An anti-Semetic credit card features a hook-nosed Jew, laughing gleefully against a backdrop of gold coins .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – Susanne Winter, a member of the Austrian parliament from the extreme right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), agreed with a Facebook post that wealthy pro-Zionist Jews are the source of the world’s problems.
A person named Oehlmann Hans- Jörg wrote Friday on Winter’s Facebook page: “The Zionist money Jews are the global problem. Europe, and in particular Germany, are now getting what they deserve from Zionist Jews, particularly rich Zionist Jews in the USA, for the century-long persecution of Jews in Europe. According to the Zionists, Europe, particularly Germany, should be cut off as economic competitors to the US.”
Winter responded to the post on Saturday: “It is great. You took the words right out of my mouth. There are a lot of things that I am not allowed to write. Therefore I’m even more pleased with courageous, independent people.”
Winter appears to have deleted the exchange on her Facebook page but viewers preserved screen shots.
Critics quickly weighed in.
Marco Schreuder, a the head of the Green Party faction in the Austrian Federal Assembly, demanded that Winter step down. He pushed for her resignation on his Twitter feed, asking if Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz will call for Winter to quit.
Schreuder – one of the leading politicians fighting modern Austrian anti-Semitism – said Winter “supports the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and moreover the Nazi terminology of ‘Money-Jews’.... That is the high point of scores of anti-Semitic statements from the FPÖ. The FPÖ showed its true anti-Jewish hostility.”
Stefan Schaden, a board member of the Austrian-Israeli Society, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday regarding Susanne Winter’s Facebook posting, “An Austrian member of parliament in 2015 has just proudly admitted that she has an anti-Semitic world view when she said on Facebook that the expression ‘Zionist money Jews’ is something that could come from her mouth. Further this anti-Semitic expression also shows her hatred for Israel as she explicitly agreed to the notion that Israeli Jews run the world.”
Schaden added, “The FPÖ apparently is a party for people with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel positions.
Now it will be interesting to see if blatant anti-Semitism has any consequences in Austria, especially as both the conservative ÖVP [Austrian People’s Party ] and social democratic SPÖ [Social Democratic Party of Austria] have coalitions with the FPÖ on the regional level.”
According to the Austrian parliament’s website, Winter is a member of the Austrian-Israel parliamentary group.
“It is a shame for the Austrian parliament and could damage the advancement of friendly ties between the two countries, that an MP like Winter who promotes anti-Semitic, racist and anti-Zionist views has been accepted to this group,” Schaden said.
Winter wrote on Facebook on Sunday, “For me anti-Semitic ideas have always been repugnant and I don’t support these ideas... I apologize for letting the statements of this visitor to remain on my page instead of immediately deleting them. Yes, that was a mistake, but every person makes mistakes.”