Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Met Representatives of Jewish Organizations in New York

PeopleOther ♦ Published: September 25, 2022; 21:48 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria should take its historical responsibility for the Holocaust seriously. Foreign Minister Schallenberg met with representatives of Jewish organizations on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met representatives of Jewish organizations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

On the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg met with the presidents of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald Lauder, and the CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), David Harris.

Austria's Foreign Minister also exchanged views with representatives of other Jewish organizations - B'nai B'rith, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Coalition in Support of Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ), and the umbrella organization of Jewish organizations in the United States, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The talks focused on the excellent bilateral relations between Austria and Israel, Austria's commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism, and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

According to Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Austria takes its historical responsibility seriously. According to Schallenberg, "Jews worldwide have a right to live in security and freedom. We will continue and further strengthen our fight against anti-Semitism."

In Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg's talks, Russia's invasion of Ukraine was also a topic. The Foreign Minister stressed that the Russian invasion represented a turning point in international relations. He said that the "end of history" and the triumph of the liberal form of society predicted by many had not come to pass. Rather, he said, Europe was facing the greatest attack on its security architecture since World War II. This led to a geopolitical awakening of the EU, according to Schallenberg.

About the relationship between Austria and Israel, Foreign Minister Schallenberg stressed that bilateral relations are excellent and probably better than ever before. One sign of the excellent relationship, he said, was the Strategic Partnership between the two countries agreed upon by Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Prime Minister Jair Lapid in July 2022. The aim of the cooperation is, among other things, to strengthen the joint fight against anti-Semitism.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to an increase in anti-Semitic incidents. Austria pursues a zero-tolerance policy in this regard.

"In the wake of the pandemic, we have unfortunately seen an increase in anti-Semitic crimes over the past two years. The Austrian authorities are taking decisive action against this phenomenon, "stressed Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

In addition, the minister presented concrete progress in the implementation of the National Strategy against Anti-Semitism. These include a tripling of investments for the promotion of Jewish life and the protection of Jewish institutions in Austria, an expansion of relevant training courses for police and judicial authorities, as well as the creation of a National Forum against Anti-Semitism in June 2022. In addition, Austria will provide 1.5 million euros for cooperation with the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for the period 2022 to 2024.

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs