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Swiss polling firm wants to know if Jews have too much power

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(JTA) — A Swiss polling company working for an undisclosed client is conducting a survey about Jewish power.

Annie Mumenthaler, a representative of Switzerland’s ruling UDC party from the Lausanne suburb of Pully, told the news site 24 Heures that an employee of the Demoscope polling firm interviewed her last week and asked whether she believed Jews had too much power in politics.

“I answered all the question to see just how far this ignominy could go and I was not disappointed,” 24 Heures quoted her as saying Thursday. She said the employee asked her: “Do you find Jews are omnipresent in key positions in the finance industry?” and whether Jews have “too much influence” in American and Swiss politics.

Demoscope, Switzerland’s third largest polling company, conducted the poll for a German contractor working for a Canadian client, both of whom Demoscope would not name, 24 Heures reported. The company began conducting the survey last week, according to the site.

Mumenthaler said she found the questions “shocking, shameful and racist.” Antoine Reymond of the Swiss chapter of the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, or LICRA, said, “The ideas presented in the survey are reminiscent of the sinister notions propagated during the [Nazi] occupation of France.”

But Johanne Gurfinkel of the Swiss CICAD watchdog group on anti-Semitism said the condemnations were premature.

“We need to know who commissioned the survey and what their goals are before we can say anything for certain,” he said, adding: “Sometimes, provocative and closed questions are presented to respondents by watchdog groups because that way one knows what the population really thinks about a minority.”

Gurfinkel also said that the poll “may relay the stereotypes, but may also show how prevalent they are.”

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