Swiss hotel under fire for 'anti-Semite' signs

2017-08-15 15:25
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Geneva — Switzerland's tourism office is expressing regret over an "unfortunate" incident in which a small Swiss Alpine hotel posted a sign asking "Jewish guests" to shower before swimming in the hotel pool.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded the closure of the Paradies Arosa hotel in eastern Arosa. On Twitter, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called for "justice."

Swiss Tourism spokesperson Markus Berger on Tuesday called the sign "unacceptable," adding it has been removed and hotel management has apologized.

Under "To our Jewish Guests," the sign read: "Please take a shower before you go swimming. If you break the rules, I am forced to cloes (sic) the swimming pool for you. Thank you for your understanding."

Berger cited a trend among some Orthodox Jews of summer travel to the area.

According to a Daily Mail report, the Swiss foreign ministry spokesperson Tilman Renz has called on Switzerland's tourism ministry to condemn "racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination in any form."

The report states the hotel's manager Ruth Thomann had signed the notices, acknowledges her "choice of words was a mistake."

The hotel is said to be a summertime favourite with ultra-orthodox Jewish guests because it has been accommodating to their needs, including access to a freezer to store kosher food.

An additional note was also put up in the staff room where the freezer is kept detailing access times between 10:00 and 11:00am and between 4:30 and 5:30pm only, to  ensure staff could enjoy their "lunch and dinner in peace."

Renz is quoted as saying, "I wrote something naive on that poster," admitting the note should have addressed all guests with the same message. 

Complaints have been lodged for the hotel to be shut as well as for it to be removed from Bookings.com

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