|12-18-2009, 09:05 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Apr 2006
CIA linked to torture of Palestinians
Divide and conquer has always been the stratagem for controlling third world and indigenous populations.
CIA working with Palestinian security agents
US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank
Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.
Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.
The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians' work.
One senior western official said: "The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services." A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered "an advanced arm of the war on terror".
While the CIA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) deny the US agency controls its Palestinian counterparts, neither denies that they interact closely in the West Bank. Details of that co-operation are emerging as some human rights organisations are beginning to question whether US intelligence agencies may be turning a blind eye to abusive interrogations conducted by other countries' intelligence agencies with whom they are working. According to the Palestinian watchdog al-Haq, human rights in the West Bank and Gaza have "gravely deteriorated due to the spreading violations committed by Palestinian actors" this year.
Most of those held without trial and allegedly tortured in the West Bank have been supporters of Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but is denounced as a terrorist organisation by the PA – which in turn is dominated by the rival Fatah political faction – and by the US and EU. In the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control for more than two years, there have been reports of its forces detaining and torturing Fatah sympathisers in the same way.
Among the human rights organisations that have documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B'Tselem. Even the PA's human rights commission has expressed "deep concern" over the mistreatment of detainees.
The most common complaint is that detainees are severely beaten and subjected to a torture known as shabeh, during which they are shackled and forced to assume painful positions for long periods. There have also been reports of sleep deprivation, and of large numbers of detainees being crammed into small cells to prevent rest. Instead of being brought before civilian courts, almost all the detainees enter a system of military justice under which they need not be brought before a court for six months.
According to PA officials, between 400 and 500 Hamas sympathisers are held by the PSO and GI.
Some of the mistreatment has been so severe that at least three detainees have died in custody this year. The most recent was Haitham Amr, a 33-year-old nurse and Hamas supporter from Hebron who died four days after he was detained by GI officials last June. Extensive bruising around his kidneys suggested he had been beaten to death. Among those who died in GI custody last year was Majid al-Barghuti, 42, an imam at a village near Ramallah.
While there is no evidence that the CIA has been commissioning such mistreatment, human rights activists say it would end promptly if US pressure was brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities.
Shawan Jabarin, general director of al-Haq, said: "The Americans could stop it any time. All they would have to do is go to [prime minister] Salam Fayyad and tell him they were making it an issue.. Then they could deal with the specifics: they could tell him that detainees needed to be brought promptly before the courts."
A diplomat in the region said "at the very least" US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it. He added: "There are a number of questions for the US administration: what is their objective, what are their rules of engagement? Do they train the GI and PSO according to the manual which was established by the previous administration, including water-boarding? Are they in control, or are they just witnessing?"
Sa'id Abu-Ali, the PA's interior minister, accepted detainees had been tortured and some had died, but said such abuses had not been official policy and steps were being taken to prevent them. He said such abuses "happen in every country in the world". Abu-Ali sought initially to deny the CIA was "deeply involved" with the two Palestinian intelligence agencies responsible for the torture of Hamas sympathisers, but then conceded that links did exist. "There is a connection, but there is no supervision by the Americans," he said. "It is solely a Palestinian affair. But the Americans help us."
The CIA does not deny working with the PSO and GI in the West Bank, although it will not say what use it has made of intelligence extracted during the interrogation of Hamas supporters. But it denies turning what one official described as "a Nelson's eye to abuse".
The CIA's spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, denied it played a supervisory role over the PSO or GI. "The notion that this agency somehow runs other intelligence services … is simply wrong," he said. "The CIA … only supports, and is interested in, lawful methods that produce sound intelligence."
Concern about detainee abuse is growing in the West Bank despite an effort by the international community to create Palestinian institutions that will guarantee greater security as a first step towards creating a Palestinian state. More than half of the PA's $2.8bn (£1.66bn) budget came from international donors last year; more than a quarter was swallowed up by the ministry of the interior and national security. Human Rights Watch and al-Haq have said that in raising the security capacity of the PA, donor countries have a responsibility to ensure it observes international human rights standards.
At the heart of the international effort is the creation of the Palestinian national security force, a 7,500-strong gendarmerie trained by US, British, Canadian and Turkish army officers under the command of a US general, Keith Dayton. Many Palestinians blame Dayton for the mistreatment of Hamas sympathisers, although the general's remit does not extend to either of the intelligence agencies responsible.
Some in Dayton's team are said to have been warned by senior CIA officers that they should not attempt to interfere in the work of the PSO or GI. Privately, some of them are said to fear that the mistreatment of detainees, and the anger this is arousing among the population, may undermine their mission. One source said: "I know that Dayton and his crew are very concerned about what is happening in those detention centres because they know it can jeopardise their work."
|12-18-2009, 09:29 PM||#2|
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Join Date: Apr 2006
the whole sad story
Of course, we already knew that the US worked closely with Israel to divide Palestinians. The Bush administration urged Fatah to stage an uprising in Gaza -- which Hamas won -- after bloody fighting.
