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Israel, Hitler, and immoral science.   Share:  
Thrust of argument: Nancy Scheiper-Hughes writes 'The National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, a Tel Aviv suburb, is Israel's national depository of dead bodies requiring identification, examination, and autopsy. It serves two purposes, on the one hand, as a scientific institute affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine (Tel Aviv University), through which it operates a state-of-the- art genetics laboratory. On the other hand, the Institute is controlled and closely supervised by the chevra kadisha - the orthodox religious organization has a virtual monopoly on all burials in Israel, except for the military. The Institute is a civil organization working under the Ministry of Health. On the other hand, it is an arm of the security police and the military.

The Institute is then both a traditional medical-legal mortuary and, off the record, Israel's primary source of tissues, bone, and skin needed for transplantation, plastic surgery, research and medical teaching. The illicit traffic in organs, tissues, bone and the stockpiling of assorted body parts at the Institute is what anthropologists call a public secret, something that every one inside the society knows about but which is never discussed, and certainly never admitted to those outside the society. But, in fact, allegations and official investigations of organ-and-tissue trafficking at the Forensic Institute have been ongoing in Israel since 1999 up to the present day. Yehuda Hiss has been, off and on, the focus of public scrutiny. He has been sued, and he has been decorated. He has been both upbraided and rewarded, fired from his position as director of the Institute, and given a new title, senior pathologist, with a higher salary.

Allegations of Hiss' confiscation of organs, tissues and other body parts date back to November 1999, with an investigative report in the local Tel Aviv newspaper Ha'ir, which stated that medical students under Hiss' direction were allowed to practice on bodies sent to the Institute at Abu Kabir for autopsy, and that body parts were transferred for transplant and other medical uses without permission from the families concerned. In 2000, the newspaper Yediot Aharonot published a price list for body parts that Hiss had sold to university researchers and to medical schools. A committee of international forensic experts was appointed by the Minister of Health to investigate practices at the Institute. It took two years for the investigation to be completed, during which time, according to Hiss' former assistant and protégé, Chen Kugel, much of the evidence was destroyed. Nonetheless, according to Kugel, Hiss still had a huge collection of body parts in his possession at Abu Kabir, when the Israeli courts ordered a search in 2002. Israel National News reported at the time, 'Over the past years, heads of the Institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a 'storehouse' of organs at Abu Kabir.' Hiss was reprimanded but allowed to continue his activities, which he defended as necessary for medicine, for the defense of the Israeli state, and for the advancement of science.

In 2005, new allegations of organs trafficking at Abu Kabir surfaced, and Hiss admitted to having removed parts from 125 bodies without authorization. Following a plea bargain with the state, the attorney general decided not to press criminal charges, and Hiss was given only a reprimand, and he continues on as chief pathologist at Abu Kabir, that is, the state of Israel's official head pathologist. Illegal harvesting of bodies was simultaneously prohibited and tolerated. Hiss was, in fact, the state's answer to the chronic scarcity of tissues and organs. He recognized the need produced by the deep cultural reluctance of families to tamper with the bodies of the dead, which allowed him to cross a line and to do as he pleased with the bodies entrusted to him'.
Direction of resistance / implied resistance: Body-snatching imperialists are pretty much the sickest aspect of the grim history of mostly 'the west'.


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Removal of resistance: Since 'the west' is descended from 'the east', it is not a question of trying to do to imperialists what they do. Unification: If a child has a tantrum, does a responsible parent have a tantrum back? No. The corporate state which powers imperialism is like a child, intellectually and spiritually. Hitler did not get far. No empire has really gone anywhere near as far as it would have liked - indeed most never passed 'the beginning' phase - which is what NATO is in now, beginning to actively dream of global domination and pursue its dreams. It has prepared for the dream for a long time, but now it is really dreaming. And that is always when empires collapse.
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