Swedish public radio apologized on Tuesday after a presenter questioned the Israeli ambassador about the responsibility of Jews for anti-Semitism, in the wake of the shooting of a Jewish man in neighboring Denmark.
Relations between Israel and Sweden are already strained over the Swedish parliament’s decision last year to formally recognize the Palestinian state.
On Tuesday, a journalist for Sveriges Radio (SR) asked ambassador Isaac Bachman on air: “Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?”
The ambassador appeared shocked by the suggestion, and replied: “I purely and simply reject the question.”
When the journalist asked “Why?”, Bachman said: “There was no reason to ask this question.”
The station removed the program from its online archive and issued a full apology.
“We offer our fullest apologies for this question. It was misleading and put blame on individuals and on a vilified group,” SR’s senior management said in a statement on its website.
“The Jewish community has suffered a horrible act of terror and has all our sympathy,” the statement added.
Omar El-Hussein, a 22-year-old Dane whose Palestinian parents moved to Denmark, shot dead a filmmaker in Copenhagen on Saturday before killing Dan Uzan, a Jewish man who volunteered as a guard at the city’s main synagogue.
When Sweden became the first EU country to recognize the state of Palestine in October, Israel recalled its ambassador for a month in protest.