Austria Reacts to Hamas Attack: Solidarity with Israel and Concern about Iran

PeopleOther ♦ Published: October 9, 2023; 17:13 ♦ (Vindobona)

Amid the tense situation in the Middle East, the Iranian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna. Austria strongly condemned the official Iranian reaction to the attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization. The Foreign Ministry stressed that Austria categorically rejects any questioning of Israel's right to exist and will consistently act against any form of anti-Semitism in the future.

The Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna over the Iranian response to the HAMAS attack on Israel. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Gugerell / CC0

The reason for this convocation was Iran's official reaction to the recent attack on Israel by the terrorist organization Hamas. According to ORF, the Foreign Ministry said that the Iranian statement, which celebrated the attack as a heroic act and called Israel a "criminal apartheid regime," was "deeply disturbing and to be rejected."

The Austrian government made it clear to the Iranian ambassador in no uncertain terms that any questioning of Israel's right to exist is categorically condemned by Austria. The Foreign Ministry emphasized, as reported by ORF, "The position of the federal government is clear as daylight: we will continue to take a consistent stand against any form of anti-Semitism in the future."

These developments illustrate Austria's firm stance on protecting and recognizing Israel's right to exist. It remains to be seen how diplomatic relations between Austria and Iran will develop in light of these recent tensions.

Condemnations from Austria against HAMAS

The Austrian Parliament also condemned Hamas' terror against Israel and called for the unconditional release of all hostages. The Parliament expressed its full solidarity with Israel and expressed its deepest sympathy to the victims and their families.

Oskar Deutsch, the president of the Jewish Community (IKG), also criticized Hamas' attack on Israel, as ORF reported. He called for an increase in international pressure at all levels to help free the kidnapped hostages. It is a significant step to freeze payments from Austria to the Palestinian territories.

Deutsch admired the numerous declarations of solidarity from all over Austria. The Hamas terrorist action was also strongly condemned by the members of the presidential conferences of the National Council and the Federal Council. Deutsch criticized the pro-Palestinian demonstrations and stressed that it was not Austria that was celebrating sadists from Gaza and the hundreds of dead in Israel on the streets of Vienna.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ) called for an end to violence in the Middle East and stressed the importance of peace, tolerance, and mutual respect. The IGGÖ condemned any glorification of violence and warned against using the conflict as a breeding ground for hatred and division in society.

Elie Rosen, President of the Jewish Community Salzburg and the Jewish Community Graz, expressed his concern about the financial support of Hamas through European funds. He stressed that Israel is not only a reinsurance for Jews worldwide, but also a guarantor of stability and democracy in the Middle East. Rosen warned of the potentially devastating consequences of an escalation of terrorism for world peace and called for more than mere expressions of solidarity. In these troubling times, the international community must stand together and work for peace and stability in the Middle East.

Mixed Reactions to pro-Palestinian Rallies in Vienna

Pro-Palestinian rallies took place in Vienna, provoking mixed reactions from political parties and authorities. The SPÖ expressed concern about the rallies and stressed that they should have been disbanded, especially if they were celebrating the Hamas terror attack on Israel. The party pointed out that the glorification of terror and incitement were criminal offenses that would justify the dissolution of the demonstration.

The NEOS party demanded clarification from Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP). Stephanie Krisper, NEOS spokeswoman for the interior, stressed that Austria's streets were no place for the glorification of terror and murder. She called for the country's democracy to remain robust and stressed Austria's historic responsibility to provide security and protection for all citizens.
The FPÖ went further, calling for the expulsion of Palestinians and groups of Arab origin who had celebrated Hamas' terrorist acts in European cities. The Green Party, on the other hand, sharply criticized the rallies, stressing that such demonstrations undermine the values of peaceful coexistence.

Vienna police defended their actions at the demonstrations, saying they were emotional but peaceful, ORF reported. There were no criminal violations, and each demonstration was monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, it said.
Constitutional expert Peter Bußjäger said that each demonstration had to be examined individually, ORF reported. He noted that dissolution was possible if slogans glorifying violence were shouted, as they could threaten public order.




Austrian Parliament