Israel vs Sweden

August 31st, 2009 at 12:32 pm by David Farrar

The Economist reports:

BARELY two months into its six-month presidency of the European Union, ’s government is entangled in a scrap with . Because it pitches Swedes’ cherished free-speech principles against Middle Eastern sensibilities, it is loaded with a wearying sense of déjà vu—and a potential to escalate.

It started on August 17th when , a Swedish tabloid, published an incendiary article claiming that Israeli soldiers had harvested the organs of some Palestinians whom they had shot. Within hours, Israel’s deputy foreign minister had denounced the article for racism and demanded that it be condemned by the Swedish government. …

Sweden’s ambassador in Tel Aviv obligingly called the article shocking. But she was countermanded by the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt. Israel, he wrote in his blog, wanted the Swedish government to distance itself from the article or take steps to prevent a replication, but that was not how the country worked. This robust defence of freedom of expression was endorsed by the prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Matters quickly deteriorated. An internet campaign called for a boycott of Swedish companies, including IKEA and Volvo. A planned official visit by Mr Bildt to Israel may be under threat. Lawsuits have begun. And Sweden stands accused by prominent Israelis, including the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, of blood libel and .

This has uncomfortable echoes of Denmark’s cartoon wars, started when a Danish newspaper published drawings of the prophet Muhammad in late 2005.

The article in the Swedish tabloid newspaper was racist and gross anti-semitism. It was designed to give credibility to the lies spread in many Middle East countries about Jews and organ harvesting.

The newspaper incidentally is owned by Swedish Trade Union Confederation and has a history of anti-semitic articles.

Now it is debatable about whether the Swedish Government should or should not condemn the article, but there is absolutely no way the Government should be trying to prevent the article, or be held responsible for the actions of the newspaper.

So the campaign against Sweden, and especially Swedish companies, is misguided and wrong. Do not hold a country responsible for the actions of one newspaper.

There are some parallels to the Danish cartoon controversy. The aspect in common is the misguided desire to punish an entire country for the editorial decisions of one newspaper.

But I have not seen any burning down of Swedish embassies or incitements to violence against Sweden.  A boycott campaign is not the same as death threats against journalists.

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59 Responses to “Israel vs Sweden”

  1. starboard (2,538 comments) says:

    ..why cant they all just get on…ffs…move on..

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  2. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Bloody joos. Not only are they stealing our money and our land, now they’re stealing body parts.

    It is quite amazing that anybody would even publish something like that without doing at least basic fact checking. But I agree that you cannot hold a government or a people accountable for the incompetence or bias of their media – hell, where would NZ end up if that was international law!!

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  3. andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    There are some parallels to the Danish cartoon controversy. The aspect in common is the misguided desire to punish an entire country for the editorial decisions of one newspaper.

    That is drawing a long bow indeed!

    An internet campaign to boycott Swedish goods is not in the same league as what happens when the religion of perpetual grievance gets insulted.

    Nor is this internet campaign official – Israel protested the article to the Swedish ambassador in Tel Aviv.

    Wouldn’t NZ do the same if an article appeared in a Swedish paper accusing Maoris of eating babies? You bet we would.

    There might even be an internet campaign to boycott Swedish goods – you never know.

    As far as I am concerned that Economist article is just trying to stir Anti Israel feeling by beating up what is at the end of the day a trivial incident over a banal article in an almost fringe Swedish Newspaper.

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  4. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I agree in principle DPF.

    The parallels to the Dutch cartoons is tenuous at best one was satire and comedy the other is reported as truth.
    Very big difference.

    However it makes common sense that you should be held accountable if you didn’t check out the facts first as the media do have a big effect on driving opinion.

    AP press and Reuters are very anti-Israel and print and disseminate reports and articles from people who have printed incorrect and deliberate tripe in the past.
    Our own DOMPOST prints attributes from both and they have been incorrect both in fact and ideological push on many occasions.

    What is the case here, was common sense applied by the Swedes?

    Remembering that they as a govt knowingly finance terrorists by freeing up their monies by paying for humanitarian stuff.
    So does the Swedish Govt really have clean hands here?

    Then you have the Middle Eastern countries Govts (mostly Islamic) who control their media.
    Shit you can disappear if you don’t toe the line.

    So all the anti-semitism and libels and plain lying that goes on in those media that is reprinted elsewhere who should be held accountable for that as they know what the sources are?

