Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What about the bulldozers?

Egypt and beyond has an interesting commentary on the ongoing organ-harvesting-Israel vs Scandinavia-brawl;
In an ironic twist, some Israelis are now calling for a boycott of Swedish products. I'm tempted to say: Go ahead, and why don't you start with the Volvo-bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied territories... And if even Israelis themselves accept boycott as a legitimate way of putting political pressure on countries whose policies we dislike, this should give a boost to the international BDS-movement and the international boycott of Israeli products.

Meanwhile, At Electronic Intifadah Matthew Cassel has an article titled "Baseless organ theft accusations will not bring Israel to justice". Cassel argues that Boström's reporting damages more serious efforts by Palestinian human rights organizations. I think that Cassel's description of the Aftonbladet article is somewhat tilted though.

From a Swedish perspective, at this point we have to appreciate Boström's work. The article might not have been a journalistic masterpiece, but the subsequent development have pushed the Israeli government into a state of frenzy and the Israeli cause are rapidly losing friends in Sweden as a result. Pro-Israeli political commentators are increasingly cornered in the public debate, as the vast majority of Swedes finds the Israeli demands for a formal apology hillarious.

And it might be so that Bostöm's article lacks the stringent accuracy of the reports of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or Palestinian human rights organizations. In any case, the article has brought the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians to the centre-stage. Regardless of whether the organ harvesting accusations are true or not, the article still has a brutal reminder of the realities of occupation; the brutal killing of a young Palestinian man whose body was mutilated by the occupation forces (an incident to which Boström was a first-hand witness).

Did the Israeli soldiers carve up the body of a murdered 19-year old Palestinian for the sake of organ harvesting or did they mutilate his corpse just for fun? In any case, it illustrates the nature of the occupation forces, it reveals the reality of Israeli occupation.

Cassel asks why the story wasn't published in 1992. The answer is that Boström's editor at the time refused to publish it. It was however published in a 2001 book, Inshallah.

Read also KABOBfest, Esbati
Newslinks: VG, ETC, Fokus

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