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Israel angry over Swedish support for Goldstone report

Oct. 9, 2009 9:17 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2009 8:13 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma’an - Israel is considering cutting diplomatic ties with Sweden after the country’s ambassador to the UN said Israel had made "a mistake" by not cooperating with the UN fact-finding mission, and expressed his general support of the Goldstone report that came out of it.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has expressed support for the Goldstone report, and its recommendations that the war crimes alleged in the document be investigated, as it suggests, by the International Criminal Court. He made comments at the Human Rights Council and on the radio in his home country.

According to Israeli media reports, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was outraged over comments Bildt made in Stockholm Thursday, calling South African Judge Richard Goldstone a person with "high credibility" and "high integrity" and that his report carries weight.

The South African judge was a chief prosecutor for war crimes trials in both Yugoslavia and Rwanda; he also served as chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo, and of the Standing Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation that addressed public violence in post-apartheid South Africa.

As a result of the comments Ayalon said Jerusalem must reexamine relations with Stockholm.

"It is a shame that a person who refused to respond to the blood libel against Israel has come out in praise of this unprofessional report," The Israeli English news site Yet quoted the Israeli official as saying Thursday.

Ayalon’s reports of Swedish “blood libel” stem from a Swedish newspaper’s exclusive report on several cases one reporter uncovered of Palestinian prisoners being sent home without their organs, and suggested Israeli troops were organ harvesting and using Palestinian prisoners as human body parts suppliers.

The newspaper, Aftonbladet, supported the report and suggested officials look into the accusations.

"We must examine why Israel is being attacked by the Swedes," Ynet quoted Ayalon.

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