Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor characterized the story as “racist hysteria at its worst.”

“No one should tolerate such a demonizing piece of medieval blood libel that surely encourages hate crimes against Jews,” Palmor said. “This is a shame to freedom of expression, and all Swedes should reject it unconditionally.”

Israel’s embassy in Stockholm was expected to issue a sharp denunciation…

A competing newspaper, Sydsvenskan, ran an op-ed on the story under the headline “Antisemitbladet,” in an obvious reference to Aftonbladet’s name.

“Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors,” wrote Swedish columnist Mats Skogkär. “That is all it takes. After all, we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don’t we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything. Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: ‘Anti-Semitism? No, no, just criticism of Israel.'”