A Turkish man who posted images to Facebook showing Adolf Hitler along with statements calling for the killing of Jews did not carry out anti-Semitic acts, because the postings in question were legitimate critiques of Israel, according to Phillip Christl, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Linz, Austria.
Twenty-nine-year-old Ibrahim B. wrote on Facebook in December, attributing a quote to the infamous Austrian-born Nazi leader, “I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them.” In another message, Austrian media reports that Ibrahim called for “Allah” to “annihilate the Jewish State” and its people.
The prosecutor’s office spokesman said that Ibrahim was simply expressing his “displeasure toward Israel,” Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten reports. Christl added, “the law prohibits and punishes the glorification of the National Socialist (NAZI) movement, but the suspect’s statements are not a glorificaiton of Hitler.”
Stefan Schade, who serves on the advisory board of the Austria-Israel society, told the Jerusalem Post, “This position [of the prosecutor] is, unfortunately, becoming more popular. Everything passes as so-called criticism of Israel. Anti-Semitism seems to have been officially abolished. In view of the climate in Europe, it is a dramatic development.”
The Australia-Israel Society released a statement on Wednesday, saying that the posting “legitimizes anti-Semitic agitation through Austria’s judiciary. It is troubling when the most disgusting agitation against Jews, as well as against the State of Israel, takes place without consequences.”
Austria has seen a surge in Muslim immigration in recent years. According to recent population estimates, Austria’s Muslim population is now over 500,000. Furthermore, The Gatestone Institute has documented that Muslim students now outnumber Roman Catholic students at middle and secondary schools in Vienna. Gatestone has also documented that Vienna has disbursed publicly funded textbooks into to the school system which promote radical Islam.