(JTA) — A Spanish public broadcaster accused Jews of promoting Satanism.
State-owned RTVE aired “From the Inferno-The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult” last month as part of its weekend “A la Carta” program.
Following an opening featuring ominous music, a gravel-voiced announcer quotes from Jacob Frank, an 18th-century Jew from Poland who had been excommunicated by his community for his heretical kabbalistic interpretations.
“The Jews first propagated the cult of Lucifer in several secret satanical societies,” the announcer continues. “Through black magic, the Israelites called on the powers of darkness with demonic rational.”
The synopsis on RTVE’s website for the 30-minute program states: “The Jewish founders of the occult and masonry society introduced the cult of Lucifer” to some organizations.
The broadcast about Jewish Satanism – an ancient trope and element of Christian anti-Semitic blood libels – is part of a series on Satanism in general. On Thursday, “A La Carta” aired another broadcast about Satanism by Vatican societies.
Yigal Palmor, a senior spokesman for the Jewish Agency and former spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, criticized RTVE on Twitter.
“How can a public entity give a podium to this sort of crude, lowly and disgusting racism? A return of the Inquisition,” Palmor wrote Wednesday.
In the same Twitter dialogue, Palmor joined other critics who accused organizers of the Rototom Sunshine Festival near Valencia of anti-Semitism for disinviting the Jewish-American singer Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood. Matisyahu, who is not Israeli, was the only performer asked to make such a statement.
After an international uproar, the Spanish government — which recently passed legislation to give citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews, aiming to atone for their ancestors’ expulsion in the 15th century – condemned the organizers.
On Wednesday, the organizers apologized for their actions and reinvited Matisyahu to perform on Saturday.