When Are Discussions of Anti-Semitism Important?:

There are several prominent left-leaning blogs by Jewish authors that write a lot about anti-Semitism, or, more precisely, are very quick to denounce what their authors see as exaggerated or false claims of anti-Semitism made against critics of Israel.

So I find it interesting to notice how these blogs have covered, or more precisely, not covered, the story of the leading Swedish left-leaning newspaper that published ridiculous, and rather obviously anti-Semitic (given first, the history of blood libels against Jews, and second, that the basis for the “credibility” of the article is that one American Jew from the New York area was arrested for being involved in an organ black market), allegations that the Israeli military is kidnapping Palestinians to harvest their organs. (The newspaper, by the way, continues to stand by its story.)

Of course, no individual blogger has an obligation to blog about any given story. But it’s rather remarkable that despite international headlines and thousands of blog posts on the Swedish story, none of the lefty Jewish bloggers who take the time, to, say, denounce Jews who criticized the award of the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, or to defend Mearsheimer and Walt from charges of anti-Semitism, attack the ADL for its (largely justified) criticism of Joe Klein, and to generally complain about “neoconservative Israel-fanatics” who are said to promiscuously accuse critics of Israel of anti-Semitism, has had anything to say about the fact that the highest circulation newspaper in a Western country–and a left-wing newspaper at that–is unapologetically spreading blood libels.

It’s almost as if discussion of anti-Semitism is only important when it fits the “Progressive” political agenda, which amounts to being anti-anti-anti-Semitism to undermine supporters of Israel. Acknowledging real anti-Semitism when it is entwined with hostility to Israel doesn’t fit the narrative.

UPDATE: Plenty of Huffington Post commenters believe the Swedish story, so it’s not like the lefty bloggers’ audience wouldn’t benefit from some enlightenment.

FURTHER UPDATE: Barry Rubin:

We are not talking about a Saudi newspaper or Hamas radio station but a Swedish newspaper. We are not talking about a neo-Nazi rag but a daily closely tied to the Swedish Social Democratic Party. And we are not just talking about an obscure item but an article that received top billing.

On August 18, Aftonbladet published an article by a man named Donald Boström. The editor responsible is named Åsa Linderborg. She is the newspaper’s cultural affairs’ editor.

This was no random decision for her. When asked once: “What do you wish for most in life right now?” She answered: “What a simple question. What I want is a free Palestine.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Meryl Yourish notes that the Swedish foreign ministry criticized its staff in Israel for denouncing the article, on the grounds that Sweden believes in free speech. However, the Swedish foreign ministry has had a very different conception of its obligations with regard to free speech when it comes to denouncing articles and pictures that offend Muslims.

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