Sweden newspaper editor: I'm not a Nazi, I'm not anti-Semitic
Jan Helin: IDF organ harvest article 'asked relevant questions;' dozens protest outside T.A. embassy.
The editor-in-chief of the Swedish newspaper that printed an article alleging that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians to harvest their organs denied accusations on Monday that he was anti-Semitic.
"I'm not a Nazi," Jan Helin, the chief editor at the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, wrote in a blog entry on Monday. "I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm the editor-in-chief who has allowed the publication of a culture article because it asked a number of relevant questions."
The article set off a media frenzy in Israel, where the article's author has been accused of disseminating "a blood libel" against the Jews.
Dozens of demonstrators gathered on Monday outside the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv in protest of Stockholm's ongoing refusal to condemn the article, Army Radio reported.
They waved Matzos [pieces of unleavened bread] smeared with red paint, alluding to the common Medieval blood libel. They also set up a mock market stall with a banner "Palestinian organs on sale here."
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the Swedish government to condemn the article.
An official present at the weekly session of the cabinet said Netanyahu told his ministers he did not expect the Swedish government to apologize for the article in the tabloid but he did expect it to take a stand.
"We're not asking the Swedish government for an apology, we're asking for their condemnation," the official - speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with Cabinet rules - quoted Netanyahu as saying.
The prime minister added that the story was "reminiscent of medieval libels that Jews killed Christian children for their blood," said the official.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has already rejected Israeli calls for an official condemnation.
Some in Jerusalem expressed satisfaction over an entry in the personal blog of Sweden's foreign minister, which led some here to believe the official stance in Stockholm has softened.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz strongly criticized the Swedish government on Sunday, saying that its silence in face of the Aftonbladet article charging IDF soldiers with harvesting organs from dead Palestinians is tantamount to a diplomatic crisis.
"Anyone who is unwilling to condemn such a blood libel could be considered unwanted in Israel," Steinitz said.
The finance minister added that the "Swedish government cannot remain indifferent, and the crisis will remain until Sweden responds in a different manner."
"Israel cannot ignore such a manifestation of anti-Semitism," Steinitz said.
Mikael Tossavainen contributed to this report.
Like us on Facebook and get articles directly in your news feed