Swiss commission warns of growing anti-Semitism

The commission is especially concerned about hate speech on social media. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Federal Commission against Racism (FCR) has issued an appeal against hate speech, which it says is on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, including in Switzerland.

This content was published on March 21, 2021 - 17:46

In a statement on Sunday marking International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationExternal link, the commission called for people to fight what it called “a phenomenon dictated by fear and prejudice”. Targeting scapegoats in time of crisis is not new, but now social networks are buzzing with false news and conspiracy theories, it continued.

The FCR expressed particular concern about conspiracy theories inspired by anti-Semitism, saying these had risen sharply this year. “This shows that anti-Semitism is latent in Switzerland, as elsewhere, and it only takes a crisis to revive it,” the commission states. “The FCR is concerned by these signs of hostility and intolerance being expressed more and more loudly within the population and in political circles.”

A February report by the Swiss Federation of Jewish CommunitiesExternal link and the Foundation against Racism and Anti-SemitismExternal link also said that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories were on the rise in Switzerland in 2020. It found that nearly half of the reported 485 anti-Semitic incidents on the internet were linked to coronavirus.

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