Switzerland’s Stance on Hamas Is Showing More Holes Than a Wheel of Swiss Cheese
Silence from groups like the Red Cross about Hamas’s use of hospitals for terror is a stain on its reputation and the country where it is headquartered.
Switzerland, the country known for fancy watches, yodeling, and once unapologetically storing the gold that Nazis looted from Holocaust victims, is sitting out the clash of narratives in Israel’s ongoing war on Hamas — but that Swiss clock is ticking.
On Sunday, the IDF said that its troops operating in Gaza “exposed a 55-meter-long terror tunnel 10 meters deep underneath the Shifa hospital complex” and that it ran under the hospital and ended at a blast door. That discovery went a considerable way toward proving Israel’s long-standing contention that Hamas has been running an operational headquarters underneath the hospital. Also found were weapons, communication equipment, rocket-propelled grenades, and even a Toyota pickup truck packed with weapons.
Newly-obtained surveillance camera footage also clearly showed Hamas terrorists hauling two people who were abducted from Israel on October 7 into the hospital, and the IDF has accused Hamas of murdering a kidnapped Israeli soldier at the hospital complex.
Reaction from international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization — both with headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland — to what one Israeli reserve soldier who spoke to this correspondent in a private conversation called “startling but also obvious” disclosures has so far been muted or nonexistent.
The Red Cross describes itself as “an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusive humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance.” In practice however, the organization is somewhat less than impartial. Last week it stated on X that “in the age of social media, it’s easy to criticize. But for us, denouncing one side in a war only happens when all other options are exhausted.”
If that statement rings as hollow as some Swiss bank accounts of dubious ownership are full, given the documented atrocities that Hamas committed on October 7, it is hardly surprising. After all, citing its policy of neutrality, Switzerland has steadfastly refused to designate Hamas a terrorist group. That is despite the fact that America, Canada, Great Britain, and the European Union have all done so.
In terms of its usual criticisms of Israel, both during and before the current war, the Red Cross has typically been less hostile than, say, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — even though the UN agency that President Trump prudently moved to defund has run schools that also housed Hamas rockets aimed at Israel.
Furthermore, there are signs that as Switzerland’s sometimes overstated role as an international mediator wanes, the country may be pivoting toward labeling Hamas as a terrorist organization. Should it do so, proper denunciations of Palestinian terrorist activity might eventually trickle down to the Swiss-based non-government organizations, which now for the most part are content to offer unsolicited thoughts about the challenges of taking sides “in the age of social media.”
In response to a request for comment about the discovery of the 180-foot-long terror tunnel under the Shifa hospital complex, the Red Cross responded that “due to the high volume of messages regarding the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories, we are currently unable to respond.”
Yet it strains credulity to believe that Red Cross humanitarian workers would not be aware of the Shifa hospital’s dual use as a medical center and terrorist command center. And if they were, who was responsible for abdicating the responsibility to sound the alarm — even before October 7?
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which includes the American Red Cross, has an annual budget of about $3 billion. Donors, and potential donors, to what is arguably the world’s best-known charity might do well to start seriously asking how much of that money has gone to covering up the tracks — literally — of Palestinian Arab terrorists. Who, the group might be reminded, helped orchestrate the massacres of civilian men, women, and children, while taking others hostage in what amounts to, at the end of the day, fake hospitals.