Israelis protest arrival of ‘organ theft’ journalist

Dozens of Israeli protesters on Sunday expressed their anger at the arrival of controversial Swedish journalist Donald Boström, who accused Israeli soldiers of harvesting organs from dead Palestinians.

The protesters were waiting at the airport for the arrival of Boström, who is in Israel to attend a media conference in the southern city of Dimona on Monday.

Israel’s Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said he would boycott the conference to protest Boström’s presence.

“I do not want to associate myself to the fact that a platform is offered to an enemy who publishes defamatory articles on Israel,” Shalom told army radio.

Boström sparked outrage in Israel and a diplomatic spat with Sweden after he published an article in August in the popular Aftonbladet tabloid that alleged Israeli soldiers stole and sold body parts of dead Palestinians.

The newspaper later said the story lacked proof.

Israel has demanded that the Swedish government condemn the article that it has labelled an anti-Semitic “blood libel.” Stockholm has refused, saying that to do so would violate the country’s tradition of freedom of speech.

Gidon Adin, one of the conference organizers, defended the decision to invite Boström.

“He will for the first time have to explain in front of a hostile audience why he publishes defamatory articles on the basis of rumours,” Adin told army radio.