Swedish Blood Libel As Slander of Israel Passes All Limits
19 August, 2009
We are not talking about a Saudi newspaper or Hamas radio station but a Swedish newspaper. We are not talking about a neo-Nazi rag but a daily closely tied to the Swedish Social Democratic Party. And we are not just talking about an obscure item but an article that received top billing.
On August 18, Aftonbladet published an article by a man named Donald Boström. The editor responsible is named Åsa Linderborg. She is the newspaper's cultural affairs' editor.
This was no random decision for her. When asked once: "What do you wish for most in life right now?" She answered: "What a simple question. What I want is a free Palestine."
And what did this article say? That Israel's army deliberately murders Palestinian civilians so that it can cut out and sell their organs to sick people needing transplants.
The story is based on the arrest of a Jewish man in Brooklyn for selling organs but the news coverage has no hint of any Israeli connection.
The Swedish story is based on Palestinian sources (though the author also claims he has UN sources for it)--like so many slanders of Israel which are widely purveyed. It is easy to forget that the false claim of a Jenin massacre--which received massive coverage in the Western media--was based on an interview with a single Palestinian who nobody even knew.
[Ironically, the Beirut Daily Star has a very responsible article, also with no claim of Israeli involvement, on the issue of organ sales.]
At this point you are no doubt thinking: This is some kind of sick joke.
Yes, it is. But the newspaper published it any way.
Apparently, the author is a left-wing activist for Palestinian causes, though the newspaper calls him a journalist.
Will Swedish politicians, intellectuals, and others rise up, pronounce this a national disgrace, and demonstrate? Will the editor be fired? Will there be serious reconsideration of how the hatred of Israel which has so obsessed this supposedly enlightened country has gone over the edge? Will this irrational hatred be re-examined and repudiated? Will the forgotten lessons of how such attitudes produced the Holocaust be learned once again?
I wish so but I don't believe it will be a powerful reaction.
At least, though, the competing newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, has blasted the article which it says is an antisemitic blood libel without a shred of evidence.
.What does this incident tell us? One thing is that there is no limit to the insanity of how Israel is treated nowadays in so many supposedly responsible, left-wing, and intellectual circles.
It also tells us that anyone of decency and good intentions should start re-examining right now their credulity in accepting anti-Israel slanders, nonsensical media or academic claims, or irresponsibly inaccurate "human rights" group reports.
It also tells us that Jews who criticize Israel based on what they are being taught at universities and what they see in the media need to think about what they are doing. And, yes, all this bashing and chipping away at Israel's reputation; this unfair blaming; this blindness toward the goals, behavior, and ideology of radical Islamist forces and Palestinian intransigence is promoting an antisemitism beyond anything seen in the Western world since 1945.
The time has come to realize that antisemitism, anti-Zionism, absurd misrepresentation of Israel and the effort to wipe it off the map are all tightly intertwined.
We have seen the rise of a systematic industry in wild anti-Israel claims by Palestinians which are repeated without evidence by the Western news media and others.
In a variation of this theme, a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly denounced, as if it was some sort of ethnic cleansing, the eviction of two Palestinian families from an apartment building in Jerusalem. Apparently, Palestinians had presented it as such to U.S. diplomats in Jerusalem.
In fact, as the public record clearly showed, this was merely the result of an Israeli court decision following a long, detailed case lasting years, for non-payment of rent. Palestinian families who paid rent in the building had no problem at all.
The hysterical misrepresentation of Israel increasingly seems to parallel the tales of well-poisonings, ritual murders, and Zionist conspiracies to seize world power of past eras.
*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org
Take-A-Pen's remark: Swedish Social-Democrats and government circles refused to condemn the Aftonbladet article, as if protecting freedom of speech. The question arises, whether freedom of speech should be an absolute right.
Read: "Sex-Offender Network in the Swedish Elite' - Truth, mistake or lie?