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The Swedish Canard – not only Smoke, but also Fire: Letter from Zurich

[HLS 8.2 (2009) 229–234] DOI: 10.3366/E1474947509000560 Shraga Elam An Israeli journalist based in Zurich, Switzerland, and winner of the Australian Gold Walkley Award for excellent journalism 2004 shraga.elam@gmail.com On 17 August 2009 the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet published an article by Swedish journalist and photographer Donald Boström, entitled: ‘Våra söner plundras på sina organ’ (‘Our sons are plundered of their organs’),1 claiming to expose a human organ trafficking ring involving soldiers in the Israeli army abducting Palestinians to harvest their organs. Boström linked this alleged ring to charges against Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, arrested for conspiring to arrange the sale of an Israeli citizen’s kidney. The article prompted outrage in both Sweden and Israel, with accusations of Judeophobia and blood libel against Jews levelled against Boström and Aftonbladet. But the controversy surrounding this racist article in Aftonbladet on the trade in organs of Palestinians should not obscure the fact that the slovenly report has a scandalous basis in fact, which calls for a serious discussion. It is not an exceptional occurrence that ‘canards’ provoke discussions and processes that are important in and of themselves, and have influence that well-researched serious articles are unable to reach or their authors http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Holy Land Studies Edinburgh University Press

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