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The last word on Schama

    You wouldn’t believe it, but Simon Schama’s series The Story of the Jews has attracted a complaint of antisemitism. Or rather not the programme, but the blurb to its Swedish version.

    The Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism has protested to broadcaster SVT over programme notes which read: “Through their culture, money and science, [Jews] have played a significant role in shaping the world we live in today.”

    The committee complained that the comment evokes “traditional antisemitic conceptions of Jews, money and power”.

    The wording struck Professor Schama himself as “very odd and incongruous”.

    A couple of weeks ago, I reported the initial viewing figures here. New BBC data, which includes iPlayer, says the series opened with nearly 3.1 million viewings and closed on 1.1 million. “We are delighted with how it performed,” a spokesman said.

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