SIG questions the legitimacy of the pro-Palestinian protests in Swiss universities and calls rectors to take action

The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) is concerned about the radical tendencies shown in Swiss universities’ pro-Palestinian protests, including the intimidation of Jewish and Israeli students and the use of antisemitic rhetoric.

The SIG observed with concern that the mood at numerous universities in Switzerland has escalated. Universities are democratic institutions where open debates are supposed to be fostered. However, the loud voices of the protesters have ideologically radicalised characteristics. Ultimatums and extremely one-sided demands are being made, and those who think differently are being intimidated, either intentionally or knowingly.

The protesters dominate the media and social media with their appearance and their messages. This gives some people the impression that their positions are shared by most students. This is certainly not the case. Jewish students are also affected, for whom the university does not offer a safe environment. A number of concerned Jewish lecturers and students have contacted the SIG.

Therefore, the SIG seriously questions whether these protests are supported by the values of a university and can be tolerated. Antisemitic outbursts such as the slogan “From the River to the Sea” clearly cross the line. This cannot be tolerated.

According to the SIG, it is up to the lecturers in particular to take on their responsibility and work towards a significant moderation of the protests. It is up to them and the university management to get the protests in the university facilities under control.


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