(JNi.media) Razi Barkai, who hosts a call-in show on Israel’s Army Radio, on Sunday took a call from Alaa, a Christian Arab who had come up with an original idea of how to deter terrorists: “Take all the internal body parts of the terrorist and use them for patients” waiting for implants.
Barkai, who is associated with the Israeli left, would probably, on a normal day, have either hung up on the caller or rebuked him for his macabre proposal. It was probably a testimony to how weary Israeli society has become of the seemingly ceaseless onslaught of Palestinian Arab violence, the Barkai kept the caller on the line and, in fact, began to discuss the various ramifications, as well as the application of his idea.
Barkai said he understood the caller intended to punish and deter terrorists, but pointed out that the proposal could run into legal problems, because the terrorist would not necessarily have signed an Adi card before going out on his murderous mission.
Named after Adi (Ehud) Ben Dror, a young, healthy resident of Petach Tikvah who, at age 26, fell ill with an acute kidney disease which deteriorated to terminal renal failure. He spent two years waiting for a suitable kidney for a transplant, but when a kidney was finally found his body was too weak to take the transplant and he died two months later. Adi and his parents came up with the idea of asking people to sign their approval to donate organs after their demise, and in October 1978 the Adi association was set up, revolutionizing public awareness of organ donations in Israel, signing up Israelis to the ADI card.
Again, not something a terrorist set on hurting as many Jews as he can would consider a high priority. Barkai also suggested that the family of the “martyr” would also, in all likelihood, not be in a very giving mood. The listener, Alaa, suggested that the prime minister and the legislator should change the law, enabling doctors to harvest terrorists for parts without consent.
Then Barkai wondered if a Jewish patient would accept a transplanted part from a dead terrorists. It went on like that for a while.
Doron Shultziner wrote in Ha’aretz on Tuesday that the Razi Barkai incident offers a kind of summary of the story of the Israeli media during the current crisis, as many are sliding down a slippery slope, not necessarily to the right or to the left, but to a gory and ghoulish indulgence in te details of the bloody terror campaign all around.
On Sunday night, as Channel 2 News was streaming direct reports from the Be’er Sheva bus station that was under attack, viewers at home were exposed to unfiltered reactions of people at ground zero, traumatized to the point of expressing their delight at the blood poring from a terrorist’s body in words they wouldn’t have dreamed of saying in normal conditions. When it turned out the bleeding man was not a terrorist, but a migrant worker from Eritrea who was fleeing for his life, those exorbitant howls became unwitting testimonies of a lynching that had never really been intended.
The problem with the discussion of forced organ harvesting as a legitimate deterrent isn’t that the proposal has a chance in hell of ever being realized, Shultziner wrote, but that someone who is considered a serious, senior journalist thinks it passes the most basic moral standard and is appropriate for a broadcast on a legitimate, national radio station. How much more trauma would Israeli society require, Shultziner wondered, to get closer to the spirit of China’s totalitarian regime, which actually harvested the organs of Falun Gong members.
As to Razi Barkai being a serious, senior broadcaster, it would be unfair to the reader who is unfamiliar with the history of Israel’s media not to mention Barkai’s claim to mythological fame, when, in 1996, during a live broadcast, he ordered his producer to get him on the phone the person “in charge of the internet.”
In the words of the immortal Persian adage: Īn nīz bogzarad – this, too, shall pass…