Swiss Lawmaker Expelled Over Anti-Israel Remarks
A local deputy from Switzerland's populist Geneva Citizens' Movement (MCG) was excluded from the regional party on Friday for supporting Israel’s destruction, AFP reports.
Denis Menoud wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that following Iran's historic nuclear deal with the West, "the key thing is that Israel is on the path to being incinerated."
His words caused an immediate outcry, with the Swiss Jewish rights group CICAD demanding the party "make a stand regarding this type of despicable remark."
Menoud, who later deleted the post from the page, told the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve his remarks had been taken out of context.
"The point was the agreement with Iran... Israel is the loser, strategically and politically, from this plan. Anything else is a toxic and abusive interpretation," he said, according to AFP.
The MCG won 20 of the 100 seats in the regional parliament in September on a platform of border security.
Menoud refused to resign at his party's request, but party president Roger Gelay said Friday the lawmaker was "no longer considered a member."
Menoud is renowned for his verbal gaffes, including previous off-color remarks about homosexuals and naturalized immigrants.
A survey published just a few weeks ago found that anti-Semitism has worsened in Europe in the past few years with abuse increasingly widespread on the Internet.
The survey, by the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), found that 66 percent of European Jews considered anti-Semitism "a fairly big or very big" problem in their country.
A total of 76 percent said anti-Semitism had worsened in the past five years, with abuse especially prevalent on the Internet, where social media and file-sharing websites allowed anti-Semitism to travel around even faster than before.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)