Home Europe Switzerland pro-Palestinian activists bash the country’s ‘neutrality’ during new protest

Switzerland pro-Palestinian activists bash the country’s ‘neutrality’ during new protest

by editor

On the Global Day of Action for Gaza, protesters in Switzerland called for a permanent ceasefire in the region, accusing the country of being “complicit in genocide” despite its declared neutrality.


More than 15,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Switzerland have taken to the streets of Basel on Saturday to hold their first national protest in support of Gazans since several German-speaking cantons introduced a ban on such actions, calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the region.

The demonstration, held on the Global Day of Action for Gaza by the newly founded Federation Swiss-Palestine (FSP), called on people all across Switzerland to come together to protest their country’s government “complicity in the deaths of at least 22,300 Palestinians,” a press release shared with Euronews reads.

The ban on protests in several German-speaking cantons was introduced after the national demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians on 4 November 2023, the first since Hamas’ attack on 7 October and Israel’s war against the militant group.

The FSP, which represents an alliance of collectives and organisations from all over the country, said the ban is “an unconstitutional infringement of the fundamental right to protest.”

The group criticises Switzerland’s declared neutrality, saying that the country’s neutral and humanitarian commitment to according to UN resolutions has been “flagrantly violated” due to the clear pro-Israeli stance it has taken since 7 October.

“This makes Switzerland complicit in the ongoing genocide,” the group said. “The Swiss complicity goes from banning the right to demonstrate in certain Swiss cantons, over censoring academic work at Swiss universities, cancelling the financial support of Palestinian NGOs, attempting to cancel UNWRA work which is crucial during this humanitarian catastrophe, to directly aiding Israel’s genocide through military cooperation and continuing economic relations with the apartheid state.”

“Neutrality is a policy that only serves the Israeli apartheid regime and its settler colonialism,” Catarina Viegas, one of the activists attending the demonstration on Saturday told Euronews. “While genocide is being carried out before our eyes, we refuse to remain silent facing the violence of power and until everyone is free.”

The FSP is now asking Switzerland to introduce military and economic sanctions against Israel through the UN Security Council, the halt of investments in companies implicated in Israeli settler and security policy and the decriminalisation of the Palestinian solidarity movement.

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