Friday, August 21, 2009


The pre-Nazi history of Eastern European anti-Semitism is replete with blood libels. Jews, particularly in Poland and Russia, were often accused of killing little Christian children in order to drink their blood. Now we have a modern version of blood libel.

Swedish "journalist" Donald Bostrom, in a story published Monday by the Swedish daily tabloid Aftonbladet, accused the Israeli army of killing young Palestinians in order to harvest their organs for the illegal transplant market. What proof did Bostrom offer? He was told this by some Palestinians he interviewed.

The editor of Aftonbladet stands behind the story. Israel has asked the Swedish Government to condemn the Aftonbladet article, but it refuses to do so, maintaining that an official condemnation would constitute a restraint of free expression.

Restraint of free expression? The Swedes must think they're dealing with some fucking fools. The Israelis are not asking the Swedish government to prevent the publication of any article. They are not asking the Swedish government to apologize for a patently false story designed to inflame Swedes and others against Jews and the State of Israel. A government rebuke of a false inflammatory article does not constitute restraint of free speech.

Palestinian claims that the Israeli army deliberately killed young Palestinians for their organs are so farfetched that it is almost unimaginable any journalist would report them as being true and that any reputable newspaper would publish them. The story would be laughable except for the fact that, as with past blood libels, there are an awful lot of people out there willing to believe such hateful falsehoods.

Here are some excerpts from a couple of Jerusalem Post articles on Bostrom’s allegations:


The Jerusalem Post
August 20, 2009

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has rejected Israeli calls for official condemnation of a Swedish newspaper article about organ harvesting, saying freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy.

Bildt said in a blog posted late Thursday that he would not condemn an article in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that suggested Israeli troops had harvested the organs of dead Palestinians. He said freedom of expression is part of the Swedish constitution.

"Freedom of expression and press freedom are very strong in our constitution by tradition. And that strong protection has served our democracy and our country well," Bildt wrote. "If I were engaged in editing all strange debate contributions in different media I probably wouldn't have time to do much else."

Bildt said he understood why the article stirred strong emotions in Israel, but said basic values in society are best protected by free discussion.

The article, published Monday, recounted Palestinian allegations that IDF soldiers killed Palestinians to harvest their organs, and implied a link to the recent arrest in the United States of an American Jew suspected of illicit organ trafficking.


The Jerusalem Post
August 20, 2009

Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that he has received a number of death threats alongside a wave of harsh criticism for an article he wrote for popular Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

[Bostrom] heard in the West Bank in 1992 that Israeli soldiers were illegally removing organs from Palestinians killed in fighting with a campaign for Israeli organ donors, supposed illegal purchases of organs in Israel in the early 2000s, and the recent story of American Levy Izhak Rosenbaum who was accused of illegally trafficking Israeli organs.

"We know that the need for organs in Israel is large, that an extensive illegal organ moving is ongoing and has been for a long time, that it is done with the blessing of the authorities, the senior doctor at the major hospital is involved, as well as officials at various levels. And we know that the Palestinian young men disappeared, they were back five days later in secrecy at night, sewn up," Bostrom wrote in the conclusion of his story.

"Apologize for what?" he said. "I am just referring to what other people are telling me. Everything is true. And I cannot apologize about what I experienced that night, which was terrible."  

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