The US used a similar strategy during the Iran- Iraq war -- arming both sides at different times in the war -- to keep the bloodshed going - and to foment hatred among Muslims.
US rhetoric about supporting freedom is just talk. US actions prove we don't give a hoot about democracy.
What Actually Happened in Fatah's Elections?
CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership
By ESAM AL-AMIN
August 14-16, 2009
“He is our guy.”
George W. Bush speaking of Palestinian security chief Muhammad Dahlan, June 4, 2003
The U.S. government has been meddling in the Palestinian internal affairs since at least 2003. Its effort is to transform the Palestinian national movement for liberation and independence into a more compliant or quisling government, willing to accede to Israel’s political and security demands.
The tactics employed by the U.S. include military, security, diplomatic, and political components. With the ascension of Hamas after the 2006 legislative election, U.S. strategy has been fixed on unraveling the election results. Its aim for a political comeback of the pro-American camp within the Palestinian body politic has been initiated with the convening of Fatah’s national conference this last week.
During the week of August 4, 2009, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, convened its sixth national conference in its 44-year history. Fatahhas historically been considered the largest Palestinian faction, but that perception changed when it lost the legislative elections to Hamas in January 2006. As the group wrapped up its conference after eight days, it announced the results of its elections. The international media, particularly western outlets, framed the election as “fresh” and “new” faces ascending to power in the movement. But what actually happened in the vote?
Fatah’s internal structure is unlike most political parties or resistance movements. It is not hierarchical and its members’ loyalty largely follows a system of patronage and factionalism embodied in a 23-member Central Committee.
The Central Committee is technically supposed to reflect a system of collective leadership and the political program of a national liberation movement. Even its founder, the late Yasser Arafat, who led the organization from its inception in 1965 until his death in 2004, did not have an official title beyond that of a member of the committee and commander-in-chief of its military wing. But over time, in the eyes of many Palestinians, Fatah’s leadership has symbolized, a system of cronyism, corruption, collaboration with Israel, and political failures, especially since the Oslo process.
Although its internal charter calls for a national conference every four years to elect its leadership, the major questions at the eve of this conference were: Why did it take Fatah two decades to convene this one? Did the election of Fatah’s new leadership reflect the aspirations of the Palestinian people and a new and fresh approach to the political process? And finally, who are the backers of the main individuals who were recently elected to lead it?
Fatah’s Central Committee led by Arafat made the strategic decision in 1988 to negotiate a political settlement with Israel, and accept the United States government as the main broker. For two decades, especially in the aftermath of the 1993 Oslo accords, the Palestinian issue gradually receded from the international agenda, becoming an almost exclusive affair between the U.S, Israel, and the Palestinian leadership whether it was the PLO or after 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Most neutral Middle East analysts such as Robert Malley, the Middle East Program Director at the International Crisis Group, and a former National Security Council (NSC) staff member during the Clinton administration, observe that American negotiators throughout several administrations (both Democratic and Republican) have mostly adopted the Israeli point of view and placed most of the pressure on the Palestinian leadership (whether Bill Clinton with Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, or George W. Bush with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.)
During the first term of the Bush administration, Arafat, as the head of the PA, was isolated, while Washington promoted those within the Palestinian leadership such as Mahmoud Abbas (imposed on Arafat as prime minister in 2003), and former security chief Muhammad Dahlan, both of whom embraced the American strategy in the region. In 2005, Bush declared his freedom and democracy agenda, demanding elections in the Palestinian territories, and hoping for a Fatah victory to implement his vision.
However, the administration soon abandoned its agenda of promoting democracy in the Arab world when Hamas won a landslide victory in the January 2006 legislative elections. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed shock about the results saying, “No one saw it coming.” A Department of Defense official told David Rose of Vanity Fair in 2008, “Everyone blamed everyone else,” “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the f*@# recommended this?’?”
Ever since that election, the American administration employed three different but overlapping strategies in order to undo the results. These efforts by the State Department, the White House and the Defense Department, were scantily planned and poorly coordinated.
Throughout 2006 and the first half of 2007, the State Department used its diplomatic resources and political muscle to topple the democratically-elected Palestinian government led by Hamas. In an April 2008 report, Vanity Fair disclosed that an American talking point memo emerged after a U.S. diplomat accidentally left it behind in a Palestinian Authority building in Ramallah. The document echoed Rice’s demand that Abbas dissolve the national unity government and take on Hamas.
Meanwhile, as detailed by Vanity Fair, neo-con and NSC deputy director Elliot Abrams was plotting a coup in Gaza against Hamas with former Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan in the spring of 2007. It included coordination with Israel, several Arab countries such as UAE and Jordan, payments to Dahlan of over $30 million, the training of five hundred security personnel, a campaign to destabilize Gaza, and a torture program against Hamas members and other Islamists.
Dahlan admitted as much to the magazine’s writer, David Rose, saying that he told his American counterpart who was pushing for a confrontation with Hamas, “If I am going to confront them, I need substantial resources. As things stand, we do not have the capability.”
