Sunday, January 3, 2010

Israel Admits Harvesting Palestinian Organs Pt. 2: Wherein Joe Responds to Hate Mail

From the (Hate)mail bag re: my post on the theft of Palestinian organs by Israeli doctors.

Anonymous said...
"My family moved to the United States from Lebanon at the beginning of the 20th century and the strange, hybrid identity Arab/American shapes the way I see the world. But don't be scared, I am one of the good ones"

I'm not scared, but this post of yours is so misleading that I while I suspect you are one of the good ones, I also think you are a dumbass.

The harvesting was done to any "eligible" body that entered that coroner's department, regardless of race, creed, color, gender. It happened to Palestinians, and it also happened to Israeli soldiers.

That's not racism, that's a few doctors ideas on the morality of organ harvesting in providing to the living culture.

And it stopped over 10 years ago.

I don't know if you're stupid, or evil.

I published your comment not because it is worth hearing in and of itself, but to illustrate the repulsive, knee-jerk defense of anything Israel does, no matter how heinous, among many of its supporters. I sometimes wonder what it would take for Zionists to actually admit Israel's actions weren't perfectly justified in every instance: The murder of Rachel Corrie? The targeting of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians including women and children (as confirmed by the Goldstone Report)? And now the theft of organs from the very population it oppresses? All are apparently perfectly justified by your ideology.

If you had bothered to read the post you would see that I republished it from the Guardian UK where it was written by Ian Black, not me. The headline--which is the Guardian's, not mine--specifies the theft of Palestinian organs by Israeli doctors because the original accusation of organ theft made by a Swedish reporter was decried as a "blood libel" by the Israeli government. Outraged Israelis and Zionists around the world called for a boycott of Sweden. The reporter was vilified and the Swedish government was urged by Israelis to disavow the assertion, drawing ironic parallels to the Muhammad cartoon affair. Sweden refused, citing the value of a free press in its society and the outraged sputtering continued...

Until a third party came forward with proof that the most important element of the accusation is true, Israeli doctors DID illegally strip the organs from the bodies of Palestinians to benefit Jewish Israelis who needed them.

So, does an accusation still count as a "blood libel" when it's true? Perhaps you think so.

But according to you these gruesome crimes don't merit comment in any event because they "stopped over ten years ago"? That is ridiculous, but sadly typical of the attitude of Israel's boosters, no matter what the crime. Yes, there were also Jewish Israeli bodies stripped of their organs, as Black points out, but that does not make the recycling of Palestinian body parts (skin, eyes, etc.) less racist in sum. When the "living culture" you describe is composed entirely of Israeli Jews--who were the exclusive beneficiary of the stolen organs--then one needn't look too far to see the racist intent that views Palestinian bodies as a renewable resource to sustain an Israeli body politic. If you cannot (or more likely will not) see that, then you are blinded by an ideology that affords you privileges that Palestinians do not enjoy in their own homeland because of Israeli occupation. The Latin Americanist Diana Taylor has coined the term "percepticide" to describe the willful blindness of a population to the crimes of the State. She describes how the Argentine government were able to snatch people off the street, "disappearing" them in full view of Argentinians who continued about their business as if it weren't happening. I think that might be a useful term to describe the phenomenon at work here in and around Israel.

A final note: I am happy to post dissenting opinions but...really... grow a pair and sign your name(s). Anonymous name calling is cowardly to the point of embarrassment in conversations between adults. If you cannot bring yourself to sign even a made-up name to your argument then perhaps you should look a bit more deeply into your motivations for making it.

Unfortunately for you I am neither stupid nor evil. I am an Arab who is paying attention. Fair warning: there are an awful lot of us and we are not going anywhere.


  1. A nicely restrained response to the comment. I like the "it happened over ten years ago" part they used to dismiss any sort of anger over the issue.

    I wonder if they dismiss the Holocaust as meaningless because it happened over 60 years ago?

  2. I had this looooooooooong response to this that Blogger has decided sucks. Okay, I bow to Blogger's superior judgment with regard to comment quality.

    I will say this: anybody who responds to a story of government-ordered ILLEGAL organ-harvesting with anything less than the shock and heaving guts that I felt when I read this story needs to check their fucking humanity meter. And let's keep in mind that the info about this that we DO have is all post-spin; in other words, the details - how many Palestinians? Were they actually dead at the time of harvesting, or merely "brain dead"? Did they die during interrogation? - have been obscured. Skin harvesting? Fucking Island of Dr. Moreau shit. This is nothing short of ghoulish and horrific. And that is the TRUTH.

    No. There IS no rationalization for this one. None. Fuck a duck.