Ralph Lewin: “You cannot make peace with Hamas that is clear to everyone by now”

Ralph Lewin, the president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) and the highest representative of Jews in Switzerland, has spoken about a ‘breach of civilization’ in relation to the attack by Hamas on Israel.

This goes “very, very deep” for Jewish communities worldwide, because it is the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Lewin said.

“The current spiral of violence has started from an unprecedented terrorist attack. You cannot make peace with Hamas, that is clear to everyone by now,” Lewin said, adding that in the current situation, demanding that Israel focus on de-escalation is “politically impossible”.

And what about the fundamental peace process? “I have been dreaming of a peaceful solution since I was a student,” Lewin said. He also knows that the two sides will also have to approach each other again.

As a prerequisite for this, he says the Palestinians need another interlocutor. If the Palestinians send signals that they are ready to talk, he is convinced that part of the Israeli population will resume talks, but after the recent events, this will be an extremely “thorny” process.

“Israel has proven that it can make peace,” Lewin said, pointing to the agreement with Egypt. He hopes that this ability to make peace still exists in Israel today.

Regarding the situation in Switzerland, Lewin said the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities welcomed the fact that Hamas was now deemed a terrorist organisation.

“We think it is right that the government now sees that one cannot negotiate with such an organisation,” Lewin said. However, he said the federation was concerned that the current solidarity with Israel and the Jews would change again and that antisemitic incidents would increase.

He called for moderation in Switzerland and for dialogue. “We mustn’t transfer the conflict to Switzerland, which is why it is also very important for me personally that we have a good dialogue with the Muslim authorities in Switzerland,” Lewin said.


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