April 17, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Riots over a sticker on the door of a ski rental shop near Davos: “No skis and skates for Jews” |  outside

Riots over a sticker on the door of a ski rental shop near Davos: “No skis and skates for Jews” | outside

A ski rental company near Davos, Switzerland, has drawn the wrath of the Jewish community and also drawn the attention of authorities. Posters in the store stated that winter sports equipment would no longer be rented to “our Jewish brothers.” The reason why the local police started the investigation.

The posters were hung in a winter sports shop, part of the Pischa Mountain restaurant, near the fashionable Swiss city of Davos, where the World Economic Forum is held once a year. The message can be read in Hebrew. “After several very disturbing incidents, such as the theft of a sled, we no longer rent winter sports equipment to our Jewish brothers. This includes all equipment, such as skis, windboards, sleds and snowshoes. thanks for understanding.”

In an initial explanation, store management stated, according to the BBC, that rental equipment was often not returned, and that store employees were tired of having to search the slopes for abandoned skis. But after Yehuda Spielmann, a Swiss Orthodox Jew and member of the Zurich city council, circulated a photo of the poster via X, the discussion erupted, the AP also reported.


“The poster is undeniably discriminatory,” said Jonathan Kreutner, on behalf of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities. “It shocked me. It shocked me.” It's anti-Semitism. A whole host of guests of a certain origin and appearance have been profiled here.” Krutner has informed various media outlets that he is considering legal action.

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“Any form of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination must be condemned,” Davos Mayor Philipp Wilhelm said in local media. “This has no place in Davos.”

Skaters in Davos.  Archive photo.
Skaters in Davos. Archive photo. © EPA

Although the store management decided to remove them 24 hours after the posters were posted and apologized (“The message was poorly worded” and “Jews are welcome here”), the Graubünden cantonal police ordered the law to be issued and an investigation to investigate the possibility of this happening. Criminal violations of Swiss law prohibiting discrimination and incitement to hatred.

Problems with tourists

According to the BBC and the Associated Press, this is not the first time problems with Jewish tourists have been reported in Davos. There has been a clear increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the Swiss town for some time, and according to a spokesman for the local tourist office, this has also led to an increase in reports that Jewish guests are not behaving well, just as with British guests, for example. Example, Russian tourists and others. The same spokesman told the BBC that a committee had recently been formed to look deeper into this problem.

But it is clear that the message on the posters is written in Hebrew, is aimed at a specific group of people, and comes at a time of heightened tensions (since the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent war); Many critics see this as anti-Semitism rather than a blunder.

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Davos. © National Police Agency / Environmental Protection Agency