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Israel's Ambassador to Sweden stands behind PMW after Swedish journalist slanders PMW director Itamar Marcus

Isaac Bachman  |
Israel's Ambassador to Sweden stands behind PMW
after Swedish journalist slanders
PMW director Itamar Marcus

In an article published in Aftonbladet today – a newspaper that is hardly known for its fair and objective reporting on Israel and the Middle East – Anders Lindberg takes bias and distortion to a whole new level.
To liken Itamar Marcus, head and founder of Palestinian Media Watch, to the murderers of Hamas is an absolutely revolting, perverse and absurd comparison.
Marcus heads an internationally very respected NGO that monitors incitement and education for hatred under the Palestinian Authority – an unfortunately rampant phenomenon and the most serious obstacle to peace imaginable but hardly covered at all in Sweden. Indeed, he has previously been invited to speak in the British and other parliaments and held a press conference with former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. All this is defined by Anders Lindberg as propaganda…
The 'Central Fund of Israel' mentioned in the article troubles Anders Lindberg very much but not the many leftist organizations – including BDS organizations - which in many cases are funded by European countries including Sweden. Anyway – Itamar Marcus left the organization some 15 years ago when it was devoted exclusively to social welfare work – for which he won a special award from the Mayor of Jerusalem.
The work on Palestinian incitement conducted under the leadership of Itamar Marcus is completely factual and to the merits – with no exaggerations and ulterior agendas. Reality is bad enough as it is. Their materials consist of verbatim translations of hate speech in media, schools and by official representatives.
Not only does Aftonbladet altogether ignore all of the incitement against Israelis and Jews alike under the PA as well as the current wave of terror which has taken so many innocent Israeli lives. Even worse, Aftonbladet willfully chooses to join in the wholesale demonization of Israel and attempted character killing of anyone who dares to stand up for the most basic rights of Israel.
The despicable, dishonest and indescribably ugly attack on Marcus, his work and his NGO – as well as on respected Swedish parliamentarians for inviting him - is another indication of how desperate Aftonbladet is to defame Israel and its defenders at any cost, and to bully them into silence. Indeed, even the image accompanying the article is carefully chosen to create the sought-after, anti-Israeli atmosphere.
All of this is too outrageous to be passed by in silence – and should trouble all Swedes. On wrongful grounds Aftonbladet wants to shoot the messenger – instead of seriously discussing his enormously important message.

Here is the full English translation of the article:

The right-wing now likes Israel’s settlers
What would the reaction be is Hamas’s ideologists were invited to Sweden’s parliament to discuss the conflict between Israel and Palestine?
My guess is that people would be quite irritated by that. That would, of course, be completely reasonable as Hamas is a group of gangsters, murderers and fanatics that kill civilians and that do not have right to any space in a civilized political society. The organisation is an obstacle to for peace, and is not a witness of the truth.
The same thing applies to the extreme Israeli settlement movement. Their incursions on the Palestinian population are one of the most important driving forces in the spiral of violence that we are currently witnessing. And the extremists on both sides are to blame in adding fuel to the fire. Hanif Bali, the Member of Parliament, has invited Itamar Marcus from the Palestinian Media Watch to a meeting in the parliament on the 15th March. Itamar Marcus, is an important figure in the settlement movement, and was the former Vice Chairman of the Central Fund of Israel, which is one of the most important sources of financing for the activities of the movement. Palestinain Media Watch is one of the front organisations for the propaganda from the settlement movement.
The Central Fund of Israel finances several right-wing extremist organisations such as Im Tirzu and “Women for Israel’s tomorrow”. Im Tirzu caused public outcry last year when they published a video on Youtube, which in principle accused four people, who were named representatives of human rights organisations, of treason. The incitement worked and the activists received threats on their lives on the internet after the publishing of the video. “The Women for Israel’s tomorrow” argue that the Palestinian should simply put just be “transferred” out of Israel to other countries. Another organisation that gets its funding from the Central Fund of Israel is Honenu, which grants legal aid to extremists that have been charged for terrorism, for example. Honenu has collected money to Yitzhak Rabin’s murderer and they have defended members of the Bat Ayin Underground, which is a terrorist group from the Bat Ayin settlement on the West Bank, who attempted to blow up a Palestinian girl’s school in Jerusalem in 2002. These are just examples in a number of many cases.
The background to the ongoing propaganda offensive from the settlement movement is the EU’s demands on labelling of origin of goods manufactured on occupied territories, and a clear stance on that the settlements are illegal. The fact that parts of Sweden’s conservative wing is now taking the side of the extremists is beneath contempt.
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