NPR's Diane Rehm Plays into Classic Anti-Semitic Charges of Dual Loyalty

The following letter was written in response to NPR host Diane Rehm's question to Senator Bernie Sanders during a live interview on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Cathy Shaw
Washington Editor
National Public Radio

Dear Ms. Shaw:

We were surprised and disturbed to hear that during an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders this morning, NPR host Diane Rehm described the Senator as having “dual citizenship with Israel.”

Such a statement is not only factually incorrect, but has no place in such an interview. It is deeply troubling to think that a well-respected media outlet like NPR would apparently rely on unsubstantiated information from the Internet in its preparation for a guest.

 Ms. Rehm’s description and follow-up question about whether other Senators have dual citizenship with Israel play into classic anti-Semitic charges of dual loyalty. Such charges have been leveled for centuries and have been a catalyst for scapegoating and vilifying Jews.

Moreover, we believe that Ms. Rehm’s reported apology, in which she says she made a mistake by stating his dual citizenship as fact -- rather than asking if he had dual citizenship -- does not go far enough.  Her mistake was not to research it before she even stated it as fact. She simply should not have asked the question.

Senator Sanders deserves a full and public apology, as do NPR’s listeners.


Abraham H. Foxman
National Director