Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Israel's Haiti relief elicits both praise and condemnation



Israel's efforts to assist Haitians at their time of need have, for the most part, been praised. At a time when virtually all Haitians were deprived of health care, Israel was the first to set up a fully operational field hospital, before the U.S., France, the U.N., Red Cross, etc.. They also sent rescue teams to find and extract people trapped in collapsed buildings -- an effort which saved many lives. Predictably, those who are predisposed to do so have found grounds for condemnation in what most observers would call noble efforts and achievements. Here's a sampling:

Richard Silverstein, a Seattle resident who blogs at Tikkun Olam (rough translation: "repair the world"), has found Israel's Haitian relief to be the sort of world-repairing the world could do without. In a strongly worded column he calls "The Zionization of Disaster Relief" (read here), Silverstein writes that sending portable toilets, rather than doctors, medical equipment and rescue teams, would have been more useful to the Haitians. Silverstein condemns Israel's decision to send doctors instead of toilets as being based on public relations considerations. He also claims without providing a source that a Haitian woman who gave birth in the Israeli field hospital was pressured by the Israelis to name her child "Israel". He captions a photo of the mother and child posted on his blog "A baby named Israel...who, if he reaches adulthood, would never be welcome in Israel". (On the contrary, that child would be very welcome there, but if he does visit, Silverstein will condemn it as Zionist PR.)

Here's video with an interview of the physician who delivered the child along with some other footage both before and after the birth. You can watch it and judge for yourself as to the relative merits of portable toilets and field hospitals. Maybe you will agree with Richard Silverstein who singled out this birth as problematic.

Silverstein's column has traversed the left-right wormhole and has been published by the neo-Nazi blogger (and David Irving associate) Michael Santomauro at his Reporters Notebook website (read here). Alan Dershowitz read this reposted version of Silverstein's column and blasted it in a column of his own in the Jerusalem Post called "Double Standard Watch: For Bigots, Israel can do no right" (read here). Santomauro, in turn, replied in a barely coherent post alleging that many other nations had set up comparable facilities in Haiti, but that that information was suppressed by CNN because the Jews control the media. Proof? The reporter covering the story was Jewish (read here). Silverstein's column has also been reposted on Russia's Pravda English language forum and the Arab website Uruknet. As has been reported elsewhere (here for example), a Seattle video blogger named T. West has charged Israel with setting up their Haitian field hospital as a means to illegally harvest human organs for transplantation (picking up on last summer's organ theft libel which alleged that the Israeli military hunts and kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs). This video, although amateurish, has been viewed by 57,000 people on YouTube, and untold thousands elsewhere. A copy of the video is viewable below. Starting at 1:14, West presents some of the CNN reporting showing Israel's contribution to the relief effort. At about 3:09, he takes a different tack:
"People have to be aware of personalities (sic) who are out for money. The IDF has participated in the past in stealing organ transplants (sic) of Palestinians and others. There is little monitoring in such a tragedy as this, so the Haitian people must watch out for their citizens as these international groups come in... Be aware and be cautious of certain groups and certain individuals within those groups who are out for money, and to earn money off of your tragedy."
In his comments posted to the YouTube video, T. West reiterates that the IDF organ theft libel is true and further contends that the ADL and news media are involved in a cover-up. The comments made by his supporters must be read to be believed. (Read here.) As regular readers of this blog know, one of the main promoters of the IDF organ theft libel in the U.S. has been Alison Weir, who wrote a widely re-posted column (originally published in Counterpunch) alleging that the Israeli military hunted Palestinians in order to harvest organs for transplantation. Weir literally claimed that Jews historically sacrificed gentile children to use their blood in secret ceremonies -- a charge known as the "blood libel" -- and that the purported organ theft campaign is rooted in this religious sanctioning of ritual murder. (Read more about that here and here.) It appears that T. West's baseless allegations derive at least in part from Weir's column. Now, in a blog post, Alison Weir writes the following concerning the T. West video (read here):
"A number of people have been emailing me to ask my opinion about a youtube video and articles raising the question of Israeli organ harvesting in Haiti, given that I had researched Israeli organ trafficking and theft and had discovered how extremely significant it has been. Regarding Haiti, however, at this point my feeling is that the Israeli team is most likely there largely for humanitarian reasons. At the same time, of course, I suspect that the IDF and Israeli government are fully aware of their use in pro-Israel publicity, as well... However, I think it's good that T.West raised the issue of possible exploitation. Whenever there is chaos, desperation, and money to be made, it is not rare for nefarious activities to take place. It's good for people in such conditions to be vigilant, and for the international community to be alert to the possibility of victims of a tragic natural disaster being victimized still further by human agency."
Iran's English language television station, PressTV, is now also promoting the charges and insinuations of Weir and West to their viewers. (Read here.) Their website now features a page bearing a banner headline reading "Israel harvesting organs in Haiti?" illustrated with a photograph of an unconscious patient on a gurney. UPDATE: Chicago blogger Stephen Lendman, who works with the Centre for Research on Globalisation (he's frequently published on their website globalresearch.ca and cohosts their radio program here), has taken the ball from Weir and West and run with it. In an article grossly illustrated with photographs of autopsied corpses and people with bleeding wounds, Lendman writes (here) that
"(Israel's)medical teams apparently are doing it (i.e. stealing organs) in Haiti, exploiting fresh corpses and the living. The Manar TV cited You Tube said (sic) "there are people operating in Haiti who do not have a conscience and are members of the search and rescue teams, including the Israeli occupation forces," far from home harvesting Haitian organs, and the pickings are plentiful. "Apparently, the publicity about providing humanitarian aid is cover for this illicit operation, another crime against humanity among Israel's growing list, matched and exceeded by its Washington benefactor with generations more practice."
The Turkish Islamist website İslâmi Davet tells that same tale in a story with the headline "Zionist forces steal organs in Haiti". That story is illustrated with the following: Hezbollah's al-Manar TV has their version of the story here: "After Stealing Palestinian Organs, Now It’s Haiti’s Turn". UPDATE 2 (Jan. 31, 2001): Blogger Richard Silverstein has issued a response to this post. Read about that here.