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  5. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    But I agree that you cannot hold a government or a people accountable for the incompetence or bias of their media – hell, where would NZ end up if that was international law!!

    On the podium at North Korean Media Awards :)

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  6. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Doesn’t Sweden have libel laws? Why not pursue the newspaper in the courts?

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  7. garethw (205 comments) says:

    I haven’t read the article, so why is it “racist” and “anti-semitic”? Publishing absurd stories about made-up war-time atrocities certainly isn’t anything to do with race by default, so can I ask what made this article racist?

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  8. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Wait, has the Swedish government called the articles BS, or are they refusing to comment on them at all?

    From what has been said it appears as if the Swedish government is refusing to comment on whether the claims are correct, which is something different entirely from whether they are offensive or racist.

    The Swedish government should be saying that there is no evidence of what is claimed happened did actually happen, and more than that, it does not seem credible in the least. By refusing to denounce these ridiculous claims the Swedish government is leaving itself wide open to the accusation that they are taking them seriously.

    Trying to make this a “freedom of the press” issue is detracting from what the Israelis are getting upset about. The Israelis arent likely to be calling for a clamp down on the freedom of the press, they are more likely getting the shits because …

    “Sweden’s ambassador in Tel Aviv obligingly called the article shocking. But she was countermanded by the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt.”

    Having the clear and fair statement that the article was “shocking” countermanded by the boss back home is ridiculous. Bildt doesnt understand what freedom of the press or freedom of speech actually means. You see this often in unthinking politicians. They dont get that freedom of the press and freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism.

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  9. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    garethw (80) Vote: 0 1 Says:

    August 31st, 2009 at 12:58 pm
    I haven’t read the article, so why is it “racist” and “anti-semitic”? Publishing absurd stories about made-up war-time atrocities certainly isn’t anything to do with race by default, so can I ask what made this article racist?

    Because to criticise Israel is to be racist. israel is beyond reproach and must never be criticised. We must forever be in thrall to the suffering of the shoah because no people before or since have suffered as much. yeah right.

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  10. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “israel is beyond reproach and must never be criticised.”

    So there it is everyone, MyNameIsJack has just said that he considers the article a fair “criticism” of Israel. So any defense of the nation is therefore condoning their actions. What else are we supposed to think when he doesnt give any consideration to the possibility that the accusations are insane and offensive if made about anyone.

    Oh no, you cant disagree with the article for any reason other than trained reflex. That is the ONLY reason why you would think the article is in any way bad.

    You disgust me MyNameIsJack, and I am sure you disgust others here and in real life as well.

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  11. Matt (227 comments) says:

    Presumably to go with robust freedom of expression laws Sweeden also has robust anti-defamation laws. Surely all the Sweedish government ought to do is to invite the Israeli government to take advantage of them?

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  12. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    “So the campaign against Sweden, and especially Swedish companies, is misguided and wrong.

    No, the (boycott) campaign against Sweden’s companies is exactly the correct thing to do.

    It is saying to those companies and therefore the Swedes who gain from those companies “We don’t like that attitude”.

    It is in fact the only form of protest that can work, all others rely on either mindless violence or bloody politicians, neither of which has any use what so ever.

    As an aside I am sorry that once again the ignorant racist scum (of both opinions) will try (are trying) to side-track this thread into yet another rant on their side of the Jew/Arab conflict.

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  13. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Is it anti-Semitism if it is true?

    Infamous Chief Pathologist to Once Again Evade Punishment

    by Ezra HaLevi

    “According to the arrangement, the prosecution will request that Prof. Hiss receive only a reprimand for his involvement in the unauthorized removal of parts from 125 bodies. In exchange, Hiss will admit to the acts…..
    ……Hiss was fired from his position as Director of the institute shortly after the courts became involved in allegations against him, but has remained the Chief Pathologist at the Institute. The plea bargain is subject to the approval of the court.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518

    http://www.counterpunch.org/weir08282009.html

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  14. serge (108 comments) says:

    nah, I don’t like swedes, they taste like chicken………..

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  15. Matt (227 comments) says:

    “Trying to make this a “freedom of the press” issue is detracting from what the Israelis are getting upset about. The Israelis arent likely to be calling for a clamp down on the freedom of the press”

    But a government putting moral pressure on a publication to say or not to say something does impact freedom of expression, albet perhaps in only a small way. The government is there to make the rules, not to make judgements. That is the job of the courts.

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  16. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    Well the practise may be justified on the grounds of culture, Shylock was a Jew.

