Archive for October, 2009

The view from Sweden

Monday, October 26th, 2009

What exactly are good tone and acceptable behaviour?

Are they the same for everyone? Should we make special allowances for people if we are afraid of them? Or do we make such allowances simply because we believe they are incapable of any better? Doesn’t that make such a society institutionally racist?

Recently Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats in this peaceful Scandinavian country, made waves when he wrote an article decrying what he perceived as the threat to Sweden from large numbers of fanatical Islamist immigrants adopting an increasingly strident tone and some alarmingly violent tactics.

While the vein in which Åkesson wrote and some of the aims of his party may leave a lot to be desired in the view of the political mainstream, there is no denying that there is considerable substance to what he writes.

The political establishment and the media immediately tore him to shreds.

Unfortunately, however, that was the typical Swedish knee-jerk reaction to anything critical of Muslims or Islam. The political establishment and the media elite, accustomed to routinely lambasting Israel and, at best, ignoring threats to the well-being of Swedish Jews, have over the years become equally accustomed to banning all critical examination of subjects tangenting Muslims or Islam.

The Jerusalem Post recently published a MEMRI film clip showing the tone that is being spread in Swedish mosques. This follows hard on the heels of a sermon in the Stockholm Grand Mosque a couple of years ago in which the imam thundered that Jews – in Sweden – should be killed on account of the conflict in the Middle East. That was immediately shrugged off by the Swedish authorities as “verbal posturing, part of the customary discourse when the subject is the Middle East”.

These horrendous views from Swedish Muslim religious figures are routinely ignored, while attempts by a right-wing Swedish politician to highlight the threat, are met with massive derision and solid resistance.

Sweden’s unwillingness to adopt a principled, moral stance whereby the same standards are applied to everyone, is very troubling indeed.

It’s an unwillingness that is set to garner the Sweden Democrats considerable support in the upcoming elections next autumn.

Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Haniyeh and Nasrallah to be tried for war crimes

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Just kidding – they’re protected after all by the UN.

The purpose of the UN is to protect dictatorships from the onslaught of democracy. And the democracies pay for this travesty of justice.

It is common knowledge that Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh personally ordered the missile onslaught that culminated in last December’s Israeli response. During the eight years of Gaza-inflicted missile terror on Israeli civilians, something in the region of 12,000 missiles rained down on Jewish towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon, farming communities, hospitals and schools.

Ismail Haniyeh is not the first Arab leader to order mass destruction of civilian Israeli infrastructure for political gain – Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did precisely the same thing in 2006, unleashing several thousand missiles on exclusively civilian Israeli targets such as hospitals, schools, railway stations and residential apartments.

Interestingly – and entirely predictably owing to the automatic pro-islamist and anti-Israel majority in a UN that is deeply flawed and increasingly marginalized – it is Israel, the victim of these and many other systematic targeted attacks, that is now the victim of yet another systematic targeted attack: by the UN itself.

The Goldstone Report has no parallel in history. It has been paid for by the UN member states with the predetermined aim of finding UN member state Israel guilty. And only that state, on the premise that the conflict only began when the victim hit back.


There is no parallel in history for similarly bold, publicly funded prejudice

Bizarrely, absurdly, there is still no international tribunal to try either Haniyeh or Nasrallah for war crimes. Indeed, there has been no UN-commissioned report to investigate their guilt, let alone bring them to trial.

Both Haniyeh and Nasrallah should by now be the focus of immense international determination to bring them to The Hague. Instead, both leaders enjoy absolute support in the UN, and there have been no UN attempts whatsoever to bring either to account.

Perhaps it is time to enlist Swedish journalist Donald Boström to write an article accusing Haniyeh and Nasrallah of cannibalism. In accustomed Boström style he can then publish his allegations in Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet and demand that if they are innocent, they spend their own time and resources proving it.

A UN commission financed by funds earmarked for famine relief in Africa should be appointed to investigate the allegations. Failure to respond to the allegations will be interpreted as guilt, and the pair will then be referred to the UN General Assembly and finally to the UN Security Council for robust military and legal action.

After all, the precedent has already been set.


How the truth is officially ignored – by UN decree

It’s hard to know what’s more offensive – the UN’s total dedication to vilifying the world’s only Jewish state – the only democratic state in the entire Middle East – or the UN’s total dedication to whitewashing the most disgraceful human rights abuses by the anti-democratic Arab states surrounding Israel.

Either way, the result is systematically racist. Nothing the Jewish state does is correct, nothing any Arab state does is wrong.

It really is time to stop taking the UN seriously. After all, it hasn’t taken itself seriously for decades.

