Monday, 24 August 2009

Swedish blood libel scandal still festering on

At Z-Word, Ben Cohen notes that the "freedom of expression" argument used by the Swedish authorities to justify their refusal to condemn the Aftonbladet article is basically a pretext and an excuse: "Thus far, the Swedish government has portrayed the concept of press freedom as equivalent to the right to chuck vicious, unsubstantiated allegations at anyone you don’t like, especially if they are Israeli." Cohen also points out that

...Sweden’s government is not being asked to revoke press freedom but to comment on an article entirely built on lies that was published in the country’s principal daily newspaper.

However, there is a long-established tendency in Sweden to take Palestinian claims at face value, no matter, apparently, how outlandish these may be. Gerald Steinberg points out that the Swedish government is a “major source of funding” for NGOs whose strategy is based upon vilifying Israel with scant regard for such pesky considerations as facts...