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SCF: Sweden-Israel kink that became a crisis

by A swedish kind of death Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 04:31:30 AM EST






This last week a minor crisis has emerged in the relations between Sweden and Israel.

It started with an article in the evening paper Aftonbladet about suspected organ harvesting from Palestinian prisoners in Israel. A bit of to and fro ensued with the Israeli government demanding condemnations the Swedish government would not supply.

I just found a good article from the public service television, Diplomatisk fnurra blev allvarlig kris - rapport | svt.se, that I have translated. It explains some about Swedish freedom of press and so on which might be interesting.

(If we have some "Sweden coverage" symbol, insert it here.)

part of the Special Country Focus on Sweden - Nomad


Diplomatisk fnurra blev allvarlig kris - rapport | svt.se  Diplomatic kink became serious crisis - report | svt.se
Konflikten mellan Sverige och Israel efter Aftonbladets artikel för precis en vecka sedan om illegal organhandel håller nu snabbt på att trappas upp till en punkt där det är svårt att se vem som ska backa först. The conflict between Sweden and Israel after the Aftonbladet article a week ago about illegal organ trafficking is now quickly escalating to a point it is hard to see who will back off first.
Den israeliska regeringen kräver att den svenska regeringen tar avstånd från artikeln. Men det kan regeringen inte göra eftersom den svenska mediefriheten är så stark att en regering inte kan ingripa mot den.The Israeli government insists that the Swedish government distances itself from the article. But the government can not do that, since the Swedish media freedom is so strong that a government can not intervene against it.
Principer och prestige krockar
Det som började som en diplomatisk fnurra på tråden mellan Sverige och Israel har nu förvandlats till en allvarlig kris. Det har varken Sverige eller Israel egentligen något intresse av. Men här kolliderar både viktiga principer och en ansenlig mängd prestige, och då finns det inte någon lösning som tillfredsställer båda parter.
Principles and prestige clash
What begun as a diplomatic kink between Sweden and Israel has now transformed into a serious crisis. It is in neither Sweden's nor Israel's interest. But here collide important principles and a considerable amount of prestige, and then there isn't any solution that can satisfy both parties.
Den svenska pressfriheten är av gammalt datum. Den första lagen om tryckfrihet antogs redan 1766, och därmed blev Sverige ett av de första länderna i världen som lagstiftade om bl a tidningars rätt att publicera artiklar utan censur utifrån. Den nuvarande tryckfrihetsförordningen är från 1949 och är en av Sveriges fyra grundlagar, tillsammans med bl a yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen.The Swedish press freedom has long standing. The first law on freedom of the press was already adopted in 1766, and thus Sweden became one of the first countries in the world that legislated on newspapers' right to publish articles without censorship. The current Freedom of The Press Act is from 1949 and is one of Sweden's four fundamental laws, together with, among others, the Freedom of Speech Act.
Centralt är att varje tidning eller tidskrift med periodisk utgivning har en ansvarig utgivare. Det är utgivaren, och endast utgivaren, som är ansvarig, även juridiskt, för vad som publiceras i tidningen.The central issue is that every newspaper or magazine, periodical publishing has a publisher. It is the publisher, and only the publisher who is responsible, even legally, for what is published in the newspaper.

En stat kan inte förtalas
Den svenska regeringen kan inte ingripa mot den nu aktuella AB-artikeln. Det har utrikesminister Carl Bildt framhållit. Statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt har sagt att ingen kan begära att den svenska regeringen ska bryta mot den svenska grundlagen.

