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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time for Israel to recall its ambassador to Sweden

The more I read of Swedish reaction to the Aftonbladet controversy, the more I believe that Israel must take decisive action in this case - at a minimum it must recall its ambassador for 'consultations.' This isn't just one article in one newspaper. It's about a self-righteous culture that reeks of anti-Semitism. In a previous post I recounted several anti-Israel/anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden over the last few years. The entire way in which this controversy has been handled shows that the Swedes are self-righteous anti-Semites from the top down, and it is time for Israel to start reacting more strongly to them, especially because they currently hold the Presidency of the European Union.

Let's start at the top: Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt hid behind the fig leaf of 'free speech' on Saturday and said that his government would not apologize for the article at top left, which appeared in Monday's Aftonbladet tabloid:
"No one can demand that the Swedish government violate its own constitution. Freedom of speech is an indispensable part of Swedish society," Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was quoted by the Swedish news agency TT as saying.

In response, Spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry Yossi Levy said Saturday: "In our opinion freedom of speech is not reserved only for the media, but is also the right of the Swedish government.

"We expect Stockholm to express, clearly and without evasion its position on this anti-Semitic article. We feel that 'freedom of speech' is being used as a fig leaf by the Swedish government," he added.

"The Israeli government itself greatly values freedom of speech," said Levy, "and no less so than the Swedish government, which seems to be using this term as a convenient measure to evade issuing a strong statement saying: 'Anti-Semitism is disgraceful and should be denounced not only when it is expressed in the capitals of Third World countries, but also when it is voiced in the heart of Sweden'."
Keep expecting them to do it guys - it's not going to happen. It certainly won't happen so long as we welcome Sweden's slimy foreign minister Carl Bildt to Israel next week.
Israel doesn’t plan on canceling a scheduled visit by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, despite his refusal to apologize for a controversial newspaper article alleging that Israeli soldiers harvested organs from dead Palestinians.

But Israel said it still expects Bildt to clearly distance himself from the article, published earlier this week in the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“The ball is in the court of the Swedish foreign ministry. We expect them to act or answer. No answer is also an answer, of course, and if there is no answer we’re going to be very disappointed and it will cast a shadow over the visit and our political relations,” said Yigal Palmor, a spokesperson for Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, to the TT news agency on Saturday.
Why isn't the visit being canceled? Why aren't there mass demonstrations scheduled for Bildt's visit? Israel is apparently considering discussing only the article with Bildt while he's here. If so, it will be a short visit. Look what this moron says:
Bildt spoke carefully on Saturday about Israel’s criticism in his first public comments about the incident other than statements published on his blog.

“I’m not passing judgment on it at all,” he said as he made his way to Vaxholm to listen to attend a speech by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

He also commented on how the matter may affect relations between the two countries.

“I don’t think it will affect bilateral relations. We have an interesting and good dialogue when it comes to the peace process in the Middle East. But what I am concerned about is that the Israeli public has gotten the idea that there are anti-Semitic views which are tolerated in Sweden. That idea is wrong according to my view,” Bildt told TT.

“It’s important to say that anti-Semitism isn’t tolerated in Sweden.”
What a farce! Anti-Semitism isn't tolerated in Sweden? Let's say it loud and clear: Sweden is an anti-Semitic country! Is that loud enough to get our ambassador summoned to the Swedish foreign ministry again?

What is Aftonbladet? Well, it's not the National Enquirer. Barry Rubin explains:
We are not talking about a Saudi newspaper or a Hamas radio station but a Swedish newspaper. We are not talking about a neo-Nazi rag, but a daily tabloid closely tied to the Swedish Social Democratic Party. And we are not just talking about an obscure item but an article that received top billing.

On Aug. 18, the newspaper Aftonbladet published an article by a man named Donald Bostrom. The editor responsible is named Asa Linderborg. She is the newspaper's cultural affairs editor. This was no random decision for her. When asked once: "What do you wish for most in life right now?" She answered: "What a simple question. What I want is a free Palestine."

