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Israeli ambassador 'upset and furious'

Paul O'Mahony · 19 Aug 2009, 17:47

Published: 19 Aug 2009 17:47 GMT+02:00

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"I feel really upset, furious and disappointed. Really there are no words to describe fully how I feel about this, not even in Hebrew," says Dagan, 53, in a telephone interview with The Local.

The Ambassador says he is unable to fathom a decision by Sweden's largest circulation newspaper Aftonbladet to publish a two-page spread alleging Israeli Defence Force and medical sector complicity in a sinister organ-harvesting ring.

"What's the motivation behind publishing something like this, which implicates Israel, Jews, doctors and the authorities in a sort of vague conspiracy? What if somebody were to be stabbed now in Stockholm or Malmö. Are they trying to encourage that kind of act?

"You don't have to be paranoid to draw comparisons with similar accusations made against Jews in the past, killing Christian for their blood, for example," says Dagan.

The Aftonbladet article, published in its culture section on Monday, refers to a case in 1992 when a young Palestinian man was allegedly returned to his family five days after his death at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

Writer and photographer Donald Boström says the body had been dissected and stitched back together in the intervening period. He claims to have spoken to families who were certain that young Palestinian men were being used as involuntary organ donors for Israel, a charge Ambassador Dagan dismisses as absurd.

"Where is the meat here? Can you really hide something like that in a democratic country without there being criminal repercussions. Of course you can't."

Dagan questions whether the newspaper would have published similar accusations against non-Jews.

"It plays into a certain mode of thinking. And when you see how the article is phrased, how can you not be reminded of the sort of things that were published 60 or 70 years ago?"

The Israeli ambassador says he is sure that "not all Swedes agree with this kind of garbage" and hopes that people will speak out against the publication.

"It calls for real reflection and criticism on the part of quality, responsible journalists and Swedes on the whole. People might say that Aftonbladet has published things like this before but it's about time to stop tolerating it."

Dagan says he remains optimistic towards the possibility of a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Story continues below…

"With Obama we are currently on the threshold of a resumption of talks. What is the aim of publishing this article? To hamper such a development."

Benny Dagan has worked in the Israeli foreign service since 1985. He has been stationed abroad on numerous occasions, including twice in the United States. He says he has enjoyed his first year in Stockholm but is dismayed by this week's developments.

"Unfortunately we see a lot of articles like this in the Arab media, and often people don't expect much more from undemocratic countries. But I don't understand how it can happen here in Sweden, a country that has long been a beacon of democracy and human rights.

"In the year since I've been here I've found Swedes to be generally fair and honest people and it's important that people take a stand on this issue."

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

20:03 August 19, 2009 by sebseb
I hope the entire world will support Aftonbladet in the name of democracy, not Theocracy, hypocrisy and self victimisation, and I would add paranoia and living in the past.
20:08 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy
Why didn't he explain about that dissected and stitched ?
20:18 August 19, 2009 by Kaethar
What's the motivation behind this? News? To get an investigation started? Welcome to journalism. Where they write things not everyone wants to hear. Now, these allegations can be checked out, ignored, but you make yourself look ridiculous whining about it.

And who would be stabbed? So I guess nothing which is even remotely controversial should ever be written in case someone's "feelings are hurt" or because someone "might be hurt." Get over yourself.

Odd how a couple of rabbi's in New York were caught in the illegal harvesting business. So clearly Jews are not perfect-angels-who-can-do-no-wrong. This is an ALLEGED crime which should be LOOKED into, and not ignored by a person who apparently thinks everyone's out to get them.
21:15 August 19, 2009 by Torontonian
And what was Sweden created from?
21:24 August 19, 2009 by Mahabubur Rahman
Well done, Aftonbladet.

Praiseworthy investigative journalism.

Israeli ambassador is 'upset and furious', as the truth has been uncovered.
21:49 August 19, 2009 by Torontonian

Canada and the USA were also created from "thin air". Let's destroy them and all other countries you do not like.

In 2007 6 million (or 41%) of the world's Jews were living in Israel . The number of Jews living outside Israel dropped by 100,000 and the Jewish population of Israel rose by 300,000. They are not going anywhere.

The fact that you do not like it - only makes them more sure about the need to have their country.

BTW, "Jew" = jøde, jood, Judeu, Zyd, Juif, Jude, Ioudaios, Judaeus ----> inhabitant of Judah. (Take a look on the map and try to find it)

So, following your train of silly arguments, can you please explain to connection between Lapland and Sweden?
21:52 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy
I don't know why some start talking about Muslims, Jews, and theor contributions...This is so simple. Is this story true? If no so what the heck is that dissected and stitched body?


