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Defense Minister Barak. 'IDF the most ethical army'
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Barak considers suing Swedish reporter

Defense minister instructs security establishment's legal advisor to look into possibility of filing libel suit against reporter of Aftonbladet newspaper, who accused IDF of murdering Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. Barak adds he expects Swedish government to dismiss 'false and outrageous report'

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday instructed the security establishment's legal advisor to look into the possibility of submitting a libel suit against a reporter of Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, who accused the Israel Defense Forces of murdering Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.

 

Barak also sent a message to the Swedish foreign minister, saying that he expects the Swedish government to dismiss "the false and outrageous report accusing IDF soldiers of taking Palestinians' organs."

 

The defense minister stressed that such claims "are not within the realm of legitimate criticism, but rather a despicable false charge which has no place in a democratic atmosphere of freedom of expression and freedom of thought."

 

Barak noted that he "views the IDF as the most ethical army, and won’t accept libels slandering the army and its soldiers, for no reason."

 

Sweden's Foreign Ministry on Thursday said a response by the Swedish Embassy in Israel to the Aftonbladet report did not represent the government's stance.

 

The embassy had stated that the report was "appalling". But the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said that "the embassy in Tel Aviv responded in accordance to Israeli public opinion, however the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press."

 

On Wednesday, the editor of Aftonbladet hit back hard, at both Israel and at the Swedish envoy for attacking his paper's coverage.

 

Aftonbladet editor Jan Helin said: "It's deeply unpleasant and sad to see such a strong propaganda machine using centuries-old anti-Semitic images in an apparent attempt to get an obviously topical issue off the table.

 

He accused the Swedish ambassador of "a flagrant assault on freedom of speech" for her criticisms.

 

Reuters contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.20.09, 17:30
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