Thursday, 19 Sep 2019 - 19 of Elul, 5779

Leader of the Jewish community in Austria praises downfall of government with far-right Freedom Party

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VIENNA—The leader of the Jewish communityn in Austria ’s Jewish community praised the resignation of Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache who is the leader of the far-right Freedom party.

Strache’s resignation came after two German publications published hidden-camera showed him offering government contracts in return for campaign help to a fake Russian backer in a villa on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza.

In the recordings Strache and his party’s group leader in parliament Johann Gudenus are seen discussing with a woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch how she can invest in Austria.

The scandal brought down the government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose OVP Conservative party  had allied with Strache’s Freedom Party.

The Austrian Jewish community had been critical of the partnership and maintained a no-contact policy with the Freedom Party because of the  party’s  Nazi past. The party

VIENNA—The leader of the Jewish communityn in Austria ’s Jewish community praised the resignation of Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache who is the leader of the far-right Freedom party.

Strache’s resignation came after two German publications published hidden-camera showed him offering government contracts in return for campaign help to a fake Russian backer in a villa on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza.

In the recordings Strache and his party’s group leader in parliament Johann Gudenus are seen discussing with a woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch how she can invest in Austria.

The scandal brought down the government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose OVP Conservative party  had allied with Strache’s Freedom Party.

The Austrian Jewish community had been critical of the partnership and maintained a no-contact policy with the Freedom Party because of the  party’s  Nazi past. Israeli oficials also avoided contact with party members.

Oskar Deutsch, leader of IKG, the Jewish community in Vienna, told The Times of Israel, that the government’s fall “shows that both the Jewish community and the government of Israel evaluated the Freedom Party correctly.”

He urged Austrians to vote for factions other than the Freedom Party in upcoming European Parliament elections.

 

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