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  17. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Spoff
    thanks for the links.

    Bakster
    So is our Prime Minister what has that got to do with it?

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  18. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “The government is there to make the rules, not to make judgements.”

    What planet are you on? Governments make judgements all the time, especially in foreign affairs. When they are making the rules they are making judgements. When they comment on ANYTHING they are making judgements.

    In this case, by not calling the story the bullshit it obvioulsy is they fail to make it clear that they do not endorse the story. They were given an opportunity to say so, they refused (or rather they agreed the story was lies but then retracted that statement).

    If the newspaper had run a story that said the Swedish government were planning on aborting the unborn children of all recent immigrants you better believe they would come out and call it BS.

    There is nothing stifling about the truth. And if the press in a country is truly free then having the government call a story they run bullshit shouldnt put any pressure at all on them to change it.

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  19. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Shylock was also a made up villan. Darth Vader was black, what does that mean?

    And the only reason Jews got a reputation of being obsessed with money was because of the backwardtarded rules against charging interest of other religions. They were the only ones who COULD lend money without going to hell for it.

    They couldnt lend it to people of their own religion so they didnt get to benefit from the wealth debt creates, and it meant that the only way they could get ahead was to become a financier.

    They made everyone else rich by providing credit and the only way they could get rich was to go into that field. And for that they have been villified for centuries.

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  20. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Yes, and levy izhak rosenbaum is innocent, too. Yeah right.

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  21. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    http://api.ning.com/files/DTJhNoFoSgDU92B4UzOR6aj0m0E*VAw8oYK6Gw2KLxSwaXX9IyRK0fq*9bInTe*-A4GiYTrbFj-Lmp7Xlbm-iV49AwYwzQUb/LevyIzhakRosenbaumindictmentKidneyBroker.PDF

    It does happen, people.

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  22. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    jack
    go and have a coffee

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  23. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Ah yes, coffee. Arabica beans, too.

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  24. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Ah, PaulL, you are displaying your own prejudices making me the scapegoat for links provided by Spoff.

    I posted one link, an item detailing the charges against Rosenbaum, simply as evidence that organ harvesting does happen. I don’t care if Rosenbaum is a jew or not, he simply ahppens to be the one in the news at the moment.

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  25. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Good point MNIJ – let me redirect my comment to Spoff.

    Although I’m wondering why Rosenbaum is relevant to this thread if you weren’t drawing the link that he is Jewish. We all already know that organ trafficing occurs – as does murder, white collar crime and all sorts of other things. I’m not sure how that is related to an allegation of state sponsored organ harvesting.

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  26. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    war-time atrocities certainly isn’t anything to do with race by default, so can I ask what made this article racist?

    Because the blood libel has haunted Jews throughout the middle east and Europe for about a thousand years. It has caused countless thousands of them to be murdered from London to Riyad. A staple of Arab TV (news and entertainment dramas) is of eveil Jews kidnapping Arab children to use their blood to make passover bread.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Interesting that pro-Palestinian rights groups are pissed off about the allegations too.

    Baseless organ theft accusations are a propaganda gift for Israel, and deflect attention from its well-documented war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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  28. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Here comes Genocide Jack.

    And one of the few things I know about Socialist Sweden is that they have their own problem with their muslims, particularly in Malmo. Is the Swedish Government’s silence based on fear and cowardice? Sounds like it.

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  29. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Long live the Jewish state!

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  30. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    No Hurf Durf. Their silence is based on political correctness. To paraphrase the wikipedia article, in turn quoting the office of Councellor of Justice, there is nothing in the Swedish Constitution that stops the government criticising newspaper articles. A related quote was:

    Mårten Schultz, senior lecturer in jurisprudence, thought that the appeals to freedom of speech were, “attempts to use the rhetorically convincing status of the freedom of expression and press legislation in order to pursue a political agenda,” and exhorted politicians and journalists to bring out and read the Freedom of the Press Act before they say what the government is not entitled to do.

    It is a question here between the government staying out of things, and the government saying “that was a stupid article”. As DPF said in his original post:

    Now it is debatable about whether the Swedish Government should or should not condemn the article, but there is absolutely no way the Government should be trying to prevent the article, or be held responsible for the actions of the newspaper.

    I agree with him.

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  31. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Ryan – really? Can you find any links to pro-Palestinian rights groups who complained about Arab dramas portraying this very thing on Middle Eastern TV networks? Or about the immans who reel out this stuff on TV interviews all the time in the ME?

