On the facade of the high-altitude hotel-restaurant Pischa, in one of the ski areas of Davos in Switzerland, a sign written in Hebrew announces that the establishment will no longer rent its sleds and other snowshoes to Jewish customers, revealed this Monday the newspaper 20minuten.
This is not the first time that this type of incident has occurred in this region of Switzerland, very popular – in summer as in winter – with ultra-Orthodox Jewish tourists. Police told theAFP having opened an investigation “for discrimination and incitement to hatred”.
Contacted by theAFPthose in charge of the establishment did not immediately respond, but explained to 20minuten that Jewish customers often left the equipment on the slopes, forcing them to “collect them, when you can find them”. In a video published by the daily Blick, the manager apologizes and speaks of clumsy wording.
An “unquestionably” discriminatory poster
“I am ready to speak to the people concerned”, says the manager, Ruedi Pfiffner, who denies any anti-Semitism. The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (FSCI) will file a complaint. “The poster is undoubtedly discriminatory”declared FSCI general secretary Jonathan Kreutner at theAFP : “an entire group of customers is collectively labeled based on their appearance and origin.”
The Zurich-based Foundation Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA) speaks about “serious anti-Semitic discrimination”in a statement sent to theAFP. She advocates a “fair solution” to avoid any future incidents related to equipment rental, such as depositing a deposit or an identity document.
According to an article published in August by the local newspaper Davoser Zeitung, between 3,000 and 4,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews vacationed in Davos last summer. According to Jonathan Kreutner, while the increase in the number of Jewish guests in Davos in recent years shows that some hotels and businesses offer a warm welcome, others seem “have a completely different attitude”.
“The recurring problems in Davos are proof of this. Just last summer, the local tourism organization froze its cooperation with us and our dialogue project. It’s obvious there are a lot of things wrong here.”he said.
In 2017, another hotel located in the resort of Arosa, not far from Davos, and which also welcomes many ultra-Orthodox tourists, put up a poster asking its Jewish guests to shower before entering the swimming pool, triggering a lively controversy in Israel.