BERLIN – Swiss Jewish leaders and the Simon Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized
MP Geri Müller, a Green Party politician running for mayor of Baden, because he
supports close ties with Hamas and engages in pro-Iranian regime
“We criticize Müller’s closeness to anti-Semites and to
Islamic Hamas, which denies Israel’s right to exist,” Jonathan Kreutner, the
general secretary of Switzerland’s 18,000-member Jewish community, told The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “His relationship to the Iranian regime, as well as
his playing down of Iran’s efforts to go nuclear is also problematic, as Iran
has repeatedly propagated the [idea of the] destruction of Israel. We also
severely criticize his participation in a demonstration several years ago, in
which the Star of David was compared with a swastika and he compared the
situation in the Gaza Strip with the Holocaust.”
Müller’s sentiments were
the subject of the Bern-based Basler Zeitung’s commentary by Dominik Feusi on
Feusi issued a stinging response, saying “there is
anti-Semitism on the political Left. In Switzerland this anti-Semitism is, above
all, Green, as the statements from Müller demonstrate.”
He argued the
language of the Swiss Green party “reveals a deeply anchored hate toward Israel
and Jews, and the representative examples are from the Green Party in
Feusi cites Müller’s comparison between Israel and Nazi
Germany, and Müller belittling Hamas rockets fired on Israel as merely “metal
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal center’s
director for international relations, told the Post that Müller had welcomed a
Hamas delegation to Switzerland in the past year. He added that an election
victory by Müller would lead to “greater power for jihadism in the city, and the
Jewish community would be at risk and this could have a domino effect across
Samuels continued, “Either one is naïve, or one is devious
in offering an invitation to terrorists,” adding that Müller “may be an
ideological member” of Hamas.
He warned that the fate of the Baden Jewish
community, which has a membership of 130 and has been in existence since 1859,
“will be exactly the same as that of the tiny Jewish community of Malmö,
Many Swedish Jews have fled Malmö because the Social Democratic
Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has failed to protect the community against radical Islamic
violence and urged the city’s Jews to distance themselves from support of
Baden – a city of 18,000 – will vote in a mayoral election on
Last year Müller, invited a delegation of Hamas politicians,
including spokesman Mushir al-Masri, to the National Palace, which houses the
Swiss parliament, and presented Masri with a welcome gift.
Asked if the
Green Party considers Hamas to be a terror organization and about the party’s
assessment of Müller’s positions, Regula Rytz, co-president of the Green Party,
wrote the Post by email that “a politically motivated campaign against Mr.
Müller” is taking place.
“The accusations against the Greens are
untenable and absurd,” she said, adding the Greens have always and continuously
condemned anti-Semitism and worked for equality for the Jewish
Rytz declined Post queries to comment on whether the Greens
view Hamas as a terror entity and on the accusations of modern anti-Semitism
leveled against the Greens.
Post email queries to Müller were not
Swiss media have publicized reports over the past week about
Müller’s hostility toward Jews and Israel.
Writing in the Limmattaler Zeitung in northwest Switzerland, the region covering Baden, journalist Gieri Cavelty delved into a long expose of Müller's alleged hatred of Israel, anti-Americanism, and advocacy for Hamas.
The report, titled, "Müller, Hamas and the Jews" quoted a member of the local Jewish community who wished to remain anonymous for fear of physical attacks, saying that, "If Geri Müller became mayor, Baden would be menaced with becoming a place that attracts anti-Semites and Islamists."