SWEDEN, the “Best Islamic nation in Europe” newspaper article libels Israel

Israel‘s Ambassador to Sweden, Benny Dagan, has expressed fury at a Swedish newspaper article accusing Israel of trading in the internal organs of dead Palestinians.

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Sweden’s embassy in Tel Aviv has sharply condemned Sweden’s largest circulation newspaper Aftonbladet for publishing an article accusing the Israeli Defence Forces of harvesting the organs of Palestinians.

“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,” writes Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier on the Swedish Embassy website.

Aftonbladet’s article, ‘Våra söner plundras på sina organ’ (‘They plunder the organs of our sons’), has sparked outrage in Israel. Published on Monday, the article by photographer and writer Donald Boström accuses the Israeli army of involvement in the illegal human organ trade. In a new twist to claims he has laid out several times previously, Boström links allegations of organ harvesting made by individual Palestinians to a New York-based crime suspect, Rabbi Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, recently accused of attempting to facilitate the sale of a kidney from a donor in Israel.

Israel’s deputy foreign minster Danny Ayalon expressed fury at an article he described as anti-Semitic. “In a democratic country, there should be no place for dark blood libels out of the Middle Ages of this type. This is an article that shames Swedish democracy and the entire Swedish press,” Palmor said in a statement.  “We are dealing with the lowest type of propaganda that doesn’t have even one shred of truth in it, Palmor told news agency AFP.

Speaking to The Local, Aftonbladet’s culture editor Åsa Linderborg defended the publication and expressed surprise at the strong reactions in Israel. She added that she did not in any way regret publishing the article. “No. Why should I?” “I think one can also question whether Israel has the right to shoot so many Palestinian men,” said Linderborg. THE LOCAL

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UPDATE: Sweden retracts condemnation of newspaper report

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JERUSALEM (JTA) –– Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Israel’s condemnation of a Swedish newspaper report that the IDF harvests Palestinian organs does not represent the government’s stance.

The Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv had released a statement calling Tuesday’s report in a Swedish newspaper “appalling,” but the Swedish Foreign Ministry told Ynet Thursday that, “The embassy in Tel Aviv responded in accordance to Israeli public opinion, however the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry criticized its Swedish counterpart in a statement saying, “We wonder why the Swedish Foreign Ministry does not respond to the report with severity. We would expect the ministry to warmly accept the condemnation of the report as did the embassy in Tel Aviv.”

In a large spread in its culture section a few days ago, the Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported that young Palestinian men allegedly were seized by Israel and returned to their families with missing organs. The story ran under the headline “They plunder the organs of our sons.” JTA