"Your Kidney or Your Life"
The Brooklyn man arrested for organ trafficking in connection with a massive federal corruption and money laundering sting is described a "thug" who reportedly pulled a gun on kidney "donors" who were getting cold feet, according to a Daily News report Friday.
Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum allegedly bought kidneys from impoverished people overseas for $10,000 and turned them around for $160,000 in the U.S., according to the newspaper. His operation was first brought to the attention of the FBI seven years ago by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a University of California, Berkeley anthropologist who studied human organ trafficking.
She described Rosenbaum to the Daily News as "the main U.S. broker for an international trafficking network." One of her sources, a man who worked with Rosenbaum, said he would pull a pistol on nervous kidney sellers, telling them "You're here. A deal is a deal. Now, you'll give us a kidney or you'll never go home." Full Story
A blog post detailing Israeli organ trafficking circa 2002 gives dozens of reports from legitimate news sources on Israel's criminal organ market. It also has reportage on the general attitude of Israeli Jews who are unlikely to donate:
"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?"
As well as the story of an unfortunate Scottish tourist:
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.
According to FOX news, Rosenbaum was trafficking in organs taken from "vulnerable people" in Israel. Like Palestinians?
In this same report, Israel Medical Association spokeswoman Orna Cohen said the organization had no reports there of Israelis selling organs. "If it's true, then it's shocking," she said. Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israel's national police force, said Israeli police were not involved in the investigation, and he would not comment further.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes...said that she has been tracking the Brooklyn-connected ring for 10 years and that her contacts in Israel have called Rosenbaum "the top man" in the United States. Scheper-Hughes said her research has uncovered hundreds of cases of illegal organ transactions brokered by and for Israelis in Israel, South Africa, Turkey and other countries, with sellers recruited from poor communities in Moldova, Brazil and elsewhere.
Of course Israeli Jews don't sell their own organs, Ms. Cohen. Broker and buy some poor schmuck's organs at gunpoint, maybe.