Monday, November 30, 2009

Swiss have learned nothing since 1940

The Swiss will never learn. This Sunday they voted 57,5% for a ban on further minarets in their country, on top of the four they already have (the picture is of one of them, in the place Wangen, near Olten). The vote was inspird by the ultra right Swiss Peoples party (Schweitzerische Volkspartei). A happy party represenative in the Swiss parliament,  told afterwards that it was not against muslims or theur right to practice their relegion, bot only against th minaret, which he called ' a political symbol for introducing the sharia step by step. Forced marriages and cemetaries separating the pure and the impure, things we never had in Switzerland'.
Of course nobody believes that the minaret is anything but a symbol for a mosque, just like a clocktower is for a church. So the vote is really against the spread of mosques, and a clear expression of xenophobia and racism, something the Swiss have always been good at. It is worth remembering the so called 'Bergier Commission', which in 1999 looked into Switzerland's behavior during the Second World War vis a vis the Jews. It concluded that Switzerland without any outside pressure in 1938 followed the example of nazi-Germany of making a difference between Jews and others by introducing a special stamp in their passports. Also it closed the borders as off 1940 for Jewish refugees, which meant the death of 24.000 of them. Said the report. It is well possible that the number of people that could have been saved was in fact higher.

The vote drew lots of angry reactions from moslim personalities and organisations all over the world. In the Netherlands the local racist Geert Wilders and his followers announced that they will ask the Dutch Government to hold a similar referendum. Once more Wilders, who is a fan of Israeli far rightists like Avigdor Lieberman, showed his real face. Would he realize from what kind of pool he draws his followers? The Israeli blogger Noam Sheizaff (The Promised Land) wrote that he could imagine the Israeli far right celebrating this vote, as once more proof that they are not alone in their fight againts Palestinians and Arabs, which they perceive as a fight aginst islam and a 'clash of civilizations'. But, writes Sheizaf, The historical irony, of course, is that our allies in this cultural war to the joy of the Israeli Right. are the same political forces – if not the same people – that used to persecute our grandparents just a few decades ago. Since there aren’t that many Jews today in Europe, the xenophobes of the Old World decided to pick the Blacks and the Muslims as their current enemies, much

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