Wiesenthal Center: Palestinian Authority’s ‘Big Lie’ Campaign Alleging Nazi-Like Experiments by Israelis - “A Poison Pill for Hopes of Peaceful Co-Existence”

July 9, 2008



The Simon Wiesenthal Center today condemned the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s chief partner in peace talks with Israel, for an ongoing series of stories in its official paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, that accuse Israel of performing Nazi-like medical experiments on Palestinian prisoners.

The Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch issued a report today listing a number of these articles, including three in the past week, alleging that these prisoners are being subjected to clinical drug experiments and mass poisonings by Israeli doctors. The articles fabricate quotes from Israelis both real-life, like Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, and fictional, as in Amy Laftat, an official from the Israeli Ministry of Health, to support their claims.

“This canard of non-existent, horrific, Nazi-like experiments on Palestinian prisoners by Israelis is a poison pill for hopes for peace,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “Demonizing their Jewish neighbors with this campaign of hate replete with phony quotes from Israeli officials is sure to spawn more volunteers for terrorist outrages.”

Some of the claims say:

  • "The method employed by the Israeli Occupation in which they [are] instigating slow death ... doctors in Israeli prison clinics use the prisoners as guinea pigs for clinical drug testing under the pretense of 'treatment.'" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 6, 2008]
  • "Many of the male and female inmates received injections from needles they had not seen before, and which caused their hair and facial hair to fall out permanently ... others lost their sanity, or their mental condition is constantly deteriorating... and some are suffering from infertility." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 4, 2008].
  • "We have many examples of experiments conducted by the Nazis, but we shall bring one example that exhibits a great similarity [to the Israeli experiments]: They would insert poisons into the prisoners' food in order to study the effect of the poisons on people, with the purpose of performing autopsies on the bodies of those who died from the poison.
  • "…to increase the suffering of the prisoners and to murder them slowly, or to render them hollow, fragile and sickly bodies that will be a burden to their families and their nation after their release..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept.1, 2007].

“These charges are all the more outrageous considering the fact that Palestinians—including those from Hamas-held Gaza—who are ill with life-threatening cancers continue to be treated at Israeli hospitals,” continued Cooper.

The Wiesenthal Center called on the “responsible Arab media to tell the truth to their constituents.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.