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on June 7, 2007, that the American administration had asked Israel to authorize a large Egyptian arms shipment, including dozens of armored cars, hundreds of armor-piercing rockets, thousands of hand grenades, and millions of rounds of ammunition. Rose explains that Abrams’s plan stressed the need to bolster Fatah’s forces in order to “deter” Hamas. According to a senior administration official the “desired outcome” was to give Abbas “the capability to take the required strategic political decisions (i.e. fulfilling the Israeli conditions for a political settlement) and dismissing the (Hamas led) cabinet, establishing an emergency cabinet.”
But Dick Cheney’s Middle East advisor, David Wurmser, admitted the failed effort when he told the magazine, “It look(ed) to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted (by Hamas) before it could happen.”
The third effort, was mainly overseen by the Pentagon, and led by Lt. General Keith Dayton. In a speech before the pro-Israel think tank, the Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP) in May 2009, he said that the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator, which he has been leading since December 2005, is “an effort to assist the Palestinians in reforming their security services.” But according to the notes of a meeting between Dayton and a Palestinian security chief in Ramallah in early 2007, the real purpose of the mission was revealed when Dayton said, “[W]e also need to build up your forces in order to take on Hamas.”
Since 2007, Congress has given Dayton $161 million dollars to implement his plan. In addition, this year Congress appropriated an additional $209 million dollars to Dayton for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, to accelerate his program after receiving high marks from Israeli security chiefs. In the past year alone, more than 1,000 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members have been arrested and detained without trials, with many tortured and killed under interrogation, by U.S.-trained Palestinian security personnel in the West Bank. Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have condemned these actions and called for an immediate halt to the human rights abuses of Palestinian detainees in PA prisons.
In his WINEP speech Dayton acknowledged this crackdown when he said, “I don't know how many of you are aware, but over the last year-and-a-half, the Palestinians have engaged upon a series of what they call security offensives throughout the West Bank, surprisingly well coordinated with the Israeli army.” He further admitted that during the 22-day Gaza war last winter, U.S.-trained Palestinian security forces prevented Palestinians in the West Bank from organizing mass protests against the Israeli army, which ironically allowed for the reduction of the Israeli military presence in the West Bank in order to redeploy those troops to Gaza. Dayton added, “As a matter of fact, a good portion of the Israeli army went off to Gaza from the West Bank— think about that for a minute, and the (Israeli military) commander (of the West Bank) was absent for eight straight days.”
After a failed coup and brutal military offensive failed to dislodge Hamas from Gaza, the Israeli and U.S. strategy sought to intensify its pressure against Hamas through a suffocating economic siege in Gaza, massive security detentions in the West Bank, financial squeeze in the region and political isolation internationally. Meanwhile, according to several Hamas spokesmen, including the deposed prime minister Ismael Haniyya in Gaza and political chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus, the main obstacle to any national reconciliation with Fatah has been the detention of hundreds of Hamas members and the PA’s security collaboration with the military occupation overseen by Dayton.
The next phase in this effort is to reinvent Fatah and present it as a viable political alternative to Hamas and other resistance movements by improving the living conditions in the West Bank in contrast to Gaza’s devastating siege. But more important, the plan envisions a new Fatah that is considered a reliable partner willing to accomodate Israel’s conditions for a political settlement. The sixth Fatah conference and accompanying elections was thus convened to dispose of its corrupt and dysfunctional image.
For over a year, the Central Committee, the highest body in its structure, could not agree on many major issues, including where to hold the conference (the final decision was to hold it in the occupied Palestinian territories, which means that Israel has a veto on which delegates from abroad would be allowed to participate). They also squabbled about which delegates would be appointed to the conference, which would determine the composition of the new leadership, as well as the political program and the role of armed resistance against the occupation. Abbas and his inner circle vetoed the decision of the committee, and decided to hold the conference in Bethlehem, virtually hand-picking all the participants to guarantee the election outcome.
Historically, the delegates to Fatah’s national conference were elected or appointed by the Central Committee, but at least fifty-one percent came from the military apparatus. Since most of the military wing has either been disbanded or wanted by the Israelis, a large number of the delegates to this conference were security personnel substituting for the military ones. This fact guaranteed that the election results would be skewed towards the security chiefs and their supporters.
The original number of delegates was supposed to be around 700. Then it increased to 1,250 but eventually mushroomed to 2,355. Less than ten percent were actually indirectly elected by the virtue of their positions, while the overwhelming majority was appointed by a small group in Ramallah led mainly by Abbas and other power brokers such as Dahlan and former West Bank security chief Jibreel Rujoub, who used to hang the picture of former CIA director George Tenet above his desk alongside that of Arafat.
The number of Central Committee members was also increased from 21 to 23, with 19 directly elected by the delegates. Abbas was to appoint four members later, but he himself was chosen by acclamation, to avoid embarrassment if he does not garner first place in a direct election. The 18 individuals who were elected at the end of the week-long conference comprised four from the “old guard” who are considered close to Abbas, and 14 new members, three of whom are former security chiefs who’ve been close to the CIA. These include Dahlan, Rujoub, and Tawfiq Tirawi, a former intelligence chief, who is currently heading a security training academy in Jericho under the supervision of Gen. Dayton.
