A shocking statement by Austria’s prosecutor’s office okays anti-Semitism in the context of Israel as legitimate in Austria.
Statements praising the death of Jews and photos of Hitler are legitimate criticism of Israel, announced the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Linz, Austria on Tuesday.
The statement was made after a Facebook user lodged a complaint with the Austrian police against another user who published Nazi-related posts against Jews and Israel. The authorities opened an investigation to see if the posts violated a law that prohibits glorifying the Nazis. The authorities concluded that pro-Nazi statements are a legitimate expression of discontent with Israel.
“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,” wrote Ibrahim B., a Turkish immigrant, on his Facebook page in December together with a photo of Adolf Hitler. It was ostensibly a response to Operation Protective Edge. Ibrahim also called on Allah to annihilate the Jewish state.
The Austrian media pointed out that the quote attributed to Hitler was not an actual statement from the Nazi leader.
The prosecutor’s office spokesman described Ibrahim’s statements as merely expressing “displeasure toward Israel,” and not a glorification of Hitler, according to the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten paper.
Stefan Schaden, a member of the advisory board of the Austria-Israel Society, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, “[The prosecutor’s] position 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 Austria-Israel Society protested the prosecutor’s decision on Wednesday, saying it “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,” commented the president of the Austria-Israel Society, Richard Schmitz. He called on Austrian politicians and authorities to do more to eliminate the endemic minimization of anti-Semitism in his nation.
Samuel Laster, the editor-in-chief of the Vienna-based news website Die Juedische, told the Post that the prosecutor’s decision is “shocking,” adding that he has observed anti-Israel demonstrations using slogans such as “Zionists are fascists” that featured images comparing the swastika to the Star of David. “Police did not see any reason to intervene,” he said.
The uproar over the decision to dismiss the criminal complaint against Ibrahim appears to have prompted a senior prosecutor to re-evaluate the case, Der Standard reported on Wednesday.
By: United with Israel Staff
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