A State may not be slandered
The Swedish government can not intervene against the current AB-article. It has been stated by foreign minister Carl Bildt. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has said that no one can demand that the Swedish government shall violate the Swedish constitution.
En ansvarig utgivare i Sverige omfattas av de s k spelreglerna för press, radio och TV, det självsanerande systemet med etiska regler för medierna. Det systemet är en rad rekommendationer för hur medierna ska uppträda, och "straffet" vid brott mot reglerna kan i värsta fall bli en fällning av Allmänhetens Pressombudsman och Pressens Opinionsnämnd, en fällning som måste publiceras, och dessutom betalning av en avgift på maximalt 25.000 kr.A responsible publisher in Sweden is covered by the so-called rules of the game for press, radio and television, the self sanctioning system of ethics for media. The system is a number of recommendations on how the media should behave, and the "penalty" for breach of the rules can in the worst case be a conviction by the Press Ombudsman and Pressens Opinionsnämnd, a conviction that must be published, and also the payment of a fee of a maximum of 25,000 SEK.
En ansvarig utgivare kan också stämmas av en förfördelad person eftersom lagarna om t ex förtal naturligtvis omfattar även den ansvarige utgivaren. Men det kan enbart bli tal om förtal av en enskild person, inte av en stat.A publisher can also be sued by a slandered person because slander laws of course cover even the editor. But it can only be for slander of an individual, not of a state.
Våldsam reaktion
Allt det här vet naturligtvis den israeliska regeringen. Den vet också att den svenska tryckfriheten genom åren har angripits framför allt av totalitära stater. På sovjettiden till exempel förekom det rätt ofta att den sovjetiske ambassadören krävde, alltid förgäves, att UD eller svenska regeringen skulle ingripa mot eller stoppa någon kritisk artikel.
  Violent reaction
The government of Israel knows this of course. It also knows that the Swedish press freedom has been attacked through the years primarily by totalitarian states. In the Soviet period, for example, it happened pretty often that the Soviet embassador demanded, always in vain, that the Swedish foreign ministry or the government would intervene to stop some critical article.
Israel däremot är en demokrati, och därför borde kanske förståelsen för den svenska pressfriheten vara större. Men Aftonbladets artikel gav enligt den israeliska regeringen luft åt gamla anti-semitiska uppfattningar, t ex att judar är ute efter kristnas blod och organ, och därför blev reaktionen våldsam.Israel on the contrary is a democracy, and perhaps its understanding of the Swedish press freedom should be greater. But, according to the Government of Israel, Aftonbladet's article gave space for old anti-Semitic views, for example, that Jews are looking for Christian blood and organs, and thus the reaction was violent.
Stormen kan blåsa över
Carl Bildt har uttalat förståelse för Israels "känslighet för antydningar eller anklagelser som skulle kunna ge den öppna antisemitismen luft under vingarna". Men det har hittills inte räckt för Israels regering. Den kräver ett fördömande från svensk sida. Något sådant lär inte komma.
The storm can pass
Carl Bildt has expressed understanding for Israel's "sensitivity about insinuations or allegations that could give open anti-Semitism air beneath its wings". But that has so far not been enough for the Israeli government. It requires a condemnation from the Swedish side. One that probably will not come.
Så resultatet kanske blir en uppskjuten resa för Bildt till Israel, och en tyst överenskommelse på båda håll om att låta den här stormen blåsa över så att förbindelserna kan återknytas senare.So the result might be a delayed trip for Bildt to Israel, and a silent understanding on both sides to let this storm pass so that relations can be restored later.
Stig Fredrikson
utrikeskommentator
Stig Fredrikson
Political commentator

The diligent observer notes that 1949 was shortly after the Second World War. As is common to happen, during the war the government of neutral Sweden abused its possibilities to limit printing, and the law from 1949 gives the press quite extensive freedoms.

So now that the Israeli government has demanded that the Swedish government condemns an article in the Swedish press I guess we will see reprints of the original article (with all the gruesome pictures) in all conservative papers in the West. That is the established protocol to teach people from the Middle East how Western freedom of the press works, right?

Display:
Note to someone: I adore the "Translate" function of TribExt v0.1234 but when translating from swedish all swedish letters - å,ä,ö - are broken and breaks the words. For example, swedish - english:

Diplomatisk fnurra blev allvarlig kris - rapport | svt.se  Diplomatic KINK became serious crisis - report | svt.se
framhållitFramh ¥ llit

My guess would be that the translation tool uses different codign for swedish letters when it is read then when it is translated, as it works the other way around:

HoldHålla


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Aug 24th, 2009 at 10:52:15 AM EST
Here is are some excerpts from what Beni Tzipper had to say in his
blog
in Ha'aretz



יש, באופן כללי, משהו לגמרי פרימיטיווי, שמציג אותנו כמדינה באור מגוחך, בכך שאנחנו דורשים מהמדינה השוודית לפעול נגד עיתונאי או נגד עיתון עצמאי המופיע בתחומה. נכון, יש נושאים שעליהם מותר וחובה להתריע, כמו למשל על גילויים של הכחשת שואה או של אנטישמיות. אבל כאן לא מדובר בכלל באחד משני הדברים האלה, אם כי שר החוץ המגוחך שלנו היה מת שזה כן יהיה קשור לשואה ולאנטישמיות.
There is, generally speaking, something very primitive, that makes us, as a country, look ridiculous, when we ask the Swedish government to act against a journalist, or an independent newspaper. True, there are matters that one should and must act against, such as Holocaust denial or antisemitism. But this has nothing to do with either of these two things, even though our ridiculous foreign minister would die for it to be connected to the Holocaust and to antisemitism.

