New report reveals that antisemitism is growing in Switzerland

A new report reveals that antisemitism continues to “persist and grow” in Switzerland.

A new report from Switzerland’s main antisemitism monitoring body, the Intercommunity Coordination against Antisemitism and Defamation (CIDAD), claims that antisemitic incidents have increased in Switzerland during 2022. The organisation identified 562 cases in the Francophone part of Switzerland, reports the Algemeiner.

The group highlighted that this is a dramatic increase compared to the two previous years; in 2021, 165 incidents were recorded, compared with 283 in 2022. They said that the “considerable number of recorded incidents is due to several factors: a broadening of the sources observed, the prolific activity in Geneva of a Holocaust denier, and an increase in the number of cases of antisemitism.” The group emphasised that the rise was partly due to the inclusion of additional sources of antisemitism, such as the Telegram social media platform.

The report asserted that the “conclusion is clear: in French-speaking Switzerland, antisemitism persists and continues to grow.” It emphasised that 26 incidents had been classified as “grave” or “serious,” compared to 13 in the same category last year.

The report identified four distinct sources of antisemitic agitation: the extreme right, which expresses “hatred of Jews and other minorities on a daily basis”; Holocaust denial; conspiracy theories emerging from current issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Russian war against Ukraine; and local events that have resulted in antisemitic outbursts.

The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (FSCI) and the Foundation against Racism and Antisemitism conducted a separate survey in the German and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland, revealing a six per cent increase in antisemitic incidents last year. The survey noted that proponents of conspiracy theories “have in common a belief in a secret power that wants to dominate, enslave or exterminate humanity,” which leads them to focus on Jews. This survey also identified the Telegram social media platform as a significant source of antisemitism, observing that 75 per cent of online antisemitic incidents occurred on the platform.