A Swiss hotel has come under fire for posting an anti-Semitic sign telling its Jewish guests to shower before swimming in the hotel pool.
Under the headline "To our Jewish Guests," the sign at the Paradies Arosa hotel read: "Please take a shower before you go swimming. If you break the rules, I am forced to cloes [sic] the swimming pool for you. Thank you for your understanding."
Swiss tourism officials have said the hotel in the eastern town of Arosa had apologised and have taken the sign down. But anger in the Jewish community still remains.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centrs demanded the hotel be closed and called on "the broader Jewish community and their Gentile friends to blacklist this horrific hotel".
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called for "justice" against the hotel's management.
Tzipi Livni, a former Israeli foreign minister, posted an image of the sign on her Facebook page and wrote that "there can be no tolerance and no indifference" to anti-Semitism and racism, in comments that also alluded to violence around a white supremacist rally in Virginia in the United States.
We "must not let there be a place in the free world for Nazi flags or Ku Klux Klan masks or ugly signs in hotels directed at Jews only," she wrote.
"We cannot allow acts of hate against Jews around the world to become normal."
Swiss Tourism spokesman Markus Berger said the sign was "unfortunate" but that it should "stay in perspective".
He cited a recent trend of Orthodox and other Jews travelling to four Alpine villages in the area in the summertime, including Davos of World Economic Forum fame.
Berger said that numbers "definitely in the thousands" have grown in recent years, adding that many hotels in the area serve kosher food, and that Jewish guests "feel well-treated" there.
"It's just this one lady at this one hotel who was not on top of the situation," Berger said. "It's an isolated incident that doesn't need greater action to be taken."
The secretary-general of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities said it was "really a dumb thing" to do, but he also called for calm.
"It's somebody who really didn't think a lot," Jonathan Kreutner said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.
He said that calls to close the hotel were "very exaggerated".
"Stay cool. Things happened that are not good. I don't want to reduce the problem behind this, but it is very important to stay cool."
Switzerland's foreign ministry told AP it had been in touch with the Israeli ambassador and assured him that Switzerland "condemns racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination in any form".
"Switzerland has been strongly committed for years - as it is at the moment, for example, within its presidency for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance - to raise awareness to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination."
Paradies manager Ruth Thomann, who signed the notices, insisted to the Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes that she was not anti-Semitic, and acknowledged that her "choice of words was a mistake", according to the Guardian.
She told the Blick newspaper the hotel had a lot of Jewish clients and that other guests had complained that some did not shower before using the pool.
"I wrote something naive on that poster," she was quoted as saying, according to the Guardian, admitting that it would have been better simply to address all guests with the same message.
- with AP