Fact Check: US Did NOT Arrest Group Including Rabbis Trafficking Organs of Palestinian Children

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: US Did NOT Arrest Group Including Rabbis Trafficking Organs of Palestinian Children Misleading

Was a group of rabbis, politicians, diplomats and Israeli businessmen arrested in the United States for trafficking in the organs of Palestinian children? No, that's not true: The video making the claim is dated July 23, 2009, and shows political and religious figures, including rabbis, who were arrested in New Jersey on charges of money laundering. There is no evidence federal agents arrested anyone in the U.S. involved in trafficking organs from Palestinian children.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on December 4, 2023. The caption (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

Federal Police in America arrest the largest human organ smuggling ring in history, consisting of rabbis, politicians, diplomats, and Israeli businessmen. According to their confessions, it became clear that they smuggled organs that belonged to Palestinian children.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

NJ gang arrested.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Dec 21 14:04:40 2023 UTC)

The video used in the post shows a TV news report on a corruption case involving state officials and religious leaders in the American state of New Jersey. Footage from the report shows people, some wearing Jewish head caps and prayer shawls, being led away by federal agents.

A Lead Stories search of Google News (archived here) on December 22, 2023, using the words: "New Jersey arrests religious leaders for corruption," led to several articles and identical images of the arrested individuals shown in the video in the summer of 2009.

On July 23, 2009, NBC News reported that a probe into the sale of black-market kidneys and fake Gucci handbags "evolved into a sweeping probe of political corruption in New Jersey," ensnaring 44 people, including "three mayors, two state lawmakers and several rabbis." The same information and images identical to some of the clips in the video claim, were published at the time by other reputable news organizations, such as The New York Times and The Guardian, among numerous others.

However, no report said the organs belonged to Palestinian children or mentioned trafficking of Palestinian children in the United States.

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  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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