Why Did You Apologize? Your Only Mistake is that You Got Caught

Why Did You Apologize? Your Only Mistake is that You Got Caught

The owner of a resort hotel in the Swiss Alps has conceded that she “used the wrong words” in signs she placed over the weekend that singled out “Jewish guests” over their use of the facility’s indoor swimming pool and kitchen refrigerators.

Ruth Thomann, owner of the Paradies Hotel in Arosa (Switzerland) posted a sign in the hotel stating: “To our Jewish guests, men, women and children, please take a shower before you go swimming and after swimming. If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes (sic) the pool for you.

In yet another display that antisemitism is alive and well and openly thriving, this sign was hung up, much like an “out of order” sign would be.

But wait, there’s more!

Near the kitchen, yet another sign was posted, directed only at the members of the Tribe. It read: “For our Jewish guests: You are allowed to access the refrigerator only in the following hours: 10:00-11:00 and 16:30-17:30. I hope you understand that our team does not like being harassed every time.”

Thomann denied being antisemitic and further denied that the signs were meant to single out Jews due to any animosity towards them.

This is the point where any rational, thinking human being would say to himself: “What are you talking about!?” If that sign had said “blacks” instead of “Jews,” we would have seen hundreds of images of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, BLM activists all calling for blood–and rightfully so! To think that this is NOT a blatant case of antisemitism, is to deny reality.

In the 50’s and 60’s, it was not uncommon to see signs that said “No Blacks, No Jews allowed,” on various establishment. One can not deny the historical fact of Jew and black hatred by masses of individuals. If questioned about the motive behind their signs, it would have been laughable had they said “it was a mistake,” and that they really meant “All are welcome!”

And yet….This is exactly what happened in this case.

The owner is quoted as saying that, “I would not take Jewish guests if I had a problem with them.” (Some of my best friends are Jews <snicker, snicker>) And to make it even more absurd, she had the gall to say: “On Saturday, I made a note and I used the wrong words. I wrote ‘for our Jewish guests,’ and one of them wrote me an email asking me to take it down.”

What? She made a mistake? That isn’t a mere slip. That is a malicious and planned use of the words. And why did she take it down? Because “one of them (ed. a JEW) wrote me.” So she decided to take it down.

Please feel free to roll your eyes, and utter the very meaningful words: “Oh puleeeeeeeeeeeeeeez!”

You know what her mistake was? SHE GOT CAUGHT! Her one sin was not her blatant antisemitism, it was that she was caught displaying that hatred. THAT was her error. You can almost hear her exclaiming: “<expletive delete> Jews! Why did they have to post that online!?”

So, Ms. Thomann, just call a spade a spade.  You are an antisemite. I am always in favor of enabling a person to apologize for making a mistake. But, when the apology wreaks of  prevarication and falsehood, it is meaningless and empty. You do not regret your actions. You did not make a mistake by singling out your Jewish guests; it was on purpose. Your actions are vile and your attempted apology is abominable.

However, there is still time to redeem yourself and that of your resort. Make a clear, unequivocal statement eschewing antisemitism. Say that while perhaps your intentions were to single out the Jews, you have come to realize the ugliness of antisemitism and that you look forward to working with the Jewish community to re-establish trust.

Until then, please spare us your vacuous words and pronouncements.


  1. Janet Kasten Friedman

    Ze’ev, you are right that there IS a lot of anti-Semitism in Europe, and Switzerland is no exception.
    I also like the way you applied the late Adir Zik’s “Mohammed Test”. That’s when you switch the ethnic identity of victims and perpetrators, re-read the article, and you can see it is racist!
    However… I think that you and all the other people fuming about this are over-reacting. Consider the following:
    1) The refrigerator: I read that the refrigerator at issue here is a staff refrigerator. In general, hotel guests have no access to refrigerators. The hotel makes an exception favoring the Jews. The Jews, who keep kosher, carry food around because they don’t eat in non-kosher places. (I did that myself when I was in the US in non-Orthodox areas; I’m sure you do too!) No other guests use the refrigerator, which is why the management singled out the Jews in the request to adhere to fixed refrigerator access times. If the hotel owner hated Jews that much, he would just say: “No refrigerator is available. Find yourselves other accommodations elsewhere with the kind of food & facilities you people demand…”
    2) Swimming pool attire & showering: Europeans have a culture which includes certain behavior in sports facilities. They are taught from a young age to shower before jumping into a swimming pool, even if they are already clean. They own bathing suits, and would never go into a pool wearing anything else. Jews, on the other hand, especially Orthodox Jews, are NOT brought up going to pools on a regular basis. They sometimes don’t wear standard swimming attire, or may refrain from wearing such attire for reasons of modesty. The habit of showering before getting into the water has not been drilled into them from babyhood. They probably really ARE the only people at that hotel who need to be told what is expected of them at the pool!
    3) The racist wording of the notices: Don’t forget that the writer of the words is not a native English-speaker. The nuances of political correctness, or even good ol’ fashioned American fairness, can and does get lost in the translation from lots of languages. Think of the Israeli modern Hebrew term for “physically handicapped”, “disabled”, or, to use a PC term, “challenged”: the term in Hebrew is נכה “necheh” = “cripple”. An Israeli, posting a note about where to sit with a wheelchair could easily write a note saying “cripples sit here!” Doesn’t that sound nasty? Sorry, folks! Languages don’t always translate well, and not everybody is an expert translator!
    In short: there is no real reason to think that this guy’s apology is not sincere.

  2. blank Rochelle Fisher

    “stop pretending to outraged”? Anyone who is silent in the face of bigotry is endorsing it. It isn’t a matter of having the right to say something. It is a matter of responsibility to shout it out.
    “This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.”
    — Arthur Miller



    1. Anonymous

      I am glad that the notes left by the manager at this Swiss hotel were made public! It shows that many of the Swiss still have not learned anything from history! The arrogance plus the lack of business sense that this manager showed, I feel she needs a lesson on life!! I would have been fired if I behaved that way at my job in the corporate world! Manager should take a course on the Holocaust and go to the Camps she might have more of an understanding!

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