Image created by Ben Hume

A diplomatic row between Sweden and Israel has emerged after a leading Swedish tabloid printed an article suggesting Israeli soldiers stole body parts from Palestinians after killing them.

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros visited a family at the centre of the organ trafficking controversy.

Jalal Ghanem says his brother Bilal was airlifted by an army helicopter to a hospital in Israel after being shot in a Palestinian village.

When his dead body was returned for burial, an autopsy had been carried out without the family’s permission, and the family suspects his organs had been taken.

Palestinians such as late President Yasser Arafat have previously accused Israel of organ harvesting, but no conclusive proof has been provided.

Israel has called the article “blood libel” and urged the Swedish government to condemn it.



Saturday afternoon, thousands of New Yorkers gathered in Times Square to rally for health care reform. And many of those there invoked the memory of late Senator Edward Kennedy in appealing for a single payer system—signs mentioned Kennedy, such as “TeddyCare For All.”

President Obama briefly mentioned Kennedy’s fight for health care in his eulogy for the legislator, saying, “We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers’ rights or civil rights,” and added, “We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country that he loved.” However, Kennedy’s niece Maria Shriver said on Meet the Press that she thinks her uncle’s death will help give momentum to the push for health care reform.

Our Associates Chippy Dee and Bud Korotzer were there to keep us informed…
Photos © by Bud Korotzer



Leave it to the zionists to rewrite history. It’s reminiscent of the final years of the Soviet Union when the name Stalin miraculously disappeared from history books.
Now, the term ‘Nakba’ will be removed from Israeli textbooks. Heaven forbid a new generation of Israeli schoolchildren should know the truth about the creation of their country….. and at whose expense it was at.
Just imagine the outroar if the holocaust was removed from German textbooks… but, we know that won’t happen….. Israel would find a way to stop such a move.
Education minister: Word ‘nakba’ taken out of lesson plans
 Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar briefed the cabinet on plans for the start of the school year, and announced that the word “nakba” will be taken out of lesson plans.
“It can be said with certainty that Arab Israelis experienced a tragedy in the war, but there will be no use of the word ‘nakba,’ whose meaning is similar to holocaust in this context,” said Sa’ar. “The education system in the Arab sector will revise its studies about the homeland, geography, and society in elementary schools.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s latest scandal has come to light, involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. I can predict that whatever the outcome of his trial will be the courts will be lenient as he is suffering from prostate cancer. Olmert’s fellow criminal on the other side of the ‘pond’, Bernard Madoff will most certainly be released from prison soon on compassionate grounds. He too is supposedly suffering from cancer. Zionism, the common cancer among these criminals seems to spread to other organs at opportune times.
Former Israeli Prime Minister to face trial on corruption charges
Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli Prime Minister until March of this year, was indicted Sunday on charges of corruption, breach of trust, fraud, income tax evasion, accepting bribes, and a number of other charges.ehud_olmert
Ehud Olmert (photo from wikimedia)


Olmert oversaw a particularly brutal string of attacks by the Israeli military while he was Prime Minister, including the January 2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip that left 1400 Palestinians dead.  He has not been charged or investigated for these attacks.Instead, the former Prime Minister is being charged with a massive corruption scandal that allegedly ran through all levels of government when he was at the helm.According to the indictment, Olmert violated his oath of office “in systematic and drawn out activities for financial benefits … in different ways and from different sources … all in manners that contravened the law, the norms and the rules that obligate a minister and a public servant.”Several other members of Olmert’s cabinet have already been indicted on a variety of charges, including President Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of rape.Olmert allegedly carried out a variety of nefarious activities both before and during his term as Prime Minister.  Some of these included lying about contributions from a US citizen, inflating travel costs in order to pocket reimbursement checks, and using campaign donations to pay for the debts of a non-profit which supported him politically.Olmert’s communication advisor told Israeli reporters Sunday, “Olmert is convinced that at the court he will be able, once and for all, to prove his innocence.”





This video features the story of a young brave Palestinian girl who never loses hope for a better future despite the harsh realities surrounding her.
Thanks TO for finding this.




 Horrid beyond words



 Has Israel been harvesting organs from Palestinians it kills?


Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, have been fulminating against Sweden after a newspaper there published revelations alleging that Israeli occupation authorities had been harvesting organs from Palestinian victims. Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem looks closer at the explosive revelations.


The mass-circulation Aftonbladet last week quoted relatives of Palestinian victims accusing the Israeli authorities. The report featured a picture of one victim, with a large scar running from chin to abdomen.

“Our sons were plundered for their organs,” said one Palestinian quoted in the report. The report linked the revelations with the recent human organ trafficking scandal in New Jersey involving Israeli and American rabbis.


Donald Bostrom, author of the report, spoke of strong suspicions among Palestinians that Israeli authorities were taking organs from dead Palestinians. He didn’t give an opinion on the matter, but said that the seriousness of the suspicions warranted an international investigation.

He quotes one Palestinian witness as describing a case in which the organs of a victim, identified as Bilal Ahmed Ghniyan, were harvested by the Israelis. “He (Ghniyan) was taken away by a military helicopter and brought back by the army five days later, dead. As his family members buried him, they saw a large scar running from his stomach to his chin.”


Adopting a dismissive attitude, Israeli officials accused the Swedish newspaper of committing a “blood libel” and making a “canard” against Israel. Israeli leaders demanded a “clear and immediate apology” from Sweden.


Netanyahu urged the Swedish government to condemn the “incendiary article”. Other Israeli leaders threatened to take unspecified punitive measures against Sweden, including cancelling an upcoming visit to Israel by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, denying Swedish journalists posted in Israel government accreditation, and even boycotting Swedish products and interests.


Netanyahu spoke to Bildt earlier this week, urging him to issue a “public condemnation” of the article. However, the Swedish government has so far refused to budge to Israeli pressure, arguing that the government of Sweden was in no position to condemn articles or materials published in the Swedish press, regardless of whether the government agreed or disagreed with the contents.

“No one can demand that the Swedish government violate its own constitution. Freedom of speech is an indispensable part of Swedish society,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt reportedly told the Swedish news agency TT.


