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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dershowitz on Aftonbladet

I don't normally expect to find Alan Dershowitz writing in FrontPageMagazine. But to his credit, he was there this week, condemning Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt for his hypocritical refusal to condemn the blood libel published by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
I have devoted much of my life to defending freedom of speech and consider myself something of an expert on the matter. Nobody is talking about censoring the Swedish press or imprisoning the writer of the absurd article. What we are talking about is expanding the marketplace of ideas to include a completely warranted condemnation of sloppy journalism and outrageous accusations that foment an already increasing anti-Semitism in Sweden. Freedom of speech is based on an open and vibrant marketplace of ideas. No journalist is immune from criticism for bigotry and defamation, even from high ranking government officials.

Recall that virtually every government official in Europe went out of their way to condemn the depiction of perfectly innocent cartoons that offended some Muslims by portraying Mohammed. (More recently, the Yale Press withdrew these cartoons and other classic art depicting Mohammed out of fear of violent reaction.) Without getting into the business of comparative offensiveness, no reasonable person could argue that depicting a long-dead religious figure comes anywhere close to falsely accusing contemporary Jews of murdering innocent Palestinians to steal their organs.

The reality is that the Swedish government, long known for its cowardess, simply does not want to get into a fight with the Muslim world, much like it didn’t want to get into a fight with the Nazi’s during the Second World War. Sweden is perfectly willing to sell out the Jews in the name of neutrality, or in this case, in the false name of freedom of expression. Its silence is beneath contempt.
Indeed. Read the whole thing.


At 4:11 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Professor Dershowitz's article was also published in Christian Science Monitor on the same date. Not sure if he published the piece in both concurrently, or is FrontPage picked it up, or vice versa.



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