בתגובת היתר של ישראל לכתבה היא מזכירה את התגובה הפרימיטיווית של המוסלמים בעולם כולו על הקריקטורה של מוחמד שהתפרסמה בדנמרק בשעתה. הדנים המסכנים לא ידעו מה לעשות כדי לשכך את הזעם, אבל הרי אנחנו יודעים שבתוך תוכם הם חשבו: "המפגרים האלה לא יודעים מה זו דמוקרטיה וחופש ביטוי, אז בואו נרגיע אותם כדי שיפסיקו לנבוח". לצערי, זה מה שעכשיו עלולים להגיד על ישראל אם היא לא תרד קצת מהעץ הגבוה שהיא עלתה עליו בעניין הזה.
The Israeli reaction to this article reminds one of the primitive reaction of Muslims in the world to the caricatures of Mohammed that appeared in Denmark. The poor Danes didn't know what to do to calm things down, after all we know that deep down they thought: "These idiots don't know what democracy and freedom of speach are, so lets calm them down so that they stop barking". To my sorrow, that is exactly what they are likely to say about Israel, if she doesn't come down from the tall tree from which she's hung herself in this matter.

זאת ועוד. אני חושב שאילו ישראל היתה מודה ולו במקצת במעשים האנטי הומניטריים שנעשו במבצע עופרת יצוקה בעזה, ונותנת גיבוי לחיילים שלה עצמה שהיה להם אומץ מספיק להודות במעשי הזוועה שחזו בהם או שעשו בעצמם, היא היתה מחזירה לעצמה את האמינות שלה כמדינה חופשית שלא מטייחת ושדבריה אמת. מה שקורה עכשיו הוא שגם אם יבואו אלף הכחשות והתנצלויות מצד שוודיה על הכתבה, עדיין השוודי מן השורה, ולפי דעתי בכלל כל אזרח מאזרחי העולם, יחשוב שההכחשה וההתנצלות השוודית הוצאה אחרי הפעלת לחץ וסחיטה רגשית, ושדווקא אולי יש דברים בגו, כי עובדה שבעזה קרו דברים איומים שמוסתרים על ידי ישראל.
Furthermore. I think that if Israel had admitted to the awful inhuman things that were done during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and had supported the soldiers that had the courage to admit to the awful things they witnessed or participated in, she would recover her credibility as a free country that doesn't cover things up, and tells the truth. What has happened now is that even if Sweden will apologize a thousand times for the article, the average Swede, and, in my opinion, the average person in the world, will thing that the denial and apology were forced out of Sweden by pressure and emotional blackmail, and maybe there is something behind it, as after all there awful things did happen and were covered up by Israel.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like the word fnurra...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 04:14:45 AM EST
It comes from fnurrighet, to be a bit cranky. Fnurrighet sadly fell out of common use around 1900 and only survives in the transfered use.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 03:00:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the established protocol to teach people from the Middle East how Western freedom of the press works, right?

Heh. You can wait for that until...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 07:35:38 AM EST
In the german radio broadcast dradio.de, there was an
interview with Lars Gustafsson, who told that Aftonbladet
was under german control(!) during WW2 and is until today somehow anti-semitic.

Hear for (short version, long version) yourself.

Now what ?

by pi (etribu-at-opsec.eu) on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 08:35:42 AM EST
During its existence, Aftonbladet has leant in different political directions. Initially liberal, it drifted towards conservatism under Harald Sohlman, Editor in Chief from 1890 to 1921. During World War I, a majority holding was sold to the German government in a secret arrangement.

In 1929 the newspaper came under the control of the Kreuger family, when a majority of the shares was bought by Swedish Match, at that time the heart of Ivar Kreuger's corporate empire. Aftonbladet was labelled "neutral". In 1932 it backed Per Albin Hansson's new Social Democratic government. Just a few years later it realigned with the Liberal Party and turned to advocate liberal politics. Heavily influenced by pro-German staff members, the newspaper supported Germany during World War II.

The Kreuger era came to an end on 8 October 1956. Despite interest from both the Liberal Party and the Centre Party, Torsten Kreuger sold Aftonbladet to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation. The ownership change was first followed by a slight drop in circulation. In the 1960s, however, the newspaper saw its circulation surge rapidly, peaking at 507,000.

