ModernityBlog

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Atzmon’s Unstinting Racism

with 21 comments

Many blogs and the media have already covered the disgusting racist stories coming out of Sweden concerning organs.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before age old racist tropes would be updated for the 21st century, still it is depressing to see that a leading Swedish newspaper could print this nauseating rubbish.

Not unsurprisingly that well-known anti-Jewish racist, Gilad Atzmon, has leaped on the bandwagon:

[Linked to a cached copy, not that awful racist site]

“But now the news about Israeli trafficking of human organ is spreading to Western mainstream media. Ynet, the biggest Israeli online newspaper, reported today that “Leading Swedish daily Aftonbladet claimed in one of its articles that IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to trade in their organs.”

A few weeks ago we had a debate here on PTT whether Zionism is a colonial apparatus or not. One of the Materialist arguments against the perception of Zionism as a colonial practice was that Palestine has never been too attractive economically; it lacks oil, gold or minerals. However, this may change now. People who specialise in organ theft may find Palestine to be heaven on earth. In the light of the latest vastly spreading accusations, the Jewish national project maybe is colonial after all. “

I wonder if there is any depth to which Atzmon will not plunder? I do hope that his entries on Wikipedia and Citizendium are updated accordingly, but I somehow doubt it.

Update 1:
Engage is covering it, and it is possible to make a comment to the editor via this page (corrected link!)

Be aware they delete comments they don’t like, btw what is “freedom of speech” in Swedish?


Update 2:
Jonathan Leman has more, in the original Swedish, and via Google’s translator.

Update 3:
Politics.ie – The Irish Politics Website covers it too as “IDF kill Palestinians for their organs: Sweden’s Aftonbladet”, thankfully many see through it.

Update 4:
European Journalism Centre picked up the story via local.se:

“Sweden’s embassy in Tel Aviv has sharply condemned Sweden’s largest circulation newspaper Aftonbladet for publishing an article accusing the Israeli Defence Forces of harvesting the organs of Palestinians. “The article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is as shocking and appalling to us Swedes, as it is to Israeli citizens. We share the dismay expressed by Israeli government representatives, media and the Israeli public. This Embassy cannot but clearly distance itself from it,” writes Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier on the Swedish Embassy website. Aftonbladet’s article, ‘Våra söner plundras på sina organ’ (‘They plunder the organs of our sons’), has sparked outrage in Israel. Published on Monday, the article by photographer and writer Donald Boström accuses the Israeli army of involvement in the illegal human organ trade.”

More at local.se.

Update 5: The European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA) see it as Recycling Old Libels.

Update 6:
Scanning the web and blogs via Google the original Aftonbladet story has been picked up by the Far Right, some extremists blogs and even on David Icke’s forums.

Update 7: The author of the piece, Donald Boström says “But whether it’s true or not – I have no idea, I have no clue.” “

There you have it, Boström pushes a racist libel in a national newspaper and he’s not even sure if it is true or not. What a sorry excuse for a journalist he is.

JPost has more:

“A report in Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet earlier this week alleging that Israel was harvesting Palestinians’ organs for transplant continued to cause ripples on Wednesday with statements by Israeli officials, the Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the writer of the report.

“I have a personal opinion, it concerns me that it’s true,” Donald Bostrom, who penned the story, told Israel Radio en route to an emergency meeting at the editorial offices Aftonbladet, presumably to discuss the aftermath of the report.

“I was [present] during the interview that night, I was a witness. It concerns me to the extent that I want it to be investigated,” Bostrom told the station. “But whether it’s true or not – I have no idea, I have no clue.”

He was referring to a Palestinian witness who recounted an incident where a Palestinian was allegedly taken by the Israeli military and his body returned several days later – lacking some internal organs. “

Also at the Jewish Chronicle and the Torygraph.

Update 8: Strangely enough, the Guardian is not covering the story. Ops, stand corrected the Guardian’s search engine didn’t find any articles, but there’s a small AP one here.

Update 9: Norm on it.

Update 10: The comments on Jan Helin’s blog show that such racism is apparently accepted by good few of the posters, hmm. Here’s a translation.

Update 11:
At RevLeft they have a thread on the topic, a few posters realize the racist nature of these accusations, but sadly not enough.

Update 12:
The other Swedish newspaper, Sydsvenskan, has a Leader’s blog on it.

Update 13: Haaretz on Swedish daily hits back at critics of IDF organ harvest story:

“Helin called it an opinion piece raising questions of Israel in the context of a suspected link to Israel in that U.S. case. He denied any suggestion of anti-Semitism from his paper.

Sweden’s ambassador to Israel issued a press release on Wednesday condemning the article which appeared in Aftonbladet. “

Update 14: The Swedish government is rather maladroit:

The Swedish government on Thursday distanced itself from a statement by its ambassador to Israel, in which she criticized a newspaper article claiming Israel Defense Forces troops killed Palestinian youths and harvested their organs.