14 comments:

MSWallack said...

I just linked to your excellent post on my blog (http://blog.wallack.us).

bruce said...

What about transparency? That's all T.West was calling for.

Why do you think Israel had all this stuff standing by, so much faster than ANYONE else? It's a reasonable question!

It's people like you that have caused Obama to get weak kneed on Israel. He started off well, helping Gaza victims of Israels attack there, and calling for Israel to stop illegal construction in Jerusalem. Of course, the Zionist wing of the Democratic party is going crazy (not to mention on health care where Zionists like Biden are selling the American people out).

http://www.slate.com/id/2223559/

And Israelis selling organs (and worse) is nothing new, so I don't see the controversy here.

bruce said...

Also, here is a more tame post, since I bet you will censor the first one (can't have anyone telling the truth).

And that's that, it has been proven in the past that Israel and others dealing with illegal organs:

http://www.slate.com/id/2223559/

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=114463&sectionid=351020202

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=112772&sectionid=351020606

Adam Holland said...

Bruce:

Your admiration for T. West's insane ravings on this subject do not speak well for your judgement on this or any other matter. You ask (apparently referring their field hospitals) why "Israel had all this stuff standing by, so much faster than ANYONE else?" You seem unaware of the fact that Israel is under constant threat of war. That is why they need to be able to mobilize a field hospital so quickly. That they do it so well is to their credit. Your implication that this quick response is connected to an organ theft campaign would be comical if it weren't so paranoid and hateful.

Your analysis of what motivates the Obama administration is equally specious, as is your bizarre connection of Zionism to opposition to health care reform. I'd be interested to see how you back up that crazy conspiracy theory.

I have no problem at all with your link to the Slate article. It's interesting and worth reading. Reading it reaffirmed my conclusion that religious opposition to organ donation should be opposed. It makes no sense to me whatsoever that organ donations should be considered taboo while organ transplantation is not.

The PressTV items you link to are their usual anti-Semitic drivel. What a waste of time. Speaking of which...

bruce said...

Sorry, I meant Lieberman, not Biden.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/12/the-senator-from-israel-aims-to-kill-health-care-insurance-reform-in-america/

The point is, Lieberman is perfectly fine with sending billions to Israel and bleeding the American people dry, but when it comes to helping out uninsured Americans, the vast majority gentile, he's against it... surprise! And then you have Rahm Emmanuel (zionist), he's done nothing less than stand in the ways of real reform - FROM THE START.

BTW: Most Jews, with a higher avearges income, are insured. At least I'm sure, a higher percentage of them have insurance, than the average American. See the link below, Jews earn on average 29% more!

http://www.success-and-culture.net/articles/incomes.shtml

Adam Holland said...

Bruce:

The fact that Senator Lieberman is a Zionist has no relation to the fact that he behaved disgracefully in opposing health care reform. The fact that you see some connection to Zionism at all speaks only to your biases. Your claim that Rahm Emanuel [or as you write "Rahm Emanuel (zionist)"] somehow supports this opposition shows just how deranged your opinions on this subject are.

Your claim that Jews have high incomes, so oppose health care reform because they have no need for it, is false on several levels and demonstrates your bigotry. 1) After a year of his pushing for health care, Jews support President Obama in larger numbers than any other "white" voters. 2) The vast majority of American Jews are not wealthy, as you seem to think. They are middle class and are under the same economic stress -- greater than at any time since the Depression -- as everyone else. 3) Jews like everyone else are subject to all the injustices of the current health care system: pre-existing conditions, denial of coverage, etc.