By the early 1990s Aftonbladet had run into economical problems, and many had begun to question the competence of the trade union movement as a media owner. On 2 May 1996, the Norwegian media group Schibsted acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the newspaper. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation kept the remaining 50.1 percent of its shares, and retains full control of the political direction of Aftonbladet's editorial page. The same year, its circulation passed that of long-time tabloid rival Expressen.


Today they are a bunch of fashionable leftists. The usual Frankfurt school PC-claptrap, though they have recently also shown pro-islamist leanings.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 09:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One more thing, the trade unions recently sold all but 9% of their shares to Schibsted. Though they still control director appointments of all the different parts of the paper, and decide its political leanings.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 09:16:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Pro-Islamist!?"

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 12:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They have a number of columnists who are in love with Hizballah and Iran.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 12:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does that evidence itself, being in love with Hezbollah and Iran?

Chanting "Long live Nasrallah" / "Long live Chameini" / "Long live Ahmedinejad"?

Or, perhaps, anything short of considering either anything more than Islamist terrorist nutcases bent on destroying the world?

BTW, would you count me in for writing this and this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 01:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, would you count me in for writing this and this?

Of course not. That just looks like in-depth coverage.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 01:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In which you can find rather few criticisms of Hezbollah...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am still trying to work out the distinction between a reactive opposition i.e. one created by direct oppression in some form, and proactive opposition (e.g. I want your territory).

Reactive opposition to oppression is created by that oppression, and thus the 'fault' of its emergence lies with the oppressor.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 02:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but refraining from criticism is not the same as support, is it?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 03:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And confronting negative propaganda against them. How is that different from what your Swedish media persons say?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 01:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do not take side in the conflict against Israel and for Hamas/Hizballah/Iran, nor do you argue that these entities are doing their best to create progressive societies, nor do you have columnists who argue that the world is controlled by zionist conspiracies or claim that homosexuality is one of the most dangerous diseases in existance, nor do you do your best to blacken the name of other journalists, without giving them a chance of defending themselves.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 08:16:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
Heavily influenced by pro-German staff members, the newspaper supported Germany during World War II.

Aftonbladet was not alone in that, in general Germany had big support in Sweden during both world wars (during the first, there was a court group around the queen who wanted an entry in the war on the german side). German was the second language, german culture was dominating, Germany was were the elite had most connections and so on. So if Germany says that Poland started the war, then they did.

After the war the US replaced Germany as the power to like and lot of personal histories got a make-over. And now, if the US says that Afghanistan attacked them we send troops for the occupation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 02:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't believe al-Qaida, based in Afghanistan, were the perpetrators and instigators of the 2001 terrorist attacks?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 03:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't believe al-Qaida, based in
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE,... Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Spain...., in every hunger-ridden, muslim community in the world, including
Afghanistan, were the perpetrators and instigators of the 2001 terrorist attacks?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 04:08:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But al-Qaida was not based primarily in Afghanistan, were they had their planning groups, training camps, and leadership, all with the knowledge and support of the Taliban government?

The Talibans got their chance. The US showed a very large restraint, given the circumstances. They asked the Taliban to turn over Osama and company, and then the US would ignore their aiding and abetting of al-Qaida. They said no. Their mistake.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 08:20:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I doubt you would find hunger-ridden, muslim communities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE... or Spain

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not all-inclusive wording?  The implication is that (the crimes of) hunger, poverty and lack of education lead people to unite by belief, find a common enemy, rebel and/or migrate where they may survive.  

All I know is that every few months the Spanish police report the arrest of some 'terrorist' cell associated with 'muslim beliefs' and I have seen myself small groups of muslim migrants ---mostly males--- foodless and workless, hiding and barely surviving in remote areas of Morocco (the Rif) and Spain.  That does NOT make them terrorists, but the extreme conditions to create conflict, exist in our 'exceptional', western world.  There are documentaries about it now, but maybe they don't apply to the 'back woods' of oil-rich countries.  (;

I have to wonder how many migrants will be forced to go 'back to nature' now, in exceptionally extreme places like Italy, that criminalizes being poor-without-passport and praises vigilanteism.  

