Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and other senior government politicians said they were shocked over an attack on a Jewish community leader in the southern city of Graz on Saturday, and ordered tighter security at Jewish institutions around Austria.
The attacker, “non-European and dark” (migrant) attacked the Graz Jewish community’s president, Elie Rosen, with a wooden bat on the premises of their synagogue, which was twice targeted by acts of vandalism in the past week, the community said in a statement late on Saturday.
■ Austrian Chancellor Kurz orders tighter security at Jewish institutions nationwide
Earlier this week, the victim discussed the rise of islamic and left wing antisemitism.
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The leader of the Jewish community in Austria warned on Friday of a rise in “left-wing and anti-Israel antisemitism” following the vandalism of a synagogue in the southern city of Graz.
Earlier this week, the wall of the synagogue was daubed with the slogan “Free Palestine.” Another scrawl on the synagogue’s meeting hall declared, “Our country and our language are red borders.”
Police are currently investigating the incident. The bricks used to construct the outer wall of the synagogue — salvaged from the original building that was burned down during the Nazi “Kristallnacht” pogrom of November 1938 — were said to have been badly damaged by the vandalism.
According to Elie Rosen — the president of the Jewish community in Graz — both slogans were evidence of an aggressive antisemitism from the left.
“It’s not right-wing extremist, it wasn’t völkisch (racist), you can see that clearly,” Rosen commented in an interview with the Wiener Zeitung. “In Graz we are increasingly dealing with left-wing and anti-Israel antisemitism.”
The victim describes the attacker as thin, dark, from a non-European background, wearing a white cap and riding a red bicycle.
Austrian Chancellor Shocked by Baseball Bat Attack on Jewish Leader in Graz
By: Mohammad Ali, Urdu Point, August 2020 | 12:00 AM
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 23rd August, 2020) Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday he was shocked by an attack on the president of the Jewish community in the country’s second largest city of Graz.
The police in the southern province of Styria said a manhunt was underway for a person who assaulted a “high-ranking functionary” of Graz’s Jewish community with what appeared to be a baseball bat.
“I am shocked by the attack on the president of the Jewish community in Graz, Elie Rosen. There is no place for antisemitism in Austria,” Kurz tweeted.
Rosen, a jurist and the Jewish community’s president of five years, was assaulted on Saturday afternoon after he reprimanded an unidentified man for throwing stones into the garden of the community house.
It stands near a synagogue that has been attacked twice in the past week.
“The functionary was inside his car at the time and was not injured in the attack. The unknown person fled,” the police said, adding both Rosen and the synagogue had been placed under protection.
A terror-related probe has reportedly been opened in a series of attacks on the city’s only synagogue after several windows were smashed in it overnight and pro-Palestinian slogans scrawled over the red-brick facade in black paint on Wednesday.
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