Apples and Pears

December 23, 2009 at 15:19 Leave a comment

This weekend, Channel 2 showed a news item about the forensic institute Abu Kabir, and how organs were taken from bodies that were brought there without the permission of the families of the deceased. All of this happened more than a decade ago, and it’s been known since then. The new angle to the scandal, was that Professor Yehuda Hiss, then head of Abu Kabir has been caught on tape admitting that operations were carried out without the permission of the families — something that he denied during the investigation.

Helle Klein at Aftonbladet, the tabloid that published the by-now infamous article about organ harvesting, has found references to the Channel 2 report (maybe in the Guardian or from AP), and comments on it on her blog. She’s annoyed that the big liberal papers in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter and Expressen don’t give a prominent enough spot to this story.

She then goes on to state that in the light of this ten year old story, the liberal press that accused Aftonbladet of antisemitism should be ashamed today. In other words, she seems to think (or at least wants her readers to think) that this news in some way vindicates her paper.

Well, let’s just refresh our memory, shall we?

On August 17, Aftonbladet published an article by Donald Boström that wanted to have its readers believe that there was a collusion between the IDF and Israeli hospitals, where the army would kill Palestinians so that their organs could be harvested — maybe even sold to the United States through the help of American Jews.

What happened at Abu Kabir under Dr. Hiss was highly unethical — not to mention illegal. When it was discovered, Dr. Hiss lost his position as the head of the forensic institute, which instead was taken over by the Assaf Harofe hospital. However, no physicians — not even Dr Hiss (whom Klein calls “the infamous pathologist”) — asked the army to kill anyone to get their organs, even though they did use organs of bodies without asking the families of the deceased.  Furthermore, not only organs from the bodies of Palestinians, but also Israelis (including soldiers) were used in this way.

Furthermore, in contrast to what Klein implies, both the Guardian and AP point out that this story doesn’t prove what Aftonbladet wrote in August.

I don’t know, but to me it seems that DN and Expressen have made a pretty accurate judgement of the value of this story when they chose not to give it pride of place.

UPDATE: Several Swedish bloggers, like Jonathan Leman and  Stefan Olsson, as well as newspapers like Sydsvenskan also write about this latest turn of events.

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Entry filed under: Media.

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