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Monday, August 31, 2009

EU to help Sweden save face by condemning Aftonbladet article?

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is trying to resolve the Aftonbladet controversy in a face-saving manner for Sweden by having the European Union - whose Presidency is currently held by Sweden - condemn the newspaper's blood libel at a meeting later this week.
In a telephone conversation with Haaretz, Frattini said he recently met with his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, and the two agreed that at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers later this week, they will work to pass a resolution making it clear that the EU, under the Swedish presidency, strongly condemns anti-Semitism and will take action against any manifestation of it on the continent.

Frattini said he intends to demand that the meeting's summary statement explicitly condemn the article published in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, which claimed that Israeli soldiers harvested the organs of dead Palestinians. He said his proposed statement would declare articles of this sort to be "acts of blatant anti-Semitism."

"There are limits to freedom of the press that stem from respect for the truth and the duty of every journalist to prove his claims," Frattini explained.
The Prime Minister's Office declined comment on the Italian initiative, but the foreign ministry commented very bluntly:
"Every initiative against anti-Semitism is welcome," said Yigal Palmor, that ministry's spokesman. "But if the declaration is general and does not specifically relate to the article in Aftonbladet, it will not resolve anything.

"We did not ask for an apology, or for measures against the newspaper or the journalist," he added. "All we asked of Sweden and the Swedes is that they reject and decry the content of the report. And our position has not changed."
That's certainly reasonable. Let's see if Italy proposes the initiative and whether Sweden votes in favor.

Is Carl Bildt (Swedish foreign minister) still coming here this week?


At 2:31 PM, Blogger Steven said...

As far as I am concerned, Sweeden can screw themselves.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl Bildt should not be received in Jerusalem. There is no indication Sweden is ready to deal with the Aftonbladet issue at its roots. Sweden must draw the right lessons and an apology to Israel now is insufficient. I personally feel Israel should do nothing to help Sweden get out of its fiasco. They brought it upon themselves!


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