Austrian Jews Chide Likud MK for Meeting Far-right Leader

President of Austria's Jewish community complains to Netanyahu, charging that the meeting is a 'stab in the back.'

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Austria's Jewish community is furious at Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara for meeting in Vienna this week with Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the far-right FPO party, and heaping praise on him at a joint press conference.

Likud MK Ayoob KaraCredit: Olivier Fitoussi

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Ariel Muzicant, the president of Austria's Jewish community, charged that Kara's "visit and actions are stabbing us in the back."

Netanyahu's office said he had not yet read the letter and would comment only after doing so.

"I am writing you this letter to express my deep anger," Muzicant began, noting that not only did Kara come at the FPO's invitation, but "he has officially honored and praised individuals of this party as well as their political program."

Muzicant noted that the party was founded by former Austrian Nazis in 1948, including many who had served in the SS, and when it entered the Austrian government a few years ago under former leader Joerg Haider, Israel scaled back its diplomatic relations with Austria.

The FPO has "called for the abolishment of anti-Nazi legislation," and its representatives have "made anti-Semitic remarks and praised the Nazi regime, denied the Holocaust or invited and promoted notorious Holocaust deniers," he wrote. As a result, the Jewish community has fought the party - "which was and is one of our worst adversaries" - for years.

"We feel betrayed and are outraged about this behavior of Deputy Minister Kara," he concluded. "I consider this a shame for the State of Israel and a betrayal of the murdered 65,000 Austrian Jews and the 6 million martyrs of the Shoa."

Kara, a Likud MK, did not coordinate his visit with the Foreign Ministry or the embassy in Vienna. When the ambassador found out, he urged Kara to cancel the Strache meeting, as Israel's policy is to boycott the FPO. But Kara refused, calling Strache "a friend of Israel" in its war on terror.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer