(JTA) — Anti-Israel protesters demonstrated outside Geneva’s main synagogue.
A Swiss watchdog group said the weekend protests in front of the Beth Yaakov, or Grande, Synagogue were the first public displays of hostility in Switzerland toward Israel since the conflict with Gaza began in early July.
A veiled woman carried a sign reading “Every synagogue is an Israeli embassy” and waved a Palestinian flag on Saturday morning, according to the Intercommunity Coordination Against Anti-Semitism and Defamation watchdog organization, or CICAD. The same protester returned that night accompanied by three men, the group said.
A second woman wearing a Palestinian flag around her neck tried unsuccessfully to enter the synagogue, according to the watchdog. The protesters told police that they have a right to protest and threatened to return the following Saturday.
“With this first public demonstration of hostility towards the Jewish community in Geneva since the beginning of the conflict in Gaza, an unacceptable step was taken,” CICAD said. “Synagogues should not become the new places of expression of hatred against Israel.”
CICAD called on local politicians, including those who support the Palestinian cause, to denounce this kind of action against the Jewish community and for authorities to take action to protect the Jewish community.