From the outset, this conference was heavily tilted towards delegates from the West Bank. Unlike previous conferences, Palestinians in the Diaspora were hardly represented since Israel allowed only a few people to enter from abroad. While Gaza’s population is equal to that of the West Bank, less than 400 people were selected as delegates from Gaza, while there were over three times as many delegates from the West Bank.
But most of the Gaza delegates did not even attend because Hamas prevented them from leaving the strip, demanding in return that hundreds of its detained members in the West Bank be freed by the PA, which it summarily refused. In short, aside from Dahlan, who no longer lives in Gaza, not a single elected person is from or lives in Gaza. This prompted the entire Fatah leadership in Gaza, including former Central Committee member Zakariya al-Agha, to resign en mass one day after the conference, protesting not only the results, but also the whole election process.
Similarly, Fatah members abroad did not fare well. Only two people were elected to the Central Committee, though more than two-thirds of Palestinians (eight million) live outside of the Palestinian territories, many in squalid refugee camps, with the “right of return”, considered a hot- button issue in future negotiations, up in the air. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the new members were either from the West Bank or already living in Ramallah as part of Abbas’ closest aides, affirming the American-led ‘West Bank first’ strategy.
Some of the historic old guard who oppose Abbas’s political program such as Central Committee secretary Farouk Kaddoumi or Hani Al-Hassan did not even attend or run as candidates. Kaddoumi condemned the conference, questioned its legitimacy, and went as far as accusing Abbas and Dahlan of plotting with the Israelis to poison Arafat, eventually causing his death.
Other former members who ran as candidates were defeated and cried foul. Former prime minister and negotiator Ahmad Qurai (Abu Alaa) questioned the credentials of the delegates and the integrity of the election procedure. When Abbas chief of staff, Tayeb Abdel-Rahim lost, he demanded a recount and was eventually declared a winner, after the election committee claimed he was actually tied for last. Many delegates, especially female candidates, all of whom lost, criticized this blatant cronyism. Nevertheless, several popular and “clean” candidates were able to win a seat such as Marwan Bargouthi, who is serving five life sentences in Israel, and Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a former mayor of Nablus.
As Palestinians watched this conference unfold, many were hoping that it would be the beginning of a national reconciliation and the establishment of a unity government. However, it seems that as a result of this conference Fatah itself may further disintegrate, as its Gaza leaders and Abu Alaa are threatening to launch a new faction called “Fatah Awakening,” further increasing division and tension within the Palestinian ranks.
The next step in the strategy of the pro-American camp is to hold presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories next January, hoping to present a rejuvenated Fatah as an alternative to Hamas and other resistance movements. Jonathan Steele of the Guardian further exposed on June 22, 2007 the U.S. "hard coup" of June ’07, as well as its political strategy. He detailed US officials' conversations with several Arab regimes. These were, among others, “ ‘to maintain President Abbas and Fatah as the center of gravity on the Palestinian scene’, ‘avoid wasting time in accommodating Hamas,’ ‘undermining Hamas’s political status,’ and ‘calling for early elections.’”
In the words of Gen. Dayton, the Palestinian personnel trained by the U.S pledge after their graduation that they “were not sent here to learn how to fight Israel, but were rather sent here to learn how to keep law and order.” The main purpose of these security battalions is to halt any resistance to or rejection of the occupation including non-violent means. He then added that senior Israeli military commanders frequently ask him, "How many more of these new Palestinians can you generate, and how quickly?”
Many of the questions, posed by ordinary Palestinians before the conference, remain unanswered. What is Fatah’s political program in light of the current Israeli intransigence and pre-conditions? What of national reconciliation with other Palestinian factions and the establishment of a national unity government? What is the role of resistance against the occupation, the suffocating siege against Gaza, and most importantly, the continuous collaboration with the Israeli security agencies and military against their own citizens?
These questions persist while Israel’s occupation and its brutal policies, the expansion of settlements, the separation wall, the detention of over 11,000 Palestinians, the expropriation of land, the depopulation of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, and the denial of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, continue unabated.
Simply put, the U.S. wants a Palestinian leadership that will answer these questions in a way that is satisfactory to Israel. As one State Department official said to Vanity Fair regarding American objectives in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, “[W]e care about results, and [we support] whatever son of a b**** [w]e have to support. Dahlan was the son of a b**** we happened to know best.”
Esam Al-Amin can be reached at: email@example.com
|12-18-2009, 09:40 PM||#5|
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Read about Israel's record of illegal trafficking in human body parts -- including organs taken from murdered Palestinians...
This report is a shocker -- but appears to be true.
|12-18-2009, 09:45 PM||#6|
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Join Date: Apr 2006
This is one of the most shocking and horrifying stories I've ever seen. If you don't believe it I suggest you check the footnotes.