IM – end the occupation of the UN
IM – UNHRC: and excellent investment

Like cockroaches, anti-Semitism is difficult to eradicate

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Case in point: Swedish photographer Donald Boström made the embarrassing mistake of diversifying out of photography into writing.

Problem: he doesn’t know how to write.

He doesn’t know how to research his subject.

He is too subjective to be objective (he is a self-confessed pro-Palestinian radical).

In short, he is a nonentity way out of his depth.

In August, he came up with the idea of linking the death 19 years ago of a Palestinian terrorist on the West Bank, with the fact that Israel, like most other countries, has a programme for organ donation. He then proceeded to link these two unrelated issues with the arrest in the United States in summer 2009 of a man accused of money-laundering. That man was a Jew, and among his alleged shady deals was trafficking in human organs. Not from dead corpses, but from live people willing to sell their organs for money – a trade in which unscrupulous people prey on the poor and make vast amounts of money out of their body parts.

But he was a Jew! This was sufficient for Donald Boström to write an anti-Semitic article that Swedish radical left-wing tabloid Aftonbladet was only too pleased to publish. That article led to particularly strained relations between Israel and Sweden since Israel felt that both the Jewish nation and Jews worldwide were being wrongfully accused of a despicable trade. The allegations aroused added ire owing to the fact that even the Arab family concerned denied that they had ever claimed their son’s organs were harvested for transplantation. Most analysts worldwide concurred that the article was an example of woefully inadequate research employed to disguise raw anti-Semitic propaganda. It echoed the traditional anti-Semitic blood-libels that have prompted innumerable pogroms against Jews worldwide over the centuries and is now a frequently used approach by large swathes of the Swedish media.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and his Foreign Minister Carl Bildt claimed at the time that he could not comment on the article because the Swedish constitution protected freedom of speech and he was therefore not at liberty to make any statement on unfounded racist accusations leveled by radical left-wing Swedes. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice, however, verified that there was nothing in the constitution to prevent the PM or FM from making a statement on the issue, so long as it was just a statement and not an attempt to prevent freedom of speech. He pointed out that all Swedes enjoy freedom of speech - even the PM and FM.

Two months later, on 21 October 2009, unfounded racist accusations (read the article here, in Swedish only) were levelled by radical right-wing Swedish party The Sweden Democrats in the very same newspaper, Aftonbladet. They accused the country’s Muslims of being a threat to the nation. Within a few hours the Swedish Prime Minister went on air to distance his nation from the racist comments.

Observers worldwide shook their heads in disbelief at the two very different responses to two sets of racist allegations made to two different sets of minority Swedes – Jews and Muslims.

Now Donald Boström has added further fuel to the fire by insisting on radical Arab news channel Al Jazeera that his original allegations about Jewish organ harvesting hold true. He said, among other things:

“I showed that the organs were plundered and that illegal organ trade is being systematically undertaken in Abu-Kabir (Israel’s forensic institute in Tel-Aviv).”

“We have evidence that links Israel to this trade.”

“What I wrote in my original article is sufficient evidence, but I am nonetheless continuing to investigate the information and there is other information that other journalists are investigating.”

“In the USA there is a branch of this operation that sells organs to rich Americans.”

“(Israeli Defence Minister) Ehud Barak is lying. He knows there is illegal trade in organs. He knows that people are being killed and that their bodies are being desecrated. He is lying time after time.”

Of course, there is little hope that the Swedish Prime Minister will step in to curb Donald Boström’s anti-Semitic libels. The Swedish PM only comments when Muslim sensitivities are at risk. There are about half a million Muslims in Sweden, and less than 20,000 Jews. The mathematics is quite straightforward, with less than a year before the next national elections in Sweden.

What is remarkable is that even as Donald Boström peddles his anti-Semitisc poison in the Muslim world, his invitation to travel next month to Israel to participate in the Dimona Conference is still being extended.

Incitement to violence is a crime. It is also a very real danger to national security.

Ehud Barak, who has the ultimate responsibility for the security of the nation, ought alreadyw to have a plan for intercepting Mr Boström at the border and turning him back, just as Israel has previously barred entry to adherents of ISM, the radical Palestinian pro-terrorist group, before they could clear passport control at Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel’s security is at risk. It is true that Ehud Barak cannot persuade a cowardly Swedish Prime Minister to abandon his double standards and stand up for principle – that is after all entirely a domestic Swedish issue.

But Ehud Barak can stop the export of Swedish fundamentalism to Israel.

We’ll never rid the world of cockroaches, but we can surely keep our own doorsteps clean.

Thanks to Ron Tennenbaum of Sweden for his help in translating Donald Boström’s comments on Al Jazeera.

Andrea Levin: Anatomy of a Swedish Blood Libel