Earlier, Bildt rejected Israeli accusations that Sweden was harbouring anti-Semitic feelings, saying that his country had established laws against anti-Semitism. The adamant Swedish refusal to meet Israeli demands infuriated Israeli leaders and media.


Israel is not accustomed to seeing another state — especially a Western one — stand up to its moral pressure. Hence, Israel is worried that the Swedish “precedent” might auger ill for the future, emboldening others to refuse Israeli demands. The Israeli panic is heightened by the mood in Washington under the Obama administration, which appears, unlike previous administrations, to be taking relative distance from egregious Israeli actions.


Israel is well known for its harsh and cruel treatment of Palestinians. Hence, the notion of Israeli authorities extricating organs from the bodies of Palestinians for transplant or sale is credible. Indeed, in January 2002 an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted that certain organs from the bodies of Palestinians might have been used for Jewish transplant patients without the knowledge of the victims’ families. The minister, Nessim Dahan, said he couldn’t confirm or deny that organs taken from Palestinian victims were used for transplant or in scientific research.


During an interview with Al-Jazeera in 2002, late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat accused Israel of murdering Palestinian children and harvesting their organs for transplant operations. “They murder our kids and use their organs as spare parts. Why is the whole world silent? Israel takes advantage of this silence to escalate its oppression and terror against our people,” said an angry Arafat.

During that interview, which took place on 14 January 2002, Arafat held up pictures of the bodies of some children killed and badly mutilated by the Israeli army.


No genuine investigation into the Palestinian allegations was carried out. According to a report by Saira Soufan, the illegal harvesting of the organs of Palestinians, especially guerrillas and freedom fighters, has been documented before the 1990s. “Upon return of the (Palestinian) soldiers’ bodies to their mourning families, the pillage of body parts is discovered during the burial process. The empty cavities have been filled with garbage such as cotton wool, garden hoses, and broom sticks, then sewn up as a result of the so-called autopsy.”


In 1998, Israeli medical authorities stole body organs from a Scottish tourist, Alistair Sinclair, who died under mysterious circumstances inside Ben Gurion Airport. Sinclair’s family sued Israeli authorities upon finding that their son’s heart and other organs were missing. According to one report, a replacement heart and organs were sent to his mother, who didn’t believe that these were her son’s.

Ahmed Teibi, a prominent Arab Knesset member, criticised the media’s latent focus on the alleged harvesting of Palestinian victims’ organs by Israel. “Well, harvesting the organs of victims is appalling and disgusting… but the actual killing of these helpless victims was a greater crime, and Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians, knowingly and deliberately. This is the real crime that much of the world pays very little attention to. This is the real crime for which Israel ought to be exposed and condemned.”


The Israeli Navy took a day off from their killing spree yesterday allowing the fishermen and residents of Gaza to enjoy a normal, peaceful day.

Would it be asking too much to allow this to continue?

All photos © by Ayman Quader

All 121 photos can be seen HERE…. enjoy!


By Khalid Amayreh 

abbas scarePalestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office had expired in January 2009, has been vowing to organize general elections in January 2010, giving the impression that these elections will be a magical cure for the many problems facing the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause. 

The call for elections, however, doesn’t seem to be motivated by goodwill as the main real aim behind this gambit is apparently to outmaneuver the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas. 

In fact, it is very difficult to be euphoric or even optimistic about elections held under a sinister foreign military occupation. 

In 2006, Palestinians were cajoled by the Bush administration into holding general elections and were told that the polls would be a paramount task embodying Palestinian sovereignty. 

True, many Palestinians eager to see a loosening of the Nazi-like Israeli stranglehold on their lives and also to see an end to the rampant corruption infesting the Fatah-led PA, accepted the idea, preferring to give the idea the benefit of the doubt. 

However, even before the elections began, it was amply clear that Israel was insisting on exercising its repressive function as the occupation authorities began arresting “the wrong” candidates and brazenly interfering with election campaigns. 

As we all know, the elections did take place, and Hamas won a landslide victory. However, neither Israel and her guardian-ally, the United States, nor Fatah came to terms with the democratic outcome of the elections. 

Israel, as soon as the initial results showed that Hamas was having the upper hand at the ballot boxes, decided to impose draconian and vengeful punishments on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including laying a hermetic siege to the Gaza Strip and barring its 1.5 million inhabitants from accessing food and essential consumer products. 

Similarly, the Zionist-controlled Bush administration bullied the entire world, with the exception of a few courageous states that wouldn’t cave in to American coercion, to boycott the democratically-elected government of Hamas. 

The arrogant coalition, led by the US and directed behind the scenes by international Zionist circles, clamped a tight and suffocating financial siege on the Gaza Strip, preventing financial transactions to the coastal enclave. 

The manifestly murderous siege pushed Gaza to the brink of famine and hundreds of innocent Gazans succumbed to preventable illnesses caused by the absence of appropriate medical care due to the cruel siege. 

In addition, the US intelligence agencies began funding and arming Fatah elements in the Gaza Strip in order to overthrow Hamas and create a quisling-collaborationist regime that would make “peace” with Israel according to Zionist terms. 

Fortunately, Hamas preempted the vicious conspiracy, forestalling a civil war that would have shed a lot of Palestinian blood for Israel’s sake. 

In light, one is prompted to ask what guarantees Abbas and his aides have that Israel would allow free and fair elections to take place. 

Indeed, the bulk of the Islamic-oriented candidates who won the elections of 2006 are still languishing in Israeli jails and dungeons for the “grand crime” of participating in the elections, the very elections that had been Okayed by Israel and the Bush administration. 

I am talking about dozens of Palestinian politicians, people like Nayef Rajoub, Muhammed Abu Jheishe, Azzam Salhab, Nizar Ramadan, and others, who committed no violation apart from wining a seat in the Palestinian legislative council. 

More to the point, it is clear that even if the Israeli occupation army, which controls every corner and street in the West Bank, didn’t interfere with the elections, which is very unlikely given Israel’s hostile fixation on Hamas, the police state apparatus now prevailing in the West Bank, would make the idea of conducting free elections not only unlikely but impossible. 

We are talking about a total absence of basic civil liberties whereby political opponents are arrested, tormented and often tortured to death. 

Furthermore, every conceivable political activity, even an act as simple as raising an Islamic flag, is immediately criminalized. In some cases, the “perpetrators” wouldn’t live to regret their “misdeeds.” 

