WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today urged European foreign ministers to denounce, without ambiguity, the recent article in the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, that raised the allegation that Israeli soldiers “harvested” the organs of deceased Palestinians.
“We at the U.S. Helsinki Commission are dedicated to upholding human rights, particularly freedom of the press. But with freedom of the press comes responsibility. And when major press outlets fail to meet their responsibility, and instead raise the specter of racism or anti-Semitism, then public officials are duty bound to speak out and condemn such blatant falsehoods. I commend Sweden’s Ambassador to Israel for fulfilling this duty, and I call on the Swedish Government, which currently holds the European Union Presidency, to support Italian and other EU efforts to denounce this harmful reporting,” said Chairman Cardin.
Co-Chairman Hastings added, “This incendiary article draws on age old anti-Semitic imagery, and attempts to place it in a modern context of worrisome hostility in Europe towards both Jews and Israel. Government leaders must demand the press act with journalistic integrity and report responsibly, particularly when it can incite the violent potential of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred.”