Top Sweden newspaper says IDF kills Palestinians for their organs

19 August, 2009 — Haaretz

By Morten Berthelsen and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

A leading Swedish newspaper reported this week that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs, a claim that prompted furious condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitic blood libel from a rival publication.

“They plunder the organs of our sons,” read the headline in Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, which devoted a double spread in its cultural section to the article.

The report quotes Palestinian claims that young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israel Defense Forces, and their bodies returned to the families with missing organs.

“‘Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,’ relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied,” writes author Donald Boström in his report.

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Democracy, Lebanese-Style By Melani Cammett

18 August, 2009 — Middle East Report Online

(Melani Cammett is associate professor of political science at Brown University. She observed the June parliamentary elections in Lebanon.)

For background on the June elections, see Heiko Wimmen, “Old Wine in Older Skins: Lebanon Elects Another Parliament,” Middle East Report Online, June 3, 2009.

For background on the March 14-March 8 division, see Stacey Philbrick Yadav, “Lebanon’s Post-Doha Political Theater,” Middle East Report Online, July 23, 2008.

For background on the Aounists, see Heiko Wimmen, “Rallying Around the Renegade,” Middle East Report Online, August 27, 2007.

Just as reports from Lebanon were indicating that a cabinet would be finalized within days, the notoriously fickle Druze leader Walid Jumblatt announced, on August 2, that his Progressive Socialist Party would withdraw from the governing coalition. Jumblatt criticized his coalition partners in the March 14 alliance, which had claimed victory in the June 7 parliamentary elections, for a campaign “driven by the re­jection of the opposition on sectarian, tribal and political levels rather than being based on a political platform.”[1] This view could apply to the campaigns of both major alliances that ran in the elections. While there were spirited appeals to prevent unwanted foreign intervention or control by representatives of other sects, the campaign period was notable for its lack of attention to issues of real substance.

Six days before the elections, the Matn Salvation List, or the pro-government candidates running in the contested, predominantly Christian Matn district, held a rally where each of the seven list members delivered impassioned speeches to the enormous crowd about the need to save the country from control by the Hizballah-led opposition. The candidates warned that their opponents would bring rule by wilayat al-faqih, or the system of rule by clerics promoted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran, and exhorted the crowd to recreate Lebanon as the “Switzerland of the East.” Similarly, on election day, voters at a precinct in the Sunni Tariq al-Jadida neighborhood of West Beirut called out to each other, urging fellow voters to vote for the pro-government list “so that Iran does not take over Lebanon.” At the border with Syria, a large billboard read, “They will not come back as long as the sky is blue,” in reference to the Syrian troops who were expelled following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005.

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