Aug 20 2009
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.
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
UPDATE: Sweden retracts condemnation of newspaper report