BERLIN – The deputy chief of the Israeli Embassy in Vienna sharply criticized on
Monday the Federal Council of Austria (Bundesrat) resolution for applying double
standards to the Jewish state by singling out its anti-terror policy for
condemnation but ignoring the policies other nations.
In a telephone
interview with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, the Israeli diplomat in Vienna said
“Israel was singled out while people in Syria are being
When asked if the resolution passed last week condemning
Israel’s administrative detention of suspected Palestinian terrorists is
anti-Semitic, the deputy chief repeated that the document unfairly “singles out
Israel and is not helpful for peace.”
She expressed frustration and
disappointment about the anti- Israel legislative action.
“We knew about
it for the last 10 days. We gave material to various people. There was nothing
much more we could do. This is a problem for the State of Israel all over
Europe,” she continued The diplomat also cited South Africa, where there are
growing anti-Israel governmental measures.
Speaking from Vienna with the
Post on Monday, Marco Schreuder, a Green Party deputy in the 62-member Bundesrat
who was the lone dissenting voice against the resolution, said that it “is only
directed against Israel and not against other states. It is
The Bundesrat is the legislative body for the nine states of
Austria and is a cross section of political parties, ranging from the social
democrats to the conservatives to the greens to the neo-fascist Freedom Party of
Schreuder, who has visited the Jewish state and listened to
reports from Israeli parents about undertaking anti-terror measures to protect
their children, noted in detailed explanation on his blog, as well as in
conversation with the Post, that there are other countries around the world –
Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, for example – that
employ administrative detention. He told the Post that, generally speaking, the
debate is legitimate about terror-prevention measures and striking a legal
balance, but stressed that disparate treatment is being applied to
Schreuder said in his Bundesrat speech against the resolution
that Israel’s counter-terrorism measure is mainly directed against
Hamas. In a highly unusual move for an Austrian politician, he cited the
anti-Semitic provisions of the Hamas charter – which calls for the murder of
Jews and jihad against the State of Israel – to show his fellow legislators the
lethal threats that the Jewish state faces from Hamas.
Many German and
Austrian politicians downplay the Hamas charter and its goal to obliterate
Schreuder asked in his speech why the resolution is not also
directed against administrative detention on the Palestinian side, which is
frequently used against gay Palestinians and alleged collaborators on behalf of
Israel. He noted that gay Palestinian men are arrested when they have contact
with Israeli groups or NGOs for homosexuals.
In an email to the Post,
Yacov Stiassny of the Israel-based Central Committee for Jews in Austria decried
the resolution as “the old naked hate against the Jews that presents itself with
a new holier-than-though look.”
He added that this reasoning helps
explain why Israel is the number one subject in the Austrian parliament debate
and in the media coverage, rather than Syria or Darfur.
Marco Schreuder as “the only ‘righteous’ deputy in the Bundesrat,” referencing a
clear reference to the term “righteous gentiles” that Yad Vashem uses to
describe non-Jews who fought to save Jews from the Nazis.
the anti-Israel sentiments in Austria embody the same driving force of age-old
anti-Semitism. In terms of post- Holocaust Austria, he said it is the political
legacy of Austria since the time of former chancellor Bruno Kreisky, who worked
with Palestinian Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat.
“Most of the
Bundesrat deputies know neither the country nor the history of Israel,” said
Schreuder wrote on his blog that he opposed the unanimous
Vienna state council condemnation of Israel’s interception of the Gaza-bound
Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010.
Similar to the Bundesrat vote last week,
members of all mainstream democratic parties from the Vienna state council,
ranging from the social democrats to the greens to the conservatives, formed an
alliance on May 31, 2010, with the radical right-wing Austrian Freedom Party,
and blasted Israel’s actions aboard the Mavi Marmara.
anti-Israel social democratic representative Omar al-Rawi engineered the
resolution in 2010 and spoke at a pro-Hamas rally at the time, which was
attended by between 10,000 and 12,000 people. He told the pro- Hamas rally that
the nine dead peace activists “did not die in vain” and declared that their
fight must continue.
Schreuder, who had a seat in the Vienna state
council at the time, said he would have voted against the resolution but was out
of the country when the vote was taken. He protested the resolution on his blog.