Your last statment made my day. If you're sane then... :D
21:55 August 19, 2009 by goodbyeammar
to the guy who said that: ''thanks god we have a country''.. well, the country you are talking about, 'Israel' was created at the expense of Palestinians. 'Israel' was created by an act of rape and terrorism and stealing others' lands.

why should be such journalism a hate speech? why if we report the truth and if we report the ugliness of the israeli occupation, then, the world says it is hate -speech.

have you forgetten that 'israel' is an occupational force. occupation can never be a garden of flower and the whole world should be knoweledged about the israeli occupation crimes so they can rescue the palestinians.

yes for the palestinian resistance. israel is a state of terror. it has killed many children and arrestsd many underage and demolished the houses of innocent people and occupies the land of Palestine for more than 61 years so far.
22:01 August 19, 2009 by c9dw2rm8

There has never been a Palestinian state-

If there has -name me-

Any President, King, Ruler.

Name me Its seat of Rule- Parliament, Palace.

Name me its financial Institution-

Exchequer, bank currency.
22:04 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy

No there has never been a Palestinian state, you're right. But there wer million of people in an area where we call "Israel" now, and they were either massacred or forced to leave. Welcome to Israel!
22:06 August 19, 2009 by Torontonian
Enough with quotes from the Hebrew bible. We need a quote from the Qur'an!

In the Qur'an when Moses proclaims to the Children of Israel he said: "O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin." (Surah 5:21)
22:10 August 19, 2009 by bettan1
Wow, looks like alot of people dug their brown shirts out of the laundry, strapped on their jack boots and practiced their goose step on this one.
22:20 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy

I missed any quote from Hebrew????

Yes. That quote refers to Jews living in 2500 years ago. Let's come back to 21th century.
22:34 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy

I don't argue that they are called Palestinians or something else. I say they are "People" who were living there prior ro 1950s so they should be able to live there again. They shouldn't be displaced or moved to camps to farther areas.
22:53 August 19, 2009 by Iraniboy

You can't consider them immigrant after 2500 years!

Aren't current Israeli population mostly from East European countries , Russian and the US?
23:00 August 19, 2009 by Torontonian

800,000 to 1,000,000 Jews were either forced out or fled their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970s. (By 2002 these Jews and their descendants constituted about 40% of Israel's population.)

Isn't that ethnic cleansing?
23:02 August 19, 2009 by lingonberrie
What is AIPAC's going rate for a babies' liver or kidney?

This is not about whether they would "harvest" organs, but about how much they can make from doing so.
23:09 August 19, 2009 by sebseb
torontonian and Danny boy,

you are not helping your cause always accusing Europeans, and Swedish, of being antisemite.

Second, bringing the Muslims in the discussion is not an argument, it is a proof that you have NO arguments in your defence.
23:09 August 19, 2009 by lingonberrie

Make that, very thin air; and the United States and Canada were created out of equally thin air over the slaughterd bodies of the Native Peoples.

Those are the facts, the rest of this support for Israel or the U.S. or Canada on this matter is pure emotion with no logic.

Pure emotion and no logic are what 99.9% of the posts are from the United States.
23:12 August 19, 2009 by sebseb
Third, I do not know if we live on the same planet, but us in Europe are quite secularized. We do not discuss issues bringing the bible and the quoran into a discussion. We are grown up.

Fourth, If we actualy live on the same planet, I believe that the Muslim world has been largely accused for being "too much". Many of us who live in Europe may have friends coming from the Middle East who are also secularised. I have for instance 3 iranian friends who were raised Muslim, and now all their families are in Sweden and they could not care less about muslim religion. Anyway, nowadays, the one who are persecuted and the one who are suffering are the muslims, not the jews. The jews are playing the victims. Blame the British, blame the Americans for having screwed up the Middle east in the last 100 years, but don't blame the Swedes.
23:17 August 19, 2009 by Mbach
Aftonbladet at least keeps an open mind, and is hardly racist. Nowadays, any time anyone says anything that Israel does not like, it's accused of anti-semitism. As far as they are concerned, free speech is only permissible if it does not raise any truths or questions that disagrees with the truth as they decide it. This is ridiculous. To accuse Aftonbladet of racism because it is open to the other point of view is just plain censorship.
23:24 August 19, 2009 by sebseb
I think Torontonian is actualy Shulamit Aloni.

Google: "It's a Trick, We Always Use It." (calling people "anti-Semitic")
00:12 August 20, 2009 by red indian
To be welcome by Israel state you must behave as following:

1- Never point out to any sin or crime done by Jews people.

(Because Jews are chosen people, and chosen people don't do mistake).

2- Always remind the world of Jewish genocide during Nazi occupied to Europe.

