Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swedish Neutrality

UPDATE: below

On August 18th, Sweden's largest newspaper, Aftonbladet, published an article called "They plundered the organs of our sons", which claims Israel’s army deliberately kidnaps and murders Palestinian civilians to cut out and sell their organs to people needing transplants. The article, written by Donald Boström, was based on Palestinian sources.

Automatic translations of the article are unreadable, but the Israeli paper Haaretz posted this summary:
"They plunder the organs of our sons," read the headline in Sweden's largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, which devoted a double spread in its cultural section to the article.

The report quotes Palestinian claims that young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israel Defense Forces, and their bodies returned to the families with missing organs.

'Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,' relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied," writes author Donald Boström in his report.

Boström's article makes a link to the recent exposure of an alleged crime syndicate in New Jersey. The syndicate includes several American rabbis, and one Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, who faces charges of conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant.

Boström also cites an incident of alleged organ snatching from 1992, during the time of the first Palestinian intifada. He says that the IDF seized a young man known for throwing stones at Israeli troops in the Nablus area, who was shot in the chest, both legs, and the stomach before being taken to a military helicopter which transported him to "a place unknown to his loved ones".

Five nights later, Boström says, the young man's body was returned, wrapped in green hospital sheets.

"The sharp sounds from the shovels were mixed with the occasional laughter from the soldiers who were joking with each other, waiting to go home. When Bilal was put into his grave, his chest was revealed and suddenly it became clear to the present what abuse he had been put through. Bilal was far from the only one who was buried cut-up from his stomach to his chin and the speculations about the reason why had already started," he writes.
Full and clear translation by JihadWatch commenter Holger Udlandsdansker here.

About the supposed incident where Israeli military returned an organ-less Palestinian body, the article's author now says, "But whether it's true or not -- I have no idea, I have no clue." A follow-on story in the same paper characterized the Palestinian's claims as "suspicions."

Israel's government, and its Ambassador to Sweden, protested the article's blood libel. Sweden's Ambassador to Israel "rejected the article," although Sweden’s Foreign Ministry later retracted that condemnation, citing press freedom. Aftonbladet defended its article and author--though a competing Swedish paper called the story anti-Semitic and poorly sourced. Press in the Islamic world widely and rapidly reprinted the claims.

The Aftonbladet article is so over-the-top as to suggest bad faith on the part of the press. Such unsubstantiated conspiracy theories reflect deep-seated anti-Jewish bias among elites in Europe. No one expects a democratic country to censor such silliness--though the Swedish government could have exercised its own speech liberty and spoken out against Boström's nonsense.

Just kidding! Jew hatred is nothing new in Sweden. Aftonbladet itself in 2003 accused Israel of masterminding the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme (translation here; Palme's killing remains unsolved). Yet in 2006, the same paper declined to publish the "Mohammed cartoons". Further, the Swedish Press Ombudsman formerly worked for Aftonbladet: "In 2006, she severely criticized the publishing of the Muhammad cartoons by newspaper Jyllands-Posten in Denmark as hateful misuse of free speech." Unlike tasteful and balanced libels about murder and organ harvesting.

That's neutrality, Swedish style--a one-way street.


From the August 28th Forward:
The Swedish government then tried to hide behind a fealty to freedom of the press, which only served to compound the problem. Newspapers ought to be free to publish what they want, but government officials -- and anyone else -- are free to criticize, especially when what is published is presented as fact, not opinion. This entire episode could have been avoided if Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt had only supported his own ambassador to Israel, who rightly called the story "shocking and appalling." Instead, the ministry disavowed her denunciation, and Bildt’s usually bubbly blog went on the defensive.
(via Normblog, Gates of Vienna)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

This is a country whose neutrality in WWII consisted of selling arms to both sides, allowing transit of German soldiers, and functioning as an arm of the Wehrmacht intelligence services. (Yes, they did some good things for the Allies as well, but it pays to keep the former things clearly in mind.) After the war, because they had money and the nations at war didn't, they invested heavily in Saab and Volvo for distinct market advantage in Europe.

They share with each other. To a lesser extent, they care about other Scandinavians. Now that they have growing numbers of North African Muslims immigrating, we are seeing increasing cowardice even within their own borders.

Carl said...

AVI, for some amusing bias, see the Wikipedia article on Swedish neutrality during WWII.

Anonymous said...

May all anti-Jewish people be blessed with an influx of Islamic people to share their environments.