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Sweden's shame over Israeli 'organ theft' nonstory

Why won't its government condemn the outrageous article that accused Israeli soldiers of harvesting Palestinian organs?

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The Swedish government has refused to condemn a "blood libel" published by one of Sweden's leading newspapers, Aftonbladet.

The article claims that Jewish soldiers in Israel killed Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. The writer of the article, Donald Bostrom, has acknowledged that "he has no idea whether the accusations are true." Yet a widely read Swedish newspaper was prepared to publish this undocumented and highly volatile accusation without requiring its author to present any credible evidence.

This false accusation is reminiscent of the medieval blood libels that falsely accused Jews of killing Christian children in order to use their blood for religious rituals. It is also reminiscent of the notorious Czarist forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. One expects this sort of thing from Iranian or Syrian newspapers, but not from Swedish papers.

Not only has Foreign Minister Carl Bildt refused to issue a personal condemnation of the current "organ libel," his foreign ministry explicitly disavowed the denunciation that was issued by Sweden's ambassador to Israel, who had called the article "shocking and appalling." In a self-righteous statement, Mr. Bildt claimed that condemnation of the article would be inappropriate because freedom of expression is a part of the Swedish Constitution.

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