In fact, it is perfectly safe to claim that insistence on holding elections under these morbid circumstances reflect a malicious intent to falsify the results of the elections beforehand.

Finally, it is difficult to fathom how elections can be organized in an extremely unhealthy atmosphere in the midst of the enduring crisis between Fatah and Hamas. 

There is no doubt that Hamas will not succumb to the fait accompli created by Abbas, possibly in coordination with his foreign backers, along with the Israelis, who are perpetuating the criminal siege on Gaza and preventing building materials from reaching the blockaded enclave. Needless to say, these building materials are badly needed for rebuilding homes and civilian infrastructure destroyed by the Zio-Nazi war machine earlier this year. 

Unfortunately, there are clear signs that Mr. Abbas and his PLO have been active conspirers in prolonging the Gaza suffering in order to weaken Hamas in the eyes of the people. 

For all these reasons, it is imperative that Hamas must not fall into the trap and reject this trick by the man who had called resistance “futile” and who voiced his willingness to compromise inherent Palestinian rights pertaining to al-Quds al Sharif and the refugees. 

The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said “A true believer shouldn’t be bitten from the same snake hole twice.”



It’s Tents for Most Homeless Families in Gaza, Prefabricated Huts for the Lucky Few

By Mohammed Omer

homeless in gaza

   Hussein Shawish plays with his grandchildren inside their new mobile house in Gaza City, June 17, 2009 (AFP photo/Mohammed Abed).

DESPITE THE parade of various international diplomats and aid workers surveying the destruction in Gaza, virtually nothing has changed since Israel ended in January its Operation Cast Lead assault—peversely named after a line in a children’s Hannukah poem. Israel launched its assault on Dec. 27, 2008, during the Jewish religious festival.

Homeless families are distressed at the lack of progress in providing adequate and safe shelter, despite pledges made by international donors at a conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in early March.

“I am glad to be one of the first people in Gaza to receive a prefabricated hut,” said Issa Hamouda, who lives in Gaza’s densely crowded Jabalya refugee camp.

The 57-year-old Hamouda gestures toward some of his 20 children and grandchildren standing next to the rubble of what used to be their family home, where they would wake up every morning. “It’s only the size of one room,” he said of their new dwelling, it’s better than nothing.”

The prefabricated hut stands next to the rubble of his demolished house. “Each time I pass this tent and prefabricated hut,” Hamouda added, “it’s a symbol to remind us of the last offensive against us.”

Unfortunately, the tent and adjacent shanty hut his family has been forced to live in since January will not be coming down anytime soon.

Despite more than $4.5 billion in pledges made at the international donors’ conference to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, nothing seems to be getting through to Gaza so far. According to a senior official in Gaza’s de facto government, who noted that no funds have yet been received from donor nations, “There have been no serious attempts, by all sides, to plan the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.”

In the weeks following the Israeli assault, aid groups set up tent camps in the hardest hit areas, but the prefabricated shelters did not arrive until June, when the Hamas-led government in Gaza began distributing 192 structures supplied by Turkey. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) plans to supply an additional 1,200 prefabricated units in the coming weeks or months, according to Palestinian sources in Gaza.

The 40-foot-square pre-fabricated huts in which fewer than 200 families currently are living have no toilet, washroom, kitchen or private facilities. Indeed, they are little more than a simple tool shed. Yet, in Gaza, five months after Israel halted its attack, it passes for a home.

There are some Gazans who are not reduced to living in tents or huts: they are crammed into the homes of relatives and friends, or renting an apartment if an available one can be found. The latter, however, is a luxury most Gazans cannot afford.

Asked about the international pledges to rebuild Gaza, Hamouda replied, “These donor countries should first work to end the occupation, instead of offering to pay the cost of the occupation. If you want to give me dinner, don’t just give me a fish, but teach me how and let me fish. We don’t want to be dependent on other countries’ donations.”

Gaza has an abundance of human resources, including many workers and professionals, he added. “We could live much better just off our available resources,” Hamouda said, “with open borders and no more occupation controlling our lives.”

Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. Thousands more—the majority civilians—were injured. According to the latest U.N. survey, 3,500 houses were completely destroyed, 2,100 sustained major damage and 40,000 sustained minor damage.

Hamouda’s large family is the main reason he was one of the first people in Gaza to receive a shelter, which was assembled by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Most Gazans prefer to have the shelters situated near what used to be their homes.

Hamouda described how Israel targeted his house during Operation Cast Lead. First it was bombed by Israeli warplanes, and later demolished by Israeli bulldozers. “Who knows when my children will have a home again?” he asked. “All is demolished, nothing was left behind, including our trees and farm. Even the donkey was killed under the ruins of the house.

“We have no privacy and no protection from the heat of the day or the cold of the night,” he added. “We just want to live a normal life like people in other nations around the world.”

In Hamouda’s opinion, the visits to Gaza by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter were “a catastrophe. Neither Carter nor Blair came down to see our tragedy. Yet they allowed the occupation of our homeland when they were in office. I don’t expect anything good from either of them.”

Carter may not have visited the Hamouda family, but he denounced the deprivations facing Palestinians in Gaza as unique in history and asserted that they are being treated “more like animals than human beings” (see p. 17).

Meanwhile, Israel’s crippling siege of Gaza remains in place. Maxwell Gaylard, the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, explained why—months later and despite donor pledges—shelters for Gaza’s homeless families are not being built: “It’s a simple reason,” the Jerusalem-based Gaylard said. “The government of Israel doesn’t allow construction materials into Gaza.

“I have replanted our trees three times,” said Hamouda, “but each time Israeli bulldozers destroy them. It makes me think that Israel doesn’t only consider human beings in Gaza as enemies, but also the trees.”

Several human rights groups and European governments have called on Israel to allow construction materials into Gaza, but so far there has been no lessening of the siege. “We have been in negotiation with the Israeli authorities, but there is no approval to allow construction materials into Gaza,” Gaylard said. “Gaza is a place which has enjoyed a good standard of living before, but not now,” he said. “Many are poor—they live on one meal per day—it is pretty miserable.”

