UPDATE: Within hours of our publication of this article, Time Magazine removed the allegation that Israeli soldiers had stolen Palestinian organs from their video. Further coverage at Times of Israel.
Time Magazine should be ashamed for giving new life to a horrendous blood libel accusing the IDF of stealing Palestinian organs.
In the middle of a video about the Israeli military, we are told that the “IDF is not without controversy.”
….in 2009 a Swedish report came out exposing some Israeli troops of selling organs of Palestinians who died in their custody.
(Around the 1:15 mark of the video.)
The reference is to a completely made up tabloid style article in an obscure Swedish paper, that even the author admitted was not based on any evidence.
Here is what we said after it was published back in 2009:
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet’s August 2009 story accusing the IDF of harvesting Palestinian organs caused an uproar. Donald Bostrom, the author of the offensive piece, duly demonstrated his utter lack of any basic journalistic standards when he said: “But whether it’s true or not – I have no idea, I have no clue.”
On top of this, the story was further undermined as one of the Palestinian families interviewed said they never told any reporter that their son was missing organs.
Unfortunately, we also wrote at the time that despite the author’s own admission that he had no evidence to back up his horrendous accusation, the story would continue spreading.
With the credibility of the story in tatters one might have expected the outrageous accusations to have a limited shelf life or to disappear altogether. However, the Swedish blood libel is a textbook case study of how what starts as an article published in a language read by few from a country of limited international influence can turn into a poison that spreads much wider.
Like other “Big Lies” about Israel such as the Jenin “Massacre” and the Al Dura video, the story about Israeli soldiers stealing Palestinian organs is one that just won’t die. But it is still astonishing that an institution such as Time Magazine would refer to this blood libel as fact and even add to it by showing recent footage of an Israeli attack on Gaza taken completely out of context.
Time suggests that readers should send comments to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We urge you to do so and demand that they take down and apologize for this outrageous journalistic fail.
Image: CC BY-SA flickr/tom-margie