Fox apologises for 'did Jews kill Jesus' survey

A television network has issued an apology after it asked viewers whether they thought the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus.

Fox Latin America ran a poll on its Facebook page asking people to choose between Pontius Pilate, the High Priests and the Jewish People. The poll was posted to promote a National Geographic Christmas special.

Fox spokeswoman Guadalupe Lucero said the network had put measures in place to prevent a repeat of the incident. In a letter to the human-rights organisation, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, she said the poll contradicted the mission and spirit of National Geographic worldwide.

"We sincerely apologise for the publication of a poll that might have unintentionally given place to interpretations, opinions or expressions of intolerance affecting the Jewish community," she said. "We deeply regret the incident."

The suggestion that Jews were responsible for the "deicide" - the killing of Jesus - has been something that has damaged Jewish-Christian relations for centuries. Even the Vatican disowned the idea more than four decades ago.

Dr Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Centre's director for International Relations, said it was an outrage to see repeated a slur that "resulted in persecution and murder of Jews for two millennia".

    Last updated: 12:45pm, January 5 2012