Israeli Forensic Institute Discovered to be Keeping Body Parts in Storage for Years

Jan. 16, 2012

Years ago, mandatory autopsies were an issue of contention between religious Jewry and the Israeli government. Israeli hospitals once performed autopsies at the discretion of the doctors, without any regard for the wishes of the family of the deceased. Thankfully, those days have passed. Due to overwhelming protest over the decades, autopsies are performed only with the family's consent (except for victims of crimes).

Yet last week, an investigative report by the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper, followed up by an investigation by a board of religious Knesset members, found that the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv does not disclose everything it does to the families. Specifically, 8,288 body parts are kept in storage there from past autopsies dating back to the year 2000.

Knesset member Uri Maklev said, "Our paramedics and rescue workers risk their lives to bring to Jewish burial every part of the bodies of people killed in accidents and attacks. It is unthinkable that from every human body examined at Abu Kabir, they take off pieces and keep them in jars of formaldehyde. What will the world think of us now when we talk about the honor of the dead?"

Such was the reaction of a religious Jew who serves in the Israeli Knesset. But Jews who are seasoned in the battle against Zionist violations of human rights and the Jewish religion are not surprised at all. This is the same country that, just a few decades ago, used to let doctors and medical students practice on the bodies of anyone who had the misfortune to die in its borders.

"American Jews must raise a storm of protest over this," said Rabbi Yoel Klein, spokesman for Jewish Response. "We must write to our government officials, as well as human rights organizations, and ask them to pressure the Israelis on this matter. Jewish law forbids autopsies. But the fact that they have been secretly keeping parts of bodies in jars should shake us to the core, and make us realize how far this has gone."

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
202-647-4000
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)

Click here to write your senator.

Click here to write your congressman.

Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001
phone: (212) 807-8400
fax: (212) 627-1451
Online Support: Get answers to your questions
email: aimember@aiusa.org

Suggested text for letter:

Dear _______,

I am writing to you regarding the recent discovery that the official Israeli forensic medical institute known as Abu Kabir is keeping 8,288 human body parts in storage for years. Jewish law forbids autopsies. But the fact that they have been secretly keeping parts of bodies in jars should shake us to the core. None of the family members were told that parts of their relatives' bodies were being kept in such a disgraceful manner for years. This should disgust every person who has any feeling at all for the dignity and sanctity of the human body.

Please use your influence to pressure the Israeli government to put a stop to this sickening practice and immediately return all human remains to the families of the deceased so that they can bury them together with the rest of the bodies.

Sincerely,
_______

The following are the emails and telephone numbers of leading doctors and administrators at the Abu Kabir Institute. Please keep bombarding them with messages until this problem is solved.

פרופ' יהודה היס פתולוג ראשי במכון
jehuda.hiss@forensic.health.gov.il
011-972-50-624-2747

Prof. Jehuda Hiss:
You, the pathologists at Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, have been caught storing 8,288 human body parts in jars for years. Jewish tradition teaches that the soul cannot rest in the World to Come as long as any part of the body remains unburied. Your storage of body parts is a crime that disgusts any person who has any feeling at all for the dignity and sanctity of the human body. World Jewry will not be silent until this offense is rectified. We demand that all parts be released for burial immediately!
Signing in protest,
________________________

ד"ר מיכאל ויגודה ראש המחלקה למשפט עברי במשרד המשפטים
011-972-50-621-6657

Dr. Michael Wigoda:
You, the pathologists at Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, have been caught storing 8,288 human body parts in jars for years. Jewish tradition teaches that the soul cannot rest in the World to Come as long as any part of the body remains unburied. Your storage of body parts is a crime that disgusts any person who has any feeling at all for the dignity and sanctity of the human body. World Jewry will not be silent until this offense is rectified. We demand that all parts be released for burial immediately!
Signing in protest,
________________________

ענת ליהי זקלר דוברת אסף הרופא
anatlz@asaf.health.gov.il
011-972-57-734-6869
Anat Lihi Zaklar:
The pathologists at Abu Kabir Forensic Institute have been caught storing 8,288 human body parts in jars for years. Jewish tradition teaches that the soul cannot rest in the World to Come as long as any part of the body remains unburied. Your storage of body parts is a crime that disgusts any person who has any feeling at all for the dignity and sanctity of the human body. World Jewry will not be silent until this offense is rectified. We demand that all parts be released for burial immediately!
Signing in protest,
________________________

The above article originally appeared on JewishResponse.com.

tags: