General (Ret) James David is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) on the US political system and media:
Sweden denies Israel request to condemn IDF organ harvest article
|Sweden denies Israel request to condemn organ harvest article|
|By The Associated Press and Haaretz Service|
|Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has rejected Israeli calls for an official condemnation of a recent article by a top Swedish newspaper that alleged that Israel Defense Forces soldiers kill Palestinian civilians in order to harvest their organs.Israel’s Foreign Minister had asked Bildt to print a a state rebuttal to the piece, which was published earlier this week in Sweden’s top newspaper Aftonbladet. Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden was expected to make a similar request during a meeting Friday with Sweden’s Deputy Foreign Minister.Bildt denied the request, however, writing in a blog post late Thursday that he would not condemn the article as “freedom of expressionis part of the Swedish constitution.”
“Freedom of expression and press freedom are very strong in our constitution by tradition. And that strong protection has served our democracy and our country well,” Bildt wrote.
“If I were engaged in editing all strange debate contributions in different media I probably wouldn’t have time to do much else.”
Bildt said he understood why the article stirred strong emotions in Israel, but said basic values in society are best protected by free discussion.
The article has enraged Israeli officials, who called it blatantly racist and said it played on vile anti-Semitic themes.
Bildt, meanwhile, says the condemnation of anti-Semitism is “the only issue on which there has ever been complete unity in the Swedish parliament.”
The article in Sweden’s biggest-selling newspaper was first reported internationally by Haaretz.com on Tuesday, and has sparked fierce widespread debate both in Sweden and abroad. The article claims that as far back as 1992, the IDF was taking organs from Palestinian youths it killed, and also mentions an ongoing U.S. crime investigation involving members of the American Jewish community.
The Foreign Ministry is doubtful that the Swedish government will publish a condemnation, and are therefore considering other measures. One idea is to cancel an upcoming visit by Bildt to Israel, which is planned for ten days from now.
Another idea is to allow Bildt to make his visit to Israel, but to use the visit as a well publicized criticism of the article, and for officials to refuse to speak with him about any subject other than the article.
Foreign ministry officials said if there is no official Swedish condemnation this crisis will not be solved.
Lieberman has informed foreign ministry employees to weigh canceling the government press cards of writers from Aptonbladt in Israel, as well as to refuse to assist the paper in any way whatsoever in covering .
It also emerged Thursday thatis considering a slander lawsuit against the writer of the article.
The Swedish government on Thursday distanced itself from a statement by its ambassador to Israel, in which she criticized the article saying that “the condemnation was solely the judgment of the embassy [in Tel Aviv], and designed for an Israeli audience.” The comments came in a statement released Thursday by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
“The article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is as shocking and appalling to us Swedes, as it is to Israeli citizens,” said Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier on Wednesday.
“Just as in Israel, freedom of the press prevails in Sweden,” Bonnier said. “However, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are freedoms which carry a certain responsibility.”
Sweden flatly rejects Israeli request for media quiet
Top Sweden newspaper says IDF kills Palestinians for their organs
Bildt refuses to condemn ‘Aftonbladet’
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has rejected Israeli calls for official condemnation of a Swedish newspaper article about organ harvesting, saying freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy.
Official charges that Israel is taking organs from Palestinian bodies again