31 January '10
Jesús Alcalá—a lawyer, writer and former chairman of the Swedish branch of Amnesty International—recently wrote an article in the Swedish daily newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, titled “The Dangers of Careless Journalism.”
Alcalá has harsh words for the tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet’s publication of Donald Boström’s article on “Israeli organ harvesting”—and for Åsa Linderborg, the Aftonbladet editor who continues to stand by the story:
Every year around thirty different human rights organizations – international, Israeli and Palestinian – report on abuses and violations of human rights in Israel, on the West Bank, and in Gaza. The criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is often harsh. But none of these organizations have ever accused or suspected Israel of stealing organs from Palestinians that the Israeli army has killed. Not Amnesty. Not Human Rights Watch. Not a single of Israel’s many Jewish and Palestinian human rights organizations. Not a single one.
I have no reason to believe that Boström is an anti-Semite. I am sure that he is driven by genuine concern for the rights of the Palestinians. His cause is good. I believe the same of Åsa Linderborg.
Still. The end cannot justify the means. The carelessness is dangerous. Boström is familiar with the conflict in the Middle East. Is it then too much to ask that he avoids any connection to the myths of Jewish blood libels? Is it not careless to lend credence to rumors that are consequently exploited to strengthen hatred? Barely a month after Boström’s article is published; the Algerian paper al-Khabar writes that a Jewish organ trade group has kidnapped a great number of Algerian and Moroccan children.
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