August 28-30, 2009
The New "Blood Libel"?
Israeli Organ Harvesting
By ALISON WEIR
Last week Sweden’s largest daily newspaper published an article containing shocking material: testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years.
Worse yet, some of the information reported in the article suggests that in some instances Palestinians may have been captured with this macabre purpose in mind.
In the article, “Our sons plundered for their organs,” veteran journalist Donald Bostrom writes that Palestinians “harbor strong suspicions against Israel for seizing young men and having them serve as the country’s organ reserve – a very serious accusation, with enough question marks to motivate the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to start an investigation about possible war crimes.”1/
An army of Israeli officials and apologists immediately went into high gear, calling both Bostrom and the newspaper’s editors “anti-Semitic.” The Israeli foreign minister was reportedly “aghast” and termed it “a demonizing piece of blood libel.” An Israeli official called it “hate porn.”
Commentary magazine wrote that the story was “merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of European funded and promoted anti-Israel hate.” Numerous people likened the article to the medieval “blood libel,” (widely refuted stories that Jews killed people to use their blood in religious rituals). Even some pro-Palestinian writers joined in the criticism, expressing skepticism.
The fact is, however, that substantiated evidence of public and private organ trafficking and theft, and allegations of worse, have been widely reported for many years. Given such context, the Swedish charges become far more plausible than might otherwise be the case and suggest that an investigation could well turn up significant information.
Below are a few examples of previous reports on this topic.
Israel’s first heart transplant
Israel’s very first, historic heart transplant used a heart removed from a living patient without consent or consulting his family.
In December 1968 a man named Avraham Sadegat (the New York Times seems to give his name as A Savgat) (2) died two days after a stroke, even though his family had been told he was “doing well.”
After initially refusing to release his body, the Israeli hospital where he was being treated finally turned the man’s body over to his family. They discovered that his upper body was wrapped in bandages; an odd situation, they felt, for someone who had suffered a stroke.
When they removed the bandages, they discovered that the chest cavity was stuffed with bandages, and the heart was missing.
During this time, the headline-making Israeli heart transplant had occurred. After their initial shock, the man’s wife and brother began to put the two events together and demanded answers.
The hospital at first denied that Sadegat’s heart had been used in the headline-making transplant, but the family raised a media storm and eventually applied to three cabinet ministers. Finally, weeks later and after the family had signed a document promising not to sue, the hospital admitted that Sadagat’s heart had been used.
The hospital explained that it had abided by Israeli law, which allowed organs to be harvested without the family's consent. (3) (The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime includes the extraction of organs in its definition of human exploitation.)
Indications that the removal of Sadagat’s heart was the actual cause of death went unaddressed.
Director of forensic medicine on missing organs
A 1990 article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs entitled “Autopsies and Executions” by Mary Barrett reports on the grotesque killings of young Palestinians. It includes an interview with Dr. Hatem Abu Ghazalch, the former chief health official for the West Bank under Jordanian administration and director of forensic medicine and autopsies.
Barrett asks him about “the widespread anxiety over organ thefts which has gripped Gaza and the West Bank since the intifada began in December of 1987.”
"There are indications that for one reason or another, organs, especially eyes and kidneys, were removed from the bodies during the first year or year and a half. There were just too many reports by credible people for there to be nothing happening. If someone is shot in the head and comes home in a plastic bag without internal organs, what will people assume?” (4)
Mysterious Scottish death
In 1998 a Scot named Alisdair Sinclair died under questionable circumstances while in Israeli custody at Ben Gurion airport.
His family was informed of the death and, according to a report in J Weekly, “…told they had three weeks to come up with about $4,900 to fly Sinclair's corpse home. [Alisdair’s brother] says the Israelis seemed to be pushing a different option: burying Sinclair in a Christian cemetery in Israel, at a cost of about $1,300.”
The family scraped up the money, brought the body home, and had an autopsy performed at the University of Glasgow. It turned out that Alisdair’s heart and a tiny throat bone were missing. At this point the British Embassy filed a complaint with Israel.
The J report states:
“A heart said to be Sinclair's was subsequently repatriated to Britain, free of charge. James wanted the [Israeli] Forensic Institute to pay for a DNA test to confirm that this heart was indeed their brother's, but the Institute's director, Professor Jehuda Hiss refused, citing the prohibitive cost, estimated by some sources at $1,500.”
Despite repeated requests from the British Embassy for the Israeli pathologist's and police reports, Israeli officials refused to release either. (5,6,7)
Israeli government officials raise questions
Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh reports in an article in CCUN:
“In January, 2002, an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted that organs taken from the bodies of Palestinian victims might have been used for transplants in Jewish patients without the knowledge of the Palestinian victims’ families.
“The minister, Nessim Dahan, said in response to a question by an Arab Knesset member that he couldn’t deny or confirm that organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli army were taken out for transplants or scientific research.
“‘I couldn’t say for sure that something like that didn’t happen.’”
