Photo: AFP
Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt placing flowers in front of synagogue
Photo: AFP

Swedish radio asks ambassador: Are Jews causing anti-Semitism?

Scandinavian country's national broadcaster publicly apologizes, wipes question from interview recording in its digital archive.

Israel's ambassador to Sweden was blindsided by a provocative interview question on Tuesday. Isaac Bachman appeared on state radio in a conversation about anti-Semitism when he was asked whether Jews themselves bear responsibility for the rising anti-Semitism in Europe.



The interview occurred soon after the shooting at a synagogue in neighboring Denmark, and dealt with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for European Jews to move to Israel.


The interviewer suddenly turned to Bachman with the surprise question: "Do Jews themselves bear any responsibility for the rising anti-Semitism we are witnessing here?"


"I reject the question entirely," Bachman replied.


The interviewer asked why, and Bachman replied that there was no place for such a question.



שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
תמונה חדשה

הסרטון נשלח לחברך


הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

When she continued to press him, Bachman answered: "I am not angry at you personally. I am used to these questions. The question of how a woman is responsible for being raped is absolutely irrelevant. There is no provocation made by Jews other than their very existence. For as long as the Jews have existed – perhaps because of their success – that may have created feelings against them, but they have done nothing that justifies such treatment."


It soon transpired that the question had angered more than a few listeners, and state radio, other media outlets, and social networks were flooded with responses. Some listeners complained to the police, while many more expressed their disapproval to the agency that regulates Swedish broadcasting.


Sweden state radio took the rare step of publicly apologizing, and even wiped the question from the recording of the interview found in its digital archive.


"We would like to fully apologize for this question," read a statement. "It was wrong to place guilt on individuals and on a vilified group. The Jewish community suffered a criminal act of terror, and it has all of our sympathy."


The Facebook page for Israel's embassy in Sweden was also inundated with responses that condemned the state radio broadcaster, and accused it of having a blatant anti-Israel attitude.


Hanif Bali, chairman of the Swedish-Israeli Friendship Association in Sweden's parliament, wrote a strongly worded post on his own Facebook page and received an influx of comments, shares, and likes. "Swedish state radio asked the Israeli ambassador if Jews bear responsibility for anti-Semitism," he wrote.


"That's disgusting and insane. The claim that Jews bear responsibility for anti-Semitism is one of the most ancient expressions of anti-Semitism."


פרסום ראשון: 02.19.15, 00:14
 new comment
This will delete your current comment