Is Romania human egg scandal a case of anti-Semitism?
President of Romanian Medical Council criticized after comparing Israeli doctors to Nazis.
By comparing Israeli doctors to Nazis, the Romanian Medical Council needlessly risks triggering anti-Semitism, World Medical Association President Dr. Yoram Blachar told Haaretz.
Blachar, an Israeli who heads the international watchdog on medical ethics, was reacting to public statements by Prof. Vasile Astarastoae, president of the Romanian Medical Council, who on Tuesday equated Israeli doctors in Romania to medical personnel at Auschwitz. Astarastoae was commenting on Monday's police raid on the Israeli-owned "Sabyc" clinic in Bucharest, and the arrest of gynecologist Harry Mironescu and his son Yair Miron, both Israelis. They are accused of illegal trade in ova.
Astarastoae is quoted as saying that the two arrested Israelis "bought body parts from poor, vulnerable people, without informing them on risks or telling them they were part of a research."
The two Israeli doctors denied breaking the law. Blachar said that even if the two traded in ova, it would still be "light years away" from what was done at Auschwitz.
Romanian Jews and Israelis working in the country said the raid and its fallout likely reflected competition - possibly from other Israelis - rather than anti-Semitism or xenophobia.
The country's chief Chabad rabbi, Naftali Deutsch, said Bucharest still has several Israeli-owned fertility clinics that harvest ova. Police, he said, "aren't bothering" any of them. "Clearly this was a case of a dispute between competitors, and this whole thing would not have happened otherwise," said Deutsch.
The president of Romania's Jewish community, Dr. Aurel Vainer, said the Mirons were seen driving around in fancy sports cars. "This and other signs of richness create envy and people react negatively. Maybe the fact that they are foreigners also drew attention to them, but I don't see any connection to their Jewishness. Rich Romanians will also often encounter hostility. It's human nature."