To stop the defamation of the Jewish people... to secure justice and fair treatment to all
Anti-Defamation League ABOUT ADL FIND YOUR LOCAL ADL DONATE CONTACT US PRESS CENTER

Sign Up For One Of Our Newsletters
Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism: International
RULE
Anti-Semitic Canard About 'Organ Harvesting' Spreads Globally

ADL: Rumors a New Variation of the Blood Libel

 

New York, NY, September 16, 2009 … What started as a false and malicious report in a Swedish newspaper that Israeli soldiers were harvesting organs from Palestinians has mushroomed into a full-blown global conspiracy theory alleging a Jewish plot to harvest organs from Algerian children, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).


One newly hatched conspiracy theory charges that Jews in the U.S. and Israel are engaged in buying the organs of children kidnapped from the streets of Algeria in order to sell them on the black market.


"Unfounded rumors about illicit Jewish organ harvesting, once relegated to a Swedish newspaper, have taken on a life of their own in the Middle East," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The rumors have spread through the blogosphere and are being reported in Arabic-language media as truth.  Yet they are nothing more than fantasy charges with no connection to reality, a fabrication that only reinforces hateful notions about Israelis and Jews."


Similar rumors about Israelis and Jews harvesting organs have appeared in newspapers across the Middle East, where anti-Semitic caricatures and editorial cartoons show Israeli soldiers greedily cutting organs from Palestinians.


"This is a new variation of the ancient blood libel," said Mr. Foxman.  "The only difference is that today we have the Internet, which enables a hateful canard to spread, not just door to door or village to village, but globally in a matter of nanoseconds."

 

Chronology of an Anti-Semitic Libel


While it is difficult to pinpoint the source of rumors of Jewish "organ harvesting," the myths started spreading on the Internet following the arrest of a New Jersey rabbi on charges of allegedly selling organs as part of a larger graft conspiracy involving public officials.  This prompted anti-Semitic "organ harvesting" rumors across the Internet and around the world. 

 

The spread of those rumors have been aided and fueled by several significant triggers, according to ADL, including:

 

  • The August 17 publication of an article in Aftonbladet, the Swedish daily newspaper, which unconscionably accused Israeli soldiers of kidnapping Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.  The article, "They plunder the organs of our sons" was circulated around the world on the Internet and applauded in editorials in the online editions of leading pan-Arab satellite news networks Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.
     
  • A fabricated story in the Arabic-language Algerian daily El-Khabar on September 6 claiming that Interpol, the international police organization, has revealed the existence of "a Jewish gang" that was "involved in the abduction of children from Algeria and trafficking of their organs."  The story has since appeared on Al Jazeera, Iran's international network Press TV, in various Arab-American newspapers and Web sites.
     
  • A series of editorial cartoons, appearing in newspapers in Jordan, Oman, Qatar and other Arab countries depicting Israeli soldiers as vicious butchers, gleefully cutting off the body parts of Arabs, and accusing Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs.

  • In the U.S. several groups have repeated the allegations from the Swedish newspaper and called for action.  The American Muslims for Palestine, for example, issued a statement demanding that the U.S. and United Nations investigate "Israeli culpability in the New Jersey Rabbis case" and allegations "concerning illegally harvesting Palestinian organs."

 

The allegation that Jews murder non-Jews to use their blood for ritual or medicinal purposes dates back to the Middle Ages and has spawned many variants over time. Jewish law expressly prohibits the consumption of any blood. Nevertheless, it was alleged that Jews drank Christian blood on Passover and mixed it into matzah, the unleavened bread eaten on the holiday.

 

__________

 

Update:  In December 2009, anti-Israel activists rushed to describe “new revelations “ regarding activities at the Israeli forensic Institute during the early 1990s as proof that allegations that Israel abducted Palestinians for their organs.

 

These renewed allegations relied on a 2000 interview with Yehuda Hiss, the former head of the forensic lab in Israel, which was broadcast for the first time on the Israeli Channel 2 TV station. In the interview Hiss confirmed the fact that during the early 1990s workers at the institute did in fact remove organs for transplants from a number of bodies without permission from the families. The deceased, who had died in Israeli medical facilities,  included some Palestinians and Israeli Arabs , but were mostly Israeli Jews – both soldiers and civilians.   

 

This practice was stopped by authorities and new procedures were implemented to prevent such cases.  This interview made clear that there is no truth to the preposterous allegations that Palestinians were deliberately targeted in order to harvest their organs.


The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



Additional Press Release Categories

ADDITIONAL LINKS
•   Print This Page
•  
•   Additional Press Releases
•   Recent Anti-Semitism: International Press Releases
•   Anti-Semitism: International Press Release Archive
Contact Information
Press Inquiries
RELATED ARTICLES
Backgrounder
New Blood Libel: Jews Accused of Harvesting Organs
Arab Cartoons Suggest Israel Harvests Organs
Swedish Newspaper's Charge Of Organ Harvesting By Israeli Soldiers 'Irresponsible And Shocking'
 
Home | Search | About ADL | Contact ADL | Privacy Policy

© 2009 Anti-Defamation League