Swedish public radio apologizes for anti-Semitism question

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Sveriges Radio, Swedish public radio, has apologized for a presenter’s question to the country’s Israeli ambassador about whether Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism.

The reporter asked Amb. Isaac Bachman live on air: “Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?” The ambassador responded that he rejects the question, to which the reporter responded: “Why,” the French news agency AFP reported.

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The question came in the wake of a shooting attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark, which left a Jewish volunteer security guard dead.

The station issued an apology and removed the program from its on-line archive.

“We offer our fullest apologies for this question. It was misleading and put blame on individuals and on a vilified group,” read a statement on Sveriges Radio’s website.

“The Jewish community has suffered a horrible act of terror and has all our sympathy,” the statement also said.

Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine in October, days after new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that the government would make the recognition. In response, Israel briefly recalled its ambassador. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week inaugurated an embassy for the State of Palestine in Sweden.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the attack on the Copenhagen synagogue, Muslims in Norway have announced that they will form a “peace ring” around a synagogue in Oslo this coming weekend as part of an anti-violence demonstration, The Local Norway reported Tuesday citing a report by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK.