Three questions by «Yedioth Yhronoth

25 October 1999

The three questions posed by Mr Eran Tiefenbrunn, German correspondent for the Israeli newspaper “Yedioth Yhronoth”, were answered by Dr Ch. Blocher on 25 October 1999 as follows:

Dear Mr Tiefenbrunn,

This fax is written in answer to the questions put to me:

Do yesterday’s election results indicate that a sudden change has taken place in the relations between Jews and non-Jews in Switzerland, above all after two years of negotiations between the Swiss banks and Jewish organisations? Do you and your party see the agreement made between the banks and the organisations on the subject of the old accounts as positive?

I do not understand your question. No change in the relations between Jews and non-Jews will take place because of yesterday’s elections. This issue also played no part in the election campaign. The negotiations between the Swiss banks and the Jewish organisations in the United States concern only the banks and are not political. If the Swiss banks have been negligent in any way (e.g. in the case of the dormant accounts), it is up to them -not the country – to clear up this situation within the framework of the law.

Do you expect that the reaction to your election victory will be as strong as that after Jörg Haider’s election in Austria?

I do not know why the election victory of the Swiss Peoples’ Party should elicit any strong international reaction. Our party stands for Swiss sovereignty and neutrality, and therefore rejects Swiss membership in the European Union. We are in favour, however, of an open-minded attitude toward the rest of the world, within which friendly relations on political, cultural and economic levels can take place, without our being tied down.

Will Swiss Jews have to fear anti-Semitic attacks?

There is no anti-Semitic attitude in Switzerland. Granted, many Swiss did not like the blackmailing manner employed in the demand for money by the World Jewish Congress, the name of which gives the erroneous impression that all Jews stand behind it. Switzerland sees the threat of breaking off business relationships with the Swiss banks in the United States as a clear case of blackmail. This appeal was as incomprehensible for the Swiss as that dreadful watchword of long ago, “Don’t buy from Jews”.

The Swiss Peoples’ Party speaks out clearly against every form of anti-Semitism, racism and right-wing extremism.

Yours sincerely,

Christoph Blocher

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