'Childish battle.' Lieberman
Photo: AFP

How childish are we?

Israel erred in giving so much attention to silly Swedish tabloid report

The so-called "investigative report" published by the Swedish Aftonbladet was, needless to say, ridiculously false. Anyone with the intelligence of a child recognized this immediately, including many Swedish newspaper editors and reporters, who have denounced Aftonbladet for printing such unfounded nonsense.


So why is Israel reacting like this?


Left unheeded, the "report" would have withered and passed silently away, like the puff of hot air it so obviously impersonates. But thanks to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Ambassador Benny Dagan, and now the newly involved GPO chief Danny Seaman – who has revoked the Aftonbladet reporter's pass to Gaza and called for a blood test to see if he is eligible for organ donation – Israel is now engaged in a very childish “battle” with the Swedes.


By commenting on the report at all, we may leave the world wondering whether the “lady dost protest too much.” In demanding that Swedish officials comment on the report, we are not only insulting their intelligence by asking them to stoop to the level of a tabloid; we are also insulting their values while implying anti-Semitic motives are at play - similarly to the tabloid publication itself, this is totally unfounded.


The adult thing to do

The Swedish government has politely told Israel it would not intervene in this ridiculous affair, and by doing so placed the matter quietly and expediently in its place – squarely within the irrelevant realm of tabloid media. Israel, on the other hand, has elevated the issue to a level of global significance and thus sparked a diplomatic incident with a friendly country.


The correct response to a tabloid article on the harvesting of organs from Palestinians by our soldiers should have been, at most, a derisive remark from a Foreign Ministry official. Unfortunately, now that our prime minister has become involved in the diplomatic spanking of a tabloid and the needless reprimand for an undeserving government, this incident has lost any chance to blow over quietly.


The most Israel can do now is to collectively drop the matter and issue a statement recognizing the Swedish government as friendly and devoid of anti-Semitism. Yes, Israel will be admitting to a mistake, which is ultimately the adult thing to do.


פרסום ראשון: 08.24.09, 00:45
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