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  32. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    PaulL/MNIJ You are both barking up the wrong tree.
    The first of my links is to a story in the Israeli press that concerns an israeli Pathologist pleading guilty to stealing organs from 125 bodies. He is the Chief Pathologist at Abu Kabir, the institute mentioned in the Swedish article. I said nothing about the New Jersey body parts trafficking ring. I think Bostrom was perfectly correct to ask what is going on after he witnessed bodies being returned to Palestinian families with stitching from groin to neck after passing through that institute.

    As for PaulL’s dismissal of the counterpunch article, your criticism should be levelled at what the writer, Alison Weir, wrote. Bagging the publication is a cheap shot and adds nothing to the debate.

    This whole brouhaha illustrates what I call Israeli exceptionalism.
    Every day there are stories in Newspapers alleging foul deeds in other lands – what other state leader have you seen jumping up and down about it? Does Obama scream “blood libel” when the ODT carries a story about rape and murder in America?

    Israel needs to get over itself. It has a higher crime rate than India.

    The “blood libel” is good case in point. Bar-Ilan professor (and rabbi) Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome wrote a book detailing historical evidence of the practice. Instead of shrugging it off as just another medieval abberation such as burning witches and heretics (a common “Christian” atrocity) he was made to withdraw the book from publication.

    The proper response to this storm in a teacup, given that there is documented evidence of organ theft at Abu Kabir, would be for the Israeli Government to express its doubt but conduct an inquiry.

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  33. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Ryan – really? Can you find any links to pro-Palestinian rights groups who complained about Arab dramas portraying this very thing on Middle Eastern TV networks? Or about the immans who reel out this stuff on TV interviews all the time in the ME?

    I was referring specifically to the pro-Palestinian-rights guy I quoted (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10730.shtml)

    As for finding pro-Palestinian rights groups complaining about Arab dramas, I wouldn’t know where to look. I suspect that, given that their focus is Palestinian rights, such groups wouldn’t really feel an obligation to address every other issue under the sun. I don’t hear Greenpeace issuing condemnations of Israel’s illegal settlements, either. What do you suppose that says about Greenpeace?

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  34. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Spoff, I did go through the allegations in the second link point by point, that link did refer to the New Jersey body parts trafficking ring. After that discussion I noted that the overall publication was shonky, which was a valid point to make having already addressed the substance (such as it was) of what they said.

    The book withdrawal discussion also comes from that same article, I didn’t bother commenting on it as I didn’t think it particularly relevant. The evidence provided wasn’t particularly compelling, certainly not enough to decide whether that was true or not.

    The fact that you consider such weak evidence from such an unreliable source to be of any import, again, tells me something about you.

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  35. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    PaulL

    Alison Weir’s article sets out to demonstrate that there have been many allegations of this nature in the past and she supports this thesis with links such as the following:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1046041.html

    http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9384/bizarre-death-of-scottish-tourist-involves-suicide-missing-heart/

    http://www.forward.com/articles/112915/

    I suggest you are being disingenuous when you assert that it is “weak evidence”. One might also question why no outrage was heard from the Israeli Government when the above Jewish newspapers carried these stories.

    You also seem unwilling to address the fact that Yehuda Hiss, Chief Pathologist at the institute mentioned in the Swedish article has already admitted stealing organs from 125 bodies.

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  36. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Actually Spoff, I did:

    The government pathologist or some such has been caught taking organs from autopsies and using them for medical research (something very similar also happened in Britain and, I think, in Australia). He hasn’t really been punished.

    Is reading comprehension not one of your strong points?

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  37. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    “..why cant they all just get on…ffs…move on..”

    If your country got stolen 60 years ago and you were forced to live in a giant refugee camp and not return home I am fairly sure that the majority of posters would be pissed off.

    Clearly this issue is not black and white, and doesnt mean that papers should be publishing stories which are serious in allegations with out being certain as to their factual correctness, which I understand this is pretty much in the realm of fantasy land.

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  38. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    andrei 12:42 pm,

    [DPF:] There are some parallels to the Danish cartoon controversy. The aspect in common is the misguided desire to punish an entire country for the editorial decisions of one newspaper.

    That is drawing a long bow indeed!

    I agree Andrei.
    To make any sort of comparison between an Islamic jihad being called down upon Danish publishers, etc for cartoons lampooning Mohammed, with Israel’s response to clear anti-semitic accusations is at the very least bad form. It is also unhelpful.

