Monday 21 September 2009

Kristoffer Larsson, a Swedish theologian, backs Israeli organ theft claim

"Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman managed to tacitly draw the attention to—you guessed it!—the Holocaust [...] Lieberman’s Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt blatantly refuses to cave in [...] Ostensibly, Israel is using the article to get a message across: Sweden is an anti-Semitic country. They are set to pressure the Swedish government until it condemns the ‘blood libel accusation’. All of a sudden everyone is discussing good old anti-Semitism instead of Israel’s state terrorism and its apartheid policies towards the Palestinian people."

Source: article "The Organ Theft Affair" by Kristoffer Larsson (Kristoffer Larsson is a Swedish theology student occasionally commenting on political issues. He works with the Bethlehem-based International Middle East Media Center and is a Director of Deir Yassin Remembered.)

"Swedish photojournalist Donald Boström has really infuriated the Israelis and its supporters. On August 17, Sweden’s most widely circulated newspaper, Aftonbaldet, carried an article by Boström entitled "Our sons plundered for their organs."1

The usual suspects immediately cried "anti-Semitism," claiming that the old blood libel accusation has been brought to life again.2 The Israelis have even threatened to sue him. Such reactions were anticipated, however. Innumerable hate mails have found their way into Mr Boström’s inbox since the publication, including death threats. More surprising is that Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, issued a condemnation of the article. It was "as shocking and appalling to us Swedes as to Israelis," the ambassador claimed in a press release that was later withdrawn, having attracted criticism from the Swedish foreign ministry as well as from the government.

On top of that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that the Swedish government renounce the article, something which would be unconstitutional in Sweden. A statement from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman managed to tacitly draw the attention to—you guessed it!—the Holocaust: "It is regrettable that the Swedish foreign ministry does not intervene when it comes to a blood libel against Jews, which reminds one of Sweden’s conduct during World War II when it also did not intervene." (I would urge Lieberman, himself a hard-core racist, to read Lenni Brenner’s excellent 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis.)

Lieberman’s Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt blatantly refuses to cave in: "As a member of the Swedish government, acting on the Swedish constitution I have to respect freedom of speech, irrespective of the personal views that I might have." His boss, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, also rejects commenting on the article. Bildt is expected in Israel in about a week’s time, but Israelis are threatening to cancel his trip.

Despite all the fuss, this isn’t the first time Donald Boström publicly vents suspicions about Israelis stealing organs from Palestinians. One chapter of the book Inshallah: konflikten mellan Israel och Palestina ("Inshallah: the Conflict between Israel and Palestine"), edited by Boström and first published in 2001, was an account of what happened to a 19-year-old Palestinian boy. It includes the photo now published in Aftonbladet. Donald Boström decided to shed new light on the affair following the mass arrest in New Jersey of people involved in illegal organ trade that included a shockingly high number of Rabbis.

Read the whole piece here


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