When the “far-right” FPO came to power as part of a coalition government in Austria, Israel, acting at the behest of local Jews, chose to boycott FPO officials. Netanyahu is now apparently reconsidering this. But “Austrian” Jews are demanding he stick to the status quo.
Austrian Jews are worried Israel may warm up to the country’s far-right Freedom Party, a prominent local community leader said this week.
In unusually harsh remarks, Ariel Muzicant, the honorary president of the Austrian Jewish community, accused Jerusalem of “pulling the rug out from under our feet,” and vowed to speak out against the Israeli government if it were to normalize ties with the controversial party.
“European Jews are living in Europe after the Holocaust based on the mutual understanding that we will a) not forget the Holocaust, and b) fight Nazis and anti-Semites,” Muzicant told The Times of Israel on Wednesday.
“So if you start accepting people who on one hand want to be very friendly to Israel, but on the other hand still foster Nazi ideologies, you’re pulling the rug out from under our feet. I am saying to these people, ‘Learn about history, look at the facts, and see there is no possibility for Jewish people to push away what is going on in Europe today, which is a clear anti-Semitic surge.’”
We sometimes get so used to the Jewiness of Jews that we lose our capacity to be surprised or angry about it. We just factor it into our perception of the way the world is. We accept that Jews will act as a deterritorialised nation violating the basic norms of loyalty that we would expect to apply to any other group of citizens. Here we have Jews conspiring with the government of a foreign country to undermine its relationship with the government of their “own” country. Our failure to be indignant about this is a form of Jewish privilege.
Similar story in Germany. Josef Schuster, leader of the top jewish ethno-activist organisation, warns Jews against getting close to the
far-right far-lite AfD.
“The thinking that is represented in parts of the AfD was – in my view – also the thinking that led to the worst persecution of Jews in their history,” he said.
He said rising anti-Semitism was due to a “significant loosening of inhibitions” on social media. And, he reluctantly conceded, Muslim immigration.
“Refugees from Muslim countries that have grown up with Jew hatred and enmity to Israel, certainly represent a potential for antisemitism. Unfortunately that cannot be denied.”
But he refused to criticise Merkel’s decision to throw open the gates.
“We Jews especially know what it means to be persecuted and to have to flee. We also know what it means to find protection and refuge.”