Swiss Jewish Federation outraged after country’s press council rules against magazine that printed article linking BDS to anti-Semitism.
The Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG) has expressed outrage at what it called the Swiss Press Council’s biased stance toward the BDS movement.
After the Swiss Press Council harshly criticized an article in Prime News, a Swiss online magazine, for denouncing the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, the SIG reacted with shock, noting the Press Council’s “uncritical and almost partisan attitude toward BDS.”
The Press Council in its ruling accused Prime News of “improper reporting, of not taking expert opinions into account and even of using misleading definitions of anti-Semitism” for an article it published that described the BDS movement as “anti-Semitic,” “tinged with anti-Semitism,” or “considered by many experts to be anti-Semitic.”
“The Press Council has now sided with a complainant and reprimanded a journalist. In particular, the reasoning behind the ruling by the Press Council is disconcerting,” the SIG, the Swiss affiliate of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement.
“BDS claims to only target the State of Israel and its representatives with its boycott calls and measures. In fact, it regularly targets individual Israeli citizens.”
The SIG questioned why the Press Council would adopt the “argumentation of the BDS movement verbatim.”
“The Press Council chose to ignore the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, recognized internationally and also recently adopted by Switzerland. Instead, it relied only pronouncements by the BDS itself and chose to suppress opinions to the contrary,” stated the SIG.
“Particularly offensive is the Press Council’s pronouncement that it is ‘disputed’ whether rejecting Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitic.”
The SIG added, “The patterns of action and methods of the BDS movement have a clearly anti-Semitic tinge and may and should be described as such,” the SIG concluded.