    The final response of the Swedish government will be both interesting and insightful. Whether they will distance themselves form the tabloid concerned, or declare ‘freedom of the press’ will reveal what the real thinking is at the governmental level. But I won’t be surprised if they align themselves with the rest of Europe; and show that they too are anti Israel.

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  39. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Kris K – I do agree there are some parallels.

    Whilst the article offers no evidence, it also doesn’t come out and say that the allegations are true either.

    The parallels are that a newspaper in a country with a free press has published something a particular group disagree with. That group have called on the government of that free country to condemn something that one or more of their citizens are perfectly entitled to do under their existing law.

    I’ll agree that the degree is different, but the concept is the same. And the answer should be the same – our citizens are permitted to say those things, and we won’t stop them from doing so. As individuals, we in this government don’t agree with them, but it is not the place of the government to stop people from saying or doing things that we don’t agree with.

    How would you feel if some skinhead in Christchurch came out with a stupid statement or a silly little rag claiming something stupid – I don’t know, say that all Chinese born NZers should go back to China where they belong (actually, I’m sure they’d say something far more inflammatory than that, but I can’t be bothered dirtying myself thinking of something). And then the NZ government was called upon to condemn that. Why should the government do so? How is it their place?

    By the way, that isn’t actually what the Danes did with the cartoons, which was shameful. But that doesn’t mean that the Swedish should be as stupid just because the shoe is on the other foot. Two wrongs and all that.

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  40. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Spoff the problem is those libels which you seem to think are as harmless as nursery rhymes have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Jews.

    If you and your family were universally accused and threatened for
    – using christian kids blood to make passover bread\
    – causing the black plague
    – killing Christ
    etc etc etc

    Your wouldn’t be pissed off?

    Sweden deserves the boycott not because the Govt should stop the newspaper, but because the Govt just sat back and through silence supported the bullshit that was printed.

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  41. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    PaulL 7:19 pm,

    How would you feel if some skinhead in Christchurch came out with a stupid statement or a silly little rag claiming something stupid – I don’t know, say that all Chinese born NZers should go back to China where they belong (actually, I’m sure they’d say something far more inflammatory than that, but I can’t be bothered dirtying myself thinking of something). And then the NZ government was called upon to condemn that. Why should the government do so? How is it their place?

    The thing for me is that in both the case of the Swedish government, and the NZ example you cite above, neither governments have the luxury of sitting on the fence once something becomes known internationally.
    At the very least, assuming they disagree, a statement should be made to the effect that the government strongly disagrees with statements made and apologise for any offence taken. In much the same way as a parent would apologise for an offensive comment their child may have made.

    Any ‘freedom of the press’ type comments, without declaring their hand, amounts to implicit agreement.

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  42. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Oh he’s a real mensch….

    ….is Prof Hiss.

    According to the arrangement, the prosecution will request that Prof. Hiss receive only a reprimand for his involvement in the unauthorized removal of parts from 125 bodies. In exchange, Hiss will admit to the acts…..
    ……Hiss was fired from his position as Director of the institute shortly after the courts became involved in allegations against him, but has remained the Chief Pathologist at the Institute. The plea bargain is subject to the approval of the court.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518

    A court-ordered search of the institute revealed large supplies of stored organs taken illegally from bodies. Over the past years, heads of the institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a “storehouse” of organs at Abu Kabir.
    http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_56740.shtml

    Dr. Hiss’ name has turned up repeatedly in relation to controversial events in Israel’s history, including the investigations into the Israeli government’s involvement in taking Yemenite children away from their parents in the 1950s, putting them up for adoption and the telling the parents that the children had died.

    In Oct. 1997, Margalit Omeisi filed a police complaint against Hiss, charging him with “violating the medical secrecy to which he obligated himself.” Prof. Hiss had released, without authorization, the results of a DNA test he carried out, purporting to show that Omeisi was not related to a woman from California whom Omeisi said was her missing “Yemenite child” daughter. Both Omeisi and her apparent daughter said they did not accept the results of the Hiss test, and that the method he used was not authoritative. Tests carried out elsewhere did in fact prove the two to be mother and child.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518

    This is not the first time that Hiss has escaped legal consequences for his actions. Former Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein aroused objections from several directions when he ruled that Hiss should not be charged with criminal behavior, even though he provided “expert testimony” about autopsies at which he had not been present and used tissues and organs after autopsies without permission from the families of the deceased.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/90518

    Question is, why has he not been punished? I’d like to think that any pathologist in NZ would face a prison sentence or at least be struck off for such proven malfeasance – wouldn’t you? Do you seriously believe that, if bodies are returned from his care stitched from arsehole to breakfast time one should not perhaps enquire as to what is going on?

