Switzerland’s main Jewish organization on Monday denounced an antisemitic sign put up at a local ski shop near Davos, barring Jews from renting equipment from the store, The Associated Press reported.
Regional police have opened an investigation, the report stated.
The sign on Pischa Mountain above Davos, a town known for hosting the annual World Economic Forum meeting of global elites each January, said the shop would no longer rent gear such as sleds, skis and snowshoes to “our Jewish brothers” after a series of “very annoying incidents”, including the theft of a sled.
The message, written in Hebrew, appeared to be directed at Israeli Jews who have been traveling to Davos in growing numbers in recent years, both for summertime and wintertime holiday getaways, according to AP.
“After a series of annoying incidents, including the theft of a sled, we are no longer renting out sporting equipment to our Jewish brothers,” said the sign, put on a window at a counter with helmets sitting on a shelf in the back.
Police in the eastern Graubünden canton, or region, said in an email that they have opened an investigation for possible criminal violation of Swiss law banning discrimination and incitement to hatred.
The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities condemned the incident, which was reported in Swiss media after a social media post from Zurich city councilor Jehuda Spielman on Sunday.
“The poster is undisputedly discriminatory,” said Jonathan Kreutner, the federation’s secretary-general, in an e-mail, according to AP. “That shocks me. This really is a new level of audacity.”
“This is antisemitism,” he later said over the phone. “An entire group of guests is being collectively labelled because of their appearance and origin.”
The incident comes against a backdrop of rising antisemitism across Europe and beyond, largely in connection with the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip which began after Hamas’ massacre in Israel on October 7.
Last year, the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities called on the government to monitor antisemitism and to enact new laws to limit hate speech.
The call followed a troubling report showing that antisemitic attacks increased in Switzerland in 2022.