Promoting human rights and fighting antisemitism in Austria
Representative delivering the statement: Mr. Oskar Deutsch
Thank you, Madam President.
My name is Oskar Deutsch, I am the president of the Jewish Community in Austria and I am honored to make this statement on behalf of the World Jewish Congress.
The presence and history of Jews in Austria dates back many centuries. The Jews in the country do not face any limitations in our ability to exercise our religion and traditions but, unfortunately, antisemitism remains an issue, especially during the pandemic. Together with the Austrian government and several other relevant stakeholders, we launched a comprehensive national strategy against antisemitism, which represents a milestone in the efforts to better protect the Jewish community.
In many ways, Austria has become an international leader in countering antisemitism. In 2017 Austria adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, with the recommendation to use it, in particular, in (adult-) education and training for judiciary and law enforcement. We are proud that in 2018 Austria spearheaded the first-ever EU Council Declaration dedicated to fighting antisemitism. In addition, Austria has strongly condemned the spread of antisemitic content on social media platforms and has vouched to develop means to regulate and require removal of such illegal content.
Last but not least, we would like to thank the Austrian government for passing the new Jewish cultural heritage law that will ensure a long-lasting sustainability of Jewish life in Austria.
In conclusion, we would like to express our strong commitment to continue working with our government in our joint effort to eliminate antisemitism and racism from our country and keep working on the fulfilment of our national strategy against antisemitism.