Booking.com drops Swiss hotel over anti-Semitic signs

Online hotel reservation service drops Swiss hotel whose management put up signs singling out Jews.

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Ben Ariel,

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Online hotel reservation service Booking.com has dropped from its website a Swiss establishment whose management put up signs singling out Jews and urging them to shower before entering the swimming pool, JTA reported on Wednesday.

A Booking.com representative told Shimon Samuels, the Paris-based director of international affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, that it has dropped Paradise Apartments in Arosa, some 80 miles southeast of Zurich, from the service because of the signs its management put up during the weekend.

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We can confirm that the property in question is no longer available on Booking.com,” a representative was quoted as having told Samuels in an email replying to Samuel’s request for disciplinary action by Booking.com against the hotel.

The hotel still appears on Booking.com but is blocked for reservations, according to JTA. “We’re sorry, but it is currently not possible to make reservations for this accommodation on our website,” the page reads, referring users to a list of other hotels in the area.

The signs, discovered by a haredi family from Israel, prompted furious reactions in Israel and beyond.

The hotel’s manager, Ruth Thomann, apologized for the sign on Monday, saying, “I have nothing against Jews, whom we regularly receive warmly here. I may have selected the wrong words; the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones.”

On Tuesday, Switzerland denounced anti-Semitism following the incident.

Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Tilman Renz told AFP in an email that the ministry had been in contact with Israel's ambassador to Switzerland, Jacob Keidar, and "outlined to him that Switzerland condemns racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination in any form."

One of the condemnations against the signs came from Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely, who said they were indicative of anti-Semitism in Europe, and described the incident as “an anti-Semitic act of the worst and ugliest kind.”








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