Jewish community to continue to avoid contact with Austria far-right party

The Austrian Jewish Community (IKG) decided Tuesday that it would continue to avoid contact with the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), including the members of government. This was decided by the community board in a meeting on Tuesday.

This is in line with a decision made by IKG in 2000 when said that it would not have contact with the FPÖ, given its past stained by frequent anti-Semitic incidents and  instances of Nazi propaganda.

In a statement Wednesday, the Jewish Community cited the Freedom Party's links to a nationalist student fraternity steeped in anti-Semitic ideology, its calls for a ban on religious animal slaughter and its members' efforts to abolish anti-Nazi legislation.

Following the formation of the coalition in Austria, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder congratulated Sebastian Kurz on becoming chancellor but voiced concern over FPÖ.

“The FPÖ is a far-right party whose members have in the past expressed xenophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments, yet is has now been charged with overseeing the interior, defense, and foreign ministries, three of the most important and powerful fields of government," he said. “We have heard promises since the election that FPÖ has softened its policies, but this will remain rhetoric until actual proof of this is shown.” 

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