And what did this article say? That Israel's army deliberately murders Palestinian civilians so that it can cut out and sell their organs to sick people needing transplants. The author is a left-wing activist for Palestinian causes, though the newspaper calls him a journalist.
Jonathan Tobin provides translations from the blog of Aftonbladet editor in chief Jan Helin.
Aftonbladet’s editor, reveals that he is intent on doubling down on a campaign of libel while all the while attempting to pose as a victim. Helin claims: “I’m not a racist. I’m not an anti-Semite. Aftonbladet is not an anti-Semitic newspaper. On the contrary, we openly stand against xenophobia.”

But he describes the understandable reaction of Israelis and Jews around the world to his digging up what is one of the old standbys of anti-Semites—a medieval-style blood libel that depicts Jews as blood-sucking vampires who feast on the bodies of non-Jews—as “a wave of hatred.”

Curiously, though he specifies that “Aftonbladet takes no position on the veracity of the facts,” he writes as if the notion that Jews kill Palestinians and steal their organs is not a slander but a debatable proposition and that the ball is in Israel’s court to prove that its soldiers are not guilty of such a preposterous crime.

But just as brazen as his defense of the article is his attack on his country’s ambassador to Israel for having the good sense to try and distance her nation from Aftonbladet’s anti-Semitism. Calling her statement—that she was shocked and appalled at the article—an attack on freedom of the press, Helin writes: “Have you woken up in Iran? No, it is Sweden’s Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier in Tel Aviv, who attacks the Swedish freedom of press and freedom of expression.”
But the biggest farce about Sweden's attempt to hide itself behind freedom of speech is that there is no freedom of speech in Sweeden.
The fact that the anti-Israeli and anti-American writer Helle Klein, for many years the political editor of Aftonbladet, at her blog also speaks warmly of "free speech" is such an extreme case of hypocrisy that it simply cannot go unanswered. Free speech does not exist in Sweden. Although some countries such as Britain and Belgium are trying hard to claim the title, I would personally rate Sweden as being probably the most totalitarian and politically repressive country in the entire Western world as of 2009, and Aftonbladet has made substantial contributions to this repressive climate. Sweden has huge problems caused by mass immigration, and Muslim immigration in particular, but speaking honestly about this is absolutely taboo among the mainstream media. According to journalist Karen Jespersen, Helle Klein has stated that "If the debate is [about] that there are problems caused by refugees and immigrants, we don't want it." Opinion polls have revealed that two out of three Swedes doubt whether Islam can be combined with Swedish society, yet not one party represented in parliament has been genuinely critical of the immigration policies, and there is virtually no real debate about Multiculturalism and Islam.
The Swedes aren't full of Raoul Wallenberg's anymore and the Israeli government cannot pretend that nothing happened here. It's time for strong diplomatic action against Sweden. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman likened the Swedish government's silence in this case to its silence in the face of the Holocaust during World War II (which is what prompted the Swedish foreign ministry to call in Israel's ambassador). The comparison was apt. Will we be silent too?


At 1:28 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

This is now all over the Muslim world as the truth. Far left groups in the US have picked up on it. One little lie will become the truth when enough scream it loudly.

At 3:17 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Why not just go with it. For example lets just add the top buyers for the palestinian organs are Swedish politicians. I know this cause
mahamed muhamed of Ramallah told me. He is a very reliable source. They need the organs because they go good with deer. Or why not what abdul muhamad of gaza said. He witnessed U.S. troops being tortured in swedish concentration camps after being captured in Viet Nam. Free speech.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel will accept Carl Bildt any way. Jews do not like to be rude to anti-Semites. That is their problem.

Hopenchange, any one?

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Birdie said...

If the article has no substance why doesnt Israeli government investigate the allegations to prove to the world that they are not true?

How can you be so sure it isnt?

Why do Israelis conduct autopsies of palestinians that they know the cause of death of since they themselves killes them?

The swedish people are not antisemite.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Birdie, you are an anti-Semite when you say such things. Thank you for being honest. Most people who hate Jews tell them they love them in their next breath. You do believe nothing Israel does will make you believe she is innocent. No Jew has ever committed a blood libel crime in recorded history, yet it continues to persist to this very day and age despite the fact no proof exists to back it up. But no proof has ever been needed to hate Jews. That is the point to anti-Semitism.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Birdie - well then, according to your logic, why aren't there any investigations done about the preparation of Matzahs? Or perhaps about the "killing of Christian children"? Oh sorry, it's "Palestinian children" this century, silly me.


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