Israel doesn't celebrate Halloween, a mainly American horror show. Yet, days before Halloween 2012 a body parts horror affair exploded in Tel Aviv. Sensitive places in Israel are often headed by people with a special loyalty to the system, who are rewarded with unnaturally long service terms. The best example—reviewed in detail in Israel Military Censor hits the USA—is the Military Censor. A regular post of an IDF officer lasts two years. Yet, Avner Bar-On served as Military Censor in 1951-1953 and 1955-1977. Yitzhak Shani served between 1977 and 2000. The current censor has been in office since 2005. This is highly irregular and allows such officials to accumulate immense power. The same is true for Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir, Jaffa. Formally within Tel Aviv, this institution is the only place in Israel authorized to conduct autopsies in cases of unnatural death. Among others, it means it treats all cases of deaths in violent events, like suicide bombings. Hence, it is closely related to the security services establishment. In cases of notable figures, the reports of the institute carry political consequences; thus, the state favors trustworthy people serving long-terms there. Since 1988 until yesterday—October 15, 2012—the center was headed by Professor Yehuda Hiss. During this minor-eon, he carried high-profile autopsies on Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Rachel Corrie, and prominent Israelis like media-stars Shosh Atari and Dudu Topaz.
Litzman and Hiss
Yarkon Cemetery Many of Hiss crimes were buried here
Professor Hiss had been awarded a fiefdom by the state. Due to his position as director of the center, he served also in the Department of Pathology for the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and professor at the Terrorism and Medicine Program at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC Herzliya. In other words, he was an apparently respectable member of the Israeli Administration. He paid with extreme loyalty. The most famous example of the liberties he took in his job in order to please the always-demanding state was the autopsy of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The Hiss report claims that after Rabin was shot and rushed to nearby Ichilov Hospital, he died on the operating table of blood loss and a punctured lung within forty minutes; this supports Israeli secret police Shin Beth wishes. This report was challenged in March 1999 by a group of Israeli academics. The problem is that different official reports describe different wounds, while failing to explain why it took Rabin twenty-two minutes to arrive by car to a hospital which by foot is less than five minutes away from the assassination scene. In court, the Shin Beth admitted to having delivered an agent provocateur—Avishai Raviv, "Agent Champagne"—to trick Yigal Amir, who was found guilty of the assassination. Professor Hiss whitewashed all forensic evidence in his report and happily kept accumulating a large state pension.
Apparently, nothing could disturb his pleasant career.
Israel National Center of Forensic Medicine | Abu Kabir, Jaffa
An Israeli Golem
Accurate translations from Hebrew to English are difficult. One of the reasons is the completely different structure of the verb system. For example, most Hebrew nouns are also verbs in the present tense. The richness added by this to their meaning is absent in their English counterparts. This is what happens with the word “golem.” Golem occurs once in the Bible in Psalm 139:16, where “golmi” (Hebrew nouns can be conjugated, “golmi” is related to “golem” in a way that cannot be easily translated into English) means “unshaped.” However, the Hebrew noun also implies action; the creation of this shapeless form. It has an inherent mystic meaning which doesn’t exist in the English noun. The Mishna expanded the use of the term to refer to an uncultivated person, while the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin 38b) claims that Adam was initially created as a golem when his dust was "kneaded into a shapeless husk." From here on, the term evolved within the mystic circles of Judaism (see Israel is a Golem for details), which tried to create a “golem.” Essentially, “golem” refers to either a mythical Frankenstein-like creature or to a dumb person. Professor Hiss falls into both categories at once.
Shosh and Gali Atari
Hiss was dumb—“golem”—enough to ruin his career by collecting the body-parts of the people he autopsied, an act that contradicts Israeli law. The abovementioned Shosh Atari died of kidney transplant complications; parts of her body remained at the center, where Professor Hiss occasionally enjoyed looking at them. After he was fired, it was disclosed that he had a collection of them belonging to over eight-thousand bodies. This is forbidden by Jewish Laws, which regulate autopsies and burial in Israel. One should be buried with all body parts. Moreover, Professor Hiss is involved in apparent cases of organ harvesting. In 1998, Scottish Alistair Sinclair was arrested in Israel on suspicion of dealing in drugs. He hanged himself in a holding cell at Ben Gurion International Airport. Hiss performed an autopsy and the body was returned to his family. A second autopsy performed at the University of Glasgow found that the heart and a small bone at the base of his tongue were missing. Israel claimed the bone was needed for the investigation; the missing heart was never properly explained. In November 1999, the Tel Aviv newspaper Ha'ir stated that medical students under Hiss' direction practiced on bodies sent there for autopsy, and that body parts were transferred for transplant without permission from the families concerned. In January 2001, Israel's largest newspaper Yediot Aharonot claimed that Hiss had been involved in “organ sales” of body parts to universities and medical schools for research and training, citing evidence which included price listings for various body parts.
Despite these horrors, Hiss felt safe. After all, Israel is known for its medical horrors. I reviewed some of them in detail in Israel’s Eugenics Program: Dr. Mengele Blues, where eugenic programs conducted by Israel and dating back to the Nazi Regime (doctors practicing it there imported it to Israel after WWII) are wild violations of the Declaration of Helsinki and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The State of Israel knows that while it continues denouncing Nazi crimes, no nation will dare to criticize it for its equally horrendous crimes. Hiss knew this and felt safe with his own perversion.
In his post since 1988, Professor Hiss failed to notice that Israel had changed; body parts blocked his view. The ongoing investigation against him for the abovementioned events had no chance of leading anywhere; he was backed by the Shin Beth and the secular establishment. However, Israel is not a secular-Zionist bastion anymore. Ultra-orthodox Jews—Haredim and Hasidim—are constantly gaining political power. As time goes by, they are beginning to exercise it in order to conquer new segments of the Israeli society. Nowadays, Yaakov Litzman leads Agudat Israel, a Haredi party, which is in the Knesset as part of the United Torah Judaism. He serves in Netanyahu’s government as Deputy Minister of Health. Needless to say, the odd practices of Hiss are not to the liking of the Haredim. He took advantage of the January 2013 elections and fired Hiss. Netanyahu will need Litzman for his next coalition government and thus wouldn’t dare to ruin his relations with him in order to save Hiss. Israel’s Night of the Long Knives is on, in an odd version where the only choice is "trick," and body parts are for real.