Deputy FM Decries Anti-Semitism in Swiss Hotel, Hotel Manager Apologizes

YERUSHALAYIM -

An incident at an Arosa, Switzerland, hotel that caters to Jewish guests elicited an outraged reaction from the Israeli government on Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called it “an anti-Semitic act of the worst and ugliest kind,” and demanded that the person responsible be prosecuted.

“To our Jewish guests, women, men and children, please take a shower before you go swimming,” warned a sign at the Aparthaus Paradies in the Alpine resort village. “If you break the rules I’m forced to close the swimming pool for you.”

After being informed that the signs had been taken down following complaints, Hotevely was not satisfied, and insisted that the woman who posted them be punished.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism in Europe is still a reality and we must make sure that the punishment for incidents such as these will serve as deterrents for those who still harbor the germ of anti-Semitism,” Hotovely said.

Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Jacob Keidar, reportedly has requested that the Swiss Foreign Ministry condemn the incident.

Later in the day, hotel manager Ruth Thomann apologized, saying that any offense given was not intended.

“I have nothing against Jews, whom we regularly receive warmly here,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I may have selected the wrong words; the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones.”

The signs seemed incongruous, as guests said they had no previous indication of anti-Semitism at the apartment hotel about 70 miles from Zurich.

“Everyone had been very nice to us. Suddenly we came down and saw the sign. We were in shock,” one of the Israeli guests told Channel 2.

“It was very strange and the sort of anti-Semitic incident we have not been exposed to before,” she said.

Shlomo, a chareidi Jew from the Yerushalayim area who has stayed at the hotel, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that he did not believe it was a case of anti-Semitism.

“I personally know the owners of the hotel and the lady in question who is accused of anti-Semitism. I have been to this hotel several times, and they are as far from anti-Semitism as the Far East is from the West,” he said.

Shlomo said that he had no first-hand information about the incident concerning the signs, but he is convinced that “they are not anti-Semites.”