A new allegation that the Israeli Defense Forces is stealing organs is proliferating on the Internet. This new slander got started when a Seattle man called “T. West” posted a video on YouTube making the suggestion the IDF medical contingent, the most high-tech in Haiti among all the nations helping there, was stealing the organs of earthquake victims. This comes a few months after a similar accusation by a Swedish journalist in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet (See post “Is the Israeli army killing young Palestinians to harvest their organs?”).
This is awful. The Blood Libel does not go away. I think the thing to do, for any organization combating antisemitism or any other form of prejudice and hatred, is to nullify the effect of these types of libels. We can complain about it (and organizations like the ADL do a good job of this), but these things keep coming back. The reason is because there’s always an audience receptive to this message. Hitler also found a population who already hated Jews and he had no difficulty in getting his genocidal message across. He could do this because his audience was already predisposed to any message in which Jews were portrayed in a way to conformed with the ingrained views of Jews prevalent among Christians at the time. Mr. West (and Bostrom before him), can say the things they say, and they don’t end up in a lunatic asylum, because there are many people to whom this kind of stuff “makes sense”.
I think this can be combated on two fronts: first and foremost, with education. We need to get to the point where if someone said Jews were harvesting the organs of Palestinians or Haitians, or killing Christian boys to make passover bread, they would naturally be considered equally as mad as if they had said that Israelis had four heads. The other front of this war should be legal. There has to be a cost to libel and slander. Slander like this needs to be confronted automatically with civil legal action, and this needs to be done consistently, openly, and very publicly. If people like Mr. Bostrom or Mr. West, Holocaust deniers, antisemites and other racists of all stripes, and other hate-mongers felt that there would literally be a high cost to saying the things they say, they would, if not refrain, at least think about saying it twice.