Are the Swedes hypocritical over the IDF blood libel?


By Miriam Shaviv
August 21, 2009
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Israel is doing its best to turn the antisemitic slander in one Swedish newspaper into a full-blown diplomatic incident. Now Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has asked his Swedish counterpart to print a state rebuttal to the piece published in the Aftonbladet tabloid earlier this week, alleging that IDF soldiers kidnapped and killed Palestinians in order to take their internal organs.

The Swedish have refused - as they should have. Repulsive as the piece is, it is simply not the government's responsibility. The Israelis should be going after the newspaper, not the foreign ministry.

According to blogger Meryl Yourish, however, by refusing to apologise, the Swedes are behaving with appalling double-standards. She points out that when a Swedish newspaper published a sketch of the Prophet Mohammad as a dog, government representatives apologised to the Pakistanis.

As she herself notes, the difference is mainly one of tone - the government also defended freedom of the press and the government minister who shut down a website on which the sketch appeared resigned.

But even if it isn't, and the Swedes are hypocrites, surely the answer is that they shouldn't have apologised to the Muslims either - not that they should apologise to the Israelis as well?

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Sat, 08/22/2009 - 22:09

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No it's not a matter of 'tone'. The piece about the IDF taking organs from Palestinians was every bit as bad as the cartoons.

The Swedish govenment is being completetely hypocritical. How wonderful that they have the EU Presidency until the end of the year....


mottip

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 07:10

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The point is not only the publication in itself, which now has turned into a series of defamatory articles, but the attitude of the Swedish officials who soon are to take over EU presidency.

Beyond the issue of the Freedom of Speech, there is the prospect of antisemitic hardliners of indulging in an orgy of Israel bashing, under the noblest democratic guise.

Surely the publication of the articles in Aftobbladet is an ill meant provocation, but the haughty reaction of the Swedish government certainly helps calling a spade spade...

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