Swedish and Spanish Papers Take Bigotry To New Levels

Posted: 9/3/2009 6:58:00 PM
Author: Reut Cohen
Source: This article was originally posted on the Reut Cohen blog on Sept. 2, 2009.

Swedish and Spanish Papers Take Bigotry To New Levels
by Reut Cohen

Last month a Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, cited freedom of the press in order to justify an article which accused IDF soldiers of harvesting Palestinian organs. The claims in the article were so horribly uncorroborated and reminiscent of an ancient Jewish blood libel, that I was not even inclined to comment on such drivel at the time.

The Swedish paper is certainly within their rights to publish any article, but this same paper didn't take to kindly to an article titled "Antisemitbladet" (a clear mockery of the name of Aftonbladet) from a rival paper in their country.

The author of the article, Donald Bostrom, connects Israel's supposed organ trafficking with the distasteful episode in New Jersey involving Jewish Americans and the alleged sales of kidneys from donors in Israel. While those involved in the illegal organ dealing in New Jersey should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, to make a connection based on blatant prejudices and no clear evidence makes it too easy for Mr. Bostrom to be ridiculed. Organ trafficking is rampant in countries like Egypt, Pakistan, China, Colombia and the Philippines according to the World Health Organization. In July, Al Arabiya broke a story which involved a potential marriage between a Muslim man and a Filipino woman for her kidney.

The nonsense published in Aftonbladet, which is no better than a rag that publishes unsubstantiated claims based on anonymous rumors, should not be taken seriously and should be thoroughly ridiculed. This is the same paper that attacked Israel with a headline of "Crucified Arafat" during Easter of 2002. The article, which defended the godfather of Palestinian fanaticism and terror, referred to an outdated, asinine accusation that Jews crucified Jesus.

This week, El Monde, a Spanish daily paper published an article in defense of including David Irving, a Holocaust denier, as one of their experts to be interviewed in order to mark 70 years since the beginning of World War II. Irving is no more an expert on the Holocaust than Yasser Arafat was an expert on peace. It does not come as a surprise to this Israeli-American, however, that Spain would afford such undeserving respect to someone like Irving considering their blatant hostility toward Israel. For such a beautiful country, the Spanish media and many Spanish politicians have become quite ugly when it comes to maintaining objectivity and moral clarity.

Ultimately, Holocaust denial in Spanish daily papers and poorly researched blood libel articles in Swedish rags are allowed under freedom of speech. It is interesting to note the pronounced antagonism of these same publications and their defenders when their motivations are called into question.