Asked how long he thought the reconstruction of Gaza would take, the U.N. official could only respond, “I wish I knew. We have been constantly calling for the opening of the borders and stating that the Gazan people should not have to be subjected to this collective punishment.”

“We have built our houses with our sweat and blood,” said Issa Hamouda. Pausing, he added: “And we are ready to rebuild it again and again—but Israel should respectfully leave us alone, and we will manage with the resources we have available.”

Source via Uruknet



Israeli Organ Harvesting


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.” 

He responded:

“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.”

IPS reports:

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.”

Why autopsies?

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/ 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




Right on Bibi! You expect the world to pay for and support your crimes, but you won’t tell us what’s next. So typical!!
Netanyahu uses silence to capture his objective

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sat in front of the Israeli press for 45 minutes here on Wednesday, just a few hours after meeting US envoy George Mitchell in London and deflected with great acumen the journalists’ repeated attempts to pry out of him any real piece of information about what happened during their four-hour meeting.

Prime Minister Binyamin...

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in London, Tuesday.
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO


One journalist after the next asked the prime minister the same question, but from a slightly different angle: What was agreed upon regarding a settlements freeze?

But try as the journalists may, Netanyahu would say nothing – nothing – about the agreement that is apparently being stitched together.


Read the rest of this report HERE


liberty and justice

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

In this digest: We comment on the transformation of Palestine and the weakness of Palestinian leaders, describe events happening that you will hear little about (or hear distorted stories about), share videos about the Israeli targeting of civilian and about the right of resistance, and share two action items asking you to write to the Gap about their opening a store in Israel and writing to Obama to demand Israel freeze its illegal settlement activities in the occupied areas (as the 2002 road map demands) 

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is ever well ­acquainted with what you do.”(Surah Nisaa’:135) 

Israel named a new ruler on Palestinians this week. Eitan Dangot (to be promoted to Major General) will direct the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in the Israel army.  He is certainly more important and more powerful than Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. Nothing goes in and out of the occupied areas or moves between its cities without his approval.  No construction, no economic activity, no education, no transport, and no health care are done without this overlord agreeing to it.  He is in a line of Zionists managing Palestinian affairs that go back to Herbert Samuel in 1920 (who had absolute executive and legislative powers).  Samuel states in his memoires that he was appointed by the British government not only with his known Zionist sympathies but largely because of these sympathies. Palestinians responded by mass resignation from government jobs, by strikes, protests, petitions, and pleas for change.  But some notable elites met with him 7 July 1920 despite a call to boycott.  Later he fired the principled mayor of Jerusalem Musa Kadhim Alhusaini and appointed the more compliant Ragheb Nashashibi (sounds familiar?).   

According to news reports, Israel arrested several people praying at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.  One of those was “a Gaza man was detained for being in the area without a permit.” (and yet Zionist propaganda still regurgitates the myth that the apartheid walls are for security!). Jimmy Carter joins the fast for Gaza.  Some Palestinians spend all their waking hours planning how to defeat fellow Palestinians.  Israeli papers leak the news that Obama administration is giving up on the idea of a settlement freeze in the illegally occupied areas.  Settler population surpasses 500,000.  Some are popping Champaign bottles celebrating the final victory of the Zionist project and the end not only of the physical Palestine but the idea of Palestine. Some of the victims as in all colonial situations get acclimatized and collaborate with their oppressors.  Is this a Kafquesque/Orwellian world we live in or is that itself suggestive that a normal world can exist.  Perhaps it is the way it always is: nature red in tooth and claw, a dog-eat-dog world and we do have big dogs and little dogs (and parasites that transfect dog brains making them rabid). But then again, nature indeed has everything and unlike creatures born into who they are, humans have choices to be like hyenas feeding on dead carcasses or like flowers giving nectar and beauty to earth. Sometimes the choice to be like the tapeworm or the honeybee seems to some individuals not so obvious. Bees are natural workers who live and die anonymous and unfelt as individuals while one tape worm can be prosperous, felt, and have an individual difference in its habitat. (sorry, this is the biologist in me speaking).  But back to the human realm, we can also choose to be a war criminal like Peres, Kissinger, and Hitler or by a peacemaker like Desmond Tutu and Mahatma Gandhi (and anything in between).  We can choose to be racist claiming Arabs or Muslims are this or that (or Jews for that matter) or we can embrace our common humanity and failings and call for coexistence and annulment of all ideologies of racism and segregation (e.g. Zionism).  We do have choices. In these choices lies our true freedom and liberation as human beings.  Going with the flow/fashion of “our tribe” (us vs. them) lay our enslavement.  Those of us who refuse enslavement have what Mahmoud Darwish called “an incurable malady”: hope. 

Video: Lest we forget: Guardian investigates Israeli war crimes in Gaza



Video: Free Gaza on the right of Resistance



Action 1:  Gap set to open in Israel


Write to them at: and boycott

 ACTION 2: News reports  reports that U.S. dropped or is considering dropping demand on Israel to freeze settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem (International law is clear that such settlements are illegal).  Write and call Obama to demand complete freeze of all settlement activities including “natural growth” and walls built on Palestinian lands (this is also demanded by the road map that we are told Israel agreed to).  

Call: President Barack Obama 202-456-1111
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 202.647.5291
FAX: 202-456-2461 email




 Translated from the Hawaiian that means…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY~~ MICHAEL RIVERO!
And just who is Michael? He is the Administrator of the wonderful site What Really Happened. A true activist for peace and social justice in every sense… a true friend to the Progressive Blogesphere and Palestine.
So, as we say in Hebrew, Ad Mea v’Esrim! (Until 120)  




Image by Ismael Shammoutcold and worry

Khalid Amayreh 


The US is insisting on restarting talks between the Palestinians and Israel, but to what end, asks Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

Having utterly failed to get Israel to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, the Obama administration is now asking Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume peace talks as soon as possible.

The US State Department said this week it was getting closer to winning the agreements of both Israel and the PA to resume talks. Spokesperson Ian Kelly told reporters that the “process of laying the groundwork for Israeli Palestinian-peace talks is moving closer to fruition”.

However, Kelly failed to corroborate his optimism with tangible facts.

It is not clear why the US is insisting on jump- starting the stalled talks at this time. However, diplomats and observers opine that the Obama administration has effectively lost the showdown with the Netanyahu government over the settlement issue and is now hoping that the highly contentious issue can be “treated more satisfactorily” in bilateral talks between the two conflicting sides.