The point was, I think, that accumulated misery is going global whether we like it, or not and putting the blame on one country without looking in the mirror is shameful.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 02:19:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hold no particular belief regarding the 2001 terrorist attacks. Truth in muddled and highly political situations rarely comes out until the conflict is no more relevant, and I do not expect it in this case either.

melo makes a good point regarding the nature of al-Qaida. It makes me regret that I did not choose the start of the other world war as comparision.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After conducting a criminal investigation, verifying that Germany would honor its military alliance, and persuading the skeptical Hungarian Count Tisza, Austria-Hungary issued a formal letter to the government of Serbia. The letter reminded Serbia of its commitment to respect the Great Powers' decision regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to maintain good neighborly relations with Austria-Hungary. The letter contained specific demands aimed at preventing the publication of propaganda advocating the violent destruction of Austria-Hungary, removing the people behind this propaganda from the Serbian Military, arresting the people on Serbian soil who were involved in the assassination plot and preventing the clandestine shipment of arms and explosives from Serbia to Austria-Hungary.

July Crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Confronted with the ultimatum and the lack of support from other European powers, the Serbian Cabinet hemmed and hawed about whether to accept the humiliating terms, or reject it with the knowledge that a war would come[114]. Finally, all compromise was worked out where Serbia accepted all of the terms of the ultimatum except for the demand that Austrian police be allowed to operate in Serbia, but attached a number of reservations to the other terms[115].

Of course, we know how that ended:
Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Austria; Protocol, Declaration and Special Declaration [1920] ATS 3

The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Austria accepts the responsibility of Austria and her Allies for causing the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Austria-Hungary and her Allies.

To be compared with:

Portsmouth Herald World/National News: U.S. Jets Pound Targets Around Kabul

Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir offered Sunday to surrender bin Laden for trial in an unspecified third country if Washington stopped the bombing and provided the Taliban with evidence of the Saudi dissident's guilt. Bush said no.

``We know he's guilty. Turn him over,'' the president said in Washington.

Which would mean that the US is by the standard imposed by England, France and the US responsible for starting the war in Afghanistan. Which no swedish government would say.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 04:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
melo makes a good point regarding the nature of al-Qaida.

huh? on which thread was that?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 05:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, late and poor reading skills.

metavision made a good point...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 06:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This one?

Lars Gustafsson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lars Gustafsson (born May 17, 1936) is a Swedish, poet, novelist and scholar. He was born in Västerås, completed his secondary education at the Västerås gymnasium and continued to Uppsala University; he received his Licentiate degree in 1960 and was awarded his Ph.D. in Theoretical Philosophy in 1978. He lived in Austin, Texas until 2003, and has recently returned to Sweden. He served as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught Philosophy and Creative Writing, until May 2006, when he retired. In 1981 Gustafsson converted to Judaism.

...

While the problem of identity has been the defining theme of Gustafsson's writings, his social criticism has often vexed the Swedish cultural elite. As a result he is seen as a controversial writer in Sweden rather than as one embraced by the establishment.

...

In May 2009, Lars Gustafsson declared that he would vote for the Pirate Party in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament.

I find he was among the 30 petitioners against the 2001 "UN World Conference against Racism" on grounds that it conducted 'hate speech' against Israel, and participated in the Islamophobia craze, so, unfortunately, he seems to be among the more off intellectuals defending Israel.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 25th, 2009 at 12:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never heard of that guy before.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 08:21:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard about him in May.

Lars Gustafsson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In May 2009, Lars Gustafsson declared that he would vote for the Pirate Party in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament.[5][6]

He is a poet, big enough to get space in media in questions regarding culture but far from being a household name outside of literary circles.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 08:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I joined the party earlier this year, in a rare outburst of civic responsibility, and to help them get official recognition (recently achieved with 5000 signatures).

I also support their platform:


  • Complete decriminalization of all non-commercial use of creative works
  • Shortening the copyright protection to 5-10 years
  • Abolition of software and pharmaceutical patents
  • Protection of individual rights, especially privacy and the freedom of speech
  • Guaranteeing consumer protection in digital trade (as opposed to such schemes as the DRM)

But I was not impressed by the one meeting I attended in order to capture the party zeitgeist. Polymaths, acne and black wardrobes. I suppose I should give them another chance...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven Triloqvist:
But I was not impressed by the one meeting I attended in order to capture the party zeitgeist. Polymaths, acne and black wardrobes. I suppose I should give them another chance...

From this I would say that all they need would be leadership, organisation, a narrative and some sense of presentation. Is it not good to be needed?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven Triloqvist:
But I was not impressed by the one meeting I attended in order to capture the party zeitgeist. Polymaths, acne and black wardrobes.
Are you prejudiced, Sven?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only when trinitized.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet you would have considered quite a few of them silly.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read below ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You base your impression of political parties onf how they look?  You know who looks great? Sarah Palin.

