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August 23, 2017 11:44 am

Don’t Let Incident in Switzerland Distract From True Antisemitism

avatar by Chana Pawliger

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The sign at the Swiss hotel asking Jews to shower before using a swimming pool. Photo: Twitter.

A sign that appeared to discriminate against Jewish guests was recently posted at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel in Switzerland. The sign — which was met with ourtage — requested that Jewish guests take a shower before using a swimming pool. But this non-incident is distracting us from the true face of antisemitism.

On August 17, 1915, Jewish-American Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgia — the beautiful suburban area where I currently live. Now, 102 years later — almost to the day — neo-Nazism has reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere across the South.

Here’s why the Switzerland incident doesn’t remotely compare to what happened in Virginia.

The sign at the Swiss hotel was posted by an individual hotel manager, Ruth Thomann, and was not the policy of the hotel. According to reports, the sign was posted after specific complaints, and was not the result of pure, antisemitic hate.

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In fact, one copy of the sign had a handwritten note on it: “I am not a Jewish guest, and I think it’s racist.” Further, all the copies of the sign were reportedly removed very shortly after being posted. In fact, according to the Telegraph, “One Israeli guest told Channel 2 news that staff at the hotel had been ‘very nice’and they were shocked when they saw the signs. ‘It was very strange and the sort of antisemitic incident we have not been exposed to before,’ the guest said.”

Not only that, but the hotel was accommodating enough to store special kosher food for Jewish guests in the private staff refrigerator, and apparently treated the Jewish guests with utmost respect.

We should not be busy wasting our outrage on this non-incident. Let’s refocus our energy towards the insanity in our own backyard — where there is not only smoke, but also a raging fire.

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