When Israel and its blind supporters accuse any critics of anti-Semitism – the latest shameful example, this time in Canada, is reported here – it’s easy to claim that Zionists are the masters of crying wolf.
Then a story like this appears and it’s hard to know what to think, other than Israel’s enemies are often helped by the country’s criminal and inept behaviour:
Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend.
The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic”.
The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. Iran’s state-run Press TV tonight reported the story, illustrated with photographs of dead or badly injured Palestinians.
Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP, said the report incriminated the Israeli army.
The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between Israel and Sweden over a report in the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet.
Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.
The Israeli military confirmed to the programme that the practice took place, but added: “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.”
Hiss said: “We started to harvest corneas … whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family.”