    Perhaps the Swedish article deserves more consideration for that is what it suggests – nothing more.

    I admit to missing your comment on Hiss the first time around. My apologies.

    I wonder what your response would be if this was an Iranian story.

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  43. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I don’t think it amounts to implicit agreement, but it does amount to allowing political correctness to override common sense. I agree that they should just say “we don’t agree, but in a free country people have the right to write things like that.” End of story. Hell, even if they said “the evidence looks pretty thin, but it wouldn’t hurt to have an enquiry” that would be better than leaving it appearing that they endorse the allegation.

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  44. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    I can go along with that.

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  45. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Southern Raider

    There is nothing unique about the persecution of Jews. Persecution is a human disease – suffered by all and perpetrated by all.
    Follow the links on Wikipedia’s entry on persecution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution

    ..or if you don’t have the patience, just read the entry for Muslim persecution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Muslims

    …or if you have a human soul, read Ilan Pappe: The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine and open your eyes as to what went on in Gaza recently.

    Israel has good PR. I don’t blame them for bangin’ their drum but let’s be fair huh. There is hardly a race or religion that has not suffered in a similar manner. Name me any period in History when Jews were suffering persecution and I will show you another race or religion suffering in a similar manner. I will also show you another part of the World where Jews were contemporaneously doing very nicely – most of my references in this regard will come from the period of Ottoman rule, some of which is known as the “Golden Age of Jewry”. Cut and paste that phrase into your search engine.
    .

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  46. enough rope (104 comments) says:

    A Swedish tabloid running a story about the Israeli military harvesting the organs of slain Palestinians is anti-semitic? Libellous, perhaps, but labelling it as anti-semitic is a screaming example of garbled knee-jerk doublespeak. Palestinians, like all arabs, are every bit as semitic as the jewish people. Look it up, FFS.

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  47. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    enough rope [September 1st, 2009 at 8:06 am],

    A Swedish tabloid running a story about the Israeli military harvesting the organs of slain Palestinians is anti-semitic? Libellous, perhaps, but labelling it as anti-semitic is a screaming example of garbled knee-jerk doublespeak. Palestinians, like all arabs, are every bit as semitic as the jewish people. Look it up, FFS.

    Only in the sense that Arabs are descendents of Shem too. Shem being one of the three sons of Noah. The biblical account details that all people groups today are descendent of each of the three sons of Noah, having survived the flood. So in rough terms approximately one third of the world’s population form his descendents. Two of these groups are the Jews and the Arabs.

    But, just as language and meanings change throughout history, in the modern vernacular accusing someone of being ‘anti-semitic’ is tantamount to accusing them of being anti-Jewish.

    For example, Hitler is probably the best example of someone being anti-semitic [to say the least]. But as we know rather than persecuting both Jew and Arab, he only persecuted Jews. In fact the Muslim/Arab nations were closely aligned with the Nazi war machine. Hence the reason that many ANZACS were among those that died in Turkey during WWII – Turkey being a German ally.

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  48. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    On the surface there is the image of being well-read, informed, and yet…..

    There is nothing unique about the persecution of Jews.

    Amazing. Simply amazing.

    Fortunately it would appear that other people do have human souls: the following comes from a Mats Skogkär of rival daily paper, Sydsvenskan:

    “We have heard the story before, in one form or the other. It follows the traditional pattern of conspiracy theory: a great number of loose threads that the theorist tempts the reader to tie into a neat knot without having been provided with any proven connection whatsoever,….

    ….Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors.
    That is all it takes. After all we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don’t we: inhuman, hardened.
    Capable of anything.
    Now all that remains is the defence, equally predictable:
    Anti-Semitism? No, no, just criticism of Israel.”

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  49. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Kris K wrote:

    In fact the Muslim/Arab nations were closely aligned with the Nazi war machine. Hence the reason that many ANZACS were among those that died in Turkey during WWII – Turkey being a German ally.

    Are you sure about your facts here? Gallipoli was World War One where the Ottoman Empire was with the Germans. Turkey remained neutral during World War Two other than a ceremonial gesture in early 1945 where they joined the Allies to gain access to the post war negotiations.

