The campaign against Donald Boström continues, with its baseless, insulting attacks, despite all the facts that have emerged since Boström’s article was published last fall. There is talk about an “anti-Semitic fire having been started”, and there are claims that recently-emerged facts are fanning the flames. But what was considered “absurd” proved to be true.
Willy Silberstein and Charlotte Wiberg (Dagens Nyheter, Jan 20th) and Jesus Alcalá (Svenska Dagbladet, Jan 17th) get themselves all tangled up, as they attempt to prove that the facts that were exposed in Nancy Shepperd-Hughes’ interview of Yehuda Hiss, which was broadcasted on Israeli TV (because of Boström’s article) “were already known”. But that is not the case. The interview uncovered, for the first time, that there had also been Palestinians among those whose organs were stolen, and that Israeli soldiers had been involved in the organ theft.
Silberstein/Wiberg highlight that Yehuda Hiss was terminated from his position as director of the institute of pathology in 2004, after he confessed to illegal tampering with the dead bodies; but they fail to mention that he stayed on, as the chief pathologist, and that he was the highest-paid public servant in Israel as recently as in 2008. Therefore, let’s review, once again, what was written and what was not written in Aftonbladet (Sep 17th). The report stated that young Palestinians, who had been wanted by the Israeli Army, had been killed and then returned a few days later, stitched up in a way that had roused the families’ suspicions that organs had been removed from their bodies. However, Boström did not claim that Palestinians have been killed for the purpose of taking their organs. What he did convey were the concerns, suspicions and strong opinions of several Palestinian families: that organs have been stolen. And despite that Boström’s article may be flawed in that it associated the theft of Palestinian organs with the exposed organ-trading scandal in New Jersey, it is still impossible to deny that the article brought us one step closer to the truth. It is also instructive to note that neither Silberstein, Wiberg nor Alcalá has noticed the anti-Semitic myth and “veiled association” in Svenska Dagbladet’s article about “international illegal organ trade, controlled by the wanted Israeli Ilan Perry, with its branches in Latin America and South Africa,” which was allowed to pass without any attacks or allegations of anti-Semitism on Dec 22nd. So, this is not about what is stated/written/done about Israel’s crimes; this is about how to use it as an excuse to attack individuals, newspapers and/or organizations that view crimes committed against Palestinians as equal to crimes against Jews or Swedes.
And Israel’s far-right, openly racist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, does not even try to veil that strategy. Lieberman’s fear-mongering toward critics of Israel is an official part of the country’s foreign policy. The fear of legal proceedings, or of being called anti-Semitic, is meant to silence the world regarding what no one can continue to pretend they don’t see: collective punishment; ethnic cleansing; extrajudicial killings; and now organ theft. Silberstein, Wiberb and Alcalá willingly play the role of useful idiots for the Israeli extreme right’s self-destructive policies, which currently constitute the most serious threat to Israel’s population and to Jews around the world. Those who, despite it all, see through the smokescreens, and do not allow themselves to be scared into silence, can take comfort in a proverbial phrase out of Don Quixote: “Let the dogs bark, Sancho. It’s a sign that we are on track”