Posh Swiss Ski Shop Not Renting to Jews

Davos shop condemned for sign saying 'our Jewish brothers' not welcome to rent after 'incidents'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2024 11:10 AM CST
Posh Swiss Ski Shop Not Renting to Jews
Snow covers the hills around Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 19, 2020.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

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. Police in the eastern Graubuenden region opened an investigation for possible criminal violation of Swiss law banning discrimination and incitement to hatred, reports the AP. The sign on Pischa Mountain above Davos 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've been traveling to Davos in growing numbers in recent years, both for summertime and wintertime holiday getaways.

  • The sign: "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.
  • The reaction: The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities condemned the incident. "The poster is undisputedly discriminatory," says the federation's secretary-general, Jonathan Kreutner. "That shocks me. This really is a new level of audacity." "This is antisemitism," he continued. "An entire group of guests is being collectively labeled because of their appearance and origin."
  • What's next: Kreutner initially said the federation planned legal action for alleged violation of Swiss anti-racism laws, but he said it would likely defer to a regional prosecutor who was looking into the matter.
  • Background: Kreutner noted an increasing number of Jewish guests in Davos over the years, which indicated they "clearly feel very comfortable" and welcome. "However, there are obviously others who have a completely different attitude [toward] Jewish guests," he said, acknowledging that "it is obvious that there is a lot going wrong here."
  • More background: Davos tourism head Reto Branschi was quoted in the Davoser Zeitung newspaper last year as saying that some of the resort's Jewish patrons "clearly have difficulty accepting and respecting the rules of living together here." He cited issues of littering and said such rules are "unfortunately not adhered to, especially by Orthodox Jews."
(More Davos stories.)

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