Radio studio (illustration)
Radio studio (illustration) Thinkstock

Spain public radio RNE said Thursday it had removed an episode of a program that linked Jews to Satanism from its website after receiving complaints from Jewish groups, AFP reported.

"The director of Spanish National Radio (RNE), given the controversy and annoyance caused be the program, has removed this episode from the Internet," a spokesman for the broadcaster, Carlos Garrido, told the news agency.

The management of the station also apologized to the former spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, Yigal Palmor, who "raised the problem" in an article in the Jerusalem Post, he added.

The spokesman stressed that the program was "radio fiction and in no way was a news segment."

The half-hour program "From the Inferno", which has been broadcast since 2009 in the early hours of Saturday, deals with myths about the devil throughout the ages. Episodes have dealt with devil myths in the Third Reich in Nazi Germany and during the Iraq war.

The episode which sparked the controversy, called "The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult", was broadcast on July 25, according to AFP.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation league said the broadcast included "slander" of Judaism lifted from the "Plot Against the Church", a book published in 1962 "filled with anti-Semitic rhetoric" that was written by a collection of Mexican priests under the pseudonym Maurice Pinay.

"The fact that a vehemently anti-Semitic work filled with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and slander made it to the Spanish airwaves is seriously troubling and warrants immediate condemnation from the Spanish government," the national director of the league, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.

Greenblatt wrote to Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo to urge Madrid to publicly condemn the broadcast.

"Strong action will convey the seriousness of the government's commitment to combat anti-Semitism and, we hope, deter future incidents," he wrote in the letter.

The incident takes place on the same week that American Jewish musician Matisyahu was disinvited from a festival in Spain due to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

When Matisyahu did not reply to festival organizers' demand that he publicly state that he is in favor of a Palestinian state, they cancelled his appearance. Ironically, a Jamaican singer whose songs feature lyrics calling to kill homosexuals was not banned.

The decision was condemned by Jewish groups, the Spanish government and both the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Spain, prompting a swift backtrack and apology from organizers, who invited him to perform on the last night of the week-long festival. 

Matisyahu eventually performed at the Spanish music festival, and the concert passed calmly even as protesters waved the flags of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the crowd.