Amayreh writes that the Knesset member who posed the question said that he “had received ‘credible evidence proving that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute of Abu Kabir extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bodies of Palestinian youth and children killed by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank.” (8)
Israel’s chief pathologist removed from post for stealing body parts
For a number of years there were allegations that Israel’s leading pathologist was stealing body parts. In 2001 the Israeli national news service reported:
“… the parents of soldier Ze’ev Buzgallo who was killed in a Golan Heights military training accident, are filing a petition with the High Court of Justice calling for the immediate suspension of Dr. Yehuda Hiss and that criminal charges be filed against him. Hiss serves as the director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute….According to the parents, the body of their son was used for medical experimentation without their consent, experiments authorized by Hiss. (9)
In 2002 the service reported:
“The revelation of illegally stored body parts in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute has prompted MK Anat Maor, chairman of the Knesset Science Committee, to demand the immediate suspension of the director, Prof. Yehuda Hiss."
Alisdair Sinclair’s death had first alerted authorities to Hiss’s malfeasance in 1998, though nothing was done for years. The Forward reported:
“In 2001, an Israeli Health Ministry investigation found that Hiss had been involved for years in taking body parts, such as legs, ovaries and testicles, without family permission during autopsies, and selling them to medical schools for use in research and training. He was appointed chief pathologist in 1988. Hiss was never charged with any crime, but in 2004 he was forced to step down from running the state morgue, following years of complaints.” (10)
Harvesting kidneys from impoverished communities
According to the Economist, a kidney racket flourished in South Africa between 2001 and 2003. “Donors were recruited in Brazil, Israel and Romania with offers of $5,000-20,000 to visit Durban and forfeit a kidney. The 109 recipients, mainly Israelis, each paid up to $120,000 for a “transplant holiday”; they pretended they were relatives of the donors and that no cash changed hands.” (11)
In 2004 a legislative commission in Brazil reported, “At least 30 Brazilians have sold their kidneys to an international human organ trafficking ring for transplants performed in South Africa, with Israel providing most of the funding.”
According to an IPS report: “The recipients were mostly Israelis, who receive health insurance reimbursements of 70,000 to 80,000 dollars for life-saving medical procedures performed abroad.”
The Brazilians were recruited in Brazil’s most impoverished neighbourhoods and were paid $10,000 per kidney, “but as ‘supply’ increased, the payments fell as low as 3,000 dollars.” The trafficking had been organized by a retired Israeli police officer, who said “he did not think he was committing a crime, given that the transaction is considered legal by his country's government.”
The Israeli embassy issued a statement denying any participation by the Israeli government in the illegal trade of human organs but said it did recognize that its citizens, in emergency cases, could undergo organ transplants in other countries, "in a legal manner, complying with international norms," and with the financial support of their medical insurance.
However, IPS reports that the commission chair termed the Israeli stance “at the very least ‘anti-ethical’, adding that trafficking can only take place on a major scale if there is a major source of financing, such as the Israeli health system.” He went on to state that the resources provided by the Israeli health system "were a determining factor" that allowed the network to function. (12)
Tel Aviv hospital head promotes organ trafficking
IPS goes on to report:
“Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who heads the Organs Watch project at the U.S. University of California, Berkeley, testified to the Pernambuco legislative commission that international trafficking of human organs began some 12 years ago, promoted by Zacki Shapira, former director of a hospital in Tel Aviv.
“Shapira performed more than 300 kidney transplants, sometimes accompanying his patients to other countries, such as Turkey. The recipients are very wealthy or have very good health insurance, and the ‘donors’ are very poor people from Eastern Europe, Philippines and other developing countries, said Scheper-Hughes, who specialises in medical anthropology.”
Israel prosecutes organ traffickers
In 2007 Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reported that two men confessed to persuading “Arabs from the Galilee and central Israel who were developmentally challenged or mentally ill to agree to have a kidney removed for payment.” They then would refuse to pay them.
The paper reported that the two were part of a criminal ring that included an Israeli surgeon. According to the indictment, the surgeon sold the kidneys he harvested for between $125,000 and $135,000. (13)
Earlier that year another Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, reported that ten members of an Israeli organ smuggling ring targeting Ukrainians had been arrested. (14)
In still another 2007 story, the Jerusalem Post reported that “Professor Zaki Shapira, one of Israel's leading transplant surgeons, was arrested in Turkey on Thursday on suspicion of involvement in an organ trafficking ring. According to the report, the transplants were arranged in Turkey and took place at private hospitals in Istanbul.”
Israeli organ trafficking comes to the U.S.?
In July of this year even US media reported on the arrest of Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from Brooklyn, recently arrested by federal officials in a massive corruption sweep in New Jersey that netted mayors, government officials and a number of prominent rabbis. Bostrom opens his article with this incident.
According to the federal complaint, Rosenbaum, who has close ties to Israel, said that he had been involved in the illegal sale of kidneys for 10 years. A US Attorney explained: "His business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 which he would turn around and sell for $160,000." (15)
This is reportedly the first case of international organ trafficking in the U.S.
