Thursday, August 27, 2009

Implications of Swedish Newspaper's Blood-Libel: The New Anti-Semitism: the State of Israel as the "Jew" of the World

 Take Them to Court - Yossi Klein Halevi

The crucial point about the accusation, raised by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, that Israeli soldiers murdered Palestinians for their body parts, is that the current discourse in Europe on the Middle East conflict allows the most outrageous lies about Israel to appear credible. No real proof is required to accuse the Jewish state of crimes that seem to be dredged from Europe's oldest and darkest fantasies about the Jews. Indeed, just as it was once possible, not so long ago, to attribute the most vile traits to Jews, so it is now to the Jewish state.
Most of all, Israel needs to use this affair to challenge the general climate of demonization in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe, and expose the conceptual links between classical anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  Accusations like the Swedish blood libel aren't just a threat to Israel's good name, but could become a physical threat to Jews everywhere, by encouraging the fantasies of genocidal jihadists. Terrorists could take "revenge" for the kind of Israeli "crimes" raised by Aftonbladet. In the current atomsphere, where the most inconceivable conspiracy theories involving Jews are readily believed by millions in the Muslim world, Aftonbladet's recklessness is potentially an incitement to murder. 

1 comment:

George Jochnowitz said...

Both Aftonbladet and the Swedish government are responding to Israel's anger at the report that Israelis kill Arabs to sell their organs by saying that Sweden has freedom of speech. Yet every country that has freedom of speech also has laws against libel. The story in Aftonbladet was written by a reporter who has since said that he didn't know whether or not it was true. He defended writing the article on the grounds that the issue ought to be investigated. He has no idea that writing something that is not known to be fact but that will lead to intense hatred is not proper journalism. Furthermore, he is writing in a world where Israel is the most hated country on earth--a world where Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction, and presumably, the destruction of its citizens. The reporter, in all likelihood, agrees with Ahmadinejad. The fact that Sweden has freedom of speech and of the press should now be an occasion for Sweden and the world to disscuss just how intense and vicious anti-Zionism can be.