In September, 11 Jordanians were extradited by Cairo and charged in Amman with trafficking in human organs, mainly kidneys, and selling them illegally in Egypt for up to 30,000 dollars each.
According to a recent government study of 130 cases in which kidneys were sold, nearly 80 percent of "donors" were Palestinians from Baqaa in northwest Amman, the largest refugee camp in the country.
Most were under the age of 31, lived in absolute poverty and had no criminal record.
The study said operations to remove the kidneys used to take place in Iraq, but since the 2003 US-led invasion, young men are now sent to Egypt, India and Pakistan.
I write this not to mirror the insane hellstorm that came along with the sensationalist "Israel organ theft" story (see my guide for the perplexed on that issue). The point is merely that crime happens; it happens worldwide. When it happens, it should be punished. But crime is not an example of a incurable sickness in an entire culture. One shouldn't take this story to say "Jordan should be destroyed" or "Jordan should be a pariah state". And I doubt anyone will.