This assumption, however, is being viewed coolly by Palestinian leaders and the Arab world at large as a definitive retreat from the original US position that Israel must first freeze settlement construction as part of its obligations under the “roadmap” plan. PA official Saeb Erekat, while welcoming Washington’s strong involvement in the peace efforts, has advised the Obama administration to refrain from making the same mistakes as the Bush administration. He argued that the real problem facing the peace process was not the resumption of negotiations but rather getting Israel to recognise the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and end, once and for all, the decades-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu has been calling for an “unconditional” resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. Netanyahu believes the appearance of Israel and the PA indulging in peace talks, irrespective of whether such talks would yield any substantive results, would shield Israel from mounting international criticisms over the settlement expansion issue and allow the Jewish state to pursue its colonialist interests, especially in East Jerusalem.

This week, Israeli authorities approved plans to build hundreds of settler units in the heart of Arab East Jerusalem. The planned new settlement in the densely populated Arab neighbourhood of Ras Al-Amud is meant to kill the possibility of East Jerusalem becoming the future capital of a prospective Palestinian state.

Earlier, Israel and the US had been working on a “package deal” whereby Israel would accept a moratorium on settlement building for a period ranging from six months to two years. Israel reportedly agreed on a certain moratorium but insisted on completing thousands of settler units currently being built all over the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel insisted that it wouldn’t agree to any settlement freeze in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu was scheduled to travel to London this week for talks with US Peace Envoy George Mitchell to reach agreement on the duration of the proposed moratorium. Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Last week, the German Foreign Ministry called settlements “one of the biggest impediments to peace in the Middle East”. “We and our partners, the Americans, have made it very clear that we see the settlements issue as one of the biggest impediments to a two-state solution,” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke was quoted as saying. “There must be urgent progress on settlements to make progress on Middle East [peace].”

Peschke acknowledged that while Israel was “thinking seriously about its policy, there is no definitive movement on the settlement question yet”. Israel, for its part, rejected the German criticisms as “irrelevant” to the resumption of the peace process. “These statements are not part of any diplomatic negotiations; they are unrelated to reality and distort it,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Earlier, infamous Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been keeping a low profile apparently for fear of damaging Israel’s image and diplomatic interests, was quoted as saying that he didn’t foresee peace at all. “It will be impossible in the next 16 years to bridge the gaps on Jerusalem, the refugees, or on Israel as a Jewish state.”

Lieberman also said that while he didn’t believe anything would come of current efforts to re- launch the peace process, he was giving Netanyahu room to manoeuvre in talks with the Americans.

Meanwhile, the Israeli group Peace Now underscored the mendacity of Israeli claims that settlement construction was being frozen. The group pointed out in a new report on settlement growth that in the first half of 2009, Israel was constructing 600 new buildings in West Bank settlements, with 96 new buildings constructed in the so-called “illegal outposts”. According to the report, 35 per cent of the buildings are constructed on the eastern — Palestinian — side of the apartheid wall. The construction of permanent homes has risen by eight per cent since last year, while the placement of trailer homes dropped by 43 per cent.

The same Israeli group said there were currently 40,000 new buildings authorised for construction, according to available plans, the vast majority in settlement blocs like Gush Etzion and Maale Adumim near Jerusalem.

Construction was also underway in 10 out of 23 outposts that Defence Minister Ehud Barak committed to ending, with three new trailer homes added to the Avigail outpost, five new trailer homes added to Bnei Adam outpost, six to Havat Gilad, and two new buildings and two trailer homes in Mitzpeh Lachish, among others.

The Peace Now report underscored the worthlessness of promises and pledges made to the Americans by Israeli officials.

Barak has held several high-profile meetings with Mitchell and solemnly undertook to freeze settlement buildings east of the annexation wall, as well as to dismantle more than 20 illegal outposts created by settlers, mostly with the tacit agreement of the Israeli occupation army.

Israeli intransigence on the settlement issue as well as obvious reluctance on the part of the Obama administration to exert meaningful pressure on Israel is creating despair within the Palestinian leadership. Whereas the PA had made commitments not to re-engage in talks without a settlement freeze, there are signs it is retreating from this position — if only to demonstrate to the Americans, for the “umpteenth time”, as one Palestinian official put it, Palestinian willingness to engage in talks and total Israel intransigence.

At the same time, the PA is backed against a wall, as initiating a new round of open-ended talks with Israel would be deeply unpopular amongst Palestinians. Fatah, the backbone of the PA, risks losing its recently enhanced popularity if another exhausting round of peace talks with Israel proves fruitless, as most Palestinians and Arabs believe it will be, barring decisive US interference that would force Israel to take a strategic decision to give up the spoils of occupation.

With Fatah pressing to hold Palestinian general elections in January, and with no real progress in the peace process achieved, the movement will have a hard time convincing the Palestinian public to give it or its strategic outlook the benefit of the doubt.



President Carter speaks……
Former US President Jimmy Carter says a freeze on Israeli settlements is “absolutely necessary” to achieving peace in the Middle East.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Carter, who is currently visiting Israel as a member of the group known as the ‘Elders’, spoke about his views on the prospects for Middle East peace.

His comments come as Barack Obama, the US president, attempts to seal an Arab-Israeli peace deal that has eluded the region for more than six decades.

His administration has already made it clear it opposes the ongoing building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land occupied since 1967.

Hundreds of thousands of homes have been constructed by Israel despite international condemnation and in contravention of international law.

Obama responds…..
Israel Says “Kiss My Ass”, Obama responds “OK”  Thanks



It was 46 years ago today that Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ at the Great March on Washington for Peace and Freedom. To see a video of the complete speech, click HERE.
I was there along with a quarter of a million fellow Americans. It was the most gratifying day of my life as I was on the organising committee for that March the entire summer. To witness such a success was most rewarding. To hear the words of the great Dr. King, spoken live, were most encouraging. The last paragraph of his speech is the part that has stayed with me every day of my life since then…
“And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
But…what I see in every day life in Israel reminds me that those words are still just a dream. We have a long way to go before it becomes a reality.
I see discrimination daily… it is as ugly now as it was 46 years ago. I see it more from Americans in Israel than from anyone else… here is an incident that occurred just the other day…
I was in a gift shop and an American tourist entered. The conversation went as follows…
Tourist— Do you have any Arab toy soldiers?
Clerk— No, why would you want them anyway?
Tourist— So I can teach my grandson how to kill them.
Me— Have you ever met an Arab?
Tourist— Of course not, I keep away from them because they all want to kill me.
Me— I have met thousands of Arabs, I have never met one that wants to kill me, but I have met hundreds of American Jews, like yourself, that want to kill Arabs.

