Swedish blood libel is not just antisemitic, it's dumb

By Miriam Shaviv
August 26, 2009

Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner explains in his New York Times blog why the "Swedish blood libel" - the accusation that Israel was deliberately killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs - is physically and logistically unlikely:

Al Roth, the Harvard economist whose work on matched-pair organ donations has started to transform the organ-transplantation scenario, told me he found the accusation unbelievable because of the logistics of organ harvesting itself. “Organs don’t last very long and have to be matched rather particularly,” he said, “so it would be hard to take them on spec for an international market. So I think black market organs must mostly be from live donors. Live donors can take blood tests well in advance and travel to where the patient is. Deceased organs have to be put on ice, and the clock starts ticking immediately and fast.”

Another question: If you did kidnap someone in order to harvest their organs, would you really return the body to the family afterwards? Wouldn't that be incredibly stupid?

Just asking.




viv green

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:59

Rate this:

0 points

Hi Miriam

Want to hear something just as dumb

Aftonbldet has a headline today saying

"The Israeli army is not Jewish"

Imlying that their average reader should know that Beduin and Druise people serve in the IDF and therefore should realise that the paper is not referring to a jewish blood libel when they read that the army steals organs.

This implies quite a lot of prior knowledge from an Aftonbladet reader - seeing that the editors of the paper say that they have never heard of the blood libel!

I've got to the point of laughing at them.

margaret rutherford

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:08

Rate this:

0 points

I think Gideon Levy in Haaretz best sums up the situation when he writes:
The Israeli occupation is ugly enough without the contribution of Nordic fairy tales. Its wrongs are abominable even without exaggerations and inventions. We, a small group of Israeli journalists trying to document the occupation, always knew that we must not publish an unfounded report. One mistake and the whole journalistic enterprise would fall into the hands of official propaganda, which automatically denies all suspicions and is just waiting for a mistake. Look what the IDF Spokesman's Office did to the organization Breaking the Silence, just because it was set up as a nonprofit limited company and not a nonprofit organization; as if that were relevant to the quality of the testimony it presents.

Over the years, the IDF has killed thousands of innocent civilians, among them women and children. The Shin Bet security service has tortured hundreds of people under interrogation, sometimes to death. Israel prevents food and medicine from reaching Gaza. Sick people are extorted by the Shin Bet to become collaborators in return for medical treatment. Thousands of homes in the territories have been demolished for nothing. Dozens of people have been killed by special units when they could have been arrested instead. Thousands of detainees have sat in jail for months or years without trial. Is that not enough to draw a reliable portrait of the occupation? Is that not shocking enough?


You must be logged in to post a comment.