“The condemnation was solely the judgment of the embassy [in Tel Aviv], and designed for an Israeli audience,” said a statement released Thursday by the Swedish Foreign Ministry”

Update 15: Carl Bildt seems to lack political common sense and decency:

“Bildt wrote in a blog post late Thursday that he wouldn’t condemn an article in Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that suggested IDF troops harvested the organs of dead Palestinians. He says freedom of expression is part of the Swedish constitution.

Bildt said the condemnation of anti-Semitism was the only issue on which there has ever been complete unity in the Swedish parliament.”

Elsewhere Bildt says:

“Bildt however expressed understanding for the feelings of the Israeli people over the article penned by photojournalist Donald Bodström in which he alleged that the Israeli Defence Force systematically removed and traded the organs of dead Palestinian men.

“That the accusations of the article’s author awoke strong feelings in Israel is not difficult to understand. Bitter historical experience has led to a natural and strong sensitivity to implications or accusations which could give antisemitism a chance to develop,” Bildt wrote.

The foreign minister concluded by defending the importance of maintaining a free press and protecting freedom of speech but said that there were lessons to be learned from both this and the Muhammad cartoon debate.

“We live in a world where the public debate spills over old boundaries and where we all in various contexts would be wise to be aware of the historical, national and religious sensitivities.” “

I suppose that means that some Swedes can feel smug about themselves, but it does little to convince others that Blood Libels and other racists accusations are covered by blanket approval of “freedom of speech”.

Update 16:
Barry Rubin on The blood libel that won’t die.

Update 17:
Part of this story has gone global, but not in the original sense. Most of the newer articles concentrate on the Israeli government’s reaction to the absurd and vile accusations, but don’t necessarily debunk or question the validity of the original story.

A recent search of the web reveals that Reuters, Associated press, the Torygraph, a Syrian news agency, PressTV, the Spectator and various Arab news sites have references to Donald Boström and Aftonbladet.

Please bear in mind that the first web sites and blogs to push Boström’s story were on the Extreme Right, either committed purveyors of antisemitism or neo-Nazis and their friends.

Aftonbladet has come in for criticism in Sweden from Sydsvenskan, Local.se and Stockholm News.

There may probably be even more in Swedish language press and media, if you can read it.

So I think it paints a false picture to use Donald Boström’s strange mixture of gullibility and greed against the Swedes, all nine plus million of them.

I doubt the editor of Aftonbladet will ever admit his own error of judgment in running the story, but that is probably more to do with his position as editor and his own lack of character, than anything else, as Robert Nyström puts it:

“Helin then describes how a hateful campaign now has started against the cultural section of Aftonbladet, and mentions that he quickly received 200 hateful emails from all around the world.

He thereby tries to make Aftonbladet into some kind of martyr in the name of press freedom, instead of doing something much more suited: giving the public an apology for the sloppy editorial policy of the paper. This is despicable in its dishonesty and shamefulness. “

Update 18: There’s been a lot of comment on this issue, but this from SO Muffin is surely one of the most succinct and lucid.

“This thread is doing funny things to people. With abject surprise, I have to agree to every single word of Judy. What next?

It is not as if Europe per se was anti-Semitic or if there was a huge tidal wave of anti-Semitism, or even anti-Zionism afoot. Those of us who actually live here (i.e. in Europe) can tell it from our personal experience.

Yet, the Aftonbladet affair is vitally important and it is absolutely vital to react to it and expose it for the toxic smear it is.

Racism (and, folks, anti-Semitism is neither more nor less than plain, stupid racism) is based on racist tropes, from the outright objectionable (oily Greeks, hook-nosed Jews, idle Blacks, stupid Irish, smelly Italians, treacherous Arabs) to the thoroughly, absolutely nasty (Jews slaughtering Gentile children to use their blood, Blacks raping blonde virgins, …). Such tropes are emphatically not some sort of harmless background: they are the major vehicle of desensitization, so that people become inured to racism and willing to break social and personal taboos to advance their hate.

Now, it is of course possible for an individual Jew, like for any other individual, to kill a non-Jew for his-or-her organs. Unlikely, but possible. It is equally possible, say, for a Black to rape a blonde virgin (although statistically it is hugely more likely for a blonde rapist to do so). But, firstly, there is a huge difference between an individual perpetrating this sort of crime and an accusation that it is done collectively: that, say, the Blacks of Chicago, or Jews of Israel are engaged, purposefully and together, in this sort of enterprise (as claimed by Aftonbladet).

Secondly, everybody but a hardened racist will realise the sheer danger in this sort of blank accusation. Hence, everybody but a hardened racist will require hard evidence from reliable sources. The only “evidence” in the Aftonbladet article is that bodies of Palestinians who have been killed in encounters with IDF have been returned to their families “with stitches along their abdomen”. Well, even the author would have known perfectly well that in every organised country (yes, even in Sweden) everybody who has died an unnatural death will be autopsied (in Israel, by the Forensic Medicine Institute in Abu Qabbir, in South Tel Aviv) – and stitches along the abdomen are (as everybody who has viewed any of all these morbid police procedural dramas will know) characteristic of an autopsy. To use this (knowingly!) as the sole source for a canard based on long-standing anti-Semitic trope is a deliberate act of anti-Semitism of the highest order.

