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« Who Gets the Virgins? | Main | Realpolitik's Unpleasant Taste »

Wednesday, August 19 2009

Swedish Blood Libel Author: 'I Have No Clue'

Donald Bostrom, who wrote the Aftonbladet story accusing Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs, now says he has no idea if the story is true. The Jerusalem Post writes:

"I have a personal opinion, it concerns me that it's true," Donald Bostrom, who penned the story, told Israel Radio en route to an emergency meeting at the editorial offices Aftonbladet, presumably to discuss the aftermath of the report.

"I was [present] during the interview that night, I was a witness. It concerns me to the extent that I want it to be investigated," Bostrom told the station. "But whether it's true or not - I have no idea, I have no clue."

But Aftonbladet's digging in it's heels.

Asa Linderborg, an editor of the newspaper's culture section which printed the story, told Haaretz that the publication "stands behind the demand for an international inquiry."

Whatever happened to fact-checking and independently verifying sources?



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Remember Bila'am Ben Be'or?
If you don't I suggest you do some bible reading. If you do, you already know what the outcome of this article is going to be. Serious media will never help our cause as will this stupid ridiculous accusations. This in belief that some inteligent people are left in our world.
Ira, Chile.

Really professional. "Uh..we don't know if it's true... - BUT WE DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION!!!"

Just like those old anti-Semitic accusations that had absolutely no basis to them, yet spread like wildfire due to racism and indifference. This is no different.

During the '67 war, I remember reports on the news and in the papers about Israeli soldiers "burning Arab bodies".

The original report came from - if memory serves me right, and I am quite certain that it does - two Swedish reporters. Apparently, they asked a group of Arab boys what was making the smoke seen off in the distance. The children's answer was that Jews were burning the bodies of dead Arab soldiers.

The reporters couldn't be bothered driving the two or three kilometers to see for themselves what was causing the smoke.

Bottom line: After the world was aghast at the behaviour of the Jews.. er... Israelis, it turned out to be a tire dump set on fire by Arabs. The story lasted three days, and the correction barely reported (you really had to look for it).

Isn't there something in journalism about "confirming your sources"? Fact checking? Investigating the story? Not reporting unsubstantiated rumour? This all seems to be the gold standard, except when it comes to Israel, Israelis, and Jews in general.

This will happen again and again, and we should not be shocked. False stories of Israeli poisoning water wells, starving Arabs, using spent nuclear material against Arabs, poisoning candy for Arab children, medical experimentation on Arabs, et cetera, are but a few of the stories that go around and come back every now and then. Never more than a rumour, but always treated as fact. Once in the press, the stories take on a life of their own.

Racism and racism disguised as lies appears to be quite alright in the news when it is applied to stories about Israel and Jews. That is the sad, sad truth.

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