Austrian Govt Presents ‘Six-Pillar’ Strategy to Fight Antisemitism

Vienna, Austria - May 2019: Holocaust Memorial on Judenplatz square in Vienna
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The Austrian government has presented a “six-pillar” national strategy to stop the spread of antisemitism in the country.

The six pillar approach includes increased security for Jewish institutions, educational provisions, and the establishment of a centre to document incidents, as well as exchanging data on antisemitism with other European countries.

EU minister Karoline Edtstadler said, according to Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung, that it is the responsibility of the government to combat antisemitism, “whether it comes from the left or from the right, whether it is imported antisemitism or home-grown”.

Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG), welcomed the announcement, while Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s antisemitism commissioner, called the new strategy ambitious.

The government’s announcement comes after several attacks on Jews and Jewish buildings in 2020, including an attack on a rabbi in Vienna by a woman wielding a knife in November.

The woman is said to have yelled “slaughter all Jews” before tearing off the rabbi’s yarmulke and yelling an antisemitic insult before fleeing the scene.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer commented on the incident at the time, saying it was an “attack on Jewish life in Vienna”. He went on to add: “There is no tolerance for antisemitism, no matter whether it’s politically or religiously motivated.”

Earlier that year in the city of Graz, police arrested a suspect on suspicion of assaulting Jewish community leader Elie Rosen with a piece of wood after Rosen caught the man throwing stones into a synagogue’s courtyard.

Just days before, vandals had spray-painted pro-Palestinian slogans on the side of a synagogue in Graz.

A report from 2017 revealed that among Muslims in Austria, around 50 per cent held antisemitic views, with the study noting a particular issue with recently arrived asylum seekers from the Middle East.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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