ZURICH (Aug. 2)
Switzerland’s president has used the commemoration of Swiss National Day to issue a call against anti-Semitism.
Flavio Cotti called on the Swiss to reject anti-Semitism, despite what he called “unjustified” attacks against Switzerland for its dealings with Nazi Germany. Cotti’s call came in a radio and television address Saturday as part of Swiss National Day.
Swiss Jewish leaders welcomed the remarks, which they called long overdue.
“Finally, we got was we were looking for,” Thomas Lyssy, vice president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, said in an interview.
Switzerland has recently experienced an anti-Semitic backlash in reaction to international pressure to settle Holocaust-era claims.
One Swiss newspaper clearly welcomed Cotti’s remarks.
“Thank You Mr. President for These Clear Words,” read a headline in Sonntagsblick, the country’s largest Sunday newspaper.
Meanwhile, Swiss police detained about 30 skinheads in central Switzerland who displayed swastikas and gave the Hitler salute.