Morons with good skin and great suits are usually the ones who get us into trouble, aren't they?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
You base your impression of political parties onf how they look?
Call if professional deformation. Sven works in branding. Political parties are electioneering machines. Do the math. Well, don't: between that and your black wardrobe Sven might get a bad first impression.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:14:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anecdotal evidence demands to be embroidered. All anecdotes do. Anyway I'm an entertainer, not a scientist. The only science I'm involved in - and you could hardly call it a science - is that of discovering any individual's or group's general motivations. I deal with people on the basis of my own perceptions of those motivations.

What people say, how they say it and to whom, their dynamic in a group, body language, dress, hair, possessions and so on - all contribute to those perceptions, with some salient features negating and some amplifying other characteristics.

The only thing I have not found indicative of character is RW names. (because they are not chosen by the user). But nicks are.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:55:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Swedish blogger has found out that the journalist who published the article in Aftonbladet apparently published essentially the same text in 2001 the book Inshallah, which was financed by among others, get this, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs!

And not only that, financing was also obtained from Diakonia (90% financed with Swedish tax aid money) and Forum Syd (100 % financed with Swedish tax aid money). It seems the entire Swedish foreign aid industrial complex is deeply involved in this antisemitism affair, which really shouldn't surprise anyone as the oversight is extremely weak and the institutions populated by typical extreme left aged 1968-people.

But not only did this project recieve money from the then social democratic government, but also directly from different branches of the wealthy soc dem labour movement, namely:

    * Grafiska Fackförbundet (labour union of printers)
    * Grafiska Fackföreningen Stockholm ((labour union of printers, Stockholm)
    * Broderskapsrörelsen (Christian soc dems, though in recent years seems to be mainly a front for anti-israeli and pro-islamic influence, like arguing for sharia law for muslims IIRC)
    * TCO (labour union of mid level professionals)
    * Frikyrkliga Studieförbundet (more christian leftists)
   

Interestingly if unrelated, the right wing minister of foreign aid recently harshly critisiced the aid infustry for inefficiency and corruption, which was widely seen as the first step in a battle against this powerful and entrenched special interest group...    

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 08:47:22 AM EST
Leaving aside the Aid Industrial Complex for a minute...

Starvid:

It seems the entire Swedish foreign aid industrial complex is deeply involved in this antisemitism affair
Is this an antisemitism affair? One would think so.

Carl Bildt

has expressed understanding for Israel's "sensitivity about insinuations or allegations that could give open anti-Semitism air beneath its wings". But that has so far not been enough for the Israeli government.
The problem is not whether the allegations are true or false. The problem is that "they could give open antisemitism air beneath the wings" (presumably, then, the allegations are not "openly antisemitic"). But are they antisemitic and false? We have an Israeli blogger in Haaretz saying
there are matters that one should and must act against, such as Holocaust denial or antisemitism. But this has nothing to do with either of these two things, even though our ridiculous foreign minister would die for it to be connected to the Holocaust and to antisemitism.

...

... if Israel had admitted to the awful inhuman things that were done during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and had supported the soldiers that had the courage to admit to the awful things they witnessed or participated in ...

Wait, so the awful things were alleged to have happened by whistle-blowing Israeli soldiers? Or what is the Israeli blogger talking about?

And what would a conservative newspaper doing carrying water for a supposed far-left international aid establishment? Helping a fellow antisemites?  - Haaretz reports

But the liberal Sydsvenskan - southern Sweden's major daily - had harsh criticism for the rival paper, running an opinion piece under the headline "Antisemitbladet" (a play on the name Aftonbladet).
So the "liberal" press criticises the "conservative" newspaper which carries stories originated by the "far left"? What is really going on here? (And what, if any did go on in Gaza?)

Oh, and does the Israeli blogger who assumes the organ harvesting story is true have his opinions published in English by Haaretz, too? Or is introspective criticism only carried in the Hebrew edition while the English edition for the consumption of foreigners have a different content and editorial slant?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and does the Israeli blogger who assumes the organ harvesting story is true have his opinions published in English by Haaretz, too?

I don't see any Israeli blogger claiming this story is true. Indeed, even the parents of the Palestinian kid who was killed by the IDF back in 1992 denies that their son had his organs stolen. They even deny ever talking to the journalist Boström, claiming that he just snapped a few pictures of their dead son.

This entire story is classic antisemitism based on the old blood libel story. If you haven't read the article itself, it's here in English. No proof of anything at all, just pure speculation and falsely claimed hearsay connecting different weakly supported dots in classic conspiracy theory manner. It's quite a surprise that he doesn't quote the Elders of Zion papers too...

