Thanks to Sol Salbe for providing this Biderman cartoon from Haaretz. The context is that Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister is due in Israel in a week in his capacity as president of the EU. A small matter of allegations of Swedish blood libel have arisen and threaten to besmirch his visit.
After Aftonbladet published a story claiming the IDF harvested the organs of Palestinians, Israel’s foreign minister announced a holy war against everything Swedish. First he said Bildt might not be welcome. Then he said Bildt was welcome, but Israel would talk about nothing during the trip but the article. Then Israel announced it would refuse to accredit two reporters for the newspaper. Lieberman and Netanyahu have demanded apoligies from the Swedes and a denunciation of the article, which the government is loathe to offer since it would violate press freedom and be unpopular with Swedish voters.
Essentially, the Swedes are watching bemusedly as Lieberman acts like that boiling coffee pot with steam pouring out of its spout till it eventually explodes under pressure. The fulminations of Israel’s rightists pols score points among their rightist supporters in the same way that Terry Schiavo did for Tom DeLay and the Republicans. For the Swedes, standing fast scores points with their electorate. In the end, everyone stands up for their national interest and no one elevates a serious idea. A Swedish newspaper publishes a trashy story with no foundation. Israel makes a federal case out of it. The result is nothing but garbage, which is pretty much the current state of affairs in the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Congratulations to the Israeli government. Now a very minor, completely unsubstantiated and implausible story from the inner pages of a Swedish paper is all over the place in a really big way, and people are buying it. Keep on yapping, oh Israeli government.
The Hasbara Buster says
And what has been the Israeli public’s knee-jerk response? Declare a boycott of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA! I.e., all Swedes are held accountable for all other Swedes’ actions. Isn’t that anti-Sweditism!
Richard Silverstein says
AND collective punishment!
Israel is a master at that!
But what I want to know is what are they going to call Swedish meatballs when they rename them?
And what about Volvos? A favorite car of the tribe from my observation, many right-wing Zionist Jews who are on board with this anti-Swedish fulminating will have to trade them in now. What other Swedish products to boycott, Ingmar Berman movies, perhaps? Ingrid Bergman movies? Casablanca will have to be thrown in the dust-bin, recognized for the piece of nazi euro-trash that it is. (Oh wait, it’s hollywood).
correction: “Ingmar Bergman”, missed the “g” there.
Richard Silverstein says
Not to mention ABBA! How would Israelis survive w/o them?