Swedish radio station asks if Jews are ‘responsible’ for anti-Semitism

The synagogue of Malmo, Sweden. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The Swedish radio station Sveriges Radio (SR) is receiving heavy criticism after one of its journalists asked Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman on air if "Jews themselves [are] responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?"

In response, Bachman said he “purely and simply” rejects that question, and that it should never have been asked. 

When pressed by the reporter to elaborate, Bachman said, “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."

Hanif Bali, chairman of the Swedish-Israeli Friendship Association in Sweden's parliament, later responded on social media to the interview, stating that the radio station's question was “disgusting and insane.”

“The claim that Jews bear responsibility for anti-Semitism is one of the most ancient expressions of anti-Semitism,” he said.
In response to criticism of the segment, the station later removed the question from the recording of the interview in its archive, and issued an apology.

"We would like to fully apologize for this question," the radio station said in 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.” 

Posted on February 19, 2015 .