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Swedish Blood Libel Journalist Plans Visit to Israel

A nationalist group has asked Minister Eli Yishai to ban entry of Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, who spread the organ harvesting blood libel.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/21/2009, 2:45 PM / Last Update: 10/21/2009, 3:38 PM

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A nationalist group has appealed to Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) to prevent the entry of Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, who spread the blood libel alleging that IDF soldiers sold organs of Arab terrorists. Bostrom published his allegations in August and is planning to arrive in Israel next month for the Dimona Conference in the Negev.

 

Im Tirtzu (If You Wish) wrote to the minister, “Everyone understands the difference between his poisonous anti-Semitic articles and freedom of expression” and knows that his articles "are a modern blood libel that recall the same form of anti-Semitism in Europe in the Middle Ages. Anyone who thinks this is freedom of expression should return to school learn history.”

 

The group asked Yishai “to take all possible measures to prevent this journalist...from stepping foot on the Land of Israel."

 

Last week, a media watchdog official wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Bostrom’s allegations "are ugly, false, and harmful to peace efforts.” Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA, (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), that Bostrom’s article in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s leading daily, “has quickly metastasized to mainstream Muslim media, spawning cartoons of Jews stealing body parts and drinking Arab blood. These have been published in Syria, Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, to name a few.”

 

Last month, an Algerian newspaper claimed that gangs directed by Jews round up and smuggle Algerian children into Israel, where they sell their organs. Iranian Press TV reported, “An international Jewish conspiracy to kidnap children and harvest their organs is gathering momentum."

 

Levin noted that despite the blood libel, the National Federation of Algerian Journalists presented him with an award for excellence. Bostrom, in his acceptance speech, charged that 1,000 Arabs were victims of organ harvesting since 1960.

 

After Israeli officials and media harshly condemned the report by Bostrom, who admitted that his report was unconfirmed and based on unsubstantiated claims by Arabs in Judea and Samaria, Aftonbladet stated there was no evidence of the charges but still demanded an international inquiry.

 

However, Levin wrote, “Francis Delmonico, a Harvard surgeon and international transplant specialist who was quoted in the Aftonbladet article on the issue of organ theft in general, told me he found the Aftonbladet charges completely inconsistent with his extensive interaction with Israeli doctors…. Like many others, Dr. Delmonico noted that Mr. Bostrom's scenario in which Ghanem [an Arab] was supposedly shot before having his organs removed for trafficking was ‘not feasible from a surgical vantage.’"

 

Ghanem’s family refuted several "facts” that Bostrom wrote in his original accusations.