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  50. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    labrator 10:12 am,

    I stand corrected – mixing my wars, etc. Haven’t had my first cup of coffee yet.

    But ‘most’ Muslim/Arab nations were Germany’s allies during WWII.
    Muslim and Nazi idealogies being consistant in their persecution of the Jews; both belief systems having the same end goal – that being the extermination of the Jewish people.

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  51. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Muslim and Nazi idealogies being consistant in their persecution of the Jews;

    Obviously someone didn’t tell either the Ottomans or Yitzak Shamir.

    The former extended a welcome to Jews and the latter proposed intervening in World War II on the side of Nazi Germany..

    http://www.mersina.com/lib/turkish_jews/history/life.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)#Contact_with_Nazi_authorities

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  52. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Spoff 1:22 pm,

    Muslim and Nazi idealogies being consistant in their persecution of the Jews;

    Obviously someone didn’t tell either the Ottomans or Yitzak Shamir.

    The following are direct quotations from the Koran.
    They are Islamic duties to those that follow its teaching.

    Even so-called ‘moderate’ Islamic countries are coming more into line with the teachings of the Koran; especially with regards to Christians and Christian nations more recently. But they have always weighed heavily upon the Jew – it just seems more overt now.

    5:33 Indeed, the punishment of those who fight Allah and His Messenger and who go around corrupting the land is to be killed, crucified, have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or to be banished from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this life, and in the life to come theirs will be a terrible punishment. 34 Except for those who repent before you overpower them. Know, then, that Allah is All-Forgiving, Merciful.

    2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

    Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free…. (9:5)

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
    And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (9:29,30)

    O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). (9:123)

    Fight against those among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) who do not believe in God [Allah] and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, until they are subdued and pay jizyah (tax on non-Muslims) … (9:29-32)

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  53. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Kris K, perhaps most moslems take thsoe words as literally as most christians take the ones about owning slaves, killing disobedient children, stoning fornicators and not eating pork. And are you circimcised? Do you know what causes illness? Jesus didn’t, stupid shit thought it was sin, had no idea about bacteria, germs, disease, etc, even though he reckoned his father created them.

    If you want stupidity, look no further than your nearest religion.

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  54. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    MyNameIsJack 2:49 pm,

    If you want stupidity, look no further than your nearest religion.

    … but I’ve got you Jack.

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  55. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    I would suggest that initiating a pissing contest based on quoting from scripture is rank stupidity for we all know of the wonderfully racist and murderous dicta in the Old Testament, Torah and Talmud. However, it needs to be pointed out that the above extracts from the Koran are directed not at Judaic or Christian believers but those who “make war on God” and carry the injunction not to act “until they first attack you” which is the primary and governing dictum to be applied in all cases.

    That the Koran does not dictate religious persecution is easily demonstrated.

    One of the most revered Jewish scholars, Moses Maimonides was born, lived and published his works under Muslim rule in Moorish Spain, Egypt and Morocco in the 11th century.

    In the 15th century, Rabbi Yitzhak Sarfati wrote to Jewish communities in Europe : “Is it not better for you to live under Muslims than under Christians? Here every man dwell at peace under his own Dine and fig tree. Here you are allowed to wear the most precious garments.”
    Also in the 15th century, Bayezid II sent his navy to save the Sephardic Jews who were expelled by the Spanish Inquisition.

    A proclamation known as the Hatti Humayun made all Ottoman citizens, Moslem and non-Moslem, equal under the law in 1856.

    In the 20th century, Iraq’s first minister of finance, Sir Sassoon Eskell, was a Jew, Jews were very influential in Egypt (the Association of Egyptian Jewish Youth, with its slogan: “Egypt is our homeland, Arabic is our language” was created in 1935)

    These are just a few examples of Jews under Koranic law through the ages. I suggest that they would not exist if the interpretation given by Kris K had any validity.

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  56. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Spoff (239) Vote: 0 0 Says:

    September 1st, 2009 at 4:33 pm
    I would suggest that initiating a pissing contest based on quoting from scripture is rank stupidity …

    I think rank stupidity is found in anyone who wants to live their life according to the dictates of any of these myths.

    Abraham – easily led, prepared to slaughter his own child because he heard voices in his head.

    Jesus – pig ignorant and pigheaded. A thief and a charlatan.

    Mohammed – War monger and peadophile.

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