Finally, some sense regarding the Swedish newspaper article claiming the IDF harvested Palestinian organs. And the “sense” comes from an unlikely source: Swedish Jews themselves. They’re telling Avigdor Lieberman and his rightist government to butt out of the entire affair: kol ha-kavod:
Lena Posner, president of the Official Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, said…that Israel’s demand that Sweden officially condemn the article…”had blown the issue completely out of proportion.”
“No one even noticed the article – which is, incidentally, anti-Semitic and absolutely untruthful – when it was buried in the last pages of Aftonbladet,” Posner explained. “But the Israeli response pushed the journalist who wrote it, Daniel Bostrom, to the front of the stage and into the heart of the Swedish mainstream.”
“What’s even worse is that by making the preposterous demand for a government condemnation, the debate has changed from anti-Semitism to freedom of speech in Sweden: Instead of concentrating on debunking the story, they have made it a freedom of speech issue. The government is not going to condemn the article – freedom of speech here is sacrosanct,” added Posner, who said she could see how the Swedish mainstream media, which at first attacked the tabloid for printing the piece, were now supporting it, based on the principle of preserving the freedom of speech.
Bibi and Yvette may want to ponder these polling figures and understand that if they keep pestering the Swedish government it will only make Israel less popular in Sweden and rally Swedes around a besieged government:
The results of a poll conducted by Svenska Dagbladet showed that 66 per cent of the 1,300 respondents ruled out offering any apology to Israel, 31 percent said the Aftonbladet should apologize, and only 3 percent supported a formal apology by the Swedish government. In addition, 92 percent of the 4,500 participants in a survey taken by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper said that Israel’s demand for an apology was “unreasonable.”
Of course, Lieberman’s pandering on this issue isn’t meant to address Sweden at all. The foreign minister could care less how Israel is seen in Sweden or anywhere else (a strange statement to make about someone whose job it is to care about precisely these things). Nor does he give a fig how this impacts Sweden’s Jews. He cares about how he and his government are perceived within Israeli rightist circles. So this entire escapade is for internal consumption. Wouldn’t be the first time…