Israel has expressed outrage about a Swedish newspaper article that called for an investigation into claims that Israeli soldiers may have harvested organs from dead Palestinians. The article was an Op-Ed written by freelance journalist Donald Bostrom, and was printed in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
Bostrom says that he has no proof that Israeli soldiers were stealing organs. One of the accusations comes from the family of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem, a 19-year-old Palestinian man who was shot and killed in 1992, allegedly by Israeli forces, in the West Bank village of Imatin. Bostrom claimed that Ghanem's body was taken away and returned several days later by the Israeli military, with a cut in his midsection that had been stitched up.
Ghanem's family said they believed that his organs had been removed. After that incident, at least 20 Palestinian families told Bostrom that they ‘suspected’ the Israeli military had taken their sons’ organs after killing them, and had taken the bodies away —presumably for routine autopsies.
In his Op-Ed, Bostrom calls on the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial body of the United Nations, to investigate the allegations.
This story against the Israel has many areas of weakness that need to be exposed.
First, the author does not have any evidence to support his accusations except for hearsay from some Palestinian people. Bostrom should explain how he expects us to trust the words of members of a society that chooses a terrorist organization to represent them (Hamas), celebrates the killing of innocents and young Jewish children in terror acts, and was caught on cameras after Sept. 11 dancing in the streets to celebrate the deaths of thousands of Americans. It is hard to convince any sane individual to trust the words that come out of this culture, especially when we know that many Palestinians most likely have an agenda to defame the Jews.
A society that celebrates death of innocents will not feel guilty about lying about the Jews to promote their agenda.
Second, the Israeli military routinely carries out autopsies on Palestinians killed by their forces, a point that Bostrom mentions in his article. Bostrom says he has doubts about the necessity of the procedures if it is clear how the person died. My question is: what sort of medico-legal qualifications does he have that give him the authority to reject the need for autopsies?
Third, does Bostrom realize that in some medical emergencies, surgeons have to remove organs to stop uncontrollable bleeding? Why he did not consider the possibility that the organs were removed — if the stories of removing organs were true — in order to save Palestinian lives? Does he have any evidence that this was not the case?
Fourth, many in the Palestinian society promoted that Jews are pigs and monkeys and that “killing all Jews” is a religious duty for all Muslims before the end days. In addition, the same society promoted the idea that Jews kill innocent people to use their blood in preparing the Passover food. If the Palestinian society suffers from such anti-Semitic delusions, how we can trust the accusations of the population against Israel and the Jewish nation?
The history of Israeli hospitals and doctors in saving many Palestinian lives is undeniable.
In this context, when people like Bostrom accuse Israel (without any concrete evidence) of stealing Palestinian organs, it is important that we remember that in September 2002, a Palestinian girl got a desperately needed kidney from a Jewish bomb victim. A 7-year-old Palestinian girl, Yasmin Abu Ramila, who had been on dialysis, received a kidney donated by a Jewish teenager killed in a Sept. 5 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
In summary, the accusations of Bostrom against Israel are not only baseless but also express a covert form of anti-Semitism that must be fought and treated.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad." He was a former associate of Dr. al-Zawahiri (second in command of al-Qaida) and currently he is a reformer of Islam. To know more about Hamid please visit www.tawfikhamid.com. Hamid's writings in this blog represent only his thoughts and not the views of the institute where he works.
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