What possesses a person to be so hateful? What possible reason could there be, was he trying to impress the clerk with his ‘machoness’, his reverent zionism, or was it just plain stupidity? My guess is that it was the latter. But I do see a rise in this hatred being imported from the United States. The most extremes of the Judeo nazis of the past were also imports, the kahanas, the goldsteins , may their names be erased from memory. It must not be tolerated or it will be thought of as acceptable thought. It isn’t.
Israel has tried openly to show their opposition to this type of thought. Racism is illegal in Israel(in the books), racist orgnisations are outlawed (in the books)… we all know that is a load of bull! Racism is alive and well in Israel… and is strengthened by the hatred that is imported from the States.
I want to see the dream fulfilled… I want to see a world without hatred. I want to see an Israel/Palestine without walls, I want to see peace.
Perhaps if we all go back to the top of this post, click on the speech and listen to it carefully, more of us will realise that there is another way….



The above is an annual repost


Is the PLO playing with the Palestinian national cause?

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine


Despite rhetorical denials, the PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA), which Fatah constitutes the backbone of both, are moving steadily toward adopting positions that would effectively compromise inalienable Palestinian rights and might even lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

The reported PLO propensity to “deal positively” with dubious “peace plans” that would obliterate Palestinian rights should alarm all patriotic Palestinians.

After all, the Palestinian cause is not the property of unelected politicians who think they have a carte blanch to behave as they see fit with regard to such fundamental issues as the right of return and Jerusalem .

Unfortunately, the signs and signals that keep coming from the PLO and PA quarters don’t auger well for the future. Hence, the urgent need to speak up and warn these unelected leaders against playing with fire.

First, there is the so-called Fayyad vision or plan for creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders under the Israeli occupation, a state that would very much look like a Judenrat (Jewish community council under the Nazi occupation of Europe ). How else can one honestly relate to an entity that is completely void of sovereignty, freedom and the most elementary requirements of statehood?

Fayyad, an economist-turned-politician at Washington’s urging seems to think that building a sound economic base with international support would be sufficient to transform the vision of statehood from dream to reality.

However, the man who reportedly had described himself as “George Bush’s man in Palestine” wouldn’t tell us how it is possible to build a sound economic base in a country that continues to languish under a Nazi-like military occupation which tightly controls every aspect of Palestinian life.

Well, doesn’t Mr. Fayyad realize that Palestinians can hardly travel from Ramallah, the seat of his government, to any other Palestinian town in the West Bank without an Israeli permit?

Doesn’t he realize that Israel has the ultimate and final say over the smallest transaction of money from abroad to occupied Palestine or vice versa?

Doesn’t he know that the Shin Beth, Israel’s chief domestic security agency, decides which Palestinian can travel abroad?

Finally, Fayyad ought to explain to the Palestinian people how such a fantastic entity would function in the absence of any territorial contiguity linking the various Bantustans and townships comprising the contemplated state?

Hence, one wonders how such a state, which would be laminated with big, bombastic names and a lot of trappings but with utterly no substance, serve the national interests of the Palestinian people.

In all honesty, such a state would be a huge disaster for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people. It would be proven a solution for Israel’s and Zionism’s problems, first and foremost, since it would enable Israel to claim that the Palestinian issue was finally resolved with the creation of a Palestinian state.

More to the point, Israel would be able to use this farce as an effective propaganda tool to endear itself to the Arab-Muslim world by arguing that Arabs and Muslims can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves who are quite satisfied with their lot.

Furthermore, Israeli hasbara (propaganda) efforts might receive a helping hand from some Palestinian officials and spokesmen eager to defend the “new state” in the face of those who spread “doubts and rumors” about its national credentials.”

Fayyad is not only making a balloon test to find out Palestinian and international reactions to his gambit. He must be coordinating his move with PLO leadership which is constantly retreating from the erstwhile national constants that continue to enjoy an overwhelming national consensus.

True, the PLO, especially the Fatah leadership, continues to make rhetorical statements reasserting their commitment to a full Israel withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 as well as the right of some 4.5 million refugees, dispersed to the four corners of the globe, to return to their homes and villages from which they were brutally uprooted when the Zionist state was created more than 61 years ago.

However, we all know that the Fatah leadership’s declared commitment to the right of return is only symbolic and mainly propagandistic in nature.

Indeed, PLO officials, including Mahmoud Abbas, said on numerous occasions that when Palestinians speak about the right of return for the refugees, what they actually mean is a return to the contemplated Palestinian state, not to ” Israel” where the bulk of these refugees and their ancestors had been living for centuries.

In fact, the PLO retreat doesn’t merely stop at compromising the right of return but also encompasses the subject of al-Quds al Sharif (Noble Jerusalem), which the Israeli occupation regime continues to Judaize at an alarming rate, by obliterating its Arab-Islamic identity using bulldozers and explosives and other means of ethnic cleansing.

Indeed, statements and remarks by PLO officials, especially Abbas and his immediate coterie of aides, advisors and hangers-on, continue to make diluted statements about Jerusalem , which reveals a principled willingness to accept the annexation to Israel of huge parts of the occupied city in the context of any final-status settlement with the Zionist state.

“We have to be realistic and pragmatic,” these demoralized officials and “leaders” would say in private conversations.

Unfortunately, the “new” PLO-Fatah leadership seems to have interpreted the recent Fatah elections, not as a reassertion of traditional positions opposing Israeli territorial expansion and efforts to liquidate the right of return, but rather as a vindication of the Abbas-Fayyad line whereby Palestinians would have to accept what is internationally possible in terms of what the Palestinians are realistically able to extricate from Israel’s parsimonious hands.