Of course, none of this is any excuse for Liebermans ridiculous and insulting behaviour.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
I don't see any Israeli blogger claiming this story is true.
huh?
if Israel had admitted to the awful inhuman things that were done during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and had supported the soldiers that had the courage to admit to the awful things they witnessed or participated in
What is Ha'aretz blogger Beni Tzipper (gk's link to Hebrew article) talking about, then?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, the blogger says Israel did horrible things in Cast Lead, but I don't see him claiming they were part of a worldwide organ harvesting operation. Anyway, I can't read Hebrew...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:52:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the Israeli blogger is using the Swedish allegations to carry his own water in the unrelated internal Israeli debate over Cast Lead?

WTF? Is anyone writing in good faith in this whole story?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WTF? Is anyone writing in good faith in this whole story?

Welcome to the Middle East... ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:58:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems Aftonbladet in true unserious style has made an extremely tendentious translation of the text into English, making it far less grave when in English, according to a Swedish blogger.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 02:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aftonbladet has published the original article in english so I will not have to translate that one.

Basically it refers to this article:
N.J. corruption probe includes first organ trafficking case - NJ.com

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn called himself a "matchmaker," but his business wasn't romance. Instead, authorities say, he brokered the sale of black-market kidneys, buying organs from vulnerable people from Israel for $10,000 and selling them to desperate patients in the U.S. for as much as $160,000.

The alleged scheme exposed this week by an FBI sting, rocked the nation's transplant industry. If true, it would be the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S., transplant experts said today.

And connects it with a rumour of organ theft, to reach this conclusion:
"Our sons are plundered of their organs" - English translation of the article by Donald Boström | Kultur | Aftonbladet

The relatives of the dead Palestinians no longer harbored any doubts as to the reasons for the killings, but the spokesperson for the Israeli army claimed that the allegations of organ theft were lies. All the Palestinian victims go through autopsy on a routine basis, he said. Bilal Achmed Ghanem was one of 133 Palestinians killed in various ways that year. According to the Palestinian statistics the causes of death were: shot in the street, explosion, tear gas, deliberately run over, hanged in prison, shot in school, killed at home etcetera. The 133 people killed were between four months to 88 years old. Only half of them, 69 victims, went through postmortem examination. The routine autopsy of killed Palestinians - of which the army spokesperson was talking - has no bearing on the reality in the occupied territories. The questions remain.

We know that Israel has a great need for organs, that there is a vast and illegal trade of organs which has been running for many years now, that the authorities are aware of it and that doctors in managing positions at the big hospitals participate, as well as civil servants at various levels. We also know that young Palestinian men disappeared, that they were brought back after five days, at night, under tremendous secrecy, stitched back together after having been cut from abdomen to chin.

It's time to bring clarity to this macabre business, to shed light on what is going on and what has taken place in the territories occupied by Israel since the Intifada began.

I do not find it antisemitic, it is an article that connects a rumour of organ theft in the occupied territories with organ theft in China, Pakistan, the Phillipines and the US and calls for official probes to bring clarity. If it is true it is horrible but it is the sort of thing that goes on under oppression, so it is not far fetched. And it is reported in the standard way - person A told me that, person B responded, names withold to protect sources - that makes it hard for anyone but the journalist to know if there is any thruth to it.

It then sets of two interconnected debates. One where the government of Israel defends itself by naming critique anti-semitism and thus not discussable at all (not unlike the charge of anti-americanism). That one refered in the diary includes the swedish government (right) trying to distance itself from the article while not doing it, and the soc-dem opposition (left) using any chance to show the government of as weak in its defence of press freedom and as poor administrators in foreign policy (the latter being a long-standing theme).

And the second is the internal swedish Kulturkampf where we now has round 54 or something where the right calls the left antisemitic and the left answers with cries of a double-standard for Israels occupation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except Boström invented the organ harvsting story of 1992 all by himself. No one, not even the parents of the killed youth, thought he had his organs harvested. Boström claims this, without any proof whatsoever.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Journalists does not use proofs. They use sources who can be so anonymous that it is impossible to verify. I thought that was the case here. But someone have actually identified "relatives of Khaled from Nablus" "the mother of Raed from Jenin and the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza" and asked them?

Interesting, do you have a link?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:28:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Source.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, all that is said there is that no one of the immediate family intervued by the Jerusalem Post told the swedish photographer about any organ theft. Not that they rule it out:

Family: We didn't tell foreign media organs were stolen | Middle East | Jerusalem Post

The mother denied that she had told any foreign journalist that her son's organs had been stolen.

