Swiss Parliament Advances Bill to Defund BDS Groups

Switzerland's President and finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz, right, talks about Switzerland's banking secrecy in Switzerland's National Council, the swiss federal assembly's lower house, in the parliament building in Bern, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Peter Klaunzer)
AP/Keystone/Peter Klaunzer

The Times of Israel reports: The lower house of Switzerland’s parliament on Wednesday advanced a bill prohibiting the Swiss government from providing aid to NGOs engaged in boycotts of Israel.

The legislation calls for cutting off foreign aid to any groups that promote “racist, anti-Semitic or incendiary” actions or that call for boycotts of Israel, according to the Basler Zeitung daily. The bill, which was proposed by Christian Imark of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, passed in the National Council with 111 votes in favor to 78 against.

The Swiss People’s Party has backed a number of referendums aimed at restricting immigration and supported a ban on the construction of mosque minarets in Switzerland, which became a constitutional amendment following a referendum in 2009.

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