UN site posts organ harvesting claim

Statement written by NGO accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing, massacres.”

Aftonbladet 248 (photo credit: )
Aftonbladet 248
(photo credit: )
Allegations that Israel harvests Palestinian organs have re-surfaced and are posted on the UN Human Rights Council Web site in the form of a statement written by an NGO.
The International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination [EAFORD] accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres” before it moved on to the issue of what it called “dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians.”
“Their [Palestinian] human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market,” wrote EAFORD.
“Israeli physicians, Medical Centres, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved,” it stated.
“After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial,” stated the NGO document, which is posted on the UNHRC’s Web site.
EAFORD called for a boycott of Israel physicians and medical centers. It also asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report on the matter to the Security Council and to demand that it be sent to the International Criminal Court for action.
EAFORD’s statement along with that of other NGOs can be found on the UNHRC Web site in a section for documents, which were submitted for the council’s 13th session, which is taking place this March in Geneva.
NGOs regularly submit documents to the UNHRC relating to matters under debate. In this session the council is debating the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.
The fact that the allegations were on the site was first publicized by UN Watch in Geneva, which on Wednesday sent a protest letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the council’s president.
The council and the commissioner’s office, “however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic libel by publishing [the EAFORD’s charges] as an official UN document,” wrote UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.
He called on the UN council and high commissioner to “immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the UNHRC.”
Neuer told The Jerusalem Post that the UNHRC in the past has asked UN Watch to change the language in documents that UN Watch plans to submit, including in this session where UNHRC asked UN Watch to edit their words with reference to Iran and Libya.
If UN Watch can’t use the word “regime” when talking about Iran, then one would think that a “blood libel” would be unacceptable, Neuer said.
Allegations that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians to harvest their organs were widely publicized this summer in an article written by Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom for the country’s largest circulated daily, Aftonbladet.
Israel has denied the story. Bostrom later admitted that he relied solely on the testimony of Palestinian families for his story.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “outrageous” that the allegations were published on a UN Web site.
“The only organ that was stolen is in people’s brains,” said Palmor.
“The most preposterous, ridiculous and horrendous of all lies can gain respectability at the UN,” he warned.
“I am deeply revolted by the fact that anyone in their right mind can actually advance such horribly surrealistic accusations,” said Palmor.
According to the NGO Eye on the UN, EAFORD was founded in Libya and accredited at the UN in 1981. Its Web site states that it has focused on the ideological systems of Apartheid and Zionism.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had no response to the matter.
Separately on Wednesday, the US chastised the UN Human Rights Council for its continued focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it opposed four resolutions on that matter which the council passed.
Since the council’s inception in 2006, most of its resolutions censuring countries have focused on Israel.
US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the council “it is toooften exploited as a platform to single out Israel, which underminesits credibility.”
Out of the four resolutions which passed Wednesday, one focused on the“occupation of the Golan [Heights],” two focused on alleged humanrights violations in the West Bank including settlement constructionand Israeli actions against Palestinians in east Jerusalem, and thefourth called for the Palestinian right to self-determination.
Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, said, “wehave witnessed today another anti-Israel show of the human rightscouncil.”