However, she said that now she does not rule out the possibility that Israel was harvesting organs of Palestinians.

One of them confirmed that the rumor was and is circulating and supported the need for an inquiry:

Family: We didn't tell foreign media organs were stolen | Middle East | Jerusalem Post

Jalal and other members of the family said that "rumors" about Israel killing Palestinians to steal their organs have been circulating for a long time.

"I can't tell you if these rumors are true or not," the brother said.
"But in light of the investigative report in the Swedish newspaper, we are demanding an international commission of inquiry into the case."

If I understand the JP article correctly, the family lives in Imatin and is probably not the "relatives from Nablus" that is quoted in the AB-article.

So the conclusion at this point would be that the journalist did not talk to the direct family, who confirms that the rumor exists but they have no proof in the case.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 01:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
So the conclusion at this point would be that the journalist did not talk to the direct family, who confirms that the rumor exists but they have no proof in the case.
This is beginning to look like a blood libel, to be honest.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 04:20:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, serious journalists always use two unrelated sources when they have not witnessed something with their own eyes.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:06:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And really serious journalists never report on an event unless the can quote two different sources taking opposite positions on what happened (or even whether it happened). And it's not just me saying it
In a way this goes beyond my original point, which was the unwillingness of the news media to referee a controversy by actually reporting the facts. Now it seems that a fact isn't worth reporting unless someone is prepared to deny it.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but serious journalism is rarely found in the evening papers.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 01:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, Tzipper's main point was that the organ story was complete nonsense, but that it was not antisemitic, and that drawing the attention of everybody to a story that would otherwise be ignored was at best counterproductive. (I skipped the passages where he explained why it was not antisemitic partly because I wasn't convinced, but mainly because I thought that it was not really relevant for his main argument. I should have made it clearer that I was quoting unconnected paragraphs).

As for the lack of translation, I'm not sure. I suspect that it's because it's a blog, not part of the main paper, because they certainly have no problem with translating Levy and Haas.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:12:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
A Swedish blogger has found out that the journalist who published the article in Aftonbladet apparently published essentially the same text in 2001 the book Inshallah, which was financed by among others, get this, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs!
That Swedish blog has the same date (23 August) as the following NYT piece: Accusation of Organ Theft Stokes Ire in Israel
"Israel is under assault," said Daniel Seaman, director of Israel's Government Press Office. The Aftonbladet article, he said, was part of a "premeditated campaign to vilify the State of Israel." He added that anti-Semitic blood libels had led in the past to pogroms and attacks against Jews. "We cannot afford to turn the other way."

The article, by the Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, ran on an inside page of the newspaper on Aug. 17. It was based on accusations Mr. Bostrom heard from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the 1990s, and which he published in a book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2001. Mr. Seaman said Mr. Bostrom last worked here in 2006.

Mr. Bostrom apparently revived the allegations by linking them to the July arrests of 44 people in New Jersey in a major corruption and international money laundering conspiracy that included several assemblymen, mayors and rabbis. One of its members, Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, faces charges of conspiring to broker the illegal sale of a human kidney for transplant.

(h/t the NYT's frekonomics blog)
Why the Israeli Organ-Harvesting Story Is Probably False
Al Roth, the Harvard economist whose work on matched-pair organ donations has started to transform the organ-transplantation scenario, told me he found the accusation unbelievable because of the logistics of organ harvesting itself. "Organs don't last very long and have to be matched rather particularly," he said, "so it would be hard to take them on spec for an international market. So I think black market organs must mostly be from live donors. Live donors can take blood tests well in advance and travel to where the patient is. Deceased organs have to be put on ice, and the clock starts ticking immediately and fast."
And, by the way, Soylent Green is People!

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the blog, Jerusalem Post and some other Israeli paper had picked up the story from his blog. Apparently NYT has done so as well, if one is to believe the blogger.

And the salmons, yes, I did laugh at that. ;) A good example on how to behave when you're insulted by newspapers. Lieberman should take heed.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 09:39:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lawyer sues 'Aftonbladet' in NY Court | International | Jerusalem Post
Israeli lawyer Guy Ophir has filed a lawsuit against the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet over articles it published accusing IDF soldiers of harvesting organs from Palestinians.

The organ harvesting article published in Aftonbladet.

The $7.5 million suit, which names the paper and writer Donald Bostrom, was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, according to Ophir, who said the article's allegations were anti-Semitic and amounted to "racist blood libel" against Jews and Israeli soldiers.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 04:43:19 PM EST


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