Israel's Ambassador to Vienna, David Roet, on Current Challenges in Austria and the EU

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: January 23, 2024; 23:44 ♦ (Vindobona)

David Roet, Israel's ambassador to Austria, has been actively involved in the public debate since his arrival and is committed to solidarity with Israel.

Israel's ambassador to Austria, David Roet, endorses Austria's intervention in the Gaza conflict and urges greater moderation in providing help to the Palestinians. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Carina Karlovits und Daniel Trippolt/HBF

In an interview with Eric Frey, Roet spoke about the current challenges, in particular the rise in anti-Semitism and the geopolitical developments following the Hamas massacre on October 7, as reported by the newspaper "DerStandard".

Austria's support for Israel in the Gaza war

Roet praised Austria's unreserved support for Israel in the conflict with Hamas and emphasized the importance of solidarity across party lines. He emphasized that states should stand by their convictions and not change their position under pressure.

Dealing with the past and relations with Israel

According to Roet, how Austria deals with its past has had a positive influence on relations with Israel. He has noticed a change in relations over the last 20 years, including at the level of people.

Although Roet noted a lower level of anti-Semitism in Austria compared to other countries, he is still concerned about the global rise in anti-Semitism. He condemned the glorification of Hamas and the denial of the massacre.

Concerns about aid payments to Palestinians

Concerning aid payments to Palestinians, Roet expressed concerns about the possible transfer of funds to Hamas. He welcomed Austria's decision to temporarily freeze and review the payments and trusts that the resumption of payments took place after a thorough review.

EU as mediator in the Middle East conflict

Roet expressed skepticism regarding the role of the EU as a mediator in the Middle East conflict. He emphasized that if the EU does not stand by its values and cannot distinguish between a democracy like Israel and Hamas, it is not an objective partner.

Israel's battle for the hearts of the next generation

Roet sees the battle for the hearts of the next generation as not yet lost, although he is concerned. He emphasized the need for coexistence and rebuilding trust between Israelis and Palestinians.

At the end of the interview, Roet emphasized the need for a common destiny and coexistence in Israel. He sees long-term challenges in rebuilding the trust of the Israeli people and emphasizes the importance of the fight against terrorism.