World Jewish Congress welcomes Swiss government’s commitment to security of Jewish community

NEW YORK - The World Jewish Congress has welcomed the Swiss National Council’s adoption of a motion mandating the government to increase its efforts to protect religious minorities, including the local Jewish community. The motion passed unanimously by the Swiss National Council, the lower house of the country’s federal assembly, signals an important shift in the government’s approach to the security of the Jewish community.

The motion mandates the Federal Council to work together with the cantons to identify additional measures which could be taken to ‘protect religious communities from terrorism and extremist violence’. It also calls for immediate financial support to be made available for the protection of minorities and opens up the possibility of the drafting a federal law to enable the Swiss Confederation to take further measures for their protection. The motion was already passed last year by the Council of States, the upper house, following advocacy by WJC’s Switzerland affiliate Schweizerischer Israelitischer Gemeindebund (SIG).
WJC CEO and Vice President Robert Singer said: “We strongly welcome this critical step by the Swiss government which recognizes the importance of protecting minorities in the country, including the small but vibrant Swiss Jewish community. I commend the work of our affiliate, the SIG, in helping to push this process forward. In recent years, as we have witnessed a deeply troubling rise in anti-Semitism in a number of European countries, the need for upgraded security measures has become greater than ever.”
SIG General Secretary Dr. Jonathan Kreutner said: “We have long been committed to this motion, the adoption of which sends a strong political signal of the Confederation’s determination to ensure greater security of the Jews of Switzerland. We very much welcome the proposed measures which show how seriously Switzerland takes the need for concrete steps. We will continue to engage with the Government to ensure the long-term impact of these steps.”

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