Posted by Brad @ 3:51 pm on July 28th 2009

Your Naked Political Opportunism Bar Graph of the Day


  1. Do you think Specter should get on the NJ corruption issue, being right next store, or would that make him a moser?.

    The whole thing put conspiracy theorist back in business. I mean, if you had said there was an international Kidney smuggling ring based in Israel you would surely had been accussed of “blood libel”.

    In fact, even when presented with evidence of such The State Department claimed:

    She waited and waited for something to be done. The FBI may have been following the lead of the State Department, which dismissed organ trafficking as “urban legend.”

    “It would be impossible to conceal a clandestine organ trafficking ring,” a 2004 State Department report stated.

    But, it turns out you would have been correct. There was a international kidney smuggling ring with ties to Israel and run the US by a Brooklyn Rabbi, no less.

    These people [kidney donators] would be brought in and they didn’t even know what they were supposed to be doing and they would want to go home and they would cry,” Scheper-Hughes said.

    The man called Rosenbaum “a thug” who would pull out a pistol he was apparently licensed to carry and tell the sellers, “You’re here. A deal is a deal. Now, you’ll give us a kidney or you’ll never go home.’ ”

    Scheper-Hughes felt she had to stop Rosenbaum. She met with the FBI.


    I think Specter should take the lead on this appalling trade in kidney headed up just one state north of his.

    And if this conspiracy could be true, what else is out there? Clearly, we need to give more credibility to whistle blowers even if what they claim seems outrageous at first.

    BTW, the indictment is here.

    Comment by daveg — 7/28/2009 @ 5:18 pm

  2. Tracking down all these leads is like peeling back the layers of an onion. But, it is all starting to make sense:

    Organ donation rates in Israel are amongst the lowest in the developed world, partly because of a belief that Jewish religious law forbids it. To relieve the resulting organ shortage, brokers search for donors overseas for prices which can soar as high as US$150,000. Some advertise openly on radio stations for donors and recipients. There is no law in Israel against organ trafficking and government policy effectively encourages it by allowing Israelis who go abroad for transplants to be reimbursed as much as $80,000.

    So, the Rabbi is just promoting what is common practice in Israel…

    But, it appears that many of the doners (sp?) are not so voluntary and/or are not paid well.

    Nineteen years old Khader Elias Tarazi, a Christian Palestinian, went shopping for groceries in the Gaza. Upon returning with two bags on his bicycle he crossed a road near a demonstration where stone throwers were fleeing Israeli Army soldiers. The soldiers grabbed Khader and beat his head and body with truncheons.

    [He Died in Jail]

    Israeli officials refused to hand over the body and it was transferred to Abu Kabeer hospital, officially for a post-mortem. Mrs Tarazi told David Yallop that during this time many of his organs were illegally removed from his body.


    Comment by daveg — 7/28/2009 @ 5:35 pm

  3. Of course, it is HIGHLY illegal and immoral by US law to do such a thing, even if the Rabbi conducted himself ethically otherwise, which he did not.

    I am a capitalist, but paying poor people $10,000 for their kidney is not in any way ethical or moral in my book.

    It is the act of a monster.

    Comment by daveg — 7/28/2009 @ 5:40 pm

  4. And the fact that Jewish law (as set forth by some) forbids its own to give organs, but is willing to take, steal and pay others for theirs, speaks volumes about its morality (or lack thereof) and hypocrisy.

    Comment by daveg — 7/28/2009 @ 5:42 pm

  5. I come down on the other side of the organ donation issue. There’s a dreadful lack of supply of organs, causing people to wait years for one or even die a preventable death while waiting. I think postmortem sale of organs would be a marvelous win-win scenario. It would drastically increase the supply of organs while also enriching the heirs of the deceased.

    Unfortunately, as you note, it is not legal to engage in the sale or purchase of organs today. Donation is the only legal method of organ transfer. The squeemish factor of postmortem slicing and dicing puts many people off donation, but a decent chuck of change would likely bring far more people into the fold, saving lives.

    Living organ sale (of kidneys, for instance) is slightly more of a gray area, but I am also in favor of it. If the sale of organs was legal and above board, there would be far fewer preventable organ donation deaths and the horror stories of bathtubs wouldn’t occur. If a person wishes to sell one of their body parts, who am I to stop them? So long as they enter into the exchange willingly and without coercion, I have no moral high ground in telling them they shouldn’t. The cash that they receive helps them, the organ that they sell helps another person. Everyone wins.

    People are free to sell their bodies in numerous other ways. We can sell some of our preciously limited time on this earth for cash, a practice we call working. We can risk our health in a dangerous profession, for hazard pay. We can pierce and tattoo our flesh. We can risk our lives leaping out of perfectly good airplanes or climbing bare cliffs unharnessed.

    The sale of a kidney is no different. Provided the surgery is done safely and in a controlled environment and the patient is mentally cognizant of the procedure, it really is desirable. The sale of a kidney doesn’t just involve the removal but also the insertion into a person who desperately needs it. The quality of life improvement gained by a fully functional kidney is immeasurable, to say nothing of the potential prevention of death. The benefits are real, to both parties.

    Comment by Cameron — 7/28/2009 @ 7:04 pm

  6. Party “loyalty scores”. What a system we’ve created for ourselves.

    Comment by Rojas — 7/28/2009 @ 8:44 pm

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