Jerusalem, 1st November 2009
Donald Bostrom - the Swedish Aftonbladet reporter who accused the Israel Defence Forces of deliberately killing Palestinians to harvest their body organs - today addressed the Dimona International Conference on Communications.
Invited to Israel by the city, the government withdrew its 60,000 dollar subsidy and Ministers cancelled their attendance.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, had appealed to the Dimona Municipality "to, at least, invite a noted authority on antisemitism in Scandinavia, Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld - Chair of the Jerusalem Centre of Public Affairs - as respondent to Bostrom".
Samuels had added that "if protocol permits, the Swedish Ambassador to Israel - who publicly condemned the reporter without the support of her government - would be another appropriate invitee".
The Municipality declined, claiming that "all panels are closed", though Bostrom appeared as a keynote, without panellists.
Samuels was advised to apprise Bostrom's moderator, the Channel 2 television presenter, Yair Lapid, of his guest's reported intention to use the occasion "to demand that Israel prove its innocence".
Lapid - son of of the late Member of the Knesset and Holocaust survivor, Tommy Lapid - did not answer the Centre's numerous calls.
The Centre had also advised the Mayor that "his prestige and that of the conference are being abused to whitewash unambiguous antisemitism and will be the opportunity for further repetition of the libel in the world's media, while heroizing its author".
"Bostrom has betrayed the journalist's code of integrity in disseminating fabrications as facts without substantiation, insisting on their veracity and repeating them despite threatening repercussions across the Arab world and beyond".
"The sponsors of this travesty are confusing freedom of expression with blood libel. Bostrom should have no platform in Israel", concluded Samuels.