New York, NY, January 21, 2010 … In a disturbing illustration of what can happen when one person takes a message of hate and incitement to the Internet, the Big Lie of Israeli organ harvesting for profit has again resurfaced and gone global practically overnight, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Claims that the Israel Defense Forces mobile hospital unit in Haiti may be involved in stealing organs were first made in a video posted on YouTube by a Seattle man who identified himself as "T. West" of "AfriSynergy Productions."
The allegations in his video spread globally in less than a day – a phenomenon that ADL said "demonstrates both the power of the Internet to spread disinformation, and the ability of any individual to disseminate the Big Lie with ease."
"We have entered a new era where any individual can perpetuate a lie and spread it globally from the confines of his home," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The video-sharing technology enables one person to pick up something that is completely wrong and to push it out as fact."
Several anti-Israel Web sites and Middle East news sources have reported as credible the allegations made by "T. West" that the Israeli medical mission in Haiti may be involved in stealing organs from earthquake victims. According to ADL, the charges of organ harvesting for profit have appeared on various Web sites, including that of Press TV, a state-funded Iranian TV news channel; the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, an armed wing of the terrorist group Hamas; and the site of Alex Jones, an American anti-Israel conspiracy theorist.
Each of the reports directly cites the YouTube video post from Seattle, in which "T. West" charges that the Israel Defense Forces in Haiti may attempt to steal organs. "People have to be aware of personalities who are out for money," T. West states. "The IDF has participated in the past in steal [sic] organ transplants of Palestinians and others."
"The world is watching the images coming out of Haiti, and Israel's state-of-the-art medical facility has become a focus of many news reports," said Mr. Foxman. "It is hardly surprising that Israel's enemies are looking for ways to turn the story of Israel's success in saving lives into a negative. What is surprising is the alacrity with which they pick up on any thread of spurious information on the Internet that may cast a negative light on the Jewish state, no matter how dubious or untrustworthy the source."
In September 2009, rumors of Israeli organ harvesting in the Palestinian territories spread globally following the publication of a false and malicious article in a Swedish newspaper that Israeli soldiers were harvesting Palestinian organs for profit. Similar rumors were reported in newspapers across the Middle East. The false story quickly mushroomed into a full-blown conspiracy theory alleging a Jewish plot to harvest organs from Algerian children, and others.
ADL has called the rumors of organ harvesting for profit "a new version of the ancient blood libel" which alleged that Jews use the blood of Christian children to bake their Passover bread.
"T. West" is an online moniker used by Theautries West, a Seattle activist who has posted a number of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic videos on YouTube. In a six-part series of videos in August and September 2009, T. West advanced the allegation of Israeli organ harvesting. In one video he states: "Not only in Israel against the Palestinian people … but possibly in other countries around the world, Israelis have been taking body organs and selling them for a very high price to others around the world and inside ofIsrael."
In his videos and on his Web site, West seems to maintain that Zionists and some Jews do not have a legitimate claim to their identity. He refers to Jews in quotation marks, and has called for African-Americans to cut ties with Jews.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.