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  • Uproar over Swiss Officials’ Letter Condoning Suicide Attacks on Israel

    Swiss legislators are calling for the dismissal of a senior Foreign Ministry official who wrote a letter that appeared to sanction terrorist attacks against Israel. In his letter to the Swiss-based group “Pro-PLO,” the head of the ministry’s Middle East department, Amb. Thomas Kupfer, described Palestinian suicide bombers as “resistance fighters” who did not “obtain… More ▸

  • Swiss President Retreats on Vow Made to Help Holocaust Survivors

    The president of Switzerland has backtracked on a vow to help Holocaust survivors made by a predecessor. In an interview this week, Swiss President Kaspar Villiger said it would not be legally possible to make payments to survivors or Jewish groups from a $5 billion foundation to help victims of genocide, war and natural disasters…. More ▸

  • Swiss Keep Kosher Slaughter Ban, but Will Guarantee Import of Meat

    Switzerland has decided not to ease a ban on kosher slaughter. But the Swiss government did promise Swiss Jewish leaders last week that the import of kosher meat will be guaranteed by law, according to a spokeswomen for Economy Minister Pasqual Couchepin. “The decision was made in close cooperation with the Swiss Federations of Jewish… More ▸

  • Swiss Jews Prepare for Fight over Right to Kosher Slaughter

    Switzerland’s Jewish community is gearing up for a fight with an animal rights group that wants to bar Jewish ritual slaughter. Shortly after the government launched a campaign to end a century-old law barring ritual slaughter, the Swiss Animal Association has called for a referendum on the issue. In addition, the referendum would ask Swiss… More ▸

  • Profile Ex-swiss Bank Guard Loses Limelight; Now Copes with Solitude and Poverty

    Christoph Meili was living as an average guy when he did an extraordinary thing for the Jewish community and suddenly found himself idolized as a superhero. But after basking in the community’s adulation, the spotlight ultimately shifted elsewhere — and he had to figure out how to build a new existence in a foreign country…. More ▸

  • Swiss Visit to Hungary Goes Sour As President Clashes with Local Jews

    Disputes over a yarmulke and a Righteous Gentile have soured relations between the outgoing president of Switzerland and Hungary’s Jewish community. On a state visit to Hungary in December, problems began for then-President Moritz Leuenberger — who became transport minister on Jan. 1 under Switzerland’s system of rotating the presidency among its Cabinet members —… More ▸

  • Campaign to Allow Ritual Slaughter Prompts Swiss Anti-semitic Backlash

    The Swiss government has launched a campaign to end a century-old law barring Jewish ritual slaughter. Launched by Economics Minister Pasqual Couchepin, the campaign has created a heated outcry against any lessening of the prohibition. It also prompted fears of a widespread anti-Semitic backlash in a country that has experienced such backlashes in recent years,… More ▸

  • Deadline Approaches for Claims on Dormant Swiss Bank Accounts

    Holocaust survivors or their heirs who believe they have a valid claim on a dormant Swiss bank account dating back to the Holocaust era have until next week to file claims. In February, Swiss banks published the names on 21,000 accounts that may have belonged to Holocaust victims. At the time, they imposed a six-month… More ▸

  • Swiss Whistle-blower Claims Poverty After He’s Asked to Support His Mom

    A former security guard who prevented the shredding of vital Holocaust-era bank records four years ago now claims he is going broke. In an interview with the Swiss news magazine Facts, Christoph Meili described his financial situation as dire. “I have not yet received a single dollar” of the $1 million he says he was… More ▸

  • Swiss Jews Fearful After Killing, Increase in Harassment on Streets

    The release of a suspect in the recent slaying of a rabbi here comes as a Swiss Jewish leader is calling on observant Jews to take secure routes to synagogues. The call made by Max Besserman, chief of security for Zurich’s Orthodox community, came after police released the 30-year-old suspect, saying they had little evidence… More ▸