Swiss ski shop refuses to serve Jews

Police in Davos have launched an investigation


The note in Hebrew

Police in Davos have launched an investigation after a mountain restaurant and ski hire shop refused to lend sports equipment to Jewish tourists.

A notice in Hebrew was posted outside the shop at the Pischa mountain station announcing a ban on renting equipment to Jews over alleged theft and misconduct.

It read: "Due to several very annoying incidents, including the theft of a sled, we no longer rent sports equipment to our Jewish brothers”.

This included "sports equipment such as sledges, airboards, skis, and snowshoes."

Yehuda Spielman, a local councillor from Zurich, posted a photo of the notice on social media. He suggested that the use of Hebrew instead of German may have been a deliberate attempt to downplay the discriminatory nature of the message.

Conflicts between locals and Jewish guests occurred in the past and, last year, a forum was even set up in Davos to facilitate dialogue between official representatives of the region, the Jewish communities and local tourism officials.

“A lot of time and energy has already been invested in this dialogue, but this egregious incident is a new low,” Spielman said. He said this incident was a setback in ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and tolerance in the region.

Criticism was also directed at the language used in the notice, particularly the phrase "Jewish brothers," which was described as a "cynical attempt at friendly anti-Semitism."

Meanwhile the Swiss Federation of Israeli Communities (SIG) condemned the notice as "antisemitic" and vowed to pursue legal action.

Jonathan Kreutner, the Secretary General of SIG, said isolated incidents should not be used to generalise against an entire community.

In response to mounting pressure, the tenant of the shop issued an “apology”, acknowledging that the notice was "worded incorrectly".

He attributed the decision to a series of incidents involving Jewish guests, including disputes over equipment usage and non-compliance with restaurant policies.

The Swiss police have launched an investigation into the matter to determine whether the incident constituted discrimination or incitement to hatred.

The Pischa mountain station has replaced the original notice with one in German, stating that equipment rentals will only be made to customers with appropriate winter clothing.

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