[Opinion] Putting Israel on Trial at the Zurich 'Kulturhaus'
Last Thursday night, hundreds of Israelis protested outside the Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv. In an unprecedented display against a European government, the protesters were demonstrating against an upcoming event in Zurich, to take place between June 4 and 14, featuring Israeli non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence (BtS). The 10-day exhibit, with guided tours and multiple anti-Israel speakers, uses taxpayer money provided blindly by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the City of Zurich and a number of hostile church groups that also receive taxpayer funds.
Throughout Europe, BtS and other left-wing NGOs use weapons of demonization, false allegations of “war crimes” and double standards, and exploit the language of human rights and international law. They are funded primarily by European governments, and Switzerland stands out in this process. Millions of Swiss Francs, euros, pounds and krona are channeled every year to anti-Israel groups, including fringe Israeli ones, financing the boycott movement (BDS), lawfare, and the manipulation of the United Nations.
By sponsoring this theater of absurd, Swiss and Zurich officials are guilty of immoral behavior.
In the ongoing war, this example of immorality and demonization is one of many publications, events and campaigns funded and enabled by European governments. Switzerland, the EU and its member states, as well as Norway, provide at least 100 million euros every year to single out the Jewish state for attack.
The double standards are clear.
So why does Switzerland, like other European countries, single out Israel for demonization, by funding and hosting groups such as BtS? Ignorance explains part of this – the understanding of the Swiss officials who provide the funds is painfully limited. Human rights is often called the “religion of the 21st century,” and its high priests, with their myths and slogans, are unquestioned.