Helin, in case you don't already know him, is the editor of Aftonbladet, the Swedish Guardian-lookalike that last week published the sickening pack of lies about how the IDF kills Palestinians so as to harvest their organs. Lest you thought it was an editorial oversight, a few days later Helin published a second story, by a different reporter. Or rather, it's the same story, only repeated by a different journalist.
I'm not going to analyse this story; partly I'm blogging about it simply by way of bookmarking it's components for future use in a better setting. Still, you might want to note the following, among other aspects:
Netanyahu is responding as the Prime Minister of the Jewish State should. By demanding the Swedish government condemn the rot. He's perfectly aware of the issue of freedom of speech, is MIT-educated Netanyahu, and he's not demanding the Swedish rag sheet be shut down, say, or its editor burned. Other folks do that sort of thing, but not the Jews. What Netanyahu is demanding, and right he is, is that the Swedish government condemn the allegations for the unaceptable lies they are. In democracies people may lie, of course; and others may condemn them.
Talking about violent demonstrations with burnt effegies and embassies, the Jews of Sweden responded true to European form: by wistfully wishing the Israelis wouldn't make such a fuss. How unsurprising. When you're a Jew committed to living in a society that is saturated with hatred of Jews, you do your best not to make waves; this has been one of the major Jewish responses for centuries. (Not the only one, of course).
Helin apparently gave an interview to Y-net, and was so uneducated about his topic that he trotted out one of the oldest canards in the book: some of my best friends are Jews.
Helin said he had not meant to hurt anyone. "I was naïve," he said. "I thought Israel was democratic. I have many Jewish friends and I see Jewish culture as very positive."Neat, isn't it? I thought Israel was a democracy; now I know I was naive. There's more there; you really have to read the entire interview to see how effectively the man's Weltanschuung protects him from accepting any wrong-doing, even things like publishing baseless allegations with nary a sliver of evidence, because "the claims exist so we published the story".
Back to his picture: gaze at it, and ponder. He looks like a nice man. His collar is open and informal. He seems the kind of person you might enjoy having a beer with. He's the editor of an important newspaper, so he must be educated and intelligent. Were you to seek the villain from a row of mug shots you'd never choose him. And yet he certainly is a villain, in a malicious though unintelligent manner, hate infused and barbaric. Keep that image in mind: appearences can be totally misleading. Antisemties can look like nice and be highly educated.