Roger L. Simon

The Swiss government's double racism

I was going to ignore the Swiss government’s declaration that Israel was violating international law in Gaza, but it seems worth pointing out the levels of racism hidden just beneath the surface in their latest round of self-aggrandizement. And I don’t even mean the well known racism toward Jews entombed forever in the bank vaults of Geneva and Zurich during World War II. That alone should make them STFU where the Middle East is concerned, if they had any values. But no matter. We don’t want to bring up the uncomfortable past, especially since anything the Swiss and other Europeans can say against Jews today can help them, in their minds, justify, and perhaps even forget, the unconscionable horrors they helped perpetrate.

No, I’m talking about the inherent racism toward Palestinians. Consider this: If France had been under bombardment by Belgium for six months without reacting substantially and then the Belgians secretly tunneled into French territory, killed some people and abducted a French soldier, would the Swiss accuse France of over-reacting? Not bloody likely. But the Palestinians are poor Third World people and therefore not really responsible for their actions. An advanced country like Israel must be restrained in its reaction to them.

But think for a moment how deep the racism of that view really is… (“Those wogs can’t help themselves.”) And how it consigns the Palestinians further to their self-imposed oblivion. Actually, the Swiss, if they really wanted to help the Palestinians would hold their collective feet to the fire and make them face reality – that the Palestinians effectively already have a state and they should go about running it, instead of battling the Israelis. But no – the Swiss would prefer to chastise Israel and donate a million francs to the Palestinians. Quelle générosité!