Swedish writer 'not sure' his blood libel is trueThe Swedish reporter who penned a story in the Aftonbladet tabloid that claimed Israel is harvesting 'Palestinians' organs for resale abroad says that he is 'not sure' the story is true.
"I have a personal opinion, it concerns me that it's true," Donald Bostrom, who penned the story, told Israel Radio en route to an emergency meeting at the editorial offices Aftonbladet, presumably to discuss the aftermath of the report.Unfortunately, the only people named in the story are the man who was arrested in New York and the 'Palestinian' who told the story. Otherwise this would make one heck of a libel suit.
"I was [present] during the interview that night, I was a witness. It concerns me to the extent that I want it to be investigated," Bostrom told the station. "But whether it's true or not - I have no idea, I have no clue."
He was referring to a Palestinian witness who recounted an incident where a Palestinian was allegedly taken by the Israeli military and his body returned several days later - lacking some internal organs.
Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called on the Swedish government to condemn the story:
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to the report by saying: "This is a blood libel and the worst type of anti-Semitism."Israel summoned the Swedish ambassador in Tel Aviv and sent its own ambassador in Stockholm - who was just dressed down two weeks ago by the Swedish foreign ministry over the construction at Sheikh Jarrah - to protest the article. The Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv has issued a statement as well:
Ayalon called on the Swedish government to condemn these accusations and said Israel "sees a correlation between the Swedish government's public statements, which are extremely critical of Israel, and anti-Semitism in the press."
"The article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is as shocking and appalling to us Swedes as it is to Israeli citizens. We share the dismay expressed by Israeli government representatives, media and the Israeli public. This embassy cannot but clearly distance itself from it," the statement said.But Sweden, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, has a history of anti-Israel behavior that didn't start in August 2009. In March, riots accompanied the appearance of the Israeli Davis Cup team in Malmo, Sweden, and Israel's match against Sweden had to be played without fans present. In February, there were riots in Malmo in connection with protests against Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
It continued its condemnation of the paper by saying, "Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are freedoms which carry a certain responsibility. It falls on the editor-in-chief of any given newspaper."
In 2006, Sweden canceled its participation in an international air force exercise because Israel was participating. It granted visas to Hamas representatives to raise money in Sweden. That same year, it labeled wine made in the Golan as having been made in 'Israeli-occupied Syria.'
In 2004, Israel's then-ambassador to Sweden Zvi Mazel pulled the plug on an 'art exhibit' in a Stockholm museum that celebrated a suicide bomber who murdered 21 people at a mixed Jewish-Arab restaurant in Haifa.
There's a detailed study of anti-Israel bias in the Swedish media here. Nazi Germany had very little on these people. If you could have picked a country that was likely to publish a blood libel like the one published on Tuesday, Sweden should have been high on your list.