Switzerland’s Jewish community is taking legal action over a new edition of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” published by the far-right Swiss Nationalist Party (PNOS).
“The Protocols” were an antisemitic hoax fabricated more than a century ago in Czarist Russia and are a source of many of the most virulent antisemitic tropes. PNOS has provided a new foreword which states: “Whether real or fake, we don’t need to worry, because we are mainly concerned with the content.”
The Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG-FCSI) filed a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office in Bern after the publication was flagged in the PNOS magazine Harus.
In a statement, SIG-FCSI noted that “especially” during the COVID-19 pandemic “conspiracy myths” had gained popularity, including those that were antisemitic. “The publication of ‘The Protocols’ encourages such conspiracy myths and promotes Jew-hatred,.” the statement declared, adding that the new foreword clearly showed that these were the goals of the PNOS.
The PNOS is active mainly in the German-speaking cantons but is not represented in any of Switzerland’s parliaments. It was classified as an “extremist” group in 2001. Its leader, Thomas Steiger, has reportedly used his Facebook page to spread antisemitic propaganda, on one occasion telling a journalist that “Jews should be sterilised.”