Anti-Israel posters green-lighted for Zurich

Swiss court allows train station posting of ads saying: "61 years Israel, 61 years of injustice."

April 15, 2011 03:51
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel protests in Madrid

anti israel signs REUTERS 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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BERLIN – A Bern court overruled a decision by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to ban the posting of anti- Israel posters in the main train station in Zurich, according to a report in Tuesday’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

In 2009, members of the Palestine Solidarity Action group hung posters with the words “Israel established with violence on Palestinian land. The injustice demands resistance” in the main transportation hub. Additional posters contained the message: “61 years Israel, 61 years of injustice.”

The posters remained on display for three days, however after SBB management became aware of their content, it had them removed.

According to the Bern court decision, the SBB ban on the posters violates the free-speech rights of the pro-Palestinian group.

The SBB argued that it maintains a policy prohibiting advertisements and messages addressing “explosive foreign policy themes.”

While the posters could be construed to call for violence against the Jewish state – and a rejection of the existence of Israel – the Bern court stated there is no indication for a call to violence.

The 27-member European Union has a quasi-legal definition of anti-Semitism, which defines the rejection of Israel as a state to be an expression of modern anti- Semitism. However, Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

The SBB has 30 days to appeal the ruling, but it is unclear if the SBB will take further legal actions against the Bern court decision.

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