You continue to make groundless, absurd claims. The more you write, the more you reveal your errors. Try backing up you say with some evidence.

Adam Holland said...

Bruce:

It's come to my attention that you came to this blog by searching "jewish organ theft haiti" on Google. What is your problem?

bruce said...

I follow T.West on Youtube, and I saw his post, and decided to search Google to see what more information about it.

Also, I didn't say that the majority of American Jews are wealthy, simply, that they have well above average income (see the link I provided). Actually, I have no problem with the average Jewish person, just the elite and the zionists. On Emmanuel, by all accounts, he is a "moderate" voice in the Obama administration, and from what I read a major force behind dropping the public option right off the bat (that is just bad negotiating). He is a big part of the mess the debate is in now, and I think it is intentional.

Finally, its one thing to be a nation ready for war, and its another to have a plane standing by with a complete doctors kit and all that stuff, ready to go. I don't see how that is needed for war. As you point out, Jewish prevents one from donating organs, but NOT receiving them. Wouldn't that be a motivation for going out to *get* said organs?? It's not so unreasonable...

Adam Holland said...

Bruce:

If you single out a Jewish "elite" for condemnation, that is wrong, and I shouldn't have to tell you so. If you single out Zionism among all forms of nationalism for condemnation, that is also wrong. Lastly (I hope) your comment about Israel having military field hospitals ready to be deployed not for use in war but in order to steal human organs is idiotic. Your comments about people opposing health care reform because they are Jewish or Zionist are also idiotic and bigoted. Can you understand that?

bruce said...

... I'm only discuss the Jewish and Zionist elite here because it is the topic of your posting.

And no, I can't understand that, it is not biggoted, because it is looking at the facts, and recognizing what is true. Is it biggoted to say Republicans are generally uneducated, and many racist against black people? No, because it is TRUE. Being a Republican is just a much a choice as being a Zionist or a Jew (at least a religions/extremist Jew is a choice I mean). You can renounce either at any time... I'm just making observations here.

MSWallack said...

Bruce:

I think that if you stopped looking just at anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric, you'd find that Jews and Jewish groups (with the exception perhaps of Joe Lieberman) have been among the strongest supporters of healthcare reform, even if they have insurance.

The problem made apparent by your rhetoric and that forms the basis for your worldview is one of pure anti-Semitism: Jews can do no right and if a Jew would do something that someone might view favorably, there must be an ulterior and evil motive. Why would Jews help Haitians? It couldn't have anything to do with being good people or caring others; no in your anti-Semitic worldview, the only explanation goes back to the blood libel.

bruce said...

Did Obama Intentionally Omit Israel When Discussing Haiti Releif Efforts? - http://urbangrounds.com/2010/01/obama-snubs-israel/

Anyone think it is a coincidence that Obama and many others do not count Israel amongst the nations that are "helping" in Haiti? Most likely, it is because they are not helping at all. Just something to think about...

TNC said...

"Anyone think it is a coincidence that Obama and many others do not count Israel amongst the nations that are "helping" in Haiti? Most likely, it is because they are not helping at all. Just something to think about..."

Most conservatives would say Obama is leaving out Israel's role in assisting the Haitian people because he is not especially pro-Israel. Some would even say he is anti-Israel. But hey, that would be obvious, wouldn't it?

Except to a Jew obsessed kook like yourself. Much better to focus on the supposed nefarious deeds of those pesky Jooooos (I mean Zionists) than face reality. Must be pretty easy going through life blaming all the world's problems on Jews.

Adam and others have already let you know that most Jews support Obama and the Democrats vis a vis health care reforms.

However, as far as your notion that people with high incomes (and those who already have health insurance) oppose Obama's health care proposals, you must be aware that people in this socio-economic category also largely support Obama! Skilled professionals (those with graduate degrees) overwhelmingly supported Obama and the Democrats. Something you seem to think when you write:

"Is it biggoted to say Republicans are generally uneducated..."

But I know how easy it is for people like you to hold contradictory ideas in your head at the same time.

David Kessler said...

Richard Silverstein's clumsy attack on Israeli aid to Haiti, showed his double standards and his desperate desire to criticize Israel at every turn. Because on the one hand, he claimed (quoting his single source) that medical aid was not the highest priority and that portable toilets were more important. But then, at the end, he used innuendo to try to imply that Israel was in some way responsible for the US not allowing “desperately needed medical supplies” to land at the airport.

It seems that in Silverstein's eyes, medical supplies are "desperately needed" when it can be hinted (without a shred of evidence) that Israel is in some way blocking them, but are unnecessary or at least not particularly urgent when Israel is delivering them.

I think we can draw the appropriate conclusions about Mr Silverstein from this.

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