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Rise in anti-Semitic incidents reported

The number of attacks against Jewish interests in Switzerland increased in 2011, according to anti-racism organisations.

Swastikas on synagogue doors and overturned Jewish gravestones are just two types of anti-Semitic incident reported by Jewish groups last year. People were also the target of attacks: in December an Orthodox Jew was beaten up in Geneva, while others reported death threats and insults.

According to Cicad, the intercommunity coordination against anti-Semitism and defamation, 130 cases of anti-Semitism were reported in western Switzerland in 2011, up from 104 the year before.

In the German-speaking area, there were 112 cases – 76 of them on the internet – according to the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities and the Foundation against racism and antisemitism (GRA). In 2010, it reported  34 incidents.

Both organisations said on Monday the worst incident had occurred last March when unknown assailants shot at the window of a Jewish school in Zurich. The school was empty at the time and no one was hurt.

In Basel the entrance to a synagogue was defaced with a swastika, and gravestones were overturned.

In 2011 for the first time the Federation of Jewish Communities checked out anti-Semitic abuse on the internet.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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