Kurz Promises Netanyahu Fight Against Anti-Semitism

Die Presse, June 11, 2018

German Original: https://diepresse.com/home/ausland/aussenpolitik/5445086/Kurz-sagte-Netanyahu-Kampf-gegen-Antisemitismus-zu?from=suche.intern.portal

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) promised the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a determined fight against anti-Semitism. Kurz questions why anti-Semitism is still present in Europe today.

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) committed to the support of Israel as a reason of state during a speech in front of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). „As Austrians we will support Israel whenever it is endangered.“ This is a moral obligation of Austria as part of the „reason of state, in the national interest of my homeland,“ Kurz said Monday evening in Jerusalem.

Austria feels obliged to its historic and moral responsibility, „which we as Austrians have towards the security of Israel within the framework of our possibilities as a neutral state. The security of Israel for us is non-negotiable.“ Austria understands the serious security matters Israel is facing. „We condemn every act of violence inside of Israel, at its borders, and beyond.“ The security situation cannot be compared with any other country. If a war breaks out and other countries lose one or more battles, they can still survive. „In Israel's case, this is different. Israel is a strong, but small country. It cannot afford to lose even one battle, because that would mean its end.“

„Moral Obligation“

Kurz hopes that the future will bring peace to the Middle East, that not just a two-state solution can be achieved through Israeli – Palestinian negotiations, but a settlement of all conflicts in the region, he said.

„Austria supports Israel in its world-wide fight against anti-Semitism not just for political or economic reasons, but as part of our friendship and our moral obligation towards this country, the Jewish people, and because of humanity,“ Kurz emphasized. Only when Jews can live in security and peace without limitation, the call „never forget“ could become „never again.“

„Responsible for what we don't do“

The federal chancellor further explained that as a representative of Austria he has to admit that many Austrians did not do anything against the Nazi-regime. „Way too many actively supported this horror or even were perpetrators,“ Kurz said. „We are not just responsible for what we do, but also for what we don’t do.“

For a long time, Austria regarded itself as the first victim of the Nazis, but those who gathered in great numbers in March of 1938, those who saw how their neighbors were abducted or murdered, are not victims. „And those who perpettarted the horrific mass murder of Jews weren’t victims at all,“ Kurz emphasized. Many Austrians supported a system that killed more than six million Jews, among them more than 60,000 Austrians. „To remember also means to admit the truth,“ he said. This was the first speech of an Austrian head of government in front of the AJC.