(To get more sympathy with Israel and to ignore Israel crimes in Palestine, and Israel can get more pressure over the Europe for more financial support).

3- Stand for any one who dares to criticize Israel in public or media.

(Because this act will hurt the image of the democratic state of Israel)

Otherwise you are anti-Israel , anti-Semitic , anti-Jewish , anti-any thing they choose you to be.
00:19 August 20, 2009 by Iraniboy
The author of the article has recieved several death threats:

Bostrom, who spoke to CNN from Stockholm, said he has received several death threats about the opinion piece.

When asked if he was afraid, he said, "Yeah, I'm concerned."

00:42 August 20, 2009 by Iraniboy

Apparently it's not like what you said!! He has recieved several death threats and he is concerned. He has just explained what he has seen with his own eyes.

"One of those claims is from the family of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem, a 19-year-old Palestinian man who was shot and killed in 1992, allegedly by Israeli forces, in the West Bank village of Imatin.

"I was present that night, I was a witness," Bostrom said.

He said Ghanem's body was taken away and returned several days later by the Israeli military with a cut in his midsection that had been stitched up. Ghanem's family said they believed that his organs had been removed."
00:45 August 20, 2009 by red indian
What could be more discrimination than this? If your mother is not Jew

Then you can't be a Jew.

Jew comes from Judaism.

This means that you can't choose the Judaism religion, you must born with it.
00:48 August 20, 2009 by c9dw2rm8
@red indian

Educate yourself you can be a Jewish without a jewish mother

You can con convert to Judaism - It's called GIUR
07:17 August 20, 2009 by Uncle
Red Indian - you should be a freaking writer for Aftonbladet. But, frankly you should have been making movies for herr Goebbels. You are just sitting here, writing about Israel as IF you have lived there, about Judaism AS IF you know anything about it and ride on false propaganda that is infesting swedish media. There is no even use of contradicting your claims. Sickening...

BTW, anyone remembers that Aftonbladet did not write about the demonstration in support of Israel in Malmö last year? The ONLY demonstration that was attacked of course.

But when Hezbollah was marching through Gothenburg and Stockholm unhindered with flags and all, this pulp fiction was amazed at the power of "peoples outrage against Israel". Everyone with a little bit brains should make a collective law suit and close this paper.
08:16 August 20, 2009 by Eurostan
israel is the only democratic country in the middle east. israel is surrounded by all muslim countries. where ever there are muslims there is a problem. isrel is the victim of islam just like india or nigeria or china recently.there is no peace with peace with muslims. these islamic militants in desparation kill their own people or use children and woman as shields and show international media that israel military or indian military killed them.

i think same technic used in aftonbladet. it is the hamas or islamic militants they do that kind of organ business .
08:59 August 20, 2009 by Iraniboy

Only democratic? Hamas was elected in an election that was praised by "Ms Rice".


When there is a demons, it's obvious that newspapers report it. How can it be anti-semist?!!

I wonder why nobody talk about the real story and what the author has witnessed.


Well. It seems you're alread in. Poor author of the article has recieved several death threats! near 40'000 emails have been sent to poor Swedish PM.


09:05 August 20, 2009 by microping
My Jewish friend, don't be too upset because of those media controlled by government. They can find/create thousands of news if they don't like you. The same thing happens to China on Westen media. But the good thing is not all people truste what they wrote, I guess...
09:38 August 20, 2009 by Iraniboy

These civilised Israelis have sent several death threats to the author of the article. Read my previous comment from CNN!

This article didn't insult Jews or Muslims. It highlights a crime commited in Israel. There are zillions of articles world wide and Sweden that shows the crimes commited in Islamic countries. Has any Muslim complained about showing crimes in Islam countries?
09:49 August 20, 2009 by soultraveler3
Talk about trying something original...


"Pure emotion and no logic are what 99.9% of the posts are from the United States."
09:50 August 20, 2009 by hellomamun
it doesnt matter wheather you jews are good or not? Nobody wants to know that but now you are violating the normal human rights. Why you bring jews morality here. You just prove that your country is not doing that kind of thing. Can u do that?????????????
09:59 August 20, 2009 by soultraveler3
This board is so full of bigotry that it makes it next to impossible to discuss / debate anything. Just for the people that don't know what bigotry is...

Bigot- One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

There you go.

I am of the opinion that in order to be truly respected you must be able to argue and persuade your point without lowering yourself.
10:03 August 20, 2009 by hpunlimited

Solving the middle east conflict is easy if the people themselves wants to. Unfortunately both Jews and Arabs have no interest in peace. I do not believe in aiding or adding to the fire is a solution. Aiding one side of the conflict just enables that side to commit even more hideous crimes.

Unfortunately WAR = Business!

