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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Zionism centennial celebration explores current controversies

    BASEL, Sept. 2 (JTA) — They came to celebrate 100 years of Zionism, but found themselves confronting present-day controversies. The ceremonies here marking the centennial of the First Zionist Congress focused, as all expected, on what was achieved 100 years ago. But leading figures at the commemorations, which drew 1,500 attendees from around the world,…

  • Swiss legislators remove hurdle to central bank’s donation to fund

    BERN, Aug. 26 (JTA) — The Swiss Parliament’s Legal Committee has determined that the Swiss National Bank does not need parliamentary approval to contribute $70 million to a fund for Holocaust survivors. The 12-5 decision Monday countered the bank’s long-standing position that such approval would be necessary. The committee’s vote “creates a new situation,” said…

  • Senior U.S. official urges Swiss to augment fund for survivors

    ZURICH, Aug. 20 (JTA) — A senior U.S. official has called on Swiss banks and businesses to increase the size of a Swiss fund established earlier this year to help needy Holocaust survivors. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs Stuart Eizenstat, in an interview this week on Swiss Television, praised the efforts already made…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Swiss bash for Zionism’s 100th clouded by confusion, disarray

    BASEL, Switzerland, Aug. 18 (JTA) — The Swiss are throwing a 100th birthday bash for Zionism, but the party atmosphere appears likely to be muted by anguish over the host’s wartime history and poor promotion. Unusually heavy security surrounding the event are also likely to mar the festivities by underscoring the recent rise in anti-Semitic…

  • Swiss Jews get death threats amid continuing anti-Semitism

    ZURICH, Aug. 6 (JTA) — Already plagued by a rash of anti-Semitic incidents, Switzerland now has several more to contend with. Several Jewish leaders were placed under police protection over the weekend after receiving death threats in the mail. Among those receiving the threats was Sigi Feigel, honorary president of the Jewish community of Zurich,…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Rising anti-Semitism casts shadow over publication of Swiss accounts

    ZURICH, July 23 (JTA) — Concerns about rising anti-Semitism in Switzerland have cast a pall over the much-publicized release of the names on dormant accounts from the Nazi era. “Keep your money. The lists published today are not important if the 18,000-member Jewish minority of this country should suffer from anti-Semitism,” Israel Singer, the secretary-general…

  • Wave of anti-Semitic incidents strikes fear among Swiss Jews

    ZURICH, July 14 (JTA) — Months of mounting accusations against Switzerland for its wartime dealings with the Nazis have resulted in an anti-Semitic backlash against members of the Jewish community here. “It is no secret that the we live in an anti-Semitic society,” Hugo Benjamin, president of the small Orthodox community in Lucerne, said Monday….

  • Swiss Holocaust fund to benefit East Europe’s oldest and neediest

    BERN, July 8 (JTA) — The stewards of Switzerland’s highly touted Holocaust Memorial Fund have concluded their first meeting with at least one thing certain: They intend to issue the first payments to the oldest and neediest survivors in Eastern Europe. But members of the fund’s executive committee appear to disagree over when the checks…

  • Head of Swiss wartime probe to relinquish position with bank

    BERN, June 16 (JTA) — A controversy has erupted over the disclosure that the head of an international panel of historians probing Switzerland’s wartime past is on the payroll of one of the banks it is expected to investigate. Jean-Francois Bergier is chairman of the Independent Commission of Experts, the international panel of historians created…

  • Swiss parliamentarian urges repayment to Jewish groups

    ZURICH, June 10 (JTA) — A member of the Swiss Parliament has called on the government to return to Jewish groups money they paid to support Jews who found haven in Switzerland during World War II. Switzerland has come under fire for turning away more than 30,000 Jewish refugees at the Swiss border during the…