anti israel signs REUTERS 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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
According to the Bern court decision, the SBB ban on the
posters violates the free-speech rights of the pro-Palestinian group.
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
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
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.