Racists in Austrian government, Israeli and Jewish reactions


This video says about itself:

18 December 2017

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Vienna on Monday to decry the recently formed Austrian government coalition with the far-right Freedom party.

Protesters marched through the streets whilst holding banners and chanting. Anti-riot police were present and on high alert, as smoke grenades were set off on the streets.

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Israel to Boycott Austria’s New Far-right Cabinet Ministers

The move is being defined as temporary until an official policy is crafted. Political sources: Netanyahu’s office inclined to accept Freedom Party’s statements that it has broken from its anti-Semitic roots

Noa Landau and Ofer Aderet Dec 18, 2017 8:09 PM

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio, said Monday that Israel will boycott Austria’s far-right ministers, instructing Israeli ministers to work only with lower-ranking officials.

Seeking to cool ties with the Austrian government were officials at the Foreign Ministry, while officials at the Prime Minister’s Office were inclined to accept statements by the far-right Freedom Party that it has broken with its anti-Semitic roots, political sources said.

The new Austrian government took office Monday following two months of negotiations between Sebastian Kurz, the new chancellor and head of the center-right People’s Party, and Heinz-Christian Strache, whose Freedom Party came in third in the October election after the People’s Party and Social Democrats.

When Strache’s party joined a coalition government in 2000, Israel recalled its ambassador and downgraded relations. But this time the response had been slow.

A statement released Monday at the close of discussions between the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office said that “Israel will conduct working relations with civil servants in the ministries now led by Freedom Party ministers …. Israel seeks to stress its responsibility to fight anti-Semitism and to commemorate the memory of the Holocaust.”

In an interview with Austria’s ORF television on Monday evening, Strache was asked what he thought about Israel’s decision to reexamine its position on its relations with the Austrian government in light of Strache‘s Freedom Party’s presence in the new government. He replied that “the situation today is different than when Israel took steps in 2000, recalling its ambassador and halting contacts between the governments.”

Strache is the successor of the Freedom Party’s longtime leader Jörg Haider, who died in a car accident in 2008. The party’s critics say it has still not disassociated itself from its Nazi and anti-Semitic roots. Some [of] its supporters greet its leaders with a Nazi salute,

This video is from an Austrian TV report. Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the extreme right FPÖ, is welcomed to a Salzburg election meeting by supporters shouting: “Heil Hitler”!

and Strache once posted an anti-Semitic political cartoon on Facebook and adorned a campaign poster with a slogan with Nazi overtones.

But in recent years, Strache has tried to portray himself as a friend of Israel. He has promised to move Austria’s embassy to Jerusalem and has supported Israel’s construction of settlements in the West Bank.

Because his hatred of Muslims is even stronger than his hatred of Jews. The United States neonazi pro-Trump site The Daily Stormer advocates gassing all Jews. Yet, they applaud Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Because they think it will lead to more Arabs killing Israeli Jews, and to the Israeli army killing more Palestinians and other Arabs. And whether dead people are Jewish or Arab, killing them is ‘good’ according to neonazi twisted logic.

He has visited Israel at least three times in recent years … But on his most recent visit last year, former President Shimon Peres refused to meet with him, on the recommendation of the Foreign Ministry.

Analysis: Netanyahu’s Speedy Absolution for Austria’s neo-Nazis. In the past, for a state to be forgiven for its anti-Jewish past, it would have to publicly repudiate its sins, but not so with Israel’s stance on the new Austrian government: here.

Netanyahu in practice helped nazi Shoah deniers by exculpating Hitler of guilt for the Holocaust.

From the Jerusalem Post in Israel, 18 December 2017:

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress – which was among Jewish groups that had called on Kurz not to include the FPÖ in his government – was vocal in his concern over the new coalition. …

In a statement released Sunday, he congratulated Kurz as “a capable man who has shown very positive attitudes toward Israel and the Jewish people.” He said, however, that it was “severely disquieting that, despite the many real concerns known and expressed about the FPÖ, it will now retain a position of serious influence, giving the Austrian government a real push even further to the Right.” …

“The FPÖ is a far-right party whose members have in the past expressed xenophobic and antisemitic sentiments. Yet it has now been charged with overseeing the interior, defense, and foreign ministries, three of the most important and powerful fields of government,” Lauder continued. “We have heard promises since the election that FPÖ has softened its policies, but this will remain rhetoric until actual proof of this is shown.”

The European Jewish Congress echoed this sentiment. “The FPÖ has a long history of antisemitism and xenophobia and we are concerned about the fact that they will control government ministries in the new Austrian Government,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC, said Monday. …

The Freedom Party can not use the Jewish community as a fig leaf and must show tolerance and acceptance towards all communities and minorities”, Kantor added.

In an email sent after the elections, Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Communities of Austria, wrote that the Jewish community, as well as the World Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Congress, called on Kurz not to include the FPÖ in the next government because “many representatives of the FPÖ,” including Strache, have “used antisemitic codes, made extreme right-wing statements and have promoted hatred and racism,” including during the recent electoral campaign.

The letter also stated that several of the party’s candidates have in the past “called for the elimination of legislation against Holocaust denial.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews also expressed “deep concern” on Monday over the coalition agreement.

The board’s senior vice president Richard Verber said: “The far Right brought unprecedented misery on Austria and other European countries in the past. It is up to all European countries, including the new government of Austria, to make sure it does not do so again in the future.”

“We fully support the position adopted by the Austrian Jewish community, European Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress of non-engagement with the far Right in Europe,” he added. “While some parties claim to have disavowed their antisemitic and racist roots, actions speak much louder than words. We urge the European Union and other international partners to carefully monitor the situation in the coming weeks and months and respond as appropriate.”

The new Austrian government includes five ministers and a vice-chancellor affiliated with the FPÖ. To date, Israel has maintained a non-engagement policy with the FPÖ due to its Nazi past and the antisemitic and racist leanings of some members.

From AFP news agency:

Last month a group commemorating Nazi camp victims published a list of what it said were at least 60 anti-Semitic and racist incidents involving FPÖ figures since 2013.

“If they really changed their ideology, it is a question they can only answer themselves,” said analyst Alexandra Siegl. “I would say they changed their tactics and their strategies mainly.”

6 thoughts on “Racists in Austrian government, Israeli and Jewish reactions

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