Without conflicts like in the middle east, countries like the USA and Russia would go bankrupt. They say as many as over 100 million Americans are dependant on the US military, directly or indirectly.

So as long as it is good for the country, then Obama will keep sending money to the Israeli military, so they can continue the war and buy more weapons and warrant the huge need for the military.
10:44 August 20, 2009 by Iraniboy

So now we should wait and see if this poor giug is being killed or not?

Well you criticize Muslims for being angry becauset heir beloved prophet are insult yet you can't tolerate someone accuse IDF os doing a crime? It's not insulting Jews or their prophet. It's highlighting a war crime. If we're not allowed to talk about miliatry forces of a secular country like Israel, they can commit a genocide.
10:46 August 20, 2009 by soultraveler3

I wasn't implying that anyone in particular was a bigot, just that there seems to be quite a few on The Local board at any given time.

Just for the record, I understand the meaning of logic, having taken many classes on the subject while in university. :)

I do agree with you on this, let the story be investigated, and if there's enough evidence to support the accusations there should be consequences for those involved.

The ambassador shouldn't be so upset, he should realize and respect the fact that in Sweden there is freedom of the press.
10:56 August 20, 2009 by Per Johansson52
It is TRUE that Israelis kill Palestine arabs and sell their kidney

Please check out the news Google "Jews selling kidney"

recently more than 30 JEWS in USA was arrest for organ trafficking. I am agree with the Article Jews jews Palestinian and selling their body parts to Market.


Jews Arrested over Organ Trafficking Case: US Kids Organs to feed Israel´s Health System
11:28 August 20, 2009 by Danny B
To: Per Johansson52

With such rubbush you wrote. I have the filling that your were among the Palestinians, but contrary to them the Israeli soldiers missed and took your brain instead,

(Might be short distance of your brain from your kidneys caused such a confusion?)

You don't have to paint your comments with any pink color,

We can smell antisemites and Jew haters, we are much experienced.

In Heberew we say:

God keep me from those who love me, as from those who hate me I can take care myself.
12:52 August 20, 2009 by Nika-NM
it's just a poxy article, it wasn't even worth blowing up to such an extent. But, there's always this, where there's smoke, there's fire. I think it was overreaction from Dagan's side, that made things look more fishy. But would be interesting to see Sweden entangled in accusations like these. Would they overreact like Dagan did? Don't think so.
13:36 August 20, 2009 by solomon ayalew
About two weeks ago a criminal gang of American and Israeli Jews were caught by US police in the act of smuggling body parts into the US and selling them for hundreds of thousand dollars. The money was used for financing Jewish lobbies in the US.
13:46 August 20, 2009 by adinas
Go to Youube and search for Yr86zcO2T4Q to see Israeli troops in action
13:47 August 20, 2009 by judas
A sweedish company has developed a special telescopic gun sight for the israel army. It checks the target's tissue charesteristics and tries to get a match thru a network connection from a database of people that need body parts for implant. The soldier also sees in the sight which parts should not be harmed so that the may be sold later. The money from this operation so far covered only the development cost of the sight and still has to cover for the ones that were build and delivered.
14:52 August 20, 2009 by Torontonian
Aftonbladet - A beacon of Journalism:

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. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftonbladet)

I cannot imagine this paper being Antisemitic.

The author of the article, Donald Bostrom, spoke to Israel Radio on 19 August 2009 and replied that "But whether it's true or not - I have no idea, I have no clue."....but the title on the article is "Our son's organs are being plundered" ...
14:55 August 20, 2009 by peropaco
I am waiting for the Jews to start rioting and behaving like savages
15:21 August 20, 2009 by Danny B
To: Peropaco.

Talking of savages.let me remind you who were the founders of Sweden? correct the Vikings.

While the vikings still were living in caves and praying to stones, we the Jews already had our country, belief in one God and knew to read and wright.

How "delicate" were the vikings we have all heared and learned. so don't speak to me about savages.

You remain savages and collaborated with Germans although you are wearing the neutral mask.
17:02 August 20, 2009 by karaoke
In the film named "All the President's Men (1976)", two journalists revealed the government corruption in the media. The reaction from white house was interesting. As the government people were corrupted, they did not deny the fact but they just said we need evidences.

Now we see the same thing here!
17:07 August 20, 2009 by peaceman
red indian , Your comment # 36 is absolutely right about Israel state.
17:13 August 20, 2009 by xky
Support isreal, this country was surrounded by some gang country, they use women and children like a weapon to destroy isreal, like body bomber.
17:38 August 20, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Who reads the Afton anyways? I swear that piece of multicolored bathroom tissue is resposible for the current twisted, dumbed down views most Swedes hold towards world happenings.
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