The JTA recently reported a ghoulish new conspiracy theory about Israelis kidnapping Algerian children and selling their organs to Americans. “This is a new variation of the ancient blood libel,” said Abraham Foxman of the ADL. A few weeks ago The New York Times’s Freakanomics blog (hope this link isn’t firewalled to non-subscribers) debunked a story that originated in Sweden about Israeli soldiers harvesting Palestinians’ organs.
If they’re going to be successfully transplanted, organs need to be carefully matched to their recipients and kept fresh while they’re being rushed to where they’re needed–it’s highly unlikely that soldiers in the field would be able to maintain necessary medical standards. The story would seem preposterous if it weren’t for the fact that Levi Rosenbaum, a real American rabbi with undisputed connections to Israel, was just arrested for trafficking organs for obscene profits. Nevetheless, all his arrest proves is that individual Israelis and individual American Jews have been accused of committing particular crimes. Even if they’re proven guilty, it’s still just a loathsome criminal enterprise cooked up by some Jews, which is not at all the same thing as a Jewish Conspiracy. There are those (not me) who would say that Rosenbaum isn’t even so villainous, since an argument can be made on economic grounds that it’s more equitable and efficient to allow the marketplace to allocate as scarce and precious a resource as organs than to put sick people on waiting lists and hope that someone volunteers or dies in an accident. But a shondah is a shondah–I don’t think anyone could conclude that this is good for the Jews.