And this precisely is why there should be a reaction. Not a violent one, not burning Swedish embassies or boycotting IKEA (founded by a member of the Swedish Nazi Party) or boycotting Swedish academics. Ther should be reaction which is dignified, but resolute. Until the Swedish elites recognise the sort of racist viper that they have nourished at their bosom.”


Update 19:
Read J.J.Goldberg’s The Swedish Press Exposes the Invasion of the Jewish Body-snatchers.

Update 20: Aftonbladet are pushing this racist nonsense for the second time with an article that appeared in the Sunday edition by Oisín Cantwell and Urban Andersson.

Update 21: Seth Freeman has a truly awful post on CiF, Israel cries wolf over ‘blood libel’.

Written by modernityblog

20/08/2009 at 00:56

21 Responses

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  1. [...] wouldn?t want to show the guy with the rifle from the neck up during this particular segment. Atzmon’s Unstinting Racism – modernityblog.wordpress.com 08/19/2009 Many blogs and the media have already covered the [...]

  2. Trading organs now? I take it that anti-semites are no longer satisfied with the Blood Libel and now want an Offal Libel too?

    jams O'Donnell

    20/08/2009 at 15:50

  3. Well, that’s a way of putting it.

    modernityblog

    20/08/2009 at 16:00

  4. Of course YOU censor comments! We got sent a few that were sent here, “unpublished”. Know the word for Freedom of Speech in Swedish?

    btw, we have the official translation from Swedish into English on our site. Far more accurate than the Google one.

    mary

    21/08/2009 at 10:44

  5. Mary, 3 points:

    1) I have a policy of not allowing neo-fascists etc to push their filth on *my* blog.

    2) Having said that, I have allowed you and other apologists for Atzmon to comment on numerous occasions

    3) My blog is not the blog of a national newspaper, so *different criteria* apply.

    I hope that clears it up?

    modernityblog

    21/08/2009 at 11:11

  6. This is simply troubling and bizarre. Scandinavian insularity? What kind of perversity leads a modern European to permit something like this to be publsihed in his newspaper?

    mesquito

    21/08/2009 at 15:06

  7. What this outright racism does is provide a smokescreen for the all too real crimes of the Israeli state against the oppressed Palestinians and feeds into the anti semitism still all too prevalent in that part of the world.

    LeeCarr

    21/08/2009 at 18:47

  8. I see Lee, so Jews are responsible for antisemitism, is that what you are saying?

    modernityblog

    21/08/2009 at 19:00

  9. Pardon??? The story you highlighted feeds into the existing anti semitism, not the actions of the Israeli state, which wouldn’t be an excuse anyway.

    It is just that these absurd conspiracy theory stories draw some peoples attention away from the real situation and the actual crimes of the Israeli state.

    Luckily most of us are not that stupid.

    LeeCarr

    21/08/2009 at 19:41

  10. Well, there is a little bit more to it than “these absurd conspiracy theory stories draw some peoples attention away” they also promote attacks on Jews, physical attacks

    They promote a vulgar racist picture of Israelis as semi-Satanic and should be opposed on their own, irrespective of any comment relating to the Government of Israel.

    modernityblog

    21/08/2009 at 20:43

  11. Totally agree and while these views are thankfully those of a minority, we have seen that these minorities left unchallenged can do great harm.

    So keep up the good work!

    LeeCarr

    21/08/2009 at 20:52

  12. [...] being held by someone who I can only suppose is from the Far Right, as he seems to believe in the Offal Libel, that Israelis harvest the organs from dead Palestinians. Unbelievable. Far Right crank and demented [...]

  13. [...] in Uncategorized by modernityblog on September 12, 2009 9:48 pm Just when you thought that the Offal libel was largely confined to a greedy and unprincipled journalist in Sweden, it got [...]

  14. [...] Blog on Gilad Atzmon (see [...]

  15. [...] More recently Atzmon was portraying Israelis and Jews as ghouls and traders in body parts. [...]

  16. [...] Sweden, YouTube — modernityblog @ 3:48 am That nauseating and disturbing individual, Gilad Atzmon, is at it again, droning on about the “Offal libel” once more, but seemingly in all [...]

  17. [...] Sweden, YouTube — modernityblog @ 3:48 am That nauseating and disturbing individual, Gilad Atzmon, is at it again, droning on about the “Offal libel” once more, but seemingly in all [...]

  18. [...] This is territory where we have been before. [...]

  19. [...] leave a comment » I freely confess that I can’t understand why anyone with a pulse or the ability to scratch themselves would be taken in by the Offal libel. [...]

  20. [...] Gilad Atzmon and racist tropes. [...]

  21. [...] the American SWP still think that Atzmon is an “anti-Zionist” despite the fact that he pushes racist material, seems to read David Duke and argues that Jews are behind the French and Russian [...]


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