It is reported in today’s newspaper that Meir Dagan, head of Israel’s infamous Mossad from 2002 -2011 died yesterday. He died of liver cancer. Buried in the article reporting on his death is the fact that in 2012 he had a liver transplant in Belarus.
Why Belarus? It’s not exactly a world center of modern medicine. The answer comes clear when you start to type in the words “Belarus organ” into Google. Before you can finish, the suggestion Google makes is “Belarus organ trafficking.” That’s where Aliases Yakima comes in. He was a poverty stricken Belarus man who signed up to donate his kidney for $10,000. He was transported to Quito, Ecuador, where he was kept imprisoned in a hotel room for weeks. When he said he’d changed his mind, his life and the life of his family were threatened.
According to this same Bloomberg article “Many of the black-market kidneys harvested by these gangs are destined for people who live in Israel.” That’s at least in part because due to religious considerations only 12% of Israelis are signed up to donate their organs upon dying. This compares with some 40% in the US.
One question remains, though: Most of these sold organs involve kidneys. But since most people have two, they can afford to lose one. But how about the case of Meir Dagan? He received a liver. It’s possible, of course, that the liver was “harvested” from somebody who’d just died. There are other, more ghoulish possibilities too, though.
But then, what else is to be expected from this ghoulish system of capitalism, the system that feasts off living labor being subject to the control of “dead labor” (as Marx explained what capital is)?