This is at odd with the mendacious and misleading rhetoric by many Fatah leaders who don’t stop claiming that the group’s Sixth Congress, which took place in Bethlehem in early August, was a valuable asset benefiting the Palestinian cause and bolstering the so-called Arafat line.

Well, the coming days and weeks will show that the Fatah leadership is either day-dreaming or deliberately not telling the truth to the Palestinian people.

There is no doubt that there are many patriotic people within Fatah, an organization that undeniably shouldered the national cause for many years.

But it is also true that corrupt and mediocre elements do have the upper hand and, more importantly, control the coffers of Fatah, which enable them to dictate and impose their views on the rest of the movement, perhaps save honest people like Farouk Kaddumi, who are too old and too powerless to reverse the tides against the “pragmatists” who think that the goal of statehood overrides any other cause, including the right of return and the liberation of al-Quds from the claws of Zionism.

One would always want to consider the half-filled glass and not give in to pessimism. However, one must also guard against false optimism to avoid disastrous ramifications.

It is said that Fatah’s financial survival depends nearly completely on the PA which is kept afloat thanks to regular handouts from western donors, especially the US and its Arab puppet regimes.

This financial dependence, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, is nearly always translated into political cooption, as is clear from Fatah’s disgraceful silence vis-א-vis the criminal security coordination between the newly-founded PA security apparatus and the Israeli occupation army.

Well, there are those who would argue rather candidly that if Fatah could tolerate the close “operational coordination” with Israel, it likewise would be willing to come to terms with the liquidation of the Palestinian cause in one way or the other, for the sake of political survival and especially for the hefty salaries at the end of the month.

I hope this is not going to be the case.


At present there is a delegation visiting Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine. The group is simply known as The Elders, which is made up of twelve prominent politicians, including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US President Jimmy Carter, former Irish President Mary Robinson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Obama’s latest ‘shtick‘ is to agree to Israel’s request to remove East Jerusalem from negotiations on the impending settlement freeze. And why not? Israel will do whatever it wants to do regardless. You can read the details to that HERE.
And in Gaza, the killing continues daily…. today fishermen were the target of Israeli Navy personel….
The settlements continue, the genocide continues, all being witnessed by the visiting ‘Elders’…. and Israel just doesn’t give a damn!

Medics say Israeli forces killed Gaza fisherman
Funeral for Al-Attar in Beit Lahiya [MaanImages]
A Palestinian man was killed and another injured on Thursday when Israel’s navy shelled a fishing boat just off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip, medical officials told Ma’an. 
However an Israeli military spokesman denied the navy had anything to do with the incident. He said naval forces did not fire on the boat, nor otherwise cause the death of a man onboard.

But earlier Thursday Dr Mu’awiyah Hassanein, the director of emergency and ambulance services at Gaza’s Health Ministry, said Israeli shells killed 25-year-old Muhammad Nady Al-Attar when his head was severed from his body.

One other fisherman was injured in the incident, which reportedly occurred while the two were fishing.

Al-Attar was buried later on Thursday after a funeral procession in his home town of Beit Lahiya.




Netanyahu’s Swedish theatre and the reality of the occupation 
By Adam Keller

For days the Israeli political establishment and mainstream media engaged in an unrestrained campaign of demonization of Sweden. Only after having already castigated Swedes as “antisemites” did mass circulation newspaper Yediot Aharonot take the elementary journalistic step of sending a reporter to check the facts. Ronny Shaked’s Aug. 24 article revealed no organ harvesting horror – but showed quite clearly how such a story could emerge from the grim occupation reality.

It is an old story, going back seventeen years, the story of a young man named Bilal Ahmad Ghanem from the small West Bank village of Amatin. Ghanem was one of those which official Israel castigates as terrorists and their own people praise as freedom fighters. In the early 1990’s he figured on the Israeli “wanted” list.

In May 1992 Israel was in the midst of a crucial elections campaign. Opposition leader Yitzchak Rabin was asking for the voters’ mandate on a pledge to make peace with the Palestinians – a pledge he would eventually seriously try to implement and for which he would pay with his own life three and a half years later. All of that was part of a future, which Bilal Ahmad Ghanem would not live to see. On the night of May 13, 1992, Israeli hunters ambushed him outside his parents’ home, and killed him on the spot with a bullet directly to the heart. This in itself excludes the possibility that Ghanem’s organs were used for transplantation. It is an elementary medical fact that organs are taken from brain-dead patients whose heart is still beating.

There was not, and could not have been, a “harvesting of organs”. But it is true that Ghanem’s body was taken away, restored to the family only after a week, in which it evidently was subjected to an autopsy, to which the family did not consent nor was asked for consent. (In Israel itself, an autopsy is only performed with the consent of the family or by court order, but such rules do not apply in military-ruled territory). When at last the body was given back, the family was shocked to see a scar running from his neck down to his abdomen. They were not given much time to speculate, and nobody was there to answer questions. Soldiers on the spot urged them to get on with the funeral and disperse to their homes. A Swedish journalist made some photos of Ghanem’s scarred body – arousing the ire of the soldiers, who promptly confiscated his camera. But he had managed to extract the film and throw it among the bushes. On the following day he returned, recovered the photos and recorded the angry and pained reactions of Ghanem’s mother, who could not be expected to know or care about medical facts and the conditions where organ transplanting is or is not possible.

The photos and report were published in 1992 Sweden, without getting much attention. They were included as one of many items in an 2001 book on the situation in the Occupied Territories, to whose publication the Government of Sweden apparently contributed though it was unlikely to have closely and minutely supervised its contents. Again, not many people noticed or paid attention. And now it has surfaced again and became – seventeen years after the fact – the center of a raging storm.

Why resurrect this affair at exactly this time? Possibly because the mass killing of civilians in the recent Gaza war, which is an undoubted fact, has made also implausible Israeli atrocities seem plausible. But even so, a newspaper should have carefully checked its facts, and any doctor could have told them that this particular accusation could not be true. There had been a month ago an ugly case of illicit trade in organs for transplantation, in which the American citizens implicated happened to be Jewish. But linking this affair with the misconduct of the armed forces of Israel was an ugly and unacceptable analogy which the editors of “Aftonbladet” should have avoided. Still, there was no need for the Netanyahu Government to blow it up to a head-on confrontation between the two countries. Indeed, the leaders of the Jewish community in Sweden were far from pleased with the Israeli overreaction. But the Israeli government did not act out of concern for them. It had its own specific agenda for making the maximum noise.

