The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh has been investigating the claims of organ theft.
Who precisely is saying that Bilal Ahmed Ghanem’s organs were stolen for transplants?
Ghanem’s younger brother, Jalal, said he could not confirm the allegations made by the Swedish newspaper that his brother’s organs had been stolen.
“I don’t know if this is true,” he said. “We don’t have any evidence to support this.”
Perhaps it was his mother:
The mother denied that she had told any foreign journalist that her son’s organs had been stolen.
Perhaps some other relative?
Ibrahim Ghanem, a relative of Bilal, said that the family never told the Swedish photographer that Israel had stolen organs from the dead man’s body.
“Maybe the journalist reached that conclusion on the basis of the stitches he saw on the body,” he said. “But as far as the family is concerned, we don’t know if organs were removed from the body because we never performed our own autopsy. All we know is that Bilal’s teeth were missing.”
So, where did these rumours come from. My guess is that they are an amalgam of folk tales about Jews, bolstered more recently by the antisemitic Iranian TV series, Zahra’s Blue Eyes and the Turkish blockbuster: Valley of the Wolves, Iraq, both of which contain sequences in which Jews extract the organs of Arabs, for the purpose of transplantation.
These fictions have now been given authority by Aftonbladet. Indeed, the family of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem – who did not initially tell the paper that his organs had been sold off – are now calling for a full investigation of body part harvesting:
[His mother] said that now she does not rule out the possibility that Israel was harvesting organs of Palestinians.
“I can’t tell you if these rumors are true or not,” the brother said.
“But in light of the investigative report in the Swedish newspaper, we are demanding an international commission of inquiry into the case.”
This is a story which started in 1144, with the disappearance of William of Norwich.
It isn’t going to die any time soon. Not in our lifetimes.
Gene adds: A Palestinian doctor makes the point that organs from dead bodies cannot be transplanted into living people.