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Israeli Sues Swedish Tabloid for $7.5 Million

An Israeli activist filed a $7.5 million suit in a US court against the Swedish tabloid that charged that the IDF sold organs of Arab terrorist.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/26/2009, 1:03 PM / Last Update: 8/26/2009, 2:08 PM

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An Israeli activist has filed a $7.5 million lawsuit in a New York court against the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, which charged that the IDF sold organs of Arab terrorists.

Attorney Guy Ophir, who previously has filed suits in Israel against violators of non-smoking laws, said that the tabloid’s allegations were anti-Semitic and in effect were a “racist blood libel” against Jews and Israeli soldiers.

He said that the suit was filed in New York because the writer of the allegations published in Aftonbladet referred to rabbis who reside in New York and were charged with being involved in the alleged sale of organs. The Swedish paper also is distributed in New York.

The suit follows by several days a statement by Defense Minister Ehud Barak that he wants to sue the tabloid, which the former IDF Chief of Staff labeled “libelous and unacceptable.”

Israeli Government Press Office spokesman Daniel Seaman stated this past Sunday, “We are not obliged to accredit” two Aftonbladet reporters. “It will take time. We have to conduct verifications, maybe to examine their blood type to know whether they can be organ donors," he stated.

Ophir previously has won a 2007 lawsuit that ended with a court ruling that owners of restaurants and other public stores must prevent workers and customers from smoking while frequenting their establishments.

The court ruled that a Tel Aviv restaurant pay Ophir NIS 3,000 shekels ($750) for damages plus legal costs after he was exposed to smoke in the restaurant.