Almost from the first day he assumed power, Netanyahu is under constant pressure from President Barack Obama to cease all settlement activity in the occupied territories. The fanatic hardliners in his cabinet call for Israel to defy all pressures, continue and extend the building of Jewish settlements and tell the Americans to go to hell. Deep in his heart Netanyahu might sympathize – but he knows well enough that such a course would be suicidal, and that it would be Israel which would get to hell in short order. Sweden is a convenient alternative target, which could be attacked with relative impunity. Moreover, Sweden – having the Presidency of European Union – has itself quite recently lodged a strong protest about the settlements and the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes is the Sheikh Jarah Neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. It makes perfect sense for Netanyahu to try and put the Swedish government on the defensive.

The row also helps to divert the criticism on Netanyahu from inside his government coalition. Israel’s historically-loaden ambivalent relation to Europe is a Pandora box easily opened.

On the one hand, Israelis like to think of themselves as belonging to Europe; on the other hand when encountering criticism, wild accusations of antisemitism immediately fly around and the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust is very selectively referenced.

Israelis are delighted that their country was admitted to the European Song Festival and that their football and basketball teams can participate in European championships. But the same people would not opt for Israel becoming subject to the authority of the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, and to have that court give the actions of the Israeli armed forces the kind of scrutiny it gave to the British army in North Ireland.

In today’s Europe it is taken for granted that a democratic state is, by definition, “The State of All Its Citizens”. The Israeli mainstream would like Israel to be accepted as a European State while rejecting any such definition and insisting that “A State of All Its Citizens” is a subversive and extremist idea where Israel is concerned.

The present confrontation with Sweden is the latest – and probably not the last – of such cases.

Written at the invitation of the Swedish weekly ‘Efter Arbetet’ for its Aug. 28 edition




Watching CNN News last night report on the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy gave me the impression that a very great man has left the stage….
Looking back on his life’s work, one might get the impression that the man will soon be nominated for Sainthood. CNN even bothered to find the former, disgraced, wife of Nelson Mandela who spoke of Kennedy’s support of the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa.
kennedy apartheid


On January 9, 1985 Senator Edward Kennedy made an emotional visit to banned Winnie Mandela, the wife of Africa National Congress (ANC) leader, Nelson Mandela in Brandfort. At that time, Nelson Mandela had been in prison for more than twenty-years. Kennedy praised Winnie Mandela as courageous and concerned for her country. (Greg English/Reuters)

Cindy Sheehan reminds us of Kennedy’s opposition to the war in Iraq with the following quote of his… “My vote against this misbegotten war (Iraq) is the best vote I have cast in the United States Senate since I was elected in 1962.”
You can read Cindy’s comments about her visit to him HERE.
OK….. what’s the real purpose of this post?
I come to bury Ted Kennedy, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
Let’s look at who Ted Kennedy really was….. as seen by his friends….
Peres on Kennedy death: Terrible loss for US


In response to the death of US Senator Edward Kennedy, Israeli President Shimon Peres said, “Kennedy was a true friend of Israel all the way, and he helped any chance he could.

“I know this is a terrible loss for the American people, and I share in their sorrow, but this is also a great loss for every sensitive person in the world.”
AND….. from AIPAC themselves in their own words….

Senator Edward Kennedy, A Great Friend of Israel

Sen. Kennedy was a longstanding supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship.


AIPAC joins all Americans in mourning the loss of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a staunch supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship and a true and longstanding friend of America’s pro-Israel community.


During his more than four decades in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Kennedy consistently supported American assistance to Israel, particularly during the Jewish state’s most trying times, in the wake of the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. He led the fight against U.S. arms sales to Israel’s enemies, spoke out forcefully against the Arab League boycott of Israel and was a fierce critic of the United Nations’ isolation of the Jewish state; he urged his colleagues to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, and warned of the dangers of global terrorism.


Sen. Kennedy became the leading champion for persecuted Soviet Jewry, advocating on behalf of refuseniks and those Jews wishing to leave the Soviet Union, personally raising their issues with Soviet leaders at every possible opportunity, and demanding that the United States provide loan guarantees to Israel to absorb Jewish refugees.


Senator Kennedy’s legacy of leadership on these issues and his lifelong support for one of America’s closest allies are hallmarks of his historic career devoted to serving the best interests of the American people and our values. He will be sorely missed.











As the title of this post states, I came here to bury Ted Kennedy, not to praise him.





Romania busts Israeli human egg-trafficking ring


Israelis Nathan Levitt (L) and Genya Ziskind have been arrested in Romania on suspicion of trafficking in human eggs.

Two Israeli doctors and three others have been arrested and are being held in detention in Romania over suspicion of trafficking in human eggs.

The two Israeli gynecologists are accused of “human egg-trafficking, involvement in a criminal group, and practicing medicine without a permit,” the chief prosecutor of Romania’s Organized Crime Department, Codrut Olaru, told AFP on Tuesday.

He said that after questioning the suspects for several hours on Tuesday, the prosecution decided to place them in detention for 24 hours.

The two gynecologists, who were banned from leaving the country last week, “did not have the required authorization to practice in Romania,” he added.

The Israeli consul general to Bucharest, Lili Ben-Harush, identified the detained Israelis as Professor Nathan Levitt and Dr. Genya Ziskind.

Last week about 30 Israelis were arrested in a Romanian fertility clinic for similar offences.

The clinic is owned by Israeli father and son Harry and Yair Miron, who remain in detention on the orders of Romania’s prosecutors.

The two ran the Sabyc clinic in Bucharest, which specializes in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and plastic surgery.

They are suspected of recruiting Romanian women aged between 18 and 30 and paying them 800 to 1,000 leis ($271 to $338) for their eggs, and selling the eggs for 8,000 to 10,000 euros ($11,339-$14,174) to women in need of artificial fertilization, reported the Romanian daily Gardianul.

According to the newspaper, the clinic’s annual earnings are around 20 million euros ($28.4 million).

Most of the clients came from Israel, Italy, and Britain.


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