I’m talking about the kidneys offered by an “organist” named Izzy Rosenbaum. The FBI scooped him up in a corruption probe that focused on pay-offs to New Jersey pols (nothing surprising about that) and money laundering by prominent rabbis:
The probe also uncovered Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, who is accused of conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant. According to the complaint, Rosenbaum said he had been brokering sale of kidneys for 10 years.
“His business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 which he would turn around and sell for $160,000,” said Marra.
Marra is a US attorney involved with the case. News accounts like the one quoted above have led the public to believe that the “donors” were both willing and compensated, and that this operation was purely private. But good evidence indicates that the matter is far, far more troubling.
The kidneys were “donated” at gunpoint by unwilling victims.
Police uncover illegal organ trade ring
Nine suspected members of an illegal organ-smuggling ring had their remands extended by the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning.
The model of a human kidney.
The model of a human kidney.
Photo: AP [file] , AP
SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region | World
Police were tipped off about the ring by a northern resident in her 30s who claimed that she had been operated on in the Ukraine but had not received the full payment promised her for her kidney.
Following that complaint, the Amakim District Central Investigative Unit (ADCIU) began to explore intelligence leads, and unearthed a number of possible cases in which the same group of people was involved.
During the investigation, police employed an undercover agent who responded to a newspaper advertisement and established contact with the criminal network.
Was a Scotsman Murdered That A Israeli Might Live?
Moreover, [Jerusalem District Court Judge Ruth] Orr was well within her rights to be skeptical of the pathological findings of [government pathologist Dr. Yehuda] Hiss, who has long been the subject of controversy as director of Israel Institute for Forensic Medicine, at Abu Kabir. Last November, a local Tel Aviv paper Ha’ir ran a 12-page expose of Abu Kabir and revealed how the national lab allows medical students to practice on bodies sent there for autopsies, and transfers body parts for transplants without permission from the family of the deceased.
The family of Alastair Sinclair, a Scottish tourist who hanged himself in an Israeli jail, was forced to bring suit for the return of missing body parts.
University of Glasgow pathologists who did an autopsy at the request of Sinclair’s family, found that it had been returned without a heart (which they suspect was used for a transplant) and without the crucial bone needed to confirm the claim that he died from hanging.
During the first ten months of the year, 26 donors contributed to 91 recipients. The donors included traffic-accident fatalities, operating-room deaths, and seven-year-old Ali Jawarish of Bethlehem, accidentally shot by IDF soldiers during riots outside Rachel’s Tomb. He was pronounced brain-dead on Nov. 15; his organs were transplanted into three Israeli-Arab teenagers the next day. Nearly half the donors during the first six months of 1997 were gastarbeiter whose families overseas gave their consent by telephone — sometimes in return for Health Ministry funding to fly the corpse home.
Israel Is Deep Into Organ Trafficking
Israel has recently become something of a pariah in the transplant world. Without a strong culture of organ donation and under the pressure of angry transplant candidates, the Ministry of Health has refused to crack down on the country’s multi-million dollar business in transplant tourism that arranges junkets from dialysis clinics in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to medical centres in Europe and the United States.
“Why should we Israelis be made to travel to third world clinics to get the kidneys we need to survive from the bodies of peasants, soldiers, or guest workers who may be in worse physical shape than ourselves?” a 71-year-old “kidney buyer” from Tel Aviv asked me rhetorically. “Organs should be seen as a human, not as a national resource.” It was good to see “Avirham,” an elderly gentleman, alive and happy with his revitalizing 22-year-old “peasant” kidney. And his living donor? “A peasant, without anything!” he replied. “Do you have any idea what $1,000, let alone $5,000 means in the life of a peasant?”
For most bio-ethicists, the “slippery slope” in transplant medicine begins with the emergence of a black market in organs and tissue sales. For the anthropologist, it emerges much earlier: the first time a frail and ailing human looks at another living person and realizes that inside that other body is something that can prolong his or her life. The desire is articulated: “I want that; I need that even more than you.” In terms of transplants, the kidney has emerged as the ultimate fetish, promising to satisfy the most basic of human desires — that for life, vitality and élan.
The sale of human organs and tissues requires that certain disadvantaged individuals and populations have been reduced to the role of “suppliers.” It is a scenario in which bodies are dismembered, transported, processed and sold in the interests of a more socially advantaged population of organ and tissue receivers. I use the word “fetish” advisedly to conjure up the displaced magical energy that is invested in the strangely animate kidney. Avirham, who flew from Jerusalem to Georgia for his kidney, explained why he would never tolerate a donation from a corpse: “That kidney is practically dead. It was probably pinned down under the wheels of a car for several hours… I was able to see my donor. He was young, healthy, strong. Just what I was hoping for.”