Swedish journalist denies wrongdoing

Bostrom says he stands by his story. Adds that those criticizing him are "misunderstanding" his intentions.

donald bostrom 88 (photo credit: )
donald bostrom 88
(photo credit: )
Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that he has received a number of death threats alongside a wave of harsh criticism for an article he wrote for popular Swedish daily Aftonbladet. Despite public condemnations from dignitaries, politicians, and journalists in Israel and Sweden, Bostrom said that he stands by his story as fact and that those criticizing him are "misunderstanding" his intentions. "What I experienced during this day is many people from Israel who called me haven't read the article. So they think I'm accusing the IDF of stealing organs. That's not what I'm doing. I just recorded the Palestinian families saying that. And I think it should be further investigated, either to kill the rumor once and for all, or if it happens to be true, then to start the legal actions," he told the Post. "My intention was serious and in order to do something good," he said. He said that his opponents should focus less on him and more on the issue that he was trying to raise in his story. "It's serious and that's why I think you in Israel should be concerned about that illegal trafficking and not attacking me," he said. "Right now I am a little bit shocked and concerned, because nobody is thinking about the real facts." Bostrom's article reads more like an opinion article than a straight journalism piece, and it attempts to connect claims he heard in the West Bank in 1992 that Israeli soldiers were illegally removing organs from Palestinians killed in fighting with a campaign for Israeli organ donors, supposed illegal purchases of organs in Israel in the early 2000s, and the recent story of American Levy Izhak Rosenbaum who was accused of illegally trafficking Israeli organs. "We know that the need for organs in Israel is large, that an extensive illegal organ moving is ongoing and has been for a long time, that it is done with the blessing of the authorities, the senior doctor at the major hospital is involved, as well as officials at various levels. And we know that the Palestinian young men disappeared, they were back five days later in secrecy at night, sewn up," Bostrom wrote in the conclusion of his story. But he told the Post that he doesn't see a connection between the case of alleged organ trafficking in New York a few weeks ago and the stories that he heard from Palestinians in the West Bank in 1992. "I don't think there is a connection between the New York thing and what happened in the West Bank in the 90s," he said. "But if you read Rosenbaum's statement, it's clear that illegal organ trafficking has been going on and is going on in Israel." In a telephone meeting with editors from the newspaper this morning, Bostrom said he was told they would give him space to write a follow-up story to explain himself. He plans to take them up on that opportunity, although he said he will not apologize. "Apologize for what?" he said. "I am just referring to what other people are telling me. Everything is true. And I cannot apologize about what I experienced that night, which was terrible."