Aftonbladet Covers Its Tracks?

August 27, 2009 at 15:04 Leave a comment

Following the last week’s international uproar, Aftonbladet has decided to publish Donald Boström’s controversial article in an English version. At first glance, this seems like a laudable initiative, since it could grant the international audience access to the text.

Unfortunately, as blogger Jonathan Leman notes, the English version of the article differs from the original on some key points.

In his article Boström justifies the republication of fifteen year old libelous rumors — that he might even have started himself — by referring to the illegal organ trade scandal that was recently uncovered in New Jersey. The only connection between Rosenbaum in New Jersey, who suckered poor (Jewish) Israelis into selling their kidneys to Americans in need of a transplant, and Boström’s allegations that the IDF would murder Palestinians to harvest their organs, is the fact that they’re Jewish. This is one of the aspects that conjure up the anti-Semitic images of Jews killing Gentiles for their own pleasure and/or gain.

Leman points out that the Jewish aspect all of a sudden disappears in Aftonbladet’s English description of the scandal in the United States. In the Swedish original it says [in my translation]:

“Ten days later, at the end of July this year, Rosenbaum was arrested in connection to the revelation of a vast corruption scandal in New Jersey: rabbis, elected officials and trusted civil servants had for years been involved in money-laundering and illegal organ-trade, which was now uncovered like a Soprano network.”

In the English version on Aftonbladet, this has turned into:

“Ten days later, at the end of July this year, Rosenbaum was arrested and a vast, Sopranos-like, imbroglio of money-laundering and illegal organ-trade was revealed.”

Where have all the rabbis gone?, Leman asks.

In another example, the paper scales down its rhetoric and deletes the explicit accusation of murder. In the original Swedish text it says [yet again in my translation]:

“But Palestinians also harbor strong suspicions that their young men have been caught, and as in China and Pakistan involuntarily have been forced to act organ reserve before they were killed.”

In the English version on Aftonbladet’s homepage this sentence reads:

“But Palestinians also harbor strong suspicions against Israel for seizing young men and having them serve as the country’s organ reserve”

Now, let’s not jump to conclusions. Maybe Aftonbladet isn’t trying to cover its tracks and whitewash the original article before an international audience. Maybe they just didn’t feel like they had enough space on their homepage for the whole text, so they chose to shorten it a little. Maybe it’s purely coincidental that the words they chose to cut were the ones connecting Jews with murder.


Entry filed under: Media.

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