University of California anthropologist and organ trade expert Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who informed the FBI about Rosenbaum seven years ago, says she heard reports that he had held donors at gunpoint to ensure they followed through on agreements to “donate” their organs. (16)
Israel’s organ donor problems
Israel has an extraordinarily small number of willing organ donors. According to the Israeli news service Ynet, “the percentage of organs donated among Jews is the lowest of all the ethnic groups… In western countries, some 30 per cent of the population have organ donor cards. In Israel, in contrast, four percent of the population holds such cards. (17)
“According to statistics from the Health Ministry’s website, in 2001, 88 Israelis died waiting for a transplant because of a lack of donor organs. In the same year, 180 Israelis were brain dead, and their organs could have been used for transplant, but only 80 of their relatives agreed to donate their organs.”
According to Ynet, the low incidence of donors is related to “religious reasons.” In 2006 there was an uproar when an Israeli hospital known for its compliance with Jewish law performed a transplant operation using an Israeli donor. The week before, “a similar incident occurred, but since the patient was not Jewish it passed silently.” (18, 19)
The Swedish article reports that ‘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 1990s. 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, 2003).”
To fill this need former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, then health minister of Israel, organized a big donor campaign in the summer of 1992, but while the number of donors skyrocketed, need still greatly surpassed supply.
Palestinian disappearances increase
Bostrom, who earlier wrote of all this in his 2001 book Inshallah, (20) reports in his recent article:
“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 Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza – meeting parents who told of how their sons had been deprived of organs before being killed.”
He describes the case of 19-year-old Bilal Achmed Ghanan, shot by Israeli forces invading his village.
“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… 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 was returned, “dead and wrapped up in green hospital fabric.” Bostrom reports that as the body was lowered into the grave, his chest was exposed and onlookers could see that he was stitched up from his stomach to his head. Bostrom writes that this was not the first time people had seen such a thing.
“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.”
|12-18-2009, 09:46 PM||#7|
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Here is the rest of the article:
Bostrom describes the questions that families asked:
“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?”
Israel’s answer was that all Palestinians who were killed were routinely autopsied. However, Bostrom points out that of the133 Palestinians who were killed that year, only 69 were autopsied.
He goes on to write:
“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.” (21)
The new “Blood Libel”?
In scanning through the reaction to Bostrom’s report, one is struck by the multitude of charges that his article is a new version of the old anti-Semitic “blood libel.” Given that fact, it is interesting to examine a 2007 book by Israel’s preeminent expert on medieval Jewish history, and what happened to him.
The author is Bar-Ilan professor (and rabbi) Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, a religious leader so famous that an Israeli journalist writes that Toaff’s father “is to Italian Jewry as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.” Ariel Toaff, himself, is considered “one of the greatest scholars in his field.” (22, 23)
In February 2007 the Israeli and Italian media were abuzz (though most of the U.S. media somehow missed it) with news that Professor Toaff had written a book entitled "Pasque di Sangue" (“Blood Passovers”) (24) containing evidence that there “was a factual basis for some of the medieval blood libels against the Jews.”
Based on 35 years of research, Toaff had concluded that there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper (the book was published in Italy), Toaff says:
“My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children.” (25)
(Incidentally, an earlier book containing similar findings was published some years ago, also by an Israeli professor, Israel Shahak, of whom Noam Chomsky once wrote, “Shahak is an outstanding scholar, with remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value.” ) (26)
Professor Toaff was immediately attacked from all sides, including pressure orchestrated by Anti-Defamation League chairman Abe Foxman, but Toaff stood by his 35 years of research, announcing:
"I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me… One shouldn't be afraid to tell the truth."
Before long, however, under relentless public and private pressure, Toaff had recanted, withdrawn his book, and promised to give all profits that had already accrued (the book had been flying off Italian bookshelves) to Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. A year later he published a “revised version.”
Donald Bostrom’s experience seems to be a repeat of what Professor Toaff endured: calumny, vituperation, and defamation. Bostrom has received death threats as well, perhaps an experience that Professor Toaff also shared.
If Israel is innocent of organ plundering accusations, or if its culpability is considerably less than Bostrom and others suggest, it should welcome honest investigations that would clear it of wrongdoing. Instead, the government and its advocates are working to suppress all debate and crush those whose questions and conclusions they find threatening.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rather than responding to calls for an investigation, is demanding that the Swedish government abandon its commitment to a free press and condemn the article. The Israeli press office, apparently in retaliation and to prevent additional investigation, is refusing to give press credentials to reporters from the offending newspaper.
Just as in the case of the rampage against Jenin, the attack on the USS liberty, the massacre of Gaza, the crushing of Rachel Corrie, the torture of American citizens, and a multitude of other examples, Israel is using its considerable, worldwide resources to interfere with the investigative process.
