holding mod privileges? At the very least you didn't post the incredibly scant, biased Guardian piece on this story, and for that I thank you.

Of course, I'll also note that the title of the Swedish article had been "They plunder our sons for their organs".
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Anubis » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:32 am UTC

If Israel is targeting and killing Palestinians for the purpose of harvesting their organs, then that is obviously a huge problem. However, I see no real evidence of that.

If Israel is merely removing organs from the bodies of people (both Palestinian and Israeli) who are already dead (as seems more likely), then they should be applauded. It is unconscionable to bury or incinerate perfectly good organs when there are so many living people who will die without them. A body is just a hunk of meat, and it has no meaning once the person occupying it is gone.

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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Telchar » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:33 am UTC

1. I don't think anyone is disputing that the punishment was lax. The guy still holds a position as lead pathologist for Israel iirc. I don't personally have a problem with it, however I probably don't have as big a problem with the crime as some people. I think organ donation should be mandatory.

2. Your standard of proof is terrible EMTP. Yoni is calling out obvious embellishment and bias in the story and asks for corroberation, and you are asking him to prove that Israel doesn't routinely spend years investigating people who throw rocks. Yes, they put them in jail, just like people who throw rocks at police in the US get put in jail, but we don't have year round manhunts. Either admit that the story has obvious holes but isn't necessarily wrong, or bring up evidence, but don't try a terribly lame switch of the burden of proof.

3. I have to agree with Yoni that most journalists wouldn't embellish stories with such specifics (identifying the brand of soda, smoking...) especially when the article makes it seem like this is quoting eye witnesses. Either this is what the eyewitnesses said, which makes it somewhat suspect as the level of detail would be unusual, or the reporter is not reporting the statements correctly. This may not seem like that big a deal, but the charges levied are serious.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:38 am UTC

I've told you before, aleflamedyud, "trolling" does not mean "Posting stuff that reflects poorly on something I will flame you relentlessly for critizing."

You've stated in another thread that you had never heard criticism of Israel from non-Israelis without thinking it was biased. Given that admission of your own bias, maybe you shouldn't set yourself up as a judge of who is a critic and who is a troll.

Your standard of proof is terrible EMTP.


Yeah, no. You make an assertion, you introduce some evidence. Yoni's issuing patronizing demands that people prove this or that to him, when he hasn't offered any evidence for his own assertions. As we see . . .

Yoni is calling out obvious . . .


It's "obvious" to Yoni and you that sweet little Israel could never do the bad things attributed to it, but that puppy love is not evidence.

you are asking him to prove that Israel doesn't routinely spend years investigating people who throw rocks.


Which he can't, and won't, and that's the basis for his argument we can't trust the article. Israel, which murders stone-throwers, interrogates them for weeks, and imprisons them for years, but they couldn't possible chase them for a long time.

Show. Me. The. Evidence.

Yes, they put them in jail, just like people who throw rocks at police in the US get put in jail,


With that comparison, your credibility on issues of Israel-Palestine drops to zero. American police do not shoot people who throw rocks. Our cabinet ministers do not tell the police to "break their bones." We do not put them in prison for years at time.

America is not Israel. Fortunately.

Either admit that the story has obvious holes but isn't necessarily wrong, or bring up evidence, but don't try a terribly lame switch of the burden of proof.


When I make a claim, then you can ask me for evidence. Yoni made a whole string of claims about how the Israeli police function, about how the IDF behaves, and so forth and so on, but provided no evidence, no sources.

The burden of proof for Yoni's claims lie with him. His lame attempts push the responsibility off onto other,s and your lame attempt to support him, only show how lost Yoni & friends are when they can't just accuse the other side of racism and move on.
Last edited by EMTP on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:54 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:40 am UTC

I've told you before, aleflamedyud, "trolling" does not mean "Posting stuff that reflects poorly on something I will flame you relentlessly for critizing."

Yeah, it means posting something intended to fan the flames of hatred and bitter controversy to no constructive end -- exactly what you do all the time on this topic and what I had hoped fjanfjan wouldn't sink to the level of doing merely because he got caught up in a particularly juicy story.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby Lumpy » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:51 am UTC

Seriously, fjanfjan, could you not troll while holding mod privileges?


"They plunder our sons for their organs" makes me lean more toward your side at the moment (I've been going back and forth while watching), but even if the article is a sham, because it appeared in The Guardian, even if it wasn't the original source, I still don't see how believing and defending its content constitutes trolling, at the absolute least any more than linking to and defending a biased FOX News story.

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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:55 am UTC

Lumpy wrote:
Seriously, fjanfjan, could you not troll while holding mod privileges?


"They plunder our sons for their organs" makes me lean more toward your side at the moment (I've been going back and forth while watching), but even if the article is a sham, because it appeared in The Guardian, even if it wasn't the original source, I still don't see how believing and defending its content constitutes trolling, at the absolute least any more than linking to and defending a biased FOX News story.

The Guardian has fixed their headline by now. At first it just read "Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs", which at best sounds like the set-up to the worst penis joke ever told.

Take that original headline into account, read the article, and tell me the Guardian hasn't acted even a little biased. They say they edited the article, too; it appears longer than the first time I read it.
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Re: Israel admits to Harvesting Organs

Postby EMTP » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:01 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:Yeah, it means posting something intended to fan the flames of hatred and bitter controversy


That accusation falls flat when you are the one supplying the bulk of the hatred and bitterness.

These issues can be discussed civilly. If some people (not necessary you -- sometimes you chose to be responsible) chose to go apeshit whenever the subject of Israel is raised, that is on them, not the critics.
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