August 24: Strong medicine to flush out the poison

The proper response to the latest Swedish blood libel is to give the Swedes a dose of their own medicine - namely, institute a boycott.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Strong medicine... Sir, - The proper response to the latest Swedish blood libel is to give the Swedes a dose of their own medicine - namely, institute a boycott ("Sweden refuses to condemn organ-snatching article despite strident Israeli demands," August 23). There are many Swedish items on our shelves. We should stop buying them. We should suspend all dealings with the EU until it changes its president. (It would be appropriate to convey our feelings about the EU's Swedish president via President Sarkozy of France, who has experience in this type of message.) It is unfortunate that our foreign minister released insufficient comment on Sweden's role during the Holocaust. Sweden did not stand by. It supplied the Nazis with iron and iron products - for money, of course - directly contributing to millions of deaths. Since President Obama has seen fit to honor former Irish president Mary Robinson, it would be right for our president to honor Swedish Ambassador Elizabet Borsiin Bonnier, who courageously said what her government failed to say. ALBERT JACOB Beersheba Sir, - Re the article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet about body-part snatching, I read that Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt writes in his blog that there is no reason to condemn the article. I think that is terrible, and so wrong. This bad reaction from our Foreign Ministry, and especially from Carl Bildt, makes me ashamed of being a Swedish citizen. DANIEL APPELVIK Sweden flush out the poison Sir, - The Swedish government refuses to apologize for or deny the vicious canard published in a leading Stockholm newspaper accusing Israel of killing Palestinians and harvesting their organs. While many, including this writer, have enjoyed traveling to Sweden, shopping at Ikea and driving Volvos, it's time to express our contempt and disdain for this anti-Semitic attack with the most effective tools we have: our wallets. I ask you to share this message so that we can launch a worldwide campaign which will force the government of Sweden to retract these horrific charges. Their claim that it would negate freedom of the press is patently absurd. ROSANNE SKOPP West Orange, New Jersey Sir, -The statement that IDF soldiers kill Gazan youth in order to procure their internal organs is no truer than claiming that the Swedes decapitate polar bears and eat them. Just as the Swedish government refuses to disclaim the baseless issue of IDF organ procurement, citing "freedom of speech," will they defend my freedom of speech to make the inane statement about Swedes' behavior to polar bears? AURI SPIGELMAN Jerusalem Mealy-mouthed, no? Sir, - Kol hakavod to Avi Prager, Ranan Tennenbaum, Simon Bentley and Noam Tokayer for becoming Nahalniks - an example to all US and UK Jews of their age ("Four 'lone soldiers' provide each other support during voluntary army service," August 21). But why, oh why, is Israel so mealy-mouthed about recognizing their contribution of 14 months service in the IDF, making them wait another two years before they can make aliya, if that is their wish? It's hardly a way to encourage service to Israel. P. SIMPSON Jerusalem Peace doves' mess Sir, - You claimed that "Ya'alon's misstep" exposed yet again why the Israeli political system is dysfunctional (Editorial, August 20): "There is something awfully wrong when a number two feels no compunction about turning against his chief after only five months in office." I always thought that the Israeli political system was dysfunctional because it commits the loyalty of MKs to their parties and leaders, rather than to the country and its citizens. In asserting inalienable Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael and exposing the ongoing damage wrought by the unrepentant Oslo lobby, there can be no doubt whatsoever that Gen. Ya'alon has kept faith with all those who entrusted him with their votes; if not with most of those serving in the IDF who, as he so aptly put it, are landed with having to clean up the mess left by the peace doves. ZALMI UNSDORFER, Chairman Likud-Herut UK London 242 Sir, - In all the toing and froing regarding confidence-building gestures (which the Arabs demand from Israel before they will deign to consider talking to us), UN Resolution 242 is conspicuous by its absence. I assume it is still in effect. This resolution, which was enacted after the 1967 war, realistically recognized that Israel could not be expected to return to the highly vulnerable 1949 truce lines. Instead, Israel would be required to withdraw to "secure borders." This, presumably, means borders that can be defended should any future peace partner decide to revoke previously signed agreements. I wonder if President Obama has ever heard of Resolution 242 ("Obama welcomes Ramadan, promises 'unyielding support' for two-state solution," August 23). OSCAR DAVIES Jerusalem Fallen star Sir, - I was struck by the ironic situation that prevailed during the last days of Dudu Topaz's life. For the last year or so, the entertainer had been obsessed with the idea of starring in his own TV program. During his final days he did appear 24/7 - on closed-circuit TV - but before vastly smaller audiences than he had visualized. The few minutes he was able to evade the TV cameras were all he needed to commit suicide. How sad ("A tragic end to the sorry saga of a national icon," David Brinn, August 21). P. BERMAN Shoham Sephardi DNA Sir, - Your August 23 Letters column finished with a mischievous sting in the tail in a letter from Ronnie Stekel, a recent immigrant, who appears to be trying to increase rice sales around March-April. If Sephardi DNA were found in a man's blood, would it, he queries, indicate ancestry which would permit the eating of kitniyot on Pessah? Were every Jewish male born of Jewish parents to submit to such tests, then, with the honorable exception of those descended from converts, every single one of us would ultimately prove to be so descended. STANLEY COHEN Jerusalem Anti-Sephardi bias? Sir, - If Shas's Shlomo Benizri has a problem with his guilty verdict and prison sentence, his lawyer had plenty of opportunity to present this in court ("Benizri channels Topaz in farewell speech," August 21). A public forum is not the arena to complain about his conviction. In a democratic society, no one is above the law, no matter his ethnic, religious or social persuasion. DINA ROSENBERG Kiryat Tivon Kids in a bubble Sir, - I should like to answer L. Bolnick ("Bernie's secret life," Letters, August 23): If your grandchildren are old enough to read, they are old enough to start understanding what happens in our big wide world! It is naive - and totally unreasonable - to think you can keep them from hearing, seeing and reading the bad things that happen out there. If you're that worried, don't keep papers (or Sheryl Weinstein's book) around. HEATHER FRIEDMAN Kfar Yedidya