It is difficult to conclude that it has nothing to hide.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. A version of this article containing citations and additional information is available at http://ifamericansknew/cur_sit/sweden.html
1/ There are two English translations; this article uses the first:
The original Swedish article in Aftonbladet can be viewed at
2/ New York Times, Feb. 3, 1969, p. 8, Column 6 (53 words)
3/ 40 years after Israel's first transplant, donor's family says his heart was stolen
By Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz Correspondent, Dec. 14, 2008
4/ Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 1990, Page 21, The Intifada: Autopsies and Executions
5/ October 30, 1998,Bizarre death of Scottish tourist involves suicide, missing heart
by NETTY C. GROSS, Jerusalem Post Service
6/ The Forward, Illicit Body-Part Sales Present Widespread Problem, By Rebecca Dube, Aug. 26, 2009
7/ Masons, Muslims, Templars, Jews, Henry and Dolly.
8/ Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding, Khalid Amayreh, August 20, 2009
12/ The Economist, Organ transplants: The gap between supply and demand, Oct. 9, 2008
BRAZIL: Poor Sell Organs to Trans-Atlantic Trafficking Ring
By Mario Osava, IPS, Feb. 23, 2004
Haaretz, Two Haifa men sentenced to jail for organ trafficking, By Fadi Eyadat, Dec. 18, 2007
14/ http://www.jpost.com/Police uncover illegal organ trade ring
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL, July 23, 2007
Sting rocks U.S. transplant industry, David Porter, Carla K. Johnson, ASSOCIATED PRESS, july 25, 2009
U.S. Professor: I told FBI about kidney trafficking 7 years ago
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, August, 3, 2009
A mitzvah called organ donation, Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg, 10.6.07
Orthodox in uproar over organ donation incident, Neta Sela, 06.22.06
The Return of the Body Snatchers, By Israel Shamir,
Ha’aretz. The Wayward Son, by Adi Schwartz, March 1, 2007
Ha’aaretz, Bar-Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press, Feb 11, 2007
Israeli writer Israel Shamir reports that some years ago “…a leading Chabad rabbi, Yitzhak Ginzburgh, gave his religious permission for a Jew to take a liver from a non-Jew even without his consent. He said that ‘a Jew is entitled to extract the liver from a goy if he needs it, for the life of a Jew is more valuable than the life of a goy, likewise the life of a goy is more valuable than the life of an animal.’
Haaretz, Bar Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book, by Ofri Hani, Feb. 11, 2007.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August/September 2001, page 11, In Memoriam: Israel Shahak (1933-2001), By Norton Mezvinsky
|12-18-2009, 10:11 PM||#8|
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You biatch alot Gaff, but don't have many solutions other than Iran nuking Israel.
|12-18-2009, 11:26 PM||#9|
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gaff is under the impression that the whole world are angels but the evil is us. Nasty thread but there isn't a regime on the planet not guilty of this.
|12-19-2009, 10:51 AM||#11|
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Iran offered the US a full peace deal -- back in 2003 -- and again in 2006 -- just weeks before Israel destroyed Lebanon - again.
But the US was not interested in a peace deal. It would have required thew US to make progress on the Israel-Palestinian issue -- and Bush was not interested.
Earlier this year -- Obama told Israel to halt the settlement activity -- and what happened? The ISraelis laughed at Obama. So, it's clear where power lies.
More recently, Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu offered to halt new settlement construction - but a closer look shows that as usual - the devil is in the fine print. As we speak settlers are throwing Palestinian families out of their homes - and simply moving in to the houses --in E Jerusalem. The US media yawns --
But just imagine the furor here - on this board -- if Arabs were throwing Jews out of their homes. There would be hysterical cries to "Nuke em!"
|12-19-2009, 10:57 AM||#12|
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Furthermore -- there is no hard evidence that Iran is trying to build nukes. In November 2007 all 16 of the US intelligence agencies agreed that Iran gave up its nuke program back in 2003 -- the same year it offered Bush a full peace deal. Likely-- there was a connection.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that Israel has 200-400 nukes. Nor is there any doubt that the Israeli leadership lied to JF Kennedy, deceived US inspectors, sold US military secrets to the USSR, China etc, hijacked an entire ship load of uranium ore, and engaged in numerous acts of terrorism on the nuclear issue.
But again -- you yawn.
What a bunch of Bozos.
|12-19-2009, 11:05 AM||#13|
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I can't prove it -- but I suspect the CNN report about Palestinian inter marriage -- was planted by Zionists for the usual purpose -- to deceive Americans on the Mideast.
I suspect the CNN story had the same source as the reports that Yasser Arafat was a homosexual - and died from AIDS. When in fact he was probably poisoned by Israel.
There have been so many cases of decetion that -- one needs to be at least aware - of this possibility. The Zionists have succeeded in convincing most Americans that the Palestinians are just a bunch of terrorists. It's a huge achievement of propaganda -- a lie.
No secret -- the Zionists operate through deception. BY way of deception is the motto of the Mossad, as pointed out by former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovksy in his book, which documents case after case.
Arabs and Muslims lie too, of course, not saying they don't . But the Zionists are so much better at it -- and they also have the media at their disposal.