Austrian Minister at World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Israel

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: September 12, 2022; 15:24 ♦ (Vindobona)

Due to her participation in the World Counter-Terrorism Summit in Herzliya, the Austrian Minister for Europe and Constitution, Karoline Edtstadler, travelled to Israel at the weekend. As part of her speech, she presented Israeli descendants of those persecuted under National Socialism with Austrian citizenship.

In the course of her stay in Israel, Austria's Minister for Europe visited the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Florian Schrötter

At the weekend, the Austrian Minister for Europe and the Constitution, Karoline Edtstadler, left for Israel to attend, among other things, the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya.

She also took the opportunity to present Israeli descendants of persecutees of National Socialism with Austrian citizenship.

"The fight against anti-Semitism is a marathon, not a sprint. The rising anti-Semitism in Austria, in Europe and worldwide is worrying. When Jews come under pressure, our free democracies also come under pressure," the Austrian Constitutional Minister stressed at the "World Summit on Counter-Terrorism" in Herzliya.

"During the Corona pandemic, anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply. According to experts, Russian aggression against Ukraine poses the risk of even more anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism worldwide. Everyone's efforts are needed to fight this virus of hatred," Edtstadler said in her speech.

According to her, Austria had taken a firm stance against anti-Semitism and measures to compensate Nazi victims. It was not possible to make amends for the atrocities committed, "but I can promise that we will always do everything we can to protect Jews from anti-Semitism".

As examples of Austrian initiatives, she pointed to, among others, the first EU Declaration against Anti-Semitism adopted in 2018 under Austria's EU Presidency, the National Strategy against Anti-Semitism, the Austrian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Act and the Shoah Name Wall Memorial.

Even before the event, Israeli descendants of victims of National Socialism were presented with Austrian citizenship. "So far, about 21,000 survivors and their descendants have applied for it, and more than 14,000 citizenships have already been granted.

In 2019, in recognition of its historical responsibility, the Austrian Parliament has laid the foundation for granting citizenship to descendants of Nazi expellees," explains Karoline Edtstadler.

This symbolic gesture is intended to reconnect Austria with those affected.Furthermore, it was announced that the Hecht Museum in Haifa will receive 100,000 euros during Minister Edtstadler's visit to Israel in order to integrate the Museum of German-speaking Jews ("Jekkes") into the museum.

Within the framework of the National Strategy against Anti-Semitism, close cooperation with international educational institutions is essential. A meeting with Federal President Herzog and a visit to Yad Vashem will also be part of the trip.

Austria's Health Minister Johannes Rauch is also in Israel at the same time. He will attend the WHO regional meeting on recommendations for the Corona pandemic. In addition, the Health Minister is planning bilateral talks in Israel on the digitisation of the health sector.

Federal Chancellery of Austria